When it comes time to start solids with your baby it can seem a bit daunting, there seems to be a lot of decisions to make. Where can my babysit when starting solids? How do I pick a good high chair? Should I use puree’s or try baby-led weaning?
It becomes a lot of decisions very quickly, but don’t worry it isn’t as scary as it seems!
Here I will go over your options of where babies can sit when starting solids and the pro’s and con’s of each of these seating options.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and buy, I may receive a small commission (at zero cost to you). Please see my disclosure policy to learn more.
Signs of Readiness for Starting Solids
A huge component of your baby being ready to start solids is whether or not they can sit up and hold their head up unassisted.
General Readiness Signs Are:
- Your child is able to sit upright and hold head up on their own.
- They have no tongue thrusting reflex or it is very minimal.
- Your baby is interested in food. Do they reach for your plate? Watch you eat at dinner time and look interested?
Mayo Clinic suggests these signs of readiness will usually occur between 4 – 6 months of age.
Starting any earlier does not show to be beneficial to your baby, in fact in can actually cause harm. Starting solids too early (prior to 4 months of age) can highly increase the chances of your baby choking, increase their risk for obesity, and has not been shown to help babies sleep better at night.
So, no need to rush it! They will be ready soon enough, and then the fun begins.
These signs of readiness apply to both spoon feeding purees and baby-led weaning (BLW). No matter which method you decide to choose, you need to make sure your baby is ready.
If you haven’t decided what method you are going to choose, that’s okay. If you are interested, here is Erin’s experience on why she chose puree’s over baby-led weaning. For me and my little cub, we found that baby-led weaning suited our family life.
Everyone is different which makes the world a fun diverse place, so get informed and find what will suit you and your family best!
Safety Checklist for Starting Solids
When beginning solids with your baby, it is a key time to be very aware of risks and safety.
- Always be Present, Choking is a Real Risk
- Follow High Chair Safety Measures
- Cut/Mash Food to Appropriate Sizes
- Check Temperatures of Food
Options for Seating for Baby’s First Solids
You have a few options when it comes to seating when introducing your baby to their first solids. What you decide to go with will depend on the space you have available, what your budget is, and how long you intend to try and use this item ( the longer the better #momgoals! )
High chairs are a common item in the family home, they allow your baby to be up at the table with the family and be at easy spoon feeding height for the parent.
Though, the most common types of high chairs can easily be outgrown and become obsolete within 12 months. So, it is wise to consider selecting a high chair that can grow with your child and be used for many years.
Another solid option that allows your child to grow into it for more use with time, is a weaning table. A child/baby sized table and chair that allows them independence at a table their size from early on.
So let’s look into the pro’s and con’s of each of these options.
High Chairs That Last Years
I am a firm believer in trying to buy items that last, for environmental reasons as well as budget reasons. So, when it comes to high chairs I think finding one that will last for years is totally worth the extra cost (get one 2nd hand and it can still be budget friendly).
Lucky for us parents there are a few options of high chairs that are great for starting solids straight from baby stage all the way to 10 years of age!
Tripp Trapp Chair and Mocka Chair
These two high chairs are a great example of a high chair that grows with your child and can be used for many years. As said before, anything that can last years with your child is a parent win!
These chairs have an infant insert that allows for your baby starting solids to safely sit in them from the start. They also promote correct posture for eating by having an adjustable footrest and seat.
When starting solids these chairs are a great option for really including baby at the family dinner table. They pull up to your dinner table and your baby can eat off a plate or placemat on the table.
The seat adjusts which is the biggest perk, for as your child grows you can adjust the seat so they can sit comfortably at the family table throughout the years.
When children are older (such as 3) often they have the table at eye/chin level while they are trying to sit and eat with a normal chair. This is not great for keeping them comfortable or interested in sitting/eating at the table very long.
By using an adjustable high chair that grows with your child they can always keep elbows above table for ease of use when using cutlery or reaching for their drink.
When you remove the infant insert you can still utilize straps for safety for as long as you feel necessary.
Once they are adequately able to climb they can independently climb in/out of these high chairs by themselves with ease.
- Child Can Sit at Family Table for Meal
- Takes Less Space than Traditional High Chair
- Adjustable Seat & Footrest
- Grows with Child for Years
- Allows Independence in Toddler Years
- Must Be Used At Existing Table
- Higher Purchase Cost
- Safety Risk of Falling
- Can’t Help Set/Wipe Table til Older
The most common seating for babies starting solids is the common high chair with a tray attached. These high chairs can be taken to any living space within the home or outside and be used for mealtime with baby.
It is easy to be handed down one of these as they are so common, but babies grow out of them quite quickly. It doesn’t take long before you have a toddler who needs seating assistance once they grow out of their high chair. Thus you end up having to look for another item to fill this need. For this reason I often suggest the high chairs that grow with your child for the length of use you will get out of them.
- Easy to Fit a Baby Into
- A tray is Included
- Cheaper Option
- Contains Child During Meal Time
- Allows for more floor mess(easily avoided with spill mat)
- Have to Wipe Tray and Disconnect to Deep Clean
- Restricts Independence of Child when Older
- Takes Up a Fair Amount of Space
- Safety Risk of Falling
- Child Can Outgrow It Quickly
Looking into encouraging more independence for you child as they grow? Maybe a weaning table is something you might be more interested in. A weaning table is a child sized table and chair that babies, and eventually toddlers, can use with small adjustments made to the furniture over time.
Weaning tables may seem like something for when your child is older, but actually can be used when starting solids. We used a weaning table with our 6 month old once he was able to sit up on his own and he has used it for meals ever since, which has been one whole year now.
They are great for limiting messes as the “throw the food on the floor” game is not as exciting when there isn’t a long drop before the food splats. It also prevents the “distance” any food mess can go.
As your child grows they will be able to help out with meals more and more when using a weaning table. This can include setting their table, bringing their dirty dish to you at the sink, assist with making snacks with you at their table, and being able to wipe their table when finished with a meal or snack.
You might think this is years away, but all of the above can be done with your 1 year old.
Yeah, take that in for a minute. Your 1 year old can set their table, bring your their dirty dish, and wipe their table when they have a weaning table. Bet that is making you start to consider one. They are happy to do it too, because young children thrive on the independent activities they are able to accomplish.
- Contains Food Mess
- Allows Child to Learn Table Manners from the Start
- Allows Child to Sit with Feet on Floor
- Child Can Get In/Out Independently Once Mobile
- Later Allows for Independent Activities Involving Table
- Takes up More Space
- Parent Should Sit on Floor with Child
- Child Can Get up from Meals Early
- More expensive
Seating for Starting Solids
There are your top options for where baby can sit when starting solids. Look over the pro’s and con’s for each and determine which option will suit you and your family best.
As long as you stick to the general safety guidelines for starting solids it doesn’t really matter which option you choose.
Starting solids is a fun adventure where your baby will get to explore the flavors of the world, so just make sure that whatever method of feeding you choose and whichever seating option you choose it will set you and your baby up for a positive experience!
Let us know how it goes, and share what worked for you!
Feel free to share any funny stories about your first adventures with starting solids to give everyone who reads a smile.
Hannah from Thrive in Family Life is a mama who is all about sharing real life experiences and resources so that everyone can thrive within their family life at home. As a new mum learning to live “Down Under” in a small country town she is all about the realistic stories of motherhood and the important parts to growing a thriving family.