The question is often raised as to whether the baby should sit at the table with the family. Is it important for their growth? Or on the other hand, is it better to postpone it until after the first year?
Sitting Baby at the Table
Should baby sit at the table with the family? This is a question that does not have a certain answer as it is conditioned by certain situations, particularly the development of the baby and the family routine. The inclusion of the baby at mealtimes must be, in fact, a central objective of the parents, taking into account the importance for the social development of the child and in the building of his eating habits.
However, and although this inclusion in family meals should not be delayed too much, the main concern should be the well-being of the baby and the parents. Therefore, if it is uncomfortable for the baby and the parents, family routines can be planned so that, for example, the baby eats first and then the parents. Even so, the promotion of meals together should be done gradually.
From what age can we sit baby at the table?
The moment from which you should seat the baby at the table depends on the baby’s motor development rather than on a specific age. However, the idea is that when babies start to diversify their diet they do so sitting on their own chair and not on the lap of an adult.
As the first month is often complicated in terms of new tasks, learning, and timetables, the seventh month can be a good option to start the family meal-together (also because at the seventh-month baby begins to have two meals of vegetables, in order to promote the habit of having lunch/dinner).
What are the advantages of sitting a baby at the table?
There are many advantages to including a baby in family meals. However, their social and postural development stands out. At the level of social development, it is very important for the child to learn to share and socialise in a context that is very present in daily life, and it is also an important stimulus for other competencies, such as speech.
Being at the table is also important for learning by observation, bearing in mind that children tend to copy adults. Thus, the baby will learn notions of posture such as how to hold cutlery or how to use a napkin.
Tips for baby sitting at the table
- Start gradually, for example, at the weekend, when parents are also more available and less constrained by schedules);
- Having a meal chair is important to keep the child comfortable and safe, important so that children don’t become saturated after a short time;
- Using utensils such as cutlery and glasses adapted to the child may also be important, both to captivate the child and for his own safety;
- Not to centre the meal on the baby, that is to say, moderate the attention given. The table is a space where all the members of the family share and later on, when the baby does not have this same attention, the “tantrum” will appear more easily.