With a weaning table and chair set, you can create a wonderful Montessori environment in your home. Your baby will fit perfectly in it. Introducing them to the joy of eating at the table will allow them to develop independence and a sense of self-worth as well as teach them the joy of eating. This is an alternative to a high chair, and it shows your baby he or she has a special place in your home just for them.
Why the Montessori Approach Suggests a Weaning Table
Weaning tables and chairs encourage your child’s independence, self-confidence, and competence. The table and chair are purposefully made for your baby’s size and honor their dignity by meeting them right where they are. Although the high chair allows your child to participate in family meals, it is too large for them to climb in and out by themselves.
They cannot set their place or clean up after themselves and have to be lifted in and out of it. It’s not designed with their needs or abilities in mind. If you give your little one a place to eat that suits their size and abilities, you give them a sense of ownership.
What’s the connection between “weaning” and a table? When a baby is nursing or bottle-feeding, and taking baby milk as their sole source of nutrition, they do not have any choice or control over what they eat. As they wean (which could be a short period of time or a very long one!) they integrate a variety of food into their diets and begin for the first time to make selections and have preferences.
When To Introduce The Weaning Table
Wait until your baby is comfortable sitting up on their own before placing them in the weaning chair. If they are slouching over or tipping to one side, it is uncomfortable to try to eat, and it can also be a little scary if they end up face planting in their food! Around 6-7 months is when this milestone usually occurs. As soon as they are able to sit up well, and you are ready to feed them solid food, you can introduce the table and chair.
If you have a small living space, a child-sized table is also a place to present Montessori toys or other materials that a child can focus on. Otherwise, it’s ideal to have a table for eating and a different one in the play area.
How Do We Introduce The Weaning Table?
In general, the kitchen is the best place to place the table and chairs. You may want to put a small square of rubber carpet pad on the seat to prevent slipping. Prepare the food and place it on the table. Invite your little one to the chair with slow and gentle language so that they are comfortable with the new furniture. “This is your table and chair where you will eat your food.”
It may be possible for them to crawl to the chair and climb in on their own if they are already crawling. If they cannot crawl yet, then you can lift them in the chair and slide it under the table. You may sit on the floor next to them, or you may have a stool that you can pull up to the table. When they are situated and comfortable, you can begin spooning the food into their mouth. It will be important for you to pay attention to their cues so you can satisfy their appetite and curiosity about this new experience.
If they are looking away and telling you they are finished eating, do not feed too quickly or try to convince them to eat. It is important that they learn to trust their own bodies and appetites, as well as to develop a mindful and intentional relationship with food. The spoon can be guided to their mouth if they want to grab it. This allows them to be active participants in their feeding. When they are finished, you can clear the table and let them watch you carefully wipe down the surfaces. When they are ready, all of these actions are invitations to participate in mealtime routines.
You will see how your little one grows in competence and ownership as a result of this experience. A Weaning Table and Chair will serve your baby’s development from the first time he or she eats solid food through toddlerhood. It allows your little one to fully participate in the eating experience and builds their confidence and independence. The control and thoughtfulness it gives your child encourages a positive relationship with food. And it gives them a special place to play or eat designed just for them!
Our suggestions for Montessori Weaning Tables at A Matter Of Style
- Montessori Desk with Drawers and Chair483,00 € Inc. VAT
- Montessori Multifunctional Desk Bench with 2 Drawers382,00 € Inc. VAT
- Montessori Set of One Big Bench and One Small Bench311,00 € Inc. VAT
Sources and References
- Moss, W. (2021) What is a Weaning Table? Available at: https://montikids.com/montessori/weaning-table/.