Sharing a table with the family is a habit that pediatricians increasingly recommend. Although it is not always easy to adapt to the schedules of the little ones, we have to try it at least once a day, and take advantage of that time so that, in addition to eating, it becomes a good time to promote communication, telling us how we have Gone the day and the things we've done
This measure is recommended because, in addition to strengthening family ties, doctors and psychologists ensure that in the long term it helps to reduce eating disorders that may appear or detect them earlier.
It is around 6 months when the baby begins to be able to sit autonomously and safely, and also the first foods (either in the form of solids or in the form of purees) coincide with the age of introduction. So this is when you can start using the high chair, which from this point will become essential during the first years and thus begin to share meals with us.
The high chair offers us several possibilities:
- Give or take food by yourself comfortably
- That is at our same height
- Have a new vision of your environment
- Encourages autonomy during meals
- Let him begin to socialize without being in our arms but also safe.
There is an infinite variety of different high chair models: fixed, folding, evolutionary, with reclining backrest, adjustable ... When deciding on one of them we should take into account:
- Space that we have at home: It seems obvious, but they are usually quite large objects and if they hinder the passage a lot we will end up getting tired. If we have little space there is the option of folding.
- Where do we normally eat: on a table of a standard height or on high tables type bar (there are few models suitable for high tables, but there are!).
- What kind of diet will we follow: Whether we are going to introduce food with the Baby-Led Weaning method or not, the materials will have to be easy to clean.
Although it is advised that children do not remain seated or in the same position for a long time in a row (maximum 40 minutes)If we are realistic we know that the high chair will spend some more time than just eating, because we are going to end up using it also to play sitting, while waiting for us to finish preparing dinner or while we collect the kitchen (which is not necessary to do immediately. We can postpone it for the time of your nap) always with the safety devices on and without taking your eyes off them.
For this reason, we must ensure that you will be comfortable and that in the process it will help you strengthen the muscles while taking the habit of sitting in a healthy posture.
To ensure that in the high chair our little one will be comfortable and maintaining a good posture we must look at:
- The seat must be wide and comfortable, where you can fully support the entire bum and thighs.
- Have a wide backrest that can support your back well. There are high chairs with reclining backrest that allow you to lay them down when they get tired or adjust them better to their posture, but to eat, the back has to be vertical and we will only recline it to rest. We cannot forget that a reclining high chair or hammock can never be a substitute for cribs, especially during the first months.
- The footrest: It is one of the essential elements that every good high chair must have because it gives stability to the child and helps him maintain a good posture.
- The tray will suit the consumer or the space you have at home. If you prefer a high chair with a tray, it has high edges to prevent food falling and it is easy to remove for cleaning.
- Make them adjustable, in order to better adapt to the development of children.
It's very important graduate the high chair well, because even if we have the most ergonomic high chair in the world, if it is not well regulated, it will not ensure a correct position. We have to look at:
- The child's back should be fully supported by the backrest. We do this if the bum is at the rear of the seat. When they are beginning to learn to sit down and the first times they sit in the high chair it is normal for them to put their legs in external rotation and abduction, that is, on top of the seat, as if they were going to sit in "Indian position".
- Legs bent so thighs and calf are at a 90⁰ angle so that the pressure is well distributed throughout all the legs.
- Feet must be fully supported on the footrest. This gives you security to be able to handle food or cutlery well as it increases stability and helps you maintain balance.
- That the table or tray is at the same level or slightly above the elbowss so that it does not overload the cervical muscles, it can support the forearms well and this will strengthen the back muscles more harmoniously.
It is very beneficial to teach how to maintain good posture from a very young age., to later avoid contractures, pain or simply having to correct the bad habit.
At mealtime it is important to be well seated because:
- If you keep your back straight, neither the stomach nor the intestines are compressed, so we facilitate digestion.
- If your back is well supported and you are sitting in the seat with your feet on the footrest, have better balance and can handle food more easily, either directly with the hands or with the cutlery.
From the moment we become moms and dads, everything revolves around the child, we seek to have the best, to be comfortable; But what about us? We also have to take into account the posture we maintain while feeding them. It is important to sit facing them to avoid torsional torsion. Also support our forearms on the table or on your tray often to rest the cervical area.
We have to take care of the back at any age, let's not forget that children learn from what they see!
The growing body of children and adolescents is very sensitive to incorrect postures, so choosing a good high chair for the little ones, keeping it well graduated and teaching good posture habits from early childhood is necessary for good long-term postural development. . If we accompany all this with a good family meal, what more can we ask for?