It is against a child’s nature to have to sit still for any length of time. By allowing your child to have something that makes them feel more comfortable at mealtimes will make the experience enjoyable for everyone. You can let your child play with spoons, trains, teddy-bear – whatever keeps him happy and eating so he gets used to sitting still at the table and parents can enjoy their own meal.
It's fine to let him have something to make him feel more comfortable at meals.
Should your child be happy sitting still with just a bowl and spoon to play with then it’s best not to introduce his favourite toy to the table. It’s also important not to move too quickly from the high chair (strapped) to his own chair. Your child will not know any difference if they have always been strapped into a high chair, so it’s best to leave it as long as you can. When this no longer works then introduce your child’s favourite toy to make him more comfortable at sitting still.
When should the cut off be?
Well this depends on the child but a child should naturally stop needing it at age 4 or 5. Offer rewards for sitting still without the toy and this will help the graduation.
Follow our Step 1, Step 2, Step 4 and Step 5 in making meal times a more enjoyable experience for the whole family.