I often get asked by Mums weaning their baby why a child won't stay in their highchair for very long. The answer is to make sure they are stable in the chair by padding the sides with towels and making sure they have a footrest.
‘Why do I need a footrest for my baby’s highchair?’
Think of how you feel when you are at a bar stool and your feet are dangling. You wouldn't be able to stay for very long and this is also true for a baby. It's not always about the most expensive highchair its how you adapt a highchair to suit the child. So buying the cheapest highchair and adapting it can be the best solution. The IKEA Antilop highchair priced at €15 can be adapted easily by adding cushions to the side and our Footsi footrest... amazing!
- Do you find it difficult to get your little one to concentrate on their food when feeding them in their highchair?
- Are they non-stop wriggling about in an attempt to find a comfortable position?
The Footsi is designed by Australian-based Mel Howe from Pimp My High Chair who, like lots of other Mum's, loved the ease of cleaning the IKEA Antilop high chair*, but noticed that without a footrest her daughter looked uncomfortable and showed little interest in her food. From this, she realised that a footrest was needed, thus the Footsi was born!
According to our very own Catriona Fahey, a Paediatric Occupational Therapist, the Footsi provides the perfect eating environment for a child sitting in a highchair and can make a huge difference in improving your child’s stability and concentration in the highchair!
Within this blog, I will discuss why it is so important to provide your child with a suitable foot support when feeding, and the different ways in which they will benefit from using it.
*The Footsi footrest has been tested on multiple high chairs for appropriate fit and makes a great addition to either the Ikea Antilop, Aldi Mamia or similar. The suction hook needs to be applied to a non-porous surface. See our video below on how to install the suction hook on the back of the highchair.
Focus on comfort to improve concentration
When a baby or child is sat in a highchair with no foot support, they tend to end up wriggling around and show little interest in the food that has been put in front of them. The reason for this is because their lower body's are lacking support so they result to fidgeting as a way to find a comfortable seated position. Sitting in a chair without support can also be very tiring for your little one, which can result in them having less energy to spend on eating or look to get out of the highchair altogether.
By creating a feeding environment that is as comfortable as possible for your child, they will be able to focus their attention on eating all of their food and even be more likely to try new, unfamiliar foods!
Remember: a baby isn’t able to verbally communicate that they are uncomfortable, so it is important to look out for these signs to determine whether they are struggling in the highchair.
Stability is key in the development of motor skills
When you first introduce solid foods to your baby, it will be the first time they will have to apply certain motor skills that are essential when learning how to eat such as picking up a spoon, biting and chewing. However, in order to develop these skills, children must have stability in their body.
Paediatricians note that footrests allow toddlers to increase their motor skills, allowing them to feed better and improve their levels of concentration. By providing your child with a comfortable seated position, they can then focus their efforts on learning how to bite, chew and enjoy their food!
Adjustable to fit your child's height
The issue with purchasing high chairs that already come with footrests is that as the child gets older, the footrest can't be adjusted to match their height and are generally suited to one age bracket. Eventually your child will grow too big for the chair and won't be able to sit comfortably in it. It could also be the case that they're too small for the highchair and therefore their little legs can't reach the footrest! in both cases, your child will be very uncomfortable and will be unlikely to stay sat in the chair long enough to finish their food.
With the Footsi, you can easily adjust the height to maximise your little one’s comfort so that they can focus on the task at hand, and that is enjoying their food!
We absolutely love the brand, and are so grateful to be working with Mel and selling her amazing product to our Mummy Cooks parents!