When Can a Baby Sit in a High Chair: Signs of Readiness and Choosing the Right High Chair

From its name, the term ‘Baby Led Weaning’ (BLW) means to put the baby in charge of mealtimes, and the adults follow the baby’s lead. There are many benefits to BLW and I would highly recommend parents to try, but I am also aware of BLW’s difficulty. To introduce solids, it is important to ensure that your baby can sit in a high chair. Typically, they will be ready to sit upright in a high chair around 4 to 6 months.

Apart from feeding purposes, there are several benefits to letting your baby sit in a high chair – conducting activities and facilitating communication at the table. 

In this article, we share the answers to common questions such as when can a baby sit in a high chair, what are the signs of readiness and more. We will also share about the considerations when choosing a high chair, the best baby high chairs and how to use a high chair safely.


Why Should You Trust Me

Who Am I?

Hi, I’m Serene, a mother of one 31-month-old daughter (as of June 2023) and I have used a range of high chairs at home, and outside – IKEA high chair, Stokke Tripp Trapp, Ingenuity Baby Base 2-in-1 Booster, Combi Dreamy Swing High Chair and several random ones as I dine outside.

baby led weaning foods

I am a huge believer of BLW and when feeding finger foods, it is crucial for a baby to be able to sit upright independently before he/she can start feeding himself/herself. Ignoring societal expectations of feeding solids at 4 months old, I chose to wait for my daughter to be ready before introducing solids.

This leads to my signs of readiness checklist.


When Can a Baby Sit in a High Chair?

Signs of Readiness Checklist

According to Solidstarts, here are the various developmental milestones your baby need to achieve before offering finger foods:

Age: 6 months or older
Posture: able to sit upright independently
Head control: hold head upright independently and steadily
Reach & grab: able to pick up objects and bring them to their mouth
Interest: mouths and leans forward to food (I used to carry my daughter to the dining table while we ate when she’s 5 months old!)
My personal experience:

At around 5 months old, I noticed that my daughter was interested in food and would start licking her lips when she saw us eat. Hence, I would always bring her to the dining table, to sit on my lap and watch me have dinner. Sometimes, I feel that the mere presence of seeing food potentially helped increase her interest in food. 

Slowly, she starts mouthing her toys and I felt that at 6 months old, she was able to sit upright independently for a few seconds but would begin swaying after a while. As a result, I chose to buy the IKEA cushion to insert behind her on the IKEA high chair so that she can be propped upright for longer periods of time. 

In the beginning, each meal would last probably 10 minutes, depending on her interest. If I feel that she’s unable to sit anymore due to the lack of core strength or boredom, I would remove her from the chair.


How to Choose the Right High Chair

Choosing a High Chair
pie chart of top high chair considerations

14 out of 45 mommies stated that safety and security is the first factor they considered when looking to buy a high chair for baby led weaning. Other important considerations are ease of assembling and aesthetics of the chair.

Safety and security

A safety-restraint system, with a groin strap would be important to keep your child well-seated on the high chair. This prevents your child from escaping or falling from a high height.

Ease of cleaning

In the early months, or years of using the high chair, mess is inevitable. For your sanity, an easy-to-clean high chair would be very helpful.

Foot rest

According to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, a foot rest is crucial to support and develop good sitting posture with their feet placed flat. A foot rest also increases stability and encourages your child to sit upright without slouching.

Non-slippery and stable base

It is important that the high chair doesn’t slip and has a stable base.


Although you will probably only be assembling the high chair once, it would be great if it assembles easily.

“It’s so easy to assemble and disassemble. I bring the high chair to every house I visit. In that way, I’m not worried if the house doesn’t have a high chair for my daughter”

– Owner of the IKEA high chair
Style and Design

Just like any piece of furniture in your house, it would be nice if your high chair suits the interior design of your house.


Here are some of the best high chairs that you can buy to introduce solids to your baby.


If you are interested in doing BLW, you may find some high chairs more suitable for BLW

ANTILOP product image
IKEA High Chair
USD 30
Easy to wash down
Very affordable 
Plastic, can be washed down
Super easy to clean
May not be as sturdy as it’s very light
No footrest
stokke tripp trapp high chair
Stokke Tripp Trapp
USD 299
Grows with your child
Adjustable footrest
Sleek design
Many colors
Doesn’t include baby set
Hard to adjust footrest
Takes longer to wipe down – many nooks and crannies
Stokke Nomi product image
Stokke Nomi
USD 349
Hangs on the edge of your table
Adjustable footrest
Many colors
Includes baby set
Large base
Joovy Nook product image
Joovy Nook High Chair
USD 130
Folds flat
Waterproof seat
One-handed tray opening
No assembly needed
Footrest not adjustable

How to Use a High Chair Safely

High Chair Safety
Placement of the high chair

Ensure that the high chair is placed on flat ground to prevent it from toppling over. Avoid positioning the high chair near countertops or tables that allows your child to push against or grab onto.

Using safety straps

This prevents your child from falling and standing on the high chair.

Supervise your child at all times

Never leave the child unattended on the high chair, even for brief periods of time.


Tips for Sitting in a High Chair

Tips and Tricks

A high chair can be used for both feeding and entertainment/teaching purposes. Proper positioning and safety in a high chair is important for your baby’s comfort. Here are some tips for your child to sit comfortably in a high chair.

Help your baby transition to the high chair

For short periods of time, let your baby test out what it feels like sitting in the high chair. You could do some of his/her favourite activities and explain to your child the need for a high chair. 

When introducing solids, it may be helpful to keep each session short so that it is not too overwhelming for the child. 

Check your baby’s sitting posture and position

The ideal sitting posture on a high chair is upright, with hips, knees and ankles bent at 90 degrees.

Baby sitting upright on high chair
Image credit: Solidstarts

According to Solidstarts, proper positioning for feeding is crucial for swallowing safely. Additionally, seating position impacts a baby’s ability to use their arms and hands and chew. Baby should be sitting in a 90-90-90 position, which is therapy jargon referring to the ankles, knees, and hips at 90-degree angles. The child’s center of gravity or weight should be neutral or forward with feet firmly planted on the footplate.

Position the high chair well

The high chair should be positioned well – not too close to the table such that the baby can kick or push against the table and tip themselves backwards. Ensure that the baby can see and feel like a part of the family, but not within reach of things on the table that is hot or sharp.


FAQs About Babies Sitting in a High Chair


Is a footrest necessary for my baby?

It’s good to have a footrest as it will create the safest and most comfortable experience for your baby when eating solids. 

A stable footrest provides the best base for the body to chew, and swallow the food. According to Solidstarts, the optimal seating posture is the 90-90-90 position, where the ankles, knees, and hips are at 90-degree angles.

In short, it’s much more comfortable and easier for babies to reach and grasp for food when their feet are planted on a stable surface.

Can I use a high chair if my baby can’t sit up?

Ideally, you should not be using a high chair if your baby is unable to sit up right independently. However, should you need to let the baby sit on a high chair, you can consider reclining ones, or those with infant inserts.

Why does my baby slump forward or sideways after a while?

There are several reasons this could happen:

  • Lack of core strength to maintain an upright position
  • Lack of engagement that leads them to lose focus
  • Improper fit or support (seat too big, lack of footrest, insufficient support at the sides or backrest)

What could you do to help your baby?

  • Ensure proper positioning (height wise, feet to be supported, using cushions to help support baby)
  • Engaging them in activities and interact with them 
  • Start with short periods of time on the high chair before extending the time

When to transition from high chair to table?

Typically, a child is ready to move away from the high chair between 18 months and 3 years of age (p.s. My 2.5yo daughter is still on her high chair at home as the height is perfect for my dining table).

Here are some signs you can look out for to consider this transition:

1) Developmental milestones:

  • Child is ready to sit independently and maintain good posture without support 
  • Child has the coordination and motor skills to eat without assistance 

2) Safety considerations:

  • They should be able to reach the table comfortably without the risk of falling over 

3) Comfort and preference:

  • Some children may want to sit in the high chair still (like my daughter!), while others prefer a regular chair 

You could always consider booster seats (as regular chairs can be too low for them), toddler chairs, or stacking regular chairs (ensure safety first!).

Disclaimer: Nuevamae is not sponsored by any of the mentioned brands or platforms. This article expresses our honest opinion based on our experience and research. Read more about our mission. This article includes affiliate links so we may earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) if you make a purchase via the link.

When Can a Baby Sit in a High Chair: Signs of Readiness and Choosing the Right High Chair
When Can a Baby Sit in a High Chair: Signs of Readiness and Choosing the Right High Chair

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