When is a Child too Old for a High Chair?

When is a child too old for a high chair? Most parents agree that 2 years is the perfect time to stop a child from using a high chair whether at home or at a restaurant.

However, there are a host of reasons why some children aged over 2 years may still need to use a high chair. For instance, a child with an underlying mental condition or developmental problem may need to be strapped onto a seat during meals so that he or she can sit and eat calmly.

That aside, most children begin to sit better at the dining table at the age of 12 to 18 months. At this point, you can transition them to a booster seat until they turn 2 years where they no longer need to be strapped on.

In this article, we shall discuss the telltale signs of a child who no longer wants to use a high chair and how you can transition them safely on to a booster seat or a normal dining chair.

When is a Child too Old for a High Chair?

Tell-Tale Signs

When they keep trying to climb out

As children grow older, their desire to explore and experiment increases. Playing with food and changing seating arrangements becomes quite common during meals. Their desire to experiment makes them feel restricted on the high chair and may strive to climb out in search of a little freedom.

So attempting to unstrap and climb out of the chair is a major sign that they are ready to switch.

At this point, it is paramount to make a secure sitting arrangement for them at the dinner table since the high chair becomes a safety hazard.

Become hysterical when strapped on

If your baby becomes hysterical or agitated when strapped on to the high chair, it’s definitely time to move him or her.

If they have an older sibling(s), they may hate the idea of sitting on the high chair while the rest of the family is at the table. This may lead to resistance, causing them to become hysterical. The only way to calm them down would be by allowing them to seat on a dining chair like the rest of their siblings.

Related article: When it’s time for a baby to go in Exersaucer?

Understand the basic mealtime rules

Train your youngster as early as possible to sit quietly and eat without getting up. One way to do this is to explain why kids shouldn’t try to get up from their chair or stand on it while eating.

When they start to understand the importance of seating calmly for meals, then you no longer need to strap them on to the high chair.

When they want to be like you or their older siblings

As we mentioned earlier, your child may start to resist sitting in a high chair because he wants to be like you or his older siblings.

He may want to join the rest of the family at the table, in a big chair, once he sees that neither you nor his siblings are using a high chair. He may try to take his sibling’s seat at the dinner table or race to be the first one seated to show his displeasure.

How to transition from high chair safely

  • Use a booster seat

Children are different. While some may sit calmly at the table during meals others may attempt to climb on it or stand on the chair.

Thus, even though your child is over 2 years, you may need to have him or her in a booster seat so as to restrain them.

When is a Child too Old for a Chair High

You may also need to use a booster seat if they are not able to reach the dinner table yet they don’t want to sit in the high chair.

As they get older, they will get used to eating calmly with the rest of the family members at the table. So you will not need to buckle them up, especially when they clearly understand mealtime rules.

  • Use a high chair without the tray

Another way to transition safely is to use the high chair without the tray.

Simply strap them on the chair and push it up to the table so that your child can eat at the table with the rest of the family.

This will help them learn the mannerisms and rules that should be followed during the family meals; thereby, enabling a peaceful transition.

See also: Great high chair that grows with baby


So, when is a child too old for a high chair? As we have seen above, there is no definite time. However, you need to look out for signs that he or she no longer wants to be in a high chair. For instance, if he keeps climbing out or becoming fussy and hysterical while on the chair, it could signify that he wants to be at the dining table with the rest of the family.

As you move him from the high chair, take extra caution by using a booster seat to ensure their safety. A gradual transition would also work great such as by first removing the tray from the chair and pushing it up the table before allowing the child to sit on a dining chair unstrapped.

Related: Top 10 High Chairs for Small Spaces

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