7 Key Benefits of the Montessori Weaning Table
A weaning table is a great tool for your child’s development as they as they develop better mobility and independence while transitioning to a solid diet.
While using the a Montessori weaning table, children learn to enjoy their meals just as they see their parents and siblings do.
What is a Weaning Table?
A weaning table is basically a table with a chair that are a comfortable size and height for your child. This does not need to be custom and any sturdy, small table and chair will do.
This table should be designed so your child can sit at it or leave the table without assistance as well as easy to access. It is usually best to put the table in the kitchen area and invite your little one to use it by placing food on it.
Using smaller scale versions of adult dishes like a plate or bowl, metal spoon and fork, as well as a sturdy cup is recommended. It may seem more reasonable to give your child plastic plates, spoons, and cups when they’re first learning to eat, but that will not help your child become accustomed to the weight of real cutlery or let them feel equal to grown ups.
Here are the 7 key benefits of the Montessori weaning table you should know about:
Using a weaning table promotes independence because it allows your child to get in and out of their chair and eat by themselves. Children like to imitate their parents and older siblings at a very young age so they usually like having a snack or meal at their own table. This is different than using a high chair where they may feel separate and not part of the same world as the rest of the family.
A weaning table is more comfortable for your little one because their feet are flat on the ground and they are able to sit up. A chair with a high back and arms can help your child sit and assists with developing table manners. This also allows the child to eat at their own pace by feeding themselves, which helps develop their fine motor skills.
3. Promotes Table Manners
Using a weaning table will help when transitioning to sitting at the family table and your child will start to learn table manners from the start. At their own table a child has plenty of space to use real dishes, place-mat, napkins and utensils.
A weaning table allows children to eat at their own pace and learn fine motor skills that are necessary for holding utensils and other items. This differs from a high chair which is not only confining but can make a child feel trapped. A high chair maybe ideal if you want to spoon feed your child at adult level.
A weaning table can be used for more than just mealtime. Your child can use it as a work table for activities. Your little one can do crafts, paint or even learn to prepare a meal at their table.
6. Household Participation
Your child can help in setting the weaning table, clearing it and cleaning the table. These practical life skills are not only fun for you child but valuable life skills they can use later on at the family table.
7. Sibling Interaction
A weaning table provides a place for young children and siblings to gather and interact during meals. This means your little one is included in mealtime and not in a corner sitting in a high chair.
At What Age Should You Introduce A Weaning Table?
The best age to introduce a Montessori weaning table is when your child can sit unassisted, which is usually around 6 or 7 months old.
Because every child develops at their own pace, use your best judgement on when to introduce but a good rule of thumb is when they start on solid foods. This is also a great time to start experimenting with offering your child different foods.
A weaning table can also be used during toddler years or up until they are ready to transition to the adult table. Either way your child can also utilize the table for other activities like painting and crafts.
A weaning table can create the perfect Montessori space in your home and is a great alternative to a high chair. Your child can use the table for meal time, activities and snacks all while encouraging independence and motor skills.