It is fascinating how Montessori gives importance to every behavior which children exhibit in their growing up years. One of the unique characteristics of Montessori teaching is their non-traditional approach to learning that focuses on fostering a sense of independence and personal development in children.
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that the greatest gifts we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence. Children, being curious, have the intrinsic desire to explore and do things independently. One of the aspects of their development is weaning.
Are you curious about this milestone for children?
Let us dive into it and know more about this habit and how we can help children achieve this milestone.
What is weaning?
Weaning is the process when children develop and learn to manage their eating habits independently. Weaning is a crucial time for parents as their children transition from a liquid diet to solid foods. Parents can utilize this time to demonstrate proper table manners while allowing children to eat their food.
When a baby is breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, taking baby milk as their only source of nutrients, they cannot choose or exercise control over what they eat. As they wean or start having solid food in their diets, they have the privilege to select and have preferences.
By following some simple steps, parents can help their children develop the independence and etiquette that will lead to more autonomy as the child grows older.
Montessori always emphasizes the importance of using child-sized everything for children as they foster independence and exhibit respect for them.
A Montessori weaning table is no exception and is an ideal choice during this developmental stage of your child.
Are you thinking about how you can teach your child to sit at the table and eat his food?
You need not worry about it, as many parents have successfully implemented it in their homes.
What is a Montessori Weaning Table?
A weaning table is a small table with a chair that a young child can freely climb and sit on without the support of parents. It is perfectly sized for your child and can make your home an ideal Montessori space. Children can eat at the table and experience the joy of eating.
Montessori’s philosophy advocates treating children with trust and respect.
When children begin eating solid foods in a Montessori, you can show infant respect by providing them with real dishes and utensils and setting up a lovely place for them to eat. A Montessori weaning table is an alternative to a high chair and makes your baby feel special as they have a table of their size in the home.
Advantages of having a Montessori weaning table at home
Weaning tables have many benefits over other high chairs. Although high chairs allow toddlers to enjoy mealtimes with family, they are a little high for them to be accessible. As young children love doing things independently, they feel confined sitting in high chairs. Children need the intervention of adults to climb them up and down. The weaning table being child-sized fulfills this desire to be independent of children.
Here are the advantages that a Montessori weaning table offers.
As children do not need to wait for you to be lifted and make them sit on the weaning table, it develops their self-confidence and allows them to be independent. They can climb up and down without hassle as the weaning table is child-sized. Children develop a sense of ownership over their own life when you give them a place to eat that suits their size and capability.
Teaches practical life skills
Children can participate in practical life activities like setting, clearing, and cleaning the table. These activities are fun for them and help them in their chores independently.
Learning table etiquettes and courtesy
As children learn to sit at the table early on, they learn to regulate control over their movements and eating habits. They do not spill or drop food and develop a positive and mindful relationship with food. They learn table manners, grace, and courtesy from the beginning. There is space for children to use their dishes and napkins.
Comfortable and purposeful
Children can sit comfortably and feel secure with their feet on the ground and their back relaxed on the chair. The weaning table is small and sturdy, and there is no fear of tipping when your child gets in and out of it. You can utilize the small table and chairs for other purposes, like independent play and painting, when it is not in use.
Develop interaction with family members
This table provides the perfect arrangement for children to participate and interact with family members during mealtimes. Sitting right in the middle, they feel important and valued.
When should you introduce the Montessori weaning table to children?
Usually, weaning tables are ideal for babies when they can sit comfortably without support from a chair. Once children are ready to have solid foods, usually, as they turn 6-7 months old, you can introduce them to a Montessori weaning table.
They must be strong enough not to slouch or tip to a side when sitting.
How do you introduce the Montessori weaning table to children?
Are you concerned that your child may not sit on the weaning table for his meals?
Here are some tips that may help you incorporate the weaning table during mealtimes.
Your baby will spend more time on weaning tables as they start eating solid foods.
- You can let them eat snacks on the weaning table and join them sometimes by pulling a chair or stool.
- You can ensure that your child is comfortable on the weaning table.
- Initially, you can put the table in the kitchen as children love spending time in the kitchen as you work.
- When they are comfortable in the chair, you can feed them and guide them if they want to eat themselves.
- Try to have consistent meal times every day.
How to select the right Montessori weaning table?
It is your personal choice to choose the type of Montessori weaning table based on the needs of your child and family.
However, here are a few tips that can help you get an idea about the right one.
- It must be made of solid wood and should be sturdy so that your child does not tip easily.
- Your child should be able to fit into the chair without any struggle. You can check his weight and height measurements to avoid any conflict later.
- If your baby is an infant or toddler, cube chairs are best for them.
As the weaning tables offer higher independence and involvement, you will be surprised to see your little one showing keen interest in mealtimes and finishing meals sitting at a place.
Where can you buy the best Montessori weaning tables?
There are many options available for you to select the right one for your baby.
- Ikea weaning table & chairs Available on amazon – Made of wood, sturdy and child-sized, they are perfect for your child to enjoy meals and other activities like creating art and work.
- Spout Kids Montessori Toddler Table and Chair set – It is a great addition to your Montessori home. It is aesthetically pleasing, sturdy, and durable. You can even resale it when your kid outgrows the weaning table.
- Mini Chef Convertible from Piccalio is another option for you to pick. Although it does not have the back support that a baby or very young toddler requires, it can be ideal for toddlers.
- Montessori Wooden Kids Play Table Set, Weaning Table (Available on Amazon) – It can be the perfect gift for your little one to sit down and do their Montessori works. It is a multipurpose table and sturdy.
Weaning tables are an excellent purchase for new parents. A Montessori weaning table is worth a try if you are breastfeeding your baby or transitioning your toddler to a solid diet. It can help you get through this challenging stage smoothly.
The weaning table will make your child’s first experience with solid food enjoyable and memorable for you. It allows your little one to participate in meals with family, building their confidence and independence and making them feel valued and respected. They can use it for reading, play, and activities when not used for eating.