At supper time last night, my husband managed to get her into her high chair in spite of going stiff as a board and screaming her head off. Be on a schedule – Yes, I’m talking about the schedule again. Hi, you don't say whether you let your son play at the dinner table. He hasn't tried to control us since. When she's a bit older, I think it will be more fun to have family meals all together - but (I think) that should be enjoyable for all, not something I am authoritatively requiring of my daughter. We just have on of the cheaper plastic IKEA junior chairs and our four year old still uses it and it’s awesome. Perhaps if your son is still in a high chair it would be better to move him to a booster so he is more part of the table. If I had time or energy, I’d look it up, but I’d hazard a guess it’s a bit of a holdover from when eating unknown things could kill you. It is up to parents to socialize their children and teach manners and wanted behaviors for reasons of family harmony and social lubrication. If you refuse to eat in your chair, it’s ok, you won’t eat! It can be converted from a high chair to a toddler’s chair, but can also be used as a regular chair for any age. Sitting on our laps is fine, if that works. I'd say always start at the table and try gently to enforce it for a few minutes, just to let him know that this is where you are supposed to be when you eat. The same thing happened with my son. Many kids this age won't sit still. Done force feeding, I know how you feel! We ended up feeding her "on the run" too (pretty much chasing her around and putting food in her mouth) and did so until recently because it was the easiest way for us to feel like she was getting enough nutrition. We struggled with it because we did not want to let him run around with food in his mouth, and it is awkward eating with a toddler on your lap. Not sure how you feel about having your son play while he sits at the dinner table with you, but hopefully he will start playing less and eating more as time goes by. (More active kids may not even last that long.) My philosophy is that I am responsible for providing decent food for my child to grow, and I can work with her on how/when she gets the food into her body. Your child will only become increasingly more obnoxious with ridiculous battles for the next few years. That’s literally the ONLY thing we have changed in her recent dining experience. Sitting down at a meal and eating as a family is an important experience for children. These expert ideas for fostering good mealtime habits will help. We're frustrated and realize we're out of ideas. No. Strapping her in might cause some carry-over from her hatred of being “trapped” in the high chair, and as long as she’s seated close to you or your husband, she’ll be perfectly safe sitting on a regular chair. As she got a little older (over 2) we would often hold her on our lap to eat. We never had a high chair anyway, just a booster. I know this will sound shocking, but my 18-month old son won't sit still for meals. You could never get my daughter to sit still for more than five minutes when she was that age, especially for meals. If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice[at]gmail[dot]com. Up until now, she has always been a great eater and easily transitioned from purees to finger foods, preferring the control she has with them. -Best wishes! When I let him out (he was very upset the whole time and it was torturous!) I have looked through the Smackdown questions but I can’t find one related to this phase we seem to be in the middle of with our 17-month old daughter (only child). Big deal. At best he'll feed himselft a few bites but then if he stops and either wants to leave the table or for us to feed him. If I were you, I would try a booster seat or using the high chair without the tray at the table with a plastic placemat. In fact, it’s rare that kids under 10 (or even older) sit and eat meals at an appropriate height (most kids aged 3 to 9 years need a booster seat and a stool under their feet). I am of the, ''When you're done, you're done'' mentality, whereas my husband will sit on the floor with him and feed him, or pick him up and feed him from his lap when this happens. 4) For non-family meals that she typically eats solo, a separate toddler/kids table and chair set is a great option. It’s another mealtime battle to fight, but it’s a more worthy one than trying to cram a stiff-as-a-board screaming child into a high chair she’s probably close to outgrowing anyway. Space saver: Baby Jogger City Bistro High Chair. Then I bought her a Dora mat. Getting a squirmy toddler to sit at the table and eat a meal can be a huge challenge. The key to him eating super well is for him to be otherwise engaged and active. He chooses his dinner table toys and while he plays, we just shovel food in his mouth. If we let him feed himself, he wouldn't eat enough. At 18 months many are so much more into being mobile and exploring that food time is just too boring. I am considering getting a small table and chair for inside, but don't want to spend the money if there's some way I can teach her to stay at the big table. I also second the posters who have suggested getting your child involved in meal prep. If your toddler is getting too big for his high chair, it's time for a feeding seat. And once they leave the table, the meal's over. During the day, the 18 mo is in share care. When she visited our house for dinner once, we gave her as a present one of two booster seats that were handed down to us. Has erratic feeding habits'' Andi, I do not think your experience is shocking, I think it is pretty common. When a toddler won’t sit still in a high chair at a restaurant, you as the parent must teach them proper restaurant behavior. He never really did that well in one to begin! If your baby won’t sit in his highchair, DON’T: let him eat whilst crawling or toddling around. I was just coming here to recommend the same thing. For more tips, go to All Rights Reserved. The other We bought him a booster seat that is belted securely to the dining chair and we put the high chair away.

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