13 answers

Small Table and Chair for 18 Month Old?

OK, probably a no-brainer for most of you, but I am having guilty feelings (first time mom at 43 :)) and would like your honest input. I bought my 18 month old an Ikea child's table and chair set. It is a bit big for him, but felt it may be good for him to learn to sit at a table closer to his size and use it to draw etc. Today I was helping him get down from the chair, did not support him well enough and he bumped his head so hard he has a big black and blue mark on his cheek.

Question: Is it too early to introduce a table and chair set for an 18 month old? Is it a good learning tool or was I pushing it?

Thank you as usual for your thoughtful advice.

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hey I am a 44 year old mom for the first time with an 18 month old too! If you ever want to connect let me know! I'd enjoy meeting new moms my age.

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No it is not too early. I bought my grandson one at 17 motnths and he loves it. As for the bruise, it was an accident and kids bump theirselves all the time. My grandson is always getting bruises. It is part of growing up.

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My daughter had hers before she was a year old. He will be fine.

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In my opinion no. I did the same for my daughter and will do the same for my son at around the age when they start to walk and want to feed themselves. I try to encourage as much of there independence as is safe for them. That way they become confident children then adults. Hopefully this works. For me is seems that yes he fell once but you have to as they say get him back up on the horse. If you take it away because he fell he may begin to feel that he doesn't have to keep trying. I say keep trying and he will soon get it on his own. Good Luck and don't give up. This is the beginning of many more things for the two of you to overcome together.

Updated

In my opinion no. I did the same for my daughter and will do the same for my son at around the age when they start to walk and want to feed themselves. I try to encourage as much of there independence as is safe for them. That way they become confident children then adults. Hopefully this works. For me is seems that yes he fell once but you have to as they say get him back up on the horse. If you take it away because he fell he may begin to feel that he doesn't have to keep trying. I say keep trying and he will soon get it on his own. Good Luck and don't give up. This is the beginning of many more things for the two of you to overcome together.

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I had to det one for my daughter because she would not sit in the highchair. At first she did not like it and it caused more problems but now she loves it as do I .

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I think there isn't an age, but more a matter of coordination and height. I wouldn't get my son a table and chair that he had to do any major climbing into. (Not at 18 mos anyways. Now he climbs like a monkey.) Not to say I never let mine climb around at that age, that is how they learn, but you do have to be more careful. He will probably learn how to take it slower or sit at it differently after a couple of minor falls or slips. If he doesn't and continues to struggle too much, probably take away the set for a couple months and try again later.

One thing I constantly have to remind myself about all toys and baby "equipment" is that if I wait until he is big/old enough to use it and figure it out immediately, he is already almost too old for it. I used to do that, wait to buy something until he could already "do it". But then I was taking away his opportunity to learn from it. Like with puzzles and flashcards- if I wait until he knows his numbers, what is the point of the number puzzle now? I did it at first because I didn't like seeing his frustration (or didn't want him to fall). So I put it up for a while, but then I pulled the puzzle back out and he did it in no time and it wasn't an accomplishment. That is when I realized it is good for them to have frustration or fall (minor falls of course), that is how they learn. And it makes the accomplishment much more exciting.

By the way, a normal bruise on the cheek does NOT make you a bad mommy, he will be fine. A kiss on the cheek and hugs from you, and it is all better. I know it is even harder because you were right there but it happens. The other day my son started to slip off a bleacher as I was putting his shoes on at the gymnastics gym. My hands were on his feet, and he slid backwards because he twisted around. I tried to catch him by grabbing his ankle, which just made him slam into the other bleacher harder. It was AWFUL! Mostly because I had let it happen, tried to help and then made it worse. But in a roomful of mommies, not one of them looked at me like I was a bad mommy for it. Accidents happen, you didn't do anything wrong. Sooo, there is my very long-winded answer for you. Happy Mother's Day!

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My oldest daughter got her first table and chair for Christmas right before she turned two years of age. I think it all depends on the size of the child and the size of the table and chair. If she isn't big enough to get into the chair and sit on her own then she doesn't need to be in it. To many parents push their children to grow up to fast. My girls were not pushed to mature. They were allowed to mature at their own rate. I did not force any type of learning on them. They have both graduated from USF with double majors.
My friend pushed her daughter at two years of age to start learning to read, write, count, etc...she is the same age as my youngest daughter. She did not finish High School "lack of interest" that's what she said. I do believe it's because she started schooling at two years of age. Let them be kids is what I say. You can read to her, play games, sing ABC's and number songs. I had the Sing A Long videos for the girls and did them with them. Relax, your daughter will learn things at her own pace. Just make sure you read to her every day at least once. I always read to them at nap time and bed time. If they asked at other times I read to them then also.

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I think that was about the age we got a table & chair set for my daughter. I just bought a $40 set at big lots. We only have one chair out for her.the others are stored away.

Not seeing it, it just may not be the right size for him. After a while I think he will use it more & be able to get up & down without issues. Just don't push him, let him decide when & how to use it on his own.

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If you are considering using this sort of furniture, check out Community Playthings as a source. Granted, the cost may be more than you are wanting to pay, however the chairs and tables are designed for children of specific ages and will be better suited to the needs of a toddler. Or consider buying a very low stool and table made of sturdy wood. Young children need things extra low and a bit wider to be able to experience the furniture independently; you are both going to get frustrated with seats he will constantly need help getting in and out of.

For what it's worth, my experience with the Ikea furniture is that while it is cute and inexpensive, it's not bottom-heavy enough or wide enough to prevent it from tipping over easily. I've seen lots of kids fall out of those chairs.

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