High Chair Hijink

Updated on April 18, 2011
F.R. asks from San Bernardino, CA
16 answers

Okay Ladiez, I bet you have experienced or heard of this one. My 10 month old baby girl does not want anything to do with her high chair.As soon as i put her in she is trying to stand up, or twisting her body around making feeding time very difficult. I guess it wouldn't be so bad if she just wasen't hungary. But she is hungry and wearing thin on my and my husbans nerves. I have recieved suggestion that I should offer her other activities in her high chair so that she dosen't associaed it with only being feed. I'm not so sure this is a good idea, because i don't want to give her the wrong message. When i'm trying to get her to eat she may want play time. I realize she is becoming independent and wants to feed herself, so I offer her finger foods as I'm spoon feeding her. She usually covers her mouth or turns away. She is blessed with a full head of hair and thinks her hair maybe hungry also. so needless to say it becomes a very messy situation. If anyone out there has gone through this or has advise I'd love to hear it Thanx in advance~

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone who gave wonderful suggestions.Come to find out maybe it wasen't the highchair after all. You see I'm a first time mama, and benig so I was under the impression that my daughter would eat on some type of schedule, boy was I wrong. I cut out the snack between meals and only feed her in her highchair. If she began to squirm or cover her mouth I took her back down again. We did this little dance for a couple of day and volia she is back to her "normal" eating schedule. I completly agree with the response " kids are smart you just have to be smarter" as well as exercise you patience combined with love is paramount!

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answers from Los Angeles on

Have you tried having her sit in a booster at the table? and letting her feed herself? that is what i would do.

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answers from Los Angeles on

i say its time for a booster seat. see i didnt want a full size chair so i got a fisher price space saver chair (it goes from a high chair to a booster seat. at 10 months i had her sitting at the table with us. also when she eats i eat and usually we eat the same thing. try this it may help. i also agree with the other post about letting her cry while you eat if she is really hungry she will eat. good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Well, if she's covering her mouth and turning her head away, she's not hungry, mom, or seriously dislikes what you're trying to put in her mouth. Is she doing this to all the food you try and give her, or just certain ones? If it's everything, it's a pretty safe bet she's just not hungry. I promise you that she'll eat when she's hungry unless there is something physically wrong with her, which I seriously doubt. Possibly you need to evaluate your schedule---the timing of nursing, bottle, snacks with meals in the chair. They are too close together, perhaps. Space out the bottle or nursing with the solids in the chair and also try feeding her different foods. Also, experiment with a booster seat that you can strap her in as opposed to the "chair" and see if that has any impact. As moms, we are genetically wired to make sure our kids eat. Often, especially with a first, we try to overfeed them. This might be happening here??? If she turns her head away more than 2 or 3 times, say "okay, I guess you're not hungry. We'll try again later." And do it when she doesn't have a full tummy from milk or snacks. Good luck.



answers from Las Vegas on

OK, One of two things, you can continue this method with the high chair, or you can get the chair (cant remember the name of it) that slide up to your table.
You eat when she eats. Sit her at the table with you or both you and your husband. Everyone gets their food, show her that you are eating too. Let her learn what she sees.
She may cry and throw a fit, but you have got to stick to the plan, if she cries and throws a fit, let her. Just continue to eat, and hold a conversation with your spouse.
Laugh and enjoy your dinner, let her think she is missing out on something. This may take several tries, once she starts to eat, reward her by clapping and telling her what a good girls she is. (ps, Pull her hair back in a ponytail)
If she does not eat, she will not starve, when dinner is over and she has not eaten, take her down. if she cries and wants to eat, but her back in the chair and try again.
Kids at all ages are smart. You just have to be smarter.

Good luck.



answers from Los Angeles on

F. - My twins are 15 months old now and it is difficult to feed them, especially my son, unless they have something in their hands to occupy them. Otherwise, they just get too bored. Try giving her different toys to occupy her hands and engage her while you spoon feed her. Of course, finger foods engage them too. Remember, it is just a stage and will pass. Maybe not soon enough but it will pass. Good luck.



answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter was the same way. Try replacing the high chair with one of those cheap plastic seats that hooks on to a regular dining room chair (you know the ones with the tray that swings open and closed). I found that my daughter loved it because she sat up higher and could really see what she was easting. Also, it was great for me because she couldn't stand up in it (the tray snapped very close to her chest/stomach). I changed when she was about 8 months old and have never looked back. I am going to sell my high chair and do the same thing with my next baby due in Oct. Also, when they get older the tray comes off and you have a perfect booster seat for the table (that's what my daughter uses now (she's 2 1/2).



answers from Reno on

It might be the straps or the tray that she dislikes, not the chair itself. If the tray is too close and squishing her tummy, or too far away and giving her too much wiggle room, that could be the problem. The same goes for the straps - make sure they're not too tight and pinching, or so loose they're doing no good at all.

We really liked the kind of baby seat that clips onto and hangs from the table. It worked better than a regular high chair for us, and the baby liked being at the table with the rest of the family.

As far as the mess, she'll grow out of it eventually. But, if people laugh and give her a lot of attention when she's making a mess, it might make things worse - she might start to do it for the attention.

Good luck! :)



answers from San Diego on

I 100% agree with the booster seat idea! My daughter went through a similar phase at 15 months. We moved her to a booster seat and she immediately became a happy camper at meal time!



answers from San Diego on

I would just let her feed herself at this point. Making a mess is all part of her learning to feed herself. After a few months she will have figured it out.

If she isn't eating when you feed her, then take her down and try a few hours later.

Could be she just doesn't like what you are feeding her. Or maybe she needs the challenge of the next step of food (stage 3 or 4). Or maybe she is done with baby food all together and wants regular table food. My kids were completely done with baby food around 10-11 months.

She is also already testing you to see what you and hubby will do if she throws food, makes a mess, refuses to eat, etc. I call it the "Little Manipulator Stage". At this point is does you no good to get upset or try to force her to eat when she isn't hungry. Just take her down and try it again later. And if she is doing these actions just to get a reaction from you, by taking her down and not getting into a dualling match of wills with her, you are showing her that it is not appropriate for her to act the way she is. I know it seems too young to start disciplining her, but trust me, she knows what she's doing and has already figured out that by making a mess, you get upset meaning that she gets her desired reaction from you.

A couple of other things to take into consideration...teething or allergies. My kids wouldn't eat certain foods when they were teething because it bothered their swollen gums. My daughter also wouldn't eat things that we later found out she was allergic to.



answers from Honolulu on

I have a lot of mamapedia mail I have not read. I just came across this- I am a 1st time mom to a(almost) 11 month daughter- She has started doing this!! thank you for posting I will try some of the advice given.



answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter hated her high chair as well, but what she used to do is use her feet to push off the tray (the tray lock was broken). We kept her in it for a while without the tray, and then finally moved her to a booster chair at the table. She still pushes herself back from the table when she's done.

My daughter is 21 months old now, and she recently figured out how to buckle herself in. So now she loves to climb up in her booster chair or carseat and buckle herself in.

Don't worry, this too shall pass! Try the booster seat at the table and see if that works. Sometimes all they need is a change in scenery.



answers from Los Angeles on

I agree with Jacy. My son used his high chair for maybe two months before we moved into a booster seat at the table and a floor mat beneath. He loved being able to interact with everyone at the table.

But, also don't stress about the mess! My son would end up wearing most of his food until he was over 1 yr. And, I would offer him only a few things in front of him, otherwise it made for too much chaos! If you're going to spoon feed then spoon feed, but let her practice and make a mess. Honestly, that's the best way for her to learn.

Don't it will be a few months and she'll be an old pro at the spoon!



answers from San Luis Obispo on

I agree with the booster seat suggestion. And you'll get the additional bonus...it takes up less space and is easier to clean! Good luck.



answers from Honolulu on

My second child is a very "tactile eater" as well. There are 2 issues here:
1. sitting in the high chair for feeding. You just have to hang tough for a couple of days on this one - don't give her any food unless she sits in the chair (bottle, ok anywhere). Make sure she is comfy in it. My girl was so little that I had to fold up a towel in the bottom so she could eat comfortably from the tray. Use the straps. Once she knows you mean business, she will probably concede on sitting to eat. BUT YOU HAVE TO BE CONSISTENT~!!! No little snacks here and there unless she is strapped in. (of course, if you really don't care that she sits in the chair to eat, then that is up to you, too, just be consistent with your message)

Messiness: I have no solution for you here. My daughter is four now, and it seems like she STILL always has food on her face and in her hair after every meal. She was an absolute MESS at 10 months and continued to be for a very long period of time after that. Give her a washcloth and teach her to wipe up after herself. When my daughter was 2, I saw her rubbing avocado all over her arms and she said "look mommy, I'm putting on sunscreen". Good luck.



answers from Los Angeles on

A couple of suggestions...and btw, I think I understand what you're going through. My 10 month old daughter stiffens up the minute she realizes I am about to put her in her booster seat!

1.) I agree with the booster seat comments - I've tried friends' high chairs, and my baby hates them (she gets swallowed up - the booster is more comfortable)

2.) I have to give her something interesting to hold in her hand. Spoons used to work - now they are just boring. So I'll give her magnets, sippy cup tops, even a piece of paper works wonders on certain days.

3.) I sit her in front of the screen door so she can look at the birds and trees in our backyard. This does wonders. I've known some moms who haul the high chair outside and feed them there.

4.) As for her covering her mouth when you try to feed her...does she do this if you feed her elsewhere? Does she do this with all types of food? How many teeth does she have? How mushy is the food?



answers from Los Angeles on

once my son became really mobile, he no longer wanted to sit in his high chair. I just gave up on the high chair and fed him in my living room. I'd let him move around and then he would always come back for food. It took longer this way, but at least he ate and it was a pleasant experience for all of us. My husband and I never sit at the table to eat anyway, so it fits right in for our family. Now that he's almost two and feeds himself pretty much everything, I just have to put his food on the coffee table and he eats until he is mostly satisfied, then runs around and comes back for more until he is all full. I'm sure this may not sound appealing to everyone, but it works for us! He's happier with the freedom to move around and he eats more this way! Good luck!

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