How to Introduce a Baby to a Montessori Weaning Table

The Montessori feeding expereince can look quite a lot different than a traditional feeding experience. Especially if you are using a Montessori weaning table. We can introduce a Montessori weaning table to our baby right around the time they begin to eat solid foods. Let’s dive into all the aspects of the Montessori weaning table so you can feel confident in using one with your baby or toddler!

small chid sitting at a small table drinking a glass of water. Text over the image saying "how to introduce a Montessori weaning table"

What is a Montessori weaning table?

A Montessori weaning table is a small table designed for a young baby and can be used throughout toddlerhood. Some weaning table designs are appropriate for young babies just starting on their feeding journey. I like the weaning table from Sprout. The chair is small enough that it allows their feet to rest on the floor. A weaning table isn’t just any child-sized table. It is often smaller than a traditional children’s table, and it t accommodates a very young child, even as little as 6 months old. The best Montessori table I have seen on the market is the Sprout Kids weaning table which is of great quality and has different lengths of table legs and an adjustable seat, so it will grow with your child. 

What is the purpose of a Montessori weaning table? 

The purpose of a Montessori weaning table is to provide an area that allows for independence in the feeding and weaning process. We can offer an authentic feeding experience by using a table and chair that is at the perfect height for a young baby or toddler. As Montessori parents, a great way to support and meet our child’s needs is to prepare the environment with child-size furniture that meets those needs. The weaning table does just that!

Close up of a baby sitting in a small chair

When Can I Start Using a Montessori Weaning Table? 

The weaning table can begin being used around the time that your baby is ready to start solids. You’ll want to use observation to know when your baby is showing signs of being ready to use a weaning table. While you are deciding between a Montessori weaning table or a high chair you can also consider if you are going to work on self-feeding skills through the baby-led weaning approach

Twins sitting at a small Montessori weaning table in chairs holding cups
Readiness signs for using a Montessori weaning table 
  • Sitting upright with minimal support 
  • Showing good head and neck control 
  • Able to grasp toys and bring them to their mouth

Weaning Table or High Chair? 

We have both a high chair and the weaning table, and I am glad we do. Montessori is about autonomy and connection. A baby must be able to be part of the rest of the family. We can do this so easily at meal times at the family table. Having a high chair that brings them to the table with us is just as important as having a small table that they can access independently. 

We love our Stokke Tripp Trapp high chairs for this reason. Check out this blog post for a full review of the Tripp Trapp chair. I also have this blog post to help you find the best Montessori high chair for small spaces.

High chair

If I had to choose between either a weaning table or a Montessori high chair I would choose the high chair. Here’s why: 

  • For many meals, I enjoy sitting with my boys and we have a very authentic eating expereince at the kitchen table.
  • The Tripp Trapp high chair will allow for independence as they enter toddlerhood. They can climb up into the chair and join us at the table. 
  • I love our weaning table. However, I also love having a place where the boys can sit, enjoy a meal, and not move around. There are times when I am prepared to sit near the weaning table and monitor their meals and other times when I like to get some dishes done while they are sitting in their high chairs having something to eat. 

Practicalities of a Montessori Table

Set Limits and be consistent 

A few limits we have with the weaning table are no standing or climbing onto the table and no standing on chairs. Limits will be tested, that is what makes them a limit! When one (or both) of my sons climbs onto the table I say “I can’t let you do that. I need to take you down. We eat at tables.” If it is not meal time and they are testing these limits I will redirect them to climb on their pickler triangle or we go climb the stairs. Sometimes if I can’t manage to be consistent in that moment I will just put the table away for a short time. I am comfortable with them standing and eating at the table, some times they don’t want to sit in their chair and that is okay.

Be Prepared

The most successful times are when I have all the things for a successful snack or meal prepared. A pitcher of water, a cutting board, and of course an extra towel for spills. Because they are free to move about, my preparedness is so helpful. Before starting the meal making sure I have a wet washcloth for cleaning them up with so that I don’t have to step away while they are crawling around with dirty fingers. Think through what you need before introducing anything new. You won’t do this perfectly, but you’ll sure notice a difference in the expereince when you are prepared to meet the needs! 

Be realistic 
Wooden trivet with a colorful small pitcher of water and 2 small shot glasses with water

Look at your child and your capacity. We didn’t introduce a weaning table until close to 11 months of age with our boys. For a while, I wasn’t ready to manage two young babies at a table with chairs. I needed to establish feeding in a high chair first. I still need to assess my capacity every time I offer a snack or meal at the weaning table because it naturally requires more from me. This isn’t a bad thing, just reality and it is okay and prudent to look at the whole situation with honesty. 

Pros to a Montessori Weaning Table 

There are so many benefits to having a Montessori weaning table in your home. These are some of the biggest benefits I have seen with our twins. 

A space Especially for Them

If you get the Sprout weaning table like we did, you’ll be surprised at how small it is! But it is just the perfect size. They know it is just for them. It warms my heart to prepare an area in our home that will meet the needs of my small children. 

Respect

When I look at this small table and chairs in my home it speaks respect. It is appropriately sized, purposeful, engaging, and beautiful. It meets their needs and offers autonomy to my children in their environment. A wonderful way to show respect to our children is to prepare an environment for them. 

LONGEVITY 

The Sprout Weaning table and chair set that we got will be great throughout toddlerhood. It comes with different heights of legs. The Sprout weaning table also comes with an adjustable Montessori weaning chair in which you can adjust the seat to have a higher seat as they grow taller. This makes it ideal for all ages and stages!

A Work Space

A weaning table isn’t just a low table for the introduction of solid foods, but it is also a perfect work table for young children to bring practical life activities to work on. A place for puzzles or pouring work to develop fine motor skills. A place to prepare a snack for snack time or read a book. A workspace that allows for the child’s independence in activities and play. 

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