safe feeding
position

did you know

Problems like fussiness at the table, refusing to eat, pickiness, and so many others can often be traced back to the high chair and how they’re sitting for meals.

What makes a good highchair?

Proper positioning provides comfort, improves focus and facilitates a safe swallow. Here are the important things to consider:

01

upright back

Never reclined, shoulders should be over hips in a 90 degree angle.

02

back cushion

Allows baby to sit closer to tray and be an active participant in the meal.

03

snug seat base

Avoid deep seats or use a cushion so knees are bent at the edge of the seat.

04

side support

Provides stability so babies don’t need to concentrate on sitting upright.

05

footrest

Offers comfort and stability so there is less fidgeting and more focus.

it makes sense

When you are comfortably seated in a chair, you eat better and you can sit longer.

Alternatively, if you are unstable and uncomfortable, you are distracted from eating.

When researching proper eating posture, there are two things you’ll hear repeatedly

90/90/90 rule

This just means you want baby’s hips, knees and ankles all at 90 degree angles

Proximal STABILITY before distal MOBILITY

In the therapy world, this means the more stable your baby’s trunk is, the easier it is for them to use their hands and mouth.

expert advice

why are footrests important?

Dangling legs are destabilizing and, for early eaters, can promote a slumping posture that increases choking risk. Your baby’s ability to rest his or her feet flat on a hard surface is key for promoting a safe swallow.

Katie Ferraro

MPH, RDN, CDE
Registered Dietian Nutritionalist

why are deep seats a problem?

If the hips are not in a good position, it can create changes in head control, breathing and mouth control. A supportive seating arrangement allows babies to focus on important feeding skills such as picking up foods, bringing foods to their mouths, chewing, and swallowing.

Kayla Richardson

MS, CCC-SLP, CLC
Speech Language Pathologist and Feeding Specialist

why is stability so important?

Kids need stability when practicing any fine motor skills, including swallowing! A stable trunk is what makes the swallow work in a timely fashion, closing off the airway to let liquids trickle right past the route to the lungs.

Melanie Potock

MA, CCC-SLP
Pediatric Feeding Expert and Author

Learn More

More expert advice from pediatric feeding specialists can be found on Yeah Baby Goods blog!

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