Frequently, we are asked about what sitting devices we recommend for babies. A very common one that parents seem to really love is the Bumbo Seat. Although this is an option and some babies do very well in them, it isn’t one of my favorites. It can help with head/neck control and offer a convenient place to put a baby. But for babies with torticollis, it really seems to exaggerate their tilt,making their neck tighter. It also does nothing for trunk control or strengthening. If you are looking for something that will help your baby get stronger in her trunk/core, then guess what? The highchair is your answer!
I have personally come to love highchairs and recommend them quite frequently. Here is why:
- The baby does not have to be an independent sitter to sit in one. In fact, this is a great and safe way to work on sitting. Start with support by using a towel or two around the baby, then gradually decrease the support as they become stronger.
- A highchair puts the hips at a good 90 degree angle and allows for a straight back, which is a normal position.
- The straps allows the baby to safely experiment with how their body works, where their midline is and with how to balance themselves.
- The tray in front is perfect for visual stimulation for younger babies nd fine motor experimentation for older babies. It encourages use of both hands.
- The baby is at eye level with the family and can be moved around to encourage certain rotation stretching (if they have torticollis).
- Babies tolerate it very well.
Every baby is different and develops at varying rates, so there is not an exact age to start using a highchair. Try it out a time or two to see how your baby does. Support them around the waist but allow for some wiggle room for a challenge. Be sure to use the straps and make sure your baby is safely secured. So, go on, break out the highchair you got for a shower gift and try it out. Have fun – this is really a big step. Good luck!