When Do Kids Stop Using High Chairs (Quick Answer!)

By KidSpaceStuff •  Updated: 04/02/24 •  7 min read

Most homes with babies or toddlers have at least one high chair, which gives them a safe and more elevated place to eat. But just like onesies and pacifiers, children finally stop needing them. Exactly when does this change happen? 

In this article, I’ll discuss the signs and stages that show kids are ready to move on from high chairs. We’ll also give you some practical tips and insights to make the transition easier. Let’s dig in!

When Do Kids Stop Using High Chairs?

Wooden high chair

Most kids stop using high chairs between 18 and 24 months of age. 

However, the transition relies a lot on the child’s age and level of comfort. Some kids might be ready to move to a booster seat or a toddler chair at the family dinner table a little earlier, while others might need the support and confinement of a high chair for a longer time. When choosing if a child is ready to move out of a high chair, parents should consider the child’s size, motor skills, and age.

Developmental Milestones and High Chairs

Developmental milestones refer to the typical skills or activities most children can do by a certain age. Regarding kids using high chairs, these milestones indicate how children’s abilities progress as they grow, especially concerning sitting, eating, and interacting with their environment.

Here are some simple developmental milestones related to kids and high chairs:

4-6 months

Babies begin sitting with support and may start trying solid foods in a high chair.

6-9 months

Babies can sit without much support and show interest in self-feeding.

9-12 months

Babies develop a pincer grasp, allowing them to pick up small foods and begin eating chunkier foods.

12-18 months

Toddlers might attempt to use utensils and often show a desire for independence, like climbing into the high chair themselves.

18-24 months

Toddlers feed themselves more efficiently and start to communicate their food preferences verbally.

2-3 years

Many start transitioning out of high chairs in favor of regular seats and exhibit improved eating habits.

Why It’s Important to Transition at the Right Time

Transitioning out of using high chairs at the right time is crucial for a child’s development and safety. As kids grow and gain more independence, they need more freedom of movement. Staying in a high chair for too long can restrict their mobility and exploration, which are essential for their physical and cognitive development. 

Additionally, as children grow, they might become too heavy or oversized for the high chair, making it unstable and increasing the risk of accidents or falls. Transitioning to a toddler-friendly chair or booster seat at the right time ensures they can eat comfortably, join family meals at the table, and promote their sense of independence while maintaining safety.

Alternatives to High Chairs

High chairs are great tools for helping young children eat comfortably and safely. However, as kids grow and families’ needs change, alternatives might be sought to fit their situations best. Here are some straightforward options to high chairs for kids:

  1. Booster Seats: These portable seats can be strapped onto a regular dining chair. They elevate toddlers so they can reach the table quickly. They’re great for space-saving and portability.
  2. Hook-on Seats: These seats can be clamped onto the edge of most tables. They’re especially handy for restaurants or traveling because they’re lightweight and compact.
  3. Youth Chairs: A bit like shorter regular chairs but designed for kids, youth chairs position children comfortably at the table without any straps or buckles.
  4. Bench Seats: These extended seating options can accommodate multiple kids at once. They’re handy for larger families or gatherings.
  5. Floor Seats: These are low to the ground and suitable for younger babies still developing sitting skills. They provide support and are often used for playtime or feeding before a child is ready for a high chair.

Making the Transition Smooth

 To ensure a smooth transition, it’s essential to approach the change with patience and understanding. Here are some straightforward tips for easing this transition:

Common Challenges and Solutions

Resistance to Change:

Safety Concerns:

Messier Eating:

Wanting the Old Chair Back:

Feeling Too Small for the Table:

Distractions and Moving Around:

Here’s a great video on how to choose a highchair for your kid!


How old is too old for a high chair?

Typically, children transition out of high chairs around 2 to 3 years old. However, it depends on the child’s size and developmental readiness.

Is it safe to use a booster seat at the dining table?

Yes, booster seats are safe for use at the dining table if they are securely strapped to a sturdy chair, and the child is appropriately buckled in.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, kids typically stop using high chairs around 2 to 3 years old. 

This transition is a significant step in a child’s development, symbolizing increased independence and growth. However, the exact age can vary based on a child’s size, readiness, and the family’s preferences. As parents navigate this change, it’s essential to prioritize safety, choose suitable seating alternatives, and offer encouragement to ease the transition. Being patient and understanding your child’s unique needs will ensure a smooth shift from the high chair to joining the family table.