Author Topic: 19 mo refuses to sit in highchair, only eats on my lap, and hardly any  (Read 375 times)

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Offline mommykay410

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For the last week or so my DD will not sit in her highchair to eat for any meals if I am home.  She insists on sitting on my lap and will eat a few bites but then wants to sit in different chairs, resulting in hardly eating anything.  She of course eats in her highchair for my husband and my in-laws and in a normal chair at daycare and the sitter.  I would have tried harder to force her to sit in the highchair the first time she wanted my lap, but I didn't want to strap her in a restrain her while kicking and screaming just to result in her not eating anything at all, especially because she generally eats very little and is in the 6th %ile for weight.  I don't want this to become more of a habit than it already is, so I'm looking for any suggestions on how to get her back in her own seat to eat.  Do I force her to sit in the highchair no matter how long she screams and then if she doesn't eat, oh well, she will if she's hungry enough?  Or do I wait it out and hope that this phase passes soon if it means that she's eating?  I am so frustrated because I feel like I have already created a spoiled brat.  :-[

Offline Katet

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Re: 19 mo refuses to sit in highchair, only eats on my lap, and hardly any
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2016, 04:58:27 am »
I am so frustrated because I feel like I have already created a spoiled brat. 
Please don't think of a child who expresses their desires as a spoiled brat.

She's found something she likes, so of course she will want to do it. If you want her to eat her meals in the high chair then make it clear. Explain the rules don't force her, but also don't feed her on your lap. Maybe offer another "agreed" spot like a picnic on the floor & she can choose between the 2, but only offer something you are willing to accept. When (which is likely) she gets upset, be calm & relaxed about it, "remember Mummy said we eat our meals in those places, do you want the high chair or ?" If she gets upset ask her if she wants a cuddle to calm down before lunch & then start again.

At 19mo they don't do it to be naughty or to upset you, they just want things that they enjoy & quite possibly she feels she doesn't get enough time sitting on your lap at other times so wants it at meal times, so think about other times that you can fill up that need too... toddlers are the best in the world at communicating their needs - they may not be the needs we as adults value but little things like sitting close to us on our laps are very much part of them feeling connected & it's not unusual to want lots of that sort of closeness if they are at day care in the day.

As a parent over the years it's served me quite well to look at the "what need is this behaviour showing they need filling" = like climbing on furniture is the need to be active & climb, so more park time, so wanting to sit on your lap for meals probably = that closeness of being on your lap when you stop being busy. KWIM.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2016, 05:00:13 am by Katet »
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Offline *Liz*

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Re: 19 mo refuses to sit in highchair, only eats on my lap, and hardly any
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2016, 06:28:22 am »
She is probably just teething, and a bit off her food.

My youngest often refuses the high chair as well. In his case he wants to sit on a proper chair like everyone else. I'm pretty sure my other 2 did similar at this sort of age. My Mum says he will go in the high chair for her if he is hungry and the dinner is already on the chair waiting, otherwise nope!

He quite likes sitting at teeny table on a teeny chair we have, but mainly with us.

I honestly don't think respecting your LO wishes about where they sit makes them a 'spoiled brat'. It's just a toddler expressing their opinion. And high chairs are pretty unappealing things really  ;).

Oh, and try not to worry about the weight/ percentile thing too much unless they are losing weight. My 3 kids are all small - 2nd, 25th and 10th centiles, and honestly the more you worry and fuss about food the less they eat. Some kids are just more petite. My 2nd centile kid is eight now. He caused a lot of worry with reflux, failure to thrive, and being a super picky toddler, but eats well now, and is still very teeny, but he is a fab athlete. Plays county level tennis and gets on all the school teams etc. He's just a super small kid!

Offline mommykay410

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Re: 19 mo refuses to sit in highchair, only eats on my lap, and hardly any
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2016, 01:28:33 am »
Thank you both for your replies.  I'm sure that it is definitely related to not getting as much time with me, since I was home with her for her first year and then again all summer since I am a teacher.  I try to give her as many snuggles as I can as soon as we get home until bedtime.  So if I give her the options of sitting maybe in a booster seat or regular chair or if I bring up a kids table and chairs for her, and she throws a fit and refuses to eat, does she just not eat that meal if she won't sit where she is supposed to?  I'm sure she will eventually get the hint, I just hate having her skip a meal, or possibly even more than one if she refuses at breakfast and then again at dinner.  She already doesn't like to eat much for breakfast other than drinking her orange juice and maybe a few bites of toast on select days. 

Offline Katet

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Re: 19 mo refuses to sit in highchair, only eats on my lap, and hardly any
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2016, 05:35:42 am »
So if I give her the options of sitting maybe in a booster seat or regular chair or if I bring up a kids table and chairs for her, and she throws a fit and refuses to eat, does she just not eat that meal if she won't sit where she is supposed to? 

I think that's way too many options for a 19mo, so the whole choice would be adding to the upset too. I think you need to decide what you are happy with & only really offer that & you also to decide if her eating is more important than her sitting in a set place or her sitting in a set place is more important & stick with that, it's kind of like in the classroom where you control the boundaries & set clear decisions on what you will accept & what you won't because you'd know if you don't things don't run as smoothly, it's much the same at home the boundaries need to be there otherwise it's confusing
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