Q&A: 12 Suggestions for Including Babies During Family Dinner


When your kids were babies, how did you include them at the dinner table?

Jennifer Shiao Page writes, “Well, when she was a wee one, we always ate when she was asleep. Once she could sit up, we put her in the high chair and she sat at the table with us. We always gave her appropriately-sized bits of whatever we were eating, for her to eat on her own (or not). We did child-led weaning, which is basically forgoing baby food and pureed food, and letting her experience the texture and taste of our food. It helped to not have to spoon-feed her.”

Carrie St John writes, “My daughter has always preferred being at eye level-sling or soft back pack instead of a stroller. Also true at the dinner table, so from about 1 month to 4 months she would be in the middle of the table (big table). Right in the action. Once she started rolling, she sat on my lap. Once she could sit, close to 6 months, she was in one of those baby seats that goes right up to the table, not a traditional high chair which tends to be back from the table. She was always right there being a part of the conversation.”

Rebecca Dejnak Svan writes, “High chair. Loved it.  It’s at table height and we started eating together as soon as they could be in it.”

Rebecca Trow Addison writes, “At 7 months our daughter had her 1st Thanksgiving and she ate everything we ate. Just cut it up small.”

Judie Isabella writes, “When mine were too little for high chairs, I’d put them right up on the table in their baby seat. When they could sit in high chairs, I would pull it right up to the table… Always… We still do have the best family dinners.”

Kerri Recore Vassar writes, “While infants they seemed to know when we were eating, so typically they nursed while I ate. As they grew, some times they were in a high chair or on my lap.”

Eileen Collins writes, “I rescued a Victorian bent wood high chair, bought a 4 point harness to secure my daughter and kept the table portion of the high chair always flipped back. This way I could push her high chair up to our table. She was at eye level and enjoyed having her meals with us.”

Janet McLaurin writes, “We have hooks in a beam right at the head of the table and we hung a baby airplane swing there-so I guess the boys started at the table but then if they got bored or fussy they ended up gently swinging often ending up asleep -family dinner time is important-good time to gather together.”

Olivia Leone writes, “Our children were always at the dinner table with us, in their high chair (tray off an pulled up to the table), in a booster seat and now in chairs. No matter how busy our lives get, we make sure to sit together at the dinner table even if it means on dance nights we don’t eat until 7, or when track starts, we picnic.”

Barb Raymond writes, “With love and patience.”

Julie Rodrigues Tanguay writes, “In a ring-sling, on our laps, in a swing next to us, on our laps, in the carriage, on our laps, in the highchair reclined, on our laps, in the highchair, ON our laps, in a booster, ON OUR LAPS, in a chair. Our dining room table is in the center our house, and that is a time and place we go to “talk out” any of the days events & plans for the days to come.”

Susan Lillie Robert writes, “When our girls were little we always included them at the table to teach them about proper manners and family time, we would also take them out to eat to show them how one acts out if public. We were always commented on how well behaved they were.”

[Photo credit: (ccl) Daniel James]

Q&A: Are Your Kids Still in Diapers? What Do They Swim In?


The options for reusable swimming diapers are numerous: Bummis Swimmis, Imse Vimse Swim Diaper, iPlay Swim Diapers and Kushies Reusable Swim Diaper are recommended by Western MA parents.

Are your kids still in diapers? What do they swim in?

  • Carrie Snyder writes, “We use the Bummis Swimmis reusable diaper!”
  • Diane Hinze Kanzler writes, “We used Imse Vimse Swim Diaper. Awesome.”
  • Nancyjo Craig Rongner writes, “Yes, but 60% potty learned. I love the iPlay Swim Diapers. They hold up really well and are adorable. Also, there are suits out there with built in swim diapers. We have also used a bum genius diaper when we were in a pinch! I think Cradle, Whole Foods, and A Child’s Garden all have reusable options.”
  • Sara Barry writes, “Bathing suit with a built in swim diaper or a cloth swim diaper from One Step Ahead (got it last year on clearance).”
  • Heather Richardson writes, “Reusable swim diaper.”
  • Natasha Anderson writes, “iPlay Swim Diaper… in a fun Hawaiian print!”
  • Lauren Koblara Kostantin writes,Imse Vimse Swim Diaper!”
  • Dawn Klein writes,Little Swimmers.”
  • Jennifer Shiao Page writes, “At home: nothing at all! Out and about: Kushies Reusable Swim Diaper under a one-piece suit.”
  • Karen Jaiclin writes, “Usually disposable swim diapers, but we just got them some swimsuits from One Step Ahead with built-in swim diapers. I like the idea of creating less waste, but I’m kind of afraid of what would happen if they actually pooped in one at the beach, though. Also not sure if others would give me the stink eye at a public pool for ‘not having them in swim diapers.'”
  • Jessica Montalino writes, “My 18 month old son uses Mother-Ease Swim Diapers. I love that they have snaps on both sides for easy on and off, and they’ve held in the poop really well on many occasions, but don’t fill up with water like other kinds I’ve used.”

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