Do I need a support pillow for my IKEA highchair?
So the myth with the IKEA highchair cushion is that it is there for comfort, leading to lots of people asking me why it doesn’t have any bottom padding. So whilst it does add some comfort for your baby its main purpose is actually for support.
The plastic support pillow that you can purchase separately for your IKEA Antilop highchair is particularly good for babies when they first begin weaning as they might not have fully gained full core strength in their sitting position. Remember one of the main requirements of beginning weaning is that your baby can sit upright unaided, so posture is incredibly important!
When I first purchased the highchair with the cushion in 2016 I was a little perplexed as to why it was this strange inflatable cushion as opposed to just normal foam like padding. Fast forward a few years and I would consider myself level expert on all things IKEA highchair! There are a couple reasons for the plastic cushion, the main one being that it is designed to deflate little by little as your child grows and the second is so that it is more hygienic! (imagine how dirty foam would become if it were constantly food soaked.
So how the ANTILOP support pillow works is that when your baby first begins weaning the cushion is fully inflated. This helps to support your baby as they become bigger and stronger, promoting good posture which ultimately leads to better/safer eating and swallowing (imagine eating in a slumped position). As they grow you are able to let out air still allowing it to support baby but not restricting them.
But doesn't my baby needs padding on the bottom or it will be uncomfortable?
The answer to this is it won’t be uncomfortable. If you were to add a padding at the bottom it would mean that baby would grow out of the highchair a lot quicker as the gaps for those lovely chubby baby legs would become too restricting. Also babies come with their own padding on bottom in the form of a nappy!
You may also want to read up on why you NEED a footrest for your IKEA highchair.