A high chair is a “must-have” for parents and babies alike. Once a child starts eating solid foods, usually around 4-6 months, they will need a safe and comfortable place to sit during meal times.
A high chair provides the perfect option. If you are in the market for the perfect high chair, you need to check out one of the following.
Tips on Buying Baby High Chairs
The highchair is one of the most important pieces of baby equipment that a parent can have. Even though highchairs are mainly used for feeding infants and toddlers during mealtimes they are also a great way to help keep the baby entertained in the kitchen with you.
There are so many different types of highchairs available that at times it can be overwhelming picking the right one.
This buyer’s guide is designed to teach you about the different types of high chairs available for purchase, but it will also talk about the features that each highchair should have. Knowing about the different types of highchairs and the features that should be included can really help to narrow down the choices because it allows you to eliminate certain ones that don’t meet these basic standards.
Even though there are numerous highchairs available to purchase, there are not that many different types of highchairs. Currently, there are full-sized high chairs and compact high chairs that you can choose from, but there are also wood, plastic, and metal high chairs.
Full-sized highchairs are just what they sound like they are stand-alone seats that can be used to feed babies. The compact highchairs are smaller versions of the full-sized highchairs and often secure themselves to a kitchen or dining room chair.
Before making a decision on what highchair to purchase parents, need to know what features to look for. Like all other products, not all high chairs are going to offer the exact same features, but some features are always included for safety reasons.
However, not all highchairs will offer the exact same options. For example, one highchair might offer a seven height adjustment, while others only have three different height positions. Here is a look at the must-have features that every highchair needs to have.
This is one of the most important features to look at because you don’t want a highchair that is going to tip over with the baby in it.
Highchairs that have the best stability have a wide base and a low center of gravity. To test out the stability simply shake the highchair at the store to see how much it wobbles.
You need to have a tray that comes with the highchair, even if you have to purchase it separately. The tray is necessary because it is used to help keep the baby securely in the highchair, but is also a great tool for teaching babies how to feed themselves.
You want to choose a tray that is easy to slide on and off, but also one that locks securely. The tray needs to be easy to clean, as well as having high edges to prevent food and spills from reaching the floor.
Easy to clean high chair
Having an easy-to-clean high chair is important because you don’t want food molding in the highchair that you have missed, that increases the number of bacteria that your baby is being exposed to. The seat cover should be easy to wipe down after every meal but also machine washable so a deeper cleaning when needed.
Not all babies are going to be the same size and shape, so having a highchair that adjusts to fit the baby is necessary. The high chair should have an adjustable height so mom and dad can choose the right height for feeding based on where they are sitting.
The tray should also be adjustable to help prevent food spilling down between the gaps, but also to help accommodate a growing baby. Adjustable footrests are a nice feature because they allow the baby to sit comfortably in the chair.
Having the adjustable features is nice because it allows the highchair to grow with the baby, so it lasts longer.
All of the safety straps, whether they are lap belts or a five-point harness need to be separate from the tray itself. The straps should be on the body of the highchair to secure the baby in place. The straps should also be easy to use, but safe enough that the baby cannot accidentally get it undone.
If the chair has wheels, it should come with a brake to prevent the highchair from moving when it is engaged. The brakes should always be engaged when the baby is in it to prevent the baby from moving the chair. For folding high chairs, there should be a locking device that prevents the chair from collapsing when the baby is inside of it.
Not only do parents need to know about the most important features of a highchair, but knowing the most popular brands is also a useful factor. In most cases, the most popular brands are going to be the highchairs that have all of the above features and then some, so parents can choose one of these brands and not worry about if something goes wrong. Not to mention most of the popular highchairs are from brand names that we know and trust.
- Fisher-Price. This is perhaps one of the most known brand names in terms of baby gear and is perhaps the most popular. Fisher-Price carries a wide range of highchairs that meet all of the features above, and they even have some extra features. For example, the Rainforest series comes with toys that attach to the tray to help keep the baby entertained.
- Graco. This is another trusted name in baby gear. These highchairs all meet the safety features that are named above, plus some. Graco offers both full-sized and compact highchairs, so parents can rest assured they can find exactly what they are looking for. For example, the Graco Duo Diner Highchair converts into a booster seat by simply removing the legs of the highchair.
One thing that parents need to keep in mind is that even though some brands are more popular than others that don’t mean they are always going to be better or offer what you are looking for. Most likely your more popular brands have been around for a long time, so they have been able to establish a name for themselves. The key to buying a good highchair is doing research, which includes reading reviews, before making a final decision.
High Chair Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How many different types of High Chairs are there?
A: Five: Standard high chairs, Wooden high chairs, Restaurant high chairs, Booster high chairs, and Travel Friendly high chairs.
Standard: Typically plastic-framed, some degree of collapsibility, a removable tray, and a padded seat.
Wooden: Most wood chairs are of solid construction and do not collapse. Wood chairs have a number of advantages in both the aesthetic and ease-of-cleaning departments. Certain wooden high chairs can be used as adult seats after their term as a highchair has expired.
Restaurant: These durable chairs are sub-divided into two categories, Portable and Commercial. Portable chairs are the type that is easy to transport and either hang from a chair or attach to the table itself (See Travel Friendly). Commercial restaurant chairs are tough: designed to get constant use and abuse. Thanks to their durable construction and stack-ability, the Lipper High Chair is one of the most commonly used Commercial restaurant high chairs. You’ll find them stacked in the corners of restaurants all over North America.
Boosters: Typically built of solid or hollow plastic material, a booster seat is appropriate for children 3 or over who no longer require a harness at mealtime. Some boosters, such as the Bumbo Booster Seat, are of soft materials and are designed to snugly secure your child while they sit. The Kaboost Chair Booster actually raises a normal dining chair by sitting under the chair’s legs.
Travel Friendly: These are light hook-on chairs that attach to a chair or the table itself. These are ideal for families who travel and eat out frequently, often utilizing cloth or vinyl seats that are very comfortable.
Q: What is a Convertible high chair?
A: A high chair that converts to another function, such as a booster seat. Some convert to a youth chair or even an adult chair after the need for the high chair has passed. The Boon Flair becomes a youth chair for older children once you remove the tray. Another definition of a convertible high chair is any high chair that can safely support an adult. The Stokke Tripp Trapp works as an adult chair, supporting persons weighing 300 lbs or more.
Q: Do I need a high chair that reclines?
A: No, but they can be useful if you plan to use your high chair with an infant.
Basically, a reclining seat allows you to use your high chair with an infant, bringing them to the table earlier. Reclining chairs serve two basic purposes: 1) Assistance with bottle feeding, 2) Comfortable sleeping. A child eating solid foods should not be fed in a reclined seat, as it may pose a choking hazard. Some kids pass out a minute or two after being fed, if not right in the middle of it. If your child is comfortable in their high chair, you can drop the seat back into a reclined position so that they can sleep more comfortably.
Q: Which High Chair is Better: Wood, or Metal and Plastic?
A: There are pros and cons to every material used in the construction of juvenile products. We’ll tell you the differences, but after that, you’re on your own.
The majority of high chairs are constructed of plastic components mounted on a metal frame with a cushioned seat. Cushions are either
PVC (i.e. vinyl) or cloth material. Metal and plastic highchairs typically fold and can be more easily stored than static wood chairs that take up more space, though certain wood models, such as the Kettler Madison, also fold. Most metal and plastic chairs are lighter and more versatile, offering multiple adjustment settings and recline options for infants.
Some parents are uncomfortable with using non-organic products with their children or prefer the style of a wooden chair. In addition, wooden chairs are, on average, more expensive.
100% of wood chairs are nicer to look at and built to last, but most don’t come standard with cushions. If you consider a cushion a necessity, many have cushions available as accessories. Certain wood high chairs, such as Svan and Rochelle, have a removable plastic tray cover. This can be invaluable during the cleanup and preserves the quality of the chair’s feeding tray.
The advantage of a plastic tray is that you can remove and rinse the tray after a messy meal, or put the tray in the dishwasher. Wood chairs wipe clean very easily but can wear after extended periods of use. By extended. we mean generations of use.
Well-cared-for wood high chairs can become a family heirloom and be passed along to relatives and friends as needed. Many wood high chairs now offer adjustable seats and can grow with your child, but they generally offer fewer features and take up a lot more space.