If you are about to introduce solid foods, you should also consider buying a high chair for your baby. This means yet another tour around the shops or browsing online in order to select the most appropriate option for your baby.
Buying a high chair is not rocket science, really, but can be a tough decision in case you are a first-time parent and you are not aware of the basics. The function of the high chair is to assist both parents and babies and make feeding time fun and safe experience.
There is a great variety of high chairs that you can find on the market. The truth is that any of them will do the job but some models are easier to maintain and will last longer. Keep in mind that your baby may use the high chair till the age of 2 or three and with some convertible models even longer.
In order to facilitate your choice, we have collected the basic facts about high chairs in this article and you can get to know which are the main types and what are the most important features to look for when selecting a high chair.
When do you need to purchase a high chair?
Many parents start looking for a high chair once the baby is born or even prior to that. Thus, they have more time to browse through different options, read reviews, ask friends and relatives, and finally select the high chair that will suit their needs.
If you haven’t done that already but you are planning to introduce solid foods, you need to consider purchasing a high chair. It will make feeding your baby much easier and also help you clean the mess after feeding a bit faster.
Note, that it is necessary for your baby to be able to sit up by themselves as well. Otherwise, a high chair may be quite uncomfortable or have some adverse effects. If you are not sure, whether it is appropriate to put your baby in a high chair, you can consult your pediatrician. In addition to that, there are reclining high chairs, which allow a more comfortable position at least as a start and not a complete straight up position.
Most of the babies adore the high chair and they love sitting their longer and playing in the high chair after eating or even having some rest (which is possible with the reclining chairs that allow a more comfortable position for sleeping). Still, there are some kids who do not like the high chair and you will find it challenging to feed them there. In this case, you can try a portable chair or hook-on pouch or simply find more creative and yet safe ways for feeding your kid.
Main types of high chairs
There is a great variety of high chairs on the market and it is a bit of a challenge to find the right type. Basically, it all depends on your habits and intentions for the use of the chair. A basic high chair will do the job and is usually easier to clean, while a high chair with more features may turn out to be more comfortable for the baby and more durable as a whole. If you love to travel, a portable one is a must for your household.
It is easier to choose, when you know which are your main options. Here they are:
- Basic high chairs with metal or plastic frame
These models are really basic and quite simple. They are equipped with harnesses for safety but otherwise offer no other comforts for the baby. Usually, they are molded plastic that may or may not have some padding. Some of the models have trays, while others don’t. Those basic high chairs usually don’t fold but you can find such an option as well, which makes it easier to move and store it. The main advantages of this model are that they are easy to clean, quite affordable, and light. The disadvantage is that they are not that comfortable for the baby as they lack cushioned padding in most of the cases.
- Wooden high chairs
These models are made of wood and look quite fancy. They are an option usually preferred by those parents who are supporters of natural materials but in this case, such a choice can be a bit tricky. Wooden chairs have a few drawbacks that you need to consider prior to purchasing one. They may be not that comfortable for your kid as often the seat is quite deep and the footrest too low for infants. In addition to that, the wooden tray is heavier and more difficult to clean than a plastic one. As a whole, the wooden high chair is high maintenance. On the other hand, the positive is that many models can convert to regular chairs as your child grows.
- Full-feature high chairs
These models are an upgraded version of the basic metal- or plastic-frame high chairs. They include well-padded seats, detachable and interchanging trays, wheels, adjustable height and/or a reclining seat. All of these features make them more comfortable both for the baby and the parent. In addition to that, most of the models can be converted to a booster seat or kid-sized chair. Given the fact, that you will be able to use them longer and that they are easier to maintain and store, it is a good idea to pay the higher price and get the extras that go with it.
- Convertible high chairs
These can be basic, full-featured or wooden high chairs that grow with your child. They can be used much longer as a booster seat or a kid-sized chair and hence, come at a higher price. In most of the cases, those models are quite durable and easy to use.
- Portable and hook-on high chairs
These models are a great solution for families who do not have much space or are often on the go. In order to free some space, you can be a seat that is attached to the table via straps or other hooks. They are less expensive than freestanding high chairs and you can take them with you to the restaurant or while traveling. Before you buy such a hook-on chair, make sure that it fits your table. If your table is thicker, thinner or has a lip, you may find it impossible to secure the seat on it.
The other option is to choose a portable baby chair pouch like the one you can find in our online shop. It is made of 100% cotton, which is very durable and easy to wash and maintain. You can attach the pouch to any given chair, a car seat and even to yourself. Then, you simply fold it when not in use and it fits in your handbag.
Main factors to consider when buying a high chair
When looking for a high chair, there are a few factors to take into account:
- Type – select the type that best will feet your feeding and daily routine and also matches your budget. If you travel a lot, you may also add a portable seat for greater convenience.
- Comfort – choose a high chair that offers more comfort for the baby. Look for extra padding, adjustable height, and a reclining seat.
- Easiness of cleaning – both the seat and harnesses should be easy to wipe. It is better for the trays to be detachable and safe for washing in a dishwasher. There shouldn’t be too many spaces that can gather food and that are hard to clean.
- Trays – if possible, opt for a detachable tray. Thus, you can take it and wash it in the sink or dishwasher, if it is suitable. Some models come with two trays, so you can remove one of them once it gets too dirty and simply use the other that is beneath. A high chair with a detachable tray can be used longer as you can remove the tray and pull the chair to the table as your child grows or if the little one prefers to eat along with the rest of the family.
- Stability – look for a chair with a wider base as it won’t tip over. Make sure that the high chair is stable prior to putting your child in it. If the chair has wheels, they need to have locks to prevent any undesirable movement.
- Safety features – your high chair should come equipped with adjustable harnesses that make sure the baby is safe while seated. Look for a 5-point harness, or a 3-point harness and crotch post, which can prevent the kid from slipping or standing up in the high chair. Make sure that the buckle doesn’t open too easily.
- Adjustability – it is good to have a chair that can have its height adjusted. Thus, it will be easier for you to feed the baby no matter if you are seating on the couch or on the chair. Besides, it will allow you to pull the high chair to the table and adjust it so that the baby can have a meal with the rest of the family. Adjustable trays and harnesses make sure that the high chair is comfortable for both infants and toddlers.
- Convertibility – if your high chair can convert into a booster seat or a kid-sized chair, it may be worth paying a bit higher price for it.
- Wheels – they can help you move the chair around the house but make sure that they lock properly and keep the high chair stable at any time.
- Weight – the weight of the chair can be a factor for its stability. It is also to be considered if you need to carry the chair around the house and it is not equipped with wheels. Basic models and portable chairs tend to be lighter.
- Easiness to use – it is important that you are able to use the chair easily. Check how it opens, how the trays detach and how the height is adjusted. If it is too complicated, look for a different model.
- The overall design – as a whole, the color and design of the chair is also a factor that should not be underestimated. A high chair in the kid’s favorite color or decorated with cartoons they like will look much more appealing to the kid than a simple wooden chair, for example.
- Price – last but not least the price is also a factor to consider. Note that basic models are less expensive but may not be that comfortable for kids or may not last that long Adjustable and convertible models are more expensive but they are usually used longer and are worth the investment.
At the end of the day, you need to choose a high chair that meets most of your criteria, if not all, and that is comfortable for your baby. A funnier color or design is always a plus, as it attracts kids and makes daily routines and tasks, such as feeding, tooth brushing and potty training much easier.
Keep in mind, that a kid can be badly injured if falling from a high chair. Hence, make sure that they are always buckled in and always supervise them while in the high chair. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations about weight and age depending on the type of high chair you have purchased.