Introducing solid foods to your infant is a significant step in the baby’s development and is an important moment for the parents. You need to decide when to introduce solids and what type of food to choose for your baby’s first feeding different than milk.
But there is yet another important feature that you need to consider – purchasing a high chair. This piece of furniture is of great help during feeding time and is often in use until the kid gets 2 or 3 years old. Hence, it is important to select the right high chair that can withstand all the use it will be going through. There are several factors that determine which chair is more appropriate and there are several types of high chairs on the market.
In order to facilitate your choice, we are presenting the most common types of high chairs that you can find in shops and online stores. In addition to that, in this article, you will find useful tips concerning your baby’s safety while in the high chair.
Main types of high chairs
There is a great variety of high chairs on the market and sometimes it may be a bit confusing as to which one to select. There is no right or wrong choice, though. It all depends on several factors like preferences, budget, space.
Some parents prefer high chairs that are simple and cheap, while others opt for convertible high chairs that have many features and will grow along with their child and can be used for several years. While you cannot predict how long your child will be using the high chair, it is important to opt for one that is comfortable both for you and your kid and serves its main purpose – to help you feed your infant or toddler while keeping it safe.
The main types of high chairs that you can find in the shops or online are the following:
- A basic high chair with metal or plastic frame is one of the most popular options that you can come across. They are usually inexpensive and easy to clean but do not offer additional features and in most of the cases, parents and babies don’t find them very comfortable. The positives of a basic high chair include its price, lightweight and general easiness to use. The high chair will serve its main purpose. The disadvantage is that it may not offer sufficient cushioning and your kid may not feel comfortable sitting long in it. Hence, they may resent getting in, which can cause additional tension during meal time.
- The wooden high chair may look sleek but the chances are that your kid won’t like it. Wood is quite hard and not very comfortable to spend a lot of time sitting in them. Besides, they are a bit heavier to move around and may stain easier. So, unless your toddler is a real vintage fan, you may skip this type of high chairs.
- A full-feature high chair is one of the best options to find on the market. It is an upgraded version of the basic chair with metal or plastic frame. It can feature different extras and you can choose the one that best matches your needs. Some of the features are: a reclining seat that is suitable for smaller babies who do not feel comfortable to sit straight for too long or for kids who love having a nap right after meal; adjustable height, which allows the parent to adjust the chair in a position that is the most comfortable for feeding the baby or to align it with the table; removable trays, which makes cleaning much easier; wheels for easier movement around the house; extra cushioning for more comfort. All these additional features come at a price so be ready to pay a bit more if you want a high chair with extras.
- The convertible high chair is a good investment in the long run. The high chair can turn into a booster seat or can be separated into a chair and table once the kid grows. Basically, the high chair grows with your kid and can be used much longer. If you choose this type of high chair, make sure that it is made of durable materials and is easy to clean and maintain.
- A hook-on high chair is also a popular option for parents, especially for those who do not have enough space for the bigger versions. The chair can be hooked to the table or strapped to a regular chair. This type of chairs is much cheaper and do not take a lot of space. Besides, it is easy to move around and you can take it with you on a holiday or when visiting relatives. If you decide on a hook-on chair, you need to check that it will fit your table. If your table is thinner or thicker or has a lip, the chair won’t attach to it.
- The portable high chairs are usually a preferred option while you are on the go with the little one, however, some parents use them as a permanent version as well. There are various types but in general, these are seats that can be attached to any chair and thus it becomes a high chair for your toddler. A popular option is the portable baby chair pouch that you can find in our online shop. Made of 100% cotton, the pouch can be attached to any chair, car seat or even to yourself and serve as an excellent high chair. It is suitable for kids up to 20 kg and is quite durable, easy to attach and remove. You can easily fold it and take it with you on holiday or at the restaurant. You don’t have to worry anymore if there is a high chair available in your hotel as you simply have it with you. There is a great variety of colors to choose from – blue, black, green, orange, pink, purple, red, yellow, so you can even make it pass to the rest of your home décor.
Regardless of which type of chair you will select, you need to make sure that it is safe and comfortable for your kid.
What to look for in a high chair
There are certain elements of the high chair that need to be of high quality to ensure safe feeding time for your little one. Remember that soon you will have an active toddler who would do their best to stand up and get off the high chair despite the harnesses and buckles that you use. Therefore, it is important to have a high chair that is stable and won’t topple once your child starts moving vigorously in it.
Once you start choosing a high chair, you need to consider the following:
- Is the high chair easy to use? You are going to use the high chair several times a day, so make sure that it is easy to do it. You need to be able to open and close it easily and move it around without trouble. Some of the chairs are ultra-light so that you can carry them, while others are equipped with wheels for easier movement in the house. Make sure that the buckles are also easy to buckle and unbuckle but not that easy for your kid to do it. It is also good to be able to operate the tray with one hand. An adjustable high chair is more comfortable as you can select the height of the high chair or the distance between your kid and the tray for maximum comfort.
- Is the high chair safe? This is one of the most important features to look for. You need a three- or five-point harness and a secure buckle to keep your child in the chair. It is also important that the chair is stable and there are stops on the wheels in case it features any. Some manufacturers decide to have their product certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. A stamp by JPMA means that you have selected a certified chair, which bears sufficient safety features. If you are buying from a foreign country, check what kind of safety recommendations and certificates are used there.
- Is the high chair comfortable? Since your kid will spend a lot of them in their high chair, try to secure their comfort. Preferably, the high chair should have a roomy cushioned seat and adjustable footrest.
- Is the high chair easy to clean? Let’s face it, kids are messy eaters. You should be ready to clean after them, so better choose a high chair that is easy to clean and maintain. You should be able to wipe the surface with a wet towel and if the trays are removable, you can wash them in a dishwasher or in the sink. Some chairs feature two trays, so once one of them is dirty, you can easily replace it and continue the mealtime.
These are a few important questions to ask yourself prior to purchasing a high chair. Make sure that your choice contains all the necessary features that you consider important.
Baby safety rules during mealtime
There are certain rules that you need to observe during mealtime in order to make sure that your baby is safe.
- The first and most important is related to the food that you serve – it shall be age-appropriate and with the right texture and temperature. It is good to encourage self-feeding but be there to give guidance and set an example.
- Don’t leave the kid alone in the high chair in order to avoid accidents. Your toddler may try to stand up in the chair or get off it while buckled and fall over with the chair.
- Always use the harness and buckle your child in the high chair. Thus, you can prevent them from falling over and injuring themselves badly.
- Make sure that the high chair is stable and use the stops on the wheels. Do not place the high chair on a raised or slippery surface.
- If you decide to use a second-hand high chair, check that all its features work and that there are no pegs that stuck out or belts that don’t buckle.
These are just a few safety tips to follow during mealtime that will ensure that your kid is ok.
When choosing a high chair, you need to take into account several factors like safety, preferences, budget. Select the one that meets most of your criteria and that offers comfort to your child as well. It may not be a good idea to spend too much on a high chair as many kids are reluctant to use it after the age of two, so think of it as a temporary investment rather than a long-time feature for your house.