Best High Chairs
Best High Chairs are not a main priority when your little one is a newborn — at this stage, whether you’re bottle feeding or breastfeeding, your baby will likely be in your lap.
High chairs are not a main priority when your little one is a newborn — at this stage, whether you’re bottle feeding or breastfeeding, your baby will likely be in your lap. But once you start to introduce foods like purees and small bites — something the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends doing around 6 months of age — your baby will need a high chair to keep him upright during mealtime.
Best High Chairs – Types of high chairs
While the what and how of feeding your little one may be your main concerns, having the right baby high chair for your specific needs can make the transition to solids a little easier. Here’s a breakdown of the types of high chairs available:
- Wooden high chairs: This classic option is trendy again — and the understated finishes and clean lines fit right into most homes. Some versions are no-frills throwbacks, while others offer modern benefits like adjustable height, reclining seats and easy foldability for storage.
- Plastic or metal frame high chair: A lightweight, modern frame high chair typically offers easy clean-up, portability (sometimes on wheels) and an easy fold for storage. These are also among the most budget-friendly options.
- Full-featured high chair: Some multi-functional seats can be used as high chairs, cradles and sometimes even swings. They usually have all the bells and whistles, like an adjustable seat with recline, a stashable tray table and casters for mobility.
- Portable clip-on high chair: These leg-less high chairs clasp securely onto some types of tables or countertops for a sturdy, safe seat for baby almost anywhere — at home or on the go.
- Booster feeding chair: Need a feeding chair that doesn’t take up extra space? Strap a booster feeding chair onto one of your existing dining chairs. These chairs typically come with removable lap trays so that when your child is ready, he can pull right up to the family table.
- Convertible high chair: These high chairs will see you all the way through the toddler years, since they can function much like a plastic or metal frame high chair, then fold up into a booster when baby gets a bit older. Some even turn into regular dining chairs after that.
Best High Chairs – Choosing the best high chair for you
The right high chair for your family is the one that makes feeding your baby easy, safe and fun — so once you’ve ensured that a high chair that meets safety requirements (more on this below), it’s really about your family’s budget, your style and how you plan to use your high chair. Consider the following to find the best fit for you:
- The amount of space you have. You’ll need to be able to easily maneuver and reach the chair so you can feed your child while he is sitting in it. Those with smaller kitchens may want a more streamlined model, a portable high chair that attaches right to the table or boosters that attach to your dining chairs.
- How long you can use the high chair. Depending on the chair, he may be able to use it from infancy right on through the toddler years. These days, many high chairs easily grow with baby, converting from an infant seat to a toddler booster and then to a chair.
- How easy the high chair is to clean. At some point, when your baby becomes a toddler, he will start to learn to feed himself. You’ll need a high chair that’s easy to clean because — trust us — there will be spills, splatters and crumbs. Consider a high chair with removable parts or materials that can be wiped down easily to make cleaning a breeze.
- The tray type. Adjustable? Removable? Dishwasher safe? Look for a wide, sturdy and removable option that offers easy clean-up.
- The high chair’s portability. This is especially important for families with smaller kitchens. Some traditional models are not easy to store, which means they’ll take up coveted space in your kitchen and dining room. If stashability is important, add it to your checklist.
- Comfort. After all, an uncomfortable baby is not likely to be interested in mealtime at all. Soft, washing machine-friendly padding or a well-shaped seat will help baby stay comfortable and ready to eat and explore.
- Your personal style. Though it shouldn’t be your main focus — safety always comes first! — high chairs are essentially furniture. Depending on your style, you may be drawn to different materials, colors or designs.
Best High chair safety tips to remember
Your baby’s high chair should be a safe place for him to explore food in all its textured, tasty glory.
So you can focus on the food and not any scary incidents, experienced moms, as well as The American Academy of Pediatrics, give the following advice:
- Never leave baby unattended in the chair. This should be a given, but baby might topple the chair or choke if eating while not supervised.
- Always make sure baby is buckled up. Your high chair should have, at the minimum, a T-style strap that goes across baby’s lap, through his legs and connects in the middle for a snug, secure fit. Curious little ones have been known to go exploring — and that can be dangerous. Just attaching the lap table is not enough to make sure baby’s secure.
- Make sure your chair is a safe distance from the table or other edges. Baby loves to stretch his legs and push, and that could mean an unexpected fall.
- Look for a chair that doesn’t tip over easily. You want to ensure that, even as baby gets bigger and more boisterous, he won’t be able to topple the chair.
- Always follow height and weight guidelines. They’re set for a reason, and following them will ensure your baby is sitting safely.
- Make sure any casters or wheels lock. You want to make sure baby doesn’t go for any strolls without you.
- Be super careful when folding and unfolding your chair. “Safety features such as locks will ensure they stay in place when assembled,” says Brittany Ferri, an occupational therapist based in Rochester, NY. And make sure baby is at a safe distance while you’re folding it back up. You don’t want little fingers or toes to get caught in hinges or locks.
- If you’re using a portable chair, make sure your table can support it. Check to verify that any table you’re clipping a portable chair to can support the weight of the seat — and baby — before securely attaching the chair.