High chairs make mealtimes fun and breezy for babies. Does your baby really need one? Well, if you’d like to create a safe dining space for them, then you definitely need one. Most babies can safely sit on a high chair when they learn to sit up without any assistance (around 6-9 months).
Modern high chairs are cleverly designed to ensure uncompromising safety and easy cleanup. However, with so many options lying around, settling for one that fits all the bills won’t be easy.
That’s where this guide comes to your rescue. Below is a low-down of all the key aspects that should matter when shopping for a high chair for your junior –
It goes without saying that safety comes first when choosing a high chair. Look for a chair with a solid 3 or 5-point harness system and a crotch strap. You know you have your eyes on the right product when the straps are easy to unbuckle for you, but literally impossible for your child.
I personally find straps that attach to the seat much more effective than the ones that attach to the back of the waist strap. If the entire harness system is removable, you will be able to toss the straps in the washing machine whenever there is a food spill scenario.
The certification seal of ASTM or American Society for Testing and Materials and JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) on the high chair indicates that the product had met the stringent safety standards before it reached you.
Buying a high chair without at least one legit safety certification is a gamble you don’t want to take.
Your little one is going to spend a considerable amount of time sitting on a high chair every day. To make their mealtime enjoyable, choose a high chair with an amply padded seat, a sturdy backrest, and footrests.
Sparsely cushioned seats are the worst of the lot and chances are that your baby will straight up refuse to sit on something like that. If your budget allows, go for a high chair with a reclining backrest. It will be useful during bottle feeding.
Height adjustability is another feature you shouldn’t skip on, especially if you have a counter height table. Get a high chair for your counter height table and allow your kid to enjoy meals with the entire family.
Unlike regular chairs that are simply too short for a tiny kid, high chairs allow you to adjust the seat height to match the level of the counter height table, letting your junior join you all at the dinner table.
Ease of Cleaning
High chairs can be a real pain to clean up, considering the amount of food and liquid spills they will be subjected to. The easiest to clean high chairs don’t have too many upholstery seams or stitches, making it easier to wipe clean the seat pad.
Removable, machine-washable seat covers and pads are a real-life-saver for the caregivers of picky eaters. In my experience, foam, vinyl, and rubber seat pads are pretty easy to wash.
Lots of modern high chairs come with a convenient tray insert to make your life easier. When the tummy time is over, you can just pop off the insert and wash it instead of having to remove the entire tray.
Many contemporary high chairs allow you to convert them into a cool and sturdy booster chair for a toddler. Although they do usually cost a bit more than standard high chairs, they are worth every penny considering they actually grow with your baby.
Dining booster seats can encourage babies to eat independently by observing the people on the dining table. Since you are going to need to buy one at some point, why not invest in a high chair that offers the benefits of a booster seat too?
Storage and Portability
How much space do you have in the room you’ll be putting the high chair in? If the answer is “not much”, it’s wise to choose a foldable high chair. You should be able to fold and expand it with any effort.
And if you would like to be able to move the chair around, look for a chair with castor wheels with a lock-in mechanism. A wheel locking system is a must-have safety feature because you don’t want a high chair with a baby in it to just skedaddle on its own.
Even if there are no wheels, at least pick a lightweight model so that you can easily carry it around.
Watch out for Sharp Edges
Before letting your kid sit on a high chair, thoroughly examine the underside, backrest, and armrests for any sharp edges or exposed gaps. The last thing you want is your munchkin’s fingers getting pinched or bruised. So do
your due diligence and religiously avoid high chairs with small hinges or holes.
Buying a high chair can be a time-consuming affair and I sincerely hope that this guide helped you make up your mind. There’s no dearth of great high chairs, even in the affordable price range.
All you have to do is understand what your baby’s specific requirements are, set a clear budget, and choose accordingly.