Feeding a baby can be messy! Feeding a baby can be fun! High chairs take the mess out of the feed while maximizing the fun!
High chairs are an essential piece of baby gear—one that will be used multiple times a day for years. From his first pureed peas to a hearty helping of Mom’s meatloaf, he’ll spend a lot of quality time in the high chair. So it’s a good idea to pick a high chair that’s not only safe and functions well, but one that fits into your lifestyle and the design of your home.
Where do I start when picking out a high chair?
As with everything else, start with what you like. Baby high chairs come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are made of different materials.
I like the style of wooden high chairs, but are they comfortable?
Parents use wooden high chairs all the time—that’s the kind most restaurants provide—and babies don’t seem to find them uncomfortable. But if you don’t relish the idea of hardwood pressed against your baby at mealtimes, consider purchasing a high chair cover.
What do I need to know about high chair safety?
The first line of defense is to purchase a solidly constructed, sturdy high chair. Select one that meets or exceeds U.S. safety standards and/or is JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) certified.
The benefits of a booster seat
Though you’ll undoubtedly use your high chair for years, there will come a time when your child is too big for it—but not yet big enough to sit at the table. For this transitional time, a booster seat is a big help. When selecting your booster seat, look for a thickly cushioned seat, both for comfort and height, one that’s made of easy-to-clean material, safety straps to hold your child securely in place, and the second set of straps that attach the seat firmly to the chair.
The Bottom Line
Your child will use a high chair for a long time, so select one that meets safety standards, has a style and functionality that you like and has a cushion to keep your child comfortable during mealtime. Booster seats are a great way to transition your child from high chair to dining room chair.
Our Mom Expert
Caron Webber, 37, is the mother of five children, ages 2 to 12.
“I loved the look of a wooden highchair, but my husband thought a plastic-framed model seemed more convenient, so that’s what we bought. Unfortunately, the vinyl cushion ripped when my second child was using it, so when baby number three was ready for a highchair, I convinced my husband that we should get a gorgeous cherry highchair (which has lasted through the rest of the five kids, by the way). He came around when he discovered that the wooden high chair was a lot easier to clean; food didn’t get caught in the vinyl creases of the non-removable padding. Through the years, I’ve tried not to say ‘I told you so!’”
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