The world has changed from the unattached wooden high chair that your mother probably used when you were a baby. The comfort and safety of the high chair have greatly evolved over the past 15 years. The different models have also multiplied, making your purchasing decision more complex.
Here is our guide to buying the perfect highchair for babies.
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Why a Buying Guide for a Baby High Chair?
That’s it! After months on the liquid whey diet, your baby is finally ready! He’s holding his head well and controlling it perfectly, he has an interest in your food and doesn’t seem full after drinking. Babies usually start showing these signs around 6 months. If you want to start solid food before then, consult your pediatrician first.
Despite the widely held misconception, starting the introduction of solid foods sooner will not help babies sleep through the night. I can testify to it twice.
Buying the perfect high chair can be a challenge for many of us. As a new mom, the introduction of solids can raise concerns. We often want to give ourselves the best possible chance of success.
At first glance, the high chairs all look the same. The important thing is to clearly identify your needs. In general, parents want a quality high chair that is easy to wash and reasonably priced within their means. That’s why Ovalem is offering you this high chair buying guide.
How to Choose the Perfect Baby High Chair?
Our guide to buying the high chair will guide you to the ideal model for you. Beforehand, you should ask yourself what you expect from this chair. Think that it will accompany you in your baby’s first steps towards eating solid food.
First analyze your environment. Assess the space available in your dining room to determine if the size of the desired high chair is appropriate. Think about how you will use it and how often you will use it. Are you planning to have several children? Set a budget for this purchase, etc.
What Are the Types of High Chairs on the Market?
Four main types of high chairs are available on the market. I present them by highlighting their pros and cons in order to guide your choice.
The Traditional High Chair
As its name suggests, it is probably the most common and widespread type of high chair in the world. Most traditional high chairs are well padded and have a shelf on which to place baby food.
Features vary from model to model. However, this type of chair is often bulky (although some models fold), made of plastic and is available at all prices.
- Affordable price
- Several possible features
- Several models available
- Often difficult to wash
- Variable quality
The Multifunctional High Chair
The multifunctional high chair is offered at a slightly higher price than the average traditional high chair, but gives you more flexibility in its use. You can often turn them into an ideal portable seat for transport, or a high booster chair for an older child.
This model may be interesting for a family with 2 children of reasonable age difference. You can sit the youngest in the portable high chair attached to a chair and the oldest on the booster chair on wheels.
- Flexibility of use
- Can be used by more than one child
- Easy to carry
- More difficult storage
The Booster High Chair
The booster chair is easily installed on a regular kitchen chair. Without a footrest, this chair takes no additional space in your kitchen. Some booster chairs have a removable tray.
This type of chair has the advantage of including the child around the table in order to create a real family moment. It can also be easily transported during outings.
- Takes up little space
- Easy to carry
- Baby at the table with the family
- Incompatibility with some tables
- May damage the chair
- Less comfort
The Evolutionary High Chair
Evolutionary high chairs are taking an increasingly large market share and appeal to many parents. Often made of wood, these chairs adapt as your child grows. You will be able to adjust the height of the seat, but also the footrest for maximum comfort. These chairs can easily follow the child until his first school year. Some evolutionary wooden high chairs are of such quality that they can support the weight of an adult.
These chairs are often of impeccable ergonomics and are recommended by the various pediatric health workers.
- Long-term investment
- Less suitable for infants
- Requires tools for adjustments
- Most models without wheels
What Are the Criteria to Consider When Buying a Baby High Chair?
As part of this guide to buying a baby high chair, we present here the main criteria to consider when shopping for a high chair.
Ease of Cleaning
Be warned now, you will never stop washing this chair. You will feel that this task is a perpetual restart. Therefore, the ease of cleaning the high chair is an essential criterion. Whether you practice child led food diversification (EMR) or teach your little one to be independent, there is no doubt that food will pile up all over the chair.
Pay particular attention to the fabric covering the seat, to the possibility of removing the straps for washing and to any cracks and nooks and crannies where small grains of rice could settle.
For the tray, give importance to those with a double surface.
Regarding the composition of the seat, favor plastic, wood and imitation leather. Polyester can sometimes be difficult to maintain, especially if the quality is poor. And beware of light-colored straps!
Ease of Use
Whether it is to install your toddler in his chair, put the tray or move the chair, it is imperative that your high chair is easy to use given the repetition of these gestures.
The quality of the chair plays an important role for this criterion. Stiffer plastic or less mobile wheels can cause some problems.
High chairs offer different adjustment options.
Opt for a high chair that fits your environment. Height-adjustable high chairs are interesting because they allow you to put your child directly at the table without a tray. They are also more comfortable for the parent who spoon-feeds their child.
Your baby eats an average of 3 meals a day in addition to snacks. Obviously, these moments should not be uncomfortable for your baby.
At the seat level, make sure that the inclination is adequate. During meals, your child should be upright and avoid leaning backwards. This will ensure good swallowing and digestion.
The fabric of the seat is also to be considered. The padding should be comfortable, but not too thick either. It’s a high chair, not a La-Z-Boy anyway.
Try to properly assess the quality of the fabric. You will have to clean the chair frequently. It would be a shame if the fabric crumbles after a few uses.
Some high chairs have a footrest, others do not. A footrest, preferably adjustable, contributes to the ergonomics of the chair and the correct positioning of the child. Imagine yourself sitting on a chair with your feet dangling, it’s much less comfortable.
Finally, the height of the tray promotes comfort for the child. If the shelf is too high, it is less ergonomic for the autonomous feeding. It can even interfere with the start of feeding. An adjustable shelf is perfect for adapting to the child’s height as he or she grows.
The safety of the high chair is an essential criterion in your purchasing decision. Opt for a product that is certified in the country where you are. Also, when purchasing, be sure to register your chair with the manufacturer to be notified in the event of a recall.
A 3 or 5-point harness is essential to prevent falls. A leg divider is also a guarantee of safety. Finally, make sure the chair is stable to prevent it from tipping over with the child in it.
Design and Functionality
Finally, after considering the above-mentioned criteria, you can allow yourself to judge the look of your high chair in the decor of your home. Of course, that shouldn’t be your main criteria, but we all want a high chair that matches the decor of our dining room.
Then, different optional features can be interesting depending on your needs. Tilting the seat backwards can allow your high chair to be used as a recliner. Convenient to have your baby nearby during meals.
Also, locking wheels ensure greater stability, especially with an older brother or an animal that is flapping around.
In addition, some chairs have storage space at the back of the seat for storing the bib or other item. Really interesting as an extra!
Finally, high chairs that fold to reduce their footprint are often very popular with parents.
What Is the Checklist Before Buying a Baby High Chair?
Our high chair buying guide is meant to make your life easier, so here is a checklist before buying a new or used high chair:
- Product certified by a recognized safety organization in the country
- 3 or 5-point safety harness
- Leg separator
- Chair stability
- Double surface tray
- Fabric quality
- Ergonomics of the backrest
- Easy to remove tray
- Wheel quality
Does a Cheap High Chair Exist?
The world of high chairs is huge. It complicates our choice, but still gives us some interesting leeway for the price. Is there really such a thing as a cheap highchair? I’m telling you it does. However, you will have to compromise on the functionality offered by this chair.
The IKEA Antilop chair is a perfect example of how a high chair can be good value for money.
If your budget is tight, watch for discounts at special events such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Boxing Day or Prime Day.
Can the High Chair Be Used From Birth?
The majority of high chairs cannot be used from birth. This makes sense, since it is a chair for introducing solid foods to baby, which is normally done around 6 months of age.
However, some high chairs can be used as recliners. These are chairs whose seat can tilt backwards to make a temporary cradle. However, check the manufacturer’s recommendations to make sure the model you have chosen allows it.
These high chairs often allow mom and dad to safely eat with their baby nearby.
Is a Portable High Chair Essential?
Depending on your lifestyle, a portable high chair can indeed be interesting, hence the popularity of multifunction high chairs.
Whether for a visit to Grandma’s, camping or for dinner with friends, portable high chairs can please. However, most family restaurants are equipped to accommodate your child.
However, parents prefer compact portable high chairs that will take up little space in luggage, which is rarely the case with portable high chairs.
Extra high chairs that can be carried over the shoulder with a strap offer more value!
Can a Wooden High Chair Be a Good Purchase Option?
Vintage wooden high chairs are strongly discouraged. They often lack a safety strap and can be unstable.
In recent years, however, modern models with impeccable ergonomics have appeared. Easy to wash, durable and scalable, these high chairs are gaining ground.
Often offered at higher prices, they will nevertheless easily stand the test of time. If you are planning to have a large family, a wooden high chair can really be an attractive option for you.
What Are the Best Brands of Baby High Chairs?
This high chair buying guide has given you the tools to select the type of high chair that is right for you. Now, to choose the brand of your chair, you also have several options.
The majority of trusted brands recognized in the baby world offer high chair choices. Whether it is Graco, Peg Perego or Fisher Price, there are many models available. More niche products are also appearing on the market, such as Oxo Tot or Stokke.
Ovalem’s Advice for Buying the Best High Chair
I made a review of 6 models of baby high chairs, all types combined. The models evaluated are as follows:
This model really looks great and offers multiple features. You will appreciate the tilt of the seat to use it as a recliner and the height adjustment of the seat.Easy to wash, it is of incredible quality and durability.
The wooden design of this modern high chair is eye-catching. It’s a long-term investment that you make with this chair. It will be able to follow your child through preschool and beyond, while providing ergonomic comfort.
You won’t get better at this price with this model. Many parents swear by this model and don’t understand others who spend hundreds of dollars on a high chair. Without doubt, the easiest to wash.
A multifunctional high chair at a very good price. True to Graco’s reputation, this model is of good quality and very easy to use. A great value for money!
Another high chair offered at a price that suits small budgets! The vinyl of its seat makes it very easy to clean, but does not offer the same quality as other more expensive high chairs. The seat height is adjustable!
The Fisher Price 4-in-1 model can be used practically from birth to an extra chair when traveling. For the price, it offers many features. Extras that many parents will appreciate.
Did our high chair buying guide help you choose the best type according to your criteria and expectations?