Buying Guide: Best High Chair Models and Features
Babies and “clean” eating will never go hand in hand. Its going to get messy, the question is, how messy? Choosing the best high chair to fit your needs can help meal time go a little smoother, and at the same time keep your little tike safe, comfortable and content while you do all of the hard work. So what exactly are you looking for? Don’t worry, I’m going to “spoon feed” you everything you will need to know when it comes to making the right purchase with this guide. I’ve also compiled a nice little list here of some of the best high chairs on the market today, just in case you want a little cheat sheet and cut to the chase. Let’s dig in
Top 5 Models
Graco Blossom 4-In-1 Seating System
Graco SimpleSwitch and Booster
Graco DuoDiner LX
ciao! baby Portable
Fisher-Price Luv U Zoo EZ Clean
Types of Models
Standard: Standard models are your generic run of the mill chair with a tray installed in the front. These can be utilized as soon as your little one is able to sit properly.
European-styled: These are high chairs without a tray, and are used by being adjusted directly in front of the dinner table. One major benefit to these is that they can be used past an infant stage and used as a toddler seat.
Portable: These are foldable versions of the previous two styles, and are excellent for when you need to travel or simply do not have a lot of space in your house.
Washability: Dinner time is messy, and your going to have some cleaning up to do. You aren’t going to be doing yourself any favors if you purchase a model with high quality fabrics, but that stain and require a lot of maintenance. Many parents choose to go with a washable high chair cover which they can throw into the dryer.
Size: Believe it or not, but some high chairs are monstrosities and can be larger and take up more space than a normal chair. Do you have the room to support that in your kitchen? Likewise, can the chair support the weight of your growing child?
Stability: Partially a safety feature, the stability of the high chair can range quite a bit, with lighter models being more of a concern than heavier versions. You will have to balance convenience with safety here, as you don’t want the high chair to tip over.
Safety Features to Look At
Like I previously mentioned, there are a few features that you need to look at in every model, and although a lot of this will come down to personal preference and whether your little guy likes Blues Clue or Sesame Street, there are some universal attributes that should be standard. Take the time to look through these, just in case your worried about picking a poor quality product.
Safety: The number one feature on your mind when you are browsing, has to be safety. Most high chairs are required by federal standards to include base line safety features, but some models may be faulty or poorly constructed. This includes a tight safety belt and crotch post, to secure your child in his chair. Compared to the safety harness of a car seat or booster, I think the concern is a bit more minimal if your choosing between a 3 point harness or a 5 point harness, but if your concerned about your child falling from his high chair you should lean more towards a 5 point. The crotch post prevents sliding underneath the tray, another hazard which most people do no consider. When looking at crotch posts, make sure that the holes are not so large that your baby can fit both feet into one, as this can get them stuck and is just an all around nuisance.
Another feature that a lot of high chairs have, are wheels. These are great on a tile or wooden floor, and you can maneuver your child all over the place easily. Unfortunately it opens up another problem, as most little ones will quickly catch on and go crazy in their seat, moving it all around and potentially into harmful areas of the kitchen. To prevent this, every high chair should have a locking mechanism on every wheel.
Finally, you should go ahead and do your standard parental check which should be customary to you by now on every product that you purchase. Run your hand all around the seat of the high chair, looking for imperfections or sharp objects. Anything rough can wreck havoc on your babies sensitive skin, causing rashes or worse. Likewise anything wiggly or loose can become a potential choking hazard.
Versatility: Some parents like to be able to take high chairs out to parks, or to store in a closet and out of the way. While convenient, this adds another complexity and potential hazard, because most foldable products aren’t quite as sturdy, and tend to break down easier. Keep an extra eye out for these.
Adjustable: Adjustable chairs are also very convenient and most of the more expensive products on the market offer this perk. Adjusting the height is nice for seating at larger dinner tables, and will these styles will grow with your baby. Also, another feature which normally accompanies adjustable models, is the ability to recline. This is an excellent tool to have at your disposal after a fussy meal, as your little one will usually fall right to sleep in these after a meal if properly tilted. The problem with reclining high chairs however is that they become potential choking hazards if solid food is involved. Most parents don’t know this, which is another reason why you should always read the owners manual.