While you won’t need a high chair for at least a few months after baby’s born, a high chair tends to be a long term investment, a seat that grows with your child.
Unlike most other things in your baby’s life, the high chair will be a companion from when they are learning to sit right through to when they are adjusting to life on a booster seat (around age 3).
With this in mind, it’s important to make the right choice. Both for your child, and for your own sanity.
Lets walk through some of the fundamental factors you will need to think about when finding a chair that not only suits your child, but also the layout of your house and travel demands.
Not quite. Just as your child has individual needs, there is no one chair that suits everyone.
After all we have different house layouts, that is more or less space, and just because you have a baby doesn’t mean you have to have an obstacle course in your kitchen or dining room.
There are many different types of chairs, finding the right seat should have four criteria;
From the classic wooden high chair, to the more common plastic variation or somewhere in between, your choices are not limited. Whichever direction makes the most sense to you – make sure they have these qualities.
The most important basic design features to look for in a high chair include a t-strap or five-point restraining seat belt (as a lap tray is not enough to keep a busy baby secure).
In addition to the kitchen seat belt, a high chair must have a crotch post or crotch restraint, to keep baby from slipping out of the seat.
Check that the construction and framework is sturdy and robust — put some weight on the seat and backrest to see if they squeak, sag, or deform in any way.
Also check that moving parts cannot pinch, crush or trap a child’s finger, toe, limb or head and that there are no sharp edges and points along the edges of the chair and tray.
Eating can be messy business, and that holds true for adults! With babies it IS messy business, almost all of the time. With this in mind, a tray that is easy to clean is going to make everyone’s life much happier.
Ideally, the feeding tray should be removable (so you can wash it in the sink), and better yet dishwasher-safe.
If you opt for a wooden tray, make sure it does not have grooves and crevices in the surface that allows food to lodge itself in. No-one wants a smelly high chair!
We all have different constraints, and things we wish were different about the layouts of our houses. All of these things become considerations when deciding on furniture, and a high chair is no different.
Will the chair be a permanent feature? Does it need to be stowed away? Does it need to be portable?
These are all questions you will need to consider when working out what chair is the practical choice.
If you travel a lot for whatever reason, you are going to need to look into a portable version. A transportable high chair is designed to be used outside the house as something you would bring to a restaurant.
It needs to be a sturdy, safe and comfortable seat no matter where you’re headed.
This is obviously more of a personal question that can be answered by the individual. We all want the best for our kids; this is just how we are wired.
But as far as weighting importance for our child’s wellbeing, a high-chair is a practical item and the one the best suits you and your child’s needs also needs to be the one that suits your budget and lifestyle.
In summary the perfect high chair is one that is well built, easy to clean, doesn’t take up too much space and can be moved and transported as needed. Any bells & whistles beyond that, are better left on the cats collar.