Guest Post: High Chair Buying Guide
Weaning is the stuff of which classic baby photos are made (pureed beets all over everything, anyone?) and watching your baby learn about food can be one of the most fun parts of parenthood. Like pretty much everything else to do with parenting, practice makes perfect. …Having the right equipment, like a high chair, and set up can help a lot too. So to help your little one get started on their new food adventure properly, I put together this high chair buying guide. The right chair can make a world of difference! To help you get started in your search, you’ll need to answer these two questions:
Do I actually need a stand-alone high chair?
If you’re already in a larger home and you have a decent amount of storage space then buying a stand-alone high chair can be a good investment from the point of view of convenience. You can just pull (or wheel) it out at meal times and put it back in its designated place the rest of the time. Wooden high chairs have a classic look, whereas modern, plastic high-chairs can make a real style statement in your home.
If, however, you need to keep an eye on your storage space like most city dwellers then there are plenty of other options. Fold-up high chairs still offer a fairly high level of convenience, but are more compact to store. Booster seats and portable high-chairs may be a bit less convenient, but when space is really at a premium or if you’re intending to move or do a lot of travelling with your baby and hence are going to need them anyway, then you could feasibly use them as your main option. There are also clip on or clamp on high-chairs that fasten directly to the table so they take up even less space than a typical dining chair.
What high-chair features do I actually need and which do I just want?
These days, if you have the money, you can buy high chairs with all kinds of extra features. We’ve ranked the most common ones in what we think is the order of usefulness and explained what they mean in practical terms.
Adjustable harness – Harnesses are a standard feature on high chairs, but only some are adjustable. The obvious advantage of this is that they can more easily be adapted to your child’s growth.
Adjustable height – You’ll be feeding your baby little and often, so having a height-adjustable high chair will give you more flexibility about where you do it.
Removable tray – Dump it in the sink or the dishwasher (check first but most trays are dishwasher-safe). It may sound like a small detail, but it’s the sort of small detail, which can add a whole lot of convenience.
Adjustable tray – Like an adjustable harness, this allows the chair to be adapted as your baby grows.
Footrest – Sometimes it’s nice to leave your feet dangling, sometimes you want to have somewhere to park them. A footrest gives your baby a choice and, again, if it’s an adjustable one it gives you more flexibility for a growing baby.
Cup holder – Makes it less likely that your baby will accidentally send their beaker flying across the room.
Double tray – When the first tray gets dirty, you have the option to unclasp it and carry on with the meal using the second tray underneath. In all honesty, we’d see this as a nice-to-have since you can achieve much the same effect just by using a place mat.
Accessory basket – Basically this is a basket which tucks under the high chair in which you can store extra bibs etc. As before, this is really a nice-to-have since you can easily create a feeding bag and keep it by the high chair.
About The Author
Katie Eaton is a marketing consultant at children’s fashion brand Babaloo. Katie is a working mum who is passionate about creative writing and sharing her advice and experiences with other like-minded mothers.