After a few months, high chairs become an essential part of your family’s dining experience: with your baby now sitting confidently up on its own, you want to be able to feed them while you feed yourself, not to mention joining you and the rest of the family during mealtimes.
Although it is true that babies don’t use high chairs for a very long time (roughly two years, after which they eventually grow out of them), it is still a significant phase and you want to invest in the best highchair for longevity and price. The first step is to understand what features a highchair should ideally have and what you’re looking for to suit your individual baby. This can be narrowed down with a series of simple questions:
Is it safe?
This will no doubt be foremost in your mind. Make sure that the high chair is wide and provides adequate support for your baby, and that harnesses are provided to keep them tucked in nice and tight. A lot of high chairs come with harnesses, but a lot don’t, in which case, you can easily go out and buy some. If you want to make absolutely sure, ask if the highchair conforms to British safety standard BS 14988 and the harnesses to BS 6684.
Is it comfortable?
For this, check to see if your high chair has sufficient padding and adjustable footrests. Also, make sure that it provides plenty of room for your baby to grow into. Bear in mind however, too much padding can be a major hindrance as it makes it more difficult for you as a parent to clean and keep it that way. Which brings us to your next step:
Is it easy to clean?
Cleaning can be a wearisome task, especially when you have a long list of other priorities to get to on top of feeding and taking care of your baby. Make sure the padding is essential and superfluous, so as to avoid any unnecessary creases and crevices for food and other dirt to get stuck into. If the seat cover is removable, that’s an added bonus, making it much easier for you to give a sturdy wipe-over.
Is it portable?
…and consequently, easy to store. It would be remiss to not go for a highchair that you could easily fold into a comfortable nook in your home, especially with so much new stuff as a result of the baby! Make sure it folds nice and flat for easy storage and of course, for that all important Sunday roast at Grandma’s. It’s also very useful as a place to keep your baby safe while you’re socialising or helping out elsewhere in the house, and still keep an eye on your baby.
That is pretty much all you need to know, but before you go zipping off to the next baby store, keep in mind that there are various types of high chair:
As the name suggests, these are basically the essence of what you need, without all the pizzazz. They are affordable and lightweight, plus most are foldable for easy storage. Be careful though, since a lot of the features you may be looking for might not arrive with the product and you need to buy them separately.
These come with adjustable seat heights and backs, the benefits of which are pretty much self-evident. Watch out though, they tend to take up a lot of space and are burdensome.
These are often called the “three-in-ones”, since they can provide support for your baby for longer periods. They can be used as a high chair, but also be converted into seating for toddlers and older children once they can feed themselves.