Next to car seats, high chairs are one of the integral pieces of baby furniture that parents deliberate over for months on end. There are so many high chairs, with so many features, that it can be an overwhelming and difficult decision.
Your baby will use a high chair for at least 2 years or until they need a booster seat. You want one that is easy to use, durable, and safe.
There are four types of baby high chairs: wooden, standard, convertible, and portable. Wooden high chairs are fairly simple by design and easy to clean. They are available in traditional or contemporary styles in a variety of wood finishes.
Most wooden high chairs are simple chairs with a footrest, a three-point harness to secure your baby in the seat, and have a removable tray. Some have an attached tray that swings up and over your baby's head. Wooden high chairs do not typically fold and do not have multiple seat height adjustments.
Standard high chairs generally have an assortment of bells and whistles. Most are plastic or metal frames. Standard features include removable padding for the seat, reclining seat back, adjustable seat height, 5-point harness, folding for easy storage, and easy-to-clean surfaces.
Most standard high chairs have a removable tray with dishwasher safe tray insert allowing you to pull the high chair up to the table. Some are equipped with casters. The features and wide price range make it easy to find a standard high chair that will suit your needs and budget.
Convertible high chairs grow with your baby from infancy to the toddler years. Most are sturdy wooden chairs with an adult weight capacity and modern design.
Some wooden convertible high chairs convert into a regular chair, making them last a lifetime! Most offer seat and foot rest height adjustment so you can adjust the chair as your baby grows.
Portable high chairs typically hook-on to a table top with a heavy duty clamp. Most portable high chairs are simple chairs with a 3-point harness, removable seat cushion, and folds for compact storage and easy travel.
Hook-on high chairs are convenient, but they cannot be used on every table. Tables with glass, crystal, or uneven surfaces are not suitable for hook-on high chairs. Tables with a single leg, camping tables, and table extensions are also not suitable for hook-on high chairs.
Regardless of the features you choose for your high chair, you want safety to be the top priority. Keep high chair safety guidelines in mind when choosing one for your baby.
- After a careful review of available high chairs, I went with the Fisher-Price Healthy Care High Chair. This high chair had all the same features of the top of the line high chairs, but at a fraction of the cost. I really didn't want casters on my high chair like the expensive chairs, so I was happier for the exclusion. I really liked the reclining back, especially when my daughter was six months old and still needed the extra head support. The multiple seat adjustments meant I could lower her to sit at the table for dinner without banging her knees off the table. I loved the removable feeding tray. I used the feeding tray for mealtimes and the base tray for playtime. The feeding tray is dishwasher safe, but I always washed both trays in the sink and let them air dry in the rack. This high chair was easy to use, the tray could be removed with one hand, I could adjust the seat height while my daughter was sitting in the chair, and it moved easily enough without the casters. I really quite like this high chair and for the price, and I think I got my money's worth.