A high chair is one of the most needed things you should have around the house for your baby - but how do you know which high chair to choose from?
In order to choose a high chair, you will have to inspect it closely and ensure the proper fit by looking into the features such as a chair tray, frame durability and safety, adjustability, foldability, and other aspects of a product.
But you've most likely seen a high chair that costs about $20 and a high chair that costs about $400. How do you know what the difference is?
If you stick around and read this article, that's what you'll learn - so you can make a great decision for you and your kids.
- 1 What is a High Chair?
- 2 High Chair Types
- 3 Things to Look Out for in a High Chair
- 4 Conclusion
What is a High Chair?
Before we jump straight into showing you exactly what to look out for in the high chair, let's see what exactly is a high chair and what are the main differences that make different types.
A high chair is a chair with long legs that are made to accommodate a baby or a small child, and it comes with a tray that can be used as a table at mealtimes.
It sounds simple, right, but we understand that everyone might feel overwhelmed when actually shopping for one. Not only there are plenty of different manufacturers, but there are also a couple of different variations and types too.
And you only want to get the best for your child, right? Let's jump into different variations of high chairs, so you know exactly what works the best for your needs.
High Chair Types
High chairs come in different sizes and shapes with features that differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Have you seen most modern high chairs which allow you to transition them according to your child's age?
A great example is Graco's convertible high chair that comes as a standard high chair and yet it can be turned into four different types (stages). These stages include:
- Regular high chair
- Infant booster
- Toddler booster
- Youth chair
Therefore, you are able to accommodate your child as they grow - which is a smart option, but you have to be careful to find a quality manufacturer.
The concept itself is really great, and not only you will save yourself some time and money, but you will also save some space inside the home too. This is really ideal for smaller apartments.
Things to Look Out for in a High Chair
Now when you understand different variations of high chairs - and you know which one is an ideal option is ideal for your needs, it's all about ensuring that the high chair is a quality product that won't only last for long, but it will never put your child in danger.
The harness is one of the most important things you should look out and ensure it's a priority. It's not something that could either work efficiently or not.
If it doesn't - you should stay away from such product because harness has a direct impact on the safety of your child.
The role of a harness is to keep your child safe on a high chair by strapping him into the chair with the help of a strap.
Even though there are plenty of high chairs that come with a 3-point harness, we highly recommend going for a 5-point harness. This means, there are more clipping points which will ensure that the child can't get out of it under any angle.
We find that as kids get older, they tend to get out out of the harness very easily - which is definitely a big problem.
And since high chairs are very high for babies and toddlers, you don't want to make any mistakes.
Ease of Cleaning
Most high chairs come with a tray which is also used as a table. Since it's a place where kids will be eating, you should prepare yourself to be cleaning it regularly.
Most of the time, you'll be dealing with food stains and that's why you should pay close attention to the material of the high chair seat and which products you can use to properly clean it and yet not harm your child's presence.
Along with the seat and the tray, you'll be cleaning the harness and even the smallest part of the high chair - as you never know how messy it can get so you better prepare yourself for the worst.
Most high chairs come with seat pads that are removable and can be washed in a washing machine, which is a big plus and we highly recommend looking out for this.
As you probably know by now, almost every high chair comes with a multi-purpose tray that is often used as a table for meals.
This is where things get interesting as most high chairs come with trays of different shapes and sizes. While some trays offer a simple flat surface - some better high chairs offer trays with compartments, a better way for easier access, and even more options to adjust the height of a tray.
Other than the shape and size, you should also pay attention to the material of the tray. The cheapest high chairs come with a plastic tray that can be very rough, while some of the most quality high chairs come with a wooden tray that's light and yet durable, providing an excellent finish to touch.
If you've already gone shopping for a high chair, you might have noticed that every high chair comes with an age recommendation for each high chair.
Most parents aren't sure whether their baby is ready for a high chair, and even if it is - what size should they get.
We highly recommend sticking to the rule of waiting until a baby is six months old before using a high chair. Once your baby meets the necessary age group, you will have to think about the size.
Then, you can check out the manufacturer's age recommendations and follow it to find an ideal high chair for your child. This will ensure you the most accurate size selection, so you don't have to worry about measuring anything.
Weight and Age Range
Most parents choose the right high chair by trying to sit their child in the chair - which doesn't always produce efficient results.
Also, what happens if you're shopping online? Most stores know to offer better online deals rather than in-store deals - so that's something you should consider.
Every manufacturer (and every brand) will have their weight limits specifically listed as well as the age limit for every one of their high chairs.
Therefore, you shouldn't ignore looking at the specifications, no matter how long the list might be. But with a simple look, you will be able to understand the proper size, weight, and age limits.
Why is this important? You don't want to break the limits since this might lead to more dangerous situations.
Padding & Comfort
You might not know how often will your kids be using the high chair, and that's why your job is to ensure the comfort and that the padding will be ideal for your child's weight.
Once you go through the specifications, keep in mind the weight limit and then have a look at the padding. Does the filling look or feel like it will be a decent padding for a child of its size and weight?
Other than padding, there are other features and accessories you should look into, that could provide comfort.
One of these is the footrest. Most of the babies might not be able to reach the footrest, but in case your child can - make sure to find a high chair with an appropriate footrest. Most of the footrests come with the ability to adjust so you can always customize the high chair according to the height of your child.
Also, we would like you to inspect the tray once again and the frame of the whole high chair to ensure there's nothing that could provide discomfort to your child.
We find that some of the cheapest high chairs might cause more problems when it comes down to comfort (and even safety) than some mid-range or high-quality & expensive high chairs.
You can never be sure enough when it comes down to safety, and that's why you want to do one last check to inspect that everything is in good order and that a high chair is a safe product.
This is especially important for people who aren't on a budget and are kind of forced into purchasing lower-quality products. While they might be suitable for a short time, you still want to make sure they're going to protect your child when you place him/her inside the chair.
You should have a look at the following things:
- Complete frame
- Chair and padding
Of course, you don't have to be in the store to inspect these, and this can be done online with a high-quality image. But you never want to skip this step.
How adjustable is a high chair and how much room to adjust do you need for your child? Will you be using a high chair for a couple of kids or just one?
You will need to find out the capabilities of a high chair and then see if it fits your needs and whether it will make your kids comfortable while being in the chair.
From the most crucial adjustability, there is height adjustability, footrest height, and in some cases, tray adjustability.
This will give your kids an extra bit of comfort and you will have the ability to fit one high chair to more than one child.
How much space do you have around your house? Will you benefit from a foldability feature where you can simply fold the high chair in two to three steps?
If you live in a very small apartment and you don't have a lot of space in your kitchen or dining room - you'd want to get a high chair that comes with a foldability feature.
This feature allows easy folding with a couple of steps. Most of the time, a high chair isn't a weighty product, so you will be able to move it into a room with a lot more space or even store it behind the door to achieve that extra space.
Most newer high chair models come with a foldability feature, and even if you don't think you might need it now - you better get it than regret it.
This feature is also very ideal for parents who are living a very active lifestyle so you can fold a high chair and pack it inside a car to easily transport it to your family's house.
Unfortunately, the budget is always essential no matter the product you're purchasing. In the case of buying a high chair, a higher price doesn't only mean a well-known brand.
Instead, it means better quality, more features, better safety, better comfort, and overall a more exceptional variety.
However, if you are on a tight budget, we recommend creating an allocated budget for a high chair. This will help you save more money and invest it in a high-quality chair that you and your child deserve.
Is a Multi-Functional High Chair Always a Better Choice than Standard Lightweight Chair?
With the modern approach to almost every industry, you must have seen multi-functional high chairs which give you a much better ability to move, use, and store the high chair.
While these multi-functional high chairs might be a great deal, you should be extra careful regarding the quality. Since they're very versatile and come with a seat that's easily removable and is able to be used as an infant or toddler booster, or even as a youth chair - it's going to be used frequently.
Therefore, you have to ensure the whole multi-functional high chair is made out of quality material, is based on quality and sturdy frame, and that the material used in providing the expected quality.
While this can seem like a pretty amazing feature, it might not be an ideal investment for people who are on a smaller budget as these low-quality multi-functional high chairs might complicate things and have you end up looking for another chair sooner than later.
But if you have saved quite some money and you're looking for a high-quality chair, you shouldn't shy away from multi-functional high chairs.
No matter which type of a high chair you go for, and even whether it's a regular or a multi-functional one, you don't want to find yourself cutting corners and not inspecting it for quality properly.
We understand that a high-quality chair can cost a couple of hundreds of dollars on top of the lower-priced ones - but believe us, it's totally worth it.
Why? Because not only you will get something that'll help your daily life, but it will benefit your child who is the one you should think of in the first place.
And if you weren't sure how to find a high-quality chair - you have everything necessary in this post, aspect by aspect towards completion of everything you need to know on high chairs.
If you're a first-time parent and you feel overly inexperienced - that's a normal feeling most of us had and you should know you aren't alone. But what we recommend is giving this article a second read, so you completely soak everything there is to know about high chairs, and in no time, you'll find yourself making a decision you won't regret!