10 Best High Chairs | March 2017
- depth-adjustable seat and tray
- attractive wooden legs
- hard to thoroughly clean
- comes with a carrying bag
- available in nine color choices
- integrated tray table and cupholder
- offers good infant head support
- removable seat back insert
- suitable for kids up to 60lbs
- super soft upholstery
- sturdy enough for kids to play in
- stands on its own when folded
- helps keep a child upright
- positions kids close to the table
- lockable table works as a restraint
- removable snack tray
- multi-position footrest
- convertible 3 to 5-point harness
- spring-assisted folding
- well-padded seat
- doubles as a rocking chair
Getting A Great High Chair
A high chair is one of the more important purchases a parent or caregiver makes on behalf of the youngster in their charge. Like a crib, a car seat, or a changing pad, a high chair is an item a child will use almost every day of his or her life. High chairs range in price from between fifty and a hundred dollars on the lower end of the pricing scale to many hundreds of dollars at the far end of the range.
At each different price point you will see different features available, but price does not necessarily denote better inherent quality. Some families might want an elegantly simple high chair made largely from wood and with minimal adjustment features, for example, while others might treasure a chair's capability to be rapidly reconfigured in dozens of ways.
Like most objects encountered in life, a high chair cannot "be all things to all people." That is to say that some high chairs are conveniently portable but may be slightly wobbly, while others are stable but hard to transport; other high chairs might be ideal for infants needing extra support and padding yet will be quickly outgrown. Therefore selecting the best high chair for your home (or daycare center) means considering how and where a high chair will be used and taking into account the age of the chair's likely primary user.
Of the several factors to be weighed most heavily when choosing a high chair, safety always comes first. If you are buying a chair for a small child, then a harness system is a must. Kids lacking the muscle control and/or judgment to stay seated upright in their high chair must have their position maintained by a harness.
Next consider the motor control and disposition of the child. For the calm child capable of using his or her hands well, consider a high chair with a tray that can be easily removed, allowing the youngster to be seated right at the table with the rest of the family. For kids who tend to throw things about or who simply need a little extra help not making a mess, a high chair with a tray featuring sections to hold food and toys in place is a must.
Portability is another important factor if you will need to bring your child's high chair along with you when you travel or visit friends or family. Some high chairs can be folded flat for very easy transport; others have rigid and inflexible frames and are intended to be left in one place. If you can afford to buy one of each options -- a lightweight and foldable chair for use when away from home and a more substantial chair in the kitchen or dining room -- that's of course ideal, if not budget friendly.
Proper High Chair Safety
The best way to ensure a child is safe in his or her high chair is simply to use the chair according to its specifications. Make sure your child is neither too small nor too large for a given high chair, for example -- the weight and height ratings that accompany a high chair (or any other item, for that matter) are not arbitrary, but rather are based on careful testing and established data.
Also be sure that you understand how to properly setup and use a high chair; take the time to read through any and all instructions, and don't put a child into the seats until you know how its harness and straps are secured and adjusted.
Be wary of where you place a high chair: this means not putting a chair near a wall, heave table, or counter off of which a child could push, potentially causing their chair to topple over. (It's of course fine to move your child to the table for a meal provided an adult is nearby and watching carefully.) Also be aware what other features off the home a high chair might put in arm's reach, from outlets to lamps to knife blocks and more. Consider using a nonskid pad underneath the chair if its rests on a smooth surface that allows it to slide about too easily.
And never let you child stand on, turn around in, or otherwise improperly use his or her high chair. A child should be seated and facing forward while in these units; any other position can render the chair off balance and unsafe.
A Few High Chair Accessory Ideas
Many modern high chairs have multiple accessories and additional components available for purchase. These items have been specifically designed to work with a given chair, providing anything from a compartmentalized eating tray to a softer seat pad to a play item that attaches to the chair. But with a bit of imagination, it's easy to update and add to a high chair without the constraints of staying "in brand" to do so.
If your child's high chair has a flat area on its attached tray, then any object secured by a suction cup can be safely affixed to the tray. You can attach a toy for the child to enjoy when not eating or a suction mounted bowl to minimize the risk of spills during a meal or snack, for example.
Simple file clamps can be used to affix sheets of paper to the high chair's tray, allowing a child to color and doodle without knocking their paper aside. This can also work for securing a placemat.
And for the extra messy eater, consider perching the high chair atop an old fitted sheet. It will catch scraps of food and can then be easily gathered up and carried away for easy laundering, leaving the surrounding floor clean.