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High Chairs Buying Guide

Babies usually don't need high chairs for feeding purposes until they start eating the solid stuff, but that doesn't mean that you can't purchase a chair a little early for other reasons.  Maybe you just want a useful landing place or a way for baby to join in on the family action at the dinner table --high chairs can be a great addition to your baby accessory  arsenal in those instances too.  But before you add it to the baby shower  list, check out all your options to ensure that you get the best chair for your baby's needs. 

Types of High Chairs

Oh, the Variety!

Standard

Standard high chairs  have a classic look with a plastic frame, a wipe-clean seat cushion, and an adjustable feeding tray.

Wooden

Wooden high chairs  are generally purchases for fashion purposes--they can easily mesh with your home's décor and have the potential to become precious heirlooms down the road.  The disadvantages to wooden chairs, however, are that they're often heavier than plastic models, are difficult to clean and don't fold for easy storage.

Booster

Booster chairs  help older children reach the table once they've outgrown the high chair. Most boosters feature a moulded seat that is made to fit over most dining room chair seats, other, newer models are able to attach to the chair via the legs and then adjust to any given height.

 

Travel

Travel high chairs  are great for family vacations, as they fold into compact and easily transportable shapes. Most travel high chairs work by clipping to the side of any average restaurant or dinner table.  For relatives--like grandparents--who have babies as frequent visitors, travel high chairs may make more sense since they don't take up much room.

 

Convertible

Convertible high chairs  can transform from a baby chair to a booster seat and beyond. Although they cost more, their versatility is often highly valued among parents.

Features to Look For

  • Safety.  When choosing a high chair, pick a model that has a Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association certificate on it. This will guarantee that the chair meets certain safety standards.
  • Stability.  A wide base and a low centre of gravity will stand up to any wriggling baby.  Don't be afraid to give it a little shake in the store to see how it measures up.
  • Wheels With Locks.  A high chair with wheels is great if you need to move from place to place for feeding, but make sure the wheels have strong locking mechanisms to prevent the baby from moving and possibly tipping the chair.
  • Height Adjustment.  If you plan to choose the chair for the long-term, choose an adjustable chair that can grow with your baby.
  • Belts and Buckles.  Make sure your chair has strong, washable straps--five-point harnesses are best, although straps that go along the baby's crotch as well as over his or her hips will do.
  • Comfy Cushions.  Choose a model that has soft, washable cushions.  Run you fingers over the edges (most washable seats are covered in vinyl) to make sure there are no sharp edges.
  • No Tricky Trays.  Make sure the tray is easy to operate and easy to clean.  Special features include trays made out of dishwasher safe materials and high rims that will help keep food from falling on the floor.

Major Manufacturers

Related Guides

Bibs 

Baby Feeding Spoons 

Cribs 

Crib Bedding 

Infant Clothing