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New Parents Buying Guide: High Chair

Mommy spoonfeeding her kid while in high char

As your baby develops, starts eating solid foods, and can sit up on her own, you may find yourself in the market for a high chair to make feeding your baby easier, and to encourage self-feeding.  There are quite a few considerations to take into account when searching for the right high chair, but first and foremost, always check the consumer products safety commission website for any high chair recall alerts before buying. Here are some key features to look for when buying a high chair. 

Consider your space

Some high chairs can take up quite a lot of space, particularly the deluxe models.  Take a tape measure with you if you’re checking out high chairs in a store, and be realistic about what can fit in your kitchen or dining area. In addition to freestanding high chairs there are also tray-less models that attach directly to a table. These high chairs are also portable and are great options for grandparents or other family members who may only need to pull out a high chair once in a while.

Easy to clean

One thing you can count on no matter which high chair you choose is that it will get seriously dirty.  Nothing is messier than a baby learning to feed herself! Look for a high chair with a removable chair pad that can be thrown in the washing machine, and avoid chairs with a lot of seams and bunting since those crevices are likely to get food and crumbs trapped in them.  A detachable tray that can go in the dishwasher is also a huge plus.

Safety is a must

Stay away from vintage or used high chairs. High chairs should have safety harnesses, either a five point or a three point with the buckle between the legs. You want to make sure your baby could not slip down or stand up – both of which could result in a fall.  The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) seal should be displayed on the packaging to help ensure that safety standards are met.

Price matters 

A high chair is one of those pieces of baby furniture that you may use for a couple of years, especially if you get one with adjustable height so you can ultimately pull it up to the family dining table without the tray attached. A good high chair can also be passed down to the next sibling, so while high chairs range in price from $50 to $300, a more expensive high chair may last you many years. But make sure to double check for any recalls before reusing for the next sibling.

Moving your growing baby to a high chair can be a really exciting time. It marks the beginning of big milestones in your baby’s life – sitting up, eating solid foods, moving to finger foods, and ultimately being a part of the regular family meals. Rate your high chair options according to your top priorities - size, ease of cleaning, adaptability - and then choose the one that fits your budget and that makes mealtime easier for you. 

Image : Getty

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