Tips for Buying a Highchair

10-21-16-high-chair-option-1While some baby products regularly make the “didn’t need that” lists, a high chair proves one of the most enduring baby gadgets found in almost every home where a baby dwells. These days many are shaped and customized for more than just feeding in mind.

A few things to consider:

Longevity.
Do you want a chair that will last just until baby can sit at the table with you, or one that might transition well into the preschool years? Will you need a durable chair that will last multiple children or just to use every once in a while at grandma’s house?

Materials.
Do you have a preference for wood or plastic? Plastic options tend to be less expensive, but wooden high chairs these days often boast the ability to multi-function over the years from baby seat to booster to full-size chair that can hold an adult’s weight that can pull up to any table, including an office desk.

Safety first!
Though listed third in this list safety is of upmost importance. Make sure there is a crotch post and five-point harness to ensure baby is fully secure. If the chair has wheels or reclining options, make sure they lock securely. Chairs also can meet specific standards of safety, noted by a ASTM sticker label.

Special features.
I’ve mentioned some mulit-functioning features already. We used our basic seat before baby was ready to eat as a way to, for short periods of time, play sitting up once she was stable enough to enjoy the view. If you need a chair to assist with bottle feeding, look for options that can slightly recline. Some, particularly wooden options, offer height adjustments to accommodate larger children.

Where will it be used?
If you need an on-the-go option consider a seat like Chicco’s hook-on seats that clip directly onto the most tables. If you plan to pull baby up to your table, do you have a standard height table or taller? Some high chairs are made to fit onto most dining chairs, like the Fisher Price Space Saver.

How much space?
Like the Chicco and Fisher Price options listed above there are small, space-saving options if you don’t have much room. Some designs are so sleek, like the Stokke Tripp Trapp, they can fit to the table and are versatile enough to be used as a seat in the office or stand as furniture in the corner of the living room. Note some high chairs may appear large and bulky, but easily fold to a small, manageable size that can easily stow away.

Is it easy to use/clean?
Babies and messes go hand in hand, especially for those years they sit in a high chair. You want a smooth surface that is easy to wipe down, and removable parts (like its tray and any cloth material) are particularly useful. Also test the various buckles and latches to ensure they work to your liking. A frustrating buckle will still be there day after day of use, so make sure you like the functionality of the design details.

New or Used.
The perks of a new chair mean you get the cleanest and possibly most innovative product to date. Used options often sell for very low prices on buy/sell/trade pages and in the online classifieds like Craigslist. Before buying used grab the model number and date (usually located on a sticker on the chair) and check online to ensure the chair was not recalled. Wash the material and wipe your chair down well. Good as new!

Lynette is a mom of three children from 6 months to age four. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

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