Best Baby High Chair Buying Guide
To have a baby in the house can bring so much joy into the family. As parents, we know that along with this joy comes a long list of things that we would need to buy to help us take proper care of our baby. As the baby grows, so does the list. Among the things that will eventually go into the list are baby furnitures such as baby high chairs.
A high chair is a piece of furniture that allows you to feed your baby comfortably from a standing position. The seat is raised a distance from the ground, higher than regular seats, and is equipped with a restraint system and a tray. This design makes the task of spoon feeding your baby much easier. High chairs for babies lets your baby who is still just learning to eat on his own to have a seat at the table with the rest of the family. With baby high chairs, you can do away with the hassle of worrying where to put your baby down during meal times. High chairs keep your baby safe and in place, so feed away!
There are different types of baby high chairs. There is one type of high chairs for baby that is portable. Instead of having a full-feature frame, it attaches to a regular chair kind of like a booster seat. This type of high chair can become useful when you’re out dining in restaurants or visiting grandma’s house. Traditional types are primarily for home use and is usually composed of a one piece chair frame. It takes up more space than a portable high chair since it has a wide base to provide more stability.
Now that your baby can sit up on his own and he’s starting on solid food, a good baby high chair should definitely be on your list of baby needs. Incidentally, though, the list of things to consider when buying a baby high chair could be just as long as your baby needs list. With all the different high chairs in the market, how does one pick the best? We here at ParentsNeeds HQ are here to help you pick out the best baby high chair. We have prepared a buying guide for the best baby high chair and we hope to aid you on your shopping quest for high chairs.
What are the features of a good baby high chair?
● Strong and sturdy
First and foremost, the baby high chair should be well built. It must be able to withstand heavy use and regular cleaning as it will be likely used for the next 2-3 years. A good baby high chair is one that is safe to use. Look for a high chair that is certified to have met the standards set by the likes of American Society for Testing and Materials or ASTM International and Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association or JPMA. Good baby high chairs are not wobbly and can withstand a good shaking from a squirmy child.
● Easy to use
A good baby high chair should be easy to use in the sense that you can easily move the baby in and out of the chair. You wouldn’t want to hurt your back trying to ease your baby in or out of the chair, now would you? If it is a folding high chair, it should not pinch your fingers when you fold it. Look for a high chair that is friendly not only to your baby but to yourself as well.
● Keeps the baby safe in place
When looking for a baby high chair, make sure that you will choose a chair that can keep your baby safe from slipping and falling from the chair. A good baby high chair will have a crotch post and a five-point harness. A crotch post, also know as passive crotch restraint, is a fixed post that is usually attached to the bottom of the seat. It prevents the baby from slipping between the tray and seat bottom. While the ASTM only requires a three-point harness restraint system, a five-point harness is believed to be better in preventing your child from standing up on the chair or falling from it. Take note that the harness must be easy to adjust in order to properly accommodate your growing child. The buckles should both be strong enough to hold against a squirming baby and easy to operate by an adult.
● Easy to clean
One of the messiest parts of a baby’s day is meal time. Now that he’s beginning to learn the wonders of solid food, prepare for things to get even messier. So should your baby high chair be. Look for a chair that is easy to maintain and clean. An easy to clean high chair will have a detachable tray that is dishwasher ready. Get a chair equipped with a tray and seat bottom area that could be completely cleaned off of crumbs and food residues. Harness systems that are made of rubber or covered with rubber should be easy enough to clean. Make sure that seat covers are washable and machine friendly.
● Grows with your child
If you like investing on things that you could use for more than a few years, a baby high chair that grows with your child could be the best choice for you. Look for baby high chairs that have adjustable height and adjustable foot rest. This way, you can make the high chair perfectly fit your baby even as he grows.
● Adjustable recline
Some models have adjustable recline which could prove to be useful for bottle feeding your child or when you just need to put your baby down in a comfortable and safe place while waiting for meal time.
● Wheels for moving
Baby high chairs fitted with wheels make for an easy transfer from one position to another. A good baby high chair, however, should have wheels that have reliable locks to avoid accidental roll aways. The high chair should be able to stay in place once you have positioned it and engaged the wheel lock.
Your baby is going to be spending some amount of time in his high chair, so you might as well invest on comfort. Baby high chairs with padded seats are easier on the bottoms of your baby and can make a difference in keeping your baby calmly seated. Check for sharp edges on the seat edge and tray bottoms that could potentially cut or hurt your baby’s sensitive skin.
Baby high chairs are not exactly cheap so if you are going to bust a couple of hundreds, at least bust it on a product that can give you more value for your money. There are baby high chair models out in the market that are versatile and serve multiple purposes. These models can have a base and a seat unit that is fitted with a tray. The seat unit can act as a booster seat when it is lifted off the main frame of the chair. The seat unit as a booster seat can then be strapped to a regular chair with or without the tray. Your baby can dine at the table with the rest of the family when the tray is removed and the seat base moved closer to the table.
If you are pressed for storage, you might find a foldable baby high chair interesting. A good foldable baby high chair should have a good latching system to prevent the chair from accidentally folding while the child is in the seat or in the process of being moved in. A secure latch to keep it in a folded position should be useful when you need to carry the chair around. This will also avoid incidents of pinched fingers and skin.
How to shop for the best baby high chair
- Do your research on which baby high chairs come highly rated regarding safety and quality. When you are shopping at your local store look for the stickers issued by the JPMA and ASTM to ensure that the chair which you are about to get has met the standards set by these certifying bodies. Read reviews submitted by consumers to see which brands come highly recommended and why. List down the pros and cons that reviewers mention and weigh in their importance to you.
- Browse through the Product Recall Finder and check the brands and models that are on the list of recalled units with safety issues.
- Prepare a checklist for the features that you want your baby high chair to offer. Be sure to bring it with you when you go baby high chair shopping so that you don’t miss any details that might come helpful when you are making your choice.
- Get a good look at the unit that you will get. Check for sharp edges and missing parts. Check for small parts that seem unstable and could easily be removed by your child. Give it a good shake and check if the unit is wobbly.
- Test out the harness fasteners and buckles. You should be able to fasten and unfasten them easily. Fasteners that are hard to manipulate may only discourage you from religiously using them. With that said, the fasteners and buckles must be hard for your children to fiddle with. It shouldn’t be too easy for them to unfasten their harness themselves.
- Test out the tray and other detachable parts of the high chair. Attachments of these parts should not be easily accessible to your child. You should be able to detach them but your baby should not be able to do so.
- Prepare a budget and be ready to shell out some bucks. Good baby high chairs should cost you from $100 to $300.
- Be sure to keep your receipt and take note of the store’s return policy in case you would need some unit replacements.
Important reminders to keep in mind
- If the high chair can be reclined, only use it in a reclined position during supervised bottle feeding. Never use the chair in a reclined position when you are feeding your child solid food as this may result to choking accidents.
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly set it up. Follow all their safety guidelines. Be sure that there are no missing parts or broken parts upon purchase. Do not use chairs that come with defects or are missing some parts. Immediately return the unit for replacement.
- Never leave your baby unattended while he is in his high chair.
- Read the manufacturer’s specification regarding the chair’s height and weight limit. Be sure to follow their recommendation and for your child’s safety, only use the chair so long as your child is within their specified limits.
- Vintage wooden chairs sure are pretty to look at but they are not the most practical and more importantly, safest choice. Standards have changed within the years and certain safety issues could no longer be addressed by these vintage pieces.
- For safety reasons, never adjust the height or recline of the baby high chair while your baby is seated in it.
- Avoid purchasing second hand units but should you get one, be sure to get the date of manufacture and model of the unit so that you may countercheck it against the list of recalled products during the past years.
Who knew that getting a high chair entails so much consideration, right? When it comes right down to it, we only truly want the best for our babies. To further help you out with your quest, we here at ParentsNeeds HQ have our very own list of Top 5 Best Baby High Chairs. Check out our list as we give the low down on some of the top baby high chair brands. It was no easy feat narrowing the list down to just 5 best baby high chairs but someone had to do the job. Join us as we highlight the pros and cons of each model. Curious to find out what made Peg Perego Siesta High Chair our number one choice? Click here and read all about it.