What to consider when choosing a high chair
Is your baby ready for a high chair?
A high chair’s main purpose is to provide a safe, comfortable place for your baby to enjoy mealtime. Just as important, the right high chair for your family is the one that makes feeding your baby easy and safe so you can feel more confident as your little one starts solids.
Now, how do you know when your baby is ready for a high chair? Every baby is different, but as a general rule of thumb, once your baby can sit upright without support, they're developmentally ready to sit in a high chair, which is usually between 4 and 6 months. They should show fairly good stability and control. When you think your little one is almost ready to start solids there are a few important things to consider when shopping for a high chair.
“Around 4 months, prepare your tools. Make sure you have a high chair, bibs, spoons, cup and straw, plate and bowl. Around 5 months, if your baby is able to hold his or her head upright and sit with little support, begin practice in their high chair. Have your baby sit in the high chair next to you at mealtime.”
- Catherine Callahan, MS, CCC-SLP, CLC
3 things to consider when purchasing a high chair
1. Safety first!
Your baby’s high chair should be a safe place for them to explore food.
There is no easier way to weed out a high chair than by making sure it meets and exceeds ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) safety standards. Additionally, some other important safety standards you should consider: use of non-toxic materials, safety straps and a belly bar to ensure your little one is safe and secure in a high chair that doesn’t tip easily.
"Not only is the chair easy to use (and clean!). The most important factor to me was to be sure my daughter was able to have proper positioning in a high chair for both safety and so that she would enjoy the feeding process."
- Sarah T.
2. The use you'll get out of it.
Spoiler: meals with a child get messy. Your baby is exploring food and different textures and learning to feed themselves so trust us when we say that there will be food flying, splatters, crumbs and spills. It’s safe to say that there will be a lot happening, so you want to make sure you have a no-fuss high chair that’s easy to use and clean. Consider a high chair that has removable parts and materials that can be wiped down easily. Bonus points if anything is machine washable or dishwasher safe!
A high chair is great... until your baby outgrows it. Typically, your little one is using their high chair from ~4-6 months until about 18-24 months old. That's around a year and a half of use, not too bad when it comes to baby product standards. However, when you consider the price tag (ranging from $150 - $500+ ouch!), it might not seem like you're getting enough use out of it. Like most baby products, you're either searching for a friend or family member who has a baby ready for a hand-me-down or you're throwing your high chair away. What a waste!
Rest assured, there are high chairs on the market that have convertible features which give you more years of use. Some high chairs include removable trays so you can slide your little one up to the dinner table, high chairs that transition into booster seats or a play chair for independent play once your little one has outgrown their high chair.
3. How it fits into your home.
Before you start sifting through a long list of seemingly similar high chairs on Amazon, consider the amount of space you have and how you plan to use it. Are you going to use the high chair as a standalone, or do you want to pull it up to the table? Do you need it to fold up, or do you need a clip-on? Also, since high chairs are furniture, you should also consider materials, colors and designs.
Here are a few different types of high chairs to help narrow your search:
Standard: These high chairs have a simple design and are usually made from plastic. These high chairs usually have very few features and don’t have all the bells and whistles which tend to make them cheaper to buy.
Multifunctional: These high chairs usually transform as your child grows. That means that you can use them for many years, instead of just for a limited time like most standard high chairs. Because you get more use out of multifunctional high chairs, they can be more costly than the standard high chair but actually end up saving you money in the long run with their longer use.
Clip-on: Another space-saving option, clip-on high chairs usually hook onto a dining table or kitchen island. These usually are compact in size and don’t have legs or a tray, so parents with smaller spaces often check this out. However, because these chairs don’t have legs for extra support, they have a lower weight limit so once your baby reaches a certain weight, you can no longer use it.
When considering which type of high chair design is right for you, remember this; gone are the days where plastic heavy, clunky high chairs are the only option. When purchasing a high chair the above mentioned reasons for your baby are of the utmost importance, but shouldn't you also feel proud to own your high chair? Stop having to move your high chair into a dark corner of the room when guests come over. Reward yourself with a high chair that not only functions properly but looks good and blends in with your decor.
"Well, I am the grandma, (“LuLu”) and I am in Phase Two of buying baby gear. My kids had plastic everything, the high chair was no exception. I am a product of the generation of excess and waste. I love this generation of value and need over quick, easy, cheap and disposable. Shopping for my little Junie’s chair, that will live in my home, I did not want something that I had to hide away when she wasn’t with me."
- Hannah S.
Still deciding? Consider The Chair by Lalo
Safety: all of Lalo's products exceed required ASTM safety standards, and never use harmful chemicals or substances.
Value: Lalo built the first ever 2-in-1 high chair and play chair, so that you get twice the value for an affordable price.
Design: with a timeless yet innovative design, The Chair is sleek in style, compact in its footprint and easy to clean.