High Chair Buying Guide

Quick Navigation: Getting Started - Types - Features - Brands - Shopping and Safety Tips

Parents quickly learn that new items for babies are expensive and find themselves collecting hand-me-downs from friends and family to save money, but some store-bought products are worth it. Babies spend a lot of time in high chairs, and a used high chair may not be as safe or comfortable as newer models.

Getting Started

High chairs are meant to be functional not fashionable, so focus on finding something durable, easy to clean and sturdy but flexible. These things are more important than a pretty design or unnecessary add-ons, so looking at mid-priced options will help you avoid flimsy and flashy items. Consider types, features and brands when selecting a high chair.

Types

Wood

Pros:

  • solid and will not budge for fussy babies
  • traditional options look good and fit in with most decor

Cons:

  • will not fold or transport easily
  • seat may be uncomfortable

Plastic

Pros:

  • Removable pieces for cleaning
  • Light and movable
  • May fold and have multiple set up options

Cons:

  • less sturdy than other options
  • many cheap and low quality models
  • hard to remove set in stains

Booster

Pros:

  • travels well and attaches to chairs
  • saves space
  • inexpensive

Cons:

  • comes with limited options
  • different safety standards than other chairs
  • only for babies who can sit up

Features

  • Harness: This is essential and keeps your baby from falling. A three-point harness is required for safety, but a five-point harness offers more protection. Make sure the harness is secure but adjustable and easy to use.
  • Wheels: Wheels are only necessary if you plan to use the chair in multiple locations around the house, and chairs with wheels should be lockable.
  • Trays: Trays might snap off or swing to the side, and some are suitable for dishwashers. An adjustable tray will be useful as your baby ages, but make sure the tray cannot be removed by force.
  • Crotch Post: This is another necessity and keeps the baby from standing or slipping, and posts should be durable and unmovable.

Brands

  • Baby Trend is a Canadian company that offers plastic high chairs with decorative, cushioned seats and wheels with breaks.
  • Fisher Price is a trusted name that produces anything children need, and they have a large selection of high chairs that vary in type and price.
  • BabyBjorn produces high-end, ergonomic chairs, and the Swedish designs are minimalistic and versatile.
  • Safety 1st puts a focus on childproofing items and has boosters and plastic high chairs available.

Shopping and Safety Tips

  • Safe chairs have a sticker showing they were tested and certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association.
  • Watch out for small parts and rough edges.
  • Visit a store to see the chair you want even if you plan to buy it online. This allows you to test the features and see how sturdy and manageable the chair is.