A high chair is an essential item for your baby as he starts to reach the age for eating solid foods. They come in many different styles and in different price ranges, but Consumer Reports warns that the highest priced high chairs aren’t always the safest. Choose the high chair that’s right for your baby and your eating space.
You can find plastic, wooden or metal high chairs. Most offer a sturdy base with a tray that attaches in front of your child. They will typically have a padded seat cover that you can easily wash — either with a removable cloth covering or a plastic cover that you can wipe down. Plastic and metal high chairs tend to be adjustable, allowing you to change the height of the chair, and foldable, allowing you to easily store it if you need to. Wooden high chairs do not always include these features.
The high chair acts as a separate space for you to feed your baby. Having a separate tray rather than the family table allows your baby to experiment with food and make a mess if she wants. At the same time, a high chair allows her to be a part of the family during meal times.
Every year, thousands of children fall from their high chairs, resulting in injury and sometimes death, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. You should look for a high chair that is safe for your child. It should feature two straps that keep your child from sliding down or standing up — one goes across the waist, and the other goes across the legs. Look for wide legs on the base, which will help keep the chair from tipping over. Your child should not be able to move the tray himself, but it should be easy for you to do so. Many high chairs feature a bar between the legs to act as an additional safety barrier to prevent your child from slipping out.
Shopping for a High Chair
It’s best to start your high chair shopping in stores that have set up high chairs so that you can view them out of the box. This gives you the opportunity to test its sturdiness and ease of use. Once you find the brand you like, you can shop around for the best deal. If you are considering a used high chair, check all safety straps to be sure they are intact.
Always use the safety straps when you put your child into the high chair. Do not leave you child in the chair unattended, as she may try to stand up or tip the chair over by pushing on the table.