High Chair Hunting: How to Find the Best Boosters & Chairs
Your baby is always growing, and fast. As they grow you have to think about what stroller to get, the size of their crib, and if they are ready to sit in a high chair. Transitioning from bottle feeding to starting solids is a moment of bittersweet pride for every new parent. Watching your teeny tot sit up and learn to eat all by themselves is a joy - and facilitating that growth with the right chair is essential. If your child is nearing the age where high chairs come in handy, explore what to look for and how to find the best fit.
Why High Chairs Are a Must
Parents often wonder why they can't continue to feed a little one on their lap until they can feed themselves. While we all want to cherish the moments when they're still so small, it's important to transition to a high chair for a few reasons:
- Save time and mess: However old kiddos are, it always seems like there are a million and one things to get done. But by adding a high chair to the mix, you can prevent some messiness - and save yourself time.
- Include your baby at mealtime: Connecting your baby with the rest of the family is essential for development, especially as they get older. High chairs and boosters help you keep them close during family meals to spark moments everyone will remember forever.
- Provide safety and comfort: When your baby is old enough, using a high chair is safer than other options. Choosing high chairs with safety features like 5-point harnesses, locking mechanisms, and adjustable heights ensures your tot is safe during meals, right by your side!
- Foster their independence: High chairs and booster seats make the transition from feeding your baby to letting them feed themselves effortless. Modeling proper eating, supporting their experimentation with utensils, and helping them explore different food textures is easier with the right tools.
When Do You Need a High Chair?
Most little ones are ready for a high chair when they're around 4-6 months of age. The teller is whether your baby can sit up by themselves. They might bob in that adorable baby dance, but they should be able to sit up without support. If you've reached that milestone, then congrats! Your baby is ready for their first high chair - and many other firsts.
As you search for a new high chair, you'll find a few different types:
- Traditional: The chair you used as a toddler was likely a traditional high chair. Fit with a comfy seat and stationary support for tots, traditional chairs may or may not come with added features like harnesses or trays.
- Adjustable: Your child goes through so many changes during the first year of life and beyond. Adjustable high chairs let you keep the same piece for multiple stages, giving extra room for them to grow with different seat heights, support to stay in an upright position, and other features. Use one high chair from the time you're bottle feeding to when they're old enough to feed themselves.
- Reclining: High chairs that support the child's head in a reclined position can be used for bottle feeding and playtime. They're safe for younger babies who aren't old enough for a high chair yet but should never be used to feed solid foods.
- Booster seats: When your kiddo is big enough to move out of their high chair, it's booster seat time! These compact blocks can sit easily on your dining chairs to give your toddler a comfortable spot to sit during family meals.
New parents can sometimes be wary of the mealtime change, but knowing how to handle high chair safety makes that transition natural and comfortable. Most importantly, consider safety features like seat straps or a safety harness. Safety straps are a must for wiggly little ones. In addition, make sure you choose a chair certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) - the highest safety standards.
Catch up on your high chair safety tips, too: Never put a high chair near a counter or table - your tot can push themselves and tip over. Keep dangerous items (hot liquids and foods, sharp knives, etc.) out of reach, and always supervise your child during mealtime.
Handpick Your High Chair
Keep space, cleaning, comfort, and more in mind as you look for a new high chair:
Space: If you have limited space, foldable baby high chairs or ones with wheels are a must. Bring them out when you need and stow them away for the rest of the day! Other space-saving options like hook-on chairs that attach to your dining table are perfect for small dining areas.
Features: High chairs are just as versatile as cribs and car seats. Find chairs with movable trays to lift your baby in and out, five-point harnesses to keep your little one safe, changing settings to adapt to their growing bodies, and seats with footrests for maximum comfort.
Easy cleaning: Washable fabrics, dishwasher-safe trays, and more - there are tons of high chair features that make for quicker cleaning. My personal favorite function is a removable tray. When we're done with meals, I just pop it off and wash it up in the kitchen sink to be ready for the next day.
Comfort: Next to safety, the comfort of our little ones is always a priority. Like all good baby gear, the best high chair for your tot will be functional and comfortable, with a soft, cushy seat and room to grow.
Design: When everything else is considered - remember to think about style when looking for a high chair. Find something timeless to fit your home: you’ll use the chair every day! I am such a long-time fan of Stokke's high chairs. They're incredibly sturdy, look great in our dining room, and even have slim-profile trays.
Fawn & Forest's High Chair Finds
Hunting for a high chair is simple when you know where to look. Our collection of modern high chairs is chosen with safety, comfort, sustainability, and style in mind to help you walk your baby through each transition. Explore high chairs and other classic seating designed to make mealtime memorable.