If you’re about to embark on your baby’s weaning journey, you’ll be thinking about what high chair will fit your needs perfectly. With so many options to choose from and seemingly endless accessories and add-ons, it can be hard to know what you need.
So we’ve compiled a list of things to consider before committing to this all-important piece of kit.
Babies and toddlers falling from high chairs account for thousands of visits to the Accident and Emergency departments each year. This is why all high chairs have a harness strap and a warning insisting that you always use the harness at all times. The chair will either have a 3-point harness (that goes across your baby’s lap) or a 5-point harness (that goes over their shoulders and across their lap, similar to their car seat buckle). The 5-point harness is the safest option as it prevents your toddler from climbing out. It’s also more difficult for them to undo without you noticing.
You want your baby to be supported while eating to minimise the risk of choking. The right high chair will have a flat seat to ensure your baby is completely upright while eating. Many high chairs feature a recline function, however, this is only to allow you to sit a younger baby into the seat maybe for bottle-feeding or a safe place for them to relax.
Another important feature to minimise the risk of choking is an adjustable footrest. Having their feet flat on a hard surface gives your baby stability while eating. It also helps them to gag effectively as they can push their weight through their legs. It can also be very tiring for a baby to maintain their balance while their legs are dangling.
Easy to clean
Learning to eat is a messy business. Especially if you’re doing Baby Led Weaning. Look for a high chair without nooks and crannies where food can hide and become mouldy. Ensure any accessories, like cushions, are machine washable. Most harnesses can also be removed for cleaning.
Tray table height
The ideal height for a tray table is below your baby’s elbows so they can have full access to everything on their tray. This is why it can be helpful to try before you buy. Sit your baby into the high chair to see if they can easily reach around the tray table.
The chair’s weight limit will determine if a chair is good value for your family. Most standard high chairs will have a weight limit of 15kg/33lbs. Meaning a bigger baby could outgrow these chairs before they turn 2. If you want a chair that grows with your child you could choose a convertible chair which can accommodate a newborn up to an adult (with added accessories of course!) These chairs can have a weight limit of 90kg so they’re perfect for anyone looking for something more sturdy and diverse.
High chairs can be big and bulky with a large footprint so it’s important to consider where it will fit in your home. If you’re short on space you may want to prioritise a chair that folds away between mealtimes. Alternatively, you can choose a high chair which will sit at your dining table like a dining chair. These chairs usually don’t have a built-in tray table and they can be great for including your little one at mealtimes.
If you’ve been shopping for your little one’s high chair, you will have noticed the huge price range. Just like all baby items, there can be pressure on new parents to have a “good” brand of high chair. The most important thing is that your chosen chair fits your needs, regardless of what you paid for it. If you fall in love with a certain chair that’s out of your budget you can always research alternative brands or see if you can buy a used one.