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What Should I Look for When Buying a High Chair?

When buying a high chair, prioritize safety features like a sturdy frame and secure harness. Comfort is key, so look for adjustable and padded seats. Easy cleaning is a must—removable trays and washable materials save time. Consider space-saving designs if you're limited on room. How will the right high chair make mealtime easier for you and your baby?
Deborah Ng
Deborah Ng

A high chair is a necessary item on most new parents' lists of things to buy for the new baby. Because of its height and convenient tray, a high chair allows you to feed a child aged four months and up with ease. In addition to mealtime, the tray also makes it easy for a young child to play with small toys, use crayons or just sit and observe the goings-on around her.

As with any baby product, the high chair should follow all current safety guidelines. To make sure your child is safe and comfortable, it's a good idea to know what to look for when purchasing a high chair.

Young boy eating an apple
Young boy eating an apple

For a safe and secure baby, a five point harness is a must for keeping baby in her seat. This type of harness has two shoulder straps, a strap between the legs and two straps to keep the hips in place. Though this sounds confining, it's actually quite comfortable if baby is strapped in properly.

For comfort, the seat should be padded in all the right spots. If the high chair is uncomfortable, the child won't want to sit in the seat and might not stay focused on what she is doing. The straps should fit securely without digging into baby's skin. The seat should also recline for the smallest baby's comfort. Remember, a comfortable meal is a productive meal.

Portability is another important feature. It may not sound like a major detail now, but a high chair that can be folded up and easily placed in the trunk of one's car is always a plus. With a portable high chair, parents can visit family and friends and enjoy their meal without having to feed a young child on their lap. Being able to stow the chair under a bed, or couch, or in a closet when company comes is also a bonus.

An easy to use high chair is a must. Check to see if the seat can be raised and lowered without effort and if the tray slides on and off easily. Make sure the straps are simple to adjust, open and close. If you think you'll find yourself cursing the chair every day or worry that certain aspects may frustrate you, it would be best to select a different model.

A good high chair is also easy to clean. Make sure that food can be sponged off easily. A tray top that lifts off for convenient clean up in the sink or dishwasher is an excellent feature. Also look for a chair cushion that can be unsnapped without difficulty and dropped into the washing machine when necessary.

When shopping for a high chair, one should always do some research first. Read up on which models have received the highest ratings and which brands can be trusted. It's always wise to check product recalls as well. Our children's comfort and safety is our top priority, including when they're sitting at the table.

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Discussion Comments


I have been looking at different models of high chairs and they are made out of all sorts of materials. Do you think that wood, plastic or metal is best for high chair stability? Or is this more a matter of what look you are going for?

Also, do you think that getting one with a chair cushion is a good idea for comfort? Or would this just make the high chair harder to clean.

It's hard for me to believe that sitting in a completely wooden or plastic high chair would be very comfortable. I have memories of my mother's wooden chairs, and they weren't very comfortable without padding.


There are so many high chairs available today that meet high standards of construction. I think parents should really look into something that would be comfortable for their child and that matches the decor of your home.

If you are thinking of buying a high chair, I would recommend that you first check with your parents or friends and see what they have. Often they can suggest a brand or even lend you a chair for your child.

For those that only plan on having one child, borrowing a high chair can be a huge money saver. A good high chair can cost hundreds of dollars and why get one if you aren't going to reuse it in the future?

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    • Young boy eating an apple
      Young boy eating an apple