What to Look for in a High Chair?

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Adjustable Baby High Chair 11-3-grey-10s

Choosing the right high chair is an essential decision for parents. A high chair is not just a piece of furniture; it plays a significant role in your baby’s safety, comfort, and development during meal times. With so many options available, knowing what to look for can be overwhelming. This comprehensive guide will help you find the perfect fit for your family.

The Importance of a High Chair for Infants and Toddlers

From the moment your baby starts solid foods, a high chair becomes a central part of daily life, serving as a safe and secure place for your little one to explore new tastes and textures. But its importance goes far beyond mealtime.

First and foremost, a high chair provides a designated spot for feeding, which helps establish a routine. High chairs come with a tray, creating a designated eating area for your baby. This helps contain spills and messes, making cleanup after meals a breeze. 

High chairs come equipped with harnesses and straps that ensure your baby remains safely seated, allowing you to focus on feeding without constantly worrying about their stability.

As your baby gets older, a high chair allows them to sit at the table with you during meals, fostering a sense of togetherness and encouraging interaction.  The higher position in the chair also gives them a better view of their surroundings, keeping them engaged.

The upright seating position aids in the development of motor skills as babies learn to grasp, hold, and manipulate food. It also contributes to better posture and physical health by encouraging proper alignment during feeding.

Do You Need a High Chair for Small Spaces?

Navigating parenting in a small living space presents unique challenges, but it doesn’t diminish the necessity of having a high chair for your infant or toddler. Even in compact living environments, a high chair remains an essential piece of baby gear, and fortunately, there are many options designed specifically with space constraints in mind.

For those in small living quarters, consider a high chair that offers a compact and foldable design. Many high chairs on the market are designed to be easily folded and stored away when not in use. These models can be tucked into a closet, behind a door, or even under a bed, making them perfect for apartments and small homes.

Moreover, some high chairs come with multi-functional features that further maximize space efficiency. For example, high chairs that convert into booster seats or toddler chairs grow with your child and adapt to different stages of their development, eliminating the need for multiple pieces of furniture.

When selecting a high chair for a small space, prioritize models that offer a balance between compact design and essential features such as safety harnesses, sturdy construction, and ease of cleaning. 

In conclusion, while small living spaces require more thoughtful planning, the need for a high chair remains paramount. The good news is that the market is filled with versatile, space-saving high chairs that cater to various needs. 

Do You Need a Portable High Chair for Traveling?

Traveling with a baby or toddler can be a daunting task, but a portable high chair can make the journey significantly smoother. Whether you’re visiting family, dining out, or embarking on a vacation, a portable high chair offers convenience, safety, and flexibility, making it an essential item for on-the-go parents.

One of the primary benefits of a portable high chair is its compactness and ease of transport. Unlike traditional high chairs, portable models are designed to be lightweight and collapsible, fitting easily into a car trunk, luggage, or even a large diaper bag. 

They can be used in a variety of settings, from restaurants and cafes to picnic areas and hotel rooms. This adaptability means you don’t have to rely on the availability or cleanliness of high chairs provided by these venues, which can often be a hit-or-miss experience. Instead, you have the assurance of using your own clean and well-maintained high chair.

Moreover, portable high chairs often feature easy-to-clean materials, which is a boon for traveling parents. Removable and washable seat covers, as well as wipeable surfaces, make it simple to maintain hygiene standards no matter where you are.

Portable High Chair for Traveling
(Source: Craft Child)

Do You Need a High Chair with Flexible Height Adjustment?

When it comes to selecting the perfect high chair for your little one, one of the first features to consider is height adjustment. This functionality might seem like a minor detail, but it can significantly impact your child’s comfort and the chair’s versatility. 

Flexible height adjustment allows you to customize the chair’s height to suit different tables, counters, and even sofas, making it a versatile piece of furniture that grows with your child. Whether you’re feeding your child at the dining table, in the kitchen while preparing meals, or even in the living room, the adjustable height ensures that your child is always at the optimal level. 

When the chair is too high or too low, it can cause discomfort and even pose safety risks. With adjustable height options, you can ensure that your child’s feet rest comfortably on the footrest, their arms are at the right level for eating, and the tray is positioned correctly to prevent spills and accidents.

baby high chair-0222
(Source: Craft Child)

Do You Want a High Chair with a Folding Feature?

For many parents, the convenience of a foldable high chair can be a game-changer, offering flexibility and ease of use in various living situations. Not every home has the luxury of ample kitchen or dining space. If you live in a smaller apartment or a house where space is at a premium, a high chair that can fold away neatly after meals is a perfect solution. 

High chairs with folding features are designed with user-friendliness in mind. They often come with simple mechanisms that allow for quick and easy folding and unfolding, making setup and takedown a breeze. 

Some parents might worry that a foldable high chair could be less stable than a non-foldable one. However, many modern foldable high chairs are engineered with robust safety features and sturdy construction to ensure that they remain stable and secure when in use. Look for models with locking mechanisms that ensure the chair stays firmly in place, providing peace of mind during meal times.

Do You Want an Easy to Clean and Maintained High Chair?

As any parent knows, mealtime with little ones can be a messy affair. From purees and crumbs to splashes and spills, your child’s high chair will likely bear the brunt of it. That’s why an easy-to-clean high chair is not just a nice-to-have but a must-have. 

Look for high chairs made from smooth, wipeable surfaces like plastic, metal, or treated wood, which can be easily wiped down with a damp cloth. Avoid materials that absorb spills and stains, such as fabric seats, unless they have removable and machine-washable covers. High chairs with fewer crevices and seams where food can get trapped are also preferable.

High chairs with removable trays and seat covers can make cleaning up after meals a breeze. Trays that can be detached and washed separately, either by hand or in the dishwasher, are particularly useful. Similarly, seat covers that can be easily taken off and thrown in the washing machine will save you considerable time. 

Do You Prefer an Affordable High Chair?

Among the myriad of items you’ll need to purchase, a high chair is essential, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Finding an affordable high chair that meets your needs without sacrificing quality or safety is entirely possible. The market for high chairs is vast, with options ranging from basic models to high-end designer chairs. While it might be tempting to go for the latest model with all the bells and whistles, many affordable high chairs offer all the essential features you need. 

Many reputable brands offer budget-friendly models that adhere to strict safety standards. Look for high chairs that are JPMA certified or meet ASTM standards. Often, budget-friendly high chairs from well-known brands will be constructed with the same attention to safety as their more expensive counterparts.

While the upfront cost is important, consider the long-term value of the high chair. A slightly more expensive chair that grows with your child and can be used from infancy to toddlerhood might offer better value than a cheaper model that needs to be replaced after a few months. 

Safety Features to Consider When Choosing a High Chair

1. Five-Point Harness

A five-point harness is the gold standard for high chair safety. This type of harness secures your child at five points: the shoulders, waist, and between the legs. It prevents your child from slipping out or standing up in the chair.

2. Stable Base

A chair with a broad footprint offers more stability, ensuring that it doesn’t tip over even if your child leans to the side or pushes against the tray. Some high chairs come with anti-slip feet, which provide additional stability on various floor surfaces.

3. Locking Mechanisms

If the high chair has adjustable features such as height or reclining positions, ensure it has secure locking mechanisms. These locks should be easy for adults to engage and disengage but child-proof to prevent accidental adjustments. 

4. Crotch Post

A crotch post, also known as a passive restraint, is a vertical bar located between the legs of the seat. It prevents your child from sliding down and slipping out of the chair. This feature is especially important if the chair does not have a five-point harness.

5. Recline Safety

If the high chair has a reclining feature, ensure it can be securely locked in different positions. Reclining high chairs is useful for younger infants who cannot sit upright yet, but they must lock firmly to prevent unintended movement.

Can High Chairs Be Purchased Used? 

The decision to purchase a used high chair can be a practical and economical choice for many parents. While new high chairs come with the guarantee of being in pristine condition, used high chairs can offer significant savings. However, there are several important factors to consider to ensure that a second-hand high chair is safe, clean, and functional for your child.

Safety First

Check for a certification from organizations such as the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) or the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). 

Check for Recalls

Before purchasing a used high chair, check if the model has been recalled. Recalls can occur due to safety issues, and using a recalled high chair can put your child at risk. You can check for recalls on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website or the manufacturer’s website.

Inspect Thoroughly

Ensure that all parts are intact, including the harness, tray, and any locking mechanisms. Check for sharp edges, loose screws, or broken components. The high chair should feel sturdy and stable when assembled.

Try Before You Buy

If possible, try out the high chair before purchasing it. Test the stability, harness, and tray mechanisms. Make sure that it functions properly and meets your needs. 

Potential Longevity

If it’s already been used by another child, consider how much more wear and tear it can withstand. You want to ensure that it will serve your child’s needs for as long as necessary without requiring frequent repairs or replacements.

What Are the Types of High Chairs?

When choosing a high chair for your child, understanding the different types available can help you make an informed decision. Here’s a detailed look at the most common types of high chairs:

Standard High Chairs

Overview: Standard high chairs are the traditional option, typically featuring a straightforward design with a seat, tray, and stable base. They are often affordable and come in various materials and styles.


  • Ease of Use: Simple and intuitive to use, with basic features that cater to most parents’ needs.
  • Affordability: Generally more budget-friendly compared to more complex models.
  • Sturdy and Safe: Designed to be stable with a broad base, ensuring safety during meals.


  • Limited Features: May lack advanced features such as reclining positions.
  • Bulky: Can be less compact and harder to store when not in use.

Convertible High Chairs

Overview: Convertible high chairs are versatile and designed to grow with your child. They can transform from an infant high chair to a toddler booster seat, and sometimes even into a regular chair for older children.


  • Longevity: Designed to be used from infancy through early childhood, providing excellent value for money.
  • Versatility: Can adapt to different stages of your child’s development, reducing the need for multiple products.
  • Multiple Functions: Often include features such as height adjustment, reclining positions, and detachable trays.


  • Higher Cost: Tend to be more expensive due to their multifunctional design.
  • Complexity: Can be more complicated to set up and adjust compared to standard high chairs.

Booster Seats

Overview: Booster seats are compact seats that attach to regular dining chairs. They raise your child to the appropriate height for the table, making them ideal for families with limited space.


  • Space-Saving: This takes up less space than a traditional high chair.
  • Portability: Lightweight and easy to transport, perfect for dining out or traveling.
  • Affordability: Generally more affordable than full-sized high chairs.


  • Less Stability: Depends on the stability of the dining chair they are attached to.
  • Limited Features: Often lack advanced features found in standalone high chairs, such as reclining seats or adjustable height.

Hook-On High Chairs

Overview: Hook-on high chairs, also known as clamp-on high chairs, attach directly to a table, providing a secure seat for your child without taking up floor space.


  • Compact and Portable: Extremely easy to transport and store, making them ideal for travel and small spaces.
  • Space-saving: No floor footprint, leaving more room for other furniture or movement.
  • Convenient for Dining Out: Perfect for restaurants or visiting friends and family.


  • Weight Limits: Generally have lower weight limits compared to other types of high chairs.
  • Table Compatibility: Not all tables can support hook-on high chairs, particularly those with glass tops or weak edges.
  • Stability Concerns: Must be securely attached to a sturdy table to ensure safety.

Wooden High Chairs

Overview: Wooden high chairs offer a classic and aesthetically pleasing option, often blending seamlessly with home decor. 


  • Aesthetics: Timeless and stylish, often preferred for their classic look and ability to match home decor.
  • Durability: Made from sturdy materials that can last for years, sometimes even becoming heirloom pieces.
  • Eco-Friendly: More environmentally friendly, especially if made from sustainably sourced wood.


  • Heavier: Tend to be heavier and less portable than plastic or metal high chairs.
  • Maintenance: Wooden surfaces can be harder to clean and may require more maintenance to keep looking good.
  • Cost: High-quality wooden high chairs can be more expensive.


In summary, the right high chair for your family will depend on a combination of these factors. By carefully evaluating your priorities and preferences, you can find a high chair that ensures your child’s safety, comfort, and happiness during meal times, while also fitting seamlessly into your lifestyle and budget. This thoughtful approach to choosing a high chair will make mealtime a pleasant and stress-free experience for both you and your child, creating cherished memories around the family table.

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