How to Choose a Highchair
Once your baby can sit up and support him or herself, one of the most important pieces of equipment to invest in is a highchair; this will allow your child to join you at mealtimes and provide a great way for you all to eat together. However, there is such a wide and growing range of different highchairs on the market that choosing between them can be a baffling decision. In this article we look at some of the most common features and benefits, and point out what to look for and what to avoid. Without further ado, here’s how to choose a highchair!
First of all, the highchair will get very messy; the baby that can be fed, or feed itself, without making any mess has yet to be discovered. Ensure that the chair is easy to clean – simple plastic trays may look cheap but they are effective for a reason: they’re really easy to wipe down. Similarly, avoid fabrics that aren’t water or stain resistant, they are extremely difficult to keep clean so any aesthetic value wears quickly. Good features to look for are removable trays and removable seat covers; they are easier to wash and the chair remains durable for longer.
Although fancy fabrics are to be avoided, it is worth opting for a padded chair lining since you don’t want your little one squirming due to discomfort – it’s hard enough to feed them anyway! Another thing to watch out for, especially when the child is ready to start self-feeding, is the height of the tray – many chairs have a fixed height, which may not be suitable for all toddlers. High trays in particular are a real nuisance and since your little one is growing, it makes sense to invest in an adjustable chair and tray. If that is going to be expensive, why not purchase a cheaper booster seat to bring your child to the right level?
Multi-function chairs are becoming increasingly common; these convert to separate chairs and tables for the post-highchair phase. While there may be a higher outlay for this product, you will save the cash when your toddler is ready for a separate baby table and chair set later on. It’s also important to check that the table conforms to specific safety guidelines, the British BS 14988 safety standard is helpful if you need guidance.
As with most products, buying a high chair is a mix of personal taste and good, practical benefits. Do you really need an all-singing multi-purpose reclining chair, or will a basic plastic model be just as effective? Bear in mind the key considerations of safety, cleanliness and height, and you can’t go wrong.