At as young as six months-old, babies are beginning to sit upright to feed. This is around the time that they begin accepting soft foods in their diet, which is why highchairs become necessary around this time. A highchair makes it much simpler for parents to feed babies, and for babies to eat.
A highchair is a raised piece of baby furniture that lets infants and toddlers eat at the same height as the rest of the family. They are useful and helpful because they are safe, and they make a parent’s job much easier. The below guide was created to help you better understand what you need from a highchair and how to go about selecting the right one.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best highchairs on the U.S. market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about highchairs
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
- When highchairs were first invented, they changed what it meant to be a new parent feeding a young baby. Many are made to grow along with your child so that they can be used for much longer.
- A highchair’s safety is one of the most important aspects to consider. Make sure what you are buying has a good quality safety harness to keep your baby in the chair.
- A chair that has an adjustable seat and backrest will allow you to use the highchair both to feed your baby and as a place for resting and relaxing post meal.
Ranking: The best highchairs on the U.S. market
We have curated the below list of the five best highchairs currently found on the U.S. market. While each one comes with different features, they are all built with safety and comfort in mind. If your baby is already sitting up on their own to feed and has begun eating soft foods like porridge and purees, the below products should be of help.
No. 1: Joovy – Nook Highchair
Joovy’s Nook Highchair comes with a removable swing-open tray that can be set to four adjustable positions to make feeding safe and comfortable for any baby. The simple to clean, dishwasher-safe tray and wipe-down leatherette seat let you ensure that your baby’s feeding area is always hygienic. This compact chair can be folded down and opened up with one hand, and the carry handle makes taking it with you convenient and comfortable.
The non-scratch floor pads are another great feature of this chair because they let you place it on any surface – especially scratch-prone hardwood floors – without worrying about damage. It has an ultra-safe five point harness that keeps your child secure at all times, and is capable of handling children up to 50 pounds. This chair folds up quite small, so it is the perfect highchair to take with you to restaurants, on holidays, and to friends and family’s houses.
No. 2: Peg Perego – Siesta Highchair
Peg Perego is an Italian brand that has been making high quality highchairs, that American parents have really loved, for many years now. The comfortable, reclinable seat allows you to use this highchair both for feeding, and for snoozing and relaxing post meal. Everything about this chair is adjustable and customizable. With nine different height positions you can set this chair up to make feeding ideally comfortable, and the three different foot rest positions makes feeding pleasant for baby too.
The eco-friendly leather material of this chair is easy to wash and keep hygienic, can be removed from the frame easily, and the detachable tray can be put in the dishwasher. Another great safety feature of this highchair is that the wheels automatically lock into place. Combined with the five point safety harness, and the passive restraint bar, this compact, fully adjustable highchair is one of the safest, and certainly the most high-end products on the market.
No. 3: Boon – Flair Highchair
The Boon Flair Highchair is no frills, but incredibly high quality. With its stand base, it is specifically designed to be able to fit under tables, bringing baby to the family eating area like no other. Many highchairs, because of their size, mean your baby is slightly back from the rest of the family while eating, but this chair brings them right into the action. Just because it is simple, however, does not mean it skimps on safety. It has a five point safety harness to keep your child secure at all times.
The base is fitted with six urethane casters to help protect floors from scuffs and scratches, and an easily removed tray liner to make cleaning easier. The restraint straps and buckles are also easily cleaned using mild soap and warm water. The pneumatic height positioning lets you control the height of this chair as you would an office or a barber’s chair, so setting the right eating and feeding height is straightforward. This chair is made to handle children up to 4 years-old and weights of 50 pounds.
No. 4: Graco – 6-in-1 Convertible Highchair
Graco has been making high quality and well liked baby accessories and products for the American market for many years. Their 6-in-1 Convertible Highchair really is a parent’s dream when it comes to functionality and durability. This highchair is designed to grow alongside your baby, and the seat is large enough to sit two children at the same time – great for families with twins or two similarly-aged babies/toddlers. The six height adjustments and reclinable seat make this the ideal highchair for both feeding, and post feeding naps.
The removable tray can be cleaned easily in the dishwasher, and the removable back seat insert helps makes sure your child is comfortably seated at the table while he or she eats. This is a larger chair, weighing in at 32 pounds, but bear in mind that it is made to sit two children simultaneously. It measures 29 x 2..5 x 41 inches, though it still folds up to quite a convenient size. You can still take this chair with you on the go (in the car, in the back of the van etc.), but it is not something you are going to want to be carrying long distances.
No. 5: Ingenuity – SmartClean Trio Elite 3-in-1 Highchair
Ingenuity’s SmartClean Trio Elite is a great 3-in-1 highchair that can be used as a booster seat and toddler chair as well. This chair was made with easy cleaning and washing in mind and converts between the three different seat settings with very little effort on your part. The five-point harness makes sure your little guy or girl is safe and secure at all times while in this chair, and the extra-soft cushion material and footrest for their little feet make feeding time a joy for both parent and child.
Another nice feature of this chair is the fully rotatable wheels. They spin 360 degrees, so you can move this chair around the kitchen (or around your home) easily. This is a relatively light highchair, weighing in at only 15 pounds, and measuring 21.5 x 15 x 34.5 inches. Keep in mind, however, that this is not a foldable chair, so if you are trying to take it with you anywhere, you have to disassemble it a reassemble it when you get there. That process, however, is quite straightforward and still very convenient.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about highchairs
Before selecting a highchair, you need to know some important information about these products. There are myriad options out there, and knowing what you need isn’t always so straightforward. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions by parents and consumers.
How do you know it’s time to use a highchair?
You can determine the right time to implement a highchair by paying close attention to your baby’s unique developmental timeline. During the first few months, children only take liquids like milk and formula. During that time, simply cradling your baby while feeding is sufficient. As they start developing and sitting up while eating (and taking soft/solid foods), they will need to sit upright. This begins roughly around six months, but all babies are different in this respect.
Giving them things like porridge and blended fruits/vegetables will require that they sit down while eating. At this stage, a highchair is really the only way to go. They let you feed your baby properly while teaching them important eating capabilities and habits.
What are the advantages of using a highchair?
You might initially feel that you don’t really need a highchair. But as soon as your baby reaches the age where he or she is sitting upright and eating solid foods, you’ll be glad to have one. They are also important psychologically because they included children in eating rituals with the rest of the family and help develop an eating routine.
Highchairs sold in the U.S. all have safety at the forefront. Many are also made to be adjustable so you can set the right height for you and your baby. This way you take the strain off your back and arms. Depending on which kind of highchair you get, it can be used for several years as your baby grows.
How long can a baby use these chairs?
A highchair becomes a necessity as soon as a baby starts taking solid foods. Most models are made to accommodate children during the first three years of life. Most good highchairs can support up to at least 33 pounds.
It is also possible to find highchairs that can be used by children during their early school years as well. Some chairs have parts that can be removed to accommodate children as old as ten. They tend to cost more, but they can be great investments based on the amount of use you will get out of them.
Are there any regulations for highchairs?
All children’s products (and products in general) regardless of their purpose, are regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in the United States. They ensure that manufacturers and sellers comply with the Consumer Product Safety Act. Where highchairs are concerned, they make sure that these items conform to standards surrounding durability, safety, design and materials.
In the U.S., highchairs that are for sale are subject to review and approval by CPSC. This means that for a children’s product to be legally salable in the U.S., it must meet the standards set for by that body. Keep in mind that products sold in other places around the world sometimes have different standards (sometimes not as stringent), so know what you are buying before putting your baby in it.
What are the important elements of a highchair?
Each highchair is different, but you should always insist on comfort and safety as the two must-have features. The seat should provide adequate support and, ideally, be machine washable. The harness or safety belt should be strong and secure.
The ideal type of harness is a “leg separator” as this prevents babies from slipping down the chair. It is also a good idea to look for models with footrests, to provide additional support to your baby. Adjustable trays and detachable tables make cleaning much simpler. You should also ensure the legs are solid and sturdy to prevent sliding around.
Trying to decide on a new highchair can be maddening for new parents, so before diving in, there are some important shopping criteria to consider that will help you make your decision. To get the best chair for you and your baby, keep the below in mind:
- Age of use
- Design and measurements
This is the first thing to have in mind when looking at highchairs. The classic model (which is normally collapsible) is simple and straightforward. Some models also have adjustable height and reclinable seats. There are also classic models that include an egg-type shape in the seat for babies to wrap their legs around.
Another option is to opt for an evolutionary chair that can change according to the age and growth stage of the child. These high chairs are made to be usable even as your child grows. They tend to have removable parts, and they can also be made into normal table chairs as well, depending on the situation. Many highchairs also feature wheels on the bottom to make them easier to move around your home.
Age of use
Highchairs are made with specific ages, or age ranges in mind. Baby high chairs are made for children that are 6 months-old and up. As your baby grows and develops, you need to ensure the weight limitations of a highchair are respected. Most highchairs are capable of handling children up to three years-of-age.
There are highchairs that accompany babies until he or she is a fully-grown child. These highchairs are unique because they feature removable parts and are 100 per cent adjustable. You can also easily set different seat heights, as well as remove the harness and tray when necessary. At a certain point, these models end up functioning just like a normal chair.
This is one of, if not the most important aspect of any highchair. You should always ensure a highchair is stable and rests flush against the ground while your baby is in it. The weight limitations and specifications are two things you should always be conscious of as well.
Don’t forget to take a look at the harness or seat belt that comes with the highchair. The most advanced models incorporate a five-point harness, similar to those used in car seats. These make sure your baby is unable to inadvertently slip out of or escape the harness. Seat bases should also be made from non-slip materials.
Many people fail to adequately evaluate the materials of a highchair. Some are made from wood, plastic, and metal. Wood highchairs, for instance, are durable and look great in almost any room or home.
Metal chairs are increasingly common as well, thanks to their strength. Aluminum is a light, durable material. Other highchairs are made of plastic and are easy to clean and store.
Simple to clean
|Sometimes not nice to look at“>|
|Plastic|| Simple to clean
|Not as strong“>|
Design and measurements
You should also carefully consider how much space you have to spare in your kitchen and/or dining room before getting a chair. You might decide a portable, foldable chair is more practical for you than a fixed one. You might also consider how often you are going to be taking it with you on the go, making portability an essential feature.
Families with bigger homes might also like folding chairs because they are easier to set up in different rooms. As far as style goes, there are highchairs to suit any home decor. Some models feature cartoons and crazy patterns/colors, while others look sleeker and more neutral.
Deciding on a highchair is an important decision for new parents. They will make your life easier and become important additions to your baby’s life as he or she grows. Buying baby accessories is often not cheap, so parents, naturally, are cautious about buying anything that isn’t necessary. A highchair, however, is one of the things that you will be truly glad you spent the money on.
Depending on the model you opt for, you might end up using it for much longer than you initially thought you would. As with any baby accessory, always make sure your baby’s needs are front and center, and then make any aesthetic decision following that.
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(Source of featured image: Oksana Kuzmina: 25493860/ 123rf.com)