The Best Highchairs
While certain baby products like car seats you need from the moment your little one is born, others can wait. One of these items that you're definitely going to need but don't have to rush out to purchase is a highchair. Babies typically are ready to start trying solid foods between the ages four and six months. Your baby should be able to sit up with minimal support and hold his head upright. He may show interest in what you're eating, try to reach for food, and begin putting his hands and toys in his mouth. Transitioning to solid food means it is time for a high chair. But which one is best?
Whether you're buying your first high chair or you currently own a model that you don't like, there are several essential high chair features you're won't want to ignore. First and most importantly, the high chair should be safe. It should be built well, not wobble, and have some sort of restraint harness. Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding babies typically don't result in much mess, but once solid food is introduced, feeding time messes will be the norm. Food is going to get all over baby's face, hands, the floor, and of course, the highchair. Playing with food and spreading it over the highchair tray and into every crevice imaginable is not only fun for baby, it's also a good learning experience. For this reason, you're definitely going to want a highchair that is easy to clean. It should ideally be easy to assemble and get baby in and out of. If it can fold up for storage, that would also be great since not every family has the floorspace to keep the highchair out at all times. Some highchairs offer reclining seatbacks (in case baby falls asleep promptly after eating) or grow with baby, transforming into booster seats and the like. These features aren't necessary but are certainly nice. Finally, a highchair that is durable and a good value is also desirable.
Highchair for a Lifetime: Stokke Tripp Trapp Highchair
The Stokke Tripp Trapp Highchair is a highchair that is highly adjustable to work with babies through toddlers. This chair has been around since 1972, withstanding the test of time. In fact, you may want to keep it around forever: the Stokke Tripp Trapp can even be adjusted into a chair for teenagers and adults! As a highchair, it is suitable for babies and toddlers under 36-months-old. For adults, it can support weights of up to 242.5 pounds. This Scandinavian-designed chair features depth- and height-adjustable seat and footplates. You can pull this chair right up to the dining table for mealtime for interaction with family. This encourages baby's learning and developmental progress. If you prefer, however, you can also purchase a Stokke tray to attach to the chair, as well as a Baby Set that attaches to the chair without tools, is dishwasher safe, and has a crotch strap for safety. It is available in a variety of colors, painted with water-based, non-toxic paint. You can also get the optional gliders for even more backward stability. Parents love how easy it is to wipe clean with just a damp cloth. While this chair is certainly expensive upfront, reviewers say they would buy it again, given the quality and the fact that the chair can be used from babyhood through adulthood.
Lightweight and Safe: BabyBjorn Highchair
The BabyBjorn High Chair is a safe highchair that is easy to set up. It is delivered complete except for assembling the legs, which does not require tools. The high chair measures 21 inches by 22 inches by 33 inches and weighs 11 pounds. It is appropriate for children ages six months to three years, as long as their height does not exceed 38 inches. The high chair is PVC-free and BPA-free. It also does not contain phthalates, cadmium, lead, or bromine. While they say they wouldn't stick it in the dishwasher to run after every meal, they definitely would do it if they are planning on running the washer anyway. It can be easily detached and reattached should you decide to take advantage of this option. The table can be adjusted to fit close to baby's body which not only reduces spills on clothes and the seat but also gives an added sense of security. The childproof two-step lock keeps it in place. The BabyBjorn Highchair also includes a belt to safeguard baby or toddler at mealtimes. It is JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) certified. There is no official warranty.
Feed Two Kids at Once: Graco Blossom 4-in-1 Highchair
The Graco Blossom high chair is a 4-in-1 system that can take your baby from an infant in a high chair to a toddler in a booster seat and even a youth chair. It measures 41 inches tall, 22.5 inches wide, and 29 inches deep. It weighs 31.8 pounds, so it is heavier than our other picks. The height can be adjusted to six positions to make it easier for you to feed the baby while sitting or standing, and also so that it can be pulled up to a variety of dining tables at different heights. The removable foot rest can also accommodate your baby as she grows thanks to its three different positions. The tray can also be removed one-handed, and parents were pleased to note that it is dishwasher safe (though large). The seat pad is machine-washable, or you can also simply wipe it down. Graco's highchair is certified by the JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) for safety. It includes a three-point harness that can convert into a five-point harness. You will need to assemble this chair prior to use, but no tools are required. It does not fold and is pretty large, but this 4-in-1 highchair and seating system can easily last you through years and multiple kids (even using at the same time!) so it could be of excellent value to you and your family. Graco offers a limited 1-year warranty on their products.
If you're looking for a chair that you can use for a lifetime – and not just for babies either, but for adults too – look no further than the Stokke Tripp Trapp highchair. This stylist highchair can later be transformed into a chair for teenagers and adults to use. It is easy to clean, aesthetically-pleasing, and highly adjustable. If you're looking for a more traditional high chair, check out the BabyBjorn Highchair. This lightweight highchair is easy to clean with a tray that can go straight into the dishwasher and has JPMA certification. It folds up to just 10-inches wide, so storage is a breeze. Another very popular highchair that our reviewers love is the Graco 4-in-1 Highchair. Like the Stokke, it is very adjustable but you won't be able to use it through adulthood. It has four seating stages and more than one child can use it at the same time, plus, it is JPMA certified for safety. It is easy to clean, offers numerous seating and footrest heights, has a three-point harness that can convert into a five-point harness, and can even recline. While baby's time in a highchair won't last forever, choosing the right one will give you peace of mind so you can enjoy every moment of family mealtimes and baby's transition to solid foods.