Ahh, the high chair. It's a chair for holding baby while they eat (or more accurately, while you feed them), so it should be simple, right? Right? Baby gear tends to be anything but simple, but that doesn't mean you don't have the tools to find the product that suits you and baby best. Thanks to The Baby Cubby, you have a perfect little high chair checklist right at your fingertips:What to look for in a high chair? Here are some basics:
Obviously, you want a chair that your infant or child will actually sit in without kicking up a fuss. Not all babies transition well into high chairs because it is somewhat annoying to be forced to hold still (especially when there's so much to explore!). However, a comfortable or padded seat will help your baby adjust and even enjoy their seat during mealtimes. Look for:
- Padding that comes away from the seat for adjustment and washing
- Bottom and back coverage for a complete comfortable feel
- Foot rest for optimal comfort and back support- this helps baby feel secure
StabilityMy baby is so active and constantly on the move that we bought three different high chairs by his first birthday. That's not necessarily because the previous ones weren't safe, but each child is different, so you'll need to take your child's disposition into account when shopping. When it comes to a high chair, stability (as a characteristic) could be synonymous with "safety." Aside from a chair that functions well, your priority should be baby's safety. Here are some things to look for:
- Adjustable straps that buckle in a 3-point (or more) system
- Wide chair leg stance to support any active wiggling or escape attempts
- Sturdy feet that absorb movement and don't slide around (brakes present if wheeled feet)
- Easily adjustable but childproof tray for optimal containment
Ease of Use
Non-parents might consider this characteristic a "nice to have," but not necessarily essential. I disagree, as I'm sure most busy moms would. When your kid is screaming and hungry, and nap time was supposed to happen a half hour ago, it's nice to have a chair that's quick and easy to use.
What am I talking about? Here are some things to consider:
- Removable tray that snaps on quickly but remains childproof
- Adjustable straps that stay in your chosen position
- Harness buckle that is secure when buckled, but not impossible to undo
- Nothing that requires more than two steps of assembly each time
- Easily removable parts that are machine washable
Removable/Washable PartsI cannot emphasize this enough: there is a difference between "removable parts" and "removable parts that are also washable." That chair is going to get dirty. Nasty. Pulverized with food bits and crumbs. And that's just after one day! My point is that you don't want to be dealing with a chair that has hard-to-reach places and only certain parts that can be removed and washed. Ideally, the chair you pick should allow for a quick disassembly and weekly washing (or more frequent washes, if necessary). If your kid uses it, it's going to need constant wipe-downs or washing. Trust me. Parts you can throw in the dishwasher are a bonus in my book!
If you do any amount of research and buy from a reputable supplier, your high chair will be durable in the sense that it's not going to break at the lightest touch. But, what we mean when we talk about durability is the chair's ability to last through the childhood years. Is it possible to find a chair that does all of the above while offering a usable chair for years to come, even as baby grows? Why yes, it is possible. In fact, I'm glad you asked, because this is why the Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair is a Cubby Pick: it lasts for years! No, it's not cheap and there is some assembly required, but if you want to buy one thing and be done with the high chair search for life, this is your chair.
With the moveable parts and adjustable seat and foot rest, you can enjoy this chair with your child from sitting age and beyond. This chair definitely offers ease of use and stability, along with a 7-year warranty for a great investment.