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All About High Chairs

baby at the tableAs far as children’s furniture goes, nothing says ‘milestone’ like your baby’s first seat at the family table. While most kids get their high chair (stationary or portable) by about 4-6 months, you can put your baby in one earlier, providing it reclines enough and offers sufficient support for a newborn baby.

The type of high chair you choose will depend on your child’s eating habits, age and weight. But remember that it’s now an accessory in your home – so size and style are a factor.

To simplify your high chair shopping, we’ve put together some guidelines to follow.

High chairs

High chairs accommodate different sized babies and dining tables; and their height can be adjusted to bring your baby down to your level for easier feeding. Some other convenient features include wide, removable plastic trays for messy eaters (and what baby isn’t a messy eater?) and wheels so you can easily move the chair around the kitchen. Keep in mind that trays can be added to the dishwasher for easy cleaning. Padded and cushioned seats make it easy for your little one to enjoy their meal in comfort. In small or narrow kitchens, many designs fold easily for storage and portability.

Booster: A nice alternative to the highchair is the booster, which is usually a plastic chair that can be securely strapped to a dining room or kitchen chair. It gives your child a lift so they can comfortably reach the kitchen table and be part of the conversation. One of the biggest pros to the booster is that it can save one space as they attached to a chair. They are also suitable for both infants and toddlers.

An added benefit of a booster seat is that it helps protect your kitchen or dining chair from the inevitable spills. And many boosters feature adjustable heights and built-in trays with locks; some even fold up for easy portability and travel.

Wood: Many parents like the traditional style of a wooden high chair because its design complements the look of their kitchens or décor choices. These are not common and can be hard to find.

Hook-on: This hook-on chair will bring your baby so close to the action they’ll feel like they can participate in dinnertime debates. But being within arm’s reach of everything on your dinner table also means your baby can make some serious mealtime mess. Like high chairs, portable hook-on chairs have safety straps to keep squirmy kids secure and prevent them from standing up. You’ll know it’s time to retire the hook-on once they start sending out cues by making the pushing movement.

Features to look for

Adjustable trays: A tray that adjusts to one or more positions will make it easier to keep your child comfortable as they grow. Aim for a wide tray that offers a lot of room for serving so you’ll have fewer spills to clean up. You’ll also want to find one that you can put in and take out with one hand – two free hands are hard to come for parents, especially at mealtime.

Removable vinyl padding: There are few things less fun than digging out bits of moldy cheese from a high chair seat. Removable padding will make it easier to keep the high chair clean. When you put it in, make sure it’s flush with the sides of the high chair so food doesn’t get lost in the crevices.

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