While you can find a wealth of information about most things baby related, one item that quite often gets over looked is your high chair. Surprising given that most stay at home parents spend a lot of their time at home! And as their are a multitude of choices available for prams and car seats, there are also a lot of options for the humble highchair. From the most basic of price, to plastic versus wooden, to multifunction and convertible pieces – and a lot of pros and cons for all of them.
A trip to your local K-Mart, Big W or Target will most likely give you a small range to choose from, but help and information will be scarce. Then there are the baby chain stores like Baby Bunting – they offer a range that is overwhelming and confusing – and the staff can find it hard to reccomend the right chair themselves.
Small bespoke baby stores are hard to find these days as they get taken over by the big stores. These will often have a small range of cheap to ultra high end highchairs. They will also give you some amazing 1-on-1 guidance to help you make the right choice. We love these stores for their range and the help we get.
So what to look for in a highchair…..
Function. Does it do what it’s meant to? As the name suggests it should be a high chair for your baby or toddler. Can it sit at the height of your dinner table so that baby can be included in meal times with the rest of the family?
Style. Does it look good? There are a lot of highchairs that just look plain ugly! And there are many that have been designed to really fit with modern houses and decor. From fancy fabrics to colourful frames, you can design a chair to fit your house.
Comfort. Is it soft and padded or hard? A cheap high chair will usually skimp on the soft padded seats. Wooden chairs will have an option to buy a padded insert – taking more of your money for something that should be included. And some just look after baby’s little bottom!
Safety. Will it fall? NEVER leave your child unattended in a highchair! It doesn’t matter what safety features it has. You are the one responsible for your baby. Trust nothing but yourself.
Features. What else can it do Does the highchair you are looking at have a removable tray? Does it have a built in table to the chair? There are a few highchairs that are convertible and have a table and chair built right in. So who needs a removable tray? Why not sit at the table with them while they eat. We are social beings and none of us like eating alone. What about an integrated rocking chair?
Size. Does it fit your space? Don’t get something that is big and cumbersome. Unless you want to make a feature of your high chair, make sure it is small and compact. Foldable can be good, but sometimes these can end up being a lot larger than ones that arent. Also beware of the moving parts of a folding chair. Little fingers and toes can get caught and very hurt in these.
Cleaning. How easily can you clean it? It shouldn’t take more than a damp cloth to wipe it down. Sometimes you might even want to take it outside and hose it down if you’re trying baby led weaning. But will it rust and corrode? Is everything food safe?
Materials. What is it made from? Wooden or plastic? A plastic chair quite often has metal legs that clip in to it. A wooden chair will just have screws. What about a plastic highchair that is fully moulded and has soft padded seats….