sitting pretty:
choosing the right highchair

Joining you at the table for meals is an important step for your little one. Your baby might not have quite managed the art of getting food from the plate to their mouth yet (wet wipes at the ready!), but they’ll love being at eye level with you and having their own meal to eat.

Your baby is ready for a highchair once they can confidently sit unsupported. This varies depending on the child, but it's generally at around six months. Once they start, they'll be using a highchair until they move on to a booster or support seat at two or three years old, so it's important to get the chair right from the off. While your baby is the star of the show, make sure your new highchair fits in with your lifestyle too. To make things easier, it's a good idea to invest in more than one chair during your child's early years. After all, how ever much you love your standard highchair at home, you probably won't want to lug it with you on holiday. Here's what to look out for when buying your first highchair.


baby weaning in a baby highchair

easy cleaning

Baby food has a habit of getting everywhere doesn't it? Investing in a high chair that's quick to clean helps keep mealtimes fun for you and your little one. Removable trays or detachable inserts are a real bonus as you can pop them straight in the dishwasher, while rounded edges and simpler designs save on scrubbing. Adding a splash mat helps you protect your floor too.

curious baby in their highchair
 

travelling light

happy smiling baby in their highchair

If you're short on space or often on the move, lightweight folding or compact highchairs are your new best friend. Many have an easy-to-fold mechanism, so you can save time packing away after each meal and stow it in the car in seconds. These highchairs are great value for money and many have a padded cushion option for extra comfort.

multi-tasking

Multi-function highchairs are the answer if you're looking for a real all-rounder. Different height positions mean you can feed your baby at the right level for you, while footrest and recline options keep them comfy. Many chairs feature adjustable trays and seats too, so you can change things up as your child gets older.

baby feeding themselves in their highchair

room to grow

For a highchair that will last from your baby's first meal right up to their first day at school, convertible highchairs are your best bet. Designed to magically transform from a highchair into a toddler seat or chair, these can be used from the first few months right through childhood. Some will include a safety harness but it's worth picking up a separate one if not.

packable, stackable, practical

As fun as playing 'hunt the highchair' in a restaurant is, portable highchairs make travelling with a toddler so much easier. While they won’t replace a full-size highchair, these will pack down so you can take them anywhere. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure your chair fits your baby’s weight.

Not all portable seats are made equal; normally you'll be choosing between a booster seat, a shaped support seat or a clamp or hook-on model. Booster seats attach to a standard dining chair, giving your child extra height so they can join you at the table. Soft fabric folding designs are extra easy to transport, while detachable trays allow for freedom when feeding.

Shaped support seats are ideal for younger babies. These are designed to be used on the floor but some also attach to an adult chair. Clamp-on or hook-on seats that attach to table tops make great space-savers, while allowing your little one to eat at the same height as everyone else. They generally come with their own carry bag, making them super compact.

babies sitting in portable highchairs

safety first

Before you come to a final decision, make sure your highchair meets current safety standards.[1] Here are a few other things to bear in mind to make sure the head of the table is safely seated:


  • make sure to keep an eye on your little one whenever they’re in their highchair
  • always use an approved safety harness with crotch, waist and shoulder straps. These can be purchased separately if not provided with your chair
  • check your highchair is properly set up and stable every time you use it
  • only use your highchair on an even, clean and toy-free floor
  • make sure your highchair is located safely away from any potential hazards
  • take care when getting your child in and out of the highchair and watch those fingers when attaching trays

References


[1]. How We Test High Chairs, Which, [Accessed May 2019]