Have you started introducing your baby to solid foods, parents? Wow, that’s a milestone! It means that your little one is getting older, and thus needs more nutrition from other foods. If your baby is also able to sit up or stay upright, then we can add another milestone to this time – the high chair!
You can introduce your baby to a high chair at the age of 6 months, if he has started eating solid foods, and can sit upright. A high chair is quite safe for the baby during his meal times. It makes feeding by the parent easier, and also keeps the baby comfortable as new foods, flavours, and textures come his way. It’s also easier to clean up afterwards! Parents love this transition of kids, from sitting in their laps to sitting by themselves. They enjoy seeing their little one grow up and reach new developmental goals. The high chair is a symbol of growth, and is an important milestone in a child’s life.
What Are High Chairs?
High chairs are special chairs for babies and toddlers, in which they can sit for feeding and meal times. The chair usually comes with an adjustable seat, which can be lifted according to the height of the parent, whether the parent is standing or sitting to comfortably feed the child. There is usually a tray on the boom, which can be used to hold utensils and food during meal times, or when the kid is eating by himself. The high chair also usually has a broad base for better stability, and some high chairs come equipped with seat belts to securely fasten the child to the seat.
When Can a Baby Use a High Chair?
Parents wonder when their babies can start using a high chair, or at what age they should start using a high chair. As every baby is different and thus grows differently, no one standard age can be followed by parents. However, according to high chair manufacturers and parenting experts, the standard age to put a baby in a high chair is six (6) months. But, parents can decide on their own, as per the development of their baby. Some babies start sitting by themselves or sitting upright at the age of 4 months, and some start by 6 months.
When your child can hold himself upright, or show good stability with some support, he can be seated in a high chair. For safety reasons, if a baby can hold his head up without propping him with pillows, then the baby can be put in a high chair. Similarly, the baby’s shoulders should also not need any prop support, and should stay straight without any help. The baby should also move his arms on his own.
Types of High Chairs
High chairs are available in wide variety and different features. They come in many shapes and sizes, and not all high chairs share the same features. The parent should choose a high chair as per the family’s lifestyle, amount of space in the house, the features required, and the budget.
Read on below to know more about different types of high chairs and their features, to help you choose the perfect high chair for your baby.
1. Traditional High Chair
What are they:
The traditional high chair is the basic or the upright high chair. The chair can be made of metal, wood, or plastic, and is simply a raised chair for a baby. This chair cannot be folded, is designed to be kept in a designated area of the home, and has none of the trimmings of the modern high chair design.
- Simple, basic design
- Available at a budget price
- No modern features
- Cannot be folded to store away
2. Modern High Chair
What are they:
The modern high chair has many features, and has an appearance similar to the traditional high chair. These chairs come with adjustable height, reclining seat, adjustable footrest, and adjustable height of the tray. The chair comes with its features adjustable, to ensure the comfort of the baby, and easy feeding for both the parent and the baby. This reclining high chair can also be folded for easy storage.
- Adjustable parts
- Fold for storage
- Complicated assembling
- More expensive than basic chairs
3. Space Saver High Chair
What are they:
Space saver high chairs or booster chairs are the chairs that convert any ordinary chair in your house to a high chair. One needs to simply put the booster chair on top of the regular chair, and it is ready for the baby to sit in, for feeding and meal times. The small size of the chair helps to save storage space, and is perfect for families living in apartments, or who have space constraints.
- Fits on any chair
- Takes less space
- Easy to clean and store
- Takes time to set up every time
- The chair gets messy
4. Convertible High Chair
What are they:
Convertible high chairs are the best solution for the question, what to do with the high chair when the baby grows up. This contraption can be used as a high chair, a booster seat, a toddler chair, and a child-sized activity table and chair! It is a long term investment, and can be used until the baby is 3 to 4 years old. These chairs are called 3-in-1 or 4-in-1, depending on the number of ways in which it can be used.
- Long use period
- Multi-usage features
- Takes a lot of storage space
- Bit expensive, as is multi-functional
5. Travel High Chair
What are they:
A travel high chair is the perfect chair for camping or travelling. It is designed for outdoor use only. The chair is usually made from heavy-duty canvas on a metal frame. They don’t require assembly, and can be folded for storage. However, they don’t have features like a removable tray, height adjustment, or reclining seats.
- Easy to take on travels
- Easy to clean
- Not for indoor use
- Canvas tray can get messy
6. Fabric High Chair
What are they:
These chairs are perfect to take along for your baby’s feeding time when you are travelling. It is a lightweight chair, and it can be folded into a small size and washed in a washing machine. One can use them on any available chair, by simply sliding over the cover and clipping the baby to it.
- Foldable to a small size
- Machine washable
- Suitable for travel
- Needs frequent washing
- Does not boost the height of the chair
Essentials Features in a Safe High Chair for Your Child
Most parents may not know what essential features to look for, when buying a safe high chair for their child. Here are some important features to check for when buying a high chair.
1. Easy to use
The parent should be able to put the baby into the high chair, and take him out of it, with ease.
The tray should be operable by one hand.
3. Stability and mobility
The chair should be stable. If it has wheels, parents should be able to lock them to keep the chair stationary.
How much storage space does it take, is a big question. Choose a high chair according to the space in your home.
The chair should come with some kind of seat straps or belts, that are easy to buckle and unbuckle around your child.
Purchase a high chair that is certified, or approved and tested by JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association), as they are the safest.
The chair should be comfortable for the baby, and have padded seats and a footrest.
8. Ease of Cleaning
Easy to clean as babies make a mess when eating.
Purchase a high chair that grows with the baby, meaning that the chair should accommodate a baby over an age range, such as 6 months to 3 years, to make it last long-term.
Guidelines to Follow While Transitioning Your Baby to a High Chair
Introducing a baby to sitting on a high chair can be a bit difficult for the parents. It’s a new concept for the kid; he may not understand why he has to sit by himself in a chair. Parents need to transition the child to start sitting in the high chair. Here are some guidelines for parents to follow while they transition their baby to a high chair.
- The first step is to become familiar with all the features of the high chair. Parents should know the different features, how they work, and how to adjust them.
- It is best to first test drive the high chair for some days or weeks, before starting to use it regularly to feed the baby. Let your child become familiar with the chair by seating him in it, and giving them some toys, plates, spoons, etc to play with.
- If the high chair has wheels, ensure that the wheels lock properly, and that you know how to lock them on the fly.
- Every time you use the high chair, make sure all the features are in their place.
- Adjust the footrest to support the baby’s feet comfortably.
- If the child is in the high chair at the dining table, be sure to place the chair in such a position that he can see the parents and be part of the family meal.
- Prepare the food before seating your baby in the chair, so that he knows that when he sits in the high chair, it’s eating time.
- Keep the chair away from the wall, table, counter tops, and things that are sharp or hot.
- Never never leave the baby unattended in the high chair.
- Always strap your little one securely in the high chair.
High chairs are a convenient way to help your little one start eating by himself, when you have introduced him to solid foods. Your child can sit comfortably and with family at eating times, and start learning his eating routine!