2014 High Chair Buying GuideKatlyn Joy |27, October 2014
High chairs are a basic item in baby gear, and most parents hold off on buying one until it's time to use one, unless getting one as a gift. That time is certain to come before you imagine, however. So many options exist, and it can be difficult to know what model or type to choose.
What to Look for in a High Chair
Of course, with any item for baby safety is always the number one concern. Safety features that are important include a crotch post, so baby cannot slide down. You want a five-point harness system for securing baby as well. A model without wheels, or one that has locking wheels is important and you want a stable, study high chair that won't pinch fingers when folding it up.
Other features that you may want to consider are easy to clean materials, a dishwasher-safe tray, a reclining feature and adjustable height. Lots of models now convert to a booster-style seat when baby becomes a busy toddler. Other things to consider are a personal matter, such as do you want a kid-friendly print or something that merges with your dining room decor? How much room do you have for the chair? Some models take up a great deal of floor space.
Finally, make sure you get a high chair that has certification from the ASTM International, which is more stringent than one from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, or JPMA.
Go check out high chairs in person. Detach the tray, fold the chair up if it's a folding model, look for all the safety features, and try the reclining and seat height adjustments. Note the materials used, whether there are rough edges or protruding parts, and if it feels sturdy to weight and movement.
Popular High Chairs
Fisher Price EZ Clean.
This model features adjustable seat back and height, a flip fold storage mode, has a 5 point harness system, a machine-washable seat pad, and takes up a moderate amount of space.
Graco Blossom 4-in-1 Seating System.
As the name indicates, this chair is meant for the long-haul. For parents who want and need a variety of options, this is a top choice. The chair can even be split in components to accommodate two children of different ages/stages simultaneously. It has the time saving features of a dishwasher-safe tray, a machine-washable pad, and 3 recline positions and 6 height adjustments.
Graco SimpleSwitch Highchair and Booster.
A simple, frill-free high chair that is affordable, but still provides many of the features of a higher-end chair. For instance, you still get a machine-washable pad, and 3 reclining positions. When baby outgrows the high chair, it converts to a booster.
Fisher-Price Luv U Zoo EZ Clean High Chair.
It looks comfy, but still has the features an overworked parent appreciates. No more filthy buckles, as these are made to be easily washed. The pad is machine-washable, and the design prevents all the crumb-catching crevices that are so maddening to try to clean. It doesn't take up much space, either.
Grace DuoDiner LX Highchair.
Convenience is the key here. It has a simple, fast folding function, and is meant to go from an infant feeding chair, to a traditional high chair to a booster. It also has 5 adjustable heights.
OXO Tot Seedling High Chair.
It is designed to take you from infant to age 3, with 3 different versions of the chair. The cushion is about cleaning; it is wipeable, stain resistant and machine-washable. The wheels lock and the tray can be moved or removed with just one hand. There are 3 reclining positions and 5 height settings.
Fisher-Price Space Saver High Chair.
This product is a kind of hybrid between a traditional high chair and the strap-on boosters. It straps onto a regular dining room chair, but it built more like a high chair complete with tray, unlike the simple boosters that attach to regular chairs. It has 3 reclining positions and 3 height adjustments. It does convert to a booster, as well. Cleaning is easy, with a dishwasher-safe tray and a machine washable, and wipeable cushion. The best compromise between a portable chair and a traditional high chair.
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