The best high chair has
- A secure, five-point
harness. Five-point harnesses attach around the waist and go
over the shoulders to keep baby from climbing out and falling.
- Wheels that lock. Wheels are a great feature for moving the chair around the house or the kitchen,
but they should lock securely so the chair doesn't move when it's not supposed
- A wide base. A wide base helps keep the chair steady so it doesn't tip, even if baby
- A crotch post. A passive crotch post keeps baby from sliding between the tray and seat,
a common source of injuries.
- A locking frame. Any high chair that folds should have secure locks when it's open to
keep it from collapsing.
- One-handed usage
features. That way you can hold baby while getting the high
chair ready, something that makes life easier for many parents.
- Wipe-clean materials. Fancy fabrics may look nice, but they can be a nightmare to keep clean.
Seat inserts are best if they're machine-washable. Trays and inserts should be dishwasher-safe.
Harnesses should detach for washing.
Know before you go
- Do you want to use the chair
from birth? Look for a high chair that reclines and
provides infant support.
- Are you short of space? Look for a portable or space-saver high chair. Portable chairs fold flat and have their own storage. Space-saver
chairs fold up and can be stored in a closet or a narrow storage area like
beside a fridge.
- Do you want to bring baby to the
table? Look for a high chair that has adjustable height positions and
doesn't have armrests that would prevent it from being pulled up to the table.
- Do you want to feed your baby
at counter height? You will need to find a chair with a
relatively high top height position.
- Do you want to entertain baby
in the high chair? A seat with a large tray table that can
hold lots of toys will make this easier.
Buying tactics and strategies
Be wary of secondhand high chairs. Newer
seats usually meet more stringent standards and have a greater number of
features. In addition, after five years or so, plastic or wood can degrade and
crack, spurring potential safety issues. Be sure to check all structural
aspects of a chair you are considering if you decide to go the secondhand
route. Older models of current high chairs may not have the same safety and
usability features as current editions and may also have been recalled, since
recalls are usually retroactive by several model years.