The High Chair Buyer's Guide
Congrats, mommy. You've made it so far! Can you believe your little one is getting ready to start solids? They grow up so fast [wipes tear from eye].
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Before you dive into this next chapter, you'll probably want to get a high chair and some other feeding supplies. Essentially, there are 2 types of high chairs: one that stands on its own and one that sits on top of an existing dining chair...
Stand-Alone High Chairs
A stand-alone chair is great if you have the space for an extra chair in your kitchen or dining room. You can easily move it around, even from room to room. Also, you don't have to worry about damaging or staining your existing chairs, especially if your chairs are upholstered (eek!). Or white.
Here are the best stand-alone chairs in each price category, according to the mommies:
$ -- Ikea ANTILOP ~ $20 (say what?)
Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking: twenty dollars for a high chair? Must be pretty ghetto. Actually... not really. This chair is kinda awesome, and that's coming from someone who typically hates IKEA crap (yeah, I said it).
Pop the legs off this chair and it comes apart very easily for storage or taking along on a trip, and best of all there is NO fabric anywhere on this chair (why can't anyone else figure that out?), which makes it so very easy to clean. In fact, many moms have ditched their expensive, full-featured, pain-in-the-rear-to-clean chairs for this one. Yes, I swear it.
This chair is also perfect for grandma's house or some other place you need a spare. It comes in red, white and blue. See it in action here.
The $5 tray is sold separately (gasp, can you afford it?). At $25 (all in), this chair is a best buy. Don't ask me how these people make money. Like "where does sausage come from?", I don't think I want to know...
$ -- Fisher-Price EZ Clean ~ $80
If there's one thing we've learned about high chairs, it's that they need to be E-A-S-Y to clean. Everything else pales in comparison.
For an economy price, they really nailed the big stuff with this one:
- Open frame design allows you to pull baby very close to the table
- Coated straps you can just wipe clean [VERY useful, trust me]
- A seamless, machine-washable pad with no crevices to trap crumbs; Nano Tex spill resistant fabric
- Reclines for younger babes to join you at the table, with a bottle perhaps
- Folds for easy storage
$$ -- Mamas & Papas Pixi ~ $120
After living in small spaces for many years of my life, I have a real appreciation for space-savers.
The Pixi is a beautifully made, compact high chair that it stands on its own when folded [see above]. The padded seat means NO fabric on this chair, so it also wipes down very easily. Also, the tray clips to the bottom of the chair while not in use. Yes, we love the Pixi!
Comes in teal, pink and apple green.
* Doesn't recline, so not suitable for babes under 6 months.
$$ -- Graco Blossom ~ $155
This neat grow-with-baby system offers seating for 2 children of different ages, so it's ideal if you're planning on getting knocked up again anytime soon. The Blossom can be used as a regular high chair, an infant booster, a toddler booster and a child seat (click here or see below to see what I mean).
We have this chair at home and have enjoyed using it in all configurations, especially when we have guests. I also like that I can easily wheel it from room to room as needed. This is a great, full-featured chair that grows with your family. *This chair does not fold, but it does recline.
*Runner Up in this category: Chicco Poly
If you want something that's more a little more slick, check out these modern design favorites:
$$$ -- Stokke Tripp Trapp ~ $220ish
Never mind that the straps remind me of an electric chair (creepy), the Tripp Trapp by Stokke is a true classic and an all-time mommy favorite.
This tray-less high chair is designed to pull right up to the table, so your child can sit and eat with everybody else. The signature foot rest is infinitely adjustable and designed to grow with your child (see below). Later, the footrest acts like a ladder, allowing your child to seat herself on her own.
Once your child is finished using the chair, the whole thing can be converted to a stool or an adult chair. This chair is pricier than most, but you'll use it for MUCH longer. They also hold their resale value very well, as you will notice on Craigslist. See it in action here.
The Tripp Trapp is made from beech wood and comes varnished in a rainbow of colors - or just classic wood.
**This chair has no recline and therefore is not appropriate for a child that cannot sit completely unassisted.
$$$ -- Boon Flair ~ $210
The award-winning Flair high chair is a single piece of molded plastic that sits atop a pedestal (instead of legs).
In addition to the unique design, it has a couple of kooky features: a pneumatic lift to adjust the height (kinda like a barber's chair), a bunch of tiny, hidden casters that allow it to move around (George Jetson would approve). And with no cracks or crevices anywhere, it's super easy to clean. This is a beloved, modern high chair.
See it in action here.
Space Saver Chairs
The space saver or sit-on-top chair is better if you can sacrifice an existing chair or if you don't want a big 'ol honkin high chair taking up space in your kitchen. They also tend to be collapsible and portable, so you can easily take them from place to place.
If you're looking for a basic space saver high chair/booster, look no further.
This seat easily attaches to almost any dining chair. And when babe gets older and is ready to sit at the table, simply remove the back and it converts to a regular booster seat. Easy!
$ -- Inglesina Fast Table Chair ~ $49
This last chair is a major mommy-favorite: the hook-on style Ingelsina Fast. The ultimate space-saver, you can attach it to pretty much any tabletop or countertop and it takes up far less room than a high chair. Perfect if you typically eat at a "breakfast bar" or high countertop.
It fits tables up to 3.5" thick (yes, you should measure just to be sure) and holds up to 37lbs of baby meat. Stuff this chair in its self-contained bag and carry it along to a restaurant or to grandma's house: it's the cat's ass. If you do not love this chair, you can hold me personally responsible (just kidding).
See it in action here.
* If you buy this chair, save the receipt/shipping packaging until you've confirmed it fits your table.
There you have it, the best of the best according to the mommies. Good luck!