The modern market for highchairs ranges from the traditional wooden up-to-the-table chairs to contemporary fun designs baby can use from birth until school age. A high chair is such a feature of having young children that it's important that you choose one which fits your lifestyle and home. But, you should also keep in mind the useful life span of a highchair at some point, your toddler will need to move to a booster seat or an up-to-the-table chair, and this can happen as early as 18 months for some children.
No matter what type of chair you buy, here are some factors to consider.
Size. How much room do you have, and how much room does your chair of choice require? Make sure these two measurements add up.
Stability. As a general rule, the wider the base of the high chair, the more stable it will be. Make sure yours will stay standing through hectic mealtimes.
Washability. There's no way around it: high chairs get dirty. No matter what kind you choose, make sure it's easy to clean, and definitely avoid fabrics that will stain or require a lot of maintenance.
Features to look for
Five-point harness. This is a must for keeping your baby securely in place during the high-chair stage. In the booster seat stage, the harness is optional, but recommended.
Seat-adjustability. Babies come in all different shapes and sizes, and those shapes and sizes will change rapidly, so pick a high chair that will grow with and adjust to your baby at every stage.
Adjustable footrest. The footrest should be movable to accommodate your growing baby.
Height-adjustability. This setting lets you move the seat to whatever height allows you to comfortably reach your baby, whether you're sitting or standing.
One-hand maneuverability. From latches to seat belts to adjustments, the more you can do while holding a plate of mashed banana in one hand, the better. This is especially true of the tray.
Collapsibility. If you don't have a lot of room to leave a high chair sitting out, find one that folds up for easy between-meal storage.
Recline settings. If the chair reclines, you can start your child in it earlier, rather than waiting till he can sit up. It will also come in handy for the child who enjoys a quick snooze immediately after eating.
Locking mechanism. If you pick a high chair with wheels, make sure that you can lock the wheels into place, for obvious reasons.
Extra functions. Some high chairs can do double duty as rocking chairs, bouncy seats, or swings, saving you a purchase and meaning one less thing for you to store.