When shopping for a particular product, the great thing is that we have so many choices. And when we get the great news that we will soon welcome a new member of the family, we break into a flurry of activity to make sure we have everything ready for the blessed event.
We make lists and check off items as we buy them or as thoughtful friends and relatives give them as gifts. One of the very important items we will need for baby is a high chair because we will use it nearly every day for the first few years of our baby’s life.
If you want your money’s worth on something you can literally use for years, this Graco product will surely fit the bill. Graco, a giant in the baby product industry, offers this high chair that it bills as a system, and it truly is. You will be able to use this high chair from the time your baby is only a few months old until they no longer need a booster seat.
Graco calls this a convertible 6-in-1 system for a very good reason because it grows so well with your child.
Start your baby in the infant recliner position. As baby grows and is able to sit independently, use it as a more traditional high chair. During this stage of development, you can convert the chair to an infant booster that fits on a regular dining chair. This is very handy when visiting someone who has no high chair in the home or at a restaurant.
Eventually, baby will outgrow this stage of use and graduate to a toddler booster, which is part of the chair. Simply remove it from the bottom of the chair and put in place.
Because of the configuration of this chair, it will allow you to seat two children at two different stages of development at once.
The chair also has six height settings to adjust to your table and a 3-position recline, dishwasher safe food tray, adjustable and removable foot rest. The leatherette seat pad cleans easily but is also machine washable.
I like this product very much because of its versatility and adaptability. I feel like I’d be getting my money’s worth because of the different ways I could use it and for the length of time I could use it. It will also work for children up to 60 pounds, which could be up to five years.
I like to use things right out of the box, so I don’t naturally warm to something I have to assemble before use, although the assembly on this particular product doesn’t seem overwhelming. It also takes up a lot of room, so if space is at a premium at your house, this one may not work well for you.
If you’re in the market for a smaller, lighter, less expensive high chair, take a look at the Cosco Simple Fold High Chair. This product is more what people think of as a traditional high chair.
This Cosco model requires no assembly, sets up in seconds and has been designed with portability in mind. At less than 14 pounds, it folds and can be easily taken anywhere. Folded, it stands on its own with a thin silhouette that keeps it out of the way when not in use.
The chair has a 3-point harness to keep baby secure and the chair can accommodate children up to 50 pounds. The seat easily wipes clean with a damp cloth.
I like that the chair is so lightweight yet sturdy enough for a child of 50 pounds. I also like its portability, the ease of storage, and the fact that it takes up so little room even when in use.
The back of the seat slants backward, which may work well for very young children still being bottle fed, however, some people report that children tend to slide forward and downward. Only the 3-point harness prevents them from completely sliding out of the chair.
Versatility is the trend in the baby product industry as manufacturers realize the importance of longevity of use in their products. Babies don’t stay babies forever, and this high chair is another example of a product that grows with baby.
You can start using this high chair with very young babies because it has three different recline positions. As baby grows, just place the back of the seat in a more upright position. Baby stays secure in his seat with the 5-point harness system.
When baby can sit comfortably, this chair converts to a more traditional high chair with 4 different locking positions of the food tray. The food tray is dishwasher safe and can be removed with one hand.
The chair also converts to a chair that you can strap on to a regular dining chair, a very handy feature when visiting friends or traveling. This mode also enables you to seat an older child in the toddler booster seat simultaneously. The chair pad is totally removable and machine washable.
I very much like that I can remove the chair pad and wash it in the washing machine, and that the food tray is dishwasher safe. Keeping the baby’s eating area clean is very important to the health and safety of a child.
I also like the versatility of this chair and that it will accommodate a child’s growing body and changing needs. It can also accommodate two children at different stages of development simultaneously.
I like bright colors and so do babies. The worst I can say about this chair is that while mom and dad might like the muted gray colors, brighter colors have more appeal to babies and very young children.
Evenflo follows the convertible trend with this product. This nifty little chair has a cool factor that some other convertibles don’t, which makes it quite an interesting product. By the same token, while it grows with baby, it doesn’t quite have the versatility of some other convertibles.
Of course it’s a traditional high chair for babies who can sit comfortably with some support, about 6 months of age and is rated for children up to 40 pounds. It has a full-sized food tray that wipes clean.
Remove the top portion of the chair and it will sit on the floor so that the baby can sit and play or snack, as the food tray stays attached. The child can place their feet on the floor and feel like a “big kid.” The chair in this configuration will work for children up to 50 pounds.
The third part of this conversion comes for older children when you pull the chair apart into two sections, and remove the food tray to produce a child-sized table and chair.
I like the child-sized table and chair you can configure from this chair, giving the child the feeling of their own space where they can snack, or color, or draw masterpieces to decorate your refrigerator.
The chair pad cleans easily with a damp cloth or in the washing machine, and the food tray is totally removable for cleaning in your sink.
The biggest negative I see for this chair is that the seat back has no recline position, so it’s not appropriate for very young babies.
If you travel a lot or eat out frequently, this SpaceSaver high chair from Fisher-Price may be what you’re looking for. This one has everything a traditional high chair has in half the space.
Fisher-Price has removed the top half of a traditional high chair and kept all the usual features, but redesigned it to fit a regular dining chair at home or away. Easily portable at only 7 pounds, this would make a good travel chair for baby.
The chair has a recline position, and straps securely to most kitchen or dining chairs. And the chair has a 5-point harness to keep baby securely in place. The food tray is dishwasher safe and the chair cushion cleans up easily.
I love anything I can throw in the dishwasher and this food tray cleans up well with all the other dinner dishes. Because it’s so light, this makes a great portable high chair, but it also works well at home, especially if you’re short on space.
As a portable high chair, this product works well, but it’s very pricey, especially since it’s made of plastic – heavy-duty, but still plastic.
When shopping for a product to solve a problem or fill a need, it’s always a good idea to have a list of what features you’d like in that product. Here are a few for you to consider.
The condition of any product is important but particularly so when it involves the health and safety of our children. If you buy a new chair, you can be assured of good condition. If there is a problem with function, you can return it for a refund or replacement. If you’re on a budget and choose to buy a used one, make sure all the features work and that fabrics are not torn, dirty or moldy. Overall, the high chair should be clean and well cared for.
When buying a high chair, you might want to keep in mind who manufactured that chair. Some companies, such as Graco and Evenflo, and Cosco have been in the business for decades and have earned the respect and high regard of consumers because they have consistently produced quality baby products.
On the other hand, we also have some newcomers such as Ingenuity, and they are doing well in meeting the expectations of consumers as well.
Another reason to choose a manufacturer with a good reputation is that they will stand behind their product with a guarantee and will replace the product or broken parts that fall within that guarantee for the stated period of time.
When buying a high chair, you need to consider what features you want and need. First on the list should be the stability of the chair. Make sure you find one that will not topple easily. Another is to look at all safety belts and buckles to be sure they are strong and durable enough to secure baby in the chair.
Next, look at chair back positions. Most chairs have three, but not all, so you must read the product descriptions and packaging carefully. Food tray adjustability is also important. As baby grows, you’ll need to adjust the tray so that it sits further out from their tummy so as not to crush and make them uncomfortable.
Portability is another feature to look for. You may travel a lot, or visit friends and relatives on a regular basis, so you may need a portable high chair. Check to see how easily it folds and stores and that it’s lightweight enough to cart around with you.
Versatility might determine if you buy a particular chair. Some high chairs are not just high chairs, but are sold as “systems” because they have anywhere from 3 to 6 configurations to keep up with baby as he grows.
Also look for washability. Some chair pads and belts are machine washable while others can only be washed by hand in the sink. Yet, there are a few out there that are not removable and you must wipe them clean in place.
I don’t place color as high on the list as some of the other features, but a high chair is, after all, a piece of furniture that will sit in your kitchen or dining room for a few years.
If your color scheme is light blue, you obviously would like a high chair that at least doesn’t clash with your walls. With some high chairs, you can choose from as many as 10 or 11 color schemes. With others, you can only choose the one offered.But, sometimes you have to choose function over looks.
Frames on high chairs are made from a variety of materials including aluminum, steel and plastic, so some are more durable than others. You can easily clean all these materials with a damp rag.
Chair pads and belts are made from fabrics such as polyester, cotton, and leatherette. All will clean up easily. However, some are removable and you can wash them in the sink while others are machine washable.
Food trays on a high chair are usually plastic and adjustable. They are all removable and washable, but some are even dishwasher safe which is always a plus.
Babies as young as 3 or 4 months old can sit in a high chair that has a recline position because at this age baby does not have the ability to sit up comfortably without support. But it might be a good idea to introduce your child to mealtime with the family while you safely feed them a bottle. This is, however, not a safe position for feeding solid foods.
By the time a baby has reached 6 months old, they should be able to sit up on their own and enjoy sitting in a high chair. The food tray will also allow them to practice feeing themself.
The average load for today’s high chair runs from a low of 30 pounds to a high of 60 pounds. Read the product description or box carefully before buying. Those with a heavier max load are generally sturdier and made of more durable materials.
Some high chairs are very lightweight for portability and weigh in as little as 7 pounds and more traditional chairs average about 40 pounds. Since the heavier chairs will most likely stay in your kitchen or dining room, weight won’t be a big consideration here. However, if you consider traveling with your high chair, then look more closely at the lighter weight ones since they also tend to fold easily for you to pack them in your car.
If your high chair reclines, you can probably begin using the high chair at about 3 or 4 months old in that position to feed bottles. You would not use this position to safely feed solid foods, however. As baby grows and can sit up by themself, usually about 6 months of age, then they can sit upright and eat solid foods and begin to feed themself.
When you buy a high chair, look for safety features first, such as security straps to be sure baby will not slide out or be able to climb out as they get older. Make sure the food tray adjusts so you can make more seat room as baby grows. Also consider weight load of the chair. If it’s only 30 pounds, your baby will not be able to use it as long as one rated at 60 pounds.
Also look for washability and how easy it is to clean. If the chair pad and straps are removable, that makes the job a whole lot easier. If the chair pad and straps are machine washable, that’s even better. Food trays are always washable but some are dishwasher safe. If that’s important to you, several high chairs have this feature.
Every baby is different. We all like to think our babies are precocious and will be out of the high chair in a year. Realistically, until a child can sit comfortably at the table in a toddler seat, they should remain in the high chair for their own safety. Most of the time that would be at about 3 years old.
You can use a high chair for various functions, first and foremost for feeding your child. You can also use it as a socialization tool. Place baby in the high chair while the family sits around the table talking or playing a game. They will begin to feel like a part of the activity in the house. Wheel the high chair into the kitchen while you prepare dinner and give baby something to play with while you’re busy. Talk to them; laugh with them and make meal prep more fun for the both of you.
Of all these high chairs, my favorite is the Graco Blossom 4-in-1 Convertible High Chair Seating System. It has various configurations that your baby can use as they grow. It will take them from infancy to a 60 pound toddler and can simultaneously seat two children. It is the most versatile and adjustable that I’ve found.
While it is on the pricey side, I would spend the extra bucks because of the brand, the quality of the product, and the length of time I would use it.
If, however, you’re on a budget, or if space is a factor, I would opt for the Evenflo Convertible High Chair. This one has the recline feature, is small and portable, and can be used as a toddler booster when appropriate. It’s also lightweight and costs a fraction of what the Graco model costs.