If you’re wondering how to fold high chairs, then you’re not alone. Each brand seems to have its own secrets when it comes to stowing them away for storage, and sometimes, it can feel like you’re up against some kind of Chinese puzzle.
Trying to figure out which parts to push and which sections to pull in order to operate hidden mechanisms that will eventually make the highchair collapse can have you pulling your hair out. All that to fit the highchair back into the kitchen cupboard from where it came.
Luckily, we’re here to help! We looked at how two highchairs fold away. One that requires two-handed operation and another that requires just one to make your life (just a little bit) easier.
Before storing your highchair away, there are a few things you should do to ensure that your highchair remains in good condition. Hopefully, by looking after it, it will be the only highchair you need to buy for your baby. It may even last long enough to cater for two or three more babies who may come after your baby.
1. Remove Your Baby
The first thing you’ll need to do is remove your baby from the highchair. Obvious? Sure. But that really is where you start, so we had to mention it right?
2. Remove the Tray
Some trays are designed to fold away with the tray attached, so of course, you should check the instructions first. Many highchairs on the market require the tray to be detached for storage.
Most trays are detached by pressing and holding down two buttons on either side of the highchair, near to where the tray is secured into place. You need to push both buttons in at the same time, and then you may have to give the tray a wiggle until it slides forward and comes free.
3. Clean Highchair Thoroughly
Even if it doesn’t look like it needs it, you should wipe down the highchair with a damp cloth after every use. If the manufacturer doesn’t specify that the tray is dishwasher-safe and that the covers are machine washable, then they probably aren’t. Use warm, soapy water to give the chair a good wash down every so often to remove invisible sticky prints, and wipe dry to stop mold from growing before it starts.
Folding Away a Cosco Highchair
Different brands of highchairs may have slightly different placed mechanisms, and some of them fold in different places. However, once you’ve mastered a few different highchairs, you’ll find it easier to work out how the others fold away by looking at where the hinges are located. Below we have a step-by-step guide on how to fold away a Cosco highchair, which is a popular brand of highchair that is folded and unfolded with two hands.
- Start by standing behind the chair. From the back, it will be easier to locate the levers or triggers you need to push, plus you also may have difficulty reaching them from the front.
- Find the two latch release triggers located on the back of the chair. There is one on each side, towards the back of the side rails.
- Pull both triggers up simultaneously. It can be quite awkward to do both latches at the same time, especially if they are a little stiff. Use the rest of your hand or thumb to rest against the chair to give yourself some leverage.
- Pressing the triggers successfully will result in a clicking noise, and the bottom of the chair will start to lift upwards.
- As soon as the chair starts collapsing on itself, you can release the triggers and move your hands up a bit higher where you can still support the chair’s weight, but you won’t get your fingers squashed.
- Push the seat downwards and the back of the chair upwards so that they are parallel with the chair legs. Grab hold of the chair legs and seat railings together in one hand.
- Hold the chair together in this position to move and store it. There are no fastenings to keep it in place once it is collapsed so if you try holding it by either just the top or just the bottom, then it will likely fall back into the open position again.
Folding Away a Graco Highchair
If you struggle with folding away your highchair, then you may be better off looking for a model that collapses with just one hand. You’ll find that many brands offer highchairs these days with one-handed operation, with Graco and Nook being two such brands.
Recognizing that you often have your baby in one arm, Graco has designed a highchair that requires just one hand to assemble and collapse it completely. As such, you don’t have to put your baby down while doing so.
- Stand behind the highchair and locate the handle that runs parallel to the seat.
- Anchor your foot behind the back leg of the chair so that it doesn’t slide around when you’re collapsing it.
- Grab the handle and squeeze the release mechanism while pulling the handle upwards. While doing this, you will notice that the tray is collapsing downwards.
- Once the tray is fully collapsed in-line with the front legs, push the handle in a downwards motion that will slide the seat down into the legs.
- Once the seat is all the way down, pull the handle back towards you. That will bring the front leg and seat towards the back leg (which should be firmly anchored to the ground with your leg).
Fold Away Success!
How to fold high chairs will always differ slightly from chair to chair, but once you understand the principles of how and where they are likely to fold, though the latches may be located in slightly different places, you should be able to work them all out pretty easily.
If you do still struggle, then look for a chair that folds with one hand and just one handle like the Graco or Nook highchairs. Another great tip is to look out for highchairs that have one-handed tray operation. The luxury of being able to swing the tray out with just one hand so that you can get your baby into the chair is great, especially if your baby is already crying for food.