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Buying Guide: High Chairs for Babies and Toddlers


What kind of high chair do you need? Almost as varied as the foods your baby will be eating, high chairs come in a wide range of styles, materials, and optional features. Here’s what you should consider before buying or registering for one:


Types of High Chairs

Standard high chair: An everyday highchair with a tray that can be used as soon as baby can sit up (around six months)—or even sooner, if the model reclines. A tray attaches to serve as a table for baby.

European-style high chair: A (usually) tray-less high chair that you can pull right up to the table so your babe can eat with the rest of the family. Generally accommodates kids through the toddler years (and sometimes well beyond, depending on weight limit), since they feature adjustable seat and footrest positions.

Portable or hook-on high chair: Great for travel or even for families with limited space, this kind of compact seat clips onto your table or dining chair. Note: especially with chairs that hook onto a table, it’s important to adhere to weight limits—and to confirm that your table is sturdy enough to support the weight of a chair. Also, hook-on arms made of metal may damage a softer wooden dining table. Chairs that attach to a dining chair may offer all the features of a standard high chair, including a tray, but without its corresponding footprint.

Booster seat: Good for toddlers who have grown out of a high chair (somewhere between 18 to 24 months) but still need help reaching the table or the additional security of a seat belt (often a three-point harness instead of the five-point harness on many standard high chairs).

Chair harness: A fabric seat cover that attaches to the back of a chair and has safety straps to keep your child in place—not as secure as a booster seat (and doesn’t provide the lift of one either), but can be super convenient for traveling with an older infant or toddler.


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