High Chairs & Boosters
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As first time parents, we're looking for recommendations on what
to look for when buying a high chair. What features are must
have and what can we live without. Our son is 5 months old and
we're looking for a chair we can use now until he's a few years
old. We're looking at middle of the road models ($80-$130) and
they're so many of them that it is hard to figure out what are
the best ones out there.
I was in your same position a few weeks ago. I was willing to pay
$80-$150 for a high chair but didn't know which one to choose.
Ultimately I went with my sister's advice (she's a mother of
three) and purchased the avalon high chair from Target. It is
very simple and without any bells and whistles, it only cost
$25!! I've been extremely happy with it. The seat is totally flat
with no seams or creases so food can be wiped away with no
problem. The height doesn't adjust but it is the perfect level
for me to sit in a standard kitchen chair and feed the baby. It
folds easily and takes up hardly any space. The only drawback is
that it works best for a child who already sits up on their own.
I used a bouncy seat with a towel over it for the first month or
so of feeding. You can only buy it at Target and it's not sold
Hi--I don't have a recommendation for a specific high chair, but
I can tell you what I find most helpful (we've had a couple.)
First of all, the simpler the design, the easier it is to clean,
so don't go with a busy, ruffled model. Second, you don't need
it to recline--feeding a baby in a reclining position is
dangerous. Third, we found it useful to have one that folded up
for storage, because they take up a lot of space and our kitchen
is not that huge. Many people just get a ''portable'' highchair
that attaches to a tabletop or to a regular chair, and those
work great if your baby fits in them. Pretty much all
highchairs have removable trays to make them easier to wash.
Some have smaller inner trays that you can remove and put in the
dishwasher, but we didn't find that helpful either because the
food gets smeared all over the place and doesn't stay in that
nice little tray once they're self-feeding. Hope this helps,
We used a Me Too chair from the time our kid could sit up until
just recently, when we got another table on which it didn't fit.
I LOVED that thing - it clamps onto the table, so you have no
bulky mountain of plastic in your dining area, the kid is right
up at the table with the family, and it's easy to fold up and put
away (and really easy to install securely). It costs something
like $40 and is worth every penny. The only problems with it are
that it doesn't fit on all tables and its design makes it hard to
clean really thoroughly. It's good up to 40 pounds. (Though I
suspect that you wouldn't want to use it regularly once the kid
gets independent and wants to climb up into their seat. We
switched to a booster seat on a chair.)
Me Too Devotee
The best high chair is well below your cost range. It is from Ikea and it is called
''Antilop''. It is white plastic chair with white metal legs. Attention--the tray is a
separate purchase and they don't always have the chair and the tray in stock at
the same time. The cost for the chair plus the tray is under $20. It is great
because it has no grooves for the food to get stuck in. There is also a wooden
model at ikea if that is more your style, which is similarly minimal. We love our
ikea high chair!
I am looking for a children's chair that has adjustable
height,and a back but cannot swivel. I want to be able to use it
with children of different heights. A leg rest would be nice.
Look at the Stokke chair. It is called Tripp Trapp or Kinderzeat.
It is good looking, functional, adjusts from high chair age to teen-ager and is well-made. We
have two. They are made of wood and are easy to put together and come in endless colors and
natural wood stains. They are not cheap - I think retail for $199 - but will last forever. I
think we bought our last one online - if you Google the name of the chair you will come up with
many purchasing options and I am sure there are local retailers that you can search out to try
it yourself. Tracey
Stokke Kinderseat. We got ours at Giggle on Union St. They sell them in various modern furniture
places. Try Zinc Details, Rockridge Kids. We started our daughter at 2 but she could have been
younger. They're supposed to last for kids up to 99.
I'm trying to understand if we need a high chair. We got a
hand-me-down folding booster seat with a tray that we have
strapped into one of our dining room chairs and are using to feed
our six-month-old. We've tucked a dishcloth underneath it to
protect the chair seat. What advantages would we gain by getting
a full-scale high chair?
It is true that you don't need half the stuff that people (and
especially stores and
books) say you do! I did without a monitor, a swing and a bassinet. But
a highchair is something thst I found essential. Not only was it
convenient because you could move it around from palce to place and even
take it with you (to in-laws and such), it is also much safer than a
booster - a 6 month old (even a 1 year) cannot be expected to keep their
balance in a booster all the time. Also a good high chair will have some
moderate reclining positions that help the younger baby (5 or six
months) if they cannot sit up throughout the feeding. But the main
reason I think for getting a highchair (other than safety) is ergonomic.
Have you ever tried to eat with your feet dangling? Very uncomfotable. A
highchair will have the appropriate footrest for your child that will
make them much more comfortable when eating and will take the pressure
off their back.
hope that helps!
We have only used a booster chair for our now 13 month old son and it
has worked well. It's nice to be able to scoot him up to the table when
we are eating dinner or tuck the chair out of sight when not in use.
The only possible down side is that the tray is small but that hasn't
been a big deal for us.
We never had a highchair. We used the booster/tray as well.
We eventually out grew it and bought the restarunt style kids/highchairs
which we still use.
My son is now 2.5 and we still use his high chair.. In fact, it the most
used piece of baby equipment in my house. He loves it. We have taken the
tray off and just push it up to our table, which allows him to be at the
correct height. I never thought that a high chair would be so important,
but now I am so glad that we splurged on one that is so great. We have
the Peg Perego Primma Pappa. Yes, it is expensive, but so much better
and worth the money. Easy to clean and the tray slides out super easy.
Definitely get one!
high chair lover
In a word, no.
So why doesn't everyone have a booster?
Because they don't fit securely on all types of chairs, because they
don't work with all heights of tables or parents, because some children
don't fit well in one - too small, too active, too heavy. They can make
some chairs too top heavy for the position of the legs, and as the child
gets older, and in particular wants to climb in on their own, it's just
not very safe.
Yes! At least I do. Really, many of the baby items we thought we would
need did end up being worthless, ie. the bottle warmer, teether blanket,
swing (she hated it), changing table (we use the floor), play pen
(kiddie prison he he he) etc.
But the high chair is really useful. Our nanny used a booster chair for
awhile but it was unstable and awkward to use. If my daughter is really
active I might use the high chair or a door bouncer while I cook/take
shower. And when we all eat dinner,
that's her seat. I wonder if others have found it as useful?
No - you don't if the booster seat is working for you.
With my first child I had the big high chair and it never quite fit in
the house- we eventually just went to the folding plastic booster seat
with the tray that you're talking about. With my second, I've used the
booster-type from the get-go and I love it. Its easy to clean, easy to
store, and you can always take it with you if you're having dinner at a
friend's house. Oh, and it cost SO much less.
Nope. We used a booster seat from 5mos to 20 mos and never regretted
not having a high chair.
No, a booster is fine. All you need is a place where the baby can be
strapped in, safe, and can eat food. When my oldest child (now 6) was
born, I went out and bought one of those neat, wooden, old-fashioned
high chairs because it went with our furniture and looked ''classic''.
The new plastic ones with all the features took
up way too much space in our small dining area. We also bought a
travel. Now, with Baby #3, we're using the booster! It's simple,
lightweight, works fine, and is easy to clean. (We keep a second
booster in the car for meals at friends'
The wooden one is a good ''extra'' for visiting babies, but the varnish
is coming off, and the metal brackets that hold the tray have bent over
the years, so we use the booster. One suggestion: instead of a dish
towel, use one of those fabric, waterproof crib pads--it will protect
your chair from wet spills as well as dry, and is machine washable.
We're in the market for our first high chair, wondering if anyone
has any experience with the Svan chair. We really like the
design and the small footprint of this chair, but as first-time
parents (and rather clueless ones as these things go), we're
wondering whether it will satisfy our baby's needs as well as it
does our own. Basically, we're looking for something not
terribly big or offensive looking that will allow us to start
feeding him solid foods at around 5 months but will grow with him
for as long as possible. Would we really miss the reclining
feature of some high chairs? Is the Svan's small tray an issue?
Is it inconvenient to use if you are not feeding the baby at the
dinner table? We'd appreciate any advice people have, including
I can't comment on the Svan chair. But I can tell you that we never, not
once, used the reclining feature on our daughter's high chair. When we
bought it (as first-time parents) we thought that would be an important
feature. It definitely was not for us. We didn't want her to sleep in her
chair, only to use it for eating. And when she had a bottle we always
held her; never gave her a bottle in the chair.
We purchased a Svan high chair from Giggle in SF in Feb of this
year and really like it (I would definitely get the chair
cushion). We use a conventional high chair when we visit our
parents-in-law, and I like the Svan much better. We have a small
house, and it takes up less space. I also like the fact that you
can either use the tray or just pull it up to the table. The
downside is that you can't put the tray (which is wood) in the
dishwasher, and the finish on our tray is starting to wear. I
think the tray is plenty large enough. It might be possible to
make a plastic liner for the tray, which would prevent some of
the wear on the finish and may make it easier to clean. To clean
it, we just put the wooden tray in our kitchen sink and wash with
a sponge and dish soap, then either towel or air dry. An
alternative may be the Stokke Tripp Trapp chair
- they do make an infant insert, but I'm not sure it's available
in the U.S. It seems that they sell the KinderZeat in the U.S.
(www.stokkeusa.com), which is only for older children, and the
Tripp Trapp in Europe. You could try contacting Stokke to find
out if you can purchase the Tripp Trapp in the U.S.
We have been using the Svan for almost a year now and we LOVE it. It is very petite
and doesn't dominate the whole room. Our baby sits very comfortably and naturally
in it, like he's sitting in a real chair rather than a holding device. We like the idea
that he will be able to climb into his own kid-sized chair when he gets older.
Because of the open design, it doesn't trap a lot of food in the seat, and the cushion
is easy to clean. The small tray is fine, though not really big enough for, say, paper
and crayons, if you are planning to use the chair for confined play-time. The tray is
not designed as well as it could be (a tad wobbly; no lip on the inner edge; narrow
so it's easier for kids to throw food over the side), but it is completely functional,
and stores on the back when not in use. The chair is easy to use with or without the
tray. My only other minor complaint is that the seat back is low, so that my kid hits
his head on it when he thrashes around a lot. Overall, the benefits really outweigh
these small inconveniences. As long as your baby can sit up on his own, you will
NOT miss the recline feature. (We just fed our baby in our lap or in the carseat until
he could sit up). I have posted a more detailed review of this chair on epinions.com,
or email me if you have more questions; I know it is a big investment! We bought
ours online (no tax, free shipping) and it has defenitely been worth the money.
We've had a Svan for 9 months and I like it a lot, especially
compared with other typical plastic high chairs. I don't miss the
reclining feature, I don't think the tray is too small, and it's
fine whether you're feeding the baby at the table or not.
You seem to know the upsides. The downsides are that it's
expensive, the tray isn't dishwasher safe, and I believe that
eventually--after thousands of washings--the finish will wear off
the tray. I also wish it were a little easier to remove the
straps for washing, but that is an issue with other high chairs
as well, probably for safety reasons.
We love our Svan! Like you, we were looking for a less-high-
chair-looking high chair, and the Svan definitely fits the
bill. Our son is still using the ''first stage'' of the chair (as
a high chair rather than as a booster seat or regular chair),
so I can't speak to how it will wear long-term, but he has been
using it for nearly a year now with no problems. The small tray
has not been an issue, and even though it's wood you can just
remove it and run it under the sink. (In fact, I suppose its
small size makes it more likely to actually fit in the sink.)
It seems perhaps a little less stable than other high chairs
with wider bases that he has used elsewhere, but on the other
hand our son is very active and has not managed to tip it or
even come close. You can use it at the dinner table or
elsewhere; we do both. I've never tried a reclining high chair,
but my son was never one to fall asleep in the high chair
anyway. The pads come off easily and go in the washing machine.
We have used a Svan since my son (now 2) was around 6 months
old, and we love it. When I first put it together, it seemed
too small/low compared to my friends' big high chairs, but it's
grown on me. My son used the infant guard/tray till he was
about a year old, and we found the tray roomy enough. It's a
little hard to clean around the edges of the tray if you don't
do it right away - you need to run a spoon or something around
the joint to get anything that's dried, since it's not smooth
molded plastic. And the tray didn't fit under or over our
table, but we just turned it sideways next to the table. I've
never missed the reclining feature, since I didn't really feel
my kid needed to eat lying down.
These days, with the tray off, it scoots right up to our regular
dining table (and matches the color perfectly, unlike a plastic
chair), and my son loves the fact that he can climb into and out
of it himself - it's very stable. He sits up there for art
projects and other tabletop play, too. It's nice and light,
easy to carry from kitchen to dining room and lift for
vacuuming. Definitely get the cushion - it removes/washes
easily, although the black faded a little. My only complaint is
that the bolts tend to loosen up with all the climbing and we
have to tighten them regularly, but I like the chair enough that
we're considering getting a second for our second baby, so my
son can keep using his. We've gotten a lot of compliments on
the chair from visitors, too.
I don't know about Svan but I had a Pappa Prima by Perego and
never used it. I am a huge fan of our booster seat. At 5
months we reclined it a bit for our newly sitting daughter. She
is now almost 2 and we no longer use the tray. We just push the
chair/booster up against the table. We can put it in the
dishwasher and throw it in the car if we are going to a friend's
for dinner. The best part is that it takes almost no room at
all. Any of the ones at Toys R Us or Target are probably fine.
Unless you are absolutely set on getting a high chair, I would just buy a portable
booster chair with tray and put it on one of your dining chairs. They cost about
$15-20. My daughter started with this at 5 months and has not had any problem
with it. We also take it with us for trips and to restaurants. And she can now just
use it as a booster chair and sit at the table. No reason to buy an extra piece of
furniture! That being said - I have friends who have the Svan and really like it for
their kids... Our place is just too small to accomodate extra furniture.
Hi there, Our son is now 20 months old and still uses his svan chair. we bought it
because we did not want to use a high chair for a while and then just throw it away
- at least with the svan chair, you can convert it to a real chair as the child gets
older. we also loved the design. he is now climbing all over it and it is sturdy and
steady - it has never toppled over even when he climbs/hangs onto it from the
outside. we bought it with the tray attachment which is very handy. and you're
right, the footprint of the highchair is very small. my sister in law has a peg perego
and it's SO big and bulky. plus, she never did use the reclining feature. for our
next child, we will again buy another one of thes svan chairs since the current one
will be converted to a chair in the near future!
I *love* our Svan highchair. Our child is 13 months, and we've
been using the chair since she was 6 months. It's easy to clean
(we don't have the cushion, though), easy enough to move around,
and plenty secure as long as you strap in your wiggly baby. As
our baby has gotten older, it's been easy to adjust the height
of the seat and tray. I love the small footprint and I really
appreciate the fact that the chair looks like an actual piece of
furniture. And you can order the chair in a color or finish that
matches (or close enough anyway) your dining room furniture. The
chair is expensive, but worth it, since you'll eventually be
using the thing 3 times a day for several years!
The only thing I'm not crazy about is that the lap belt is a bit
hard to adjust, and squirrely to fasten until you have some
practice at it. Maybe if your kid is more docile than mine, you
won't need the lap belt :)
It is time for me to buy a high chair for our six month old. Does anyone
have experience about using both the high chair and using a booster
seat that sits and attaches to a chair. I was told about fischer price brand
called'' Healthy Care Booster Seat''. Need help deciding.
what to do?
A high chair is much easier, since it will have a big tray that
can get very messy, and it's at a better height for you to feed
baby. We have a portable booster chair w/ a tray that we brign
on trips, and our daughter enjoys using it when we travel, but
we clean up more of the floor with it, and it's harder on your
back. Of course, you will probably want both eventually.
I used a high chair for the first few weeks that my daughter
was eating solids. I gave it up to use a chair that locks onto
the table instead (Graco Tot-Loc). I love it. It is so much
easier to clean up after meals than the high chair -- with the
high chair, you have to take the tray off, take it to the sink,
clean it off, etc. Also, since most high chairs now have a 5-
point harness, with straps that run from shoulder to waist,
those straps are likely to get food on them and need to be
cleaned, as well as the chair itself. With the chair that
hooks onto the table, you only have to wipe down the table (no
running around with the tray) and the seat is so trim, with
wipeable material, it is a snap to clean up. It only has a 3-
point harness, so no straps near her messy hands/face. I wish
I never bought the high chair. (your baby should be able to
sit well, though, before using the hook-on chair; for my baby,
that was ~7 mos. old)
We have a small dining area, so I love our booster chair because
it doesn't take up much space. It is by 1st years and has 3
positions -- probably not an issue for you since your child is
sitting up. Strapped to the chair, it's small enough to fit
under the table, so it's easy to store. Now that she's 2, we
have removed the tray and she can still sit there (even get into
We just went through this very same decision! We live in a
small space (1-BR apt) and didn't want a bulky high-chair, so
opted for a booster seat with tray (made by First Years) that we
bought used from BPN Marketplace for $8. It straps onto a
regular chair and works just fine. The main drawbacks are-- it
has a very small tray table relative to what you'll get with a
regular high-chair. That means more food on the floor. Also,
our baby is a kicker/squirmer, and at times is able to push/kick
the tray table off (!) the booster chair. It does not latch as
securely as a high-chair tray does-- this may be just the model
we bought-- luckily there is a safety strap that we always use
for back-up. Finally, food tends to fall between the regular
chair and the booster chair, making it hard to clean without un-
strapping it... but if you're like us you'll let it accumulate
and just wipe up thoroughly once a week. So in summary, the
strap on chair is perfectly functional, takes up much less space
than a high chair, and is easily transportable-- just has the
drawbacks above. I think it's a good option if you're short on
Managing fine with booster
I'm getting ready to start my five month-old son on solids and
have been researching high chairs and booster seats. Thus far
I am really disappointed with the options out there. I'm
looking for a functional, easy-to-clean chair that isn't ugly.
Any and all advice is desperately needed! I've heard the
Zooper may be a good option - anyone own the zooper high chair?
IKEA - cheap, functional, good-looking, and easy to clean.
Because the whole thing is plastic, we take it out in the yard
and hose it off. We've used it for 3+ years, first with the
tray and now just pulled up to the table so our tot can sit with
us at the right height and still be somewhat contained.
I faced the same dilemna a while back. Gingham and pink bears
just don't go with anyone's decorating style (I hope). I went
with one of the plastic booster-type chairs that you can strap
onto any chair. It has a detachable tray. Most of the parts
can go into the dishwasher (I don't remember the brand, but it
is blue and yellow. All types seem pretty interchangeable. If
I had the chance to do it again, I would have bought one that
allowed me to recline the seat a little bit for the earlier
feedings. Instead, I propped her up with travel pillose/towels
until she could sit upright on her own.). This allows me to
stash it in the pantry when not in use (thus cutting down on
the ugliness factor). Also, it is easy to pop in the trunk to
take to grandma's house and attach it to our picnic table
I have just ordered a kinderzeat for her to use soon. They
look cool and can be purchased in colors to sort of match your
When all our friends were spending BIG bucks on fancy high
chairs we bought a inexpensive Fisher Price $29.95 high chair.
It has survived two children and still looks quite good. Easy to
clean, easy to take your child in and out of. Cheap! Big tray so
food doesn't go every where and unlike the prima papa fancy high
high chair you baby sits up higher(no need to prop up with
blankets). Our high chair moves easily from inside to the
outdoor patio and it's easy to wash down with the garden hose. I
got it on-line and rcvd. free shipping.
It's time to pack up the highchair and buy our 2 year old a
booster chair. Can you recommend a good one that will grow with
her for another few years? She's almost 30 pounds and about
35'', if that matters. I like the Stokke Kinderzeat one because
there is a foot rest and her legs wouldn't just dangle, but it's
extremely pricey. Does anyone have a seat like this and would
you recommend it? I'd appreciate any other recommendations!!
Thanks so much!
There is something called Euro Highchair, sold by One Step Ahead
(onestepahead.com), that looks almost like KinderZeat and costs about half of
its price. Also, check out Svan chair, it's slightly less expensive than
KinderZeat, has a footrest platform and ''grows'' with the child the same way
the other two chairs do. One Step Ahead also has wooden ''graduate'' high chair
that is up to 40# and looks like spiffed up restaurant high chair. We ended up
buying Svan, because we bought it as our first and only (hopefully) high chair
and neither of other two alternatives were suitable for 6mo old, but I think that
Euro High chair might be just a thing for you.
the stokke booster seat with footrest ROCKS!! i have two of
them for my 3 and 5 year olds, and i can't imagine any better
chair. not only is it so safe and easy for them to get in and
out of by themselves, but it's also aesthetically attractive
and can be purchased in just about any color and finish. and,
it's incredibly sturdy (takes adult weight, so once the kids
outgrow it as a booster they can continue to use it as a desk
chair or whatever). gosh, do i sound like an advertisement or
I too lusted after a Kinderzeet and found it too expensive to
seriously consider. What we ended up with is a Cooshie
Booster -- a nice, soft, washable foam booster that sits on
one of the kitchen chairs and costs about $30 (if I remember
As promised, he can take it off the chair and move it if he
wants, sit on it on the floor if he wants, and it doesn't get in
the way because its not attached to the chair. For the extra
$150, I decided I could stay with this simple solution until
he's so old its not an issue.
Its true that his feet dangle, instead of having a shelf all their
own to sit on --- but he has no problem sitting at the table for
as long as it takes us to have dinner, or to do puzzles or
draw and can get out by himself when the time comes. I
should mention that my son is approaching 2 1/2 and is big
for his age.
Good luck on your decision!
Hi... Any advice about my 11 month old all of a sudden
getting upset about eating in his high chair? The last few
days he has been arching his back and protesting (cry-yell)
when I put him in....Sometimes I have given in and tried
feeding on the floor w/toys instead (which worked), other
times tried to coax or just calmly put him in and ignore the
fuss (which didn't work as well). I know I have to figure out
something consistent soon, but am torn between not
wanting mealtimes to feel forced/upsetting, and not wanting
to always chase him around with food. By the way, these
are times when I'm pretty sure he is hungry (especially
because he did eat in a different setup). Plus, we often do
give him a couple things to play with in his high chair to
keep him busy if it isn't a finger food. (His high chair is the
usual eating spot although it varies on the go or with
playmates over.) Anyone have similar experiences or
wisdom to share? Thanks so much.
That was about the time my daughter began actively fighting the
high chair. She would shriek and wriggle out of the straps and try
to escape. I realized that it was because
the big tray and somewhat layed back position of it made it hard
for her to feel like she was interacting with us/ had a
claustrophobic feel. I bought one of those Safety First booster
seats (that you strap to a regular chair) with the removable tray.
It's much smaller than a high chair and can be pulled right up to
the table with us (with or without the tray) and she has been
happy with it for over a year now.
I was/am in the same boat. We just don't accept our 16 month
old's behavior. He is the baby and he eats in his high chair.
period. I've found that he fusses and cries for about a minute
until we start his feeding. One thing I've done to make it
easier is to immediately have food for him. I cut up dried
plums as soon as I sit him down and he stops fussing and starts
By the way, some friends recently visited with their 16 month
old girl. She 'refused' to use her high chair too. I saw them
chase her around shoving food in her mouth whenever they could
for 2 days. It was disgusting. Not only that she NEVER had a
proper meal, but there was food smashed all over our floor,
chairs and sofa! They were amazed that our son used the high
chair to eat proper meals and we were amazed that they let their
daughter get away with that behavior.
Be firm - this is the start of a very long road of power
We travel a bit with our 1 year old, and this fall will be
going on a 2+ week trip where we'll be staying with various
friends and in motels (and flying 4 separate legs). I want
to take some kind of high chair to make meals more enjoyable.
Can anyone recommend a high chair that is easy to travel with?
I see on the website that someone mentioned the Saftey 1st
plastic folding booster seat for travel and someone else
mentioned the Graco chair that clamps on the table which also
apparently folds. But no one said how it is to lug them around
airports or find tables/chairs appropriate for attaching them.
We already have LOTS to carry! Someone told me of some sort of
cloth thing you could attach to a regular chair - has anyone
used one and can you tell me more?
We had good luck with a folding version that essentially hung from most standard tables--extending on the bottom from between the child's legs was a long, hook-like leg with a rubber tip that curved up to connect with the underside of the table; on either side of the child's hands were similar, hook-like arms with rubber tips that curved down to connect with the top of the table. It would fold up to fit in a large diaper bag. It wouldn't fit everywhere & you had to be careful that it was stable, but it worked. It had no tray--the child ate at the table. Of course most restaurants, hotels etc. have high chairs. Some places will even lend you one to keep in your room if you ask.
We really love our "Me Too" seat which attaches to a table. It folds flat so
it's easy to pack and it's pretty light. (We recently took it to the East
Coast with us and were really glad we did.) I bought one for a friend at
Rockridge Kids. I think they run around $25.
There's a travel chair called the "Me Too" that folds completely flat, weighs only 2 pounds,
and fits in a backpack-style diaper bag. They clamp onto most tables and are very stable once
attached. They retail for around $50, but they work for kids up to 40 pounds and (after 2 years
and 2 monthlong trips) ours shows no signs of wear. The only drawback is that small cafe-style
tables can tip over under the weight of the child, and metal and glass tables (which we found in
some restaurants) were too narrow to accommodate the clamp. You'd definitely run into the first
problem with any chair; don't know about the second.
Rather than taking a whole high chair, I recommend this great little seat
called "Me Too." It's washable nylon with clamps that fit on most (not all)
tables. It folds flat and weighs nearly nothing. It's made in VT, but we got
it at Rockridge Kids (or was it Baby World? They both carry them.) It costs
a bit more than the Chico and the Graco (c $50) but has been worth it for us
so far. Good luck!- Hilary
Years ago I was given one of the cloth ones you put over a chair. It was
from Lillian Vernon catalog. I don't remember how well it worked.
I am a first-time mom wondering if anyone has any advice about high chairs.
My son is nearly six months old and I suppose we'll start giving him some
food soon and start having him sit with us at the table in something other
than his bouncy chair. So I realize I am probably going to have to acquire
a high chair. I'm curious if people like the Peg Perego Prima Pappa or
Chicco's version of that high chair (can't remember what is is called).
They seem kinda expensive. Are the cheaper high chairs just as good? What
about the old-fashioned wood style chairs?
My sister-in-law bought a regular reclining high chair, which meant the
tray reclined with the chair. Our mother-in-law went out and got her a
ChiccoMama high chair where the tray stays flat when the baby reclines.
One chair is kept downstairs in her apartment and one upstairs in our
mother-in-law's kitchen. Her baby was about eight months old when I
visited them for three weeks. Not once did I see her recline the chair
for the child. I think the recline feature is only necessary when
they're very young, or until they can consistently sit up. I picked out
an old-fashioned chair with no special features for my four month old
baby. I returned it because she slumped to her side in it. I got a
regualr reclining high chair and detach the tray when I'm feeding her.
I don't think it's too hard to hold her bowl in my hands or to leave it
on the table. I figure by the time she can feed herself, and need the
tray, she won't be reclining. Consider other things like, do you need
to move it around a lot so you'll need wheels, and the amount of space
we love our simple wooden high chair. we bought a cloth thing by nojo brand
that attaches to the chair with ties. there's a piece of material for the
child to sit on and one that goes through the legs and around the waist and
velcros in the back so the child doesn't fall out. it's cushier and more
secure than the traditional webbed belts that come attached to wooden chairs.
it's also removeable and easily washable.
I used a Graco (or was it Gerry?) "Easy Chair" quite happily. It costs $30
new (sold at Sears and other ritzy establishments), adjusts easily and is
easy to clean. One of the things I've heard about the Prima Pappa is that
the tray doesn't slide in close to the child's tummy, which can translate
into a lot of food landing on the lap.
Whatever you end up buying, keep in mind that you may not use it for as long
as you think. At about 18 months my daughter started insisting on sitting in
a booster seat, and the highchair is now in storage.
I had the same questions when we bought ours--prima pappa seemed
so expensive. But I will say that I use the recline feature every
day (it makes it much easier to get my now 2 yr old in and out)
and that all the other chairs that had a recline feature had
it so that when you tipped the seat, you also tipped the tray
(and of course spilled food everywhere). So I really love that
feature of my prima pappa. Don't use the fold up and store feature
at all though.
With our now 17-month old twins we went through a number of second-hand
high chairs trying to find ones we liked. Finally, we went to Babies
'R Us with the idea that we weren't coming out until we had the perfect
high chairs, regardless of cost. To our surprise, we walked out with
the cheapest chair on the floor. Can't remember the brand, but I'm sure
you've seen it around.
White plastic, with one-piece molded seat, large removeable tray,
and colorful, removeable wipeable seat/back cover. I think it cost
$39. We like it (them - we have two) because they are lightweight
yet very strong, extremely easy to clean, comfortable, with easily
removeable legs (press a button to release, like vacuum cleaner
parts) for easy transportation, and accommodating for a wide age/size
range. Because the legs are four simple tubes rather than a convoluted
hinged or folding system, they are easy to sweep around, and there aren't
any nooks or crannies for food to get caught in. We tried Peg Perego and
all the rest, and found these by far the best!
cheaper high chairs are just fine!!!! toys are us has a few low end ones. we
have one that works just great for our little monkey boy (now 1 year - have
had chair for about 4 months). we had him in a clip-to-the-table chair that
he climbed out of way too easily. then a friend found a lovely old wooden
highchair that we used for a while but he climed out of that easily after a
few weeks and it was hard to clean. the cheap plastic (booo) one we have is
great because it has a divider between his legs that (more or less) prevents
him from escaping. good luck!
Here are my two cents about high chairs. We have a toddler and a Peg Perego
high chair. From our experience, I wouldn't spend the money to get it.
The cushion has a lot of crevices that are difficult to wipe clean of spills
with a sponge/cloth after each meal. The snaps in back of the cushion are
so strong that the vinyl tore when we removed it to give it a thorough washing
once in a while. We also liked to wash the tray with soap under hot
we found that water got inside of the tray and sloshed around and so the tray
had to be drip-dried on the counter instead of being put back into the chair.
We rarely used the height adjustment and the "tilt back" feature of the chair
was never used. We also have used the fold-up feature only once and that is
right now, as the chair is in the basement in storage since our two-year-old
is in a booster seat.
If we were able to "do it all over again," we would get the wooden high chair
that there are in restaurants. Your child would be at the table with you and
the chair would be a lot easier to keep clean. I have seen these for sale in
"Natural/Wooden Baby Products" catalogs for about $100.
We have a newborn now. We will probably sell the Peg Perego and get something
else, for sanity's sake. We won't have the time that we did to keep the chair
high chairs: we have a graco tot-loc chair that hooks on to the table
and we love it! it was inexpensive ($35 at rockridge kids), easy to
clean, and it takes up very little space in our tiny apartment.
aside from eating, our daughter loves to sit up with us at the
table while we're eating- this has eliminated many interruptions
that used to occur while she was in her bouncy seat down on the
floor and wanting to be a part of "the action."
We have been extremely happy with our Gerry high chair. It's attractive,
wooden, with a cute padded plastic seat and seat back, very stable, but
doesn't look like the "old fashioned" wooden ones. This one is actually in
two halves, you can remove the chair part and set it on the floor to be a
child's chair at the proper height. Then you turn the base on its side, it
becomes the base of a table: the table top is included, one side has a dark
blue lego board and the other is a nice white plastic wipeable surface with
a small depression to put your crayons in. In other words, if you have a
very small house like we do, it's a perfect table and chair/high chair
combination, and two for the price of one! As I recall it was in the $90
range, we got it at Heller's in San Rafael (415) 456-5533 which by the
way is a fabulous store for anything to do with babies, clothes and
equipment, and worth the trip from Berkeley. Our son is just 16 months but
we anticipate using this for much longer than he will need a high chair.
It also puts him at the perfect height to play the piano!
We never used a high chair. We used a Tot Loc for all the reasons a
previous poster gave, the best reason being that our son really was part
of dinner conversation. Then when he was about 18 months he learned to
rock the thing and one day brought the entire table down on top of him!
The rigid arms of the Tot Loc kept him from being crushed but I would
say take your child out of it at the first sign of rocking.
After my heart started beating again we bought him a booster chair
which has the same advantages as the Tot Loc: he's sitting right at the
table with us and it is portable for restaurants, visits to friends,
etc. In sum, I haven't found high chair necessary at all.
We bought a used standard high chair from the list. I can't even remember
the brand, but it's one of the common ones: Playskool, or something.
Anyhow, we found that the big one tended to stay wherever we put it. It was
just too bulky to take anywhere, even to the next room.
For travel convenience, we bought one of those folding booster chairs, the
kind that sits on a regular chair. We tried both of the major models on
the market (borrowed them from friends), and we *much* preferred the Safety
1st brand (it's the one in the bright red/blue/yellow/green). The other
one came in a white/teal color combo, and we hated the way the tray worked
on it. At the time, our daughter was only 10 mos, and could *easily* push
the tray off herself. With the Safety 1st one, it wasn't until a couple of
months ago (and she's now 23 mos) that she could push the tray off.
We often use the booster chair on the floor in the living room for a seat
for her to color, play with stickers, etc. And it's convenient for eating
in front ot the TV (if you ever admit to doing that!). The whole thing
folds up quite nicely, and I have put it in a suitcase on an airplane trip.
I have another friend who gave up using her big high chair altogether, and
uses her booster chair exclusively.
I absolutely love our Peg Perago high chair for all the reasons you
listed. I got it used, so I can't help with where and how much.
We recently got the Prima Pappa highchair for our son, and really love it.
It folds up for easy storage, and rolls for easy movement, and best of all,
the seat easily lowers so that you can feed from any height (we lower it to
use in the living room when we are sitting on low chairs and entertaining
while feeding the baby) This feature is also good when you have a second
child, since the baby can be lowered to sit at the same level as a kids
table. Also, the seat reclines, without putting the tray on an angle at the
same time. so you can tilt the baby back without spilling food everywhere.
As far as portability goes, I think it would be hard to carry around any
full size chair--you're better off buying a booster or chair that hooks to
the table for that. Check the on line baby stores for good prices, often
they have good sales on this chair.
We highly recommend the Graco baby seat that clamps on to just about any
table. They come with trays that stay on very tightly, and it allows your
child to actually sit with the rest of the family right at the table. It
folds so you can take it to other houses, and to restaurants. I think it's
rated for children up to 40 lbs, but I'm not sure exactly. Our baby has
been using it since she learned to sit up (with the help of a few towels
when she was really little.) We bought ours at Toys 'R Us, who stocked them
away from the high chairs and booster seats (why??), so you may have to
browse around to find it.
My .02 about highchairs, simply because I was so happy with our new Perego
at first (bought new 4 years ago, expensive & my choice) - it seemed to do
everything - but when we really started to use it, I realized it was a very
bad choice for our small boy. His tummy never actually reached the tray,
there was always at least a three inch gap in front, and we had to get
giant bibs with pockets to save his clothes & the floor (I used to wonder
what was the point?) Then gunk would get stuck in the crevices of the
lovely upholstered seat. It was heck to super-clean when we sold it, and I
was glad to see the back of it! The highchair I really loved was an old
one my folks bought used, but I think there's a version still available.
It's a plain old Fisher Price - inexpensive, no bells & whistles, but the
largest tray (almost round, I think) w/high sides, and it pushes right up
to the baby's tummy, so nothing can go down the front. It has a very wide
bottom, untippable, but is lightweight for moving about. We still push it
up to the table w/out the tray as an extra seat for small visitors. If I
were to do it again I'd definitely try to find a new one of those (or even
a used one covered w/duct tape, like my folks'!). An expensive lesson for
me about buying into the most popular & expensive brands - the "best"
doesn't necessarily work the best for everyone!
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