As your little one grows and begins chewing solid foods, it’s time to consider investing in an infant high chair. It’s an important piece of baby equipment that will make feeding your infant easier and more comfortable.
Selecting the right high chair depends on timing and safety. In this guide, Ashtonbee will discuss when and why to use a high chair for infants and help you choose the best high chair for your baby.
When To Use a High Chair for Infants
Most parents start using a high chair for their babies when they begin eating solid foods, typically between 4 and 6 months of age. Before that, your baby won’t be able to sit up unsupported or hold their head up, so it’s unsafe to put them in a high chair.
A baby’s high chair is only safe once your baby can sit upright. They will be able to keep their head steady while in the infant seat, making it safe and convenient to feed them.
Using a high chair can also help your baby with their eating habits. When your baby is upright in a high chair, they can swallow and digest their food quickly. It also allows them to focus on eating without distractions and learn to associate sitting in a specific place during mealtimes.
Choosing the Best High Chair for Infants
There are many types of high chairs on the market, including plastic, metal, and wooden high chairs. But in recent years, wooden high chairs have become increasingly popular thanks to their durability, style, and versatility. Mentally note the following when you’re out choosing the best wooden high chair for your infant:
Safety is always at the top when choosing a high chair seat. Look for a model that meets current safety standards, such as the JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) certification. Also, check that the high chair has a sturdy base, a five-point harness, and a crotch post or a belt to prevent your baby from slipping out of the toddler chair.
Ideally, you want the seating material to be food-grade and non-toxic to ensure your baby is safe from harmful chemical substances. As for the high chair’s legs, check the product details online or talk to a staff member; make sure it’s durable and shock absorbing enough to take high impact and at least double your baby’s weight.
Ease of Cleaning
Feeding a baby always leaves a mess, so you’ll want a high chair that’s easy to clean. Look for a baby high chair with a removable tray that you can wipe down or put in the dishwasher. Also, consider a high chair with waterproof materials that can be easily wiped clean.
As your baby grows, you’ll want a high chair that can adjust to accommodate their changing needs. Look for a reclining high chair with an adjustable footrest and seat. Its five-point safety harness should also be easy to adjust but good enough to secure your little one’s body in the chair.
Adjustability also applies to how long your baby can use the chair. Ideally, you want the adjustable features of your baby’s high chair to be flexible enough that it matches the size and height of your baby as they grow. You’ll want a high chair that can at least accommodate your little one from 2 up to 12 years old. Such adjustability also brings the most financial benefit.
Style and Design
Lastly, consider the high chair’s style or design. Wooden high chairs come in a variety of designs, from traditional to modern, and can be a beautiful addition to your home decor. Look for a model that matches your personal style and will grow with your child.
If personal style and taste is secondary, consider practicality. If the chair folds flat, that would be ideal. Additionally, you’ll want a high chair that can fit under the family table but is taller than a regular dining chair. This design encourages your baby to eat at the dining table with family, which is crucial to their social development, too.
Safety Tips for Baby High Chairs
High chairs are designed to keep your child secure and safe while they eat. However, if misused, they can pose a hazard to your kid’s safety. Falls, choking hazards, and injuries caused by a faulty or unattended baby in a high chair can all be prevented by following these high chair safety tips.
Always Use the Safety Straps
You must always select a baby high chair with straps. These safety straps on a high chair keep your child sitting safely, preventing them from slipping out from under the chair or falling. Your minimum requirement must be a three-point harness, but it can go as high as a five-point.
Always ensure that your child is correctly strapped in when using the chair. Secure your baby’s legs snugly so they don’t slide down; check the shoulder straps and make sure it’s keeping your baby’s shoulders close to the backrest, putting them in an upright sitting position but without restraining them too much.
Position the High Chair in a Safe Location
Select a space in your home that’s hazard-free, away stairs, sharp edges, or open flames. Ensure that the chair is on a level surface and is stable before placing your child in it. The ideal location for a high chair should be in the dining and living rooms, whether your baby is sitting in it or not.
Removable trays are great design features of a high chair, but can also pose a hazard to your little one. There’s a possibility that they can remove the tray, leaving them open to slide down on the ground easily. If they’re strong enough to tip over the wooden legs of the chair, they can fall forward and get hurt. So secure the tray before you sit your little one on the chair.
Don’t Leave Your Child Unattended
Always watch your baby while they’re in the high chair. Accidents can happen quickly, and it is essential to keep a close eye on your child.
One example of an accident that can happen is choking when training your child with solid food. You may think leaving a bowl of finger foods on the high chair’s tray is harmless, but babies can experiment when they’re faced with something new, such as food, so we parents must be careful.
Avoid Placing Objects on the Tray
Taking from the food training example above, as much as possible, avoid placing any objects on the tray of the high chair when it’s not time to eat. Small objects on the tray, such as toy cars, and miniature toy figurines, can pose a choking hazard if your child puts them in their mouth.
Your baby’s age range during the time they are fit to use a high chair is also the time of their oral stage development. They will use their mouths and tongues more often. As a parent, you can control what they put in their mouth so long as they are secured on that high chair.
Check the Chair Regularly
Inspect the high chair regularly and look for damages or signs of wear. Loose screws, broken straps, or cracks in the plastic can all be dangerous and should be addressed immediately.
As parents, we all know how our little ones like to move around and explore the things around them. Being in a high chair is no exception. They can still move their hands and shake their little bodies, and if the chair has loose or damaged parts, it can yield to your baby’s movement and may cause safety hazards such as falls when the chair breaks down.
Clean the Chair After Each Use
Ensure you clean the high chair after each use to prevent bacteria or food particles from building up. Use only mild detergent mixed with warm water to clean the chair thoroughly. You can use a rolled-up towel to wipe the dirt and stains off the high chair for mild cleaning.
It’s also best if you choose a baby high chair with a plastic seat as it is the easiest to clean. Unlike high chairs with fabric or cushioned seats, which may need to be scrubbed clean, the plastic material requires only minimal effort to clean.
Investing in a high chair for your infant can make feeding time easier and more enjoyable for both you and your baby. When choosing the best high chair for your infant, consider safety features, ease of cleaning, adjustability, and style and design.
While these things make up a great high chair that you and your little one will benefit from, caution must still be exercised to ensure you get the best of what a baby high chair can offer.
We hope you find a high chair that will meet your needs and help your baby develop good eating habits in a controlled and safe space.
Explore our website for more tips on how to keep your baby safe and cared for. If you’re ready to get your baby a high chair, check out our baby essentials here.