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What to look out for when buying high chairs for children


Eventually, that little bundle of energy will be able to sit in a
grown-up chair at the table, even if it takes a little longer for
him to be able to make appropriate conversation with guests or know
which fork to use for the escargot.
baby's high chair

But until then, you’ve got the tricky in-between time to deal with,
after your baby learns to sit up and before he learns that one
always says “excuse me,” when one burps at the table.

The high chair is your friend during these years, and it has become
a better friend than the ones that were available when you were a
baby. Just as ergonomics have been taken into account with desk
chairs and keyboards, so too have they influenced the design of high
chairs, and now there are several factors to consider when looking
at them.

Of course your main concern will be whether or not the chair is
safe; you want to make sure the chair is well-constructed enough so
that there’s no chance of it collapsing, taking Baby and his mashed
peas down with it. The main consideration is that the wider the
base, the more stable it will be.

The importance of safety can’t be overemphasized. Cosco once
recalled a million high chairs after getting reports of babies being
injured when the seats separated from the frame or fell from the
higher positions to the lowest. On some of the seats, the restraint
anchor slipped through the seat.

When shopping, you should look carefully at the restraint system. As
adults, we think of restraint at the table as not having that third
helping of pasta puttanesca, but with Baby “restraint” is
just about keeping him in his seat through the meal. There should be
a sturdy, yet comfortable, strap that attaches to the waist belt and
then passes through Baby’s legs, so Baby doesn’t slide down under
the feeding tray. We all know that feeling, after a satisfying meal,
of just wanting to slip into a reclining position, but it’s better
if you can stop this habit in Baby before it starts.

high chair
However, you can get a chair that has a reclining as well as an
upright position. This isn’t so that Baby can nap during dinner but
is to allow for bottle feeding.

Remember that you’ll be using your high chair for a long time; you
hope it won’t be until Baby goes to college, but you never know. You
want something that is adjustable, so that you won’t have to keep
investing in a new one with every growth spurt.

In addition to the chairs for home use, for about $60 you can get a
chair that attaches onto the edge of a table for travel use. This
way you can take Baby to the Park Plaza for tea even before he’s
learned how to say “petite fours.”

Another factor to consider is the material of the chair. In the
olden days we all, babies and adults alike, sat on wood, almost as
if we were punishing ourselves for sitting down. Now, however, high
chairs, like sofas and other furnishings, came in cushy padded
fabrics. Make sure the one you choose has a removable, washable
cover, and that the plastic tray is easy to clean. The choice of
different colors and patterns gives you a chance to harmonize your
high chair with your overall kitchen decor.

–Sarah Van
Arsdale – Sheffield
School of Interior Design