Getting the best Highchair.

The most important piece of equipment you need is a highchair. Making your baby feel safe, secure and comfortable will help them relax and make mealtimes more successful and enjoyable.

Good posture is essential and follows the 90:90:90 rule; waist, knees and ankles all at 90-degree angles. See the image below which shows good positioning versus a highchair lacking adequate support and comfort.

The best highchair is:

1.     Safe

2.     Has a five-point harness

3.     A Stable base

4.     Comfortable

5.     Easy to clean

6.     Correct tray position

7.     Feet are supported

8.     Grows with baby

  1. Safety:

Position the highchair in a safe place in your home. Ensure it is on a level surface, away from any opening/closing doors and not too close to anything that baby could kick their feet from and potentially topple the chair. Always follow the manufacturer recommendations when assembling and using a high chair. Follow the guidance provided on how to secure safety straps or harnesses.

 

2. Five- point harness:

A harness will keep your baby secure, support postural control and prevent them from climbing or falling out of the highchair. The harness is similar to that in a car seat and will have two straps at the shoulders, two at the hips and one at the crotch. These will connect into a buckle.

3. Stable base:

This ensures the chair does not wobble and will help your baby to feel safe and secure. This will enable them to concentrate on eating and enjoying their meals.

 

4. Comfortable:

Your baby should feel comfortable in their chair. An upright backrest that supports their back up to their neck will help to provide comfort, especially in the early stages of weaning.

Some older highchairs will have cushions on them which can be slippery for your baby. If you notice your baby slouching and slipping in their highchair, they are unlikely to be comfortable.

Imagine yourself in your baby’s position, could you enjoy a meal like that?

5. Easy to clean:

Eating is a complex skill to master and mess is an essential part of this.

Eating is a sensory learning experience. Our baby needs to see, touch and smell the food before they will consider putting it in their mouth. Mess helps baby relax and encourages them to interact with the food.

For these reasons you will want a highchair that is really easy to clean.

6. Tray or table position:

The tray or table top should be positioned lower than the breast bone, between their belly button and nipple line. This will allow your baby to see, touch and explore their food.

Some highchair trays are too high which will result in poor posture, discomfort and interfere with how your baby interacts with their food.

7. Feet supported:

When is the last time you ate without your feet on a stable base?

A foot rest is essential for stability during feeding. When their body is supported, baby can more easily reach and grasp food. Dangling feet can reduce postural stability and impact the positioning of the head, neck and body. It can also be distracting while trying to concentrate on the complex task of eating.

Not all highchairs come with footrests. You can buy adjustable footrests.

8. Grows with baby:

You will be using your highchair for two to three years. Finding a highchair that grows with your child will be financially and environmentally beneficial in the long-term.

Highchairs that support bringing your child to the dinner table are often more expensive, but when you think of how often your child will use the chair, it will be worth the investment. You may consider investing in a booster seat for your kitchen chairs. If you shop around for second-hand highchairs, you may bag yourself and the environment a bargain!

I have developed this Choosing a Highchair Chart to help you get the best for your investment.

If you would like more support around feeding your baby and the essentials of Weaning then check out my Weaning Masterclass.