Tips For Buying a High Chair For Your Baby

The family table is an important place. It creates not only a chance for nourishment, but also a time of discussion, family bonding and interaction. Your baby should be part of this too! When purchasing a high chair there are several things to keep in mind: safety, cost, and practicality. Let’s discuss each of these requirements at some length.SAFETY – A high chair comes in two basic types…the kind that attaches to the table or kitchen chair, or an actual chair with an eating tray. Though the attachment chair gives the child more freedom at eating right at the family table, they must be adhered to the table VERY stringently. These chairs are for children over 6 months of age, as they normally do not recline. A standard high chair must have safety features such as a wide leg base. This ensures that the chair is not easy to tip over. A belt, or safety restraint system must be in place, as well. Some high chairs not only have lap belts, but shoulder straps as well (think car seat belts)! The chair and tray should have no sharp edges, or little places to pinch tiny fingers. If the chair folds, make sure it has been set up properly and will not fold up while your baby is inside; the federal government requires a locking device that will prevent this. The pads that are on baby’s bottom should be thick and not easily torn. If you are tempted to use that beautiful old fashioned high chair from grandma, you shouldn’t. Keep the chair as a decorative piece, but it just may not be safe. In 1976, the United States passed more strict laws on high chair designs.PRACTICALITY – This category could also be labeled portability. I never realized how much room my babies’ high chairs took up until I removed them! The attachment chairs for use with older babies/toddlers take up the least room. Actual high chairs, however can fold up, and some even have trays that lock into the back legs to take up less space. A good high chair should be able to be transported to your next family gathering or party without feeling like an albatross. The trays should also be easy to clean. Some trays are suitable to fit in your dishwasher. The padding should not have frilly waves or unusual crevices where food can get stuck. Even the restraint system should be easy to clean. Some high chairs have cup holders for toddlers, and adjustable/removable footrests. These things make for a much more practical, easy to handle high chair.COST – Many new parents are on a budget. There are some good baby chairs that are also inexpensive. Shop at some of the “super centers” for chairs that run between $45 and $99. FISHER-PRICE makes some nice chairs, including an attachment chair (FISHER-PRICE SPACE SAVER- $55) and some very nice plastic chairs (HEALTHY CARE HIGH CHAIR -$90). For those wanting to spend more, there are several models to choose from. Boon, Inc. makes the FLAIR ELITE for $399! According to most consumer reports , however, you needn’t spend but $50-$125 for a good, safe, sturdy chair for your little one.Babies can join the family table as soon as they are able to keep their heads up and sit comfortably in an upright positions. They may get more food on their faces than in their mouth at first, but a good high chair makes the experience almost a breeze!

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