Creating a registry for your baby can be both fun and extremely overwhelming. There are a million different products targeting new parents and it can be really difficult to figure out what’s actually important (and what’s just trying to make a buck). Picking out a high chair for BLW or purees can be challenging with so many options on the market. A high chair is actually one of only a handful of feeding tools I recommend investing in (if it makes sense for you financially).
Now, if you already have a high chair for whatever reason, it’s probably fine to use it, but if you’re shopping around for the best one on the market, this post will help you figure out what you need.
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What age does baby need a high chair?
I recommend getting and using a high chair BEFORE you actually start solids. Let baby get comfortable in the chair and be a part of family meals before they’re completely ready to start. You can give them a toy to play with while they are sitting there, but make the experience fun! Many parents like putting their baby in the high chair while they are prepping meals so that baby can be included, but safe.
You want your baby to be able to sit up with support before you place them in a high chair. If you’re not offering them food, you can place towels or blankets around them to offer additional support. This means for many babies, they can sit in a high chair somewhere between 4-6 months (remember that every baby develops on their own timeline).
What do you look for in a high chair?
First and foremost, I realize that cost is a huge factor when it comes to buying any baby equipment. There are definitely some ways to adapt more budget friendly chairs to meet these goals.
You want your baby’s hips, knees, and ankles to be at 90 degree angles (like a capital letter L). You don’t want your baby to be reclined at all. They should be completely upright. The knee and ankle bends help to provide some stability. Remember that while sitting is a very easy skill for us, it is still very new for your baby. They will likely be very easily fatigued in this position, so it’s important to make it as easy on them as possible.
In order to get that 90 degree angle at the ankles, there needs to be a footrest. The footrest is important for a couple of reasons. First, it provides stability. It helps to ground your baby and help them to keep balance. It’s also going to be more comfortable. Try sitting in a tall barstool for a long period of time without a footrest. Odds are you’ll be squirmy and uncomfortable. This can lead to food throwing and kids wanting to leave the table more quickly.
Easy to Clean
Babies are incredibly messy when they first start eating. Messier than you can probably imagine if you’ve never seen a baby eat. It’s incredible how they can take a “clean” meal and completely destroy it. You want to make sure that whatever chair you’re using is easy to clean. Many chairs come with cute padding that many parents end up tossing because it is so difficult to clean. Babies have enough padding in their diapers. You don’t need to waste your money on extras like that.
Every high chair comes with some kind of strap. It’s important that you use them, so make sure that they are something that you are comfortable using. Some systems are needlessly complicated. Babies fall out of high chairs all the time and it can happen very quickly. Make sure that you are also comfortable using them quickly in case there ever is a choking incident. Practice unclipping them until you feel comfortable.
This is a perk, not a necessity. See how much of the high chair you can actually adjust one handed. Often, you’ll be holding your baby and need to pull the tray off or undo the straps. If you have multiple kids, this will probably become more of an issue.
Best High Chair for BLW
Overall – Stokke Tripp Trapp
My overall favorite high chair for BLW is the Stokke Tripp Trapp. It is incredibly pricey, but you can often find it for less in facebook mom groups or similar groups.
- Highly adjustable – easy to get the angles correct no matter the child size
- Can hold up to 300 lbs – intended for use up to 3 years, many kids continue to use it and it can hold many adults as well. Many kids can’t reach the ground in regular chairs and still benefit from a footrest
- Can purchase with or without a tray – many families just pull it up to the table and serve baby at the table with the rest of the family from the start
- Tray is dishwasher safe, straps are machine washable, the rest of the chair can be wiped down
- Provides a lot of support with the infant seat which is great for early eaters or those kiddos who may need the extra support
Budget – Ikea Antilop
The best budget high chair for BLW (besides the one you already have) is the Ikea Antilop chair with an added footrest.
- Easy to clean – not a lot of moving parts means that it’s easier to wipe down than a lot of other chairs
- Relatively portable as far as non-travel high chairs go
- Max weight of 15 kg (33 lb)
- Would recommend adding a footrest, but there are a lot of options available for that either DIY or store bought
Both of these options are very similar to the Tripp Trapp, but offer a little less support. The Abiie has a weight limit of 250 lb, meaning it will still grow with your child for quite some time. The Badger Basket goes up to 175 lb. It’s a little tighter squeeze than the Abiie or Tripp Trapp, but still a great option.
Krystyn Parks is a Registered Dietitian and Lactation Consultant who specializes in feeding children. She has a Master’s Degree in Nutritional Science from California State University Long Beach. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and has been registered with the Commission on Dietetic Registration since 2013.