When your baby is born, a high chair is not the very first priority. Most high chairs are recommended only after the baby is at least three months old, with some models being designed only for six months and up. When it’s time for the little one to start on solids, having a high chair will be quite important. These first few months can fly by, so we’d recommend shortlisting your choice of high chairs as soon as possible.
Many babies use their high chairs until they’re 3 years old or even beyond that. However, most quality models don’t come cheap, so having a convertible option makes a lot of sense. This means that the model can start out as a high chair for babies, then be converted into a toddler chair, and finally into a booster seat for older kids.
Choosing the best kind of convertible high chair will depend on your needs, requirements, and specific situation. Here are some of the main factors to keep in mind when shopping for such an item:
How Much Space You Have
With any kind of high chair, it’s important to maneuver around the item and reach different dishes, bowls, utensils, etc. You’d have to feed the child or at least assist them when they’re sitting in the chair. If you’re going to use the chair in a small space, a streamlined design is the best way to go. Some portable high chairs or boosters might attach directly to the table or a regular dining chair.
How Much Value You Get
Convertible high chairs are usually the most versatile options available, as they can be utilized in different stages. While the initial budget is an important consideration, do take into account the number of years that this chair will come in handy. When the price is spread out like that, a quality model might not seem so expensive after all.
Ease of Cleaning
Babies, toddlers, and kids are usually messy eaters, so you’d probably be cleaning their high chair quite regularly. There will be crumbs falling on the seat, spills on the frame, and splatters of food and drink everywhere. This is why the high chair needs to be easy to clean; preferably only requiring a wipe down with a damp cloth and occasionally some mild soap.
Along with having a material that’s easy to clean (plastic, metal, etc.), the chair should also not have a lot of nook and crannies. If it does, the cleaning part will be very hard and might still leave residues of food around. This can be quite unhygienic and harmful for the baby as well as other people in the home.
The Kind of Tray
If the high chair comes with a removable tray, that’s your best bet for an easy cleanup. It’s also a bonus if the tray is adjustable and dishwasher safe, as it’ll save you a lot of work. Finally, having a large tray is usually good, as it allows the baby to eat or play without spilling too much on the floor.
Most traditional high chairs aren’t that portable, but the newer models might come with wheels to make your life easier. However, make sure that the wheels have a locking function; otherwise, your baby’s safety could be compromised.
If your baby isn’t sitting comfortably in their high chair, they probably won’t be too focused on eating a good meal. Look for soft padding that can be washed in the machine, or go for a properly shaped seat that will make the baby comfy. It also helps if the harness is adjustable and will let the baby sit safely without feeling constricted.
While the style and overall look of a high chair isn’t technically important, keep in mind that this is a piece of furniture that’s going to be around for some years. When you have such a wide range of choices on the market, you might as well go for a model that looks good to your eyes. Some parents might want a natural style and color that blends in with their current decor, while others might look for interesting designs that can add a pop of color in their home layout.
Types of High Chair to Consider
The perfect high chair would probably be within a reasonable price range, durable enough to last for generations, and made of high-quality materials. It should also be easy to clean up, comfortable for the baby, and have several different features to make feeding time easier. While all these features might be difficult to find in one model, it’s best to look at different models before making a decision. Below is a breakdown of the types available today, with a comparison of heir details to make the decision easier:
Type of High Chair/Considerations
Ease of Cleanup
Plastic and/or metal
Depends on model
Easy to fold
Not too expensive, usually foldable
Padding might not be removable, which makes cleaning hard
Usually low, very heavy
Depends on model
Limited or no folding
Nice to look at, durable, trendy, healthier than plastic options
Hard to move around
Depends on model
Depends on model
Built to last, usually convertible
Might have a lot of unnecessary features contributing to a higher price
Clip on chair
Compact size, easy to store
Doesn’t take up much space, can be carried anywhere, low price range
Might scratch table, may not fit every type of dining table
This 4-in-1 high chair is a space-saving model, with an attractive design and versatile features. It’s basically 4 products in a single piece, with a multi-stage booster and toddler chair in addition to a baby’s high chair. When the baby gets older, parents can use the chair with or without the tray as required.
- Product Dimensions 16.14 x 14.96 x 18.9 inches
- Seat Material: Foam
- Item Weight 14 pounds
- Age Range: Six months to toddler
- Meal mat insert included
- 5-point or 3-point convertible harness
- Easy and quick to clean
- Two front wheels
- Dishwasher safe tray
- No-wobble design
- Foot rest included
- Material of frame and seat are easy to clean
- Portable with front wheels
- Saves space
- Good value for money
- Stiff parts with questionable quality
- Foam can be picked at and torn by a toddler or child
Fisher-Price is known for being one of the more affordable children’s brands in the market today. Along with a wide range of toys, it also provides convenient baby gear like this convertible high chair. The frame here is mostly plastic, with a fabric seat for the baby’s comfort. When your baby grows into a toddler, this high chair can easily become a booster seat to help them eat right at the table.
- Material: Plastic & Fabric
- Item Dimensions: 20.47 x 24.02 x 21.65 inches
- Item Weight: 8 Pounds
- Age Range: 4 months to 40 Pounds
- 2 height levels
- 3 reclining positions
- Dishwasher safe tray, seat, and tray insert
- Machine washable seat pad
- 5-point harness
- Saves space while giving a lot of features
- Safety features included
- Deep tray to prevent spills
- Adjustable in several positions for baby’s comfort
- A lot of crevices, makes cleanup difficult
When you have a minimalistic home setup, you might be on the lookout for a high chair to match. Fortunately, this offering from Stokke seems to have all the features of a convertible high chair while also sporting a design with clean lines. When the baby’s older, this model can even become a proper chair for the dining table. However, keep in mind that there’s no tray included.
- Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 31.1 x 18.1 inches
- Item Weight: 15.4 pounds
- Age Range: 6 months to 300 pounds
- Material: Wood
- Available in several colors
- Baby set with removable harness included (for up to 3 years)
- Ergonomic, classic design
- 2 height adjustments
- 3 reclining positions
- High weight capacity
- Clean, modern lines
- Can lend in with many types of decors and themes
- Becomes a proper chair that even adults can sit on
- Quite expensive
- Difficult to set up
- No tray included
This Graco Blossom convertible high chair has no less than 6 functions in one piece. This ensures that it’s an investment that will grow with your baby. In fact, this is one of the few models available that can seat two kids at the same time. This is achieved by removing the booster seat, attaching it to a regular chair, and seating a toddler upon it. This leaves the main high chair free for your infant.
- Seat Material: Leatherette
- Item Dimensions: 29 x 22.5 x 41 inches
- Item Weight: 32 Pounds
- Age Range: 4 months to 60 pounds
- Removable and adjustable seat back insert
- Can sit two children at once
- Removable tray
- Dishwasher safe tray insert
- 6 height levels
- 3 reclining positions
- Adjustable harness
- Easy feeding with the different recline positions and height levels
- Tray is easily removable with one hand
- Transforms from infant high chair to traditional high chair, infant boost, toddler booster, and youth chair
- Provides body support with a 3 and 5-point harness
- Locking wheels for safety
- All parts are either machine washable or dishwasher safe
- Difficult to keep clean
- Base takes up a lot of space
Wooden high chairs are trendy nowadays, especially with parents who want to avoid synthetic materials as much as possible. Overall, this is among the best options for training a baby or toddler to get used to eating properly and join the rest of the family for meals.
- Frame Material: Natural wood
- Seat Material: Fabric
- Adjustable 3 and 5 point harness
- 3 year Manufacturer’s Warranty
- Item Weight: 17 Pounds
- Product Dimensions: 34 x 3 x 16 inches
- Age Range: 4 months to 250 pounds
- Anti-Microbial Heat Sterilization
- Different color choices for seat cushion
- Seat adjustable within 20 seconds without tools
- Dishwasher-safe tray
- Several access points
- Easy cleanup
- Stain resistant and waterproof cushions
- One-hand removable tray
- Scratch resistant wood
- No cushioning for the head
- Tray is on the small side
All the convertible high chair models we’ve discussed so far seem to be likely choices for a baby who’s ready to start solids. They’re equipped with safety features, with most of them having a 3 and 5-point harness to ensure proper support. The matter of space seems to be an issue with most of the options except for the Fisher-Price Booster Seat and the Stokke Tripp Trapp model.
Other than this, it also seems like most of these models present cleaning difficulties. The Abiie Beyond Wooden High Chair doesn’t seem to have this problem, but other models like the Infantino 4-in-1 Highchair and Graco Blossom have several crevices that might collect food.
Overall, though, we’d say that the Graco Blossom 6-in-1 high chair seems to be the one that gives us almost everything. It might be a large dent in your budget, but the various functions mean that it can last for several years and be utilized by the little ones for a long time. Plus, you can’t beat that it caters to two kids at the same time.
Choosing the right convertible high chair might be challenging, especially when you have space or financial restrictions. Take your time, look around a bit, and shortlist your priorities before picking any one model. If the search still feels overwhelming, narrow your decision down to a few choices and make the final decision once the baby is a few months old. By this time, you’d have an idea of what will make them the most comfortable and likely to enjoy their meals or playtime in a high chair.