Do you find yourself googling what is the best high chair available in 2020? Or, what’s an easy to clean high chair? What’s the best foldable high chair? What is the best high chair for small spaces? These are all questions I’ve had myself as a mom! I know how overwhelming and confusing it can be with the abundance of high chair products that are out there on the market!
Especially as moms, sometimes we feel like we have to provide the latest and greatest for our children… and we do this out of love! But googling the “best baby high chair 2020” may not exactly do this for us when it comes to getting your kid a comfortable, easy to clean, and safe high chair. Fact of the matter is, the best high chairs out there aren’t necessarily the most expensive, or the “fanciest”!
In this blog post, I hope to simplify this search for you!
Seating position for a baby
Did you know that having your baby and toddler positioned correctly during feeding is crucial for safe and focused feeding success? And to get us started, it wouldn’t be a blog post about high chairs without first going over the proper seating position for feeding a baby!
Here is a list of things that your baby should be able to do in their high chair to achieve optimal feeding success!
- They should be able to hold their head upright and steady without tiring.
- Their torso should be positioned upright and airway unrestricted. This means their bum and pelvis are positioned directly under their hips (at a 90 degree angle).
- Their shoulders are angled just slightly in front of the hips. They can also lean forward if wanted and turn slightly to the left or the right without restriction.
- Their arms are freely movable and not restricted in any way.
- Feet are supported with a footrest appropriate for their height, with their ankles also resting at 90 degrees under their knees!
*PS Babies should be able to sit upright unassisted without tiring easily before starting solids. Unassisted means without your help, or the help of a seating device or high chair. For these exact reasons, I never recommend using a Bumbo chair to feed your baby!
If you want to learn more about the proper seating position for feeding and check out the reasons behind this, check out my blog post on safe and effective seating positions!
Why is proper seating so important?
One of my biggest tips for how to help your toddler sit and stay at the table is to ensure proper and comfortable seating!
Proper seating is often skipped over, but is sooo important for feeding success!
If a toddler or baby isn’t seated comfortably and with good stability, you may start to see things like:
- Wanting to skip meals to leave the table early
- Being fidgety/squirmy or trying to eat in odd positions
- Struggles with developing fine motor and eating skills – for example, using utensils!
You’ll especially see these signs start when your baby isn’t held upright and has no footrest. Think about what it’s like when you eat off a really tall bar stool… do you struggle with your feet dangling with no support? How does this impact your chewing, coordination, maintaining your posture, and your comfort? It all becomes sooo much harder!! Notice often in these scenarios we try to find something to naturally rest our feet on, or we wrap our feet and ankles around the legs of the chair.
These are all reasons why you want to find a comfortable seating position for your toddler or baby! My Feeding Toddlers online course and Baby Led Feeding course both equip you with the knowledge you need to feel confident through this process (and to solve the above problems you may be having!).
What to look for in a high chair
A proper high chair is the most beloved and most important feeding gear to get! Remember that a proper or good high chair doesn’t mean it has to be the most expensive one! Though some add-ons can be helpful if you can spend the money on them, add-ons are not necessary.
Here are my top 5 necessities that you should be looking for in any high chair that you buy:
- Safety harness. This is essential to keep your baby safe from slipping or falling out of the chair, by strapping your baby into the chair.
- Allows baby to sit at 90 degrees. The golden rule is 90-90-90! This means a 90 degree angle at the hips, 90 degree angle at the knees, and a 90 degree angle at the ankle with feet flat. You want to find a high chair that will allow you to easily put your baby in this position when feeding.
- Has a footstool (adjustable is best). Dangling feet while eating is no good for your baby’s trunk and core support and stability. Not having proper foot support can cause your baby to be inattentive and less focused at meal times.
- Easy to clean. As a fellow mom I know that you don’t want a high chair with a lot of fabric. To purchase an easy to clean high chair, find one that has a wood, plastic, or metal frame.
- Removable tray at the level of baby’s elbows. Having your baby’s tray at the height of their elbows allows for proper range of motion when eating. A removable tray is another addition that can be good if you want to remove it and have your baby join you at the dinner table for a meal! Sometimes this can be tricky if the chair height matches the height of your kitchen table, so keep this in mind. However, you can mitigate this by finding a high chair that has adjustable legs. Having a high chair with an adjustable height is also beneficial for when your baby grows and transitions into toddlerhood!
- *Honorable mention* You don’t need to buy a high chair with a recliner. While reclining can be okay for bottle feeding, reclining your baby when eating solids is NOT safe for your baby!
My personal fave high chairs:
Stokke Tripp Trapp
Price: $269 USD
Grows with baby? Yes! Your child can grow with this chair for years since it is highly adjustable!
Adjustable footrest? Yes!
Links: Amazon US, Amazon US tray, Amazon Canada, Amazon Canada tray
Other cool features: The weight for this high chair is up to 300lbs. They also have a version made for toddler! (Amazon US, Amazon Canada (white)). You can also buy an add-on tray from Stokke for this chair for ($49 USD, linked above).
Keekaroo Height Right
Price: $189.95-199.95 USD
Grows with baby? Yes, since it is highly adjustable it can grow with baby into toddlerhood!
Adjustable footrest? Yes! Both the seat and the footstool are adjustable
Links: Amazon US, Amazon Canada
Other cool features: Can hold up to 250lbs in weight
Costzon Wooden High Chair
Price: $129.99 USD
Grows with baby? Yes, since it is highly adjustable and has a removable tray which allows it to grow with your child into toddlerhood!
Adjustable footrest? Yes! The footstool is highly adjustable!
Links: Amazon US
Other cool features: Can hold up to 110lbs in weight
Nomi High Chair
Price: $380 – $460 USD (dependent on type of wood chosen)
Grows with baby? Yes! Highly adjustable, you can adjust both the footstool and the height of the chair, meaning you can bring this high chair to dine at the table with you and your family!
Adjustable footrest? Yes!
Links: Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Hudson’s Bay (will ship to Canada)
Other cool features: It can hold up to 330lbs
Stokke Steps Chair
Price: $388 – $427 USD (depending on color choice)
Grows with baby? Yes, this can be purchased as a high chair and can be used later in childhood as a chair that is child sized. Adjustable food support and trunk support.
Adjustable footrest? Yes!
Links: Amazon US (white/natural wood), Amazon Canada (white/grey)
OXO Tot Sprout
Price: $249.99 USD
Grows with baby? Yes! It adjusts in depth, height, and foot support height. The tray and safety harness can be removed for a toddler seat. It grows well into early childhood and can be a great investment.
Adjustable footrest? Yes, there is 4 adjustable heights for the footstool
Links: Amazon Canada (brown), Amazon Canada (grey or pink)
Other cool features: This chair can convert into a youth chair! And it can hold up to 60lbs.
Honourable Mention: Ikea Antilop
Price: $19.99 USD
Grows with baby? No. For most babies, the seat is very big and can have a large gap between the baby’s chest and the tray, sometimes meaning that the baby will have to lean over to reach food or rest. I suggest buying the ANTILOP support pillow ($4 USD) that’s sold separately to help fix this issue.
Adjustable footrest? No, this high chair (while affordable) actually doesn’t have a footrest! So what I suggest is buying a footrest from Yeah Baby Goods ($25 USD) or Footsi ($25.39 – $49.97 USD depending on style chosen) to solve this problem!
Links: Ikea US, Ikea Canada
USE CODE MYLITTLEEATER FOR ALL FOOTSI PRODUCTS TO GET 10% OFF
Other features I like: It’s super cheap!! A great option as a second high chair to keep at a family member/caregiver’s home where baby may often eat.
Travel options for you on-the-go moms:
Inglesina Fast Table
Price: $69.00 – $79.00 USD (depending on colour choice)
Grows with baby? No
Adjustable footrest? No, this one comes with no footrest. But, check out my three tips later in this blog post for how you can make foot support at home!
Links: Amazon US, Amazon Canada
Add on tray links: Amazon US, Amazon Canada
Other cool features: This can be a great option to take on the go, at restaurants, to clip onto a kitchen island, and more! It is easily collapsible for travel and you could purchase a separate dining tray to go with it, if desired.
Cozy Cover Easy Seat Portable
Price: $14.85 – $19.99 USD (depending on colour choice)
Grows with baby? Yes, to the extent that the straps can be adjusted if desired to use in toddlerhood.
Adjustable footrest? No footstool for this one. But, it can do the job in a pinch if you are visiting friends/family without young kids. Again, check out my three tips for making an at-home footstool below.
Links: Amazon US, Amazon Canada
Other cool features/things to note: This chair is definitely a hit for travel! Although note that your baby/toddler won’t be able to be pulled up to the a table so they can eat off of it/plate. They would need to eat on the chair, which is a downside, but this is a convenience option for special circumstances.
Booster Seat Recommendations
The purpose of the booster seat of course is to transition them from a highchair, to eating at the table. I highly recommend not transitioning your toddler to a booster seat any earlier than 18 months, ideally aiming to keep them in their high chair for 2+ years if possible! This is especially possible if you’ve purchased a highchair that grows with your baby into toddlerhood.
When it comes to the best seating position for toddlers, you’ll want to make sure that the table lands halfway between their belly button and breast. At this height, their elbows should be able to comfortably rest on the table. Smaller kid tables are fine from time to time, but most times it’s best to keep them at the family table in order to model eating behavior and family style meals. You’ll learn all about the importance of this for preventing and managing picky eating inside my Feeding Toddlers online course!
It’s also important to avoid dangling feet when possible! Like babies, toddlers need proper support and grounding of their body to provide them with core stability that helps them stay focused and eat well. Just a reminder, like babies, we want them sitting with their hips, knees, and ankles all at a 90-90-90 angles from one another.
Some suggestions for stand alone booster seats I recommend include:
OXO Tot Perch
Price: $39.99 USD
Grows with toddler into childhood? Yes
Adjustable footrest? No footrest
Links: Amazon US, Amazon Canada
Other features: This one has a weight capacity of 70lbs, and can accommodate kids over 3 years of age. The harness can also then be removed for young children.
Ingenuity SmartClean Toddler
Unilove Feed Me
Price: $69 USD
Grows with toddler into childhood? Yes, height can be adjusted.
Adjustable footrest? It does have a footrest (though it’s not adjustable).
Links for purchase: Amazon US
Other features: Can hold up to 30lbs in weight and has a feeding tray!
Price: $99.99 USD (Use code MYLITTLEEATER10 for 10% off your purchase!)
Grows with toddler into childhood? No, this specific seat is designed for babies and toddlers, ranging from 4 months to 2 years old.
Adjustable footrest? No.
Links for purchase: The Upseat
Other features: Includes a tray, safety straps, and straps to allow it to become a booster seat. This seat is also something that can be used as a seat for your baby on the floor, as a great alternative to the Bumbo chair because it allows for proper positioning for posture and healthy hip development.
How to set up your high chair for feeding time
So then you may ask, once your high chair has arrived at your home…what are some actionable steps for setting up your high chair for feeding time? Especially if you have a high chair with some adjustable options, like a recliner and an adjustable tray?
- Set your high chair to the fully upright position. While some high chairs have the option to recline, for feeding time you want to make sure that your little eater is positioned upright for safety.
- To help a baby who gets tired easily after a few minutes of completely sitting independently, you can use a rolled up towel around your baby’s hips for support to prevent them from toppling over.
- Finally, make sure that the tray on your baby’s high chair is positioned around halfway between their belly button and breast.
Troubleshooting Seating Issues
If you don’t have an adjustable high chair (or booster seat) with a footstool, three options that you can do to help your toddler’s foot support are:
- Place a chair behind and under the high chair for foot support (could even be a kid-sized chair)
- Stretch an elastic fabric across the bottom of the high chair (exercise bands work great!)
- Place a phonebook stack of books (duct taped together), or even an upside down milk crate on a chair under the table for a booster seat
And there you have it, my top tips, tricks and recommendations for your high chair shopping and feeding needs! I hope this helped!
If you want to learn more about feeding your baby and toddler to have more enjoyable meal times, check out my Baby Led Feeding online course and/or my Feeding Toddlers online course! And, if you are looking for even MORE of my recommended feeding tools, check out my full Amazon shops (MLE Amazon shop US, and for my Canadians… MLE Amazon shop Canada)
*Please note that I do receive a small commission from the products purchased from my Amazon shops and many of the chair links provided in this blog post. But, this comes to no additional cost to you, and I only add items to my Amazon shops that I FULLY support and stand behind! These small commissions help me keep my website alive and kicking so I can continue to provide you with valuable feeding info.