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Who knew so much could go into feeding your baby… food? We want to know what the best high chair is, the best bowl, the best apron, the best meal plan. We want to know all of the things and high chairs can be EXPENSIVE. So I reached out to Edwana from My Little Eater and she was great enough to write this blog post for (all of us). We want to make sure our high chair checks all of the 5 suggestions!
When our daughter was about 3-4 months I learned about “Baby Led Weaning”, a way to start feeding your baby solids from the start and I was IN …. until I actually had to hand my baby solid foods!
We started with sweet potato fries and after she gagged one time and I'm embarrassed to admit we performed the Heimlich… then went back to purees.
Someone sent me a GREAT podcast about choking vs gagging which helped SO MUCH. That podcast was how I found Edwena Kennedy from My Little Eater. She's a pediatric dietitian and mom herself who specializes in feeding babies and toddlers. AND she has an amazing online baby feeding course! (discount code: HEYSHAYLA)
Honestly, I didn't give 2 thoughts to the highchair. I received a hand-me-down and was the most grateful. However, after learning Edwana's tips, I realized we need one with a foot rest (so little lady will stay in the chair longer).
What I love about her course is it helps to determine when our babies are ready for solids, what to look for when choosing the best high chair, how to introduce allergenic foods, and solutions to common problems (among many other things). Best of all, she prefers to call it “baby led feeding” because with her course you don't have to start with solids!
We have a hand-me-down high chair, but after learning these tips, need to swap it out!
As I share what our daughter eats on my Instagram people will ask what kind of high chair I have! But mine was a hand me down so very little thought went into it. In fact, after learning her tips I need to get a new one (or at least a footrest).
So, I reached out to her to see if she could help some sisters out and share what she recommends!
She agreed and rounded up her best tips for us!
Having the right highchair is SO critical to having a successful and positive eating experience for your baby. I know, I know…it sounds dramatic. But seriously – can’t tell you how many parents have had their feeding issues resolved after getting the right highchair in place.
So, are you ready to learn my fav highchair picks, and why?
Let’s do this!
Does it really matter what kind of highchair my baby has?
When picking the right high chair for your baby, there’s a small list of things that you want to make sure it can do, but the number one thing to consider is your baby’s seating position.
But Edwena…it’s a highchair. Pretty sure every company has gotten the “seating” part right…right?
Well, not really. Most highchairs on the market haven’t consulted with feeding specialists and occupational therapists to figure out how to prop baby up in a way that makes it safe, gives a good range of motion for eating, and is comfortable for your baby/toddler.
In fact, highchairs that aren’t designed well from a seating perspective result in babies and toddlers wanting to leave the table before a meal is finished or being fidgety or squirmy in their chair. In some cases, it can also affect the way your baby develops motor skills (like reaching for food to self-feed) or using utensils.
5 Features you absolutely must-have for the best highchair:
#1 Create a 90-90-90 seated position:
- This means that their hips, their knees, and feet are resting flat on a footrest (more on that in #3)…again, forming a 90 degree angle. This ensures that their bum and pelvis are straight and the airway is unrestricted. AKA – ultimate position for safety!
- It gives them enough freedom of movement to lean forward if they want and turn slightly to the left or the right without restriction. Their arms should be freely movable and not be restricted in any way.
**Remember – your baby should be able to hold their head and torso upright and steady independently before starting solids.
#2: The best high chairs have a safety harness.
This is so important for keeping your baby safe from slipping or falling out of the chair! Don’t listen if you hear anything online about not strapping babies in the highchair so you can easily get them out if they start choking. You have a decent amount of time to react if a baby is choking, believe it or not, and the risks and accidents associated with not strapping your baby in, far outweigh the extra 5 seconds it takes to unstrap a baby from their chair if required.
#3: A footrest (and ideally, an adjustable one!)
Here’s why this is actually so important. Babies (and toddlers especially) need support under their feet to keep their core stable, to keep them from tiring out during a meal, and to keep them focused and able to learn new eating skills. Dangling feet = more difficulty eating. Think about when you’re at a restaurant and they sit you on those high barstools where your feet don’t quite reach the floor. Then think about how you try to wrap your legs around the stool or prop your feet up against the base of the bar or find something to rest your feet on for support.
This is because without something to stabilize you, you feel uncomfortable sitting and it requires a lot more work to keep your upper body upright. The same goes for your baby! 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 mealtimes.
#4: Easy to clean (aka no fabric) Mom's agree this makes the “best high chair” list!
As a fellow Mom, I know you do not want a highchair with a lot of fabric. You’ll want to find one that has a wood, plastic, or metal frame ‘cause nothing is quicker and easier to wipe down than that.
#5: The best high chairs have removable trays
Having your baby’s tray at the height of their elbows allows for proper range of motion when eating. A removable tray is also great if you want to remove it and have your baby join you at the dinner table for a meal!
Bonus: A feature you DO NOT want for your high chair:
The ability to recline. While reclining can be ok for bottle feeding, reclining your baby when eating solids is NOT safe for your baby!
5 high chair recommendations from a pediatric dietitian (that check all the boxes):
Price: $269 USD
Grow with baby? Yes! Your child can grow with this chair for years since it is highly adjustable!
Adjustable footrest? Yes!
Other cool features: The weight for this high chair is up to 300lbs. You can also buy the chair without the infant insert! (Amazon US, Amazon Canada (white)). You can also buy an add-on tray from Stokke for this chair for ($49 USD, linked above).
Price: $189.95-199.95 USD
Grow with baby? Yes, since it is highly adjustable it can grow with your baby into toddlerhood!
Adjustable footrest? Yes! Both the seat and the footstool are adjustable
Other cool features: Can hold up to 250lbs in weight.
Links: Amazon US,
Price: $199.95 USD
Grow 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!
Other cool features: Can hold up to 250 lbs in weight.
Links: Amazon US
Price: $380 – $460 USD (dependent on type of wood chosen)
Grow 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!
Other cool features: It can hold up to 330lbs.
Price: $249.99 USD
Grow 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: XOX Sprout High Chair
Other cool features: This chair can convert into a youth chair! And it can hold up to 60lbs.
Hope this helps!
There you have it! If you’re interested in learning more about feeding your baby in a way to prevent picky eating and have them so skilled at eating all types of food, check out the Baby Led Feeding online course!
BONUS – you can use my discount code HEYSHAYLA