One of the top essentials parents must have on their to-buy list is a high chair. Is it really necessary for babies to be in a high chair whenever they are ready to eat? Let’s discover when can baby use high chair and what features to look for in buying one.
High chair safety: When can baby use high chair
Photo by Vanessa Loring from Pexels
A baby is developmentally ready to sit in a high chair once he or she can sit upright without assistance. When seated, they should have adequate stability and control It is also necessary for them to be able to hold their heads up. However, because good highchairs provide additional support, this stability does not have to be completely self-sufficient.
Each high chair will come with an age guideline from the manufacturer. Most experts advise against using a high chair until a baby is 6 months old.
This is a terrific place to start, but make sure your infant is ready first. After all, each child grows at his or her own pace. You don’t want to rush it and risk your baby’s safety.
High chair safety standards
When it’s time to buy a high chair for your baby, consider the following high chair safety standards that might help you decide which model is best for your lifestyle, and the space you have available.
1. Easy to clean
You wouldn’t want a high chair that has to be disassembled entirely to be cleaned. Look for high chairs with removable, washable covers and minimal nooks or crannies where food or liquids could hide.
It’s also important to keep in mind that high chairs with features like a removable tray and adjustable seat height can more easily grow with your child.
Some high chairs feature specially constructed trays that are easier to remove or have pockets to store drinks or plates more securely.
Make sure to buy a high chair that is made to last if you want to be able to use it for at least two years. A high chair should be strong enough to resist easy tipping.
Some chairs are specifically intended for infants and toddlers. Other options include convertible models that will grow with your child.
If your child isn’t quite ready for a high chair but you still want to start using one, think about buying one with a recliner seat. You’ll have a lot of use for these when they develop because you may utilize them while standing.
Many parents find it convenient to take a nap while their child is lying down. However, starting to feed your newborn infant while lying down is not a smart idea.
3. Has safety features
A five-point safety harness is required in the reclining position for small babies, therefore it’s critical to make sure the high chair you purchase has these safety features. The safety strap should be firmly attached.
Additionally, check the chair for any accessible areas where small fingers can become tangled or pinched.
Wheeled high chairs are very useful, especially if one parent has to multitask while the child is eating when they are at home alone with them. Test the wheel locking mechanism thoroughly before using it.
If you’re tight on room, instead of the more classic stand-alone alternative, consider a chair that hooks onto an adult chair or the table.
A high chair that hooks onto the table or can be folded and stored when not in use can be a good option if you’re attempting to accommodate one in a tight space.
If your child is always moving and active, an uncomfortable high chair will be the last place they want to be. You also would have to find a high chair that fits your baby. You don’t want a baby too small for high chair.
The perfect amount of cushion, leg room, and even proper back support may make a great difference.
If you’re traveling with your child or need a high chair that can be moved around your home, consider the weight of the chair, whether it has wheels, and whether it can fold.
How to keep baby safe in a high chair: High chair safety tips
When picking a high chair, the most important factor to consider is your child’s safety.
If you’re purchasing a new high chair, you may trust that it has undergone extensive testing and certification. If you’re taking a hand-me-down, double-check that everything is still in good working condition and that no sharp or damaged components or screws are missing.
Also, keep in mind the following high chair safety tips:
1. Make sure it is sturdy and balanced.
Your high chair shouldn’t be tipping over when your child gets bigger and starts wriggling like crazy! If the legs have rolling wheels, make sure they’re fastened in position before putting your infant in it. Adults and other children should not be able to trip over the high chair, no matter where it is placed.
2. Do not leave your child unattended.
A young toddler could easily choke on food or even tip the chair over. You’ll also want to make sure your child is strapped in their high chair at all times so they don’t stand up or slip out.
3. Keep your child away from hazards.
Children can twist and reach out of their chairs with ease. High chairs should never be used near hot surfaces, sharp utensils, lit candles, or other potentially dangerous items.
4. Whether baby too small for high chair or too big, follow the weight limits.
Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels
High chair safety: Features to look for in a high chair
Photo by Vanessa Loring from Pexels
Here are the most important features to look for when buying a high chair.
1. Baby’s position
Check your baby’s position when trying out a highchair. Their hips, knees, and ankles should all be at a 90-degree angle (right angle). If you’re not sure what this means, take a look at this diagram. Many of the less expensive, all-in-one, wipe-clean plastic highchairs lack this amount of support.
The tabletop or highchair tray should be positioned halfway between your baby’s belly button and nipple level, and as near to their body as possible.
They won’t be able to completely examine foods provided to them if the tray (or tabletop) is higher than this, and if it’s lower than this, they’ll have to slump forwards, losing their stable posture and placing pressure on their stomach, which could cause pain when eating.
Many highchairs don’t have a footrest at all, or if they do, it’s so far down that your child will be celebrating their fifth birthday before they can reach it.
A footrest provides something for your baby to push against or ‘brace herself’ against so that they can focus on the abilities required for eating. This is why, while babies are having milk feeds, they will occasionally ‘lock’ their legs by pressing their feet against the arm of the chair or you.
When your baby is in the early stages of weaning, the backrest of their highchair should reach straight up to their neck. Some highchairs only go halfway, but babies who are just starting solids require full back support.
There are so many brands, features, styles, and options to choose from when buying a high chair for your baby. However, as long as the chair you select is safe and correctly used, you should be able to breathe a sigh of relief as you and your baby move on to another stage of development – eating!
High chair safety tips: other reminders for a guaranteed high chair safety
- Make sure the high chair cannot be turned over easily.
- Keep any counters or tables away from the high chair. If your child pushes hard enough against these items, the chair may tip over.
- If the chair folds, make sure it is fixed each time you set it up.
- Never leave a young child alone in a high chair, and prevent older children from climbing or playing on it as this could tip it over.
- Make sure the table’s weight will keep it from tilting when your child sits at it. Check whether your child’s feet can rest on a table support as well. If your child leans against the table, they can knock the seat off.
- Every time your child sits in the chair, use the crotch strap and additional safety straps. Your child won’t be able to fall, which could cause significant harm or possibly result in death. At all times, prevent your child from standing in the high chair.
Additional information from Margaux Dolores
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