Features of a high chair – what accessories make sense?
Safety is paramount when buying your personal best high chair. You certainly do not want your child slipping back and forth, out while climbing, or possibly even fall out. The ease of use of functional parts (such as the harness, locks, or food tray) may also have an impact on safety. Trying the various parts in any shop can always help. Also look at our high chair reviews in assessing the safety and ease of use of the high chairs.
Overview of optional accessories and parts of a high chair:
Harness or safety harness:
This is one of the main features of a high chair. While the current standard only requires a three-point belt, many experts say that a five-point harness is a must. The most common accidents with high chairs are falls. The shoulder straps of a five-point belt inhibit your child getting up in the chair, or leaning too far over the sides.
It is also important that the belt is easy to use and can be adjusted enough to strap on a small or large child safely. Coated belts or straps that are wrapped can be cleaned much easier. Straight fabric belts look dingy relatively quickly. Although you can wash most, it’s an additional expense, and frequent washing eventually leads to the material becoming brittle.
The buckle is the most critical part of the harness. This should close safely enough to restrain a wriggling child, and to inhibit the child opening it. Nevertheless, the closure should be possible to open relatively easily (at best with one hand) for an adult.
Central stringer / Crotch post:
So that the baby does not slip (and potentially even get the head stuck) between the food tray and the seat bottom many models have a fixed step mullion (also known as a passive restraint system). The step post is typically mounted on the seat surface (in some models) and also on the frame.
This part is not intended to replace the belt! A high chair needs both the center post and a harness for safety. Attach the strap whenever your child is seated in the chair. Place the tray or table in the most comfortable and convenient position for your baby to eat. Then check that there is not more than 3cm distance between the food tray and the central stringer. Keep the distance as short as possible. This ensures that your child cannot pinch his leg while trying to bring this to the other side. On some models the central stringer can be moved forward and backward. It is important that there not be too much space between your child’s back and the back of the seat. If your baby can get up in the chair, you risk falling, or even tipping the high chair. The 5-point harness is again very useful here in order to prevent accidents of any kind.
Dining table / Food tray
Choose a high chair on which the dining table can be easily removed by an adult. Make sure that the child cannot push the food tray off with the feet, and that the table is attached stably enough and does not buckle. Some models offer the possibility to fold the table to the side. Make sure here that the child does not [do what? the verb was missing here] on hinges. Dining tables are difficult to put on or remove, thus can be troublesome in the long run. Try this function on the best models on the market before buying.
Many high chairs have a dishwasher safe insert which you can take off after eating and easily affix after cleaning. Such attachment makes a big difference in the ease of use and keeping the chair clean.
We recommend using a plate which always covers the entire surface of the dining table of the high chair.
The position of the dining table can be adjusted forwards/backwards and in height on some models. Good adjustability of the dining table is important because it can be inconvenient if, for example, the dining table is too far and the baby cannot lean over while eating.
The seat can often be set at stair high chairs to up to 10 positions. It works continuously for pneumatically adjustable seat shells. Some high chairs have a fixed seat position (E.g. the combination high chair) and a fixed seat height.
A high chair with a removable table has the advantage that you can use it at a large table and place it close to the table. The seat adjustment function shows differing results in various tests. It can be reassuring if locking the seat into position makes a clicking noise. Some high chairs offer a numbering of the seating positions, so that you can determine the correct seat height by means of a table for the child.
When you first adjust the seat height, make sure that the seat is properly locked on both sides. On stair high chairs you count the seat adjustment slots, which helps ensure that you lock the chair into position securely. Remember to adjust the seat height without the child in the chair!
Some models let you recline the whole seat. This makes sense, for example, when your baby is sleeping after eating. Except when bottle feeding use the seat for eating in the upright position to avoid the risk of suffocation! When adjusting the bevel angle your baby should not be in the high chair!