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Unlike many of the products that you register for when you’re pregnant, the high chair is one that you’re going to be using for a long time. While swaddles and pacifiers are eventually phased out, the best high chairs that will stand the test of time can serve your child through toddler age and beyond. Point being: If you’re asking yourself if you even need a high chair, the resounding answer from us is YES.
Why? Because when baby is around six months old and starts eating solids—pureed peas, carrots, meats and more!—it’s going to be messy. Very, very messy. This is not something you want to attempt with baby on your hip.
Let’s not forget that we also want to establish good eating habits early—and encourage family time around the table! Investing in a high chair that invites baby to the meal is a fundamental way of doing that.
How to pick the best high chair with longevity in mind
We hand-tested all of the picks below and are sure there’s one for you on the list. Looking for a bang for your buck? Opt for a high chair that grows with baby from infancy to school-age. Live in a tiny city apartment? Then you’re going to need one that folds and can be tucked away when it’s not meal time.
And considering you’re going to be serving up three meals a day (minimum), you want a baby high chair that is safe and easy to clean! Cushions and pads that get grimy relatively quickly aren’t going to cut it.
8 best high chairs for the first years
Choosing the best high chairs to last
If you really only want to shop for a high chair once, then you need to prioritize durability and versatility.
While assessing the durability, consider how the high chair is designed: Will it clean easily? Is it made from quality materials? Are there a lot of little parts that could be prone to breaking?
As for the versatility, you can start by looking at the suggested age or weight limits for the high chair. Beyond that, think about whether you want a high chair that can evolve into a toddler seat or more.
There are many high chair options out there—and there’s no need to make this a high-stress decision. We hope these tried-and-true high chair recommendations will help!
A version of this article was published September 9, 2020. It has been updated.