Mealtime becomes a whole lot more exciting (and yes, messy) when your baby graduates to solid foods and makes the move to your dinner table. Where your little one's going to sit can be just as big a decision as what they're going to eat, and thankfully, today's high chair options are a lot more design-friendly and varied than they were in the past. Here are nine great options — from the traditional and classic to the mod and feature-heavy — to consider when the time comes to invite your tot to dinner.
My daughter loves her cushy high chair with its faux leather, comfy seat, and extra-wide tray, but to me, it just looks like one big crumb and spill magnet, complete with lots of nooks and crannies perfect for hiding peas from who knows how many meals ago, ketchup drips, and crushed crackers. If you're in the same "ick" boat as I am when it comes to your high chair, follow these quick tips to take your high chair from gross to gleaming.
- Do a daily wipe down. Use a wet rag or nontoxic cleaning wipe to quickly wipe down the seat area to clean up any spills before they dry and harden. Hand wash your tray with dish soap and warm water, or if you have a removable tray, pop it in the dishwasher.
- Tackle the crevices. My patented cleaning cheat moves involves using my vacuum's removable nozzle to suck up any crumbs, but you can also use dental floss, a cotton swab, or an old toothbrush combined with a wet rag to pick up tiny bits of food. Rub hardened food spots with warm water or a nontoxic cleaning solution (vinegar, water, and a bit of dish soap work well) and allow to soak for a few minutes before you scrub.
- Work on the straps and seat. If you have machine washable parts, by all means, throw them in the laundry, but if you want your seat to last through multiple kids, consider hand washing. You can wipe down the seat and straps with hydrogen peroxide, a natural disinfectant that kills germs without leaving any residue, or use warm soapy water and a rag to gently remove any dirt and grime.
- Reassemble and get ready for clean eating! At least, that is, until baby's next meal!
Is it possible for kids to take a seat for mealtime in a chair that isn't an eyesore? Sure, if mama does her research. With the recent Bumbo recall, many mamas are looking for kitchen seating options that won't tamper with their breakfast room decor. For those with an eye for modern design, there's more to high chairs than character- and jungle-themed options. Take a look at some of the coolest high chair options available today, and tell us if any would blend with your room!
There are few baby products that evoke as strong a response from moms as high chairs. Love them or leave them, baby needs a place to sit when it's time to chow down. Whether mama opts for a traditional seat covered in characters and bright colors or a more modern version that blends in the breakfast room decor, there are plenty of options available for those with particular tastes. We've rounded up some of the latest options to enter the kiddie dining market — take a look and tell which you'd park in your kitchen for a few years!
The grass is always greener on the other side of the pond. Our nurseries may be filled with the coolest, most design-oriented products, but a glance at the offerings overseas can leave a mama wanting more! Brother Max, a 6-year old London-based company, designs products to "make everyday tasks simpler and less time consuming." Whether it's a thermometer that can be used in-the-ear or on the forehead or a high chair seat that doesn't hide crumbs, the innovative ideas will be welcomed in the United States later this year.
Talk about multifunctional! Strollers often serve as makeshift high chairs as the tots snack or are rolled right up to restaurant tables. Baby Jogger is about to officially turn the pushchair into a high chair with the introduction of the HyChair ($60) – a mounting bracket that attaches a City Jogger stroller seat directly onto a table. Like other hook-on booster seats, the HyChair gives lil eaters their own seat at the table, without having to worry about the caked on food and germs typically found on restaurant provided chairs. The kit will also give mamas the option of reclining their wee ones to seat them comfortably. What's your opinion?
Don't play with your food — toy with these contraptions instead! Once tots are seated at the table, the focus should be on the food, but for lil ones just learning how to sit — distractions often make the process easier. Books and playthings with strong suction easily attach to high chair trays eliminating the need to for mama to keep picking dropped items off the floor.
Clockwise from top left: Sassy Fishy Fascination Station ($15), Melissa and Doug Deluxe First Bead Maze ($12), Chicco Canary Pilot ($19), Dania Vize High Chair Buddy: Fruity Fun ($9), Early Learning Centre High Chair Steering Wheel ($20)
Homemade meals are great, but every once in a while, mom and dad want to be waited on too. When new moms and dads head out for dinner with their newborn in tow, there is always the question of where the tot should go. While pulling the stroller up to the table is an option in some restaurants, it isn't practical in others. In those instances, there's always the "flip the high chair over and rest the car seat in base" trick, but many parents don't feel comfortable resting their precious cargo in an upside down seat. While dining out over the weekend, I saw our waiter bring out an option I had never seen before. The Koala Infant Seat Kradle ($103) is a mesh sling, attached to steel tubing, designed to hold infant car seats at table height. The contraption appeared to keep baby comfortably in place while mama and papa enjoyed their meal. Would you try out the Kradle?
It all starts with the sperm and the egg, but once baby is born it used to be so that was all but forgotten. Now there are several designers that have used egg inspiration to create baby goods from cradles to cribs and high chairs for parents who have an eye for ovular design. Check out some of our favorite nursery finds that go beyond Humpty Dumpty patterned bedding.
You don't see many kindergartners wearing diapers or popping a bottle in their lunch bag. Some milestones like rolling, talking, and walking just sort of happen and others like giving up a lovey, forgoing a pacifier, and moving from crib to bed are more learned. Some parents help their offspring progress by limiting the time their tot is wheeled around in a stroller or eats in a high chair. We're curious what you think. Chime in with your opinion on everything from bottle feeding to snuggling with stuffed animals!