Your Essential Guide to Highchairs | The Range
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Family Dining in Kitchen

Your Essential Guide to Highchairs

As your little one grows older and more independent, the highchair is a great way for baby to be part of the family while everyone eats and catches up round the table. As with anything for your baby, it needs to be safe, durable and work for you, your lifestyle and your home. Highchairs come in a variety of materials, sizes, and with various levels of functionality, and this guide will help you choose the right one.

A highchair is essentially a functional piece of kit that babies will use from about the age of six months, and there are a few key attributes it must have:

  • First and foremost, the highchair must be safe. Always have baby harnessed securely when seated and never leave them unattended while in the highchair. Never have the highchair on a pedestal or raised section of the floor.

  • Second, your highchair must be easy to clean. Not just the tray, but the harness, the legs and the hinges. Check what parts are dishwasher safe, and if it has a cushion, see if it is removable and machine-washable.

  • It must be non-slip and have a good wide base for stability.

  • It should be easily adjustable – in height, for breakfast bars and dining tables for example, and for your growing toddler. The foot rest will need to be adjustable to accommodate longer legs!

Child Laughing in Highchair

Not all highchairs are foldable, so if you’re tight on space, you might need to buy one that stows away neatly. Some parents buy the most basic highchair on the market because toddlers so often reject them, and some bypass the highchair completely and simply opt for a booster seat.

There are three basic formats to a highchair:


These wooden highchairs are stylish, easy to clean and will last long into junior’s life. Even adults can sit in them, perhaps not for long, but they can. They don’t fold away, but are neat and seem to fit naturally with most dining/kitchen furniture.


Portable highchairs look a little like baby swing seats and attach directly to the table with clamps. These are great for travelling and eating on the go as they are small (having no legs) and usually fold flat. One consideration is the thickness of your table top – check the maximum size of the clamp so you know it will fit on your table.

baby highchairs feeding


These are traditional highchairs; practical and often in fun and funky designs. Usually constructed in metal, plastic, and vinyl, they are reliable, adjustable, and can be easy stored out of the way when not in use.


So that’s the chair, what about the mess? Bibs are crucial because hand-eye-mouth coordination is never great at the start, but practice makes perfect! Plastic bibs are easy but bulky, cloth ones are unobtrusive but need more cleaning. You (and your friends) might want a mat to go under the chair to protect the floor, and bowls with a suction base are good for preventing spills or throws!

As for what to feed the little one, you can either puree adult food, buy pre-prepared baby food, or as most go for, do a combination of the two. Getting baby to eat adult food from an early age – when mimicry is almost absolute – may help avoid fussy eating phases in later life. Mealtimes have always been a time for the whole family to get together and are a learning experience for baby, not just in eating, but in communication.


It’s always a good idea to clean a restaurant/pub high chair with a wet wipe before use. And please never throw wet wipes down the loo. They are not paper and have a terrible environmental impact.

All highchairs should conform to British Safety Standard BS 14988.

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