As you know babies come with a lot of responsibility and well a huge amount of stuff! You may have started or started your baby registry and feel a bit overwhelmed at actually how many products are out there to choose from.
When I had my first child I wanted the best of everything and found myself swimming in reviews, advice from family members and friends but it wasn’t until I started using what was deemed as the ‘best products’ that I truly found what worked for me and my family.
Taking the all-important high chair into account, this seems like a crucial part of parenting, but why are there so many out there claiming to be the best?
Do you have to pay over the odds for the best high chair? Is the best high chair always the most convenient? Will they work for a larger toddler?
In this article, we are going to find and research 7 great high chair alternatives that you may find fits your spec of ‘perfect.’ We will take the hard work out of it for you by looking at the pros and cons of each one.
In this article
- Different Types of High Chairs
- Best Alternatives To A High Chair
- Things To Consider Before Purchasing
- The Final Thought
Different Types of High Chairs
High chairs as we know them are high secure seats with tray tables. They allow our children to sit safely and develop their eating skills. Over the years safety regulations have changed and therefore so has the choice as to what is on offer for parents.
I went for a traditional large chair that is fairly popular. Equipped with a food catcher underneath and several recline positions I thought I was on to a winner.
It wasn’t until my daughter grew a bit that I started looking for an alternative seat as squishing her into this chair didn’t only prove to be uncomfortable for her but the chair itself became way too bulky to store.
As you know the more children grow the more items around our homes seem to grow as well.
Developmental toys can appear and unless you live in a mansion it is all most impossible to keep everything and still have enough space! So sometimes having a bulky chair is not the most practical as your baby transitions into a toddler.
Online there are many different types of high chairs that could be a better alternative. Easier storage and access may be what you are looking for in a feeding seat.
Best Alternatives To A High Chair
This fold-away high chair is similar to a traditional chair. But it does boast that it is suitable for toddlers and has an easy one-click fold button that may be attractive to some buyers.
It is reasonably priced and comes equipped with an easy-to-clean tray, a basket for essentials, and a wipe-down seat. It also has 3 recline positions perfect for when your little one nods off during a meal.
It also has an ultra-slim fold so that it will easily fit in small spaces. It may be the perfect alternative for you!
- Easy to fold away
- Easy to clean
- 3 position recline.
- Removable tray
- Fiddly to take the chair cover off
- Straps are hard to clean (especially if you end up with a diaper explosion)
- Pain to sanitize the seat
This seat is quick and easy to set up. Although it looks small it has a durable frame with four solid legs and nonslip feet. It also has a three-point harness to ensure those wiggly toddlers are kept safe.
You can use this as a tray table on the floor or securely fix it to a chair and allow your toddler to become a part of the dining experience whilst you eat.
- Portable – easy to take with you on travels.
- 3 different height adjustments
- Fix to adult seats
- Plastic material makes it easy to clean
- The tray is hard to take off and reattach
- Weight distribution – if you have a wiggler then be careful as this item is known to tip.
- Not escape-proof – even with the tightest setting some toddlers have been known to get out of the seat without help.
This chair is super convenient and practical for all uses in and out of the home. It has a padded seat to ensure your baby is comfortable and fits almost every chair. Complete with anti-slip loops on the back this seat could be the perfect addition to your diaper bag!
- Safe and easy to use
- Machine washable
- Fits most chairs
- Not escape-proof
- Straps are flimsy
- Not robust enough for an older child
On the higher end of the price scale, this seat can attach itself to the table instead of a chair allowing your child to really be a part of mealtimes. Comes with a 3 point safety harness, is easy to clean, and keep it sterile.
Due to its compact fold and carry strap it could be a great option if you do a lot of traveling with your little one.
- Snap off cover is machine washable
- Suitable for children who cannot reach the table
- Multi-use with or without the tray
- Only secure on some tables – check thickness and material of yours before purchase
- 3 point harness proves that any rule breaker can wriggle out
- Comes up on the smaller side meaning that it is not practical for larger babies.
- Expensive compared to others on the market
Here are some more great hook on and clip-on high chairs that you may love.
This is the biggest alternative to what we are used to seeing when it comes to high chairs. Rather than a booster seat or high chair, this product fits directly into your dining chairs no matter the leg shape.
Convenient and easy to use this product can be for adults as well so there is no worry about the maximum weight it can hold. It is compact and lightweight and would be great to take with you when out for a family meal.
- Allows for your toddler to feel included on a big person’s chair.
- Fits any shape chair leg
- Small and compact to take on your travels
- Height options allow for different boost
- Only used to boost – no harness security to keep those bums on seats.
- Need both hands to loosen the gadget – may not be practical if you are holding a toddler.
- Added 3.5 lbs to your bag.
This self-inflating booster could be a great go-to when on your adventures. Fitting to the chair allowing for your child to join in mealtimes it gives adjustable heights with a safety harness attached for extra safety.
Fold away and carry or store in its own case. A great alternative if you want to lessen the load of baby equipment you carry with you.
- Good transition from high chair to table
- Offers height adjustment
- Self inflates so no huffing and puffing
- Easy to clean
- The seat runs smaller than expected
- You have to deflate yourself
- Straps seem too low on child
This Booster cushion is best suited to an older child, versatile enough for you to take anywhere including trips to the movies.
The cover is removable so you can machine wash in case of any accidents and it comes equipped with a back safety strap to ensure it stays put whilst on the seat.
- Gives the older child independence to climb onto the chair themselves.
- A flat shape means no cracks to dig food out of.
- Stiff and firm material means it doesn’t lose shape.
- The zipper is not durable and can break easily
- Some chairs are not the right fit
- Not enough boost for higher tables
Things To Consider Before Purchasing
Aspects you may wish to think about before purchasing:
Is it for the house or are you wanting to take it out?
Aspects like weight, durability, ease of use may come into play here. Have a clear thought of what you want and where you would like to use the item the most.
Is cleaning the issue?
If this has been a pain in the past then look for something machine washable or easy to wipe surfaces can make this struggle a thing of the past.
Overall only you will know what specifications and styles you are after but hopefully one of the above has given you a good idea of what is on the market.
Are you struggling with an escape artist?
There is nothing a mom dreads more than a run-a-way toddler causing havoc in a diner. If your toddler enjoys the space and freedom in the most impractical places then you may wish to put the harness security at the forefront of your search.
What can you use instead of a high chair?
A booster seat is a great alternative when you don’t want to have to keep a bulky high chair around.
At what age should a child be out of a high chair?
Most children transition from sitting in a high chair to a normal chair around the age of 18 to 24 months old. But the longer that you can keep your child safely strapped into a high chair the better.
What to do when your toddler won’t sit in a high chair?
Toddlers, in general, are not very good at transitioning, especially if they were in the middle of a great game and you interrupted them to come and eat.
It is usually more effective to create a recognizable routine before meals such as, tidy up, wash hands, bring their plate to the table, get in their chair, eat.
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The Final Thought
So there we have it guys, seven alternatives to the typical high chair. If you are finding yourself at the stage where you want rid of the bulky traditional feeding seat then try one of the above.
But maybe you are still set on the more traditional high chair but you are lacking in space take a look at our 12 best high chairs for small spaces.