When it comes to selecting a high chair, try not to be overwhelmed by the choices on the market: there are literally dozens: classic or modern, wooden, plastic, or metal, among other options. But the right high chair can help make feeding a hungry baby a lot more enjoyable for both of you. Here's what's to consider.
Today's high chairs–whether they're made of wood, metal, or plastic--are loaded with features such as adjustable trays with dishwasher-safe inserts that make cleanup a cinch, seats that recline to multiple positions, and chair heights that accommodate your growing baby and give you flexibility to feed her at different levels.
Regardless of the materials, you should look for high-chair safety features that include a crotch post; a safety-restraint system with a five-point harness; wheels that lock in place (or no wheels); and, when folding, chairs that won't scissor, shear, or pinch you or your little one's fingers.
At a minimum, you'll want a stable, sturdy high chair that can stand up to heavy use, spills, and regular cleaning for at least a year. Although they're intended for children from infancy up to about three years (the typical top weight is 40 to 50 pounds), some babies can't bear to sit in one once they become adventurous toddlers.
Many high chairs now convert to toddler chairs when your child is ready to sit at the table with the rest of the family. You usually make the switch by removing the tray and adjusting the chair height so you can scoot your toddler right up to the table. That's a good thing because a regular kitchen or dining room chair will probably put your child at chin level to the table. Since you'll need some kind of transitional chair, you might as well get the most mileage from a high chair.