Why read: If you’re looking for the best high chair for baby-led weaning, you’ll find here tips on how to choose one for the price you can afford.
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Starting your baby on solids is such an exciting milestone!
You watch your little one try new foods. She smashes it, squeezes it, and throws it on the floor. Then you clean all that mess three times a day.
Ahhh, what can be more fun!
From now on and for the coming 2 to 4 years your baby will be sitting in her highchair trying all the flavors of the healthy foods you offer her.
So you want to create a safe and enjoyable environment for your baby. But also to make it easy to clean after her.
Because here is the truth – baby-led weaning is messy!
Nonetheless, it has so many benefits to traditional spoon-feeding. Baby-led weaning the most natural and healthy way to start your baby on solids and help her grow up a happy and confident eater.
Forget all the stress of force-feeding, fussing, the need to use distractions, and getting frustrated. You’ll put the strong foundation for an adventurous eater who’ll love to try and relish new foods.
And because BLW is so messy you want to choose the right high chair for baby-led weaning and a few other accessories to make your life easy.
You don’t want to get discouraged after a couple of messy and difficult-to-clean instances and resort to spoon-feeding instead.
So let’s break down everything in easy-to-follow steps so that you can choose the right blw high chair for your little one with confidence. And make baby-led weaning enjoyable both for her and you!
When can your baby sit in a high chair?
All babies are unique in their developmental milestones!
My baby girl is early in everything. She started to sit straight up on her own at 3 months old.
Is a high chair really necessary?
While you can offer your baby solid foods when holding her in your lap or on an adult chair this is of course not convenient.
Your baby needs a safe and enjoyable place to eat.
High chairs are specifically designed for small babies to sit safely for feeding and staying in one place. Plus, sitting your baby in a highchair at the dinner table with the rest of the family will have a positive impact on how she perceives mealtimes and food.
If you’re on a budget there are a lot of affordable options to look into. Check my list of the best high chairs for baby-led weaning below organized by price from low to high.
Or you can even get a high chair from your local mom community for free. A lot of parents are willing to give away their baby items once their child outgrows those.
You can score a great gently-used high chair on the Facebook marketplace or in your local Facebook mom group.
The easiest way is to ask if anyone is giving away their high chair. You’ll be surprised how much people are willing to pass on their baby items to fellow parents.
What to look for in a high chair for baby-led weaning?
When choosing a high chair for BLW there are two main aspects you should pay attention to – safety and ease of cleaning.
When both of these are met, you can then consider your family’s budget, your style, how big your space is, how portable you want the high chair to be, etc.
Recent research by Safe Kids Worldwide found that “every day in the US an average of 24 children are treated in an emergency department for an injury related to either a high chair or chair booster seat – that is one child every hour”.
A safe high chair is sturdy with a wide base and fully functional safety restraints. Check if the safety straps are easy to buckle and unbuckle.
It’s important to always buckle up your baby before feeding and never leave her alone. Unsupervised babies are more likely to try to wiggle out of the strap or choke on their food.
Easy to clean
Remember all the mess you’ll need to clean?!
The best high chair for baby-led weaning is the one that is easy to clean! This means no fabric! Fewer seams and crevices – food gets stuck in those all the time. Preferably, a removable tray that you can quickly wash in the sink or pop into a dishwasher. Some modern high chairs even come with an extra tray so that you can use the second one when the first is being washed.
Larger trays are the best because less food ends up on the floor but be conscious of your sink size too. If you have a smaller sink, a large tray can become a pain to clean with water splashing everywhere.
While you want your baby to be comfortable and love her highchair, stay away from high chairs that have any fabric. Those are a pain to clean. Look for a high chair that’s well-padded instead.
After all, a high chair is a piece of furniture. While safety and easiness to clean must be your main focus, there is no shortage of sleek-looking high chairs of different designs that can perfectly fit your home decor.
If your kitchen and dining area are small adding another big chair to the already crowded space might not be a doable option. In that case, consider foldable high chairs that can be stored. There are also high chairs with wheels that make moving the chair around a breeze. This comes especially handy when you need to push the high chair to the table for meals and then back to the storage or against the wall.
Best high chairs for baby-led weaning
1. IKEA Antilop
Like with the rest of its furniture IKEA proves that less is more. No wonder IKEA’s Antilop minimalistic highchair is so loved among parents especially for BLW. If you don’t have an IKEA nearby, you can get it off of Amazon here but for a higher price.
- Easy to clean – all plastic, no crevices, a minimalistic chair that you can easily wipe clean or even hose down in the tub.
- Affordable – Probably the cheapest high chair out there. You can’t beat $19.
- Lightweight – Easy to move around the house or pull up to the table.
- No footrest – This is a major con (see above why footrest is so important for kids). But you can tie something around the legs of the chair to make an impromptu footrest. Just google search “IKEA high chair footrest” for some genius hacks on how to make a footrest. Or you can order a footrest designed specifically for IKEA Antilop from Amazon.
- Doesn’t convert to toddler chair – Although it’s not convertible to a toddler chair parents with bigger kids report that they had no issues using it up until their child’s 2nd birthday.
- The tray is difficult to remove – when you clean after your baby 3 or more times a day, every day, you want the ease of use so this is another big con.
- The look is not ideal – Unless your dining chairs are also made of white plastic, this chair won’t blend well with the rest of the furniture.
2. Fisher-Price Healthy Care Deluxe Booster Seat
While not a high chair, this Fisher-Price booster seat is very popular among parents. Even if you have your main blw high chair, you might want to use this booster seat as a transition to an adult chair, or as one that you use at the grandparents’ house.
- Straps to an adult chair – If space is your major issue, you can go with a booster seat instead of getting a high chair. When going this route though, make sure that the adult chair has a footrest or DIY one yourself.
- Good transition chair for toddlers – Before moving your little one to an adult chair this booster can be a transition chair. Many kids hate sitting in a high chair. They want to feel like an adult sitting on an adult chair so this can be a good option.
- Portable – It’s a great travel chair for your baby if you are on the move a lot.
- Dishwasher safe tray – While you can rinse the tray in the sink, for those times when you can hardly stand on your feet after a long and tiring day, popping the tray into the dishwasher can be a lifesaver.
- Affordable – Another very cheap option if you’re on a budget.
- The tray isn’t easy to remove – The tray isn’t as easy to remove as in other fancier high chairs.
- Not very comfortable – This is a small booster seat so it’s not as comfortable as a high chair. It might be too small and tight for a chubbier baby.
3. Primo Cozy Folding High Chair & Toddler Chair
Primo Cozy is a great folding high chair for those with limited space.
- Space-saving – You can either fold it and store it or fold it and place it against the wall.
- Converts into a toddler chair – When not used for meals it can serve as a toddler chair at a small kids table. Which is a win-win.
- Easy to clean – No fabric, no padding just minimalistic design with removable tray. Such a breeze to clean!
- Not very sturdy – This high chair is a bit wobbly compared to the wooden ones.
- Small – As the intention of this chair is to save space it is on a smaller side and might not be suitable for chubbier babies and toddlers.
4. Abiie Beyond Wooden High Chair
This is our high chair. As a first-time mom, I knew nothing about high chairs at that time. So for my baby boy, I bought this Abbie Beyond wooden high chair that my friend had recommended. It worked quite well, and 6 years later I am still using it – now with my baby girl.
- Durable – It’s made of solid wood so will serve you long with as many kids as you have and you can resell it too. After 6 years of use, ours still looks like new.
- Easy to clean – The cushions are waterproof and stain-resistant which makes it perfect for baby-led weaning.
- Removable tray and padding – My girl is very active, turns a lot, and chews on the cushions sometimes with her mouth full of food. And because both the sitting and back supporting cushions are removable, every now and then I rinse those in the sink.
- Adjustable seat and footrest – Similarly to Stokke high chair, ours also has an adjustable footrest. My son sat on this chair at the dinner table until he was 5 with his feet supported on the footrest. This is a major asset for a high chair.
- Good design – It’s a nice-looking high chair with a minimalistic wooden design. It comes in different wood and cushion colors to choose from.
- The tray doesn’t fit snuggly – While the tray has a 3-point and 5-point adjustment system, it still leaves quite some space in between. Hence, a lot of food ends up on my girl’s legs.
- The tray isn’t wide – This is a big con in a high chair for baby-led weaning. First, with a narrow tray, a lot of food ends up on the floor. And secondly, flat suction plates are big and I tried so many and none fit the tray. Suction bowls are not as effective as flat suction plates so this makes things difficult with BLW.
5. Stokke Tripp Trapp
This is by far one of the best high chairs out there and works perfectly well for baby-led weaning. Yes, Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair is expensive but if you can afford it, it’s totally worth the investment as you’ll use it for years to come. Plus, used ones sell really well, so you can resell the high chair when your child outgrows it.
- Grows with your child – while the first thing one notices is the seat adjusting as the child grows, another great aspect is the footrest that adjusts as well. I mentioned above how important it is for a child’s chair to have a footrest even beyond the baby or toddler stage. And because its adjustable footrest and seat height allow the right 90-degree angle at the knee and hip joints, it’s recommended as the best high chair for kids by pediatricians.
- Easy to clean – You can use the chair with or without the padded cushion. It is very easy to wipe.
- Resells well – Honestly, your child can use the Stokke chair up until 7 years old. And even after that you can resell it and get a big chunk of your investment back.
- Sleek design – It comes in many different colors and has a modern look that will blend in perfectly with the rest of your furniture.
- Expensive – Yes, Stokke high chair costs a lot but look at it as an investment. Your baby and you will enjoy mealtimes so much better with a great high chair. Plus it will serve you and other families after you for years to come. If you absolutely can’t afford a new one, you can ask your local Facebook groups for a let-me-down.
One Last Thing
While baby-led weaning is messy with the right high chair that’s easy to clean the whole experience will be more enjoyable for both you and your baby.