If you're a grandparent, you probably used traditional high chairs for your own children. Remember how they managed to get creamed peas into every crevice? Today there are many choices for high chairs and baby chairs for grandparents' houses, from traditional to modern. New grandparents will want to know just what is available. Just remember that some things don't change. Babies are still good at fingerpainting with peas.
This stylishly contemporary chair will be a hit with grandparents who like a sleek, uncluttered look. The pneumatic lift makes the height a snap to adjust, and the pedestal base slides under tables. This design dispenses with the widely spaced legs that make high chairs such a tripping hazard for some children and some grandparents. The plastic is easy to clean, although some foods may stain it, and the pad is waterproof and spongeable. The five-point harness is also removable for cleaning. The main drawback to this design is that it can't be stowed away like some others.
The Bumbo revolutionized baby seats. Made of a single piece of soft plastic, the Bumbo is designed for safe sitting for babies who can't quite manage it on their own, although they should be able to support their head fully before using the Bumbo. This type of seat should be used only on the floor, and babies should be supervised. It works for babies up to 22 pounds.
This ergonomically designed high chair looks as if it belongs in a contemporary arts museum instead of in Grandpa's house. The ingenious design works for ages from six months all the way to the teen years. Designed to be pulled up to the dining table, this chair's adjustable seat and footrest allow your grandchild to sit comfortably at any height. Children of all ages seem to love the way this chair looks and works. One drawback is that the design of the chair--sort of like a "Z"--necessitates that the boards which form the base protrude quite a bit and form a tripping hazard. The Tripp Trapp is available in natural wood or in a selection of lively colors. Pads can be ordered separately.
This hook-on chair with a difference will keep both baby and adults happy. The chair has six different positions. Baby can face toward the table for self-feeding or to the side to be fed by an adult. They can even face away from the table to watch during meal preparation. Clean-up isn't super easy. The fabric pad can be machine-washed, but it will probably need it after most meals.
This brightly attractive chair is advertised as having the "slimmest fold in its class," a plus for grandparents who want to put the chair away when the grandchildren are not in the house. It has different height and reclining settings, but the buttons are clearly visible so grandparents should be able to manipulate the chair easily. A five-point harness means that children will not be able to wiggle out of the chair, but getting them in and out will not be as easy as with some other chairs. The chair is on lockable casters so it can be moved easily, another plus for grandparents. Vinyl seat pads are easy to clean, and the tray can be removed with one hand.
If floor space is at a premium, grandparents may opt for this chair which straps into a kitchen chair. More like a car seat than a traditional high chair, it reclines for infants, has a washable pad, and secures babies with a three-point harness. Choosing this type of seat does raise some other issues, such as where the seat will be stored when not in use. Leaving it in the chair all the time doesn't suit everyone as the chair can't be fully pushed under the table. Also, if the primary time that you are going to use the chair is during big family gatherings, you have lost one seat at the table by using this type of seat. It does convert to a booster seat for older children.
This classic restaurant-style high chair with a three-point harness is good for children who can sit up well. It cleans easily and doesn't take up much space. Since it doesn't have a tray but is pulled up to the table, it allows the child to be a part of the dinner circle. It also allows access to items on the dinner table, which can be a hazard to the child and also to Grannie's china.
And now for something quite different. . . a lightweight canvas chair that clamps to the table. Grandparents should love the fact that it can be stored in a tiny space, or even put in a bag for travel. The way it clamps to the table looks a bit precarious, but of course it meets all safety standards. It does not work for certain types of tables, such as glass-topped tables, or tables with a lip. The canvas doesn't come off the frame but can be wiped for daily cleaning and dunked in soapy water ever so often. There is a three-point harness for security.
For grandparents who are concerned about stability and good looks, this high chair is a great choice. In addition, it folds down for easy storage. The chair back has three different positions to provide a comfortable experience for younger babies; however, there is some space between the baby and the tray, which means that some food falls down, making for a messier dining experience.
This is another of the chairs that fits on the table, only this one has a hook-on rather than a clamp-on system and is billed by the manufacturer as the "safest portable chair on the market." It has a bit of a padded backrest, and the canvas can be taken from the frame for washing. These differences don't, however, mean that Grannie's china is any safer from grabbing.
This all-plastic booster has the advantages and disadvantages of any chair designed to be strapped into a kitchen chair: it doesn't take up floor space but does tie up one of your regular seating units. It does fold up and fits in a small space, which makes it a natural for grandparents' houses. It can be used as soon as children can sit up well and accommodates weights all the way up to 50 pounds. The back and tray can be removed to make a simple booster for older children. The "Healthy Care" part of the name derives from its dishwasher-safe tray that comes with a lid that snaps on to keep the tray clean until use. One more plus: it has a lightweight price tag.
This is one of the chairs designed to fit children in their first year; it is suggested for children from 3 to 14 months. It is designed to be placed on the floor rather than on a chair or table, so it isn't really useful for feeding, other than giving the baby dry cereal or other finger food. It is, however, pretty darn cute, and it supports babies who aren't quite able to support themselves. It can be used with or without the tray, and no harnesses or straps are necessary. This is not a chair to purchase in place of a high chair, but the grandparent who wants a fully stocked nursery will definitely have to have one.