Once your baby can sit up on their own and begins eating solids — typically at around six months of age — it’s time to invest in a highchair. This is an exciting time for both parents and young children, as it marks the point when kids become more closely involved in family mealtimes. It’s also a key stage in any child’s development as they grow from a baby into a toddler.
When buying and using a highchair, it’s essential to always keep your child’s safety in mind. The experts from CuddleCo have some valuable tips to help you avoid any injuries, so the only thing you have to worry about is mushy food and a messy kitchen.
What to Look for in a Highchair
Just like when you were buying nursery furniture sets (where did the last six months go?), there are certain features you should look for in a highchair to ensure it’s safe, sturdy and easy to clean. Make sure it has the following features to keep your little one safe.
A highchair with a wider base may take up more space but will be safer. This is because the base provides greater stability and prevents the chair from becoming top-heavy when a child sits in it.
The best highchairs come with a five-point harness engineered for safety and restrains your child at the shoulders and hips rather than only at the waist.
A highchair with wheels is useful if you need to move it around a lot. If yours comes with wheels, make sure they can be locked to guarantee stability when the chair is in use.
Choose a highchair with legs made from quality materials such as wood or metal rather than plastic. This will ensure it stays strong and sturdy even after a few years of regular use.
Safety Tips for Using Your Highchair
1. Position the Highchair Safely
If your child is pulled up to a table in their highchair, make sure they can’t push away from it with their feet and tip backwards. If they can, position them with a wall behind them.
2. Make Sure Baby Is Secure
Make sure the highchair will not move when your baby is sitting in it. Position it on level ground, and if it has wheels, double-check that they’re locked before placing your child in the chair. Secure your child in the chair using a five-point harness and tighten the straps properly so they can’t wriggle free.
3. No Playing or Standing in the Highchair
You should use a highchair exclusively for mealtimes. Remove your little one from the chair when they’re done eating, and never let them stand or play in the highchair, as they could fall or topple the chair over.
4. Always Supervise Your Child
Even if you’re confident that your child is secure in their highchair, you should never leave them unattended. Choking is a risk for small children and is more common when new to eating solid foods.
5. Clean the Highchair Regularly
Protect your baby or toddler from any nasty bacteria by ensuring that the highchair is cleaned regularly. Small children are messy eaters, so you’ll need to often clean and disinfect the chair to keep your little one safe.
6. Look out for Potential Hazards
As the parent of a baby, you’ll be used to keeping an eye out for any potential hazards. Do the same when using a highchair by checking for anything within your child’s reach and moving it out of the way. This includes choking hazards, hot foods, sharp objects or anything your child could trap their fingers in.