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The 7 Best High Chairs For Baby-Led Weaning

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I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t spend as much time researching high chairs as I did other safety-related purchases like car seats. However, choosing the best high chair for baby-led weaning can be critical in ensuring your baby is comfortable, stable, and ready to eat. Scary Mommy reached out to Jennifer House, a registered dietician, speaker, and author, for guidance in choosing this important piece of baby-led weaning gear. As House emphasizes, “High chairs are such an important part of feeding that [they[ often get overlooked. [...] A supportive seat makes it easier to eat!”

The Expert

Jennifer House is a registered dietitian, owner of First Step Nutrition in Calgary, Alberta, and a mom of three. She has a BSc in Nutrition & Food Sciences from the University of Alberta and an MSc in Human Nutrition from the University of British Columbia. She is the author of The Parents' Guide to Baby-Led Weaning and Baby Food in an Instant Pot. Jennifer is a member of the College of Alberta of Dietitians and chair of the Consulting Dietitians Network at the Dietitians of Canada.

What To Consider When Shopping For A High Chair For Baby-Led Weaning

Lots Of Adjustments

Thankfully, most high chairs have a variety of adjustments to ensure your baby is secure and comfortable. To eat safely, House suggests making sure your baby is at a “90/90/90 [degree] angle [at their] hips, knees, and ankles.” While most high chairs have reclining positions, she warns, “Avoid the recline position for eating! We need our babies to be sitting upright to swallow safely.”

Stability is also key. House underscores, “A footrest is very important and isn’t included on all high chairs. [...] It's much harder to stabilize the body to pick up food, get it to the mouth, chew, and swallow without foot support.” She says this can even prevent choking, which is why all of our picks below include a footrest — many of which offer adjustable settings. House recommends avoiding clip-on style high chairs if you can because they typically leave a baby’s feet dangling.

To Tray Or Not To Tray

Chairs with a removable tray allow you to pull your baby right up to your dining table, as long as the chair has an adjustable height setting that matches your table. All of our choices have several height adjustments to ensure a just-right fit.

House says, “While trays can prevent babies from ‘swiping’ food directly onto the floor, I prefer the high chairs that pull right up to the family table, so your child feels like a part of the family meal.”

Whether you choose to use a tray or not, she recommends ensuring the height of the baby’s eating surface is between the baby’s nipples and their belly button.

Easy Cleanup

To keep cleanup simple, House prefers wooden high chair models over fabric ones, where food can get trapped in the fabric’s weave and crevices. Several of our favorite high chairs below are made of wood, but know that you’ll pay more for them and they are heavier than other options. For those shopping on a budget, look for high chairs made of synthetic materials, which have the added bonus of being lightweight and easy to move around and put away between uses. All of our picks can be wiped down with a damp sponge or feature machine-washable seating pad covers — let’s make our lives easier where we can.

If you choose to go with a tray model, you may appreciate a removal tray insert (or removable tray) that can be easily popped in the dishwasher after a meal. That’s essential because letting baby leads means things will get messy.

Lastly, know that many of our picks are Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA)-certified, which means they have voluntarily been independently tested to meet safety standards and performance.

From meal time to snack time, we’ve rounded up the best high chairs for baby-led weaning so you can let your baby explore the exciting world of food.

01

An Easy-To-Clean Convertible High Chair That Covers Every Stage

If you’re looking for a high chair that grows with your LO from infancy to big kid, this is a great choice. This stain-resistant and wipe-clean highchair has a stellar 4.7-star rating on Amazon, and it works really well for messy baby-led weaning; dozens of reviewers raved about how easy it is to clean. It comes with two trays, so you’ll always have a clean one on hand. One tray is snack-sized and a full-size tray works perfectly for larger meals; it can be removed with one hand and is dishwasher-safe.

It’s a reliable high chair that can be used in seven ways: as an infant floor seat, full-size high chair, infant booster, toddler booster, youth stool, and big kid table and chair. It can even be used as a youth stool and booster separately to simultaneously seat two children (talk about bang for your buck). And you’ll love that the front wheels make it easy to move around a room.

Helpful Review: “So what is better than a high chair? I high chair/toddler seat times seven! This offers such amazing versatility! From baby's first bite through the toddler years, your little one will have their special seat for eating, crafting, coloring, and more! As a high chair, as a booster, you name it, this seat does it! Perfect for grandma's house, too, because it can actually seat two littles at once! This is super easy to set up, to use, to store, and to clean. So much flexibility!”

Adjustable Foot Rest: No | Adjustable Seat Height: No (though model is convertible) | Dishwasher-Safe Tray: Yes | Seat Material: Foam

02

The High Chair Reviewers Say Is A “Must” For Baby-Led Weaning

This ultra-adjustable Tripp Trapp high chair is so useful and easy to clean one reviewer said, “If you are doing BLW this is a must!!” While this beech wood chair is on the pricier side, it’s an investment that can be used all the way through adulthood by removing the footplate, and it’s capable of holding up to 300 pounds. The included “baby set” on this model keeps baby strapped in with a comfortable back rest and side-to-side support, and you’ll love that you can adjust the seat’s height to meet your table. Unlike most models, the footrest’s height is adjustable, which reviewers said made a huge difference in their baby’s comfort. Even better? The removable tray (sold separately) is conveniently dishwasher-safe. This JPMA-Certified chair comes in a range of beautiful colors and finishes to match any decor ranging from whitewashed wood grain, to a warm red, mint green, and more. It can even be converted into a cozy newborn chair by adding the Tripp Trapp newborn set.

Helpful Review: “This high chair is amazingly easy to clean. I have had the conventional high chairs (and just as expensive as this chair) but it had so many nooks and crannies to clean food out of... a headache. Especially if you’re doing baby-led weaning. Another thing that I love is that the foot rest is adjustable and my baby can put their feet on it for support. And it fits perfectly at the dining table. AND it doesn’t look baby-ish. I think it’s an all around win. Just get this chair and don’t look back.”

Adjustable Foot Rest: Yes | Adjustable Seat Height: Yes | Dishwasher-Safe Tray: Yes, but sold separately | Seat Material: Wood

03

A Stokke Alternative That’s Endlessly Adjustable

If you love the previous pick but wonder about alternatives at less of a premium, this is the wooden high chair to consider. The Keekaroo Height Right is a more affordable version that includes a removable tray with a dishwasher-safe cover, and it is a no-brainer for baby-led weaning because of its easily wiped rubberwood material — and its highly adjustable nature.

The seat plate can be adjusted to anywhere between 16 and 24 inches from the floor and the footrest can be adjusted in height from 21.25 inches from the floor all the way to four inches off the floor when used as a regular chair. The chair allows for 1-inch incremental adjustments and the BPA-free plastic crotch post and three-point safety belt keep babies safely seated. Intended to be used for years to come, this tip-resistant chair can support up to 250 pounds and is JPMA-certified.

Helpful Review: “We love the quality, durability, design, and look of this high chair and couldn't be happier with the product and its price. We considered other high chairs like the Stokke Tripp Trapp, but we couldn't see how it was worth the price difference, and we like the design of this one better anyway. This chair is incredibly easy to clean, and we don't even use the cushion it comes with--our son doesn't seem to mind, and it's even easier to clean that way. He can easily sit at the table with us or have the tray attached, and we love that it converts to a regular chair when he outgrows it. Definitely the best chair we've found.”

Adjustable Foot Rest: Yes | Adjustable Seat Height: Yes | Dishwasher-Safe Tray: Yes, cover | Seat Material: Fabric cushion/Wood base

04

This Adorable Highchair That’s Easy To Clean & Move Around

The adorable (and affordable) Infantino Grow-With-Me 4-In-1 convertible high chair can be used as a high chair, multi-stage booster, and toddler chair. The front wheels make it easy to move the chair around and it features an all-important comfy foot rest. The compartmented meal tray is easily removable, and the meal mat insert is dishwasher-safe, so you don’t have to touch the goopy aftermath of a meal. The foam cushions are not fabric, meaning they’re easily wiped down with a sponge for cleaning and won’t absorb liquids or get wet. One reviewer noted the “soft, grippy chair cover material prevents slouching or sliding around.”

Helpful Review: “Couldn’t love this more if I tried. So easy to put together, so easy to clean, and it’s adorable. Started our baby on BLW and he’s very messy. This high chair is so easy to clean.”

Adjustable Foot Rest: No | Adjustable Seat Height: No | Dishwasher-Safe Tray: Yes | Seat Material: Foam

05

A Water-Repellent Foldable High Chair That Converts To A Toddler Chair

This easy-clean high chair and toddler chair combination is highly adjustable, making it easy to get babies comfortable at meal time. The high chair has six height adjustments and an adjustable footrest. The meal tray has three positions, and the removable tray insert can be popped in your dishwasher for quick cleanup. Families that sometimes prefer to bring baby right up to the table will be pleased to know that the tray snaps on to the back of the chair when not in use. The water-repellent faux leather fabric is easily wiped down with a sponge, and the JPMA-certified chair folds up for compact storage or travel.

Helpful Review: “Adjustable footrest, beautiful leather, folds up teeny, has wheels in the bars so you can wheel it around even folded up. The price is unbeatable.. Y’ALL buy this right now you will not regret it!!!!”

Adjustable Foot Rest: Yes | Adjustable Seat Height: No | Dishwasher-Safe Tray: Yes | Seat Material: Fabric

06

A Foldable & Adjustable High Chair That Grows With Your Baby Through Age 6

Nine height adjustments mean this six-in-one high chair is all but guaranteed to match the height of your dining table, and it grows with your infant to age 6. Cleanup after feeding is easy thanks to the liquid-repellent and machine-washable seat. The cover is easily removed via a reviewer-beloved easy-use zipper in the back, and it comes with a removable infant cushion.

The chair folds down to a slim and compact size when not in use. The tray can be used in four positions moving towards the baby for maximum comfort for baby bellies and the insert is dishwasher-safe. The chair also has locking rear wheels to keep the baby from pushing off from the dining table, or a “helpful” toddler sibling from taking off with the baby (we’ve been there!) It’s an investment chair that can be used in six modes over the years, including as an infant seat, high chair, booster seat with tray, tray-free booster, tray-free high chair, and big kid booster. And the luxe look of its neutral hues and materials means it’ll look good in your space over the years, too.

Helpful Review: “It’s an amazing chair, you can recline it, use it since infant stage, it adjusts height, easy to clean, comfortable, supports my babies feet in the right position, doesn't leave them hanging which is not the best for leg circulation... if I had to decide again, I would buy the same one!”

Adjustable Foot Rest: Yes | Adjustable Seat Height: Yes | Dishwasher-Safe Tray: Yes | Seat Material: Fabric

07

This Compact High Chair That Isn’t An Eyesore And Rolls 360 Degrees

This appealing high chair has unique locking 360-degree wheels, making it easy to get it positioned in the perfect spot. It has seven height adjustments and a three-position adjustable footrest to keep the baby stable. This folding, compact chair grows along with your baby from an infant high chair to a stool for preschoolers. The large meal tray has a sippy cup compartment that can hold a handful of your baby's fave food — keeping blueberries from rolling all over. The seat is detachable and the vegan leather seat pad is stain-resistant, waterproof, and easily cleaned with a quick wipe.

Helpful Review: “What I love about this high chair is the fact that it has everything I need it to have AND it's super compactable. We pull it out for feedings, clean it up after use, and fold and put away afterwards. It doesn't take up space and in a smaller house, that is everything”

Adjustable Foot Rest: Yes | Adjustable Seat Height: Yes | Dishwasher-Safe Tray: No | Seat Material: Fabric

08

Nice To Have: A Splat Mat To Make BLW Cleanup Even Easier

Now that you have an easy-clean high chair for your baby-led weaning journey, it’s time to think about keeping the floor clean, too. A washable floor mat means worrying less about food that ends up on the floor, so you can focus on enjoying a meal together. This highly rated, spill-repellent floor mat is designed to stay in place due to its anti-slip traction bottom, and it can be popped right in your washing machine between meals. Floor mats are useful as your baby ages as well, and can help protect floors when they hit the painting, crafting, and (dreaded) playing-with-slime era. The mat comes with a wet bag for travel as well.

Helpful Review: “This mat has been used for every messy baby/toddler endeavor you can think of. Just recently we used it for our toddler’s haircut and with its no slip bottom and easy shake out, it is was the fastest clean up ever. Can’t recommend this enough!!!”

The Expert

Jennifer House, Registered Dietitian, author of The Parents' Guide to Baby-Led Weaning, and owner of First Step Nutrition.