Parents purchase many different accessories during the first year of their baby's life. Once your baby is ready for solid foods, a highchair will become one of those purchases. With so many different types of baby highchairs on the market, it can be difficult to find the one that is best for you and your baby. There are many benefits to using a highchair. But when choosing the right one, safety should be the most important factor.
Benefits of highchairs
Using a highchair gives your arms a rest and offers peace of mind. Your baby will be able to sit comfortably with the rest of the family at the dining table, which plays an important role in family bonding. The benefits to starting this tradition at an early age go above and beyond family bonding. Research conducted at Washington University suggests to parents that eating together "may improve their preschoolers' language skills'.
When a baby is placed with the family at their level, she is included in the conversations, and she is learning social skills from those around her. This inclusion at the dinner table is also a large step in learning independence and building relationships. Washington University reported that research conducted at Harvard University found that family dinners "fostered healthy child development" more so than play and story time together.
Types of highchairs
There are many types of highchairs available, including those with wood, metal and plastic frames. Some highchairs have detachable trays and padded seats; others are portable or fold for easy storage. There are numerous considerations to evaluate before making your final decision.
Some highchair conveniences that you may want to consider include ease of cleaning and use, adjustability for use at the table and as your baby grows, and comfort. If the highchair has rough edges or hard seating, your baby may not find meal time an enjoyable experience, and she is more apt to squirm and try to get out of the chair.
The most important feature to look for when looking at baby highchairs is safety. A safe highchair will be stable and sturdy with a wide base. A wider-based highchair is harder to tip than those with a narrower base. A proper highchair will also have adjustable safety belts or straps that will prevent your baby from standing up or slipping out.
The best baby highchairs meet or exceed safety standards that have been developed by various organizations, including the Consumer Products Safety Commission. Baby highchairs that have met these standards have been approved by the Juvenile Products Manufacturing Association and are labeled with the JPMA seal of approval.