Should You Buy a Plastic or Wooden High Chair

Should you buy a wooden high chair, a plastic one or one made from both materials? Parents shopping for a high chair may be overwhelmed by the many choices.

Plastic Chairs
The easiest high chairs to find are plastic chairs. These are usually the least expensive, staring at $29 and running as high as $500 for high-tech, adjustable chairs that can be used for the entire childhood of your baby. Many consider plastic highchairs safer because they are easier to clean. Newer chairs have trays that can be placed in the dishwasher to get a more sterile clean.

The trays are light and easy to remove. The chair seat and back can be washed with soapy cleansers and rinsed with no worry about destroying the finish.
Plastic chairs are usually more comfortable seats for the child. With adjustable heights, plastic chairs can hold the child at the angle that is most comfortable for the parent.

A drawback of the plastic chair is that most are large and bulky and don't fit into the decorating scheme of either a dining room or a kitchen. Most take up quite a bit of room and are difficult to work around. A slim and plain model is hard to find. Also, most have attached pads that must be washed and can split when they dry out. Tears in the plastic seat covers can harbor germs and are difficult to repair.

Wooden High Chairs
Wooden Chairs are considered old fashioned by many parents, but they have a look that is easier to coordinate into a formal dining room. Many are simple and most have trays that latch rather lower. It could be pushed up to the table and used like a booster seat for a larger child.

Modern wooden chairs are designed with safety features like lap belts. Some even have a restraining crotch bar that keeps a child from sliding out under the tray. Parents do complain that the seats are not adjustable, an inconvenience if you have a short baby or one that is difficult to get in and out of the high chair.

Wooden high chairs cost more than their plastic counterparts, starting around $100. They can be very expensive, depending on the features and type of wood. On the other hand, they often last longer than plastic chairs and can be resold or handed down.

The trays of wooden high chairs are hard to clean completely. Some parents worry about the finish staying nice. Others worry about cracks or nicks that can hold bacteria. Some wooden chairs come with plastic trays which can be cleaned more effectively.

The choice of a high chair is an important decision. Consider your individual needs, your pocketbook and your décor to choose what is right for your child.

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