24 answers

High Chair - Do I Really Need One?

Hi,

I am looking to save money, do you think we could do fine without purchasing a high chair? We have a walker that comes with a food tray beneath the toy 'table'. We are planning to use this for a 'high chair'. I am aware of consignment sales, resale stores and such but still find these types of items pricy. Please share your experience (of doing without) if you have had a similar one. Thanks!

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So What Happened?™

Hi Moms,

Thank you very much for your responses :o) I got so much feedback recommending a booster seat with tray that I think we will plan to get one of these. Thanks for your time, it really helped me to plan ahead!

Featured Answers

I think that it is good to have the separation from a play toy to what you use for dinner. I believe that it helps them get into a pattern of what meal time is and it is good to have them at you level at the table, lets them feel like they are part of the family. Also they will get very messy so to have to lean the walker all the time might get to be too much. I think investing in one will be good. You most likely will be using it for a couple of years with the first and if you have more kids it can be used with them too.

Hi J.! Ikea makes a great super simple high chair for just about $20. I have found that I like it much better than my other spendy version as it doesn't have all the padding, nooks and crannies and straps to get gunked up with food. Hope you find something that works for you!

More Answers

Definitely skip the high chair and just get a booster that attaches to a chari. They have ones which work for infants through pre-K. My daughter has been in one, at the table, since she was very little. Ours is by "The First Years." If you have not already, try Craiglist - you should be able to get one for $10.

We got a high chair, but if I'd known about the 3 in 1 booster seat--I would have just gotten that instead! It cost about 20 or 25 dollars (new) and has a couple of seat settings as well as a detachable tray (you strap it onto a chair, it folds folds up for easy transport). We got it when we realized it was impossible to have our son join us to eat when visiting friends and relatives over the holidays. There are several varieties--check it out!

I found that it really is invaluable to have somewhere for the baby to sit when they're no longer a "baby". Once they learn how to really be mobile, they won't stay on your lap. Having them up on the same level as you helps with how they interact at tables in restaurants or just in general as well. I didn't get full on high chair, I got a chair that attaches to the table with clamps, which was a little cheaper and more space saving than a full on high chair. It is also portable, which is nice. So if your baby is just starting out and happy on your lap, that's fine for now, as long as hot things are far out of reach. But when they start to move, having a separate chair for them is important. Check out Craigslist. People on there are usually selling for cheaper than consignment shops.

J.,

I'm kinda laughing at the whole buying of baby products because my daughter thinks she is a little adult and refuses to use her high chair when we go out to restaurants and likes to sit in a chair at home (hated the nice crib too). If we insist she will only use it if she can climb in it herself. Anyway, my point is if you are unsure, then wait and go out to eat when your child is 6 months or whatever age your child is ready and see if it works for you and your baby. I wish I waited because I don't think I would have bought one or at least spent the $$$ I did on ours (it rocks and everything LOL). We mainly used it when she was little to set her in with us in the kitchen while we cooked meals. It was the kind you can lay back for a baby too. There is way cheaper products that do this same job.

Really, I think we could do without a great deal of stuff we bought just because it's on the list.... If you are unsure wait and try a friends or buy things that work with your child's personality. I have made the mistake of buying things because it worked for other people or it looked cool, but really, all children are different and things as available as a highchair will be there to buy if you need it so there is no rush.

Take Care,
G.

PS Our daughter loved the walker before she could climb and sit in a seat and it was portable too... congrats on your little one.

Hi J.! Ikea makes a great super simple high chair for just about $20. I have found that I like it much better than my other spendy version as it doesn't have all the padding, nooks and crannies and straps to get gunked up with food. Hope you find something that works for you!

I say skip the high chair and buy a booster seat. They are $30 at most new and they grow with your child. I bought a high chair and it is so huge that I still feel like my 10 month old is too small for it. The booster on the other hand is perfect. I bought the Safety First Recline and Grow because I love how easy it is to take the tray on and off. Also, I personally like to keep eating and playing separate for my baby, so it might be confusing to always feed yours in the walker. Plus I would imagine it moves around, so may not be that safe for eating. Good luck.

Hello-
A walker seems too low. Babies like to be up where the action is at the table. I would hate to have to bend down to feed my baby to. We spent 90 bucks on a cloth highchair that I hated because I had to wash it all the time. I ended up using one I could wipe down easy from a garage sale.
Ikea has I nice one that you can wipe down for like 15-20 bucks my girlfreind uses it and it works great.
L.

We used a booster seat that strapped on to a regular chair and had its own tray- they are only about $20 new. and really easy to clean. If you used something like that then the walker could be a toy and would not get as messy- baby food/small child eating gets everywhere!

Hi J. - For me, modeling family food time at the dining table was really important, so I wanted my daughter up at family level. Those big high chairs they sell at the baby stores take up so much space, and they are really expensive!

I found a plastic portable high chair seat that attaches to a regular chair. It was $5 at a garage sale! I know they sell similar things at Target and Walmart: Safety 1st Deluxe Care Fold Up Booster
http://www.amazon.com/Safety-1st-Deluxe-Fold-Up-Booster/d...

The most valuable part of this seat is the tray - at first for eating, and later for containing your mobile child. Later, you can scoot the chair up to the table.

Spring for a cheap booster seat at Target or something. They cost a whole $20 and come with a tray for the infant and it comes off for the toddler. When you're trying to teach your child to actually eat, you are not going to want them so close to the ground for your back.

I think that it is good to have the separation from a play toy to what you use for dinner. I believe that it helps them get into a pattern of what meal time is and it is good to have them at you level at the table, lets them feel like they are part of the family. Also they will get very messy so to have to lean the walker all the time might get to be too much. I think investing in one will be good. You most likely will be using it for a couple of years with the first and if you have more kids it can be used with them too.

Hi J.,
I totally agree with you-you DON'T need a high chair. We have three older children (youngest is 11) and a 2.5 yr older boy. Knowing full well this was our last baby and being aware of our tight budget, I decided to avoid any unnecessary purchases. We borrowed a crib-even with "thank you" gift it was a fraction of the cost of a new one. As for high chair, I bought a "3 step" plastic seat from Target. It cost about $20, had a tray and a small washable pad. We had him at the table, but we avoided a bulky high chair (our dining area is tiny). About 2 mos ago our son got interested in sitting truly at the table-we donated the system and are using an old booster just for added height. We only owned a high chair once-for our oldest child, now a high school junior. It came from a garage sale, back in times when those items were sold second-hand. For kiddos #2 and #3 we borrowed a chair from our wealthy friends. But this time we were "out of the loop"-none of our friends keeps baby items anymore. Good luck with your search,
A.

No, you do not really need a highchair, and it is one of the biggest wastes of money as far as baby gear goes. In the beginning, you can use baby's infant seat, once s/he can sit well, you can use the walker. But, there will come a time when baby is too big for the walker, but not tall enough or disciplined enough to sit in a regular chair at the table. So, while you can easily get away with not buying a highchair, a booster is a must have! You can get a new booster for under $15, and if you shop resale, you can get it as low as $5. Be sure to get one with a tray and a seatbelt as well as safety straps to secure it to the chair.

J.!!!!!!

Ohhh we don't have the room for a big highchair in our tiny place and I wasn't sure what we where going to do... but I found this booster seat that we LOVE LOVE.. not only does it go from seat with a tray but it turns into a booster seat for later. My son just turned one and we LOVE it. We also take it with us when we go to restaurants and it fits right in the booth with us.. that way he doesn't have to sit in those filthy high chairs they have. We also take it when we go to family functions that way the family doesn't have to keep one at their place or haul around a gigantic chair. The only thing I would do different is that I would get TWO!!!! Here is a link and do hope this helps!!!
http://www.target.com/Fisher-Price-Healthy-Care-Booster/d...

you can go to k-mart and get a chair that sits on the chair.It is only $15.

I've had 3 children so far and have not ever used a high chair. We found, at a resale shop, a chair that hooks onto the table, so that baby is at the table where the family is. I think we paid a whole $15 for it. Its small, and very portable... we would take it to restaurants. We used to get all sorts of comments on how "cool" it was. It was nice, because we could all sit at the table as a family and I could take a bite and then give baby a bite. The one we have is vinyl, so it is easy to clean too.

I just looked and found a couple at Babies R Us, they are called "hook on chairs" there, that way you could see what they look like. (Under the high chair catagory.) I'm not sure I was very good at describing it. lol Again, I'd check the resale shops first... vinyl! lol

~S.
Mommy of 3

Fisher Price makes some pretty affordable 'portable' type high chairs. They are a seat that straps onto an existing chair. You can leave it strapped to a chair if you want, or put it away when you aren't using it. It's nice not to have a big, blulky high chair in sight all the time. We have one and it's worked out really well. I think you'll find that you'll be spending a lot of time cleaning your toy table tray if you rely on that only - food has a way of getting everywhere, especially when you don't want it to.
Also, there is a great event called 'pass it on' that is in the hillsboro armory twice a year - there happens to be one going on today, tomorrow, and sunday - and it is a very big consignment swap event for parents, by parents. I recommend checking that out too; although I've only been to one and didn't end up getting anything, it's still a good event to look for something specific.

I had a really great high-chair from Ikea. It only cost $15, it was super light, sturdy and sat at the table with us. I loved it and my son used it until he was 3. I think high chairs are good because they contain a child in one space while they're eating. The walker is fine, but your child will outgrow that pretty fast.

There are wonderful booster seats that can accomodate even infants. I have one that has an adjustable heights, detachable tray and tray insert. It's literally the same "size" as the seat of a high chair but obviously takes up much less room since it's strapped onto one of our dining room chairs. I think mine is Safety First brand and I paid around $25. Shop around though-I know there were even less expensive models, depending upon the features you want. I also fed my son in his walker or in his exersaucer quite a bit, mostly because he never wanted to slow down and sit still to eat (and still doesn't at 19 mths.!).

I have the same booster (actually 2 of them) as Lydia, I bought mine new for $20 each but it's been totally worth it. My 3yo daughter still uses hers at the table without the tray and will continue to until she outgrows it and my 1yo has only used this, not a high chair. I love that it's easy to clean, doesn't take up any extra room (why do high chairs have to be so monstrous) and it's portable (great for going to other people's houses, camping, picnics, etc.)

Hi J.,

High chairs are a waste of money and space and all of the little nooks and crannies end up with food stuck in them. We used a chair that hooked to our dining table or a booster seat.

Best of luck.

M.

There are so many booster seats that will serve the same purpose as a high chair. Many of the booster seats come with trays that can be removed. That way you won't have to buy two different chairs.

At first, I too thought I could continually feed him in his walker but the high chair is very versitle and I bought it on sale at, yep, you guessed it, Wal-Mart. It was less than 20 dollars and well worth it. I have had it for almost 2 years. I also use it to cut his hair. He is two; and it takes out the time to clean up the messes he makes. I also didn't want to confuse him about dinner and play time, I enjoy us eating together. -Washington

Your idea sounds fine, but do really like the white plastic really simple looking at IKEA I think for like 14$ I think. I don't think its that much more if it is. Anyways good luck.

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