Baby Gear- High Chair or Booster Seat?

Updated on January 28, 2010
M.S. asks from Clearwater, FL
16 answers


My son will be 5 months next week. I'm trying to introduce rice cereal to him, but this is very difficult while holding him. He's pretty big and tall for his age.. I'm not sure if I should get a high chair or a booster seat? Which is easier to clean?

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answers from Jacksonville on

High chairs, because you can use it when he gets older. They make high chairs that recline so 5 months wouldn't be to young.



answers from Tampa on

We used the bouncey to introduce him with his small amounts of food till he was sitting up on his own. It propped him up and we held it so he didn't bounce it. Eventually, we did get both. The highchair was easier to clean, but the booster we used till he was 3 years old. He considered the highchair for babies. Both are not bad to clean. The material comes off and is washable.

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answers from Sarasota on

When a baby is this young they still need full back and head support as their muscles are still not strong enough to support them fully when sitting, so whatever you use, make sure it has that. I know some boosters that strap on to chairs have this, and all high chairs do. Other booster seats only have nominal back support (or none at all) and do not reach all the way to the baby's head. That is the only criteria I can think of when it comes to eating chairs that I would be concerned about. Otherwise, it is up to you.

For our three kids, we used a high chair until they were about 18 months or so, then I felt it was safer to use a smaller booster seat. Even now, our two year old hits her head on the back of the chair when she gets tired and starts falling asleep in the booster!

Hope that helps.




answers from Seattle on

If you have a table that supports a hook on, consider one of those. We have the Zooper Hook On high chair since my daughter was about your son's age. Once a week I take off the fabric seat and throw it in the wash with the rest of my laundry. She is 2 now and still likes to sit in it and it works great in a small space.



answers from Minneapolis on

I prefer highchairs! My oldest used hers til age3, and my baby is 15mos. and will use hers for awhile. I'd rather clean the highchair than clean the kitchen table. We always have something on the kitchen table a paper, this or that I'd hate to have my daughter spill or make a mess on our table. I like having our highchair in the corner of our kitchen and keeping the mess to one corner. We do bring the highchair over to the kitchen table for dinnertime but breakfast and lunch she stays in her corner and keeps the mess confined. We have the Fisher Price highchair, it has so many features and the best part is the seat cover is vinyl wipes down and can go in the washer machine. I like keeping my daughter in her highchair for coloring papers, playing with playdoh etc.. She can sit in her chair and watch me cook or clean her chair has wheels so I wheel her all over our kitchen. My daughter's highchair reclines nice for little babies, or a toddler that falls asleep eating. My daughter falls asleep and I just leave her be.

We do also have the fisher price booster w/tray but I prefer to only use it when we travel or visit family. The tray is not big at all so it wouldn't work to color at etc..The back of the booster is only mid back high so if your little one needs support this might not work and if they fall asleep in the chair that might not be comfortable either.



answers from Tampa on

We have the Prince Lion Heart Bebe Pod which comes with a tray, toy and regular topper to use without the tray. Sort of an upgraded Bumbo. Our daughter is 1 today and still fits into it, but she's a little one. Our first daughter grew out of it around 7 months. It's great because it gives good support where needed and also helps them work some of their own muscles in order to learn to sit independently. You could always try that-about $65-until he is ready for the booster. We also have a highchair which we used for our daughter until she was about 18 months. Mainly to have a stable seat that she wasn't able to get out of while she was eating.



answers from Washington DC on

It depends on how much extra room you have. If space is limited, get the booster. If not, go for the high chair.

If you choose the high chair, make sure that bottom of the tray is flat, and doesn't have the leg support/seperator connected to it. We have one like that and its very inconvienent. When you take the tray off, you can't set the tray on the table, becuase it won't sit flat and all of the food starts to slide.



answers from Miami on

If he is not sitting on his own completely then do not get either right now. People put their kids to sit too early causing problems with body mechanics later on. MOst babies sit on their own at about 6 months. Give him tummy time and forget about feeding cereal. It causes allergies.



answers from Chicago on

We have had a highchair since my son was 4 months old. We liked it because it reclined and folded compact for storage. He even napped in it sometimes! But it is a real pain to clean. He does still use it now (he is 2 and a half), so it has been worth it for us. We also used it a lot for a place for baby to safely play (a few little toys on the tray) while I did dishes or cleaned the kitchen, ect. I dont think I would have felt as comfortable with him in a booster for that. I feel like its a more secure spot for him then in a booster, but we have one of those as well. We use the booster more for when we travel.

Either will work just fine Im sure, it just depends on your preference really!



answers from Melbourne on

I have used the fisher price booster seat (actually still use it when we eat in the living room and he's 5, barely fits him but it's just like a tv tray. He just hops up and snaps the top on himself.) So for a small price it is extremely practical. And for the real little ones a lot of them come with a toy tray as well. It also was so much easier to transport when he was staying at the grandparent's place. I totally recommend one of them.


answers from Tampa on

We just used her swing until she was nearly 7 months. Then, when she was clearly sitting up well on her own etc. We bought a high chair. It's really easy to clean. You have to surrendor to the idea that it will never look like it does coming out of the box again mind you, no matter how thorough you are. High chair or booster.



answers from Miami on

With my first child I got a top of the line high chair which my third child still uses today. That having been said, my favorite seat is a reclining booster that I purchased for my mother's house by The First Years. It cost 1/4 of the high chair and functioned as well or better - we even took it on vacation with us! I highly recommend this to anybody and it is MUCH easier to clean (coming from a mom of 3 children who have at one time or another vomited on both the high chair and the booster seat). Hope this helps.



answers from Sheboygan on

We used our high chair BRIEFLY; LOVE our Fisher Price booster seat--switched to it as soon as both girls could sit well in it. Benefit to high chair is it tips back; but you are supposed to wait on "solids" (cereal) until baby has good head and trunk control anyway. Highchair=pain in the but to clean--cloth cover,etc. Booster seat--easy to clean, light weight, can travel with you, etc. Highly recommend booster seat; high chair was beneficial early on. Also used high chair to have baby at mealtime at our level before they could actually eat with us.



answers from Indianapolis on

A booster is definitely easier to clean (depending on the kind of high chair you get).

We only used our high chairs until ~15 months with both kids and then moved them to a booster. We really like the Fisher Price one that has the tray (straps to the chair and essentially becomes a high chair). I've also heard of friends who use the Bumbo with the tray. But, you can't turn your back on the baby should you have a spill, need to answer the phone, etc.

Good luck with your decision!



answers from Chicago on

We have a high chair but also have a booster in the car. We have the Fisher Price Rain Forest chair. It starts as more of a highchair with a tray and straps and then the back comes off and the chair raises a bit for when she is ready for just a booster. It's all plactic and the tray is dishwaher safe. It might be a decision based on what type of strap you need for him. Our FP one does not have a harness over the chest, just at the lap.



answers from Boca Raton on

We ended up getting both. The high chair is nice because it is much more supportive than a booster and it also acts as a great place for the baby to sit and play with toys. The main advantage to the booster is that it is portable. We would take it with us to grandma's or friend's homes so we wouldn;t have to worry about eating with them in our laps!

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