Finding good high chair alternatives is challenging because there aren’t that many options. However, some alternatives to this regular chair you may not have considered could serve as excellent dining chairs for your toddlers.
I bought a high chair, and this got me thinking about whether other options could provide a measure of versatility, save space, be good enough for everyday use, and have great safety features.
I researched and found a few interesting alternatives to high chairs. I’ll highlight the pros and cons of each option so that you can determine which works best for you.
High Chair Alternatives Overview
The traditional or standard high chair almost always makes it to the list of baby gear essentials. When babies reach six months old and are already able to sit up unassisted, the high chair is different from the regular chair. It ensures convenience and comfort during their early eating experience.
It also helps babies engage in socializing with family members during mealtimes. The standard high chair has a one-height position with a fold-up version and/or a detachable tray where babies can practice their pincer grasp on finger foods.
However, many parents realize quickly that reality can be different from expectations regarding this baby furniture. Some find that the standard high chair isn’t as versatile as the other options. It can also take up too much space, while some can leave a huge footprint that can be a hassle to clean up after.
So, parents are looking for cheaper and space-saving alternatives to the standard high chair while still ensuring a safe and enjoyable feeding experience for their babies.
1. Booster Seats
Booster seats are good high chair alternatives when you don’t want to keep a bulky chair around your home. This is a little seat that can attach to your table chairs. It will make it so that your baby or toddler is high enough to be able to eat at the table.
Most of these will come with trays so that the baby or toddler will actually be receiving their meal on the tray rather than the table itself, though. This is one of the easiest solutions to your high chair problem. This will work out nicely if you want to be able to have your baby eat at the table safely without having to buy an expensive one.
It will always be simple to use, and it is easy for your baby or toddler. As long as you buy a booster seat that fits them well, you should have no problem keeping them comfortable while they are eating.
Options like this are also good for when you are on the go. It will be easy enough to fit a booster seat in the trunk of your car. This means that you can take it with you when you are taking your child to visit Grandma. You won’t have to tote around a heavy high chair, and mealtime will be simpler while on the go. It’s a good option that you’ll likely want to look into further.
- It is an affordable way to replicate what a high chair can do
- It is also more convenient than a regular high chair in some ways
- It is easy to take a booster seat with you when you are visiting friends or family
- This option isn’t going to look as nice as many of the regular high chair options
- Some people don’t like having to strap the booster seat to a chair every time they want to feed their children
2. Chair Boosters
A chair booster is kind of the opposite of a booster in some ways. This works by attaching the chair booster to the legs of your chair at a table. It will boost the chair up several inches so that it is tall enough for your child to reach the dining table during meals. This allows them to eat with the family in a normal fashion.
Of course, one of the problems with this method is that the child will need to be stable enough to be able to eat without being strapped into a chair with safety straps.
This will be a method that is good for toddlers who have advanced somewhat. This method will wind up being impractical if you want to have your baby eat at the table safely without having to buy an expensive high chair.
This isn’t something that has a strict age limit, as it depends on your toddler’s motor skills. This will not really be a usable solution for babies, either. Even so, many people like these boosters.
This will be an inexpensive way to allow them to use the normal dining table chairs if you have a toddler that is ready to eat meals with the family. You won’t have to buy anything that costs too much money, and it should work out nicely.
- It is very easy to attach the booster to the legs of your table chair. It shouldn’t take too long at all to get everything set up
- This method doesn’t cost much money, making it an affordable solution
- It is quite portable if you need to take the booster with you while you are traveling
- Requires that your toddler be of the right age and have developed their motor skills far enough to be able to take advantage of this option
- It may not be the most practical solution for everyone
- The child won’t be strapped into the chair with safety straps in any way when you use this chair booster, so accidents are possible
3. Hook-On Chairs
Another convenient option that is on the market is the hook-on chair or a hook-on seat. The hook on seat is something that actually hooks right onto the table you use. It attaches to the table and grips it tightly. You then place your child in the chair, and they can eat at the table with the family as normal.
You could also attach this seat to a kitchen island if you don’t have a dining table.
This hook-on seat even comes with a little tray to help keep your tabletop safe. You won’t have to worry about little spills and other accidents harming your table while your child is eating. This works out conveniently, and it should also keep your child happy. They will enjoy being able to eat with everyone else.
The fact that this hook-on seat can hook right to the table itself really is nice. Getting everything attached isn’t tough, and it feels sturdy once you have done everything right.
Hook-on seats should be comfortable enough for your child to enjoy their mealtime in their own cute dining chair. This is going to be one of the best options to consider if you want an easy solution for allowing your child to eat dinner with the family.
- Hooking the chair onto the table shouldn’t take you too long to do and once you have everything set up, your child will be able to eat with the rest of the family and will be content
- Most chairs like this are affordable and generally easy to use
- The snap-on tray will help to protect your tabletop from spills and other potential problems
- It is possible that you could have an accident if you don’t make sure to secure the chair absolutely right
- Most chairs are small, and your child will likely grow out of this chair quickly
4. Folding High Chair
A folding high chair is essentially just a normal high chair, and they’re easy to find in online baby stores. The difference is that these types of high chairs can be tucked away a lot more easily.
One of the problems that people have with the nice wooden high chairs is that they can be somewhat bulky. They take up a lot of space, and figuring out where to put them can be annoying if you live in a cramped space.
A folding high chair is going to be able to solve all of these problems for you. Your child will be able to enjoy the functionality of a normal high chair, and you can tuck this away somewhere when it isn’t in use.
The chair folds right up to be stored in a closet or even just against the wall. It won’t take up much room, so you won’t be inconvenienced.
Being able to use a normal high chair without dealing with some of its negative aspects is really nice. This is going to be easier than using many of the other items on this list. You’ll be able to enjoy having a full high chair without feeling like it is in your way all the time.
- This type of high chair is going to be significantly easier for you to make use of
- You can store this high chair when it isn’t used far more easily than a basic high chair. It should be able to fit in most closets without being a burden in any way
- It folds up to be very flat, and this can be handy when you don’t have a lot of space
- Options like this are also pretty cost-effective
- This high chair isn’t quite as portable as some of the other options on this list. As long as you don’t mind finding a place to tuck this item away when it isn’t in use, it shouldn’t be a big deal
The high chair is very nice overall and should keep your child nice and safe during use, so it really is going to be a solid option.
Alternative High Chairs Compared
Here’s a chart breaking down the different high chair options you have:
|Booster Seats||Chair Boosters||Hook-on Chairs||Folding High Chair|
|Portability||Highly portable||Portable||Very portable||Moderate portability|
|Height Adjustment||Boosts child to table height||Raises child to table height||Attaches directly to the table or countertop||Provides a dedicated elevated seat|
|Ease of Cleaning||Easy to wipe down or clean removable tray||Easy to wipe down or clean removable tray||Easy to wipe down||May have removable and washable components|
|Price||Affordable to moderately priced||Affordable to moderately priced||Moderately priced to expensive||Affordable to moderately priced|
|Versatility||Useful for dining and other activities||Useful for dining and other activities||Primarily for dining||Primarily for dining|
|Space Usage||Minimal space required||Moderate space required||Minimal space required||Moderate space required|
|Storage Space||Minimal space required||Moderate space required||Compact and easy to store||May need more storage space|
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a Baby High Chair Necessary?
A baby high chair is not necessary, but it can be a very useful tool. High chairs are intended to keep babies safe and upright while eating, and they can also aid in the reduction of spills and messes.
High chairs usually come with a tray that can be used to hold food and drinks, making feeding time easier for both parents and babies.
Where Can I Feed My Baby Without a High Chair?
You can feed your baby in various ways without using a high chair. Common options include using a booster seat attached to regular dining room chairs, a hook-on high chair secured to a table, or simply placing your baby on your lap while feeding them.
Your preferences and the available space determine the option you choose. For instance, you may need a space saving option.
Can I Use a Booster Seat Instead of a High Chair?
Yes, you can substitute a booster seat for a high chair. It is critical, however, to ensure that the booster seat is safe and appropriate for your baby’s age and developmental stage. These seats do not provide as much support as high chairs. So, they are inappropriate for very young babies or babies who cannot yet sit independently.
Standard high chairs are household furniture staples, but they aren’t the only child mealtime solution. There are several options, each with advantages and disadvantages. When choosing an alternative, consider your baby’s age, development, and preferences.