Baby-led weaning is a growing trend in the parenting world, and with good reason. Parents who are interested in this style of feeding their children don’t spend time pureeing or mashing food for them. Instead, they encourage their little ones to eat like adults right from the start. Your baby sits in their high chair and gets to try and feed themselves from an array of finger foods. Baby-led weaning is a great way to save time and make mealtimes easier. You won’t have to worry about buying or preparing special food for your child as they will eat what you’re eating! Plus it can help to prevent picky eating and teach your baby healthy eating habits.
When you are starting to introduce solids to your baby, it is important to choose the best high chair for baby led weaning. There are many different types of chairs available and knowing what kind of features you need can help make the decision process easier. This article will go over some great high chair options that could be perfect for any family.
First though, we’re going to take a look at some of the criteria to consider when shopping for a high chair to be used for baby led weaning.
Criteria for choosing the best baby led weaning high chair
Easy to clean
One of the most important things to remember with baby led weaning is that things are going to get messy! Baby, baby’s high chair, the table, the floor – food is going to get everywhere! For your own sanity, choose a high chair that is easy to clean. That means a simple, functional chair that doesn’t have many cracks and crevices and that is easy to wipe down.
Supportive and comfortable
Baby should be able to sit unassisted before you attempt baby led weaning. You will want a chair that baby can sit upright comfortably in and be supported while they feed themselves.
Can be positioned at the family table
A high chair that can be pulled up to the table will enable your baby to participate in meal times with the whole family. Eating together and trying foods as a family is an important part of baby led weaning.
As the high chair will be part of your kitchen furniture for a while make sure you pick a design that works well with your current décor. If you’re short on space, choose a chair that can easily be stored away in a small corner.
Best high chair for baby led weaning
The following are our top picks for baby led weaning high chairs in 2021 – they meet all the criteria above and any one of them would be a great choice:
Ingenuity Smartclean Trio High Chair – Best Easy Clean High Chair
This easy to clean high chair is perfect for baby led weaning. It can be converted into a toddler chair or booster so it’s very versatile. The main thing we like about this though is that its easy to clean. The harnesses are removable and can be washed in a washing machine. The comfortable foam seat is wipable, and the tray is detachable and machine washable. The tray can be locked into 4 different positions so that you can find which is most suitable for your baby. You can even use this high chair to seat 2 kids at once – put baby in the booster and their big brother or sister in the toddler chair!
Boon GRUB Dishwasher Safe Adjustable Baby High Chair
This is another adjustable baby high chair that can also be converted into a toddler chair. This is suitable for 6 months up to 6 years, so although it might be a little more expensive than some of the others in the list, you should get plenty of use. All surfaces are smooth and wipeable, and this chair doesn’t have any hard to clean crevices that would hold crumbs. The seat and try and removable and dishwasher safe. The height of this chair (the tray and the footrest) are adjustable so the chair can easily accommodate your growing baby. Whether you want your baby to sit at the counter or at the table, this chair can be adjusted to the correct height and pulled in close so that baby can join you at meal times.
Sweety Fox Baby High Chair – Best Foldable High Chair
This high chair is a little more expensive than some of the others on our list, but it has some features that make it well worth including. First of all, it’s adjustable (with 7 different seating positions and 3 footrest positions) so that you baby can eat in optimum comfort. It’s foldable, so can easily be folded away and stored when not in use. This makes it very portable and a great space saver. The BPA free plastic tray (perfect for baby led weaning) is removable and easy to clean (it’s also dishwasher The Sweety Fox high chair is suitable for 6 months up to 30 lbs and comes with a free high chair toy arch to keep your baby entertained when not eating.
Fisher Price SpaceSaver High Chair – Best Space Saving High Chair
If you’re stuck for space, this is the perfect high chair. It takes up just half the space of a traditional high chair and has all the same features. Just strap it on to one of your dining chairs (or even a restaurant chair) and it’s ready for baby’s mealtime. The seat and tray are dishwasher safe, and there is even a bonus insert tray with a deep dish design to stop your little one pushing the food off the tray. This chair is easy to remove from a chair, move from chair to chair, and small enough to stow away easily. It has a 3 position recline and 2 height adjustments so that you can adjust it to the best height and position for your baby.
Evenflo 4-in-1 Eat & Grow Convertible High Chair – Best On A Budget
Suitable for age 6 months up to about 50lbs, this is another affordable convertible high chair. Depending on what stage your child is at, this can be converted from high chair, to baby dinging chair with tray, to a stand alone chair, or a big kid table and chair. It has a machine washable harness and a washable seat pad, so it’s the perfect choice for baby led weaning. This chair is convenient, safe and fun, and with all the different seating positions it can be used at a variety of different ages and for different purposes. Whether it’s baby learning to eat his first solids, or an older child drawing a picture or having a snack, there are plenty reasons why this is a great high chair.
Graco Blossom 6 in 1 Convertible High Chair
Graco is a very popular brand for baby products and they have been around since 1942. When it comes to babies, they know their stuff! This convertible high chair is suitable for 6 different growth stages with 6 different height adjustments and 3 recline positions. You will have no problem finding the perfect seating position for your baby with this chair. Because it can be converted from high chair, to booster seat, to toddler chair, this high chair can be used to seat 2 children simultaneously . So while baby is engaged in baby led weaning in the high chair, your toddler can be seated at the table on the toddler booster. The seat pad is a wipeable premium leatherette, and is also machine washable.
Inglesina Fast Table Chair – Best Portable High Chair
This award winning, Italian designed high chair is actually a table chair. It can be attached to a table, to give your baby a seat at the table. With twist tight coupling, it’s fast and easy to set up, and is suitable for use with most types of tables. The Inglesina is portable, so is suitable for use at home or when traveling and it comes with an integrated travel bag. This is suitable for babies of 6 months up to about 3 years (37 lbs). There is also a handy rear storage pocket for accessories. Weighing just 4.2lbs it’s extremely light and can even be folded flat for easy storage or transportation. The Fast table chair is easily washable and the Fast dining tray snaps on and off the chairs arms quickly and easily. To clean, all you need to do is wipe.
Stokke Clikk High Chair
The Stokke Clikk is a light, durable, easy to clean high chair. It’s ergonomically designed and comfortable, with a recommended age of 6 months up to 36 months. This isn’t a convertible high chair like many of the others – it’s simply a nicely designed, easy to use high chair that would be great for baby led weaning. The harness is removable and machine washable, and the tray is dishwasher safe and detachable. There are 3 configurations for seating and an adjustable foot rest.
Benefits of baby led weaning
Not sure yet whether baby led weaning is for you? There are lots of benefits to teaching your child to eat solids using this method – here are just a few:
- Baby led weaning is a natural, healthy way to introduce solid foods. Studies have shown that it helps babies to develop good eating habits that will help them to make better food choices later in life.
- The baby decides what, when, and how much they want to eat – they get to be in control! This kind of autonomy is great for your baby’s development.
- Babies can learn about textures and tastes by exploring with their mouth. What better way for baby to learn!
- Baby led weaning increases the chances of children being less picky or fussy eaters as adults because they have been given more control over what goes into their mouths
- Baby led weaning helps babies develop motor skills as they learn to pick up different foods by themselves. The pincer grip is important for any child to learn and feeding themselves will help to develop this control.
- It’s less intimidating for new parents because it doesn’t require any cooking or special equipment. No mashing, pureeing or special baby recipes needed. Parents can sit and eat with their child at mealtimes as baby will be feeding themselves. This is more relaxing and enjoyable for everyone!
Tips for successful baby led weaning
Baby shouldn’t be too hungry before meal times so it’s a good idea to nurse or give a bottle around an hour before you start your meal. If baby is hungry and struggling to feed themselves it can lead to stress and frustration. Baby led weaning should be a fun time of exploration and learning.
Make sure they have a comfortable, supportive high chair to sit in. The tray and footrest should be adjustable so that they can be set at the correct height. Any of our picks above would be great for baby led weaning. Baby should eat at the same time you’re eating so that they learn about what happens at meal times.
Offer a variety of soft, mushy foods to your baby. Start with finger foods like avocado, banana, or cooked carrots. You can the transition to foods with different textures so that baby gets used to a variety of different textures and tastes.
Cut food into small pieces that are easy for baby to pick up and eat. Don’t make them so small that your baby will struggle to pick them up though as this can lead to frustration!
Don’t expect too much from baby when they first get started. This is a whole new skill for them to learn. It can take time to get used to feeding themselves, and there will be messes made in the process.
Be patient and let them explore the food on their own without any help from you. Encourage self-feeding by giving your child an assortment of foods on their tray at one time (but not so much that they get overwhelmed!)
Enjoy watching your child grow into an independent eater. You must be patient though – it may take a while before they’re ready to move on to adult food. Progress, not perfection, is the key to successful baby led weaning.
If you’re looking for the best high chairs for baby led weaning, then look no further because we’ve got the best listed right here. We looked at 8 different models of high chairs and found each to be highly rated by parents who have experienced baby-led weaning with their children.
The Ingenuity High Chair is a great option if you want a chair with a modern design that is versatile enough to be transformed from a high chair to a toddler chair or booster. It’s also easy to clean which is an important factor in deciding on what type of chair to buy as it will see heavy use day after day. The Boon Grub is also a nice convertible chair that gets lots of great reviews but is a little more expensive.
Another popular model is the Fisher Price Space Saver High Chair since it takes up little space and is completely portable. It’s easy to strap onto one of your ordinary dining chairs or remove it as necessary. You can even take it with you to restaurants – it’s very quick and easy to use and is just as comfortable as a traditional high chair.
For a foldable high chair, look no further than the Sweety Fox high chair. It’s a bit more expensive than some of the others, but we like how its portable and easy to store. It’s also easy to clean and comes with a BPA free tray for safer, healthier baby led weaning.
While these are some of the best high chairs for baby led weaning (in our opinion) there are plenty of other options available on Amazon to suit all budgets. You can check them out here. Just make sure (for you own sake) that they’re easy to clean, because until baby learns to eat solids, food will get everywhere!