Baby-led weaning is a growing trend in the parenting world and with good reason. Parents 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. Baby-led weaning is a great way to save time and make mealtimes easier. Your baby sits in their high chair and gets to try and feed themselves from an array of finger foods. You won’t have to worry about buying or preparing exceptional food for your child as they will eat what you’re eating! Plus, it can help prevent picky eating and teach your baby healthy eating habits.
When you introduce solids to your baby, choosing the best high chair for baby-led weaning is essential. There are many different chairs available, and knowing what features you can help make the decision process more manageable. This article will go over some fantastic high chair options that could be perfect for any family.
Our top pick would be the Ingenuity Smartclean Trio High Chair because of its sleek design, its testing score, and how easy it is to clean it out. One of the most challenging things we face as parents is cleaning up after our little ones, and there is no easier way to tackle that issue than with this high chair!
First, though, we’re going to look at criteria to consider when shopping for a high chair 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 will get messy! Baby, baby’s high chair, the table, the floor – food will get everywhere! For your 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 is easy to wipe down.
Supportive and comfortable
The baby should be able to sit unassisted before you attempt baby-led weaning. You will want a chair that babies can sit upright comfortably in and support while feeding themselves.
Can be positioned at the family table
A high chair that you can pull up to the table will enable your baby to participate in mealtimes with the whole family. Eating together and trying foods as a family is an integral 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 you can easily store 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 Elite
Max Weight Recommendation
Metal, Plastic & Foam
Plastic & Metal
Plastic & Fabric
34.5 x 21.5 x 43.5 inches
19.6 x 17.5 x 15.1 inches
40.55 x 27.95 x 20.47 inches
20.47 x 24.02 x 21.65 inches
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Evenflo Eat & Grow
Max Weight Recommendation
Faux Leather & Plastic
Wood & Plastic
24 x 21.75 x 37 inches
29 x 22.5 x 41 inches
17 x 14 x 11 inches
23 x 16.5 x 15 inches
Check on Amazon
Ingenuity Smartclean Trio High Chair – Best Easy Clean High Chair
This easy-to-clean high chair is perfect for baby-led weaning. You can convert it into a toddler chair or booster, so it’s very versatile. The main thing we like about this, though, is that it’s easy to clean. The harnesses are removable, and you can wash them in a washing machine. The comfortable foam seat is wipable, and the tray is detachable and machine washable. The tray can be locked into four different positions so that you can find which is most suitable for your baby. You can even use this high chair for seating two kids at once – put the baby in the booster and their big brother or sister in the toddler chair!
This is another adjustable baby high chair that you can convert into a toddler chair. This is suitable for six months up to 6 years, so although it might be a little more expensive than some of the others on the list, you should get plenty of use. All surfaces are smooth and wipeable, and this chair doesn’t have any complications 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 the table, this chair can be adjusted to the correct height and pulled in close so that baby can join you at mealtimes.
Sweety Fox Baby High Chair – Best Foldable High Chair
This high chair is a little more expensive than others on our list, but it has some features that make it well worth including. First of all, it’s adjustable (with seven different seating positions and three footrest positions) so that your baby can eat in optimum comfort. It’s foldable, so it can easily be folded away and stored when not in use. This makes it very portable and a great space saver. The BPA plastic-free tray (perfect for baby-led weaning) is removable and easy to clean. The Sweety Fox high chair is suitable for six 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 onto 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 from pushing the food off the tray. This chair is easy to remove, move from chair to chair, and small enough to stow away easily. It has a three-position recline and two 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 six months up to about 50lbs, this is another affordable convertible high chair. Depending on your child’s stage, this can be converted from a high chair to a baby dinging chair with a tray, a stand-alone chair, or a big kid table and chair. It has a 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, you can use it at various ages and for multiple purposes. Whether it’s a baby learning to eat his first solids or an older child drawing a picture or having a snack, there are plenty of reasons why this is a great high chair.
Graco Blossom 6 In 1 Convertible High Chair
Graco is a trendy 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 six different growth stages with six height adjustments and three 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, you can use this high chair for seating two children simultaneously. While the baby is engaged in baby-led weaning, 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 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, ideal for use at home or when traveling, and it comes with an integrated travel bag. This is suitable for babies of 6 months to about three years (37 lbs). It weighs just 4.2lbs, is incredibly light, and can even be folded flat for easy storage or transportation. There is also a handy rear storage pocket for accessories. The Fast table chair is easily washable, and the Fast dining tray snaps on and off the arms of the chair 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 three configurations for seating and an adjustable footrest.
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 develop good eating habits that will help them 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 excellent for your baby’s development.
- Babies can learn about textures and tastes by exploring with their mouths. What better way for the baby to learn!
- Baby-led weaning increases the chances of children being less picky or fussy eaters as adults because they get more control over what goes into their mouths.
- Baby-led weaning helps babies develop motor skills by picking up different foods by themselves. The pincer grip is essential for any child to learn, and feeding themselves will help develop this control.
- No mashing, pureeing, or unique baby recipes are needed. Parents can sit and eat with their children at mealtimes as the baby feeds themselves. This is more relaxing and enjoyable for everyone! It’s less intimidating for new parents because it doesn’t require any cooking or special equipment.
Tips for successful baby-led weaning
Baby shouldn’t be too hungry before mealtimes, so it’s a good idea to nurse or give a bottle around an hour before you start your meal. If the baby is hungry and struggling to feed themselves, it can 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 to enable you to set it at the correct height. Baby should eat at the same time you’re eating so that they learn about what happens at mealtimes.
Offer a variety of soft, mushy foods to your baby. Start with finger foods like avocado, banana, or cooked carrots. You can make the transition to foods with different textures so that baby gets used to a variety of different textures and tastes.
You can cut the food into small pieces that are easy for the 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 babies 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 your child will make messes in the process.
Be patient and let them explore the food independently without any help from you. Encourage self-feeding by giving an assortment of food on their tray (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 eight different models of high chairs and found each to be rated highly by parents who have experienced baby-led weaning with their children.
The Ingenuity High Chair is an excellent 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 essential factor in deciding 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 excellent 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 entirely 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 speedy and easy to use and is just as comfortable as a traditional high chair.
Look no further than the Sweety Fox high chair for a foldable high chair. It’s a bit more expensive than others, but we like how it’s 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. Just make sure (for your own sake) that they’re easy to clean because until the baby learns to eat solids, food will get everywhere! You can check them out here.
How We Pick Our Products
No matter what it is, choosing the best product requires putting yourself in the consumer’s shoes. As parents, we keep asking ourselves: what would be the best, most comfortable, and reasonably-priced product? That’s how our search starts, coupled with numerous reviews from other parents online and personally asking people we trust who have already tried the products.
We also look at these specific features in all our products and ensure they provide the ideal characteristics to offer them:
Each feature is addressed by answering a few simple questions, and we opt to find the best high chairs that include all these different features and accessories.
Does it allow you to adjust it to fit your growing baby? Is there a tray that we can easily remove for you to clean? Does the high chair have locks on the wheels that allow you to keep it in place while your baby is eating? Is storing it a piece of cake, or does the high chair take ample space?
Every parent we consulted stressed the importance of safety. We determine whether our high chairs don’t fall over easily, can withstand babies moving around or having tantrums, and whether the baby can unbuckle himself out of the high chair.
We address three things here: the footrest, the padding, and the general comfort. The high chairs in our reviews must have enough padding to provide a safe and comfortable space for our kids, a footrest that is just high enough, and general comfort while the baby is sitting in it.
Some puree flying around the high chair? Maybe crumbs of bread fall into the sides? Well, we aim to find out whether these little nooks and crannies are something we can clean out without much effort.
Why Trust Us
Our team consists of Eliza Williams, a loving mother of three, and Mathew Field, who is a fanatic about research and science. Hence, we combine our knowledge and skills with the help of numerous parents across the country to find the best-suited products for our children.
We base our policy on transparency to tell you about the product as it is, with complete honesty. We also ensure we consult numerous other parents about their opinions, comments, things they love, and things they don’t really like about the product. All in all, we ensure that we’re providing the best products with all their downsides and upsides.
Our method of choosing our top products to research involves a mix of personal experiences and opinions from other parents. We conduct surveys and questionnaires that target our parents and ask them about the features, quality, concerns, and ideas. Afterward, we narrow our list down to a few products, and we do our testing on them and thorough research. We conduct our research on top of our testing because people often have different experiences or concerns, and we aim to widen the scope as much as possible to provide only the ultimate products for our kids.
How We Test the Products
Depending on the product type, our testing process is quite lengthy. There are numerous different factors to consider, including durability, safety, stability, comfort, and the feel of the product. Hence, aside from consulting other parents, we test our products against sudden blows, water, heat, and other materials. We ensure that the products are sturdy enough not to collapse, are water-proof, easily cleaned, and do not diminish color with the sunlight.
However, the process of testing our products is quite a lengthy one. Our method of testing the versatility of high chairs aims to answer the following questions:
- Is the high chair safe? Is it sturdy enough to support a child?
- Does it require assembly? If so, is the process easy or not?
- Does it provide enough space for the baby to feel comfortable?
- Can I put my baby in and out quickly?
- Are the dimensions of the high chair reasonable and easy to maneuver?
- Is the process of cleaning it complicated?
The ultimate high chairs to use have simple features. These are ease of use, comfort, sturdiness, and additional features that help you feed your child with peace on your mind.
Features We Test For
Durability & Sturdiness: We run tests to check all the different features and mechanisms of the chair, including testing the strength of the tray, the legs, the harness, and the locking mechanism. As one of our primary concerns is finding out if the high chair can withstand a baby throwing a tantrum and flailing around, we drop a 30-pound weight repeatedly on the chair, approximately 300 times.
Harness: There are several different harnesses, but we always recommend using a five-point harness. While it might be a little harder to adjust and maneuver, it will keep your baby safe and intact. We test harnesses by slightly yanking on them (simulating a baby trying to wiggle out of the chair) a few hundred times. Also, we test if unbuckling and buckling the harness is a simple process or not.
Tray Test: To test how sturdy the tray is, we drop it a few times from the height of the high chair to see if it breaks or not. If it cracks or shatters after a few tries, we all know it’s not a high chair we’d want to buy. We all want to avoid having our children biting on a piece of the broken tray.
Impact Test: There are two main ways of doing this test. We first try pulling the chair towards the ground around 50 times, figuring out what would happen if a 1-year-old child tries to climb it. The next step is intentionally bumping the high chair and throwing it on the ground to see what happens. We completed this around 50 times, and it helped us test how sturdy it would be. If things start falling apart, the high chair does not make it on our list.
Ease of Use & Maneuvering
Instructions: As parents, we have often struggled to put things together because the manual is confusing. Hence, we like to also run through the instructions’ manual to find out how straightforward the instructions are.
Assembly: A high chair that takes more than 20 minutes to put together is too complicated. We often go over the instruction manual, piece it together, and see how long the process took us to complete.
Storage: You will have to put that high chair away at some point in life. Whether you’re moving or want it out of the way for a while, we test how easy storing the high chair is. We find out how easily we can carry it around if we can fold it up or not, and how much space it takes when stored away.
Adjustment: You will almost always need to make some adjustments at some point, so we also test for that. The way we do so is by finding out if the legs of the high chair can grow longer as the baby gets older if you can adjust the harness with your growing child, and whether the process of doing so is smooth or not.
Cleaning Process: Can you reach all the crumbs that fall into the tiny spaces? Can we easily clean them out? You don’t want these biscuits or fruit pieces stuck in weird places and causing a smell, so we aim to find all the possible locations where food can fall and see if you can clean them.