NOT EVERY bit of baby gear is an absolute essential, but every family needs a high chair once their baby reaches the weaning stage.
You don't need to spend a fortune to get a good high chair – and you'll be grateful you bought a cheap high chair instead of an expensive one the first time you see your baby tip broccoli puree all over themselves and their high chair.
When it comes to finding the right high chair for baby, you want one that’s safe, secure and comfortable, and that you don't have to wrestle baby into.
Cheap high chairs under £30 do everything you need them to, whether you're looking for a tray to help minimise mess or a booster seat design that takes up less room.
Some cheap high chairs can change seating positions to grow with your baby.
If aesthetics are crucial for you, you'll be pleased to know you can find wooden high chair models for under £25 – not bad when compared to the coveted wooden Stokke Tripp Trapp, which starts at £180.
The high chair era heralds in the beginning of many exciting new firsts (and messes to clean up) for parents. Just think of all those pics to come with your baby covered in sweet potato puree. Priceless.
1. Best cheap all rounder: Antilop high chair
- Antilop high chair, £10 at IKEA – buy here
IKEA's highchair is pretty much iconic at this point: it wins points for its minimalist design which works in any space, as well as its easy-clean surface and secure harness.
Basically, it's brilliant. If you want a high chair with a tray, IKEA's Antilop version is £14.
2. Best cheap wooden high chair: Hanper
- Kids Wooden High Chair, £43.09 at Amazon – buy here
For parents who like the natural wooden look (but not the Stokke Tripp Trapp price tag) this sub-£50 version from Hanper is durable, stylish, and supports baby and toddlers up to age four. The best part? It also doubles up as a separate table and chair for your little one.
3. Best cheap 2-in-1 high chair: Babylo Eatin' Mess
- Babylo Eatin' Mess high chair, £24.99 at Smyths Toys – buy here
This cheap-as-chips high chair gets rave reviews from parents and grandparents who are impressed with its sturdiness and value for money.
In addition to a 5-point harness to keep baby secure, this high chair has a removable tray insert and – super-usefully – can convert to a junior chair for older kids, giving it some serious mileage.
4. Best cheap booster seat: Chicco Pocket Snack
- Chicco Pocket Snack Booster Seat, £19.99 at Argos – buy here
A booster seat is a high chair alternative that attaches securely to any chair – a great space-saving option that you can remove between mealtimes if necessary.
Chicco's Pocket Snack design has a removable tray that can be used in three different positions, a 4-level height adjustment to grow with baby and a 3-point harness with straps that should work on most dining chairs.
It folds down compactly so it's easy to transport, making it a great choice for going out or leaving at a grandparent's house, according to parents who are fans.
5. Best cheap basic high chair: Boom Toy
- Boom high chair, £9.41 at Ali Express – buy here
Another versatile, minimal-frills option, this high chair comes with a removable tray (which has a further removable plastic bit for easy cleaning) and a footrest.
The seat, footrest and tray are combined with a waterproof yet comfortable inside cushion and parents say it's easy as pie to assemble.
6. Best cheap 3-in-1 high chair
- MyChild Graze 3-in-1 high chair, £39.99 at Amazon – buy here
This chair grows with baby, turning from high chair, to booster you can place on the floor or attach to a kitchen chair, to stool – it even has a reclining seat and the tray is dishwasher friendly.
Enjoy using it a lot over the years
7. Best cheap toddler-friendly high chair: Badabulle
- Badabulle Portable Feeding Booster Seat, £27.99 at ASDA – buy here
This portable booster seat is a colourful, compact choice when you're on the go.
What we like about it is that it also transforms into a printed toddler backpack which can help you lug it around. Just remove the foam.
8. Best cheap outdoor high chair: Summer Infant Pop
- Summer Infant Pop ‘N Sit Booster, £30.88 at On Buy – buy here
Giving baby a seat when out and about can be all the difference between them managing to eat their meal – and not.
This portable fold-down seat is ideal for picnics, camping and setting up at friend's houses who don't have the gear, as well as being handy when travelling.
Comes with its own tray table and storage bag.
9. Best novelty high chair: On Buy
- Frog highchair, £25.99 – buy here
This five-in-one highchair comes with plastic tray, straps, adjustable back rest, capped feet and carry bag. It also has two cup holders either side of the tray to encourage your little one to drink independently.
A fun bright item that comes in pink or green.
What age do babies use high chairs?
The general consensus when it comes to the 'right' age to put baby in a high chair is to start using one when baby is around six months of age.
While some children are already squirming out of their high chairs by the time they're 18 months, many like to stay in a high chair until around the age of three or even a bit older.
The general rule is the longer you can keep your little one securely strapped in a high chair, the better. It will certainly help when it comes to giving you peace of mind at meal times.
When to start using high chair for baby
Each highchair manufacturer will have their own specific recommendation for when baby can start to use the high chair but it is mainly recommended to wait until baby is six months before using highchair. This is because at six months it is the start of weaning for babies and when they have learnt to chew and swallow purees and small food types. You must also ensure baby can sit up independently before using a highchair but normally a lot of babies will do this at four to six months of age.
How long does baby need high chair
A baby can use a high chair until at least their toddler years (age two to three) and some highchairs are made to convert for even longer, meaning they can be adapted to be lower and place in front of the dining table so your little one can enjoy family dining. Normally your child will be ready to sit at the dinner table when they are less wiggly but some may need a booster seat for a while as they adapt.
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