The highchair is in the way, again

In our recent move to a smaller home, we have noticed that our daughter’s highchair is constantly in the way. It doesn’t fold up, it doesn’t fit nicely against the table, and it is getting old. We have started to introduce our two year old to the “big girl chair” (a.k.a normal chair), but she needs to grow a bit before it’s a full-time solution. Since she easily took to her “big girl bed,” we figure it will eventually be a relatively easy transition.

I think if we had it to do over again, we would probably settle on a booster type seat. It saves space and it can easily be used on an existing chair. It won’t get in the way when not in use and it can be removed from a chair and set in a closet when needed. The highchair we have cannot easily be stored away. This folding high chair (pictured) when folded is only eight inches wide. It is also an option we would have likely considered, but hindsight is 20/20.


This post has been updated since its original publication in 2008.

42 Comments for “The highchair is in the way, again”

  1. posted by Mme. Meow on

    The Fisher-Price Healthy Care booster has been with us since the first day we introduced solids to our now 2-year old. It’s compact, easy to clean, and cheap!

  2. posted by kimbelina on

    We’ve used the Polly highchair for two years, and love that the height is adjustable, so our little guy can sit right at the table with us (the arms on the F-P booster made that impossible with our table).

  3. posted by reba on

    we used a booster with my son but for our daughter our neighbor gave us a combo swing highchair, its been a great space saver in our tiny house

  4. posted by Donna on

    Another Healthy Care booster user checking in. We bought it for our second child because our house was smaller than the house we had for our first. It worked out great–I recommend it to everyone.

  5. posted by Hands-Free Heart on

    We had a folding, reclining high chair for our oldest, but as soon as he was sitting up and needing the tray, the tray was way too high for him… his arms barely could reach over it to pick up the Cheerios! We found that a booster with a tray was the perfect height.

    For our second son, we used the booster from day one, just rolled a towel in it to help support his back and sides when he didn’t yet sit up well on his own. Some boosters recline as well, but ours didn’t.

  6. posted by molly on

    We have the folding high chair you pictured. My son used it for 3 months. That particular high chair (prima pappa) is around $200. Major waste of money!! So you may ask, “what does your son like to sit in?” The fisher price healthy care booster seat that someone mentioned above. It sells for about $25! Get the booster chair if you are in the market for a high chair.

    I do sometimes wish I had bought the Tripp Trapp because it looks so much nicer than the plastic but I am not willing to spend another large amount of money hoping he will like it.

  7. posted by Benjamin M. Strozykowski on

    Our 19-month-old is just starting to climb into seats on his own. At this point, we do savor the tray that is on the front of his high chair, as it catches most of the scraps he deems unworthy of his high-class pallet.

    Our high chair is always in the way as well. We have a larger house, but there are 4 adults, one 15-year-old and a 19-month-old living here, so it always seems like someone’s pushing it out of the way.

  8. posted by Dee on

    Yes – unfortunately, high chairs are a necessary evil. We did buy a folding type high chair but the truth of the matter is, if its an item that you use three times a day its not likely that the folding option will be used much. The only time I actually fold up the highchair and get it out of the way is when I have company coming and its going to be holding up traffic flow at the dinner table. I also bought one of those portable type highchairs that clamp to the table but it has its own issues – not as easy to clean, doesn’t seem as comfortable for the baby, and its also in the way despite having it closer to the table – great for dinner out with the munchkin but not so great for full time home use IMHO.

    Heres a nifty new item on the market that seems to be a good solution to a booster seat if strapping your child in a chair for safety reasons is no longer an issue .. .the Kaboost chair booster. It boosts your chair up rather than your child and is available at several major retailers including Target (linked below).;page=1

  9. posted by L on

    No, no, no! You MUST get a Cooshee. They sit on your dining-room or kitchen chairs, they are not offensive looking, they are easy to clean, they are durable, AND they are comfortable. My daughter sometimes takes hers off the chair to use as a seat while playing.

  10. posted by Celeste on

    I had the Chico fold-up (very pricey but sturdy) and we seldom had it folded up. We got a lot of use out of ours but wish we would have introduced the booster a lot sooner simply because the Chico has a million crevices and is hard to keep clean! I had heard that people put them in the shower to hose them down and decided I would just use a baby wipe on it after every use so as to avoid crevice crust. I think this was a key in getting a good resale price on it as I did.

    If I had it to do over, I would not have used this high chair because it was not a good value for only one child. Another great thing about a booster is you can take it with you anywhere, and is good when they have what they are used to (and you will always be using something clean, as opposed to what sticky thing is in a restaurant). Baby Bargains is a book that has tons of good advice.

  11. posted by Dee on

    ps – I wish I had bought a convertible highchair – it would have been worth the investment if I had known back with my first what an eyesore and how cumbersome a highchair would be and that I would have had two kids to use it. .. .

    If you have 575 dollars to shell out on a convertable highchair – this one is just plain funny -

  12. posted by Shane on

    We were facing the same issue, and we actually tried a booster seat, too, but we didn’t care for it. We just bought two Agam chairs from Ikea (, one for our almost-3-year-old and another for our 5-year-old, and they’re working out great. They fit right up to the table, like regular dining chairs, but they are extra high, so the girls can eat comfortably. Also, they are not a pain to clean like high chairs and boosters are, because there are no little cracks for food to get stuck in.

  13. posted by Eric on

    We put a nice fold-flat style highchair on our registry and one of my wife’s sisters ( who doesn’t have a kid ) though she could do better. Unfortunately they got a high chair that doesn’t fold up nicely and it was a royal nightmare.

    Thankfully we transitioned her to a booster seat around 14 months and that has worked out great.

  14. posted by Sarah on

    Ahhhh … discover the wonders of the Fisher Price Space Saver High Chair. There are other similar high chairs on the market made by other companies.
    It attaches to your dining room chairs and converts to a booster seat.
    We have two for our twins. We love them.

    *fixed my obnoxious spelling error*

  15. posted by maestroQC on

    This is a very handy chair. It grows with the child and is very comfortable.

  16. posted by Carolyn on

    We have both the Chico Polly (pictured above, retails around $130) and a Fisher Price booster seat. Both have the virtue of using little space in our 900 sq.ft. house. Our 10-lb 6-month-old preemie daughter fits fine in the Polly and can reach the tray if we use a towel or small pillow to boost her up. The FP is too big for her and probably will be for a while. Seems like it would fit a normal baby, though.

  17. posted by Amanda on

    We have the Stokke Tripp Trapp for our 9 month old and it really works well and looks good in our livingroom/dining room/bedroom (we are in NYC!). As we use it so frequently, the thought of having to get a folding version out each time we need it seems unlikely. In addition, we have a friend from Norway who said that he used his throughout his childhood which is a terrific endorsement. One key difference though between it and other chairs, is that there is no tray- baby uses the same table you do.

  18. posted by Ann at One Bag Nation on

    I’m with L (above) the Cooshee Booster is wonderful. We call it the “cushie tushie” and my daughter (age 6) still uses it – and it looks brand new.

    And remember everyone, there will come a day when you’ll look back on these messy, chaotic baby days with longing – yes, you’ll almost wish you had them back!

  19. posted by Jenn Searls on

    What about a Kaboost?

  20. posted by koz on

    Another FP Healthy Care Booster fan. Cheap, light, portable, convertible, easy to clean… Does it get any better?

    I can’t imagine paying hundreds for a high chair. But then again, I didn’t pay a lot for any baby furniture. It’s too temporary.

  21. posted by Jasi on

    Baby Purchase Regrets
    -Expensive Bunny Bedding Ensemble (ultimately more tacky than cute, mostly SIDS hazard and unusable anyway)
    -Designer High Chair (she hated it, but FP Healthy Booster replaced it @ $20!!)
    -High End Crib (we wound up co-sleeping)
    -Matching Changing Table (we changed her everywhere)
    -Baby Tub w/ Shower Hose ($5 Sponge mat in the tub was SOO much better)
    -Singing Potty Seat (may have emotionally scarred her. opt for Ikea’s new potty seat @ $4, it’s lightweight, stackable, and she digs it)
    -Gender specific onezies. (color doesn’t matter to me but the neighbors might twitch if my son rolls around in a “Sweet Princess” sleeper.)
    -Baby Shoes (c’mon now.. )

    With another baby (opposite sex) on the way in 2 months, we’re a little wiser this time. We’ve only bought a bouncer, dipes and some non-pink-princess onezies.

  22. posted by Megan on

    Our Graco’s legs fold up, but the tray part doesn’t and that bugs me. Even when it is folded and leaning up against the wall, it still has that darn tray jutting out and getting in the way. I can take the tray off, but the part that it connects to is still there sticking out. And then, where do I put the tray?

  23. posted by Kendra on

    My friend has that Fisher Price booster chair and loves it. Now that you’re daughter’s growing, I suggest the Kaboost Portable Chair Booster:

  24. posted by Cate on

    My husband and I really like the IKEA ‘Antelope’. It is super easy to clean and fairly inexpensive. We had bought the huge, fold up, fabric covered model and ended up gifting it to a family member and buying this one. We actually bought another one for the neighbors as well because we share meals so often!!

  25. posted by Joseph Z on

    When I was a baby (longer ago than I’d like to think) my parents had something that tripled as a high chair, booster seat, and car seat. Apparently, it also had a stroller attachment, though my parents didn’t buy it. Unfortunately, my mother can’t remember what company made it.

    Something like that should be on the market again, or rather, always.

  26. posted by kirsty on

    Add another vote for the Tripp Trapp (or similar); it’s just a regular go under the table chair so it doesn’t get in the way any more than your regular chairs and nor is it tacky brightly coloured plastic baby paraphernalia. We’ve had it from 6 months to 3 years so far and it’s going to last several more years (as my daughter’s chair that is; the chair is so well made it’ll probably outlast the rest of our furniture!).

  27. posted by christa on

    Don’t they have some chairs that sort of “hook on” to the dining table? they don’t have any feet at all, but rather some long handle type things that use the table and the hook type arms (flat on the top, curved on the bottom) to support the weight of the baby. I think they can unhook and come apart for storage? I looked through the comments and didn’t see any of these. Maybe they don’t make them anymore?

  28. posted by Recovering Food Waster on

    We used a booster seat that had a tray for all of our four kids…never did buy a highchair!

  29. posted by Terry on

    I have to pipe in my vote for Cooshee as well. We’ve got two now, our two yr old daughter lasted abuot a day in a high chair and went directly to Cooshee. It is surprisingly ‘containing’ and ‘supportive’. As mentioned, very easy to clean and store away. We’ve got number three (kid that is) on the way, and will definately order another one, and probably a couple spare for when we have friends with kids over. Definately the way to go.

  30. posted by Terry on

    Sorry to double post but wanted to clarify, my two year old daughter went to the Cooshee when she was about about 9 months old…not two years old. Just didn’t want people to think they had to wait.

  31. posted by Lauren on

    We had a painfully clunky high chair which we used to trip over in our small kitchen. By the time my youngest was 10 months, it was gone 🙂 and we switched to this travel seat we could strap on a kitchen chair.

  32. posted by bms2000 on

    We never had a high chair for either kid. I found boosters with trays that went on the dining chairs at yard sales. I think I paid a grand total of $5 each. When they no longer needed the tray, they just used it as a booster. Prior to that, we fed them in the bouncy seat.

    There are a lot of ‘necessities’ for babies that are just clutter in disguise. We erred on the side of not buying/asking for things, and there was almost nothing that we found we had to run out and get.

  33. posted by Bek on

    We just added one of these… We love it- not just for our home but because it’s the only thing that fits on my mother’s weird (yet lovely) dining chairs….Strap-on boosters never worked with those…

  34. posted by Sarah on

    We did the same thing. We got a lot of flack for not putting enough “stuff” on our registry. We had to buy very little.

    For those expecting, look into the Graco Snugride system. The car seat snaps into the stroller and a small, folding swing frame. Had we known about the swing frame earlier, we could have saved ourselves a lot of space.

  35. posted by dorothy on

    Ikea Antilop at $15, followed by the Stokke Tripp Trapp (more than 10x more expensive, but such a good chair) worked great for us. The Antilop goes in the dishwasher (pop off the legs and straps)!

    A grandmother bought us the Me Too! clip on as well, which was handy for trips and is still handy when people come over, but compared to the others, it’s tough to clean.

  36. posted by Yolanda on

    We use the MeToo chair by Phil and Ted.

    We like it because it allows our 10-month old daughter to eat at the table with us. It has an industrial look to it and takes up no floor space, due to its clip on design. We also love that it folds completely flat (unlike many other hook on seats) and therefore we take it with us any time we go out to eat or visit friends.

  37. posted by Jay on

    I “third” the suggestion for the Antilop from IKEA. It is simple, cheap, lightweight, stable, and easy-to-clean. Also, if you need to keep it for later children, the legs come off for easy storage. IKEA also sells a tray for the Antilop.

    If you eat where there are no high chairs (friends’ houses, restaurants whose high chairs always seem to be broken or in use by others), the In the Pocket Baby “contraption” from the Scandinavian Design Center (http://www.scandinaviandesignc.....=baby+seat) is useful.

  38. posted by Jay on

    Link to In the Pocket Baby


  39. posted by Dena on

    My favorite high chair option (which we unfortunately didn’t discover until our second child) is the Me Too Chair. It’s the type of seat that just hooks onto your table. I love it since it doesn’t take up much space, folds flat, easy to travel with, great at restaurants, easy to clean, not expensive, easy to install, and brings the baby/child closer to the table. It’s awesome. You can find them at Amazon and other places too. It’s good to up to 40 lbs. Even though my kids are well past high chair age, I’ve kept our seat since it’s small enough to fit in a drawer in our kitchen and is handy to have with visiting cousins and other small visitors.

  40. posted by Kirstin on

    I just purchased the Fisher Price Healthy Care Booster as a 1 yr birthday gift since you all recommended it so highly. I just thought I would mention that when I inquired about it at the baby store, I was told that the blue and green model has been discontinued and will be replaced by a red and yellow model. The only difference I can see it that the old model comes with a removable tray that goes in the dishwasher. I was able to get a hold of the old model at a department store because the extra tray seemed nice.

  41. posted by Vina on

    I second the Trip-Trapp vote, well worth the money. We bought after our girl grew out of the high chair which was enormous and ridiculous, we should have just had the Trip Trapp all along.

  42. posted by Heather on

    Tripp Trapp all the way! It’s so smart, has no tray so your baby eats with you, and can be used as a regular adult chair. Multi-purpose and fits under the table. Plus, their Xplory stroller is pretty awesome and space-saving too.

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