Whether to get a standard high chair or a portable high chair is only one of the consumer decisions parents must make. The inevitable reality of having children is the costs that come along with it. There’s the diapers, the wipes, the clothes, not to mention the baby gear — each item serves a purpose in the rearing of children, including high chairs. The standard high chair can take up a significant amount of space in your home and make a big dent in your wallet. Some high chairs are lightweight or foldable, some better encourage mom and baby to see each other during meals, and some have removable, dishwasher-safe trays.
The Issue with High Chairs
Generally, though, high chairs can be expensive. And if you’re looking at how long you’ll actually be using it for meals before they outgrow it (both my girls were about 18 months when they did), you’re looking at spending quite a bit of money for something that is not with your child for very long. For example, let’s take a less expensive model, which would be about $70 according to MySimon.com, and the thought that a child uses a high chair for roughly 14 months. You are looking at spending $5 a month for this high chair. Of course, that amount only increases if you select a more expensive high chair that has more features.
We can take this and look more specifically at high chairs that are popular at Amazon.com:
The Fisher-Price Rain Forest high chair sells for $91, which means that you would spend $6.50 a month on this high chair, which has been noted to have “childish” fabric. A family might even refrain from using this high chair earlier than the 14-month average. http://www.consumersearch.com/high-chairs/fisher-price-rainforest-healthy-care-high-chair
The Graco Blossom 4-in-1 Seating System seems to encourage long-term use with its adaptability. However, it doesn’t fold and takes up a lot of room. Also, from a safety standpoint the straps are difficult to use, which might pose safety risks if parents don’t strap their child in. It also costs about $145, which brings monthly usage cost to over $10 a month! http://www.consumersearch.com/high-chairs/graco-blossom-4-in-1-seating-system
The Fisher-Price Space Saver high chair is compact, and seems to answer the problem of saving space. However, you don’t have a wide range of height adjustment and might have a hard time fitting it to your specific dinner table. Also, while the tray is removable for cleaning, it can be difficult to put in the dishwasher. http://babyhighchairspot.com/review-fisher-price-space-saver-high-chair-2012/
Lastly, let’s look at the Evenflow Convertible high chair. While it says it is suitable for children up to 3 years old, this high chair seems unstable and a bit too compact for a bigger child. http://babyhighchairguide.com/evenflow-convertible-high-chair/
Are Portable High Chairs an Option?
It would seem like getting a portable high chair would solve a lot of issues. They are light, they take up less room, and they (obviously) travel well. Many parents have been there. At family dinner at Grandma’s house, there’s no good place for baby to eat, and so Mom puts baby on her lap during the meal. Easy solution, right? Well, sure, if Mom is okay with wearing her meal and struggling to get a bite of her own food in because baby wants to eat it too. A portable high chair seems like the answer to everything — but they don’t usually come with trays or even cup holders. Also, to encourage portability, many of these high chairs are manufactured with cheap plastic and might not even last from one child to the next.
Taking another Approach
The Yochi Yochi child safety harness is a multi-functional item with three uses. Not only does it make an excellent portable high chair on most chairs with backs, but it also works as a walking harness and shopping cart safety strap. Imagine using just one item for all those needs, and how much room it will save you. It is easy to clean — no big, bulky tray taking up room in your dishwasher after a meal, sticking you with hand-washing the remaining pots and pans. Since it fits on most chairs, it also travels to Grandma’s house with ease. The Yochi Yochi child safety harness is appropriate for children ages 6 months to 5 years. At about $27, this would bring the entire life of the product to about $0.50 a month! Even just using the 14-month average on traditional or portable high chairs, the monthly use cost is less than $2. You are truly getting more bang for your buck, all while keeping your child safe.