What I Look For in a High Chair (And One that Fits the Bill)

Claire has been eating solid foods for the past six months. Over that time, I’ve had quite the crash course in high chairs, from ones that are expensive to those generic ones in restaurants to makeshift ones (we used the Bumbo seat for a lot of feedings when we first started out) and everything in between.

I’ve been on the search for the perfect high chair for my lifestyle, which is how I came across the Ingenuity ChairMate High Chair.

One of the things I’ve learned during this time testing and trying out different versions and attributes is that there are a couple things that are key to me:
  • I want my high chair to take up as little space as possible but be easily portable
  • It must have a washable surface that can easily be machine-washed (because Claire often loves to feed herself—which invariably makes for a huge mess that not only includes her face and hands but every other surface within reach)
  • I want it to feel safe and sturdy for my baby so that if I need to step away and grab something from the fridge, I can do so without worry that my darling is going to be in danger
All of these qualities come together in the ChairMate, which the folks at Ingenuity generously provided for this review. (Of course, as always, all opinions are my own.) Here is a run-down of some of those features this high chair offers:
  • The cover is easy to get on and off and features stain-resistant material that can easily be machine-washed. But my favorite feature is that there is a clip-on tray that you can easily pop off and rinse without having to unfasten the entire tray. It makes running it under the kitchen faucet a breeze! (It also is dishwasher-safe, but I haven’t tried that.)

  • It’s lightweight, making it so that you can easily move it around. And since it’s fastened to the chair easily with straps, it isn’t a chore to unbuckle it and move it if you need to, making it a viable option for on-the-go if you need it.

  • The high chair attaches directly to one of your own kitchen chairs. I tried it on a variety of chairs and never faced an issue. Pretty much as long as you can fasten the straps along the underside of the chair and around it’s back, you can use this high chair.

  • It was easy to put together. (I didn’t even have to reference the instruction manual it was so intuitive!) It also includes four different height positions so that it can easily accommodate almost any table or chair height. There are also two recline positions. (I do wish there was more customization for the recline position, because Claire still seems to sit back a bit further than she does in her other chairs, but that hasn’t seemed to cause a problem.)

  • Plus, it easily grows with baby by converting to a booster once they get older so that you don't have to buy something additional later one. This is an aspect that is taken into account with all of the products from Ingenuity: “When we can, we strive to save you money,” they say, “such as high chairs and floor seats that grow with baby by converting to boosters, and swings with patented technology that makes batteries last twice as long. Every product Ingenuity offers starts with one question: How can these meet babies’ needs, but make life easier for parents?”

  • While I was a little hesitant about using straps to secure the high chair at first, I haven’t had any issues with the stability or sturdiness of the chair. I’ve even picked Claire up while she’s strapped in and moved the chair (like for the photoshoot I did!) and the seat didn’t even seem to wiggle in the chair. I think as long as you’re strapping it to a sturdy chair and make sure you get the straps at tight as possible (which surprisingly is quite easy), then I don’t think there are any issues with safety.

  • The ChairMate high chair comes in a variety of designs, but the one I received is the “Emerson,” which is available exclusively at Babies ‘R’ Us. The Emerson features an adorable and gender-neutral teal and green polka-dot pattern with two smiley-faced hippos in the middle. Perfect for any baby who makes you feel like you’re feeding a hungry, hungry hippo!
All that to say, that this high chair has been a happy addition to our feeding routine and I expect it will continue to be for the years to come!

(You can find out more about the Ingenuity ChairMate High Chair, as well as other products from Ingenuity. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.)

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