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Safe Chairs for Babies in the First Year


baby in high chair covered with green food



For safe seating, your baby needs a chair that's right for his or her age and size, especially once you start introducing solid foods. Safe, comfy seating for your baby will make mealtimes easier and more fun for everyone. 

Use the following tips to check the safety of baby chairs:

High Chairs

  • Choose a high chair with a wide base, a safety strap, and strong tray locks. If it’s a foldaway model, make sure it has proper locking devices.
  • Always use the waist and leg straps.
  • Check that your baby’s hands, arms, and legs can't get caught in any moving parts when the chair or tray position is being changed.
  • Make sure older children don't use the high chair as they could tip it over.
  • Place the chair away from hard surfaces that your baby could push against (walls, doors, counters), causing the chair to tip over.
  • Place the chair away from appliances, windows, blind cords, mirrors, and sharp corners.

Booster Seats

  • Booster seats are useful when a child grows out of a high chair but is still too small for an adult chair.
  • Booster seats are set on a regular chair and held in place with a safety belt.
  • The belt normally goes around the back and bottom of the chair. Select a booster seat with a strap that keeps your child secure.
  • Safety straps that cross over the chest should be placed low enough that they cannot reach your child's neck, even if he slips down in the chair.

Hook-On Chairs

Hook-on chairs are not recommended. They can fall under your baby's weight or when she moves. However, you may have to use a hook-on chair when nothing else is available, such as in a restaurant.

Here are some safety tips if you choose to use a hook-on chair:

  • Make sure it's attached to a strong, sturdy table.
  • Place the chair away from table legs. Your baby could push against the table leg and disengage the chair from the table.
  • Test the chair after it's hooked to the table but before you put your baby in it. You can test the chair by pulling it backwards.
  • Use a different kind of chair if your child is over 13.5 kg (30 lb) or is very active.

Resources & Links:
HealthLink BC: Quick Tips: Baby-Proofing Your Home

Last Updated: August 13, 2013