If you aren’t 100% positive what you want, consider waiting to get any sort of high chair. I registered for one that came highly recommended by a lot of people but I wouldn’t get that same one again. Your baby won’t need it until about 6-months-old, so it may be best to wait and see what you want at that point. (Related: Is Baby Ready for Solid Foods? What Do the Experts Say?) What I thought worked for us pre-baby has changed with some things post-baby. For us, the best high chair set-up is having one clip on counter chair for our kitchen island and another high chair for the table area. For stand-alone high chairs, I prefer ones that will last into childhood. Since we dove right into solid foods using a toned down version of Baby-Led Eating/Weaning, it was also important to me that the high chair is very easy to clean.
Ask yourself these questions: Do you want a high chair that stays a high chair, or one that grows with your child? Related: Will you be storing this between kids, or will it remain out? Will you be moving the high chair around a lot? What bells and whistles do you really want/need?
Here are my favorite modern high chairs at a variety of prices:
Stokke Tripp Trapp∙∙∙ (~$249 + accessories) The Stokke is super expensive. I love it for a stand alone high chair and I also love that it grows with your kid. The seat is height adjustable. The foot rest is also adjustable, which is important to reach the feet of a six-month old learning to eat food. My 3-year-old uses it as a chair that brings her to the table height. It’s very easy to disassemble and clean, so when I bought one on Craigslist, I easily cleaned it to make it look brand new.
Keekaroo High Chair∙∙∙ (~$179) This is similar to the Stokke Tripp Trapp but significantly cheaper.
Peg Perego Siesta∙∙∙ (~$299) A very nice looking high chair that is easy to clean, foldable for storage, and reclines so your baby can lay in it as a newborn.
Skip Hop Tuo Convertible High Chair∙∙∙ (~$160) This is new so I don’t know much, but it meets my criteria for a great high chair.
Phil & Teds Poppy∙∙∙ (~$120) Another popular high chair that looks good! The legs stick out so that can get a little annoying.
Stokke Steps High Chair∙∙∙ (~$249) This is another nice one that can be used into childhood.
BabyBjörn High Chair∙∙∙ ($198+) The BabyBjörn high chair is easy to clean, and it folds for easy storage.
Graco Blossom∙∙∙ ($150+) While I don’t love high chairs with fabric, this one makes up for it. It grows with your baby and has four different stage options. It even allows for a baby and a toddler to use different stages of the high chair at the same time.
Budget Option: Ikea ANTILOP Highchair∙∙∙ (~$20) Ikea sells this great highchair that gets consistently positive reviews. The $20 price tag includes the tray! This one has zero fabric, which I love because that makes it so easy to clean.
Inglesina Fast Table Chair∙∙∙ The Fast Table Chair is not a stand-alone high chair. It clamps onto a table or counter. You can also bring it to a restaurant and clip onto most tables. This could be your only place for baby to eat or a second option in addition to a stand-alone high chair.
My daughter wasn’t picky at all with bottles so we lucked out; my son was a different story. This is why I recommend starting off with one or two bottles of a few different kinds (instead of a huge set of one kind of bottles) so you can test them out before you buy a bunch of one brand. I know too many people who had babies that did not like one kind. I found that I prefer ones with the least amount of pieces possible. Keep in mind that you will be the one assembling, disassembling, washing and drying these multiple times a day, every day. While the ones with the complicated vents claim they help baby not swallow any air, most bottles (including all the ones in the chart below) have some sort of venting — even if just inside the nipple — to help reduce or prevent air intake.•Dr. Brown’s Options (comes in plastic and glass): pros: you can pump directly into it, they have a slow flow nipple that is great if you are breastfeeding; cons: it’s a pain to clean all the parts and one of their venting pieces must be cleaned with a special mini brush
•Lansinoh: Easy to clean. This one is popular with babies that refuse most bottles because of difficulty latching. Post tongue-tie release, my son preferred these and Joovy Boob. This one is often recommended for bottle-refusing breastfed babies by lactation consultants.
•Joovy Boob (comes in plastic and glass): Admittedly, I got these initially just because I like the way they look. But even my super picky son would drink from them. They are made from a high-quality plastic that is BPA and phthalate free. The only downside is that if you don’t press the gray ring in tight enough the bottle can leak.
•Comotomo: These are made of silicone. They are “breast-like” and easy to clean. But they are more expensive, and you can’t pump directly into them.
•Mimijumi: These are supposedly great for breastfed babies. They have a slow nipple flow that allows baby to control the flow. This has a one-piece nipple that screws on without the collar most other bottles have. Including the skid-free rubber base for the bottom and the bottle lid/cap, there are a total of 4 parts.
•Avent (comes in plastic and glass): I like that these don’t have too many parts to clean. My daughter liked it. My son was particular with bottles and wouldn’t take this one.
•Born Free – Glass: We used these at home. I preferred not to use glass when out because they are heavier and you are already carrying a lot of stuff when out with baby!
•Lifefactory – Glass: Lifefactory has a great glass option. pros: easy to clean and assemble, silicone sleeve to decrease the chance of breaking; cons: Their nipples are not labeled according to stage/flow rate. This means if you have nipples in multiple flow rates and you mix them up in the cabinet or dishwasher, there is no way to know which was which.
•Mixie Bottle: This is very convenient for formula feeding on the go.
Even if you are breastfeeding exclusively, you will want bottles. In that case, don’t introduce a bottle too soon, but also don’t wait too long either. The sweet spot for introducing a bottle to a breastfed baby is around 4 weeks old. See kellymom.com for the best recommendations.
For more details on choosing the right bottles, check out my Baby Bottle Buying Guide:
Bottle Cleaning & Drying
If you will be using a bottle a lot (breastfeeding and going back to work or formula feeding), it’s definitely nice to have a bottle drying rack. It’s also very useful with breast pump parts. We have the Boon grass drying rack and the drying rack accessories. We like them, but any will work just fine. You may think you don’t need a separate drying rack, but if you are frequently washing multiple bottles at once, you will like having this. Yes, it will clutter up your counter. But it is very convenient. And let’s face it, once you have kids you need all the conveniences you can find!
A dishwasher basket for small (silicone or glass) bottle parts, and pacifiers, is also very helpful.
Get a bottle brush that can stand on its own so it stays clean.
Please note that you should avoid putting any plastic bottle parts in the dishwasher. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends you avoid putting anything plastic in the dishwasher since the heat can cause phthalates and other harmful chemicals to leak into food.
It’s impossible to say how many burp cloths you will want. Your baby may rarely need them or you may go through them fast. My daughter literally never spat up. My son, on the other hand, did a lot. *Registry Tip: You will likely receive burp cloths that are not on your registry, either at your shower or after baby arrives. With all three of my kids, I received several personalized burp cloths as gifts after they were born. For this reason, I recommend limiting the number you put on your registry.*
Other Feeding Stuff
Placemats ∙∙∙ You won’t really need placemats until later, when you start solid foods. I recommend holding out until you are approaching that point before stocking up on too many placemats. Depending on how you decide to introduce solids, you may have different priorities with placemats (as well as highchairs and bibs). Silicone placemats are great for eating out. And the pocket included in this Summer Infant Portable Placemat is something you will also love having at home! I like the Ezpz Mini Mat and Happy Mat, but they don’t have the pocket. Click here for good ideas for fun utensils and plates when it’s time to introduce solids.
Bibs ∙∙∙ Silicone bibs with a pocket to catch food are definitely a great option. They are durable and easy to clean. This one is my favorite because it is thinner up top and allows for more movement. Bibs that are longer and fit more like a smock or apron help to save some clean-up when baby is first learning how to eat.
Utensils for Introducing Solids ∙∙∙ These are all the rage right now. They are sold out in stores and the price has increased in others. But it is for good reason. They are possibly the best option for encouraging your baby to self-feed (when they are 6+ months old). They are short and easy for baby to grab. They are flat, so easier for baby to get food from than a cupped spoon. For more items to help when you introduce solids, check out this page.
Insulated Bottle Carrier ∙∙∙ This is key for keeping breastmilk fresh while out of the house.
App for tracking feedings, etc ∙∙∙ It sounds silly until you are in it. In those early appointments, the pediatrician will ask you things like: how many wet diapers per day, and how many poopy diapers each day, how many times per day does your baby eat. You’ll be glad you can easily track this on your phone. This is especially useful if you are breastfeeding. You’ll want to remember what side your baby last ate from, and how many minutes baby spent eating so far today.
Baby Brezza Formula Pro ∙∙∙ If you are exclusively formula feeding, the Baby Brezza Formula Pro may be worth the price tag. It’s basically a Keirug for baby bottles! I haven’t used it, but I hear great things!
Tray Haven ∙∙∙ Wrap this around your high chair and the Tray Haven helps keep food and cups from falling (ahem, or being thrown) over!
Toddler Tableware ∙∙∙ Click here to see some adorable and fun tableware your child may like when they start eating solid food.
Wait and Maybe Buy Later (or don’t buy at all!)
• Bottle Warmer: We never got one. I think since we gave bottles at a variety of temperatures, our kids were not picky about it. However, maybe you or your baby will feel differently. For us, I’m glad I didn’t spend money on it. We usually gave our kids their bottles around room temp, so they were perfectly happy with it. And if we needed to warm up some refrigerated breastmilk, we’d run it under warm tap water for a minute. The simple method is often best. I’d wait and get post-baby if your baby won’t take room temperature bottles. But save the money and space if your baby is less picky! And who really wants one more thing to clean when you have a baby?
• Bottle Sterilizer: Don’t do it. It is a waste of money/space. We bought one, used it a few times with our daughter and ended up getting rid of it. You can get Medela sterilizing bags to sterilize in the microwave. I used those a lot. Our dishwasher also has a sterilizing setting. Sometimes I would just boil water. I only worried about sterilizing bottles in the first few months. After that, a typical hot water with soap wash, with an occasional sterilization, was perfectly fine.
• Baby Food Maker / Processor: I don’t see the point in these. It’s a waste of money and counter/storage space. You can use a food processor or a blender. Or you can steam food and mash it with a fork. Or you could skip purees all together and do more of a baby-led weaning approach (which is what we did).
• Bumbo ~ Even though Bumbo’s website says it is developmentally beneficial and helps posture, many physical therapists claim it does the exact opposite. I rarely used it with our kids, but I know a lot of people who used it often. It’s obviously a personal choice, but it’s important to know that physical therapists and occupational therapists tend to dislike the Bumbo seat.