by Andrea Sparks
When your baby starts eating solid foods, it's time to invest in a high chair or booster seat. The question is, which is better for you and your baby? High chairs and booster seats are both useful when it comes time to feed your baby. Many parents prefer the traditional high chair, while others like the space-saving aspects of a booster seat. You may find yourself leaning towards one, the other or even both for feeding baby. The following tips can help you decide whether a high chair or a booster seat will best fit your needs and lifestyle.
Dining space: If you have limited space, a booster seat may be ideal for you. Booster seats can be attached to a chair at your dinner table, and some booster seats even attach directly to a table or counter. High chairs typically take up more space, especially floor space, but compact models are available, making high chairs easier to work with in tight spaces. When you're debating between a high chair and a booster seat, consider the size and layout of your kitchen or dining room, then decide which will work best for your space.
Age of your baby: High chairs are typically designed for babies to early toddlers. While booster seats can usually accommodate younger children, they are particularly useful when you have a toddler. Your child will eventually outgrow the high chair, or become active enough that he'll want to stand up and climb out of it. A booster seat attaches to a dining chair, making it sturdy and lower to the ground than a high chair. You'll want to consider the age and activity level of your child when you're looking at high chairs and booster chairs.
Storage: Typically, the smaller something is, the easier it is to store. This can be true with high chairs and booster seats as well, though not necessarily. While booster seats are smaller and more compact, most high chairs fold up for easy storage as well. Many parents also choose to leave the high chair out all the time and use a booster seat for dinners at relatives' homes or restaurants.
Portability:If you're thinking of taking your baby with you when you dine out, or simply need an extra seat at Grandma's house, a booster seat is an easy, convenient choice. Booster seats pack up nicely and set up easily when you reach your destination. Many parents still prefer traditional high chairs to booster seats, though. Lightweight, foldable high chairs can be just as easy to pack up as booster seats.