Things I Wish I’d Known: Highchairs

This is the third post in my Things I Wish I Had Known Series, where I am sharing some of the things that I have learned on my parenting journey which would have been helpful to know before giving birth to Ellie.

I Wish I Had Known that fancy shmancy highchairs with all the bells and whistles aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

James and I researched, we contemplated, we made lists of the top contenders with the right colour schemes, multiple height positions (we had five), the ability to recline, lockable wheels on the legs, five point safety harness… The best and safest was what we searched for and what we bought.

Cute as a button, safe as houses, foldable, adjustable.


When you have a child like Kahlei you quickly learn that a highchair with all the bells and whistles also has a whole lot of nooks and crannies in which to push your grapes, smoosh your unwanted veges and hide saltanas.

As a busy Mumma I didn’t realise at first the mess she was truly making. I would wipe it down, wash the cover and wipe out the seat but soon enough it became apparent that there was some mess I had missed.

Soon enough I was taking the chair out for a hosing weekly, toothbrush in hand to clean all the hard to reach places, which were numerous.

Even with deep cleaning, our lovely you-beaut highchair started to look worse for wear and during winter became a real pain. A wash wouldn’t dry in time. Or it would rain for weeks on end. With two young children and eventually another on the way it was too much.

When I fell pregnant with Jasper I decided that enough was enough and our expensive do-everything highchair was replaced with a simple, easy clean Ikea option – which I distinctly recall dismissing in the very beginning.

It does nothing special. In fact, there isn’t even a try attached (though we could buy one if we needed). The strap is a simple one, which was my biggest concern with this choice. However, a highchair is not meant to be a place we leave baby, so I am OK with that now. I take the necessary precautions and it doesn’t take me hours to clean the thing. Win.

Have you bought a super-dooper baby necessity only to discover life would have been much easier with the simple option?


 Interested in what else I wish I had known?

Part One: Parenting Books
Part Two: Parenting Philosophies
Part Three: Highchairs

Part Four: Routines


  1. Ahh yes.. when we were looking for a high chair for our boy, we made sure we picked the easiest one without many hidey places or nooks.. they still find them though! hehehehe

    – tork

    • You had it right from the start and you’re so right – they can find somewhere to put the mess even if you think there’s nowhere they possibly could!

  2. I just went for the Fisher Price booster, attached it onto a dining chair, took it everywhere and didn’t need to find space for it… oh and the tray disconnected and went straight in the dishwasher!!!

    • Clever girl! I love that you could put the tray in the dishwasher, that is genius.

  3. I had the same problem with highchairs,picked the fancy ones with no thought put into how it would clean up,I went through two with my first child till I finally got it right on the second child!
    And I agree on the ikea one,so simple to clean!

  4. I was lucky with our highchair, we got given one, it was a childcare one, with a pole in the middle of the seat, (babys can’t slip out then) and it also meant that you didnt have to strap them in all the time to stop them slipping out. It was pretty easy to clean too….

    I have also deceided that “designers” of baby clothes need to practice puting their garments on babies, because most of the time they are too dam hard…. A big example is those so called “BONDS EASY SUITS” how you get a baby in those is beyond me! Don’t buy them a huge waste of money, stick to the basics in the begining. Last gripe is hoodies, sometimes they are ok, but they never stay on the babies head and you have to take them off all the time when you put them to bed incase they accidently strangle themselves…

  5. Ok, I admit it, I have a highchair with two insets, it moves to seven different heights, it plays a number of different songs and…yes, AND it actually turns into a swing too.

    Farewell 500 smackers.

    I had to hose it. It will not do anything for you other than give you more cleaning to do.

  6. Could not agree with you more! We bought a highchair for my first too, it VERY quickly got put in the garage and then sent to the dump. You see, he had muscular and gag issues and he was a puker. Meal times often resulted in more coming out than what went in. It was not pretty and those highchairs are impossible to clean, I completely agree with you. We either fed him in his 100% washable bouncer or in one of those little Fisher-Price seat highchairs that you strap to a regular dining chair. So much easier! I also tell my pregnant and new mum friends not to bother with fancy pants highchairs, there’s just no point.

  7. Yup, we found the same thing. I wanted one of those white jobbies from Ikea, but we never ended up near there to pick one up so I bought a fancy one second hand and took the liner out. It’s not particularly pretty, but there are no more mouldy messes.


  1. Things I Wish I Had Known: Parenting Philosophies | Becky and James - [...] One: Parenting Books Part Two: Parenting Philosophies ← Part Three: Highchairs Part Four: [...]
  2. Things I Wish I Had Known: Routines | Becky and James - [...] One: Parenting Books Part Two: Parenting Philosophies Part Three: Highchairs Part Four: Routines [...]

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