There use to be just one type of high chair. It was a small chair on long legs that had a removable metal tray. Many families had just one of these that they used for all children, and even some grandchildren. They lasted through all of this because they were built to last. Today, you can still get the same style, but it is mostly made of plastic and may not make it through one kid, let alone your grandchildren. You may still find a metal one, but you may have to do some serious searching to get one. Now that you have more options, think about something sturdy like the restaurant high chair when your child is old enough to use one.
The restaurant high chair does not usually have a tray on it. It is made so that your child can sit in it comfortably at a table with the rest of the family. As you may have guessed, this is not for the child that is just learning to eat on their own. It is for the child with stable neck and head control, and that can feed themselves at least to some point. Younger babies will fall out of these or could get hurt if they let their head drop towards the table or even part of the high chair.
If you decide to go with this, make sure your restaurant high chair has straps that hold the baby in the chair. It would be very easy for your child to go head first right out of it if they are not strapped in. Babies are top heavy, and these chairs (if you buy the right ones) are made of wood. If your baby goes out of it head first, they will not only hit their head on the floor, they may hit it on hard wood on the way down. Straps should be non-negotiable when buying these chairs, or even using them in restaurants.
There are some great benefits to finding and using the style of restaurant high chair that you probably use when you go out to dinner as a family. For one thing, they are very easy to clean up. For the most part, you can use a mild detergent to wipe the entire thing down when you need to. You don’t have to worry about the tray because there is no tray. You can get a fabric cushion for the chair, just make sure it is easy to remove so that you can just throw it into the washing machine when it needs a cleaning, which can be every day with some tots learning table manners.
This is also much easier to take with you when you go visit family and friends. The restaurant high chair is easier to use anywhere because it takes up so little space when at a table. This gives your child a chance to sit with the rest of the family on holidays when they would normally be away from the table. This teaches them that family is important and that they are part of the love they see around them. Just make sure you can get these into your vehicle or you won’t be able to take it with you, making it necessary to buy something else for traveling with your toddler.