Do High Chairs Need A Footrest?

baby boy in a high chair

When you buy a high chair there are some key features to consider; comfort, size, easy to clean, adjustable, to name but a few. However, many don’t even think extra options such as a reclining feature, or having a footrest.

A footrest is really an essential option on high chairs as it allows your baby to sit more comfortably in an upright position and support themselves better.

In this article, let’s take a look at whether you should only be considering high chairs that come with foot rests or whether it’s something you can live without. What are the benefits of having this feature? Are footrests adjustable and how do you attach them? We’ll also take a look at some good options if you’re considering buying a high chair with this feature.

The benefits of a footrest

It turns out that having a footrest has some important advantages in your baby’s development, particularly in developing their fine motor skills.

The idea of eating a meal seems so straightforward to you and I, but to a baby it’s quite a challenge to get used to. Most high chairs are recommended for 6 months plus, but even when they’re this age, it’s still hard for them to sit upright.

Having a footrest ensures they have support, enabling them to sit a lot more comfortably without slipping down, so they can focus on their hands more and get used to shovelling food in their mouths!

A good analogy for adults is to think what it’s like sitting on a bar stool which either doesn’t have a foot rest, or you can’t reach it beneath you. It’s not that comfortable is it? Now imagine being a child sitting like that trying to learn how to eat.

A lot harder isn’t it?

messy child in high chair

Should the footrest be adjustable?

The main problem of footrests is when they are in a fixed position and your child can’t reach it.

It really doesn’t help and it can even make your baby more uncomfortable as they fidget and squirm in their seat trying to put their feet on the footrest, or if they can’t sit in an upright position properly.

If you’re going to buy a high chair, make sure you get one with an adjustable footrest so your child will be more comfortable while eating their food. The high chair will also last longer, catering for your growing baby.

One other consideration with a footrest is that some children may try to push themselves up and out of their seat once their leg muscles are stronger and they can sit up comfortable on their own. Make sure you attach the included safety harness (all high chairs should come with one) so you know your child is secure.

Best high chair with footrests

Here are some great options for high chairs that come with footrests.

How do you attach a footrest to a high chair?

For some high chairs which are footrest-free, you can buy an external one which can attach to your existing high chair. This is ideal if you realise you need this option as you’ve already bought a high chair without one.

The following two products work really well with the IKEA high chair (a fairly popular and affordable option for many parents):

Attaching the Bamboo adjustable highchair footrest

The Bamboo adjustable highchair footrest is basically one solid piece of bamboo with grooves at either end that can slot around the legs of the high chair. Bamboo is very easy to wipe down, which is handy considering all the food stains and spills which will inevitably land on it with regular use!

Here’s a video showing how you can install it.

If you’re in the US, you can buy it here

Installing the Footsi

For a softer, portable option, you might want to check out the Footsi high chair footrest. It comes in 3 colours and attaches to the IKEA Antilop high chair, or other similar ones.

It’s easy to attach and take down, and it’s machine washable.

Here’s a video showing how to attach it to the IKEA high chair

You can also purchase the Footsi as a solid wooden footrest too.

Other features you should consider when buying a high chair

You should definitely consider buying one which can recline as that means you can likely use it from an earlier age. Other important features including being easy to clean and having the option to fold the high chair for easy storage.

Does a high chair need a footrest?

Hopefully it seems fairly conclusive you should consider buying a high chair with a footrest.

If you plan on using your high chair as you baby transitions to a toddler and an older child, you should make sure it is adjustable.

However, make sure you check other features as well, and ensure your child will be able to reach the footrest when you plan on using it in the beginning. Generally it should be fine, but if your baby is on the small side, they may struggle to reach it, even on the highest setting.

do high chairs need a foot rest?
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