This is a good reason to have Jill along on your shopping trip. You can make sure that her feet touch the ground when she's seated and that she is able to sit down and get up safely and without help.
Check the manufacturer's recommended age range and the maximum height and weight of the child using the chair.
A JPMA Sea (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) ensures that the chair has been tested and meets federal and state safety standards.
Check for sharp edges and the possibility of splinters.
Make sure the chair is sturdy so that it does not tip over. Chairs with outward-pointing legs are especially stable.
It is very unlikely these days to find lead-based or toxic paints used on children's furniture, but if you are buying an older chair (perhaps an antique), please make sure.
Wood is timeless and easily matches any décor. Whether natural or painted, a wood chair has a homey, traditional feel. Look for a scratch-resistant finish.
Vinyl and foam are soft and will not hurt Jack if he falls on it.
Upholstered chairs are very soft and comfortable, but unless the fabric is easy to clean, spills or that runaway crayon may ruin it.
Metal is a durable material and can look very grown-up, but make sure there are no sharp edges.
Plastic is colorful, lightweight and budget friendly, though it may not last as long as other materials.
Early on, a child develops a liking for a particular color. Adding that color to Jill's room is a great way to bring her personality into the décor.
On the other hand, neutral shades, such as ivory or gray, go with everything should you change other elements in the room or should Jack change favorite colors. A new pillow or throw will "dress up" the neutral color.
Bold colors and ornate patterns may be tempting and Jill may insist on them. But you have to stay within reasonable limits. "Hideous" is never in style. And you have to be sure Jill does not outgrow the color and design before she outgrows the chair.
If there are already a variety of patterns in the bedroom, a colorful but monochrome fabric is the better choice. If the room is plain, then the little chair in a lively colorful pattern, such as stripes or polka dots, will give that bedroom a whole new lease on life!
If the chair is going to be against a light wall, choose a dark color; for a dark wall, a light color. The contrast will make the chair pop.
Toddlers love themes and characters. Simply find out which are Jack's favorites - sports, super heroes, rockets. But similarly to bold colors above, you have to make sure his interest is likely to last as long as the chair.
This may be the most difficult part of choosing a chair. There are so many adorable styles: toddler recliners, rocking chairs, arm chairs and bean bags among them. For an efficient shopping trip, have at least a preference when you start out.