I had quite a lot of fun, and also a fair bit of stress, choosing our highchair. It’s one of those momentous purchases. The time when your little baby starts moves on to solids and starts to become a messy food machine.
The choices are baffling and in honesty I’m not going to say I’m an expert on this matter but we thought it would be useful to share what a few of the team purchased and how they found them. Believe me, there is a lot you would never consider about such a simple piece of kit.
When it came to choosing Molly’s highchair five years ago I desperately wanted a Stokke Trip Trapp but wasn’t sure how suited it was to a little baby (silly me) or the Bloom Fresco. That egg shaped trendy number that seemed to be everywhere back then. But blimey, the price. I spent hours scouring Ebay to find a good one that wasn’t too far away. My quest failed and actually I am quite glad. They were still super spendy even second hand and when my sister in law secured one (she is a demon ebayer) I actually realised it was quite large as the base is so big it took up a lot of floor space. I now wish I hadn’t been so short sighted and had opted for the Stokke instead for all the reasons Lolly gives below.
Instead I opted for the Bloom Nano which is a foldy version in a more traditional highchair style and I got it on an offer for around £60. I liked the styling of it and the fun colours it came in. We opted for lime green for some random reason but in truth it did hide the multitude of food splatters! It was incredibly sturdy and I always felt the girls were secure in it. It is quite roomy so I bought the baby insert cushion for it to help keep them secure when they were smaller. The one downside was I couldn’t tilt it back when they were tiny so they were quite upright. It had good straps to keep them secure and nice padding on them so I always felt they were comfy. The tray was really big which was great once they started feeding themselves as it meant there was less risk of bowls flying off and most splatters ended up on there and not on the floor. In retrospect it was perhaps a little larger than I planned as it did take up a sizeable amount of space. That said it folded really flat so if I did ever need to put it away I could. I wish I had perhaps gone for something more simple like the Stokke but hindsight is a fine thing. I never was very good at thinking long term.
When we first started weaning the girls we also used the Bumbo with a little tray. I would pop it on the floor or on the table in front of me whilst I fed them. I only ever did this when I was sat by them as I know there are all manner of safety issues with leaving them unattended in the Bumbo. It worked well for us although Alice only managed to stay in it for a few weeks. Lets just say she had rather chunky thighs and tended to get stuck!
We have the Ikea Antilop one that EVERYBODY has – bought purely because of one of Charlotte’s post on RMS about buying one for Mabel. I love it because it’s so easy to clean, easy to transport and cheap. Only £13. The whole thing comes apart, the legs, the seat and the tray. Plus it’s very minimal looking and goes with our kitchen colour scheme (!) I wouldn’t bother buying the cushion that comes with it, as it just gets SO filthy, you end up washing it everyday. A towel or some muslins rolled up to support your baby would be fine, and they soon grow out of needing the cushion anyway! We love it, and I think 99% of my Mummy friends have the same one.
I purchased the Stokke Steps highchair with the walnut legs (although it does come with light Birch wood legs too) and have loved it ever since we first started using it with Hector aged 5 1/2 months. It’s been a godsend in so many ways and I’m really glad that we chose to outlay what was quite a substantial amount for a chair that was no doubt going to be trashed within an inch of its life.
Both Ste and I were keen on a highchair that was sturdy and that was attractive to look at, after all we knew it was going to be a permanent resident in our kitchen for the next few years at least with not only Hector but with any other kiddies that might make their way onto the scene. The concept of the highchair is that it essentially grows with the child, from secure highchair to essentially a chair that is high for children aged up to ten years old.
The chair is the main component of the system and comes with a variety of accessories that allow it to be used in different ways. It can be used as a support for the Stokke Steps bouncer (sold separately), allowing you to raise your little one off the floor and join you by the table when you’re eating. As they get older the Steps Babyset can be used to help them sit at the dinner table with you; the Babyset has a height adjustable backrest to keep your baby properly supported and includes a 5 point harness for safety complete with soft padded cushion and large tray that clips on and off for easy cleaning. This was especially useful during weaning! Lastly when Hector gets older still, the highchair insert can be removed so that the Steps system goes back to a basic chair without any restraints. There’s also a footrest that can be easily adjusted and is perfect for helping a more independent toddler to step on and off when they climb in and out of the chair.
So far so good. It still looks brand new and the cushion padding can be easily stripped off and chucked into the washing machine whenever it looks a bit grubby. I can definitely see it staying with us for many years to come and I’m know my sisters have their eye on it for when we no longer need it. I’m really pleased that we decided to spend a little more initially because it’s been worth every penny from a practicality as well as a style perspective and I’d definitely go back and make the same decision again.
What highchair have you chosen? Any particular ones you have your eye on?
Cover image by Anna Clarke Photography.