Sunday, April 10, 2011

the (high)chair dileimma


So we were pretty adamant about not having a highchair. Then we tried to feed Hudson in the Bumbo seat and tray I had scored off of Park Slope Parents classifieds for $15, but it wasn't pleasant. Hudson was not a big fan. He kept trying to twist out of the seat (I don't think the leg holes were big enough for his thunder thighs) or arch his back to make an escape. I ended up re-selling it for a $5 profit. Then we tried the Bjorn chair which worked pretty well except that Hudson kept leaning forward to get closer to the food which resulted in a mess as it doesn't have a tray. The pediatrician had recommended the bouncer seat as it provides head support (the Bumbo does not), so we were on the market for a high chair.

I will concede that the nicest highchair on the market is the Stokke Trip Trapp. Made of solid wood and available in a variety of stains and paint colors, you buy one chair and it lasts until your child sits in your own dining chairs. At $230, it is not cheap, and that does not include the infant seat, the cushion or the tray (all of those add another $180!). One benefit is it is another chair at your table, so you don't need the intermediate booster seat (or phone book!) when your child is in between the highchair and dining chair size. That benefit, actually doesn't help us as Hudson's crib is in our 'dining' area and we don't have room for another chair at our table. We need a high chair that folds flat for easy storage or that was a booster seat. The chair even with the infant adapter, like the Bumbo, does not offer head support. The search was on!

I had thought we were going to get this Fisher price booster seat, but our dining chairs (from Yankee stadium, but that is another story...) really aren't conducive to the seat  as they are cantilevered, have metal arms and tilt back slightly. The things that I liked about the fisher price seat was that there was a removable tray that actually fit in the dishwasher.

Our criteria was as follows:
1. Must fold easily and quickly, to something small enough that is easily stored.
2. Must be safe (5 point harness, high back for head support) and easy to get Hudson in an out of
3. Removable tray that fit in the dishwasher
4. Flexible enough to work until Hudson is big enough to sit on a small booster (or book!)
4. Preferably not too ugly!

I had narrowed down the search to three options (listed in order of favored appearance):

Bloom Nano 

Valco Baby Astro 

 Joovy Nook

The Bloom Nano was pretty, but the reviews were not good. The baby was tilted away from the tray, it is hard to clean, the tray 'takes three hands to operate' and it was the priciest one of the bunch. The Valco Baby Astro has a cool fold (it collapses), but the tray is not dishwasher safe and the leg holes were small which could limit use for an older child. was a really helpful, as they had video reviews of the Astro & the Nook the high chairs. 

Ultimately we ended up with the least expensive(!) Joovy Nook as it is an easy compact fold which can be done with one hand, the tray swings open (operation again with one hand) and it has a removable dishwasher safe tray. We went with the white 'leatherette' as the reviews said that it was easier to care for than the fabric. The only 'con' is that the baby sits a bit far from the tray, but it is closer than the Nano, and this is easily remedied witha folded up blanket. We are happy with our decision, as is Hudson! He *loves* to eat!

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