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What makes a great high chair? Free for all all opinion post!

(17 Posts)
eeeksoexciting Wed 29-May-13 22:41:10

hi, I am a professional product designer who has just been given the rather fun but daunting brief to design a range of functional furniture for children and I have been looking through the posts here and would love to tap into the wealth of knowledge/experience/opinion you all have!

Basically I am looking for what you value from a high chair, who does it well and why, I am seeing lots of support for the Tripp Trapp and the Antilop, I can see you like them, but where do they fall short, what would be perfect for you?

And dont stop there, I am looking at a range, my theme is "products that grow as you do". I have my own ds and dd and know what it is like to have to keep buying as they get bigger. I guess this is the main attraction of the Tripp Trapp, any thoughts on how this could be applied to other products.

Oh and bouncers, any thoughts on those?! In fact anything you want to share an opinion on - sorry take that back, not really anything, please stick to products you love/hate/would love to see!

racingheart Wed 29-May-13 23:09:44

eekso - I hated Tripp Trapp as a high chair.

The curved front meant they couldn't be tucked in right up against the table, so food went everywhere. I spent hours of my life scrubbing pureed carrots out of the leather strap.

Tripp Trapp are strong and stable - good, and they look OK - not plastic and vile (also good) but I'd have loved them to come with a wipe clean tray that was actually slightly higher than a kitchen table (adjustable maybe?) so the tray could slide over the tabletop when the chair is tucked in and the child can truly join in the family meal, but without food going everywhere.

eeeksoexciting Mon 10-Jun-13 22:21:23

hi racingheart, thanks for your post, I know what you mean about scrubbing straps, the fabric ones on the chair we used became quite noxious as they were difficult to clean.
I like your thinking about getting the table to slide over the family table, I will definitely have a look at that.

TaperJeanGirl Mon 10-Jun-13 23:01:24

We have the antilop, its pretty good, but I always think the same for every highchair we have ever had....WHY is the lip round the edge of the tray not higher? It would stop plate/food being pushed over the edge by accident.....

rhetorician Mon 10-Jun-13 23:03:44

Antilop has done two children. Agree about tray fitting over table. Something that is easy to take apart and transport (big tick for antilop), and easy to clean.

allinatizz Mon 10-Jun-13 23:05:53

My gripe is escapable harnesses.

Love the Antilop but we had to attach a better harness as DD just climbs out of the inadequate lap-belt.

I definitely like high-chairs that enable children to sit at the family table. We have a Handy-Sitt which was originally designed for the catering trade (I think?) and that's good but again we have harness problems (as DD is an escapologist!)

The ones I DON'T like are often the ones in restaurants / pubs which are just a solid block of wood - again the problem is not so much the chair itself, as long as it meets the table properly, but the harnesses. DD almost went head first onto a flagstone floor in a pub, DH caught her, but we'd forgotten to take our harness with us.

FattyMcChubster Mon 10-Jun-13 23:06:50

Something easy to clean. No nooks/crannies anywhere. Anyway to keep them safely in without straps? We have the brother max scoop which is almost perfect. Love that I can whip dc out literally in a second if there's any choking issues.

KittyPryde Mon 10-Jun-13 23:13:12

Easy to clean. Seriously, I read these things before we bought ours, thought "meh, how hard can it be?" VERY FUCKING HARD. The one we got was a mothercare one, no idea on name. Blue with rockets on. Nice and padded and comfy, removable tray, folds flat, little basket underneath. A bastard to clean. You don't realise how many nooks and crannies these things have. And with the greatest will in the world you can't always clean it straight after use. Oh and you can't remove the straps to wash them so you have to just wipe them, which does fuck all. Ds has been using a little table a and chair for a few months now and the bastard highchair is folded up in the utility room. Antilop next time. No question.

KittyPryde Mon 10-Jun-13 23:14:51

You probably do realise how many nooks and crannies they have, on reflection. I didn't though.

allagory Mon 10-Jun-13 23:27:57

I bought my highchair because:
1) It tipped back so was suitable for younger babies 2) It had a basket to keep all the bibs underneath 3) Padded and comfortable looking 4) Secure 5 point harness 5) very sturdy and well balanced 6) put son at dining table height
It had several drawbacks:
1) It was bloody enormous and it took up half the kitchen 2) the metal bits rusted and plastic cushions started to flake in the 5 years it took us to conceive DS #2 3) too many surfaces that collected food yuck 4) it weighed a ton 5) we never used the 2nd tray or the 2 heights it boasted of 6) DS learned how to push off the table with his feet and half tip the chair over..even though it weighed a ton 7) DS liked to kick the underside of the table very loudly and repeatedly..

Startail Mon 10-Jun-13 23:31:24

being easy to clean, with an effective washable harness, that is easy to remove.

Same for car seats, DDs was an absolue pita to get apart when she was sick all over it.

TheYamiOfYawn Mon 10-Jun-13 23:38:10

Easy to clean, stable, straps that be take. off and put in the washing machine, can pull up to the table, can be dismantled/folded up easy for transport/storage between children. Attractive, functional looks, not all covered in padding with a busy design. Adjustable footrest.

BadRoly Mon 10-Jun-13 23:44:20

We had an antilop for all 4dc. Only complaint was the inadequate strap. I liked that the tray was the same height as the table! It meant when they were a little older, the seat was at table height and the tray could go.

I would agree that my priority was ease of cleaning - my sil had a very expensive mamas and papas high chair with all sorts of nooks and crannies, folds and creases and a harness that couldn't be removed. By the time we were visiting with dc4 - the 7th child to go in the chair, it was grim!

The only real disadvantage with the antilop is storage - but never having had a fold up chair, I don't know how often you would fold it up and put it away.

eeeksoexciting Mon 01-Jul-13 21:01:46

Wow, have just come back from hols and not only is the sun shining in the UK but all these posts! Thanks everyone. Lots of great information!
To try to summarise the main points you are making

1. No dirt traps - I get the reason for that! and ditto the car seats, this is not a nice lounge sofa that you might loose some small change down, feeding time at the zoo can be carnage! Will definitely include this one!

2. Secure harness - allinatizz I think I have seen the ones you mean, just some random straps to try and secure someone who doesnt want to be secured and really doesnt get why it is for their own good! I havent yet checked, but surely there should be some kind of standard to make sure that putting DC 3 feet in the air is safe
Would a no harness option be a good thing or would you not feel you would trust it? Fattymc, will have to check out the one you refer to as I am not familiar with it.

3. Easy clean harness - I am getting that this is not just easy to wipe but able to chuck in the washing machine or into a bowl of milton, tomato puree and porridge can be pretty stubborn I guess and it all makes a great germ nursery.

4. Stable without being a trip hazard - could be tricky this one as the wider the base is the more stable it will be, it is all about angles though so leave that one with me!

5. Height adjust, particularly to get the tray over the family table - I am a huge believer in family mealtimes so this seems a great idea to me.
Adjustable footrest has come up, what about variable support for small children who can only just sit up then more freedom as they get better core stability?

6. Deeper tray rim - seems logical to me, what about zones that baby can reach and zones they cant so they dont chuck it all on the floor at once?

7. Good for DC 1, 2, 3 ..... So needs to be robust and I guess easy to pack in the loft whilst waiting for the next!

8. Basket for bibs - hadnt even thought about this one, but yep seems like a good one

What about if the harness was a bib, so the food facing side of things was all one piece, maybe linked into the tray so stopping you having to fish half munched crackers and rice cakes out from their lap. Thinking aloud, maybe this could all come off with the tray so you just fold it up around whatever hasnt been thrown on the floor and sling in the sink for later!

Right now off to work on it! Anything I have missed then let me know!

MyNameIsSuz Mon 01-Jul-13 21:13:01

I have the Mamas & Papas Pixi, and love it for several reasons -
- it's easy to clean as it has no padded bits
- it folds up really really small and fits behind a door
- it looks quite nice
- the harness is very secure, and the tray has a sturdy post in between the legs so you can unstrap without worrying about the baby sliding out the bottom
- and something I don't think has been mentioned yet - it's really easy to put up and down. We don't have anywhere to keep it up (tiny kitchen and no dining room/area, so has to go in the middle of the living room when in use) so I have to get it out and put it away 3 times a day. You just push a button to release the tray, then pull up a handle underneath and the whole thing folds in half. I'm quite cackhanded, so this appeals.

About the basket for bibs, I disagree about this and am glad we don't have one. DS is currently going through a phase of cramming too much in his mouth (hiding it in his cheeks) and then vomiting it back out, which would make for a nasty mess if we had anything underneath. As it is, I just have to wipe the seat and the plastic mat I stand it on.

eeeksoexciting Mon 01-Jul-13 21:24:10

cool, thanks for the extra info here, I am getting a few more features that might be useful.

Easy to get up and down and KNOW it is secure - whilst holding child + balancing plate of food
Fold flat - maybe so it can hang on the back of a door? sort of like an ironing board can?
What about having a plastic under mat option - how big would that need to be?

For the bib basket, I had the same thought about putting it underneath, but maybe a pocket at the back of the chair?

Sweetsandchocolate Thu 05-Sep-13 23:37:49

Eek have you seen the BabyBjorn highchair? That seems to have everything people want (except low price!)

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