A friend of mine with a new baby was asking me what I thought about high chairs and I told her I would write a review on my blog. So here is my definitive opinion on high chairs:
High chairs are incredibly ugly, plastic, huge, expensive, hard to clean, and you only use them for a year or so. Forget it.
Look, I said to my friend. Instead of a high chair, check out this cool chair, made my Stokke:
No, I’m not selling these chairs or getting a commission or anything. I just love when I find something that is well designed, beautiful, and a pleasure to use. This chair is all of those things. So here we go, a full fledged, happy customer, review!
I don’t remember what turned me on to this chair—maybe I found in on amazon while looking at the depressing array of high chairs? However it was, we got one for Sophie when she was about ten months, and we liked it so much we got another one for Luc, when he was eight months.
I know, I know, it says “Use only for children 18 months or older.” This has got to be a legal cover-their-asses-thing, because the chair worked great for both my kiddos from the moment they could sit up. They have never slipped out or fallen, even when they were small. Really, with the buckle buckled and scooted up to the table, they were secure and had no trouble sitting in their chair. And they loved them, loved having their own chair, and loved being a part of the grown-up action.
Here is Sophie, in hers, at about twenty months old. I looked and looked for a picture of her as a littler person, but no luck.
Isn’t she cute with no hair?
You can adjust the chair’s seat, and the foot rest, to best fit your kid’s size at the time. We started out on the tallest settings and have been working our way down the slots as they grow. This system works perfectly, allowing your kid to always be at the perfect height at the table, without pinching their legs underneath. And the foot rest is brilliant because it makes the chair 100% more comfortable for them, and also gives them a place to scramble up, like a ladder.
Here are the two of them, sharing one chair, working at the big table.
And here is Luc at about two years old (I think?) who has fallen asleep in his.
He’s so cute I can hardly stand it.
Okay, Stokke Chair Pros:
*You can use it for a really long time–we’re going on five years with Sophie with no sign of stopping. This is quite unlike high chairs that are done after a year or so of use.
*They are highly adjustable, growing with your kid.
*The footrest makes them very comfortable for the kid, allowing them to sit for a long time and work on projects, or hang out while the grown-ups eat.
*The chair puts the kids right up with the adults, not separate in a high chair, or a smaller table. They love being a part of the action.
*It’s very sturdy. The kids tip them over and build forts with them, climb all over them, bang them all around, and the chairs look great and show no sign of weakening.
*Easy to clean. No nooks and crannies.
*Easy to put together.
*Price! Holy cow, I just looked it up on amazon and it was a freaking $240 bucks! I know we didn’t pay that. I’m thinking, maybe $180—but still. It’s not an economy chair.
*The buckle is incredibly hard to adjust. This is a niggling problem, though.
*I’m straining to think of another con, but I can’t.
Summary: When something can solve so many problems—comfortable kiddos, egalitarian feeling at eating time, kids having their own place that suits them—and last for a very long time, it’s a good investment. Also, given the duration of the chair’s usability, it isn’t exactly fair to compare it to high-chair prices. This is more like a quality piece of furniture that your kid is going to be able to use for years and years. Even at $240, I’d totally say it is worth it. Occasionally, getting the best designed, beautiful, workhorse item is worth paying more upfront than paying for several, partial solutions, over the years.
Bottom line, this is a great chair. Don’t hesitate.