Help! Our High Chair is the Pits.

Chris picked out our high chair.  I generally make all the babe-related decisions but the high chair was up to him and I thought he made a great decision at the time. Both of us agreed that the sleek black leather seat resting on metal legs looked cool and was a perfect fit for our modern New York City apartment. We also loved that you could dismantle the seat and run it through the dishwasher. “Brilliant!” we thought. Bug is a messy, messy kid. We couldn’t wait for it to arrive. We just assumed it would work well. I mean, how can you screw a high chair up? Easily, we later found out.

A high chair with a detachable seat is a great idea — if it works. I tried all last week to detach the seat without any luck. Chris finally pried it loose and ran it through the dishwasher, but for 40 minutes last night he was on his knees with pliers, swearing, because he couldn’t get the seat back in place. At 11:02 p.m. he informed me that he had used my meat thermometer to hold the seat in place since the strap that’s supposed to do the job wouldn’t fit back through the slot. Um, not so fast cowboy. I tried to get that strap into place and sliced my hand with the pliers. As Chris was pouring hydrogen peroxide over my cut, we agreed that a sharp object wasn’t the answer to this problem. We used packing tape instead.

Another issue? The distance between the tray and the back of the seat is so roomy that Mason will probably still fit into this high chair when he’s five years old. Perhaps we’d be grateful for that versatility if he were older but now Mason can twist around (even when belted in) and sometimes pull himself into standing (above). Bug loves standing in his high chair but it terrifies us, which means he can’t be in it without one of us hovering over him the entire time. Not cool, especially if there’s only one of us there when mealtime rolls around.

I’m not going to say which brand of high chair we have. It just wouldn’t be fair. Perhaps we just got a defective one or maybe we’re the only ones who can’t figure it out. But it goes without saying that we need a new high chair, and I’d love your advice on one that could be a more serendipitous match for us. Which kind of high chair do you have? Do you like it? Why?

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  1. by Ann

    On August 15, 2011 at 10:26 am

    We first had a hand me down wooden Eddie Bauer high chair. Thought is was nice, matched our Victorian home and all the stuff you think about high chairs before you actually use one. Fast forward a few months and found out it was totally impractical. The strap could only hold a baby who was able to sit without slouching. The tray was so huge you our son was barely visible and the chair was HARD wood. We ended up trading it to my mother in law for the hand me down Evenflo chair she had. It was much better, softer, smaller tray, seat-belt that worked right and wheels so he can be rolled from kitchen to dining room. However after reading your story and looking at it, I fear for the day the boy can pull himself up.

  2. by Berit

    On August 15, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Isn’t it amazing, all the choices? We didn’t want a hunk of plastic taking up valuable real estate, so we went with the Handysitt: http://www.minuihandysitt.com/products/handysitt

    It hooks onto the back of any chair to turn it into a high chair and can tuck out of sight if need be. It’s also portable enough for the restaurant or road trips. Only drawback, if you see it as such, is no tray. We just use those plastic suction-cup mats directly on the table.

    Works for us, anyway…

    (we have a clip-on seat for our kitchen island, too, which is pretty much the same concept)

  3. by Lindsay

    On August 16, 2011 at 9:36 am

    We went with The First Years Newborn-to-Toddler reclining feeding seat. LOVE IT! Bought another one when my son was born because my 3 year old daughter was still using hers as a booster seat. Works great with the tray as a high chair or without the tray as a booster seat for the dining table. The reclining feature is great for newborns as well. I use to set it on the kitchen island, recline it, and set them in their when they were really little so they had some interaction and stimulation while I was making dinner. And the best part is that they only cost $30-$40.

  4. by Dina

    On August 17, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Boon Flair.

    Awsome. One piece of plastic seat, with a foam cushion. Seriously, the easiet chair to clean. No nooks and crannies for food to sneak into bec it is rounded. My 10 month old loves it, and so does my three year old. Oh, and did I mention – hydraulic lift, no stupid push pin holes. Oh, and no stupid kid fabric, so it goes with a modern aesthetic.

    On the negatives – it does have a big base, so not great for small spaces.

  5. by Em

    On August 18, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Oh my gosh-we have the BOON high chair. It’s a little pricey, so maybe not the way to go. It’s awesome: it has the aero lift thinger, so you can raise it up and let it down, it rolls, it has NO CORNERS OR CREASES-the whole thing is unbelieveable smooth and seamless so NO food gets stuck in corners. It comes with a removeable foam padding that you can stick in the sink and wipe off. The tray comes with a plastic cover that you can run through the dishwasher. And it comes with a full harness style seat belt thing that goes over the shoulders, and there are two slots for the tray to attach in so you can have it closer to the child or further away. I love lvoe it, and it’s sturdy and roomy enough that my 3 year old sitll fits fine in it, but it can support babies under 1 as well.

  6. by Audra

    On August 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Graco Blossom 4-in-1 it’s the best highchair ever

  7. by Monica

    On August 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I agree with Audra. Graco Blossom 4-in-1 is a great highchair. The one we bought is a light tan color which blends in with any decor. We did not want crazy bright colored print that would become dated in a short time. We have been using this high chair since our son was 6 months old and he is almost 2 now. I really like the 5-point harness for keeping him in the chair. It came with extra cushion to use for infants who need more support. Not a lot of nooks and crannies for food to hide in so it is very easy to clean. Just wipe the chair down. Tray has a removable top that can go in the dishwasher although I have never bothered. Just as easy to wash by hand. Adjustable footrest makes it more comfortable for him. It also has wheels which makes it very convenient to move from room to room. Not sure if that is something you need but we switch between dining room and kitchen for meals. He also sits in the high chair to color, watch me cook, etc so it seems to be comfortable for him and easy enough for us to move around. I highly recommend it. We did a lot of research before we bought it and this one seemed to be one of the easiest to clean, was neutral in appearance, and would grow with our son.

  8. by Dina

    On August 23, 2011 at 7:59 am

    The Stokke Tripp Trapp!

    we absolutely love the design, it is made of wood (instead of horrid plastic), there’s choice of many different colors, it is very safe and easy to clean, and the best: it ‘grows with the child’, so he’ll still be able to use it (as a chair or stool) when he’s 4, 9 or even 15 years old!