I’m really grateful to have a high chair. Babies and toddlers can be so messy, and a high chair not only gives them a safe and comfortable place to sit, but it also contains the mess. (Somewhat. I mean, please. I do have little boys around here.) I have been using the same plastic Graco high chair for eight years – the same one I got at my baby shower. I am thankful for it.
However, I have a few beefs with this high chair. First of all, it has a cloth cover. Cloth. Can I tell you how many times a week I should realistically wash this cloth cover? At least seven. Multiply that by 52 weeks in a year, and multiply that by eight years, and you have nearly 3000. I don’t know many cloth covers that could with stand that kind of washing, even with the drip drying I do, so I have kindly spared the dear cover by only washing it when it gets so dirty that it threatens to walk itself downstairs and throw itself into the washing machine. (Ahem.) I’m thoughtful like that.
Second, underneath the cloth cover, there is a vinyl padded cushion with lots of cracks and crevices. So the crumbs not only get stuck in the cloth cover, but they also get stuck in the various hiding places in the seat pad. AND, they also slide underneath the seat cushion and hide there, on the plastic base. So I have not one, not two, but three surfaces to de-crumb and de-gunk and de-stain every time I want to clean the high chair (which is about three times a day, give or take a meal or snack). I usually need to vacuum each layer of the chair, then take a washcloth and wipe every layer down, including the two trays and foot rests.
Third, it is plastic. I didn’t have the same wooden high chair options when I was registering for my high chair nine years ago; the only ones available were in specialty stores, and expensive, if I could even find them. I really don’t like the aesthetics of a huge plastic high chair, but I can get over that. More than that, I don’t like my kids eating from a plastic tray. We don’t use any plastic for dishes or cups or cooking or utensils, either. I usually give the kid their food on a glass plate on top of the tray.
Well then, you ask, why didn’t you save up for a new high chair years ago? You’re going to complain about this now, after four babies? Please. And you’re completely right. That’s why I started with my thankfulness to even have a high chair at all, as I know that there are plenty of babies around the world who eat on their mother’s laps (and mine do, too, on a regular basis). I am thankful to have the option to have my arms free to assist my other three children, if needed, and to use my lap only when it’s convenient. I like having a safe place to plop the baby, buckle him in, and hand him a toy or a safe snack to allow myself a few minutes to homeschool or take a toddler to the potty. Really, it’s so handy.
But those negatives about my high chair? Are biggies. I really, really, really dislike my high chair. I probably should have bought a new one years ago, or looked for a solid vintage wooden model at a thrift store, but I never did. Let’s be real: I’m cheap. I like to use what I have, and if what I have works okay, I’m not likely to replace it unless it’s a health hazard or not functional in my life situation. The high chair technically works, so I haven’t replaced it.
But. I would totally love to replace it with one of these babies:
I have many friends with this chair, and it’s pretty awesome. Both the seat and the footrest are adjustable, ensuring that your little one’s legs are never left dangling. The wood is, obviously, very wipeable (no cover to wash!). It has a small footprint, and tucks right up underneath your table, such that your dining table becomes your kid’s tray. One less thing to wipe! And it supports up to 300 pounds, so most adults can use this as a chair, as well. I’ve read and heard such rave reviews that I’d like one for all of my little kids, to elevate them to the proper height at the table for eating, artwork, schoolwork, etc.
For now, I am making myself be content with the high chair we have. At $250, the Stokke Tripp Trapp is not in our budget right now. But maybe someday.
What about you? Do you like your high chair? Do you have a Stokke? Tell me about it.