I am currently using this high chair for my chunky 8 month old little boy. My husband and I had our hearts set on a wooden high chair so that it would match the décor in our living room, and this really does look lovely.
Unfortunately, the straps are in an awkward position and no matter how I adjust them, through the course of his meal, my son slips forward into an almost lying position. I have to pull him back up to sitting several times and inevitably food then gets everywhere! There is plenty of room on the tray, and it is easy to clean, although I have found that the varnish has worn away after a few months use.
Overall, I think that this would be a great chair for an older baby or toddler, but even though my son is a good size and can sit unaided, it is not supportive enough for a child under 12 months as there is no seat moulding to prevent slippage.
I knew before my son was even born that I wanted an attractive wooden highchair after seeing a friend's, so when my parents asked what they could buy our son for his first Christmas I did some research before suggesting the East Coast Combination Wooden Highchair. I liked this particular chair because it could be used as both a highchair and a table and chair.
- The Highchair -
There are three main parts to this highchair: a chair, a table and a tray. Each part is made from lacquered rubberwood which feels very solid and durable. It also has an attractive satin finish and is wipe clean. Attached to the chair is a cream five point harness.
For use as a highchair you stand the table on one end and slide the chair into place on top. You then decide whether to attach the tray or simply put the chair at a regular dining table. It might sound precarious that the chair is merely slid on top of the table but it is very sturdy. It is very easy to do and there are no fiddly parts to worry about. You really can't go wrong. The tray is also very easy to attach and lock into place. It slides onto the arms of the chair so if you are putting the tray on with the child already in the seat, you just need to make sure their fingers aren't going to get in the way. We have usually used the highchair with the tray but it is nice to have the option of removing it so that the child can be sat at the table when having family meals.
The chair can then be removed from the table to use as a separate chair and table on the floor. This is great for toddlers as it is the ideal size for them to use for meal times or play.
- Everyday Use -
We started using this chair when my son was six months old. We realised straight away that it really wasn't a good fit for him. He slouched down too much as the piece of the harness that was between his legs was right at the front of the seat but having the harness tightly secured at the top meant that the top half of his body was pushed right to the back of the seat. This resulted in a very uncomfortable laid back position, made even more uncomfortable as the seat is made from a hard wood. This was far from ideal when trying to encourage feeding in a newly weaned baby. However, after looking for a solution online I found an insert for this highchair on Amazon. This made my son a little more comfortable but the chair still wasn't a good fit for his skinny body. Because of this we tended to use our Ikea Antilop highchair until my son was about one and it fitted better. Generally it is easy to use. The harness is simple enough and it is easy to assemble the highchair, attach the tray and clean it after use. The tray is a good size and will easily fit a plate, bowl, cup and cutlery.
Now my son is two and a half we mostly use it as a table and chair. We tend to all eat together at the dining table but sometimes we will use it for his lunch, which he loves. We also use it for creative activities such as painting, drawing and play dough. We have another little wooden chair which we use if my son has a friend to play so they can both sit at the little table. I think we have actually had more use out of the chair as a table and chair rather than a highchair.
- Comfort -
As I have said, my son was really uncomfortable in this chair unless we used the insert and even then it wasn't a good fit until he was one year old as he was quite a skinny baby. When he was a little older we used the chair without the insert and although my son didn't complain of being uncomfortable, as it is made from hard wood, I don't think it is the most comfortable seat.
- On the Go -
I really wouldn't recommend taking this highchair anywhere. It is definitely a just at home highchair as it is heavy, bulky and doesn't fold. We bought the Ikea Antilop highchair which is very lightweight and easy to take apart, this is much better suited to transporting around.
- Cleaning -
This chair is easy to wipe clean as it doesn't have nooks and crannies like some highchairs do. However, if you are using the insert this can easily become dirty and need a run in the washing machine. It then needs to be dried which can leave you a bit stuck if you find the insert is essential for your baby.
- Safety -
I think this is a very safe highchair. It is very sturdy so there is no danger of it collapsing or being knocked over. The five point harness ensures that the child is well secured into the chair and there is no danger of them escaping. The only downside of this is that you can't whip a small child out easily in the event of a choking incident. This wasn't a big problem for us as we barely used it until my son was one year old and by then he was able to chew and swallow his food much more easily. But perhaps this is another reason not to use this chair for younger babies.
- Age Range -
I can't find any information on an age recommendation for this highchair. For us it wasn't really suitable until my son was one year old and obviously a highchair is usually needed from six months if not younger. This is another reason to not have this chair as your only highchair. On the plus side the chair can be used long past the usual highchair using age as it can be used as a separate table and chair.
- Price and Availability -
The highchair was bought by my parents and I believe they bought it from John Lewis for £70. We paid £12.99 for the insert. I think this is reasonable given the quality of the highchair and that it has two uses. Our second highchair only cost £14 which is considerably cheaper but I think £97 in total for two highchairs which between them have suited us well isn't too bad.
- Would I Recommend? -
I'm not sure whether to recommend this highchair or not. I think it isn't suitable for skinny babies under one year or as a highchair to travel with so for us it wasn't suitable to have this as our only highchair. However, it is a lovely chair which is safe, easy to use and has a brilliant second use as a table and chair. I don't regret buying it as we have had our money's worth, even if that has mostly been from using it as a table and chair.