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Bruin Playa Highchair in Hullabazoo

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1 Review

Brand: Bruin / Type: Highchairs

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    1 Review
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      11.01.2010 21:24
      Very helpful



      Good all rounder

      Well I thought it was about time I reviewed this highchair as we've had it in our possession for 2 1/2 years, and it's still going strong!! I can't remember how much we paid, but you can currently get this in blue or pink for £54.99. When we bought ours it was a nice colourful unisex version, but this doesn't seem to be available now.

      The reason we chose this was because it looked strong, had a nice colourful padded seat, 5 point harness, a basket underneath, and would fold away to store when not in use. We also liked the design, very bright...and if I had to buy one again, I would still choose from this range. It also seemed quite reasonably priced, although I don't think we paid £54.99 for ours!

      I'm not entirely sure where to start with this Review because there are so many things to take into consideration when choosing a highchair, and people have different wants and needs. So I will give a brief overview of the highchair first, then go into more detail, and highlight the things that I like and dislike.

      The highchair itself takes up quite a lot of room, the leg span is quite wide so when it is out, it can't be pushed up against a wall or shoved in a corner; but saying that it does fit quite snugly against our table, which is the important thing, especially during family mealtimes. The seat is wipe clean & nicely padded and also has 2 recline positions. Also on this seat is a removable 5 point safety harness which is very adjustable, and also height adjustable. There is a footrest which can be moved up or down, depending on how long your child's legs are, a removable white tray, and finally a basket underneath (suspended between the legs) which is there to store toys and/or catch discarded food crumbs.

      The main part of the chair is obviously the seat because this is where your child will be seated 3 times a day. The one on this highchair is quite large and broad and is nicely padded around the head area (I presume to work with the recline positions if your child falls asleep while eating...not something either of my children have done so far!) I think this seat is quite well designed because it doesn't seem to have too many nooks and crannies for food to get lodged in, but somehow my children have still managed to continually shove food in any creases which are actually available.

      I've found the worst place for food is in the corners, and around the safety post which sits between their legs (to stop them from sliding forwards). This part especially is a bit of a haven for mouldy food, this is because the actual padded part of the seat is removable, so obviously there is a hole in the seat which allows it to slot over this safety post, and so food has a tendency to sneak down the hole and fester until you can be bothered to lift the seat off and have a look.

      Despite the minor food issues, the seat has worn really well, it is wipe clean and although has been wiped down several times a day, and scrubbed often for the last 2 and a half years, there are no signs of wear and tear, the colours have faded slightly, but the material has not cracked (something which my friends have experienced with other brands and have had to replace their highchairs). The white piping around the edge of the seat has also become slightly discoloured but I think if I was a bit more vigorous with my cleaning, then these could have stayed white.

      What is also good about this chair is that the padded seat, as I said earlier, can be completely removed for intense cleaning! I have put ours, straps included, through the washing machine, on a light wash and it has come out fine, and then just hung on the line to dry. I have done this a few times so far and it doesn't seem to have affected the seat at all.

      The tray part of the highchair is quite large and wide and comes out in a big semi circle shape. There is quite a high lip around the edge which does help in preventing some (but not all) discarded plates, bowls, cutlery, cups, food etc from going onto the floor. It does act as a barrier and when my daughter is doing the 'smearing food around her tray' trick, which she does seem to take great pleasure in, it does help keep a lot of it from finding its way onto the floor.

      There is also a circular indent on this tray, for drinks. In my opinion this is pointless, first of all from my experience a drink never stays in one place, and also it's not large enough to hold a beaker with handles, which is what most children at food eating stage will be using. The hole is only big enough for a bottle, or one of those weird straw feeding cups. The purpose of this indent on our tray is to store unwanted food!

      The tray completely slides off which really helps with cleaning and makes it a lot easier to transfer smeared food straight into the bin. It slides off by pulling two clips up simultaneously and pulling the tray towards you. My eldest figured this one out by the time she was 2, but she was getting ready to sit on a normal chair by then anyway so it didn't matter so much. My youngest daughter has just found these clips and I have actually trapped her fingers in them a couple of times (not intentionally and she did survive, but was a bit upset!)

      The tray sliding off also helps with removing the child from the chair, you can just pull it forward a little bit and this widens the space and makes it easier for you to lift your child out. I've found if I don't pull the tray out I tend to scrape my daughter's legs as I lift her out, not good, especially if she has bare legs. Pulling the tray out also reveals how much food is congealed on your child's legs before you lift them out, so instead of being showered with baked beans and squashed fish fingers, you can clear this debris away before removing the child.

      The condition of the tray has deteriorated very very slightly, the surface is covered in very light scratches (from my daughter swishing her bowls and other items backwards and forwards) but there are no very deep scratches and this doesn't affect the use of the highchair in general.

      I mentioned in the beginning the chair comes with a 'handy' basket underneath for storing toys. I did use this feature in the beginning with my first daughter because we used it to store toys she would play with while I was getting dinner ready. But what I found was that the toys were hiding bits of food that my daughter had discarded and this food was slowly growing mould without me even realising it was there.

      So once I had realised this, I stopped using it as toy storage and would use it as a food catcher, but this didn't work either because to remove the food crumbs/lumps required removing the basket completely each time (yes my children drop food at every mealtime) and it was all just too time consuming and irritating - it's much easier sweeping food off the floor, than gathering it from the bottom of a basket.

      So I eventually decided to completely remove this basket and to be honest I have not missed it in the slightest, I don't even know where I put it! But having said all that, this feature may be beneficial to those of you with who use highchairs on carpeted floors, we have laminate so it's easier to sweep away food debris, but removing soggy food from a carpet would be a different story.

      This highchair does fold away, but because it is quite a large chair, its fold is not very compact. The seat squashes up a little bit, and the legs fold together, but if you leave the tray attached then that sticks out at a 45 degree angle. When I only had one child and a lot more time, I would clean the chair after each use and fold it up and lean it against a wall which sort of made more space. But now I have two children, hardly any time and very little sanity, the chair gets left where is it and it's lucky if it gets cleaned once a day (I'm kidding, it does get a quick wipe after each meal, but not the full antibacterial treatment). I think if it had a more compact fold, I would make more of an effort to fold it away and create more space in our dining area, but as it is, it sits at the end of our table and is just now part of the furniture.

      Before I finish I will just add that this chair is not height adjustable, and I know many people find this feature quite handy, especially those without dining space who need a highchair that can be used at sofa height, so this is one area where this chair lacks. But then again, if you don't have dining space, then this chair would not be the one for you because it would take up too much space anyway.

      To say we have had this chair for over 2 years, I think it has worn really well and I have been really pleased with it. It suits a child from the first stages of weaning because the safety harness keeps them safe and secure, and the tray can be removed so you can get closer to them whilst spoon feeding. Then as they grow, the straps can be adjusted and they can become part of the family mealtimes and sit up to the table because the chair is just at the right height for sitting just above a standard table. My eldest daughter was using it until she was about 26 or 27 months, and she still fit in the chair fine so it has a good size range.

      The chair obviously has its good (very cleanable and durable) and bad points (takes up a lot of space), but I think for the price you pay, you get a good deal and a good quality chair, which in our case has stood the test of two very messy eaters!


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