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WHen I first purchased a high chair for my first child I wanted something good looking that went with the modern look in our kitchen. This wooden high chair is lovely looking and fit the bill perfectly but back then I really didn't know that a high chair needs a lot of useful features and this unfortunately doesn't really have any so if I knew then what I know now I probably wouldn't have bought this and just gone straight to those awful looking tacky plastic ones with cartoon characters all over them, anyway, let me explain.
If you have ever used a high chair in a coffee shop such as Costa you will be very familiar with this high chair as this is exactly the same ones they use in their coffee shops. We had used them before we purchased this and my little girl sat quite well in them so I knew she would sit ok in this high chair. I bought this wooden high chair from Mothercare and was quite pleased at the price. I can't remember exactly how much it was as I bought it a few years ago now but I'm pretty sure it was less than £50 which I thought was a really good price. The high chair is really nice looking, it has really clean wooden lines and is made of wood from a sustainable source so that is good to know that its good for the environment.
The high chair fold up when you are not using it, the tray folds up and down as is the main lynch pin way of folding up the highchair as well as the seat. THe tray has two little knobs on each side which you pull out in order to release and then you just pull it up. The seat also fastens down and secures tightly so it does not move. THen the legs underneath fold up against each other and then the high chair stands up folded in this way. You need to put the tray in the down position when you have your baby in the seat as it will not move over a baby's head as there is not enough room but once the tray is down there is definitely plenty of room for you to get your baby in.
The high chair has over the shoulder straps as well as straps that go across the lap so you know that when your baby is int he high chair they are nice and secure. These straps are adjustable so you can tighten them up if, like me you have a small little girl. The two feet on the bottom of the high chair have no slip pads on them and this is actually quite a heavy high chair in my opinion due to the wood so it will not move either when you have it up so that is good to know also.
My problem with this high chair though is the tray. I didn't realise really but its very helpful to have a removable tray on a high chair. If you have been feeding your baby you will make quite a mess and its nice to have a little tray that you can remove and clean all the food over over in the sink and then the rest of the chair is pretty clean but with this high chair the tray is just there and does not move so its harder to clean off. A few months after I bought this high chair I changed it for a tacky plastic one with a removable tray and it was so much better. Having said that the wooden one is quite easy to clean as it has a satin finish on it so it wipes clean easily with a wet cloth.
You can buy a padded seat for this high chair but I never got one, not sure why, I just didn't, it was extra money of course, it didn't come with the high chair and so when I put my little girl in this chair with a slippy type clothing on she would often slip down in this high chair so I recommend if you do get it to purchase the padded seat as well. The dimensions of the high chair are given as: H 90 x W 50 x D 68cm when folded: H 101 x W 50 x D 18cm.
All in all this is a nice stylish high chair but not a very practical one.
We bought this highchair while I was still pregnant. A little bit premature you may think, but we thought it was best to be prepared! So, needless to say, with no experience of actually what functional requirements you would like in a highchair our main thoughts were getting something that was aesthetically pleasing with the practical requirements at the back of our mind.
- The Highchair
This highchair is very well described by it's name, as simply it's a folding wooden highchair. It's made of rubberwood and has a smooth, natural wood finish and a 5-point harness. I've seen that they now do a white version, but I don't recall that being an option when I bought mine (summer 2009).
The dimensions of the chair when in use are H90 x W50x D68cm.The size wasn't a consideration when I bought it, but I would say that it's probably comparable to other highchairs. It's quite a heavy chair, weighing in at 11.8kg so not a good option if you're looking for something that's easy to move around.
It has one upright seating position and is suitable for children from 6 months old.
We paid £59.97 from kiddicare.com which offered the best price at the time. Looking at it now, it would appear that the prices are still fairly similar, with Amazon offering it for sale at £54.99 and John Lewis selling it at £69.
- So, is it any good?
I was very pleased with the highchair when it arrived. I don't recall having to do anything else other than get it out of the box and get going (well, for those that bought it at a more appropriate time in parenthood) and I was pleased that I didn't have to assemble anything to be able to use it and it looked great.
It was only around 7 months later when I actually came to use it that I realised we should have been more practical in our approach to highchair buying.
Firstly, we found it really hard to know where the shoulder straps of the harness should go. There's nowhere obvious for them to sit over the top of the chair and I have to confess that we've never actually used them in the 20 months since it's been in use. I've since learned that they're meant to go up the back of the chair on the outside and sit in the top corners of the seat nearest the baby's shoulders.
While I'm on the subject of the straps, another thing we'd overlooked is that you're not able to remove them. Without having had any children I wouldn't have considered this an issue, but the straps get really dirty and stained and no amount of scrubbing of them will make them look clean again. Other highchairs are better as you can remove the straps and put them through the washing machine.
Again, that leads me onto my next bugbear. Despite being made from lacquered wood, and boasts to the contrary on the product information, I find it really difficult to clean the highchair properly. I find that remnants of meals end up stuck in places, particularly around the knobs that are used to move the tray.
Unfortunately, another negative point is that you cannot completely remove the tray. You can pull out a knob at either side and the tray can be lifted over the back of the seat and then be out of the way down the back of the chair, but unfortunately this cannot be done with a child sitting in it at the time. I've found this quite frustrating as there have been many times where I would have liked to be able to remove the tray and it would help make it easier to get a bigger child in and out of the seat.
Another feature that I didn't consider when buying the highchair was the fact that it only had one seating position. This meant that it wasn't suitable for me to use when I started weaning my son, but I was lucky that he could sit upright by himself from around 5 months so we started using it then (he was fed in his bumbo for the first few weeks as it gave him much more support). In hindsight I think it would have been good to get a highchair that reclined so we could have used it immediately we began weaning, and actually there were plenty of times when my son would have preferred to be up at the table with us while we ate rather than in his bouncy chair on the floor, so I think that a reclining highchair would have been ideal even pre-weaning.
As the highchair is made of wood the seat is very hard so we bought a padded insert at the same time as the highchair which cost £13. Personally, I would say that this is a necessity to make it more comfortable, but also to slightly boost the baby's sitting position and bring them marginally closer to the tray as there is a large gap on this chair. All the inserts that I saw available had a wipe clean surface which I would say is imperative to get as I've found that mealtimes are very messy.
On the positive side, the highchair looks really nice, it's what I would consider to be a reasonable price, it's relatively compact once folded, and it's rather more attractive to look at that some of the other plastic varieties. Probably the biggest positive for me at the moment is that it's a nice height for my 26 month old son to sit at the table with us (with the table flipped over the back), so he has his own appropriate chair, but is still included at meal times.
- Would I buy it again?
Simply put, no. There are too many things about it that I find negative to recommend it to other people, but I've never felt the need to replace it with another one. For that reason I've given it 3 out of 5.
It seemed like Mr Lools and I had just mastered the art of bottle feeding the boys, when another challenge came along, Weaning. Not only did we have to carefully feed the boys puree we also needed to find somewhere for them to sit whilst doing so. Because the boys were weaned early at 17 weeks (under medical advice) we cheated slightly and fed them in their bouncing chairs as they were so small (probably just over 8lbs and the size of many newborns). However a scary moment occurred around 6 months when we needed to find highchairs for them. Not only did we need to find highchairs for two particularly small babies (who could sit unsupported), we needed to buy two of them. So we needed the highchairs to be reasonably compact when in use but also easy to store. After much deliberation we opted for the East Coast Wooden Folding Highchair.
***East Coast Folding Wooden Highchair***
East Coast describe this highchair as " a natural wood coloured wooden highchair, made from rubberwood which has been lacquered so it can easily be wiped clean and preserve it's stylish looks. The high chair folds away neatly when it is not in use. It has a 5 point safety harness and a large sculpted wooden food tray".
The highchair is suitable for use from 6 months and for children between 4-16kgs.
The East Coast Folding Highchair is available from a number of retailers. John Lewis and Mothercare sell this highchair both in store and online. You can also purchase this highchair from Amazon, Tesco Direct and Kiddicare.
The RRP for this highchair is £69.99 and currently prices online vary from £59.99- £74.99. I purchased two of these highchairs in June 2010 from John Lewis for £49.99 each. Cost wise these are mid-priced highchairs, not the most expensive highchairs on the market, but as these are quite a well-made quality product do cost slightly more than some other alternatives.
***Comfort and Versatility***
The East Coast Folding Wooden Highchair only has one seating position. This is completely upright and cannot be adjusted. This highchair is suitable for children from 6 months old. At six months old my children were able to sit up unaided however some children are not able to do so. Because the highchair only can be used in an upright position and not reclined slightly it may not be entirely suitable or comfortable for babies that cannot sit upright.
I found that at 6 months old my boys were at the very bottom of the weight range (4kg) so were a lot smaller than average children their age. The seat within the highchair on its own looked huge and my boys were lost in the chair. Their heads literally just were level with the tray. Because of this we purchased foam seat inserts which cushioned the seat of the highchair and also boosted them up in the seat, making sure they sat more comfortably. These inserts were purchased separately to the highchair from John Lewis and we paid £9.99 each. I think the inserts are essential if you have smaller children and are putting them in these highchairs. Even now the boys are 13 months old we still have the inserts in the seat of the highchair. I feel these make the seat a lot more comfortable as the seats are made entirely of wood with no cushioning.
The tray position of the highchair is also not adjustable. In the early days I found that the tray was really far away from the boys and at 8 months old when trying finger food they struggled to reach food put on their tray. On the other side of this is a benefit that for larger older children there is plenty of room for them to sit in highchair comfortably. My friend's son who is 20 months old and larger than most children his age fits comfortably in this highchair and does not appear squashed. The tray is quite close to his body but it is not squashing him in any way.
The height of the highchair is slightly lower than the plastic alternatives. I find this a good height if I am sitting down feeding the boys around the table. However I do find the height of the highchair and tray means that if you want your child to sit around the table with you they have to be positioned a distance away from the table if the tray is down. The reason for this is the tray is the same height as the table. The only way to combat this is to put the tray in the folded position and have no tray in front of your child and push them up to your table instead.
As a parent I do feel the tray is not at all practical. There is a ridge on the tray but the tray would benefit from having a rim or lip around it to ensure food or toys stay of the tray. This is not so problematic if you are spoon feeding your child, but once you give them finger foods you find yourself picking food up off the floor constantly as if children are a little too enthusiastic with their food it skids off the tray.
***Folding and Storage***
Because we were purchasing two highchairs it was essential we purchased a non-bulky highchair because of limited storage space. The East Coast Wooden Folding highchair was attractive to us as it was smaller when folded (and unfolded) than many of its plastic competitors. In fact both of my highchairs when folded stand up in a cupboard in the kitchen and take up a width of around 50cm together.
Folding and unfolding this highchair is very easy but you do need two hands available. To unfold you simply pull open ensuring the crotch strap sits under the chair and click into place. The main seat section is ready for you to just pull the tray over the highchair into position and is ready to use. To fold you simply pull two levers on the side of the tray to move backwards over the highchair, then click a button under the seat for the highchair to fold flat.
The highchair is very compact and flat when folded but to carry in the folded position is very heavy. I can lift two folded highchairs together but this is a lot more difficult than carrying two plastic folded highchairs.
This is a very easy highchair to keep clean. The tray can be lifted up so you can clean under the tray and easily access the seat. Although you cannot remove the highchair tray. It does move so you can clean under it and under the arms and armrests. There are not many nooks and crannies so food does not get stuck into these. I find after every use it is very easy to give the highchair a quick wipe over before putting away which takes less than a minute. You do need to take care when cleaning not to use metal scourers as the highchair has a varnish type coating over the wood which will scratch this off.
I use an antibacterial cleaner on the highchairs which have no effect on the wood. The harness does not remove therefore you can't wash it but I have found because it has a plastic coating if you wash after use stains are removed with some scrubbing.
This is a very stable highchair as the base is very wide and the wooden design makes it feel very sturdy. My boys regularly try and put their legs on the table and push themselves backwards in the highchair. In a lighter plastic highchair I have found it is possible for them to move the highchair backwards doing this but in this wooden highchair they are unable to do so. My friend's little boy has also used this highchair and the highchair was very sturdy and did not move during his tantrum because he didn't want to eat vegetables.
You do need to ensure that the highchair is assembled before you put a child in because the try moved over the chair and locks into position. Even an older child would not be able to move the tray out of position as you need to pull out two levers at the same time then lift the tray.
The tray is fitted with a 5 point safety harness which fits your child into the chair safely and can be adjusted to a small or large size. The harness clip is quite stiff therefore difficult for a child to remove themselves. You do need to take care when clipping your child in that you keep the harness clip away from them. On many occasion I have nipped my hand in this clip which obviously would be very painful for a child.
Something I do not like on this highchair is that there is no fixed crotch post. Therefore when you clip your child in you need to hold them and ensure you pull the crotch strap part of the harness in between their legs immediately. It is not possible for larger children to slip under this part of the highchair because of the tray position. But for younger smaller babies it is possible therefore you do need to be rather quick when clipping them in.
The highchair has a foot rest. This is lower down on the high chair than on many other highchairs but could provide problematic if your child is tall enough to reach this and tries to stand up on the highchair. My boys are not tall enough to do this but my friends little boy who is 20 months is able to do this. The footrest is fixed with two screws so it is possible to remove this, but you will need a screw driver to do so.
The East Coast Folding Highchair is a very attractive looking highchair. The design is simple yet very functional and compact, which is particularly important in our household as we need to fit two highchairs around the table or next to each other when I am on my own feeding the boys. The wooden design makes these look like quite an expensive highchair even though these are a mid priced product. This is also a very easy highchair to keep clean. The highchair is very durable and has been used daily by my boys, and also by my friend's children when they come to visit.
One disadvantage with this highchair is that there is only one fixed seating position. For those with babies that have difficulties sitting up this could be an issue. For smaller babies putting them in this highchair at 6 months old requires an insert, to pad out the highchair and give your baby more support, which obviously is an additional cost as the highchair does not come with this.
The tray is also a personal annoyance for me as there is no lip on the tray which means it is very easy for your baby/ babies to throw food or items off the tray. I spend a lot of time picking items up off the floor because of this, more so than when they are at their grandparents house and are sat in a different type of highchair.
A great wooden highchair but maybe not the "perfect" highchair.
~~~~~Also posted on Ciao 2011~~~~~~~~~~~~
I first found this high chair when my son was 18 months and I was pregnant with my second. I never really like either of the high chairs that I had for my son as they weren't very safe yet they took up so much room when they were out. I saw this first at a pub and was so impressed that I made a not of the make and looked it up online when I got home.
It's a wooden high chair made of lacquered rubber wood. It can be found in John Lewis and probably Mothercare for about £70. It is very sturdy when out yet has a smaller overall footprint than many of the traditional high chairs. On the bottom of the feet is rubber which helped on my laminate floors and made it almost unmoveable by children either in or out of the chair.
The tray is small but I found it adequate and the biggest advantage for me was that the tray could be folded behind the chair so that the chair could sit right up to the table allowing children to really participate in family meal times.
The harness is a 5 point harness that can be unscrewed simply and then put in the wash when it gets grubby. This was another problem that I had found with many other high chairs! No more grubby harnesses!
I bought a simple basic insert from mothercare to make it more comfortable as it is all wood. This could obviously also be removed and cleaned. Making for an all over easy cleaning high chair.
The only problems I found were that you could not be too enthusiastic with cleaning (ie wire wool) as it ruined the lacquer and it was quiet heavy so moving it from room to room was a problem. I didn't have to do this too often so it didn't bother me.
All in all a very nice user friendly high chair which I was sad to see go when my daughter grew out of it.
The East Coast folding wood highchair has been constructed from Rubberwood with a lacquered finish. This makes it wipe down surface and protects its stylish looks. Complete with a large sculptured wooden food tray. It also has a folding action so it can b