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I used to work in a baby department in a store and in that time I learned quite a lot about which brands were good and which were not so great. Jané was one of the brands that I really came to like. With our first child we had a Fisher Price High chair, but it was quite shabby when it came to two years old, so when our daughter needed a new one I decided that I would go for a Jané Activa.
The thing about a lot of Janés styling is that it is really rather chunky. This isn't for everyone, but I have plenty of space, and Im not all that fussy about having a specific wood/colour to blend into the dining room. I dont necessarily want style when I buy a baby item, I want durability and functionality. You get that with the Jané brand. Also, being European, it is usually quite a vibrant range in terms of colours. They are a little braver in the rest of Europe than we are.
The Activa is great because it is a highchair which can turn into a table and chairs by simply pushing in two buttons at the base of the seat. This allows you to release the top part, and it becomes a mini-chair, you can then turn the base part on it's side and it is a table, as simple as that.
In our home we regularly use it in three different manners. We use it as a High chair for our little girl when we are eating at the table and want her to be at the same height as us, we use it as a low chair when she is getting a quick snack in front of the TV with her brother and we use it as a table and chair when she is doing crafting. It means that she can be on the same level as her brother. It keeps her happy.
In terms of durabilty, it is certainly standing the test. It is very robust and it has not got a single scratch or mark on it, despite being used up to three times daily. Our daughter is quite small, but she has loads of space in the seat unit so it will last her until she is completely finished with it. At times, my three year old has also used it as a table and chair and he fits quite well too.
The seat fabric can be taken off very easily. I pop mine into the washing machine on a 30-wash every week. It comes out perfectly. Also, there are not really many nooks and crannys for food to get stuck in so it makes cleaning very easy indeed.
There is a recline feature. But I dont really use this. Neither of my children have fallen asleep in a high chair and I cant think of any other reason why you woudl need a recline. When we used to sell high chairs at work we were often asked if they had a recline, and I always wondered why people would need that. I still don't know. But each to their own.
Assembly was really easy. It is made entirely of plastic. Even the screws are plastic and it had a plastic screwdriver. We went for the Mes oursons colour which is red and beige. It possibly looks a little boyish, but at 18 months our daughter hasnt noticed!
Definitely one to look at if you are in the market for a high chair. Ours cost £99 but I think they retail up to around £125 now. A fab piece of versatile baby equipment.
A highchair is an important piece of equipment, and every infant will need one once they reach the weaning stage. Most baby equipment is bought in advance but with a highchair it is better to wait until your baby is at the weaning stage. As all babies are ready to wean at different times and until your baby reaches this stage you won't know what type of highchair you will need. You won't need a highchair until your baby is able to sit unaided.
The recommended age to wean a baby is now 6 months; however this is down to personal choice as a parent. I waited until my son was 6 months old until I introduced solids, to begin with I would feed him in his rocker or on my lap. At this age they are not as active and they are just getting used to solids so feeding on your lap or in a rocker is fine for the first couple of weeks. I then started to look around for a highchair, and didn't realise what a difficult task this would be as now there are so many different types which all come with different price tags, starting off from around £30 to in excess of £100.
As with all baby equipment a lot of shopping around is needed to make sure you are spending your money wisely. I started looking around before my son was ready to wean and was confused by all the different styles of highchairs that are on the market, all different shapes, sizes and designs just to confuse you even further.
~Things to consider before purchasing a highchair~
With all the different highchairs that are on the market today, it is tempting to choose something that looks modern and stylish. However you may want to consider a few things first.
*Easy to clean
* How much space do you have?
* If it can be folded to away.
* Extra features:
* Removable seat cover for easy cleaning.
* Removable tray for ease of cleaning.
* Multi-function highchair.
After putting all of these things into consideration I had decided that I was going to look at getting a highchair that converts into a table and chair as I had seen the wooden highchairs that convert and thought they looked nice, after thinking about it I wondered how the wood would last and how durable it would be, so this left me feeling a bit unsure. After hours of shopping around looking at various different highchairs and keeping my options open, I didn't find anything that I liked the look of. My son has always been quite boisterous and lively, so I didn't want some modern contraption that looked like it wouldn't take much for a child to topple it over. After looking around the shops I decided to look online, one of my favourite stores for baby equipment is the 'The baby farm' www.babyequipmentcomplete.com which is where I purchased a lot of equipment when I had my daughter. Unfortunately their online site doesn't have much choice, although this may make things easier! I noticed the Jane Activa highchair and really liked it but looked at the hefty price tag at almost £100 that seemed like a lot of money for a highchair. After a lot of thinking and some more shopping around, I finally decided that this would be the highchair to get.
I didn't mind paying more for a highchair, as it is something that gets used several times a day and you want to know that you have something that is safe and comfortable and fits your little ones needs, also seeing that this highchair is a multi award winning 3 in one cube chair also sold it to me.
The highchair arrived in a fairly small flat packed box, which came complete with easy to follow instructions. No tools are required as the entire chair is made out of sturdy plastic, even the screws! All the pieces slot together and are easily screwed together using a plastic disc. It didn't take long to fully assemble it and I was really pleased with the quality of it. It looked durable and robust. The highchair is cube shaped and has rounded soft corners for safety. As this is a three in one chair the chair is fitted on top of the table so the side of the table gives this highchair a sturdy base.
Other features include a luxurious padded removable seat insert, which is always a good thing as meal times can be and are very messy! So this makes it easy to keep the chair clean as it can be machine washed. The seat pad is a soft material which is blue and green the area where a child's feet rests on the cover is plastic coated to prevent wear and tear. There is also a picture on the back of the seat pad cover too. The cover is held in place by two material hooks which are thread through the seat and are screwed in to secure it, the belt which goes around the child's waist also threads through the back of the seat pad and through two hooks on the base on the seat unit. It is fairly easy to remove when it needs a good clean in the washing machine, I did however forget to unscrew the back to release the material hooks and was pulling quite a bit to get the cover off and I managed to rip one of the loops so I was unable to secure it in place again, although the seat cover doesn't move about too much I contacted the 'Baby Farm' which is where I had ordered it from and explained to them what I had done and they contacted the manufacturer on my behalf and I was sent out a free seat pad, Which I was delighted by, and wasn't expecting to get a free replacement.
The 5 point safety harness is easy to use, different from a pushchair harness the clips are slotted into the belt from the top, the harness can be easily undone with one hand but this is not something a young toddler would be able to work out. The way in which I unclip it my hand is covering over the clips so that my son cannot see how I am undoing it. The crotch strap is fitted to the underside of the seat and cannot be removed which prevents a child from slipping through. The harness is adjustable so it will fit a range of sizes, the extra length of strap has a plastic loop fixed onto the end which stops the cord strap material from fraying and it is also good to attach a toy or clip a dummy too. However remember to never leave a child unattended with anything like this for safety reasons. Another advantage is that the entire seat cover or just the waist strap can be machine washed when they become grubby.
I was pleasantly surprised to see two trays came with it as in the description it didn't state that it came with two trays. The base tray easily slides onto the highchair and can be easily adjusted so that you can slide the tray closer to baby to prevent food from dropping onto the chair and floor, and as they grow the tray can be moved out, the tray has three positions, it is also handy to be able to slide the tray out to get my son in and out of the chair easily. You do need two hands in order to be able to move the tray to different positions and this is achieved by pulling a clip up on the underneath of both sides of the tray. I assume that the base tray is for playtime but it can also be used for mealtimes and it makes it easy to place the top tray over if you have different food to offer. The base tray is deep enough and has a good lip around the edge which helps to keep most of the food on the tray. Although this won't stop your toddler from throwing food across the room! The second tray which is used over the top has a cup holder section which may be handy for older children. We no longer use the top tray as I find it simple enough to wipe over the bottom tray in between use and it has a deeper lip to keep most of the food on the tray. Also it didn't take long for my son to realise the top tray wasn't attached and it gave him great joy to lift the tray off and on occasions the entire tray and his meal has gone on the floor when I haven't reacted fast enough. It was handy to have two trays in the early weaning days and some may find the additional tray useful.
The trays can be removed so that you can pull the highchair up to a dining table; unfortunately we don't have the space for this so I haven't used it at a table.
The seat has three positions, upright for when baby is feeding and playing, and two reclined positions, the first recline position is handy for small babies that are not able to sit unaided, and the fully reclined position is perfect for letting your little one have a snooze. This feature was used quite a lot when my son was first being weaned as he would quite often fall asleep during his meal and usually straight after. It is simple to recline the seat unit there is a dial at the back of the chair which can be twisted with one hand and you simply pull the chair back with the other hand. This is perfect as you can leave your baby to sleep without disturbing them. All parents know it is not a good idea to move their sleeping baby as this can often wake them up. My son has always looked comfortable sleeping in the chair, and I preferred to let him sleep in his chair after his meal as he wasn't laid flat straight after eating. I also liked to put my son in his highchair with the seat reclined when he was younger as he wouldn't easily get off to sleep being an active baby so it was useful in the early days as he would sleep in his chair better than being put down in his cot. Now that my son is 19 months old it is quite rare that I use the chair in the fully reclined position.
One of the main reasons why I chose this particular highchair was for the fact that it can be transformed into a low chair and table, which makes this highchair excellent value for money, as you will get plenty of use out of it. My son is 19 months old and there is still plenty of growing space in the chair yet! The seat unit is nice and wide and I have hardly had to adjust the straps. So this chair will definitely fit a toddler. This feature will be great for when I want to use it as a low chair and table which I haven't as of yet, but I have tried it to see what it looks like when it is a low chair and table. I also thought it would be ideal to use as a play table if we were ever to move and have enough space for a dining table then it could still be used and possibly be put in my son's room. The table is a good size it has a smooth top to it and it would make a great place for drawing and painting.
The highchair is easy enough to clean with it all being made from plastic, and with the chair cover being removable it means it can have a good thorough clean. It is important to keep it clean and to wipe it over after each meal and at the end of the day it should have a good wash down. I am unsure as to whether the trays can be put into a dishwasher as I have never had one and there is no symbol on the tray to say that it can and it is not stated anywhere on the chair.
Food does get clogged up in the clips on the harness and the straps can become sticky from food, it does wipe clean but I find that washing the cover and straps on a quick wash in the machine brings them up sparkling clean.
The rest of the highchair washes down easily and there are no nooks and crannies where food can become lodged into the chair. The only place that is difficult to keep clean is the crotch strap as this is where food usually falls and some food also ends up falling through the seat cover where the crotch strap is posted through. On the end of the crotch strap the clip has three lines of holes either side and some groves these become grubby quite quickly and food lodges into the holes. When the crotch strap and the clip need a good clean I usually submerse the clip and as much of the strap into a bowl of boiling water and add a couple of drops of tea tree, this loosens up any food that is in the groves and holes I usually wiggly it about to help remove any other food that is trapped within the clip and then simply dry it clean. The table legs also get dirty from where my son likes to drop food over the side but the rest of the highchair easily wipes clean with soapy water. From time to time I also like to use the steam cleaner on it as this bring it up nice and clean and gets all the food from the clips out in seconds.
My son is a boisterous lively character and he likes to test things out to their limits, he has rocked his body back and forth in the chair and he has even smacked his back against the seat whilst doing so, no matter how hard he has tried he has been unsuccessful in trying to wobble or tip the chair.
I think it would be impossible for a toddler or young child to undo the safety harness and once the tray is pulled in the clips are mostly forgotten about as they are not seen. My son never wears the top straps as he always takes his arms out as they are quite loose on him even fully tightened. This doesn't worry me as he would not be able to climb from out of the chair with the tray on.
There are no sharp areas or anywhere where a baby could hurt themselves on this highchair, all the corners are rounded making it even safer.
The screws should be checked from time to time and tightened.
My son has enjoyed many meals from his highchair and has enjoyed playing and drawing in it too. I have been really pleased with it overall and I am glad I spent that bit extra as it has been worth the money. I'm glad I chose this chair and I would highly recommend it to others.
This chair is quite big and bulky, although we are tight on space I still chose this chair because I liked the look of it and the features and the fact that it can be transformed into a low chair and table.
It has been used a lot over the last 13 months and it has plenty of life left in it yet.
A highchair is the second most used item next to a cot, so it is worth spending that bit extra.
Also a lot of thought needs to go into purchasing a highchair to make sure it is practical and fits your baby's needs.
Remember never to leave you child unattended in a highchair.
I haven't seen the Jane Activa highchair in any shops, it is, however, available online from a few retailers.
Features: 5 point harness, 3 position tray can be removed so your child can join the family at the table for meal times and a 3 position reclining seat.