Product Type: East Coast kids equipment
Newest Review: ... 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 yea... more
Well, it looks nice...
East Coast Folding Wood Highchair
Member Name: rlc2281
East Coast Folding Wood Highchair
Advantages: It looks nice. Relatively compact once folded
Disadvantages: Difficult to clean. Heavy. Only one seating position. Cannot remove straps
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.
Summary: A good looking highchair that lacks in practicality.
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