Before my daughter was born (now just over a year ago) I was very gratefully given various presents from family members and friends to help become equipt with motherhood and all the bits and pieces that go with having children. I had already decided that I didn't really want a high chair but wanted something that would strap to our dining chairs so my daughter could be part of the family rather than sat up in a highchair and not at table level.
In comes the Fisher Price Rainforest Healthy Care Booster Seat (referred to as the 'seat' for this review!). It was bought by my Aunt who had seen it in Toys 'r' Us and thought it was such a wonderful idea and product and I was given it when my daughter was around 2 months (not used until she was 4 months plus). I was a big fan of the Fisher Price Rainforest range so this was gratefully received and I couldn't wait until my daughter was able to use it.
The seat comes already assembled in a rather large box but as the seat itself is so light the box is hardly made heavy. The seat is multi functional in that the straps can be converted so you can carry the seat (folded up) over your shoulder for easy transportation, the straps can fasten around most chairs as they are extendable and of course the straps help harness the child in with a three point harness so it is incredibly useful.
The basic idea of the seat is that it keeps children entertained whilst meals are being prepared or out for a meal etc. The fun Rainforest themed tray is a separate part of the seat itself and snaps on and off. It features a whole array of Rainforest animals such as geckos, monkeys, parrots and bugs and they all have a small function. The parrot wobbles on a spring, the monkey spins round on its bar, the bugs slide up and down - you get the picture. The snap on tray is a great idea, however a bit fiddly to clean!
The actual seat is completely plastic and seems quite sturdy and well put together (it doesn't rattle or feel loose when you pick it up or fold it down). Despite being able to fold up the chair for transporting the seat itself has no crevices so it makes it incredibly easy to clean but from personal experience should the straps get dirty or covered in food then these are not so easy to clean. Another useful piece of info is that the feeding tray can be easily sanitized by putting in the dishwasher which for most mums is a great thing! However, the activity tray is not dishwasher safe!
What I really liked about the seat was that it can be adjusted as and when your child grows and I don't just mean with adjustable straps! The seat has three seat heights so when you child reaches a bigger height the chair can be heightened without having to go out and purchase something else. The back can also be removed when your child is big enough and this is easily done as it just simply slots together. To get the whole tray on and off it simply snaps onto the main chair which is easy enough to get your little one in and out.
As soon as my daughter was old enough I was able to sit her in the seat and watch her reaction to the activity tray and I thought it would certainly give her something to do whilst preparing her food for her. She did indeed like the activity tray and soon found her way round everything from the wobbling parrot to the gecko and the bugs. It really did seem to impress her which was great as she was kept amused. However, as she very petite I did find that she didn't quite fit the seat all that well but obviously this would change as she became older.
Everytime I tried my daughter in the seat she always did look a little uncomfortable and I think this is because there is no flexibility in the seat whatsoever as it is made firmly of plastic and doesn't really accommodate a wriggling, stretching child which was a downside as the whole idea of the seat is great but my daughter just never looked comfortable and she did fidget a lot when sat in the seat and even more so when I was feeding her. The only benefit is that because the tray can be removed easily when putting your child in the seat, it makes it really easy to do up the harness.
My one gripe was that the seat was a little on the big side for my daughter and even though she grew she has always remained very petite and never quite fitted the seat perfectly which I think made her uncomfortable and despite having the straps adjusted she always slipped down a bit and even though she was entertained by the activity tray, when it came to her eating it was almost impossible as I was constantly pulling her up so she was sitting and not leaning or slipping down!
Overall, I just don't think this suited my daughter as she is so slight and it is probably suited to a bigger framed baby. It really is a shame but after a few months I realised that this seat was never to suit my daughter and it was given away and we returned to our faithful Bumbo. I really like the whole idea of the booster seat and the activity tray does provide plenty of entertainment but for me personally it just wasn't comfortable enough for my daughter to sit in. Would I recommend? Yes, I would but for parents who have larger babies but for the money try and get on second hand as if your child doesn't suit it, it will feel like money wasted.
~ Useful Info ~
Brand - Fisher Price
Price - £30 - £40 depending on the retailer
Weight Limit - Up to 45lbs
We have somehow come to have a coordinated theme that started with the jumperoo we then were given the activity gym and unintentionaly have a lot of stuff for Lewis (my son, currently 10 months old.) from the fisher price rainforest range. All of the stuff we have from the rainforest range is outstanding.
We often go to lunch with at my parents or my in laws. Buying A highchair for each location would have been impractical and trying to cart one round with us everywhere we went even more so. So the healthy care booster seat seemed the perfect solution.
We were lucky enough to buy this as a bargain on ebay for just £20. On amazon it will set you back around £35 and it would be worth every penny. If you are having a baby or know someone who is this is something that I have seen at car boot sales and seen very similar products at charity shops so it is worth looking out for.
The seat attatches very easily to a dinning room chair using two adjustable straps, one round the back and one underneath. There are adjustable legs so you can make sure your baby is at the right height for the table. There are some very simple adjustable straps inside to make sure your child is secure. Lewis has always been comfortable and hapy whilst sat in this chair and in the last five months that we have been using it have had no concerns over his safety. The upper weight limit is 45lbs.
The toys that come with it were great at keeping Lewis entertained, he has always especially enjoyed toys that he can spin around. the parrot on a spring is also very entertaining. Lewis is now starting to eat at the same time as us and so we mostly sit him at the table with some finger foods on the tray. The toys pull out very easily for an adult. The chair is very easy to clean and we have had no complaints with it whatsoever. Even at full price this would have been a great buy.