Product Type: Ikea kids equipment
Newest Review: ... think it looks quite stylish in the corner of the kitchen. The first bonus to this chair is that it is really great for smaller babies aro... more
Easy to Clean...Easy to Climb Out Of!
Ikea Antilop High Chair
Member Name: jo1976
Ikea Antilop High Chair
Date: 18/09/12, updated on 11/08/13 (138 review reads)
Advantages: Easy to clean, cheap, compact, robust
Disadvantages: Does not include safety harness or means to attach one, not available from Ikea online
Like most parents, my time is precious and I'd much rather spend it playing with my kids than tidying up after them! It is certainly no coincidence that I switched from an all-singing, all-dancing luxurious padded highchair to this basic no-frills model from Ikea, once my youngest son was a year old. The original Chicco highchair was the bane of my life and a real chore to keep hygienically clean whereas this 'Antilop' highchair can be cleaned in seconds, no matter what my little one subjects it to.
Having three children, I was already familiar with this basic style of highchair as it is a very popular choice with many restaurants and cafes. I had decided to replace my padded highchair with this one before I discovered that the chairs cannot actually be ordered from Ikea online, which was a major inconvenience for me as I don't live particularly close to an Ikea store. Luckily, I was able to source a brand new Antilop high chair from good old eBay, although I ended up paying slightly over the £16 I would have paid for the chair (and tray) directly from Ikea. This was still excellent value for money as far as I am concerned, particularly as it saved the time and expense of a seventy mile round trip to get to my nearest Ikea store! I find it strange that this highchair isn't available for home delivery directly from Ikea as there are so few stores dotted across the country.
My highchair was delivered in pieces as it came via the post but assembly was straightforward and I managed to set it up by myself within a couple of minutes. The seat element is made from a single shaped piece of white plastic and each of the four metal legs just needed to be slotted into position at the base of the seat which proved to be very simple. Once in place, the legs are secure with rounded supports at the base of each leg to minimise slipping and the chair feels stable and robust, despite the very low selling price. Crucially for our kitchen, where space is increasingly limited, the chair has a very small footprint and doesn't obstruct the floor or take up any more space than strictly necessary.
The compact size is essential as this style of chair can't be folded up for storage and, despite the ease of assembly, it isn't really a practical option to keep dismantling the seat between each and every use. It can, however, be taken apart for ease of transporting for holidays or longer trips away, as the separate parts are pretty lightweight and easy to slot into a car boot. For everyday use, this highchair is fairly unobtrusive and fits comfortably at the edge of my dining table. The other main benefit for restaurants needing a number of highchairs (and potentially parents of twins) is that these chairs can be stacked on top of each other for ease of storage between uses.
The tray is classed as an 'added extra' but I feel it is an integral part of the highchair. Unlike pricier models, the height of this chair can't be adjusted or adapted at all, so the tray is essential as it's unlikely that this chair will be at the perfect height for every kitchen table. The tray is simple to slot into position at the top of the seat but, somehow, I always manage to struggle to detach it. It generally takes an amount of wriggling and jiggling about before I manage to get the tray off and then it just pops out easily and I always wonder why it took me so long to do! The tray is fairly basic and quite small but I find it to be perfectly proportioned for babies from one year upwards, where they are at the messy stage of independent self-feeding. A smaller tray helps to keep everything within reach of a toddler - apart from the stuff that they choose to throw on the floor, of course!
From a practical parent's perspective, the tray, like the seat, is incredibly easy to clean thoroughly between uses. There are absolutely no ridges, grooves or hollows where dirt and debris tends to hide and congeal. Instead, the smooth plastic surface of both the seat and the tray almost seems to repel dirt and any food or spilled drinks can be wiped away easily, even if it has had the chance to dry on. I rarely experience dried on substances, in all honesty, as it is so quick and easy to wipe this down after each and every use, whether with moist cleaning wipes or with anti-bacterial spray and kitchen towel. Despite the white colour, the Antilop is surprisingly resistant to staining, even when tomato-based sauces have been dropped on the tray. The tray is small enough to allow for it to be removed and washed in my kitchen sink, if necessary, although I rarely feel the need to do that.
From a safety and comfort perspective, I'd recommend this highchair from about nine months upwards, or at the very least for babies that are able to sit unaided for long periods without support, given the rigid style of the seat and the absence of any padding or the ability to recline the back seat at all. There is a rigid pole positioned between baby's legs and a high back to the seat, so even a small baby wouldn't be able to slide out of the seat, but I just don't feel that the design is supportive enough for the very early stages of weaning. (It is possible to buy a separate padded insert but I still feel that a tiny baby would be positioned too far upright for comfort.)
For toddlers, the seat is adequately supportive and the simple, practical design minimises distractions. The major flaw with this highchair is the lack of a decent safety harness or, more specifically, the absence of any 'D' rings or any other means to attach a separate harness to the chair for added security. The simple lap belt that is included is totally ineffectual and doesn't adjust to a position that secures my son into the seat at all. I dare say it may depend on the temperament of the child - my older boys never attempted to climb out of any highchair- but my youngest son quickly learned that he was able to stand up in this chair, meaning that he can't be left unsupervised in this seat for even a matter of seconds. This is a real safety issue for us and could so easily be rectified - I wouldn't mind purchasing the harness separately- that this is a major disappointment.
Overall, I do love this highchair for its simplicity and practicality, not to mention its low price. I would, however, be happy to pay considerably more for this chair with some shoulder straps attached or the means to attach a harness to the chair to ensure a child's safety. I would still recommend this highchair but with considerable reservations about the lack of a decent system to keep toddlers safe and secure at mealtimes.
Summary: A practical and inexpensive design but not ideal to keep boisterous toddlers safely in place
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