The Fisher Price chair worked ok for a while... except that the dining chairs we strapped it on had legs that went straight down (rather than splay out any) which meant D soon figured out he could rock side to side while sitting in the chair, and make the whole thing teeter totter side-to-side. This, um, made me worry a bit.
I think it was then at his first birthday party that a gracious friend offered to let us borrow an extra Tripp Trapp high chair that she had from when her kids were young. I'd heard lots about these chairs before, and jumped at the chance. We've been using the borrowed Tripp Trapp for a little over a year now, and let me tell you, we are head over heels for this thing.
At first it was a bit tricky getting used to not having the separate tray. It's convenient to have a tray with a lip around it where you can let your kiddo make as big a mess as they want. I'll be curious to see how well this'll work eventually with a younger baby, too, as D was already over a year when we made the switch... but, at least for him, it was not that painful at all. For a little while I thought about just taking some oilcloth and taping it down to his end of the table, but before long he was doing really well eating off a plate at the table. And it honestly was kind of nice *not* dealing with the big, bulky (and messy) tray at every meal.
Both D and I loved the chair from the start. Here's why:
- D loved having more room to wiggle and move around.
- Before long he figured out how to climb up and down off the chair. Not everyone views this as a positive, but I think it's pretty neat. ; )
- It's MUCH easier to clean! We ended up giving the Fisher Price chair to friends of ours since we weren't using it anymore, and before doing so I went through and tried to clean the chair thoroughly... and was amazed at all the crumbs I found that had snuck into all the nooks and crannies. With the Tripp Trapp, food can't hide away from you. It either drops onto the chair or the floor. This makes things look messier in the moment, but it's kind of like the difference between carpet and wood/tile floors-- the wood/tile look like they get dirty faster, but the carpet has all the same crap in it just manages to hide it better. (ps- I wouldn't bother buying the matching cushions. D's never seemed uncomfortable in the chair, and all I've heard about them is they make cleaning way harder)
- It also works as a step stool for D to reach the sink. I'm trying to get us in the habit of washing his hands often, but got really frustrated trying to find any stools or step ladders that would let a 1-2yo reach a standard-height kitchen sink (b/c holding him with one arm while trying to wash hands with the other kinda stinks). Imagine my delight when I realized I could pull the Tripp Trapp up to the sink, let him climb up and stand on the seat, and he's at the perfect height to reach the water. Awesome.
- It grows with your kid. Love that.
- Last but not least, isn't it a gorgeous piece of furniture?
It hit me a few weeks ago that, since we're moving away, I'd have to return our beloved borrowed high chair. I considered for a bit what to do... but honestly, I've gotten so used to having this chair, and all the benefits that come with it, that I knew I wanted to buy our own. I hated the thought of going back to a chair he couldn't easily and safely climb into or back out of. Despite the hefty price tag (these suckers retail at $265), Zach went along with it. So, I still need to return the borrowed chair to its rightful owner, but we now have and are using our very own Tripp Trapp... that D even helped put together! (another thing to love about the chair-- it was super easy to assemble, and I could even let D turn the allen wrench to tighten all the screws).
It's a splurge. But, every so often, a good splurge is totally worth it. ; )
*PS- No, I didn't get paid or receive anything from Stokke for writing this, I just happen to really love this high chair*