We finally bought a proper high chair, the Phil + Ted Poppy Highchair ($119). I explained my rationale for ordering this one and shared several of the other contenders I’d considered under the “Feeding” section here. I am so, so happy we ordered it because it’s provided some much-needed relief for me: it keeps her up and away from our borderline mendicant dog, who has now discovered that nosing around during mini’s mealtimes will often yield unexpected treats for her, and it means I don’t need to crouch on the floor to feed her. (We sold our oversized dining table and chairs in the move and were temporarily resigned to squatting on the ground to feed her in this. However, we just bought a new dining table, which basically has the perfect dimensions for our petite dining room. Now we just need to find dining chairs, and I’m not sure what direction to go in. More on that later.) Plus, she loves the vantage and sometimes I’ll pop her in there when I’m cleaning or cooking and she’ll be entertained with a tray of puffs or a handful of toys for a good while.
The high chair is excellent.
+Very easy to clean, which seems to be the principle grievance moms have with other models. The tray in particular is one solid piece of plastic with no nooks or hooks or crevices or crannies to contend with.
+I like the design, which is the perfect balance between modern minimalist and child-appropriate. There are others (Bloom Fresco, I’m looking at you) that are a little out of control in terms of design, in my opinion. (OK, we don’t need our high chairs to look like they were designed by Eero Saarinen…or do we?) But at the other extreme, there are a ton of truly hideous plastic eyesores out there on the high chair market. The Phil + Ted is cheery and youthful (we own it in the cranberry color) but also simple and unfussy.
+The pricepoint is appreciated. It was nice not to have to spend a fortune on a chair. This was a good $100 cheaper than the runner up, the OXO Sprout.
+It collapses/folds up. I think it might be the only high chair out there that does it. You can take off the legs and break those into two pieces, and then you just have the chair, which has a startlingly petite footprint. (I was surprised at how small the box was when it came in the mail!) We can easily store it in our pantry closet if we want it out of the way. Though, let’s be honest: we’ll probably keep it fully assembled 90% of the time. Which brings us back to the design “pro.” At least I don’t look at it and shudder! (I also think it might be convenient on the occasion we travel for holidays or even to upstate New York for a weekend or for something like Friendsgiving at the home of a friend! We could easily toss this in the back seat.)
+It was easy to assemble. I didn’t need to wait for Mr. Magpie to come home and pull out his screwdriver. It took me all of a few minutes to snap in place.
+It converts into a child’s chair when she gets older!
+The legs are easy to trip over — they extend out from the seat like prongs.
+I don’t think the over-the-shoulder harnesses do anything — they tend to slip off mini’s shoulders. Which is, truthfully, fine because the waist restraint and the tray keep her safely tucked in. But I do wish they felt a little more secure on her/restrained her a bit better.
+When all is said and done, even though it can fold easily and looks very narrow, because of the wide “spread” of the legs of the high chair, it doesn’t save much space. It actually takes up quite a bit of space — probably more than a more traditional-style high chair.
One thing that I’d been warned about was that the tray doesn’t balance on its own. I don’t know if it’s just because I’ve never known anything different, but this hasn’t bothered me at all. I typically put her in the chair and put her tray in front of her, and then go into the kitchen and bring out a little tray with all her feeding accoutrements: spoon, food, wet paper towel, bib, sippy cup. I’d need this anyway because if I were to put all those things on her tray when getting things set up, they’d be all over the floor and my face within seconds. So, this hasn’t seemed like much of a con, yet, but maybe I’ll change my tune as she ages.
Mainly, though, did I mention it’s really easy to keep clean?
A few other items I recently purchased that I’d strongly recommend:
+These stroller mitts. Where have they been all my life and how did I survive last winter in Chiberia without them? They’re wonderful. At first I thought: this is stupid. Aren’t those what gloves are for? But the number of times I’m out with her and I want to quickly wipe her face or hand her something and then need to remove my gloves, tuck them under my arm or hold them in my teeth, etc? It pretty much happens every time. With these, you’re warm and toasty while you’re strolling, but your hands are free and clear when you need them, without gloves falling on the ground or dangling in your mouth or whatever. Also, they’re very warm.
+I ordered mini one of these footmuffs for her stroller. I resisted for awhile, not understanding their benefit, which is plentiful: you can slide your baby right into it without having to overlayer like a penguin. I was putting mini in like 2398 layers and then her hands would stick out, immobile, as I strapped her into the stroller. And blankets fall off. This is genius.
+Mini still often wakes up once a night. I’ve heard all kinds of suggestions: “Make sure she’s wearing socks — the minute we started putting socks on our son, he started sleeping through the night!”; “Is she wearing overnight diapers? Maybe the wetness is waking her up!”; “Add a little baby cereal to her last bottle and she’ll go longer without waking up.” I’m game to try all these things, and recently started using overnight diapers. I can’t say they’ve worked, but I have noticed she tends to wake up at 5 am instead of 3-4 am and perhaps these are part of the reason.
+I think I already wrote about this, but for a long time, I used regular dish soap to wash mini’s bottles. (Sometimes I think that I fall prey too often to items marketed as “solely for baby’s use” — I’m convinced that I’m overpaying for a lot. Soap seemed to be one of those things.) However, I ate a bite of food off of her baby spoon recently and it tasted, faintly, of Dawn soap. For the record, I do not like Dawn soap. It is too heavily scented in general. I much prefer Palmolive. But anyway it made me worry that mini had been eating soap-scented food for months. I instantly bought this unscented castile soap instead. I don’t think it cleans as well (you really need to exert some elbow grease to get rid of the waxy/greasy residue of formula and breastmilk), but it makes me happy that she’s no longer tasting soap. I’ve also heard good stuff about this, but why do they come in such small bottles?! I feel like I’d need to reorder once a week.
+I ordered here one of these rollable mats for when we’re out to lunch. Much easier to put some puffs down in front of her or have a place to balance her spoon, bowl, etc., instead of on the questionably clean table surface. I swear I’m not an OCD germaphobe, but…
+Such a classic toy, and she loves it. Hours and hours of glee.
+Another recent toy purchase she’s been interested in. Many moms have said that this toy has helped their babies learn to crawl.