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A while ago I wrote a post on starting solids. I included limited details on the Stokke Steps High Chair and a lot of tips and information on other amazing products. A few of you asked me to elaborate on the high chair information, which is what I do in this post. For information on preparing and feeding solids to your baby, please see the post on solids.
I had been eyeing the Stokke Steps High Chair since before S was born. I was a bit taken aback my the price tag. So, for a good month, S sat in a Prince Lionheart Bumbo style chair (pictured way below). Eventually I bit the bullet and I'm thrilled with the Stokke Steps High Chair.
It is Stokke's new model. It has all of the features of Stokke's iconic Tripp Trapp high chair, but a more modern look.
Features that I really appreciate are the adjustable footrest, which allows baby's feet to rest comfortably at any age and the two positions for the seat, which allows even a young baby to sit close to the tray. See the images below to for a better idea of what I mean.
You need to buy the baby set and tray separately unless you buy everything as a set. Stokke products are built to last (my friend's kid is the fourth to use a Stokke Sleepi crib, which is why I bought the crib and got hooked on Stokke). Eventually, you can remove the baby set and use the chair on its own up to about age five.
It was really easy and intuitive to assemble. I'm not particularly handy and I put it together myself in under 10 minutes.
I did not buy the Stokke Steps Chair Cushion and don't miss it at all. I heard that it is a pain to take off and put on and just seemed like an unnecessary grime catcher to me. Stokke does sell a set that includes the cushion, baby set and tray.
There is also a separately sold Stokke Steps Bouncer that can be used from birth on the floor or atop the high chair, which allows your newborn to join you at the dining table. I'm a big Stokke fan, so If a friend hadn't loaned me the Bjorn bouncer I would have gotten the Stokke Steps Bouncer.
Stokke does sell a set that includes the bouncer and all of the chair components besides the cushion.
The foot tray is meant to be ergonomic but it also catches a lot of food that would otherwise end up on the floor, making clean up a bit easier.
Other High Chairs to Consider
I seriously considered buying the Ikea Antelop high chair. It is an amazing option for the price. I've heard that it is incredibly easy to take the legs off and on, so it is easy to transport by car for a getaway. The tray is huge, which makes it really popular with fans of baby led weaning. What I don't like about it is that for a young baby there is a huge gap between the baby and tray (see above for how Stokke gets around this issue). There also doesn't seem to be a five-point harness, which I think is a necessary feature in the very beginning and later to prevent baby from climbing out.
Space Savers and Travel Chairs
The Baby Bjorn High Chair has a tiny footprint, so it is amazing as a space saver. I put my son in it at a friend's house and it seemed like he might outgrow it earlier than the Stokke Steps High Chair.
You could save even more space by getting a lobster style chair (such as the Inglesina Fast Table Chair
or phil&teds Lobster Highchair) that hooks directly onto the table or breakfast bar. I didn't go this route because my table is glass, so it didn't seem safe. You could also consider the Fisher Price Space Saver Chair, which attaches directly to a chair. Even if you don't need a space saver at home, the chairs described in this paragraph may work well for travel or at restaurants.
Bumbo Style Chairs
You can use a bumbo style chair until you have a high chair or on the go. The trays are small so even if your child is small and continues to fit in one, I don't think you can use it as your everyday high chair once you are beyond purees. Once we finally got our high chair I brought this one to my in-laws' house to use there (at 8.5 months old it was still comfortable other than the small tray, at 9 months his thighs got in the way of attaching the tray).
As I mentioned above, I received the Prince Lionheart Bumbo style chair as a gift. It has a cute toy that attaches to the tray, which my son really liked. I also like that I could strap it to a chair so that it functions as a high chair. Still, there is something slightly junky about the way the tray attaches to the chair.
I recently used the Ingenuity Baby Base 2-in-1 Booster Seat at a friend's beach house. It seems better than the Prince Lionheart one in most every way. The detachable tray slides under the seat to be stored when not in use, it has a soft foam insert that can be removed to be cleaned and to make the chair grow with your child, and the tray is dishwasher safe.