When first tasked to buy baby gear, it can be challenging to navigate the options; in particular the tradeoff between investing in more expensive long term solutions vs. inexpensive short term solutions. I tend to gravitate towards the former, and am particularly drawn to items (e.g., our convertible crib) that can convert and accommodate kids as they grow. And for those mulling high chair options, I highly recommend you take a look at the STOKKE TRIPP TRAPP high chair.
When Laurel was a baby, we bought a different wooden convertible high chair. It was pretty and modern but ultimately a bit problematic: the wood finish was hard to clean and though the base of the chair was wide, the overall design didn’t feel quite as sturdy as we wanted, and the structure resulted in lots of little nooks that collected food. We subsequently tried seat elevators and booster seats, and at each juncture, these solutions worked great. But ultimately, Laurel outgrew them and I was left with items to store or sell. Which leads me to why I recommend the STOKKE TRIPP TRAPP.
STOKKE started manufacturing the TRIPP TRAPP in 1972, maintaining the same design and only tweaking the color palette to include trend colors each year. As an eco-gal I love the wood construction and the frame is sturdy, balanced, and simple; Laurel has no problem getting up and down off the chair and there’s plenty of seat room for her. The wood finish is easy to wipe down and the simple design cuts down on troublesome food catching crevices. The STOKKE is suitable for babies starting at 6 months (I would recommend investing in the baby set but perhaps skipping the cushion as one more thing to clean) and the seat and footrest are adjustable in height and depth via platform notches on the inner frame to accommodate your baby all the way into adulthood (adults would use the deeper footrest platform as the seat and stow the seat platform).
Now, obviously I’m testing this chair a bit later in the game with Laurel, who is 5 years old. She did humor me and allow me to buckle her partially into the harness and the buckles have smooth and easy latch and release action. As a regular non-harness seat, I love this chair for all the reasons described above; in particular how comfortably and safely the overall design and adjustable seat/footrest settings allow Laurel to sit at the proper height with somewhere to put on her feet. She's at the perfect height with us to eat, squirms less at the table now that she’s not shifting between sitting on her knees, sitting on her bottom, etc., and it’s easy for her to get on and off the chair when she needs to get something (independence!).
Assembly of the STOKKE is pretty straightforward, though I did experience a little confusion over the insertion of the metal nuts (noted in the instructions but color coding the shallow side with a dab of paint would help). Otherwise, my only recommendation for improvement would be for the baby harness components to be detachable without disassembling the chair. Currently, to remove the harness you need to loosen the frame attachments then remove the back bars to unscrew a small screw that secures the harness to the underside of one of the back bars and slide off the harness. To remove the harness piece off the seat, I also opted to remove the seat first since the angle was awkward and I didn’t want to accidentally ding the finish. Granted, you probably would have to loosen the attachments anyway to adjust the seat and footrest height once your child doesn’t need the harness anymore, but I think this alteration would improve usage.
In short, I think the STOKKE TRIPP TRAPP is a fantastic chair. It’s no wonder it has enjoyed a long and solid history; I just wish I had opted for one right at the beginning!