There is a huge range of design choices when it comes to highchairs but the fashion at the moment is for wooden, posture-supporting items with a Scandinavian influence. The first of these was the Stokke Tripp Trapp but since its launch a number of similar designs have sprung up at significantly lower prices – including the DanChair from BabyDan.
Available in natural beech, black, white and whitewash the chair comes with adjustable seat, footrest and waist bar as well as a safety harness and crotch strap. All the finishes are of a very high quality bearing in mind its £70 price tag. The crotch strap in particular is a nice, soft leather which also bears up well to regular wiping and washing. The whole unit is easy to clean and despite the many nooks and crannies needed to make it fully adjustable, they seem to be just out of the way enough not to get food stuck in them.
What We Love
Coordinating better with adult furniture than bold nursery colours, the DanChair blends in well at the dining table, ensuring that baby is part of the family, but not taking it over! Its sloping design and oversized feet allow it to slot nicely up to the table with other chairs and with no integrated table of its own, the chair encourages baby to be part of family mealtimes at the dining table from the start. It’s adjustable seat height also means it will be compatible with most tables.
Further, the highchair’s large feet provide peace of mind as it should be impossible for baby to push himself over even if he is having a tantrum at the table! The chair can be accessorised with different coloured and patterned chair pads, also from BabyDan, which retail at around £15, are wipe clean or machine washable and fixed simply using Velcro. Generic seat pads for this style of chair do also fit, but not as well.
What to Watch Out For
The highchair’s big feet can catch you out and if your main walkway is close to the chair, you may find yourself tripping over them more than once. The waist bar can also seem too close to the chair back when first assembled and you find yourself jamming baby’s legs in sometimes with painful results! However, it seems to be a matter of technique and once you get used to taking baby in and out of the chair it suddenly seems to be the right size.
To adjust the waist bar is a fairly major operation as parts of the seat back need to be taken off to do this however you shouldn’t need to do it frequently and it does contribute to the incredible sturdiness of the chair.??Smaller babies may enjoy the comfort of the seat cushions and they do look attractive but they also trap lots of food so you have to remove and wash them frequently. They are also quite bulky relative to the chair and contribute to the entry/exit difficulties so are less used as baby grows.
Also, keep in mind that the corners of the Velcro strips on the chair pads can be quite sharp so you need to make sure they are positioned away from baby’s body. The fact that the highchair is lacking a table of its own means baby can wreak havoc amongst others’ meals and can push himself away from the table and out of reach of his food with his feet.
Who is the BabyDan DanChair best for?
Mums after a stylish addition to the family dining area with a look aimed more at the adults’ taste than children’s.
It is practical and suits a wide age-range of children although using the safety equipment can take some time and practice to get used to. A good long-term investment at a reasonable mid-price.