When can you put a newborn in a highchair? When it’s a bouncer, too. You’ll get great use out of the Hauck Sit n Relax if you buy it early enough, but it’s not entirely niggle-free.
German company Hauck has a bit of an obsession with multi-tasking products (like the I’coo Grow With Me, which converts into a highchair, bouncer and bassinet with an MP3 player attachment). The Sit n Relax has two functions, changing from what Hauck calls a ‘bouncer’ (which is a bit misleading since the seat, though comfortable, doesn’t rock or bounce) into a well-padded highchair. It’s eminently adjustable - even the bouncer seat has three different backrest positions - and it has wheels at the back.
The Sit n Relax comes in one colourway, ‘Zoo’, which uses coffee-and-cream colours and a discreet animal motif. In bouncer mode it would look great in a pale-toned nursery, and although there really isn’t any way of making a beige plastic feeding tray look sexy, the chair has clearly been designed with neutral décor and open-plan living in mind.
There’s hardly any assembly required, which is especially helpful if you acquire it in the early days, before weaning. Franklin, our 1-year-old tester, loves feeding himself and likes to sit bolt upright at mealtimes, so the adjustable backrest suited him perfectly. He’s comfortable in the seat, which is very well padded with a fleecy bum-and-back part, but the covering is hand wash only and I found myself trying to think up pale meals.
What we love
There are seven different height settings, so you can have the highchair seat or bouncer level with the couch or dinner table, depending on how you live. It’s also great for your back and would be a real help if anyone in the family uses a wheelchair.
The bouncer’s toy bar looks simple, with two bears and a mirror, but our tester, 9-week-old baby Martha, was entranced by it. Although the loops the bears hang from are narrow, you could use them to attach brighter toys.
There’s a huge basket underneath, which is useful for chucking bibs and baby cutlery into ready for the next meal.
The meal tray is big enough, with a substantial lip around the outside, and it can be hung at the back of the frame when not in use.
What to watch out for
Though comfortable, the bouncer seat doesn’t really bounce – you can wiggle it a bit, but that’s the limit.
The polyester fabric is hand wash only, and a creamy coffee colour. It wipes clean OK, but in combination with spaghetti Bolognese, it’s asking for trouble.
The basket catches bits of food as well as storing toys.
The 5-point harness is fiddly and a very pale colour, which shows every last snack.
Who is the Hauck Sit n Relax best for?
Mums who want to buy once and forget, or those with a toddler and newborn who want to switch between functions.
If you’re organised, buying early and trying to avoid safari-print plastic, the combination of neutral-looking bouncer and highchair could work for you. The height settings are very versatile and it’s comfortable in both modes. It would be great if the bouncer would bounce, though!