I had long been interested in a wooden highchair when shopping around for baby gear, since I knew they made a great investment (and looked great, besides). I was excited then to try out the Svan Signet Complete Highchair, since not only was it wooden, but it transitioned through a child’s years, all the way to becoming a full-sized chair on which even a big school-aged kid (or adult) could sit. (Click this link to see a great video demo of the different stages of the chair. Link also includes online assembly instructions.)
When the chair arrived, my husband tackled putting it together (since that’s really more his thing than mine) and I was really glad he had set aside a good chunk of time to do it—it took over an hour! There are lots of parts and it takes careful reading of the instructions and some concentration to get the chair assembled. This was a little frustrating, but not a dealbreaker on the chair—and in fact, I wasn’t that surprised. A chair that can be used in so many configurations is bound to have many parts and instructions. That being said, my husband told me to be sure to add that keeping the instructions handy for the life of the chair is a must. Any adjusting you’ll need to do down the line will require you brush up on what bolts to detach/attach where, etc. (I have heard that the Svan Essential—the exact same chair without the baby kit included—takes less time to assemble, so it may be the baby kit that comes with the Complete that takes the bulk of the time.)
The chair is very handsome looking, with it’s sleek wooden lines. I can imagine it would compliment any decor. Once it’s all together, it is very compact—much more so than I expected. The seat with the baby kit attached seemed small, and I worried that it would be too small, but it has not proven to be an issue for us so far. Almost every part of it is adjustable: the foot rest, the crotch bar, the seat back, etc. Clean up is a cinch—the surfaces are very wipeable and will continue to look new for a long time. Our Complete came with the seat cushion, which is a great feature for small babies, making the chair a little more comfy to sit in, but the downside to the cushion is that it is cloth instead of plastic or other more cleanable material. I am afraid, especially since the color of our cushion is a light yellow, that this will show wear over time. The cushion is removable and washable, but I would prefer a cover that can be wiped easier than cloth. However, this won’t be an issue forever, since we plan to remove the cushion once our baby is big enough to sit in the chair without the baby kit frame.
The Complete comes in several different wood finishes: espresso (pictured), mahoghany, cherry, natural and whitewash. There are also several colors for the optional cushion (sold separately), so you can customize your look to fit your decor perfectly. This is a great feature for a chair that will be around for years! We really look forward to using this chair for a long time and are pleased that it will grow with our baby as he moves up to becoming a big kid.
For more fun facts and features about the Svan Signet, check out this video.
Price: highchair $250, cushion $40
To buy: buybuybaby.com