As a new mom, I’ve learned that babies come with a lot of stuff. And while I was overjoyed at the prospect of having our son join us at mealtime in a chair as opposed to a bassinet, sling, etc., I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the idea of having one more piece of furniture for which to find a home—especially in our increasingly shrinking condo. Enter the Bright Starts Playful Pals Chair Top Highchair!
The concept is great—a highchair that sits atop a regular chair with a rigid backrest. I love that it doesn’t require us to squeeze a separate, full-sized highchair in between our dining chairs. On top of that, assembly was easy. The illustrations and clear language made it a cinch to snap the pieces together within 10 minutes. The design is adorable, with a gender-neutral zoo print in calming blues and greens gracing the seat pads. Even better is that the pads are easily removable and machine washable for when baby makes a mess. The removable tray, which can fit in three different positions, comes with an additional insert that’s easy to snap on and off for a quick rinse in the sink (although both tray parts are dishwasher safe).
Along with the seat pads, Bright Starts takes baby’s comfort into consideration with a recline function. Three different settings can be simply achieved with the press of two buttons. I particularly liked that the large tray stays level even in the recline position (if only my glider came with that feature!). While the manual promises “four convenient height settings,” we found it took significant effort for my husband and I to get it to go from the lowest position to the highest. Fortunately, we don’t anticipate having to go back and forth between heights often so this isn’t a significant deterrant.
On the plus side, this highchair easily converts from use for an infant to a toddler; it’s good for up to 50 pounds. The five-point restraint ensures baby stays put during meal times, and all you need to do is remove the backrest to modify the chair to a booster seat. Although the chair has a small footprint, I don’t think it will be traveling much from the dining chair. There’s a handle at the back of the base indicating easy transport, but the chair itself is too bulky and not collapsible for easy transit or storage. It would fit in the trunk of our car for a weeklong trip to the beach, for example, but it wouldn’t do well on a plane trip.
For the price, the Bright States Playful Pals Chair Top Highchair exceeds my expectations. Parents who with small spaces and small budgets who are looking for a chair that can grow with their child will definitely appreciate the features of this convenient, affordable seat.
To buy: diapers.com