Friday, February 27, 2009

Favorite Thing Friday: Euro II chair

When our second son was due to come along about 19 months after our first one, I quickly realized Kal-El was going to have to relinquish his high chair.  I did not want to use a booster seat because we had already started to implement many Montessori ideas and I wanted to him to be able to get in and out of his chair himself.  This was not only to foster Montessorian Independence, but to save wear and tear on my genetically cursed back.

I know a lot of kids get in and out of booster chairs themselves every day, but from what I had witnessed they usually did this by using the foot rails and the foot rails on our antique chairs were loose enough already.  Even if I trained him not to climb the foot rails, their tempting, ladder-like appearance may have proven to be too enticing for a toddler who just wants to sit in his chair.  Also, if you're the type of person who cares about comfort, a booster generally leaves their legs dangling.

I still had several months until the new baby was due, and another six months after that until that baby was going to need even a couple of minutes in the high chair, so there was plenty of time for at least 6 or 7 of those unsolicited One Step Ahead catalogues to appear in my mailbox repeatedly display the Euro II chair($).   I read all 140 reviews on the website, compared it to other similar (but much more expensive) products such as the classic Tripp Trapp($) or the Keekaroo($$$), decided to "go for it," and have never looked back.  (By "go for it" I mean wait several weeks until there was a "free shipping" special and a 10% off promo code). I notice there are now even more knockoffs of the Tripp Trapp available, so if you are looking for something similar, you will have more choices.

You can look at the links to read a full product description, but let me tell you about my favorites.  The seat and footrest are both height adjustable and adjustable front to back so the chair would grow with the boys.  (You can see in this picture I need to take out the allen wrench and lower the footrest, he grew). It supports up to 150 pounds (the more expensive ones support more...Keekaroo 250, Tripp Trapp 300) so they can use the chair as a desk chair through high school.  If you are a die-hard Montessorian, mine came with all the necessary straps and wooden front supports so that any baby who is capable of sitting up unassisted can eat at the table with the adults from the beginning (I didn't bother installing these).  Other accessories include a tray you can buy to actually use at as a highchair at the beginning if you wish.

The only consistent bad complaints in the reviews was that the pad is flimsy.  Some people claimed that the pad only lasted a day.  I don't know what they were doing on that pad for that to happen.  The pad is covered in that same cheap vinyl that covers mattresses sometimes, or a contour changing pad.  It lasted a year, I noticed our first tiny tear last week.  It has been very easy to keep clean.  I've read that the fancy pads you buy separately to go with the more expensive chairs fit perfectly, so I have to keep my eye out for a good deal.

We like it so much, I think I'll be looking for a good deal on a second chair for Me Too's second birthday!

Alright, enough about chairs, I have to go make a game for tomorrow so Kal-El can learn how to spin and move an appropriate number of spaces.

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