- Some of the most sought after high chairs cost hundreds of dollars, but many parents say they’re choosing a $US20 IKEA chair over more expensive options.
- Users say the IKEA Antilop high chair is easy to clean, simple to assemble, lightweight, and sturdy.
- Writer Alicia Betz said she loves the Antilop chair as a backup or for travel, and would use it as a primary high chair if it had a footrest.
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When I was pregnant and preparing for my daughter’s arrival, I did extensive research on all the baby products. That lead me to splurge on a number of things, including a $US129 high chair with bells and whistles. It had comfortable padding, recline positions for infants, even a built in cup holder. Only the best for my new bundle of joy.
It wasn’t until after my daughter was born that I heard about the $US19.99 IKEA Antilop high chair, and boy did I hear about it again… and again… and again. Mums everywhere were talking about how great it was. But I wasn’t convinced.
Many parents say a simple and cheap IKEA high chair is the best option out there
Surely a $US20 high chair couldn’t be that great? After all, IKEA isn’t known as a top baby brand. The company is notorious for making furniture that takes two days and an engineering degree to put together.
Nonetheless, the product kept coming up in conversations and in mummy groups, and I started to wonder if IKEA was on to something. Then, when my in-laws were looking for a feeding chair to keep at their house for visits, they understandably didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg. I told them about this cheap baby product and they were immediately sold.
So was I, but don’t just take my word for it. I checked in with some other parents to find out why they love it so much, too.
The high chair is cheap and easy to clean
This goes without saying, but it’s so inexpensive that it’s worth mentioning. Some sought out high chairs cost up to $US550. You won’t find a parent who complains about the $US20 price tag.
Any parent will tell you that it takes a lot of practice for babies to learn how to actually get their food into their mouths. Try cleaning yogurt, strawberries, milk, peanut butter, and tomato soup out of heavy material and a chair’s crevices at the end of the day. It’s not fun.
Unlike most of the high chairs I’ve seen, the seat of this chair is all one piece, so there are no nooks and crannies for food to get stuck. Most high chairs are made of multiple pieces to create moving parts that allow babies to recline or for the seat to adjust. They’re also often covered with difficult-to-wipe-down fabric.
“The best bit is how easy it is to keep clean,” said Shannon Fowler, a mum of three. “So many of the high-end highchairs get gross!”
Registered dietitian and mum of three, Ashley Sweeney feels the same way.
“It is so easy to wipe down, to clean, and to store when you don’t need it,” she said. “I recommend the chair to all new mums.”
Parents have also developed a host of cleaning hacks for the Antilop, including hosing it off in the backyard, sticking it in the shower, and even putting the entire seat and tray in the dishwasher. A disclaimer on that last one: IKEA doesn’t officially say whether it is dishwasher safe or not.
It’s lightweight, small, and easy to assemble
“It’s amazing,” Bree Shirvell, another mum, remarked. “It’s easy to set up and take apart – key in a small apartment.”
Many parents like to use it for travelling because it’s easy to pop all four legs on or off in less than 30 seconds. The chair and tray would obviously still take up room in the car, but with the removable leg feature, it’s a popular option for road trips or keeping in a closet for guests.
It’s also incredibly easy to move around the house, even without taking it apart. From the pool at the bottom of the yard to the garage at a rainy family picnic to the dining room, that thing easily makes its way all around my in-law’s house. It’s never a hassle for someone to just grab it in one hand and bring it to wherever my daughter is, when she decides she’s hungry.
But even though it’s lightweight, it’s still sturdy and I don’t worry about my daughter tipping over. The legs flare out, which helps with stability, although some people complain that they tend to trip over the legs, as a result.
It also works well with or without the tray. Pop the tray on when you’re hanging outside or take it off to pull her up to the kitchen table with everyone else.
What it all boils down to: it’s simple
It’s a no muss, no fuss, simple yet effectively designed high chair. Parents have enough on their plates as it is; any product that simplifies things is going to be a crowd pleaser.
Still, if I could go back in time, would I buy the Antilop over my more expensive one? Honestly, no. It’s an excellent chair for all the reasons mentioned, and it’s perfect to have as a spare or to keep at the grandparents, but it does lack one major feature: a foot rest. Feeding experts say it’s one of the keys to a good eating experience for kids (and adults, for that matter).
Foot rests help babies and toddlers feel more secure and stable. Feeding therapists often compare this to what it feels like when you sit at a bar stool. It’s uncomfortable to have your feet dangling, and we often find support by crossing our legs or propping our legs on something.
Add that feature to the Antilop, IKEA, and I’m sold on this as my main high chair.
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