Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Graco Blossom 4-in-1 Highchair

For some reason, I was under the impression that we needed a high chair the minute the baby was born - even though we delayed solids until A was 6 months, and we were, you know, nursing.  I don't know if I pictured her sitting in her little high chair and me leaning over her face to nurse her?  I'm sure that wouldn't have traumatized her for life.

So, I looked around on Babies R Us - which, coincidentally, is almost the most expensive place you can buy anything.  There are a very few things that are exclusive to them, but you can get pretty much anything on Earth at Amazon, so I don't know why I thought that was a good idea.  Digression aside, I did a bunch of research on all of their models, and chose the Graco Blossom 4-in-1 Highchair (LINK).

This was not the cheapest chair on the market at around $180.  But I looked at it closely, and it grows with the child.  It works as a traditional high chair for when you need it (and have room):

If you don't have room for the whole high chair, or want to take it to Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma's or something and the base won't fit in the back of your Volvo, you can use it as an infant feeding booster by just yanking it off the bottom:

We passed that stage and are currently in the toddler booster, and then will eventually go to a youth chair:


So, anyway.  There's also a video about how it works that you can watch on the Babies R Us site, I think, if you're that weird into researching (like I am).  

Our old townhouse was tiny.  Three floors, so each floor was pretty small, and the bottom floor was really just useless square footage set up as the entry way.  We had a dining room, but it wasn't practical, so we'd end up rolling the highchair into the living room a good portion of the time and having to eat there.  Not ideal, and we've rectified that since moving, but it's what was functional.  We ended up using the high chair a lot - A would eat in there, but we'd also use it to make cookies (I'd just put some tin foil down on the topper thing and let her have at rolling them), and we'd also use it for crafts.  When we got snowed in for about a week around Christmas this past year and had no actual craft paper at home, here's a picture of A using glitter paint on cardboard with Q-tips in lieu of paintbrushes (which we also didn't have).  That's horribly jank, but at least she's adorable (please excuse the clutter due to limited space and cabin fever):

So, it was a good purchase for us.  The booster is working for us well, since our girl has a long torso it's the perfect height for our dining room table.

Around 1.5 years, A got rotavirus, even after being vaccinated.  It was terrible, just barf everywhere for days, I felt so terrible for her (until of course we caught it, then we all just felt terrible period).  We'd think she was doing great, she wouldn't vomit for almost 24 hours, so we'd give her food, and then she'd barf again.  Twice this happened in the high chair.  My note on cleaning barf off of this high chair is that it's terrible.  Straight-up terrible.  There are a lot of little crevices down by the butt area, and the straps were the worst.  I cleaned and sanitized them, but they smelled like puke for three weeks.  So, if your child is a puker, you may want to put him/her in a poncho or something before using this car seat. 

Also, this chair is heavy.  You're most likely not free-lifting this thing to move it without throwing out your damn back.  Also, if you stub your toe on it, you will possibly break that toe.  My husband did once, and I've had some pretty awesome swelling.  So, I guess the good news is that it's stable and not going to drop your child on the floor or anything.

Value:  Around $180, depending on retailer.  That's a little hefty, but if you look at it as a highchair plus a booster plus a chair, all of which you may or may not have to buy individually, it's not terrible.  They may have similar 4-in-1 systems now, as I purchased this three years ago.
Child entertainment level:  Not really relevant, but A was comfortable enough to fall asleep on occasion.
Practicality:  I'd say 9/10.  It's a little bulky, which brings it down a point, but it can be fitted to so many situations that I think it's a pretty solid purchase.

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