Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Svan Highchair - Review from a mom

We have had the Svan for almost a year now, and I figured I'd throw out a review to the void in case anyone was interested. My thoughts on this chair can be summed up in one statement:

Form over Function.

If you want a wooden high chair that comes in a variety of finishes, is adjustable and discrete and looks cool, this is the chair for you. If you want a high chair that is easily adjusted, easy to clean, budget friendly and has a large tray, this is NOT the chair for you.

It was a big investment...it's a pricey high chair (about double what most high chairs cost), but I chose it because we have a TINY breakfast area and a table that is already too big for the space to deal with so I needed a high chair with a small footprint. Also, because we have an open plan house (in other words you can see every room from just about every other room), I wanted a highchair that was inconspicuous. And in those two regards, I definitely got my wish with the Svan. It is small and definitely discrete and matches the decor in our kitchen perfectly.

That being said, I sometimes think this chair is TOO small. It boasts that your child never grows out of it, which is true to a certain extent because it converts into a stool that puts your little guy/girl at standard table height and has something crazy like a 200 lb weight limit, but that being said, the tray is TINY. Something that becomes an issue when you child is learning to feed themselves. In order to get traction with their fingers or with their utensil, most kids will push their food, bowl, plate around the tray until they can get a grip. If the tray is small, more food than necessary ends up on the floor and in their laps.

My other big complaint is the seat covers for this chair are not only $40 extra, they are cloth with a scotch guard like coating instead of being made of a more durable and wipe-friendly vinyl or plastic. All the little nubbies of the cover attract food like a magnet (food that gets ground into the texture) and although you can toss the cover in the washing machine, it does NOT hold up well with repeated washes. So the chair cover is constantly filthy and if you wash it with any amount of frequency, you are stuck with needing to purchase replacement chair at a price that could get you a decent booster seat.

Another complaint is that, although this chair is very adjustable, it takes an allen wrench to make any adjustment. That's right...an allen wrench!! So, once you receive and assemble your highchair, don't toss your 'svan key' away! Ours lives in our junk drawer for the frequent adjustments we need to make with a growing child. What a pain!! I would think the swiss could be more ingenuitive than an allen wrench. Oh wait, they are behind the IKEA revolution. :)

Also, because of the afore mentioned adjustment mechanisms there are about 5463 nooks and crannies for food to get in. Every bolt head for the allen wrench is basically a well waiting to filled with food crumbs, and there are all these crevices and cracks that stuff gets wedged in. I literally have to take the chair completely apart to get all the food cleaned out. A time consuming, labor intensive process that is such a pain and leaves me cursing the stupid chair every time I have to do it.

All-in-all, I have a love/hate relationship with this chair. I get compliments on how it looks, but that's where the love ends. I wish I could say I made a wise purchase here, but I don't think I did, and for you parents that have yet to make your highchair purchase, I would say, save your money and invest in a good stroller over a fancy highchair.

I have several friends that have had nothing but good things about their Chicco Polly high chairs,or for you more budget savvy parents (or parents with limited space like us), go for a booster seat. The tray will be smaller than with a standard high chair and for a month or two in the early days you may have to use a dish towel to help junior sit more snugly in place, but it grows with your child and will be usable until they are ready to sit by themselves and it's also good for travel. My in-laws keep a Fisher Price Healthy Care Deluxe Booster at their house for the grandkids and it is AWESOME. Every time I use it I wish we had purchased something similar. I think the main reason I love it so much is it's completely plastic and is super easy to wipe down. We will definitely be getting one of these for baby #2!

Hope this helps someone!


Erica said...

LOVE your product reviews. I was thinking about the Polly...but love the look of the wood high chairs. But I guess we have a while before we will need one. LOL


Jennifer said...

We have one of those booster seats! We use it as a portable high chair. I take it to my sister's house and on picnics. It is a great chair.

Anonymous said...

Funny...I have a Polly, and I'm thinking of exchanging it. Even though I have a big baby, he seems dwarfed by the Polly and its tray, and he looks most uncomfortable. The straps are also a nightmare to adjust/get right.

We're going to test drive the Svan this week -- we'll see!

Emilie said...

Thanks for your comprehensive review on the Svan. We had the Chicco Polly for our son & HATED it so I was thinking about buying the Svan for our daughter. Ironic, isn't it? :) The Chicco, although plastic, has crevices for food to get in everywhere and the plastic ripped in two spots. They claim the tray is dishwasher safe, but it takes up the entire dishwasher. And the chair itself is huge. Anyway, I guess we'll think about a booster :) Thanks!

Green Lifestyle Consulting said...

We have one of the booster chairs, in fact, we have two. We had twins first, and not a lot of space. They served as their high chairs, therefore they didn't take any extra space, and they weren't really noticable by the dining room table. When we traveled it was great, because they were familiar with their chairs and knew that they meant food. When they got older, about 2 or 3, we used them for when they wanted to paint. It held them in one place and the chairs cleaned up really well. At 4 they were time-out chairs because they were strapped in and couldn't get up and leave. Now that the twins are 5, the new baby is using one of them.

They are compact, they travel well, you can put the lid on a dirty tray and then do clean-up at your destination, the chair back is a handle for carrying, and they are as sturdy - or tippy - as the chair you strap them to.

Allen said...

Happy Pink Satruday! Your chairs are gorgeous. I would never have guessed those were dinner napkins.


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