Introduction of Solids: Gear

I have a post about Baby Led Weaning all written and scheduled, but BEFORE I dive into our experience, I wanted to write a quick post about the gear we are using in this awesome adventure, so that when referring to a high chair or plate or spoon, you’d know exactly what we are using and why.

Previous Food Posts:

Toddler Mealtime | Vegetable Soup | Baby Solids: What we cook | Baby Led Weaning

Let’s start with the big one:

HIGH CHAIR

There were only two things I “agonized” over when it came to baby gear in general. It was strollers and high chairs. I mean, there are SOOOO many options, and they are all SOOOO different!

The options are crazy:

Big tray vs. small tray             Full high chair vs. chair/table add-on               Wooden vs. plastic

Toxic materials vs. Safe             Modern vs traditional             Stands out vs. Fit into the decor

“Hose-able” vs. not                  Expensive vs. Cheap                 Popular vs. relatively unknown

I can go on and on and on.

I kept going back and forth between settling for a cherry wood one like Eddie Bauer or Svan, or going for something cool and modern looking like Boon Flair or Bjorn.

I finally decided to go with Boon Flair. I know the company, I know its commitment to non-toxic products like no other, and it looks darn cool.

Having used the chair for a month now, I realized how silly my initial dilemma was. Of course, a sleek, easy to clean one is the way to go. What was I even thinking considering a wooden chair with a cushion. I laugh at myself now knowing first hand exactly HOW messy feedings can be. Boon Flair isn’t without its flaws, of course, but I’ll get to that.

LOOKS:

Let me begin with how STINKING COOL it looks! From the aesthetical standpoint, it gets a TEN out of ten! One day I rolled it outside to hose it off and I just couldn’t handle the awesomeness of its looks. I mean, look at it! Have you seen a more beautiful sight? I bet you haven’t! 🙂

It comes in a few colors: white+orange, white+blue, red+white and green+white and you can buy additional color cushions if you wish, separately.

Now that you’re done gazing lovingly at the Boon Flair chilling among colorful hammocks….

VERSATILITY:

It has a cool looking silver pneumatic lift that raises the chair to your desired height. Ours fits PERFECTLY under our breaskfast table. Flair takes up little room due to its design so if you’re short on space, it’ll fit nicely under your table. It fits a baby up to 50 lbs, till 4 years of age. The shoulder straps are kind of annoying, in my opinion, because they don’t let Lexi move as well as she likes to (she’s an active baby). However, I feel the crotch strap, coupled with the snap-in tray and parental attention is good enough so that the shoulder straps aren’t necessary unless you’re leaving your child alone in the chair.

It doesn’t have a recline some high chairs “boast”, but in my personal opinion, as well as a few materials I’ve read, a baby should NEVER be reclined while eating. EVER. That’s a direct train to choking town. If your baby can’t sit up yet, then he/she isn’t ready for solids. As simple as that.

EASE OF CLEAN UP:

LOVE IT! I roll the chair outside, take a hose and go to town while Lexi watches in a carrier (or I just have Andrew do it). The design of the chair is practically seamless. There are virtually no spaces for food to hide it, nothing to scrub out. Both the pad and the chair can be wiped clean if needed, but I prefer hosing it down, since Lexi is a messy eater 🙂 The tray is removable as well and the tray covers are dishwasher safe AND fit into the dishwasher nicely.  There is only 1 flaw that I could find that I hope Boon eventually addresses. While the whole chair is completely seamless, the plastic snaps on the straps are not. They have crevices, and these crevices catch food, and it’s just really hard to get it once it dries. Not impossible, but requires a hose. I would have liked to be able to just wipe them up, instead. And since Lexi feeds herself, she little dirty hands get all over those straps.

EASE OF USE:

The crotch straps easily adjust with a button on each end, so you don’t have to fight with traditionally adjustable straps. The pedal in the base of the chair turns the breaks on and off, so you can go from rolling the chair around to securing it in one position. It rolls really easily on hard floors, too. The tray snaps and unsnaps easily with one hand which is a life-saver when you have to hold your wiggly baby back while putting the tray in.  One aspect of the chair I have to bring up is the size of the tray. I know my first reaction was that it was small. Seeing the massive trays of other high chairs, I was worried I am missing out on something. However, bigger is not always better! What I found out is that the small tray ROCKS! Small tray means Lexi can reach ALL her food on the tray. She spends half her time pushing the food around, trying to pick it up, especially when it’s slimy, and if it wasn’t for the small tray, then the food pieces would get out of her reach quickly enough. With Boon chair she pushes the food to the edge of the tray and picks it up with the other hand. Brilliant!

SAFETY:

Aside from the spotless record that Boon has in the recall department, they are BPA, PVC, phthalate, lead and cadmium free. I actually emailed them to verify that it applies to their high chairs and they confirmed that all components around the feeding area are free of the aforementioned toxins.

PRICE:

At around $200 on Amazon, it’s a good price for a chair with these feature and quality. It doesn’t look or feel cheap. The construction is very solid and doesn’t feel cheap plasticky like some other chairs. It comes with 2 removable tray covers, which is nice, because we never clean them right after eating 🙂 You can buy replacement cushion or one of a different color for $22, which is nice (I hate when accessories are crazy expensive).


BUY IT: Amazon
WIN IT: Enter Boon Flair giveaway at the end of this post

 

FEEDING SUPPLIES

After I was done deciding on a chair, I needed to get the feeding items. Again, the issue here was finding something that is verifiably 100% free of BPA, PVC and phthalates. I have a Pinterest board that I started collecting items that I have researched and are NOT toxic that you can visit.

I didn’t know what was going to work for Lexi, so I ordered a few things off of Amazon to see if I like them.

PLATES


At first I decided to go with the Bjorn plate, it looked cute and was just as good anything else out there. Except for, it didn’t fit the tray. Whoops! That got put away for later non tray use.  But the spoons are used on daily basis.

 

So I figured, if I’ve got a Boon chair, why don’t I try Boon plates. They worked out really well and that’s what I’ll be ordering from now on.

I ordered the following:


The Boon Saucer is awesome. It’s the perfect size for the tray, which means it doesn’t slip and is NOT easy for Lexi to pick up and throw ( another bonus of having a small tray). It has three compartments. I usually load the farthest two with food and then put 1 food item in the bigger one closest to her, this way she doesn’t go crazy and overwhelmed swiping the items of the plate.


The Bowl with the Catcher is even better. It has a suction cup on the bottom, Lexster can’t pull it off and throw it either unless she is really bent on it. I love using it for soups and pureed things like hummus or guacamole.


I am iffy on the edgeless dishes, simply because she has no problems picking them up and waving them over her head, so I put them aside for future use when throwing plates isn’t as fun anymore 🙂

 

CUPS:


OXO training cup has a special lid with small openings to help babies learn how to drink and not spill.I am not sure how much the lid with openings does, but the cup itself is really nice. Light, completely safe and easy to clean.  It also comes with handles on both sides if your baby prefers that. The lid is meh, we use it mostly without.

SPLAT MAT:


Kushies mat is non-vinyl, non- toxic, easy to clean, easily to spread on the floor. I am not a fan of the patterns, but it’s a splat mat, so who cares. To be completely honest, though, I find it easier to clean food off the floor, than to have to wash the mat. What it does a good job of is catching food she throws and keeping it clean so that I can put it back on her plate.

BIB:

Tried a silicone Bjorn bib with a pocket, tried conventional bibs, but the only thing that worked out was a complete coverage bib from Bumkins. Everything else was a joke.  The best thing that works for Lexi is naked with that bib. We’ve been successfully using this one for weeks now.

 Baby Led Weaning Book and Cookbook

I wrote about the cookbook in this Awesome Book Finds post and would recommend it to anyone who does Baby Led Weaning and searches for ways to make healthy and fun meals for their baby. If you are not currently using the BLW method, I’d highly recommend you read the BLW book. Not necessarily because you want to try a different method of feeding your child but because it has a lot of good ideas on how to build a strong and health relationship with your child when it comes to mealtime.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. Boon Inc provided me with a high chair sample to review. All opinions are 100% my own.

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42 Comments

  • Reply
    LeAnn
    September 10, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    if someone reading this can’t afford a $200 chair, I would like to recommend the Fisher-Price Healthy Care Deluxe Booster Seat. We got one at a yard sale and it has been awesome. It is great for home and travel and still looks brand new after a good cleaning. And the best part is you can get it for $30!

  • Reply
    tarynkay
    September 10, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    We bought the Antilop high chair from Ikea. There is no cushion so you can hose it down, and it works perfectly for us. And it was $20! Okay, $25 with the tray. I highly recommend it for people who don’t have $200 to spend on a high chair. We don’t use dishes for our son, b/c he is an amazing thrower- we just put his food right on the tray. And this is totally unhelpful for non-dog people, but seriously, the dog is awesome at getting every piece of dropped baby food. I think that the happiest day of our dog’s life was the day our son started eating solids.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      September 10, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      Thanks for providing readers with a cheaper high chair option, Taryn

    • Reply
      Sarah
      September 10, 2012 at 2:07 PM

      Lol! I could have written this comment word for word. I never have to sweep up around the high chair thanks to my lab!

  • Reply
    LN
    September 10, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    PS. It’s spelled “choking” not “chocking.”

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      September 10, 2012 at 11:33 AM

      Oops! I knew it didn’t look right. “Chock” (I just can’t win, can I?) Chalk it up to being distracted while writing. 🙂
      Thanks.

      • Reply
        Elsa
        September 10, 2012 at 11:38 AM

        Actually, that would be “chalk” it up! 🙂 One place where my Ph.D in English actually comes in handy!

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          September 10, 2012 at 12:03 PM

          Hahaha you’re so right!
          Chock is as in “chock full of…”, right?

          This is where not being a native speaker doesn’t come in handy. Though I thought I knew better. 🙂

          • Elsa
            September 10, 2012 at 1:19 PM

            I think you do very well as a non-native English speaker!

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
            September 10, 2012 at 2:14 PM

            Thank you! I appreciate it.

  • Reply
    Cathy
    September 10, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    I find it annoying that you are recommending a $200 high chair that you were given for FREE. I daresay that the majority of your blog readers can’t afford a $200 high chair and while I can see the benefit of spending more money on something like a dresser (which will last for years), the idea of spending that much on a high chair is laughable.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      September 10, 2012 at 12:04 PM

      When I was researching an actual chair TO buy, I was looking in the $200 price range. All I am doing is a review, I am not forcing anyone to spend money on anything. 😛

      • Reply
        Lara
        September 10, 2012 at 4:13 PM

        I honestly can’t fathom why you’d spend $200 on a piece of equipment you’ll be using for two years, maybe less. You and your husband must be very wealthy.

        • Reply
          lara
          September 10, 2012 at 8:21 PM

          How many Laras are there around this place?!? We need numbers!

        • Reply
          Nina
          September 11, 2012 at 12:54 AM

          There are several high chairs that can be used far longer than two years. We have the Stokke Tripp Trapp and highly recommend it–it does not look like a piece of baby equipment and can be used into adulthood. I am planning on making it my son’s desk chair once he is old enough to be in school. I also like that the Tripp Trapp needs to be pulled up to the table and does not come with the tray (although they do sell it separately now, it was not available at all when we bought the chair)–I think the baby should eat at the table with the family and interact with them and not be it’s own separate unit at mealtime.

          • Tawny
            September 11, 2012 at 1:56 PM

            THIS! Babies should be at the table eating with the family, not in their own separate chair. And $200 might be a good deal if the kid would sit in it until they’re 4 but that’s not likely.

    • Reply
      Danielle Kowalski
      September 10, 2012 at 3:16 PM

      I am a true believer in the statement ” you get what you pay for.” I wonder how any of the cheaper options are made f high quality and completely non- toxic materials. I love Elena’s reviews and recommendations, because whether she paid for the products or was given them, I value her determination in making sure they are safe and healthy. Also, a good high chair can be used for future babies, making the investment a little easier to justify.

    • Reply
      Pretty_Petunia
      September 10, 2012 at 3:32 PM

      I think it’s reasonable if you consider you can use it for up to four years!

      • Reply
        Cathy
        September 10, 2012 at 9:55 PM

        Who on earth is putting their 4 year old in a high chair?

        • Reply
          fran
          September 11, 2012 at 12:20 PM

          Dooce is.

    • Reply
      Sarah B.
      September 10, 2012 at 11:30 PM

      Great places to find gently-used expensive equipment for cheap are your local Craigslist and consignment sales. We have many nice items for our children that we got for WAY less than the original price from those places! I don’t mind expensive items being reviewed, because it gives me a good idea of what to look for when I scout Craigslist! There’s no way we could afford this beautiful highchair right now (it’s costs almost twice what my husband makes in a week…not joking…this is what happens when you get laid off), but maybe I’ll get lucky and see it at a yard sale or something. I think the reviews are helpful.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    September 10, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Ha! She eats like my kids! It drives my mom and sisters crazy, but stick it out! Now that my first is a little older he eats independently with utensils and never spills a drop, unlike my nephews who have all been spoon fed all along. My boys will also try anything you put in front of them. It makes cooking for them so much easier when I have lots of options!

  • Reply
    Katherine H.
    September 10, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    I really love how you review all these safe products! I can’t wait until I decide to have babies of my own. This is my ALL time favorite blog, and I wish more people had the same values on their children’s health. As soon as I looked at the four highchair links you were considering, I said to myself, “That Boon chair is so awesome!” Hahaha!

  • Reply
    Holls
    September 10, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    I’d just like to say that some babies HAVE to be reclined to eat. Such as babies with special needs. Such as my own 15 month old with Cerebral Palsy. He can swallow fine but he cannot hold up his head for more than a few seconds. If there is anyone who enjoys reading this blog as much as I do but might need a few suggestions for special kids I can help you out.All of the products you have used look awesome but only some are useful for special kids too. Sorry Elena, I’m not meaning to butt in on your blog. But maybe you can introduce a few us if you get similar comments? -A Special Education Teacher and a Mom to a Special Needs Son

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      September 10, 2012 at 7:44 PM

      Oh I didn’t know. But I’d imagine that there’s a ton of things that need to be different for babies with special needs. Obviously, I wasn’t talking about those when discussing the recline. I don’t know the first thing about what they would need though 🙁 I try to only talk about things that work for Lexi because babies are so different, I can’t even say what worked for her will work for another, let alone a baby with special needs 🙁

      • Reply
        Bella
        September 10, 2012 at 11:37 PM

        You might consider renaming this feature something like “Best For My Baby” rather than “Best For Baby”. The latter sounds a lot like you’re speaking with broader authority than you intend.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      September 10, 2012 at 7:46 PM

      Maybe give this idea to a blogger who does have a kid with special needs?

  • Reply
    Sonya
    September 10, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Thanks for the review! I love Boon products and love the idea of this chair being easy to clean!

  • Reply
    joanna
    September 10, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    is that a raw carrot on her her plate? i hope not and i really hope that if is, it is not something encouraged by BLW. children under 2 years old should not eat raw carrots. the AAP recommends 2 years old for raw carrots and for infants, cooked, finely cut carrots.

    • Reply
      Stephanie
      September 12, 2012 at 5:54 AM

      I was worried about the carrot, too.

      • Reply
        Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
        September 12, 2012 at 11:16 AM

        I think you guys are right! I didn’t think about it cuz she did so good gumming on her carrots but I just double checked the book and it says it should be steamed. It didn’t make a big deal out of it so I missed it somehow.

        HUGE thanks for heads up!

        • Reply
          Stephanie
          September 12, 2012 at 9:47 PM

          Phew. I’m relieved to hear that. I didn’t want to sound all panicky earlier but my nephew choked on a raw carrot, aspirated into his lungs and had to have it surgically removed. He’s fine, thank goodness. But it was very scary.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    September 10, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    Hi Elena! Have you checked out Green Toys USA? http://www.greentoys.com/index.html
    Before I became pregnant, I bought these toys for birthdays and baby showers because they are non-toxic and eco-friendly. Now that I am expecting, I have registered for their feeding products as well (spoons, plates, etc.)!

  • Reply
    Jess
    September 10, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Just started following your blog and love it! I have a baby a few weeks younger than Lexi and am loving all your posts. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Melody
    September 11, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Love my boom high chair!! In Canada of course things cost more so it was 250$ from babies r us. There are things I cheap out on when it comes to my son but not the things that can be used for our futures kid and then be sold and is safe for him. Cheap seats are just full of gross chemicals and I don’t want those near my son when he’s eating!!

    Elena, we are still holding off solids. Hoping to make it to 9 months but I can tell know that he’s over 7 his milk demand has gone up. I am hungry all the time. But he’s still in the 95% for weight and height so I know he’s getting enough!! Glad you are enjoying the BLW, I love seeing all the pics of lexie enjoying eating.

    Thanks also for the reviews on safe products. I had already bought this one before I knew you had gotten it but I like that there is someone else as concerned with the safety of our child’s food and other items as I am!

  • Reply
    Heather
    September 11, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Thanks for your reviews! I find them very helpful. While some people can’t afford more expensive options, some of us can and that’s fine. We have the Bloom Fresco Loft and have been using it for my daughter since she was an infant (obviously not to feed entirely). They have an infant insert that can be helpful to place your baby in while cooking in the kitchen when your baby is an infant. I was interested in the splat mats, and I appreciate your post because we have recently started BLW and I was thinking something like that would be good because I have a dog and cat and when food drops onto the floor, it always gets fur on it and I can’t give it back to her. This sounds like a great suggestion!
    Also, Lexi is one cute little girl! I love seeing the pictures with your posts! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jessica
    September 12, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    We looked at the Boon, and the Trapp as well as a few others (but man they are pricy!), but we really wanted our girl to be at the table with us (and we have a small house so we needed a SMALL footprint!) so we got a booster-seat style highchair, and it’s great – we don’t use the tray; we pull her right up to the table, and place her food there, and we can all sit down to dinner together every night. We love it!

  • Reply
    Lauren N
    August 6, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    I was just researching the Bloom vs Boon highchair and of course I came upon one of your blog posts from way back. Your reviews are awesome and you handle the spectrum of reader comments with such grace!

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