Silver Cross Doodle High Chair

I’ve had this Doodle Highchair for a couple of weeks now (gifted to me from Silver Cross), the reason I haven’t reviewed it sooner was that I really wanted to get a few weeks usage out of it before I made my comments. I have been through three highchairs, four if you include the Bumbo with its play-tray, in my 2 and a bit years of parenting. They all seemed good to start off with, it was only after a few weeks of use that I began to notice their failings.

This is what i think you need in a high-chair:
  1. Easy wipe clean surfaces
  2. A bit of padding to stop small heads from bumping themselves and little bottoms from going to sleep.
  3. Something to catch all the food that is wasted (ahem) thrown onto the floor by accident
  4. Easy un-clipable harnesses, the harness clip must be easy to do if your small baby chokes itself, but ultimately removable when the toddler doesn’t want to wear it, or sit on it. I have to admit, because of the choking thing and because I have predominantly done baby led weaning I never actually use a harness.
  5. For small babies, I have found a pillar that goes in between the legs either attached to the tray, or built into the seat really helpful.
  6. An easy collapsible storage mechanism

So, onto the review:
The Silver Cross Doodle, is of the highchair type which converts into a table and chair for when your cute little baby turns into a terrible little monster and wants to scribble/ paint all over your cream sofas. As I have both varieties of children, the mechanism to do this is critical. You gotta be fair in our house, baby Fifi sits in the highchair to eat, Toddler Boy gets to use the table and chair. The mechanism to convert between the two is simple and easy and can be done whilst juggling a baby, trust me, ive tried!

The plus points for the Doodle is that it has the wipe clean surface and a brilliant harness. Aimed primarily at babies from 6 months old (although I used it on Fifi before that) as it has a fixed seat which does not recline backwards. Keeping a highchair clean is a really important aspect and it helps to be able to wipe it over and chuck bits into the dishwasher. For this, the Doodle is a doddle!
However, the highchair has a very wide base, as the table essentially forms the widest part of it. Therefore it is no good for using up against a dining room table. Since I like to eat as a family this really proved problematic. Also, its a bit too large to use in the kitchen as it takes up too much floorspace. So, Ive stopped using it as a highchair and returned to my trusty Chicco Happy Snack. Sorry Silver Cross!
To be honest, the highchair reminds me a bit of the Ikea Antilop which at £9.78 is over fifteen times cheaper than the Doodle which retails at £150. However, the Ikea chair doesn’t come with the toddler table or the funky coloured bits. So, essentially, I think that what it comes down to is whether or not you think you will need a toddler table and whether you think that the admittedly funkier harness and colour combinations are worth the added money.
So, onto the table and chair option. The Doodle table and chair looks very cool and the chair is obviously really comfortable for a toddler as Toddler boy chooses it over the sofa every time. The table has handy clip in pots which attach to the side, so you can put pencils or drinks in there and a central lift out container compartment, which is sunk like a well into the middle of the table. This lifts out far too easily and to be honest Toddler boy has primarily used the table as a sort of climbing frame. He loves nothing more than diving through the hole in the middle which he makes by removing the central compartment. He uses the actual bucket compartment as a hat/ mask. He looks reminiscent of a sort of modern day bee-keeper.
The table can be stored flat, the legs come out of the table and the chair, but the chair cannot fold, so you are looking at quite a big thing to store. I found that the table and chair was essentially too large for our living room. It looked nice, but took up too much room. Toddler boy was keen to use the chair at our coffee table, but the actual table lost interest for him. You can buy additional chairs which is a bonus.
Would I buy it? Personally, no, the days where design over-rides function are long gone for me. However, if you have a large, modern house I reckon this would look super-cool in your kitchen.