We’ve had a raging love affair with our IKEA Antilop high chair for years. They’ve taken my kids from babyhood through the preschooler years beautifully, but by the time The K Man was about four-and-a-half years old, it was simply starting to get too small.
Problem being, of course, he was still too small to sit in one of our big chairs without a boost. After trying the Baby Bjorn booster seat, it quickly became clear that the structure of a high chair was what he wanted, with the freedom to get in and out as he pleased.
We went on a mission and have tried several options, like the Stokke Tripp Trapp and similar products. A unique choice in the convertible high chair category is the Nuna ZAAZ ($300), which comes all the way from the land of the Dutch. (I hear they know a thing or two about design.)
The simple, straightforward design of the Nuna ZAAZ fits in well with contemporary décor — though it might be a bit of an odd man out in a really traditional setting, so keep that in mind if that’s more reflective of your design aesthetic.
It’s also got a nice, tight footprint, which means you don’t need to squeeze past it in a narrow kitchen or dining room nor will you spend day after day tripping over its legs.
The Nuna ZAAZ is so ridiculously easy to put together. And it comes with everything you need to reconfigure it down the road (such as removing the harness).
Since there’s no fabric on this high chair, other than the harness, you can just wipe it down with a cloth or spritz it with vinegar-water for a bit of a deeper clean. Heck, if more of your Spaghetti Sunday ends up on the chair than in your child, take it out back and just hose it off.
You won’t believe how easy it is to raise and lower the seat as your child grows. It also means that you can get your kid seated at almost any table without him feeling too high or too low. Except those damn pub-height tables. It doesn’t get high enough to have your baby pulled right up to a table this tall. Just attach the tray that comes with the ZAAZ instead.
No matter how big your kid gets, chances are s/he’ll be able to use the ZAAZ well into high school (and beyond) considering it has a 220-pound weight limit.
It’s BPA-free, PVC-free and DEHP-free. I had to look that last one up. It’s a phthalate and considered one of the top chemical threats to humans. And it’s well on its way to being banned in Europe.
The ZAAZ is very, very heavy. You will never worry about your kid wiggling it across the kitchen floor while trying to avoid Brussels Sprouts, or knocking it backwards as curious hands and feet test the laws of physics. But…
DANG! This is one heavy high chair.
The brand will claim that there’s a “no-crevice design.” This is a lie. Unless, I guess, you want to remove the seat pad after every single meal to clean both parts separately. Who’s got time for that? There are grooves in the seat-pad design that are like crumb and grime magnets. And then the buckle comes through a hole in the seat pad that sings sweet, come-hither songs to the stuff that doesn’t make it into your child’s mouth, leading them to a new home trapped under the seat pad. I will never understand why grooves and crevices are created as part of products that involve babies and food.
Your baby will outgrow the ZAAZ’s five-point harness more quickly than just about any other high chair out there. I borrowed a toddler to test this out, and the straps weren’t even long enough to fit over his 15-month-old shoulders. And although you can convert it to a three-point harness, you should be able to do that when you feel ready — not because of the limitations of the shoulder-strap length.
The footrest is super-tiny. It’s more of an Achilles rest. It should be at least triple in depth to make it truly comfortable for little feet and allow bigger kids to get in and out of the chair more easily on their own. As it is, it’s like one of those cute handbags that are made for dogs, which are just silly.
As far as I know, there’s only one colour available in Canada at this time – taupe. It’s fine. It’s neutral. But if you want a pop of WOWEE colour (insert jazz hands), this ain’t it.
So…where can you buy it?