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Always Read The Manual

Always Read The Manual

February 6, 2006

Saturday I bought one of those baby seats that clips on to the table. I have grown tired of the baby walking around the house while eating, leaving a trail like Hansel behind him.

We threw away our highchair a few weeks ago in a fit of exasperation. I was ready to bring the high chair back in after a few days, but I discovered that anal retentive husband had wasted no time bringing it to the dump. It was the most poorly designed highchair and had so many nooks and crannies for food to get stuck in, that unless I cleaned it daily with a toothbrush it was disgusting. And I didn’t scrub it daily.

We had one of these clip on seats when my oldest son was a baby. It was a simple thing. Made of plastic and metal, which was easy to keep clean. It may not have been the most comfortable thing to sit in, not that I ever sat in it, but given the short attention span that babies have for remaining seated in a chair of any kind, I don’t think it matters much. Also, aren’t those big puffy diapers like wearing your own personal chair cushion?

Well, eleven years have changed things. This seat was so darn complicated, with it’s detachable fabric cushions, and harness straps.

You know how these things are, you have to be a rocket scientist to figure them out.
We were having so much trouble with the thing we finally resorted to reading the instruction manual.

And that’s when we found the solution to our problem.

good advice

Remove the baby before attempting to fold the chair! Damn, and here we were trying put him and the chair away together in the cabinet and take them out at the next meal time.

It’s already back in the box, waiting to be returned to the store. And yes, we took the baby out of the chair first.

Posted by Chris @ 7:10 am  

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  1. Sherri Wilkerson says:

    Ha! You know the old saying, “You’ve got to be smarter than what you’re working with…”? I know, I know, it haunts me at times too!!

  2. w says:

    My husband is infamous for spending a reallyreally long time trying to figure things out and then looking at the instructions.

    I realize that you probably have tried this, but on the off chance you haven’t - I loved so much my safety first folding booster seat that straps to a regular chair. In fact, I did a survey once about the one baby item I wouldn’t want to be without and that is what I picked. I often give one as a gift at baby showers. And, you can take it apart and put it in the dishwasher. With or without using the tray, it replaced our highchair completely.

  3. Stacey says:

    Get the booster type one. It’s fairly simple. It does have two harnesses to keep it attached to the chair it’s sitting on, and another one to harness the child in, but we rarely use them. We just set it on the kitchen chair like we would do in a restaurant, and so far no problems. It also comes with it’s own tray but we lost that a long time ago. She just uses the table like the rest of us. Takes up a lot less room than a high chair too.

  4. MJ says:

    I agree with the others, I was going to post the same, get a booster seat that straps to the chair and uses a tray if you wish. We went thru like 4 highchairs before i gave up and went that route and Ill never use a regular highchair in this house again. They are such a pain!!

  5. owlhaven says:

    My sisters use and like the booster kind too. The ONLY drawback to going that route (in a large family) is that sometimes ya don’t have enough chairs in your dining room set to spare one for the baby. When we bought our set, we only had 5 kids, so we bought 8 matched chairs. Now we have 8 kids, and aren’t even sure we could find anything to exactly match our existing set. So my hubby made my two youngest ones wooden high chairs that scoot right up to the table– you know, the kind they have in many restaurants. It has been a good solution for us, though there are times I miss not having a high chair with a tray.

  6. Liz says:

    when in doubt, fish the instructions out of the trash…

  7. Jordana says:

    I’ve gone through a different high chair with each child. My favorites are the plastic ones that you attach to a regular chair, although I seem to break them at times. The best I’ve ever had is the one I have now from Fisher Price. The tray goes in the dishwasher and the seat is all one molded piece with no food catching crevices.

  8. Jody says:

    I bet this is what you had:


    I had one with Cory, and LOVED it.

    Glad you remembered to remove the baby before returning it.. we need more pics of his dimples.

  9. deputyswife says:

    Gosh, I was hoping you were going to say it was the best thing you had ever bought! We did away with the food trap, I mean the high chair, a few weeks ago too. Now I have a two year old who takes a bite then runs around the house. That is when he is not crawling on the table.

    Is duct tape a feasible solution?

  10. Flutter says:

    How sad is that, that the manufactors have to put that in a manual because some stupid ass along the way folded their child inside the chair.

    What about a booster seat?

  11. Ms. Mamma says:

    Before even opening the manual I can feel the anxiety coming on! When I was 8 mos. prego w/ True I put his Bratt Decor crib together and I was swearing like sailor. I wanted a margarita so bad after that.

  12. halloweenlover says:

    Maybe you could run a business writing articles on what people shouldn’t waste their money on, and what valuable tools are necessary to keep children from killing themselves. I’ll pay good money for that ; )

  13. Jamie says:

    Makes you wonder who writes product instruction manuals?!? We have a huge Fisher Price combo highchair/swing and I loved that it was a two for one type product but it overwhelms our tiny kitchen. The baby is almost 11 months old and I am going to sell the highchair in a yard sale and start using a booster seat. Our dogs frequently lick the high chair clean. Yes, I know it’s gross. I also get the toothbrush out to clean it occasionally. :)

  14. Jenni says:

    Ooh, I love the duct tape suggestion!

    Your instruction manual reminds me of the “cook before eating” sorts of suggestions one finds on frozen foods…

  15. Kismet says:

    I am notorious for trying it on my own and finally getting frustrated enough to read the instructions!

    Booster seats are wonderful, but it is true that you have to have plenty of chairs.


  16. Ali says:

    my favorites are the exersaucer instructions that say not to use as a floatation device and the outfit i have that says “Keep away from fire”

  17. Melissa says:

    I’m with everyone on the booster seat idea. I use a plastic one with a tray. I can’t wait till I don’t have to clean one all the time. I love the instructions that come with things. My all time favorite is Starbucks cups which say - Caution, this beverage that you are about to enjoy is extremly hot. Really, well I sure hope my coffee is hot. It cracks me up that people need that kind of warning.

  18. SaucyMomma says:

    I feel like your blog IS the manual. I love reading about the ups and downs of life in the Big Yellow House.

  19. Carmen says:

    Chris, I have the best ever, bar none, collapsible chair that hooks onto the table. It’s lightweight and hooks directly onto the table. I keep it in the car and use it whenever we go out, and we take it traveling. It’s not sold in stores (do I sound like an infommercial or what?) but I bought it online.

    But, um, it’s out in the car and it’s too cold to go out to see the name, on the off chance that you might want one like it. If you do, of course I’ll brave the freezing cold and send a kid out for it.

  20. Annalise says:

    Oh, did you not get the collapsible baby? I find them so much more convenient than the regular kind.

  21. Sarah says:

    bought Prima p…. highchair for ridiculous sum of money. It is still sitting in the store room after I refused to use it anymore. Went and bought $25 Ikea one piece molded highchair and have never looked back. I don’t even have the tray - just push him straight upto the table and away we go. Best highchair ever. But clip ons are great too.

  22. Rob says:

    This is our current “sassy seat”, which was unearthed from the basement, cleaned off/disinfected, and is as good as new:


    The old one was even more simple.

    Sorry for interupting. BTW, isn’t she just the cat’s meow?

  23. Faith says:

    My oldest daughter has one for her baby and loves it. I decided that it was way too complicated for me. I didn’t tell her that of course.I just said that her new baby brother looooooves his highchair too much to switch.;D

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