28th December 2018
Amy Hopkins and her baby daughter try out Stokke’s famous Tripp Trapp, a pricey chair that lasts from birth to adulthood.
Designed in 1972, Stokke’s Tripp Trapp pioneered the concept of a chair that grows with your child from birth to adulthood and allows them to sit at the table with the family. It has three configurations – the newborn set, the infant seat (highchair) and the adjustable chair, suitable for use from two years. The cost of the various attachments soon adds up, but with Tripp Trapp you’re buying into a concept. Think of this as investing in a piece of furniture, rather than buying a temporary baby product.
With its chic, understated Scandi design, Tripp Trapp feels like a real piece of furniture – a welcome relief when your home is slowly filling up with plastic baby kit (Jumperoo anyone?).
I received the Tripp Trapp chair when my daughter Annie was two months old and a perfect candidate for the newborn set. She seemed very comfortable cradled in its soft seat and the harness is padded, so even when she wriggled and twisted it didn’t seem to rub or bother her. The removable toy hanger is a stroke of genius. I ended up attaching all sorts of things to the plastic arc to occupy her, including teething rings, fabric baby books and even a stainless steel whisk.
It will be another couple of years before Annie can try the chair iteration, but friends with older kids speak very highly of it. The height of the seat and the footrest can be adjusted separately, centimetre by centimetre, to create a truly bespoke sitting position for your child. The footrest is a handy step-up to the seat, so toddlers can climb up themselves, saving their parents’ backs. Older children can even use the Tripp Trapp as a step to reach the work surface. Don’t worry about it wobbling over – extended gliders on the bottom make the chair very difficult to rock and tip over, and it can easily hold an adult’s weight.
The ergonomic newborn set clicks easily into the chair base, with red/green indicators that let you know whether it’s mounted correctly (handy for anxious and sleep-deprived new parents). The newborn attachment is designed to aid interaction as your baby can ‘sit’ at the table, at eye-level with the rest of the family. I never actually used it at the table, but the newborn seat was still a Godsend for me in the first couple of months of Annie’s life. We have a pet dog and the Tripp Trapp meant I could raise Annie safely out of the way of probing whiskers and know she was safe if I needed to pop out the room. The five-point harness meat that she was well secured in the seat, but it was still nerve-wracking the first time I stepped back from the chair, leaving Annie perched aloft over my tiled kitchen floor. The textile seat cover washes well in the machine.
When Annie was approaching six months old, we switched from the newborn to the baby set. Adding the tray (£39) effectively transforms the Tripp Trapp into a highchair. The baby set was easy to attach to the chair (no allen key required!) and this configuration should see Annie through to aged three. Like the newborn insert and child seat, it’s designed to bring your child up to the table with the family.
When I first sat Annie in the highchair she was wobbling all over the place – either slumped forward over the front, or hanging over the side (she hadn’t mastered sitting unsupported yet), so I thought I would need both the cushion (£33) and the harness (£29). However, to my surprise, within a couple of days she was leaning on the back support with her head raised, sitting up straight. Coincidence, or did the Tripp Trapp help Annie learn to sit?
A few days later we attached the tray and started weaning. Annie seemed very happy to eat (well, fling food around the kitchen) while sat in the Tripp Trapp, but after a week I ended up moving her to her Bumbo seat for meals, simply because I found the Tripp Trapp quite a faff to clean. As it’s assembled from multiple parts, there are lots of nooks and crannies that easily clog up with mashed food.
That being said, the highchair remained in my kitchen and has become integral to day-to-day family life. I stuck a couple of suction-pad highchair toys on the tray and Annie is perfectly content to sit and play, chat and watch me and her dad potter in the kitchen.
As a highchair for weaning, it’s not the most convenient model on the market. But as a comfortable seat that brings your newborn and later your toddler up to the table to sit with the family, Stokke’s Tripp Trapp is a great investment. Ideal if you value style, luxury and longevity.
Chair from £169
Newborn set: £75; Baby seat: £47; Tray: £39
Suitable from three years to adult. Or from newborn (with newborn attachment) or from six months (with infant seat)
Seat depth: 26cm
Footprint: 49 (D) x 46 (W) cm