May 13, 2014 02:00 PM

Courtesy Oxo

First and foremost, we’re moms.

But, for approximately three hours a day, we’re also waitresses.

It’s a shift with few perks: we never receive a tip, there’s rarely a kind word about the service or meals, and sometimes we even have to endure food being thrown at us.

So, the least we can ask for is a high chair that works well during the messy dance that is dinner.

Recently, we had the opportunity to try out the new OXO Seedling high chair ($150).

Here’s a breakdown of what works well and what doesn’t:

It’s easy to assemble. I assembled this chair at 7 am in my pajamas while sitting on the couch. It took approximately 15 seconds, and zero caffeine or tools.

The words, “Honey, can you help me with something?” never even crossed my mind, which my husband is eternally grateful for.

All you have to do is attach the chair to its metal legs and listen for a snap. Adjusting the high chair is equally as easy — the large gray buttons are intuitive and easy to press, like the tray which you can adjust forward or backward with just one hand.

The seat also has three reclining positions, which my little munchkin seems to like.

It’s stylish, which is nice because it’s hard to find a high chair that doesn’t give your kitchen the daycare center look.

It also comes in four mellow, non-patterned colors which won’t compete with your own décor. The seat cushion is stain resistant, wipeable and simple to remove for machine washing, too. So, when a food fight takes place, wipe it down, pull it off and just toss it in the wash, and your shift is over!

I love the bells and whistles. Because the chair sits on scratch-resistant wheels my hardwood floors no longer take a beating.

The wheel’s brakes are hands free, too, so it’s easy to lock the seat in place with your foot while you’re serving up food. Keeping this puppy clean is nowhere near as difficult as other chairs I’ve tried because there are no black-holes-of-death where food can get trapped. I’d often find petrified blueberries lurking in the nooks and crannies of other chairs, but with the Seedling you can feel free to give your little nugget an extra helping of slippery edamame. Anything that misses its intended target will be found just underneath them.

The price is reasonable — it’s cheaper than OXO’s wooden Sprout chair ($250) and other high-end seats on the market. Seriously, you’d be hard pressed to find a chair this pretty (that’s also BPA, PVC and phthalate free) which gives you this much bang for your buck.

The tray is heavy. As a mom of two, I definitely don’t hit the gym as much as I used to, but I still considered myself in decent shape.

Lifting the chair’s tray with one hand (because when do you ever have two?) really works those biceps! Which one could argue is a good thing with summer on the way. While the company agrees that the tray is heavier than some others on the market, they said that in general they prefer thicker parts to ensure things are extra strong and will not bend or break. I buy that.

While I absolutely LOVE that the plastic tray attaches to the back legs of the chair for easy storage (and lays flat on a table when not in use), when I place my daughter in the seat for dinner it can be hard to pull the hanging tray off quickly. The tray grips the legs in a way that sticks, likely so that little ones won’t easily be able to pull it off when they’re crawling around it. It’s not a deal breaker for me but I’ve definitely uttered “ugh” while doing it.

The verdict:
I’ve finally learned what I want in a high chair: something easy-to-clean and easy-to-maneuver because with two kids, I’m always being pulled in at least two different directions.

I may have a small beef with the heavy tray, but thanks to intelligent design, all of the other features are a piece of cake.

Amy Jamieson

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