For messy meal time and super simple cleanup, the IKEA ANTILOP highchair is a game changer for new parents.

Over the last couple of weeks, our 10-month-old has officially made the switch from willingly accepting spoon fed baby food to requiring a level of feeding independence I wasn’t fully prepared for. As a parent with “mess anxiety”, the prospect of putting down a bowl of food for my child to “go crazy” kept me up at night (when he wasn’t actually keeping me up already). So you could imagine my dismay when we broke out our brand new, very expensive highchair and watched as a plethora of soggy foods found their way into every crack, crevice, zipper and strap. This highchair has all the bells and whistles; it’s a 5-in-1 convertible highchair designed to basically last him until college. Some of the key features of the  Chicco Polly Progress highchair  include:

  • Newborn recliner with detachable toy bar
  • Adjustable infant highchair with multiple recline options
  • Detachable Toddler booster for meals at the table
  • Big kid booster becomes a portable seat to take on the go (technically this highchair replaces this thing, which we also have and in hindsight probably didn’t need. But it’s nice to have an extra booster to leave at your parents/in-law’s house)
  • Height-adjustable youth stool that seems a little silly since at this point your young one can just use an actual chair

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What We Love About The ANTILOP

All these bells and whistles are good for an older child who has a bit more hand coordination, but not great for a 10-month-old learning to eat for the first time – unless, of course, you don’t mind the mess. Enter:  the ANTILOP from IKEA . The design is simple, but brilliant. There are zero frills with this affordable highchair, but it has everything you need at a price you literally can’t beat. Some of the key features of the ANTILOP highchair include:

  • Super simple bucket seat design with waist strap – this is one of the greatest selling features for my family because it buckles at the waist and not the shoulders. It allows my son to not feel so restricted in his movements. He doesn’t love being restricted, and meal times have become a lot less stressful with this waist-only strap.
  • Almost the entire thing (bucket seat and tray) are made from Polypropylene, which is insanely easy to clean. And since the highchair is only two primary pieces (the bucket seat and tray), you can take it in the backyard and hose it down if you felt the need. No cushioning, zippers, or crevices for food to get stuck in for eternity.
  • It’s super light, like 8lbs light, which makes it really convenient to move around the house. The assembly is also so simple that you could easily pack the highchair up and bring it with you wherever you go (which we have done multiple times). Assembly requires less than a minute.
  • It can be used up to 3 years old or 33lbs, so it’s going to be something you can use for awhile. Now I’m really questioning whether we actually need our original highchair at all.
  • The highchair is both stackable and dishwasher safe according to reviews.
  • You cannot beat this price – it can be yours for the small investment of $19.99. That’s pretty insane considering I like the features of this highchair more than those of our more expensive model.
  • You can find a variety of ANTILOP accessories online to increase the comfort of the chair (although my son doesn’t seem uncomfortable in the chair at all). This includes cushions for the bucket seat and placemats for the tray.

A Few Minor Critiques

All that being said, there are a couple of things I don’t like (although I feel rude complaining about a $20 highchair). Here’s what I don’t love, but can live with:

The tray can be a bit difficult to remove from the base. You get used to it after a while, but it’s a pretty common complaint with the highchair. Read a customer review below:

“I have spent a significant amount of time, energy, and patience just trying to remove the tray from this chair for cleaning. It is ridiculously difficult, and I’ve injured myself several times. I have no idea why they made it this hard. Otherwise, not a bad chair, but they NEED to fix that tray.”

If you need some additional help trying to figure out how to remove the tray on the IKEA ANTILOP, you can check out this helpful video below:

Next, the legs of the chair extend pretty far outward, resulting in me tripping on it multiple times. I understand why the legs function in this way – so the chair is more stable overall – and I’m more accident prone than the common person, so I don’t completely hold it against the chair.

Last, the chair seems rather short to me. Compared to my $200 model, the ANTILOP only stands at a mere 30 inches tall. You eventually get used to it, but if you have a high top dining table, your child will be a bit lower than your table. 

Final Thoughts on the ANTILOP

I’m not a huge advocate for buying two products that basically function in the same way (although you seem to end up doing this a lot when you have a baby), but with the ANTILOP only costing $19.99, I really had no reason not to make a small investment in what’s amounting to a massive uptick in usability and convenience. Our fancy $200+ highchair will be stored away and used when he’s a bit older. But for now the ANTILOP is the perfect solution for messy babies learning to eat solid foods.

The IKEA ANTILOP is also available on Amazon here if you already have an Amazon baby registry set up and don’t feel like starting an IKEA registry. That said, the price is significantly higher on Amazon for some reason. If you don’t have an Amazon baby registry yet, you can set one up here

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