The 4moms high chair is a worthy addition to any household, hampered only by government oversight. I mean, you know baby gear is one of the most regulated industries, right? The magic trick that the $300 4moms high chair does could have truly been magical, when turned out more like a useful reality.
See, 4moms calls themselves a “robotic company that makes baby gear.” Fair enough, so I should expect motorized parts, transforming parts and maybe some Bluetooth? Well… no, but you do get something that almost completely removes the main pain point of most high chairs.
For all the variations on the theme, all high chair trays are a pain in the butt to use. Most use two clips, two rails, or some combination of both, to allow your baby’s tabletop to be stable enough to eat from, while being removable. That’s a big problem – if you have kids, ever looked after a kid, or even just seen someone walking with their kids, when do you ever have two hands free? You just don’t, making mealtime a chore instead of the rewarding family time it should be.
Enter the power of magnets. Strategically placed ones in the chair seat guide the tray into its resting place, without awkward guide rails. There’s also more magnets in the tray top, which hold 4mom’s assortment of bowls, plates, and silverware almost securely to the surface. I say almost because almost no force is going to stop a Hulking-out baby from dashing those dishes to the floor.
I particularly like these, it’s a far more elegant solution than the usual suction-cups, which never work after putting them through the dishwasher on the wrong setting. They’re expensive though, one bowl with cover comes with the high chair, with a set of two bowls and two snack bowls (with covers), a plate, and a fork/spoon set for little hands comes to $40. Oh, and you don’t want to put these in the microwave, as they’re either filled with magnets or steel – either of which could turn your microwave into a light show.
The thing is, it could have been so much more. 4moms wanted a completely-magnetically-secured tray, but government safety requirements meant 4moms had to add the latch. It’s also likely that safety requirements made it so the magnets securing the tableware were similarly nerfed. It’s a real shame, while the safety regulations aim to make everyone safer, this high chair could have been a real disruptor.
The Tesla of baby feeding.
It’s still a great chair, with almost everything a potential parent could want. The five-point harness has removable shoulder straps for older tykes, the foam insert is super easy to wipe clean and it’s also removable, and the plastics used in the rest of the chair haven’t stained yet, even from the dreaded beef & tomato combo.
There’s three heights for the chair, and the lowest is able to be pushed under most dinner tables, so your little one can eat from the same table as you when they grow bigger. It doesn’t fold for storage, which might be a dealbreaker for some. Then again, it’s light to shift around using the large handle formed by the top of the legs.
So, should I buy it?
I still love this high chair, partly because I can see the potential. If 4moms is ever able to use just the magnetic catches on a future model, it’ll be a literal meal-changer. As it stands, it’s just fast(er) food for your hungry tot, which is still a win in any parent’s book.
Is $300 worth some magnets and a stable base for your kid to eat? Probably, but I’d like to see 4moms come up with things like an add-on to turn the high chair into a normal chair once your tyke is old enough.
A sample unit was provided for the purpose of this review.
Magnets make anything cool, just look at ICP
Super easy to clean
One-handed tray control is fantastic
No folding ability, so space could be an issue
Couple of fiddly sections in the initial setup