My last post in the Three Great Highchairs series is mainly for those with multiples, and it is not so much for feeding as it is for bottle-feeding and specifically, tandem bottle-feeding.
Even if you exclusively breastfeed your multiples, there will be times when it will be in everyone’s interest for someone other than mum to do a feed. And if your babies are on the same schedule, chances are that either they’ll both be demanding milk at the same time, and/or you will have discovered how much time you can save by tandem feeding. This is where this particular bit of kit can help.
(A future post will deal with tandem breastfeeding.)
Number 3: Combi Rashule
The Combi Rashule is a strange piece of equipment – I had never before come across anything quite like it.
It is, according to the Combi website, a daybed, rocker, highchair and booster seat. That’s quite a specification! Basically, it is a height-adjustable cushioned chair which has five reclining positions (from flat to upright), with a built-in swing function and a set of lockable swivel wheels.
When BabyBoy and BabyGirl were tiny, my Combi Rashules were so so useful. Firstly, the wheels! The wheels meant that I could easily bring them with me round the house, even as I was healing from my c-section. I could wheel one up to the changing table and have him/her nearby while I changed the other. I could park them safely at the bathroom door if needed.
Secondly, the adjustable recline. Reclining one step above flat meant that BabyBoy and BabyGirl could be bottle-fed at the same time by a single person. Strap them in, sit between the chair, and off you go. Much, much better than trying to feed them in car seats or bouncy chairs as it was a stable, but cushioned, surface. And it was far kinder to the adult’s back due to…
…the adjustable height. The Rashule can go right down to the floor or as high as a chair. Yes, to the height of a chair. Instead of sitting on the floor awkwardly bending over two car seats, Multidaddy could wheel two Rashules either side of a dining chair, and then sit with his back supported while doing a feed. Then when it was time to wind, one baby is taken out while the other is still safely strapped in.
All in all, a piece of equipment which I never thought I would use, but which turned out to be one of the saving graces of the first six months with twins.
The downsides. Well, the swing function was a bit of a dud – I never did get quite comfortable using it. That wonderful cushioned seat is just a nightmare while weaning, and although there is a plastic cover to purchase separately it is not fitted enough to stop crumbs and liquids getting into the cushion. In a more fatal weaning flaw, the straps are not able to be detached from the chair, therefore they cannot be machine washed (and being white cloth they do get dirty quickly once weaning begins). Finally, that fabulous adjustable height, so perfect when bottle-feeding, just does not go high enough to enable a child up reach an average table.
So as a highchair the Rashule did not survive. But as a means of moving twins around the house, and as a way of doing tandem bottle-feeding, it was an unexpectedly brilliant piece of equipment, and that is why it has still made it onto my list of Three Great Highchairs.