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  • Writer's pictureNicole

When can you use a booster seat at the table?

Updated: Jan 16, 2021

Baby sitting in a Booster Seat at the table
Courtesy of Ingenuity

Like many other grandparents, my mom and dad also do some occasional babysitting to help us out with our modern day busy schedules. To make their lives easier, we wanted to buy them a High Chair to feed our little sprout.

However, my mom thought this wasn’t the best idea since she would love for her grandchild to join her at the kitchen table and truly take part of the family meals. She felt that her grandchild was too separated from her when seated in a High Chair with a tray.

We had to admit that this was a fair point, but we where not quite sure our 8 month old could use a Booster Seat to join her at the kitchen table. We did some research on the topic to see if we could help her make a smart decision, this is what we learned:

Once your child can sit unsupported in an upright position for extended (min 30 minutes) periods of time, he or she can move into a Booster Seat. This will happen somewhere between the age of 6 to 9 months. Sitting at the table without a tray attached to the Booster Seat can start when your child is tall enough. This starts around 8 to 12 months.

The above is an indication as all children develop at different speeds and everybody’s kitchen and dining area setup is different. Below we will dive into the details you need to know, to safely and comfortably have your child join you at the kitchen table.

Using a Booster Seat at the table, all you need to know!

The ability to use a Booster Seat at the table depends on the compatibility between your kitchen table + chairs and the Booster Seat. Here we will look at the details to look for when you want to use a Booster Seat at the table.

  • The right table

This might sound like an obvious one, but the way your table is constructed can have a big influence on the compatibility with your Booster Seat.

If there are support beams on the bottom, near the edges of the tabletop, it can become very difficult to pull your child all the way up to the table. Either the Booster Seat or your child’s knees will bump into these beams. Your sprout won’t be able to reach the table comfortably and you are back to using a High Chair or a Booster Seat with a tray.

When can you use a booster seat at the table?

If you lower the Booster Seat, your child will most likely be sitting too low compared to the tabletop.

These support beams are also an attractive feature that many children love to use as a launching platform, pushing themselves away with their feet and potentially tipping themselves over.

Overall, tables with a simple thin tabletop work best with Booster Seats. This allows you to pull up your child very close to the table so your child can join you at the dinner table in the most comfortable way.

When can you use a booster seat at the table?

  • The right chair

Booster Seats are handy, but unfortunately they aren’t some magical solution that fit on just about any type of chair.

As the stability and thus the safety of your Booster Seat depend greatly on the stability and quality of your chair, it is important to follow the manufacturers guidelines at all times.

  • Booster Seats should only be used on firm and steady chairs with a back support. Without a back support, like a bar stool, you can’t fixate all the straps to ensure optimal stability.

  • Some Booster Seats require a chair with a hard seating surface. A cushion could allow your child to start wobbling around, which can result in tipping over.

  • Foldable and lightweight chairs are a no-go as they tip over too easily.

  • Always ensure that the straps can fit all the way around the bottom and back rest of the chair.

  • The right Booster Seat

With many brands and type of Booster Seats on the market, it can be quite cumbersome to find the one you need. Especially if you are looking for one that you can use at the table. To help you identify the best ones, we’ve put together a list of features to look for when shopping for a Booster Seat:

  • Safety:

  1. Your Booster Seat should have 2 straps that fit around your dining chair. One for the back and one for the seat.

  2. The Booster Seat should have a safety harness, either 3 –point or 5-point, that you can fit snug around your pumpkin.

  3. The wider the bottom of the Booster Seat, the better it is for stability.

  4. A Booster Seat with support on the back and sides is the safest option as it aids your child to maintain a good posture during meal times. This in turn helps with swallowing.

  5. You should check if the Booster Seat meets all the requirements of the CPSC (Consumer Safety Commission) The list of requirements can be found on their official website.

  • Easy maintenance:

The idea is to use the Booster Seat without the tray and have your child sit with you at the table. Rest assured, it will become messy! Here are some tips to make parenting easier:

  1. The simpler the shape, the easier it is to clean! Look for a Booster Seat with little nooks and crannies that can trap food and dirt. You will save massive amounts of time and frustration after every meal.

  2. Models that have dishwasher safe parts and machine washable fabric and straps are preferred for easy cleaning.

  3. Booster Seats that have smooth surfaces that you can wipe down with a damp cloth and some mild detergent are an absolute winner. Cleaning will be done in a matter of minutes.

  • Ergonomics:

  1. Look for a Booster Seat that is adjustable in height. As your child grows quickly, all of you will be able enjoy the benefits of a Booster Seat much longer.

  2. Although not a necessity, soft padding can definitely help your child to stay happy when seated. Down the road, this can help in better eating behavior and pleasant meal times.

We know this is a lot to keep in mind when you are looking for a Booster Seat (we’ve been there :-)). To help you see the wood for the trees we’ve made our top selection of Booster Seats that fit well at the kitchen table:

Fisher Price Healthy Care Deluxe Booster Seat

What we love:

  • 2 large straps that fit on most kitchen and dining chairs.

  • A 3-point safety harness to keep your sprout safely seated.

  • The wide base offers great stability, even for the most restless children.

  • Simple, stain resistant, easy to clean surfaces.

  • Dishwasher safe tray.

  • Tray cover.

  • Only 3lbs and a carrying strap.

  • Works well without a tray.

  • Removable back support.

  • Height adjustable

What could be better:

  • The tray can be a bit cumbersome to put back on.

  • The straps aren’t removable so cleaning needs to be done manually.

Chicco Pocket Snack Booster Seat

What we love:

  • 2 large straps.

  • A 3-point safety harness, keeping your child in place.

  • Simple, stain resistant, easy to clean surfaces.

  • Dishwasher safe tray.

  • Anti-slip feet

  • Folds flat for easy storage and transportation

  • Works well without a tray.

  • Back support.

  • 3 height settings.

What could be better:

  • The footprint is on the smaller side.

  • The straps are not removable.

Ingenuity Baby Base 2-in-1 Seat - Slate - Booster Feeding Seat

What we love:

  • 2 large straps that can be stored inside the Booster Seat.

  • A 3-point safety harness.

  • Simple, stain resistant, easy to clean surfaces.

  • Dishwasher safe tray with cup holder.

  • Incorporated storage for the tray.

  • Anti-slip bottom for extra grip

  • Works well without a tray.

  • Back & side support.

  • Removable cushion for 2 height settings.

What could be better:

  • The tray is on the smaller side, if you use it it can get messy.

  • Only two height settings, more option would have been better.

  • 3-point harness is a bit difficult to use when placing your baby in the Booster.

We hope that this information helps you as much as it helped us to make a smart decision when buying a Booster Seat for use at the table. My parents have enjoyed many meals at the kitchen table together with their grandchild, who loved being involved just as much.

If you like this article, please share! Thanks for reading!!!

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