It can be an exciting day when your little one doesn’t need a high chair anymore. Sure, you can shed a tear at how fast time is flying, but one less piece of baby furniture in your home may be cause for cheer! However, they won’t quite be tall enough for the table on their own. That’s where booster seats come in!
Sitting at the proper height can encourage a lot in your child’s development. Proper utensil usage to dexterity with writing or crafting to emotional confidence is impacted by sitting at the table properly. Take a look at our favorite options for booster seats for your toddler to encourage the exciting developmental milestones on the horizon.
Why should you purchase a booster seat?
When your toddler has grown out of their high chair or is about 18 months old, a booster seat is the next step during meals, snack times, and other activities done at the table. For younger toddlers, a booster seat will help them sit at the proper height to continue to learn how to use their utensils to eat their food as well as table manners.
Older toddlers, 3 years and above, may also require a booster seat for meals or for other enriching activities like arts and crafts. Again, a proper position can help them develop greater dexterity and good habits.
What should you consider when choosing a booster seat?
- Child’s Age and Size: Booster seats for the table come with different features depending on your child’s age and how much restraint is practical for them to stay safe. Some can be used below 1 year of age, but most booster seats are designed to add extra height for a toddler around 18 months or older. Other booster seats or cushions are designed for kids 3 years and older. Be sure that your child is the recommended size and age to use the booster seat you’re considering.
- Child’s Activities: Most of the time, bringing your child to the table in a booster seat is for meals and snacks. However, they can also help your child reach the table for arts and crafts. This will not only increase the frequency of use, but you may also want to consider the level of safety restraint and freedom of movement offered.
- Portability: While all booster seats are technically portable, some are specifically designed to make traveling with them easier. Some will fold and have carrying straps, while others don’t, making them a bit clunky to transport. If your lifestyle would require it to be easy to tote the booster seat around a lot, you should look for the options that fold down or are easy to carry.
Can a booster seat work on any chair?
Booster seats are best used on dining chairs with a back and hard surface. If your chair back has open spaces, it may make it easier to find the right adjustment for safety straps, but it’s not necessary. Cushioned chair bottoms will be fine but will add to the boost, so it may affect how easily your child’s knees fit under the table.
Prince Lionheart Squish Booster Seat
Your toddler will be extra comfy in this booster seat, and you can be confident they're safely strapped in.
Pros: Give your toddler the comfiest seat at the table with this extra squishy booster seat. It’s comfortable and safe for toddlers 18 months all the way to 5 years old or 60 pounds. It comes with a three-point harness system and dual straps to keep your kiddo extra safe, even when they’re super excited to be eating meals at the big table. Thankfully, every part of this booster seat is easy to wipe clean with a wet cloth, and there aren’t any cracks to catch crumbs. The sturdy bottom is lined with a nonslip cover to make the seat stay put without scratching your furniture. The booster seat pad is available in four colors, while the seat itself is white.
Cons: This seat is best suited for older toddlers. The squishy seat can be a trap for harder-to-clean messes like tomato-based sauces.
Bottom Line: Instead of a hard base, this booster seat has padding to help make your toddler more comfortable while they explore new foods and table manners. The safety straps make it easy to tighten onto a chair, and with its easy-to-clean surface, you can enjoy a messy meal with some peace of mind. The cushy pad will keep your little one comfortable, but it’s not stain-proof, especially with dark sauces, so you may want to add some extra protection on pasta night.
Prince Lionheart Soft Booster Seat
This seat gives your kiddo extra comfort along with a boost.
Pros: This portable booster seat is a much more comfortable version of the traditional clunky solution for the older toddler bunch. If your child is 3 years or older and needs a little extra boost at the table, this is a soft solution. It is low-profile while still having some back support, plus it has a soft foam bottom for comfort. The seat is also textured to prevent your child from slipping off. It’s waterproof and safe to use indoors and outdoors as well. It’s easily portable, so you can bring it with you to restaurants, friends’ houses, or events so that your child will be comfortable and able to participate. The seat is available in three colors and can support a maximum of 70 pounds.
Cons: There are not any nonslip grip features to the bottom of this seat, meaning the weight of your child is the biggest factor in keeping it in place.
Bottom Line: This booster seat is intended for older toddlers who may still need a little extra boost. It’s easy to clean, making the parent’s life of a busy toddler a lot easier, too. While it’s sturdy and made to stay in place on hard chairs, an extra wiggly child or a soft chair may not make it very slip-proof.
Sunmall Dining Chair Heightening Cushion
This cute booster cushion comes in 17 fun designs.
Pros: Get ready to buy one of these for your child and each of their friends. These portable cushions provide an extra 3-inch boost and impressive comfort. The removable covers have zipper closures and handles for easy toting. They’re made of polyester and have two straps to secure to a chair. The covers are easy to clean with a wet cloth or can be fully removed for a deeper machine wash. The cushion itself is made of high-density foam, which provides cushion but is stiff so that it doesn’t lose its shape and will give your child the boost they need. Once secured, everyone from toddlers to young kids can climb up safely without having to climb over high sides and balance on clunky or sliding seats.
Cons: There are no safety belts to contain or secure your child.
Bottom Line: The super-cute designs of this cushion might make it a coveted item. They are a comfortable and fun solution if your child needs just a little boost to eat, write, or participate in other tabletop activities better. They can also be used on the floor for movies or reading spaces. It’s a great option for kids who are independent enough to get out of a three-point harness seat but still need some extra height.
Pros: Even when your little one can fit in a high chair, you can use this booster seat in its place. The tray can be on for feeding a young one, and since all the surfaces are easy to clean, you’ll have less mess with new solid food eaters. The tray is removable and dishwasher safe for larger messes or routine cleaning. When your baby grows into the toddler phase and is ready to eat at the table, the booster seat works well for this setup, too. One little purchase can help your munchkin safely and enjoyably explore food and other fun. The booster seat has an adjustable three-point harness and adjustable safety straps. Everything is easy to fold up and carry with you if you need to; plus, the folded size is convenient for storage.
Cons: It only comes in one color. Younger toddlers, or those younger than a year, must have the tray in use, or it could be unsafe. The tray is a bit small.
Bottom Line: It’s rare to have an affordable baby item last so many months in your child’s development. With the tray in use, a young toddler (less than one year) can enjoy exploring food safely, and over time, you can remove the tray and bring your little one to the big table safely. It’s easy to clean and easy to assemble, making this booster seat a convenient option for messy eaters and travel. Even though this item has a greater age range, you may have to use the tray for an extra level of safety and stability for children less than a year old.
Nuby Easy Go Lightweight Booster Seat
Let your child eat or play at almost any table with this portable booster seat.
Pros: If you’ve ever had to put your kid in a questionable high chair at a restaurant or tirelessly try to play Tetris while packing your car for a road trip with the odd shape of a traditional booster seat, you’ll understand the appeal of this convenient option. While it performs like a traditional booster seat, it folds into a bag with a comfortable strap and pocket, making it extremely easy for parents to transport. This booster seat comes with a three-point harness system and safety straps and is able to give your child an extra 5 inches of height. The seat is available in three color options and is made of water-resistant polyester, making it easy to clean.
Cons: This chair doesn’t work as well on cushioned chairs, and if your chair backs have curves, it may not secure as snugly. Since these are more lightweight and on the smaller side, it’s important to be sure your child isn’t too wild in them.
Bottom Line: This booster seat makes traveling or eating a restaurant much easier for the parents of toddlers. Your own clean and convenient booster seat is hard to beat. Rather than letting this option replace a high chair or regular booster seat, consider this one for on-the-go fun.
Children grow and change so quickly, but that time between a high chair and a regular chair at the table is long enough that a booster seat is an important purchase for your little one. Embrace the booster seat phase and watch your child get excited to sit at a big table with these trusty seats.