Baby’s first year is jam packed with what feels like a million exciting milestones: The first time they roll over. The first time they pull themselves up. Their first smile. First word. First time crawling. And of course, that first bite of food.
Whether you start with avocados or bananas, every parent knows that first bite is simply the first of a long succession of bites, most of which initially take place with your baby seated safely in a high chair. But eventually, that high chair overstays its welcome and your little one is ready to join your family at a booster seat for table use of his or her very own.
Here’s what you need to know about choosing the best booster seat for your little one.
- What is a booster seat for the table?
- Is your child ready for a booster seat at the table?
- What to look for in a table booster seat
- Keekaroo Café booster
- Oxo Tot Nest booster seat
- Ingenuity 2-in-1 Seat booster seat
- Safety 1st Easy Care Swing Tray feeding booster seat
- The First Years On-the-Go booster seat
- Prince Lionheart Squish booster seat
- Fisher Price Spacesaver high chair
- Chicco Snack booster seat
- Bumbo booster seat
Booster Seats for the Table: What Are They?
Unlike booster seats for the car, booster seats for the table attach directly to a chairs, or sometimes even directly to the table itself, “boosting” your little one up just enough so that they can join the rest of the fam at the table.
A booster seat for the table lets your child make the leap from baby to big kid and it’s a very exciting milestone for all involved. Plus, a good booster seat will keep your baby secure and comfortable while your family eats, allowing them to be part of the action and allowing you to enjoy your own meal with both hands free.
The beauty of a booster seat over a high chair is that it takes up less space in your home and is easily portable. That means you can bring the booster with you whether dining at home, at Grandmas, or at your family’s favorite restaurant.
When is Your Baby Ready for a Booster Seat at the Table?
Keep in mind, babies should generally take their first bites while seated in a high chair rather than a booster. High chairs simply offer more support and less risk of falling over for little ones who are still learning how to sit for extended periods of time. But they also take up a lot of room and aren’t as easy to bring with you. So when can you move your baby to a booster?
As a general rule of thumb, your little one should be able to sit completely independently and be at the proper height to reach their plate and utensils before they are ready for a booster seat. This typically occurs sometime after 12 months, though many parents keep their kids in the high chair a little longer than that. For instance, 18 months to 2 years old is the standard transition time.
Although the right table booster seat will come complete with safety harnesses to keep your child properly restrained, the main risk of a booster is that it’s much less secure because it doesn’t have a tray. Thus, if your child is a big wiggler or tends to lean or try to escape their seat, you will want to weigh the safety of transitioning to a booster seat.
Follow your instincts and talk to your pediatrician if you’re unsure whether or not your little one is ready to join the family at the table in their very own booster seat.
What to Look for in a Kids’ Booster Seat
There are a variety of factors to consider when picking out the right booster seat for your home and child:
- Tray or no tray? Some booster seats come equipped with trays while others do not. Whether you need a tray or not really depends on whether you want your baby eating directly at the table with your family, or if you’re okay with them sitting nearby with a tray of their own. One thing to keep in mind is that booster trays can be easier to clean (and less susceptible to damage from little ones banging plates and silverware) than nice tables. However, trays may not be right for all children, especially kids who have outgrown the tray.
- Attachment type. Booster seats can attach in all sorts of different ways, from strapping under a dining room chair, to behind that same chair, and even to the table itself. The right booster seat for you is going to be one that attaches in a way that works for the furniture you already have.
- Fit. Similarly, a booster seat that is too wide for the chairs you have isn’t going to be the best choice. Pay attention to the overall size of the booster seats your considering, as well as how that size aligns with the furniture you have, before making that purchase.
- Dimensions. This one’s important! Be sure to measure the chair and area you’ll be using the booster in. It would be terrible to buy a booster that doesn’t actually fit the chair. Additionally, they do make specially-sized boosters if you need one to fit a smaller space, such as for camping or travel.
- Material. Some booster seats are made from latex, while others have metal and plastic pieces. You want to find a booster seat that is going to be comfortable for your little one to sit in, but also easy for you to clean.
- Cleaning. Cleaning is huge when it comes to anything involving kids + meals. So consider how easy the booster will be to clean: Does the booster seat easily come apart so that the separate pieces can be cleaned? Are some of the pieces (the tray, in particular) dishwasher-safe or will you have to hand-wash only? Are there are tiny nooks and crannies that aren’t going to be easy to get food out of? How do you feel about cleaning this thing meal after meal? That’s an important question to ask.
- Harness. How will your baby be strapped into this booster seat? And do you think they’ll be secure while you eat? Is there any risk to your child tipping the seat over while still secured in?
- Longevity. Even if you only use the booster seat for one child, you’ll probably need it for several years. So ask yourself—does this booster seat seem like it’s built to last? Or will you be looking for a new one in six months?
The Best Booster Seats for the Table
Keekaroo Café Booster
Not only is this single-piece booster a breeze to clean (simply remove it from the chair and run it under the sink after meals), it’s also made to last. Crafted from soft, peel and tear-resistant material that is somehow spill-proof as well, even the most destructive toddler will have a difficult time causing any real damage to this booster. It’s a seat that can easily be passed on from kiddo to kiddo, even enduring time packed away in storage between babies. And with a Juvenile Products Manufacturer’s certification (JPMA) as well as a 5-point safety belt to secure your little one while they eat, you can be equally assured your baby is just as safe from destruction as the booster.
We all know how hard kids can be on the products they use. That’s why any product that’s built to make it through childhood is one we can get behind. The Keekaroo Café Booster boasts nearly indestructible material, while also being a seat your little one can comfortably and safely occupy, no matter how long the meal may be. And because this seat comes in a variety of bright and fun colors, you can pick one customized for your home and child’s individual preferences. Bonus points: this seat is only 4 pounds and can be easily transported anywhere you go—making it easy to clean, durable, and super portable.
- Can accommodate 15 to 24 pounds
- Dimensions: 13.5 x 13.5 x 7 inches
- JPMA Certified
- Soft, latex-free material
- Peel and tear-resistant
- 5-point safety belt
“We love it! My two-year-old granddaughter decided she didn’t like high chairs anymore so this seat has been a perfect fit! It’s so easy to clean and very lightweight. The bright color fits well in my dining area. I was a bit worried about the cost, but it is worth every penny!”—Amazon
Keep in mind:
Some reviewers have mentioned trouble installing the seat and the high price as reasons to look elsewhere. For families hoping for a seat with a tray, or those with younger kids in need of more back support, this probably isn’t the right seat. And the low weight threshold means bigger toddlers may not be able to use the Keekaroo as long as families would like.
Oxo Tot Nest
If you’re looking for a cute and comfortable booster seat for table use that can easily be added to any chair in your home, the Oxo Tot Nest may just be the seat for you. The simple design means there aren’t a lot of pieces to worry about when it comes to cleaning and the soft foam and plastic material makes for quick and easy wipe-downs without much space for food to get trapped in or left behind. That material also happens to be BPA, phthalate, and PVC free, and the seat itself offers high back and side support so that your little one can be comfortably seated in their booster at as early as nine months of age.
This seat comes with back and bottom chair straps that make it adjustable to a wide variety of chairs and the 3-point adjustable harness will keep your little one secure no matter where they’re seated. Weighing in at 5 pounds, and without a lot of pieces to assemble, the Oxo Tot Nest travels easily anywhere you may go. And the 3-year limited manufacturer’s warranty means you can count on it to safely seat your baby until they reach the 50-pound weight limit—by which point most kids will be more than ready to sit in an adult-sized chair of their own. This is a seat that is built to last and will carry your little one safely through their booster years.
- Dimensions: 14 x 11.5 x 12 inches
- Can accommodate up to 50 pounds
- BPW, phthalate, and PVC free
- Back and bottom chair straps
- High back and side support
- Slip-resistant feet
- 3-point adjustable harness
- 2 side-release buckles
- 3-year limited manufacturer’s warranty
“We had previously had a traditional highchair and it just got so filthy and it was hard to clean. I finally got tired of it and bought this instead. I’m very happy with this and I think my son is too. It’s much easier to clean and it just attaches to an existing chair instead of taking up extra space. I just got so tired of putting the highchair away. Never again!”—Amazon
Keep in mind:
Priced at over $50, this certainly isn’t the most affordable booster you can find. Some families may also prefer a 5-point harness as opposed to the 3-point for added safety and security. And the lack of a tray may be a deterrent for families who want a chair that can work even when a table isn’t available.
Ingenuity 2-in-1 Seat
If you’ve decided to skip the high chair entirely, the Ingenuity 2-in-1 is a seat that can grow with your little one from that first feeding at the table to the day they are ready to graduate to a big-kid chair. The high back positioning and 3-point safety harness, combined with the 50-pound weight capacity, means this is a seat that can accommodate kids from 6 months to 4 years old. And the dishwasher-safe tray (which comes with its very own built-in cup holder) is easy to remove and clean, making this a versatile chair that can suit your families every need.
The Ingenuity 2-in-1 seat comes in a variety of colors, both bright and muted to suit your home and little one’s preferences. Designed to seat your baby safely on the floor for playtime, or to strap into any standard dining chair for meals, this is a seat that can serve multiple purposes and can easily become your baby’s favorite place to be. And with a foam insert that provides extra cushioning for little ones, as well as the high overall weight capacity, you can be sure this is the only seat you’ll ever have to buy your baby—who needs a high chair when you have one of these? Even better: the tray can be removed at any time and stored under the seat itself, so you never have to wonder where that extra piece has gone.
- Dimensions: 15 x 17 x 12 inches
- Can accommodate up to 50 pounds
- Easily converts from baby booster to toddler seat
- 3-point safety harness
- 1-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Suitable for use by children 6 months to 4 years
- Tray stores underneath seat
“This little chair is sooo cool. I almost bought a Bumbo but didn’t…because this chair is awesome! The tray ticks away under the seat when not in use and the chair itself has 2 different heights. When you first pull it from the box it looks short (like a shallow booster) but there is a high back that is under the seat that you can pull out and connect to the top of the booster to make it a full chair. My daughter loves this seat, it’s easy to clean too. We are very happy with this purchase.”—Amazon
Keep in mind:
Some reviewers have mentioned this seat isn’t as easy to clean as others may be. With a gap in the strap area, food can easily get stuck and should be removed after every meal—a step some parents may find burdensome.
Safety 1st Easy Care Swing Tray Feeding Booster
The Safety 1st Easy Care Swing Tray Feeding Booster comes with all the features you might hope for in a trayed booster, at a price far more affordable than some of the other boosters on our list. This is a simple booster made of plastic materials that has a tray you can either remove, or swing out with one hand. The hard material is easy to wipe down, and the high back and 3-point harness means this booster can accommodate your little one from 6 months to 4 years of age. We love this seat because it can be used on the ground for playtime or strapped to a chair for meals and the tray has a cup holder your little one is sure to get use out of.
Not everyone wants a seat with all the extra bells and whistles. Sometimes a simple seat with a basic design that will allow your child to both eat and play is all you’re looking for—especially if the price is right. And the price is definitely right with this seat, particularly if you consider the fact that it can easily replace a traditional high chair and will grow with your little one from that first feeding until the day they no longer need a booster at all.
The tray is dishwasher safe and the seat can be adjusted to three different heights, depending on the right setting for your child and table. And because the seat itself is lightweight and portable, you can plan on bringing this booster with you anywhere you go for a quick setup play station or a meal on the go.
- Dimensions: 15 x 13 x 8.5 inches
- Can accommodate up to 50 pounds
- 3-level height adjustment
- Dishwasher safe tray
- 3-point harness
“This seat is great! So easy to attach to a chair and the table top is easy to move with one hand while I’m holding my baby in the other arm. Seems to be very durable also. We’ve had it for several months now and our baby gets food all of over it but it’s easy to clean.”—Amazon
Keep in mind:
This is a simple chair without extra comfort padding. Some reviewers have also mentioned it is a little wide, which means smaller babies may not have the support they need and might find themselves leaning to one side or the other.
The First Years On-the-Go Booster Seat
If you’re looking for a booster that was made to travel, it would be silly to not consider this one first. The On-the-Go Booster Seat was quite literally designed with portability in mind. Not only is it lightweight and made of extra portable materials, it actually folds up and can be easily transported like a mini-suitcase to whatever destination you’re traveling to. In fact, the portability of this seat makes it one you may want to consider simply leaving in your car to have on hand whenever you need a booster available. It quickly inflates for comfort (and deflates again for easy storage) and despite the fact that it only weighs one pound, it can seat kids up to 50 pounds—and with a T-restraint safety belt, you never have to question how secure your little one may be.
The First Years On-The-Go Booster is truly one-of-a-kind in design, made specifically for quick and easy storage as well as portability anywhere you may go. Weighing just a single pound, and in a package that can be carried around by anyone, there’s no reason you can’t have a booster with you at all times. But with the high back and 50-pound weight limit, this booster can also accommodate kids from 9 months of age up until the point they no longer need a booster at all. The bottom inflates to up to 4 inches, making it easy to bring your little one up to table height. And the material this seat is made from is also super simple to wipe down and clean off, even if you’ve only got a baby wipe or wet napkin on hand.
- Weighs one pound
- Can accommodate up to 50 pounds
- Dimensions: 11 x 9 x 12 inches
- Self-inflates with pull-out valve
- Deflates for storage
- Self-carry handle
- Adjustable t-restraint safety belt
- Plastic and polyester materials
- 90-day manufacturer’s warranty
“This thing is amazing! I bought it for my 21-month-old, at the time she was about 17-months-old when I got it. She was tired of her high chair and would fuss like crazy to get out and didn’t eat her food. She just wanted to sit with us at the table. I looked everywhere for something to resolve the problem and nothing looked safe or wasn’t what I was looking for, until I came across this. It’s so easy to use and it really stores so well. We’ve taken it to many restaurants, friends’ homes, and we use it 3 times a day at home. It doesn’t sag, or sink or shift for us (but my daughter is only 25-26 lbs). It cleans well too (even with spaghetti sauce on it).”—Amazon
Keep in mind
While this is a great seat for on-the-go dining, it may not be your best option for everyday use. Some reviewers have mentioned the inflation isn’t always even and may leave baby leaning one way or the other.
Prince Lionheart Squish Booster
At 1.5 pounds, and made of a suspended foam seating area, this booster is not only extremely portable—it’s also extremely comfortable. And at a price that can’t be beat, it’s also suited to seat kids up to 60 pound in weight. The material is easy to wipe clean, waterproof, and slip and scratch resistant, which means you won’t have to worry about any damage the Squish Booster may do to you fancy dining room chairs. And with a three-point harness and dual-strap system, you can also count on your little one (18 months or older) being safe and secure as they dine alongside you.
The Prince Lionheart Squish Booster was designed for toddlers who can safely support their own torsos and heads while seated. Lightweight and comfortable, this is a seat you can easily pack away in the car for restaurant dining or eating at a friend’s home, and with stable, slip-resistant feet that won’t scratch the chairs you strap this seat to, you can also rest assured that no damage will be done—to your little one or the furniture. While many booster seats boast rubber or foam material on a harder base, this one actually has a little spring to it, making for an extra comfortable seat that will last your little one longer than most others, all the way up to 60 pounds if needed.
- Weighs 1.5 pounds
- Can accommodate up to 60 pounds
- Dimensions: 14.7 x 14.3 x 7.9 inches
- Foam material
- Easily portable
- Three-point harness and dual-strap system
- Wipe clean
- Slip and scratch resistant base
“This thing has been wonderful for our almost two-year-old. He fits in it perfectly, and it fits in the chair and slides under the table! I was specifically looking for a seat that would do that, as several are very tall and bulky. The straps come off easy and are easy to wash. A previous reviewer said that spaghetti stained her seat, and I can confirm that anything tomato based (spaghetti, chili, lasagna, etc.) will stain the blue part of the seat. I think the material it is made out of is a little spongy, so that’s why. Honestly though, the seat works so well and is priced just right that it doesn’t bother me. No-one ever sees it, because it is always pushed under the table when not in use. Highly recommend.”—Amazon
Keep in mind:
This seat isn’t suited for younger children—it will best fit toddlers 18 months or older who are already safely supporting their heads and torsos on their won. Some reviewers have also mentioned the seatbelt is easy enough for toddlers to undo themselves, which may not be a great fit for families with little escape artists of their own.
Fisher Price Spacesaver High Chair
While marketed as a high chair, the Fisher Price Spacesaver is actually a booster seat for the table because it has to be placed on a chair for table dining. Still, this seat is easy to clean and provides the same high-back support most people rely on high chairs for—allowing for smaller babies to dine alongside their parents anywhere this seat may go. It easily straps fits most dining chairs and has an extra plush cushion for keeping babies comfortable and snug. And as the name suggests, this is a seat that provides the security of a high chair with the space saving benefits of a booster—the best of both worlds, as far as we’re concerned.
For parents who are looking for a chair to feed their newly eating baby in, but who don’t necessarily have the space for a full high chair—this seat may be exactly what you’re looking for. Suitable for babies aged 4 months and up, the 5-point harness and 3 recline positions make this a truly one-of-a-kind booster with all the features of you love about a high chair, in a much less imposing package. And when your baby outgrows the need for those features, the seat also easily converts into a toddler booster seat, growing with your little one all the way up to 50 pounds in weight. Bonus points: the tray can be removed and easily stored behind the seat if you’d prefer to have your little one eat directly at the table beside you.
- Weight: 7.59 pounds
- Can accommodate up to 50 pounds
- Dimensions: 24.02 x 20.47 x 21.65 inches
- Suitable for babies 4 months and up
- Dishwasher-safe tray
- 3 recline positions
- 5-point harness
- Converts to toddler booster seat
- Easy tray storage
“Looooove this! I bought 2 due to it being so reasonably priced. I got one for my 3month old and one for my 2yr old. They LOVE IT! They are perfect for small spaces but still regular size for kids to fit. It was a breeze to put together! No tools needed! We like that I can move it around so my baby can watch me do everything without being on my hips! I love the tray. It has 4spots to put food and it dips in in the center so it’s kinda like A bowl. So great to keeps spills and messes from going everywhere. It also has another tray that is removable that’s convenient.”—Amazon
Keep in mind:
While this chair certainly takes up less space than most high chairs, it also takes up more space than most boosters. Some reviewers have also mentioned the chair itself is cheaply designed and made of poor quality materials.
Chicco Snack Booster Seat
Like a mini-high chair, this booster has a 5-point harness and 2 reclining positions. But like the booster of your dreams, it also secures easily to most dining chairs and can easily be moved around the house. The high back support and over-the-shoulder straps make this a great booster for younger diners and the 50-point weight capacity means it can grow with your little one until they are ready to be out of a booster entirely. The snap-on tray can easily be removed with one hand and the seat pad is machine washable, making this a seat your little one can paint or dine in—whichever they prefer on any given day—without you having to worry about the mess or stress.
Not every home has the room for a full-sized high chair. But if your little one is new to eating and doesn’t quite possess the neck and torso strength they need to sit safely at a booster, what are you supposed to do? The Chicco Snack Booster Seat is a great compromise, blending high chair safety features with a booster space-saving design. It can easily be placed on the floor for your little one to color and play in, or strapped to most dining room chairs for mealtimes. And with a tray that is dishwasher safe and simple enough to remove with one hand, you can rest assure that your little one—and your sanity—are safe at the same time.
- Weight: 8.5 pounds
- Can accommodate up to 50 pounds
- Dimensions: 19 x 22 x 23 inches
- 5-point adjustable harness
- 2-position reclining seats
- Snap-on tray that can be removed with one-hand
- Machine-washable seat pad
- 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty
- Removable tray liner
- Padded harness
- Cushioned backrest
“I love that I can take out the tray and wash it. And, I can strap it to the dining chair.”—Amazon
Keep in mind:
This is one of the more expensive seats on our list, making it a less than ideal choice for budget-conscious families. Some reviewers have also mentioned the tray is difficult to clip on.
Bumbo Booster Seat
The Bumbo is a great option if you need a simple, portable, and lightweight booster seat without a lot of fuss. It’s soft and ergonomically designed for comfort, yet surprisingly sturdy–this little seat can hold up to 110 pounds so it can be used all the way up until your child is five years old. Not too shabby.
We love that the material of the Bumbo is incredibly easy to wipe clean and that it is the perfect combination of soft and sturdy. It can accommodate children from 12 months of age all the way up to 5 years. The chair comes equipped with both a back strap that affixes around the back of the chair and an under-strap that secures underneath the chair to keep it in place. And as far as keeping your child secure, a 3-point harness will do the trick.
- Dimensions: 13.58 x 5.12 x 13.58 inches
- Adjustable straps
- 3-point harness
“My 19-month-old daughter suddenly decided that she no longer wished to sit in her high-chair. I had previously bought another product to make a dining chair suitable for her use, however it raised her up too much and her legs didn’t fit under the table. After a lot of looking, I settled on this booster seat. It has exceeded my expectations. It is very easy to install and my daughter fits comfortably at the table now. She insists on being buckled in, which is amusing, but it’s also a nice feature to make sure she can’t get out of her seat without my intervention (at least for now). I would definitely recommend this product.”—Amazon review
Keep in mind:
This seat doesn’t have any sturdy sides to keep your child in place and if your child is rough with it, some parents have noticed that the softer material will break down more easily than a hard-structured seat.
Frequently Asked Questions
When can you use a booster seat at the table?
Some booster seats are designed to be used at the table for infants as young as 4 to 6 months old. Others are better off for toddlers (18 months or older) who already have the neck and torso strength to fully support themselves. Pay attention to manufacturers recommendations and talk to your pediatrician if you have concerns.
What is the best booster high chair?
We really like the Fischer Price Spacesaver Higher Chair for the best of both booster and high chair worlds. It’s built like a high chair, but is more easily portable like a booster. What’s great about this seat is that unlike a typical high chair, it can be fitted onto any dining room chair for easy versatility.
How do you attach a booster seat to the chair?
Most booster seats for the table sit directly on any dining room chair. You attach the seat with straps that go either underneath the chair, behind the chair, or both. You’ll want to find a booster seat that fits your chairs well and offers a secure attachment so that you can know your baby is safe and buckled in at all times.
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