The Best Booster Seats for the Table of 2020
Once newborns become toddlers—faster than you think—they may not want to eat in their highchairs anymore. This transition usually happens anywhere between twelve months and two years of age, though it can happen later. At that age, most kids are still too small to sit in a regular dining chair. What’s more, they’ll need some […]

Once newborns become toddlers—faster than you think—they may not want to eat in their highchairs anymore. This transition usually happens anywhere between twelve months and two years of age, though it can happen later.

At that age, most kids are still too small to sit in a regular dining chair. What’s more, they’ll need some sort of straps to help them sit safely. In that case, you’ll need a booster seat for the table.

A good booster seat will enable your child to really feel like a part of the family by allowing her to eat with everyone else. It will keep her safe and secure and should ideally be portable and easy to clean too.

How do you know which booster seat is the right one for the job, though?

It’s simple: just review our guide on the best booster seats that money can buy. We’ve also included some vital safety tips and our top picks of the year.

Our Top Picks: Summary

Best Overall: Prince Lionheart Squish Booster Seat
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Prince Lionheart Booster Seat

Springy and comfy, yet rigid enough to provide the stability your child needs.

Why we Picked It

Our top overall booster seat for your child is the Prince Lionheart. It’s a seat designed for young toddlers, 18 months and over, and allows them to join the family at the dinner table.

The comfort factor is high because the seat that has a suspended seating area. It’ll feel springy and comfy, yet it’s rigid enough to provide the stability your child needs.

The feet of the booster seat are slip-resistant, and it has two sets of straps to keep it firmly on your dining room chair. A three-point harness keeps your little on safely in the seat. Even a little Houdini will struggle to get out of it!

We particularly liked how lightweight and portable the booster seat is, too, allowing you to take it with you wherever you need it. It’s effortless to clean, with little obstructing you from doing so, and there are next to no places that food debris can hide, either.

Overall, the seat is sturdy, safe, and provides excellent value for the money.

Keep in Mind

Some parents would have liked the booster seat to be a little higher.

In a Nutshell

  • Portable and lightweight
  • Easy to clean
  • Top value for money
Most Versatile: Fisher-Price Healthy Care Booster Seat

Fisher-Price Booster Seat

Three height adjustments will suit children of various sizes.

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Why we Picked It

The booster seat offering superb versatility? It’s the Fisher-Price Healthy Care seat. The seat effectively grows with your child when she’s ready to make the transition. Three height adjustments will suit children of various sizes and also allow for a custom fit to almost any type of table. The front and rear straps can also be adjusted to virtually any kind of chair.

It’s the attention to detail that drives it to the next level, though, with things like a carry strap so you can easily take it with you and the fact that it folds away for extra portability. A snap-on lid allows you to keep the feeding tray clean, and it comes with a built-in cup holder too. The tray is also dishwasher safe, making life that little bit easier.

Top that off with some frustration-free packaging that’s 100% recyclable, and you have a winner.

Keep in Mind

The back of the seat doesn’t have the option to recline as some booster seats do.

In a Nutshell

  • Three height adjustments
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Adjusts to fit chairs and tables
Easiest to Clean: OXO Tot Nest Booster Seat
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There’s nowhere for food debris to hide away.

Why we Picked It

The OXO Tot Nest booster seat is the easiest to clean on our list. The streamlined shape makes it beyond simple to clean, and there’s nowhere for food debris to hide away, and subsequently, bacteria to grow.

With a high back and sides, the booster seat will act as a soft cushion for your child. It’s been created in such a way as to make it as straightforward as possible to store away too.

The three-point harness provides that all-important stability to secure your wiggling child in place, and most usefully, is adjustable for when your kids grow.

The bottom and back chair straps allow you to fit this booster seat to most dining room chairs. We were impressed with the non-slip feet and the built-in handle that allows for easy transport too.

The straps themselves are removable and can be stored in a compartment under the booster seat—neat!

Keep in Mind

Some parents will prefer their booster seat to have a tray for messy eaters, so keep that in mind.

In a Nutshell

  • Three-point harness
  • Very easy to clean
  • Non-slip feet
Most Portable: hiccapop Omniboost Travel Booster Seat
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A lightweight design with a folding frame that pops up and then folds down for travel.

Why we Picked It

Our top portable pick is the hiccapop Omniboost Travel booster seat. No matter where you decide to go for the day, this booster seater will make everything as smooth as possible.

It features a lightweight design with a folding frame that pops up and then folds down for travel. There’s a rear pocket for bibs and spoons, and a handy shoulder carry bag for easy storage.

An ergonomic harness system on the hiccapop keeps your child safely in place but emphasizes comfort at the same time. The buckles at the side—to secure everything down—are quickly released, and there are duck feet that distribute weight evenly, ensuring your child is always on stable ground.

In terms of cleaning, the hiccapop booster seat offers a machine washable cover. The chair has been designed to be wiped down quickly and easily, allowing you to get on with the rest of the day too.

You’ll be pleased to hear that the tray is also dishwasher safe and removable—no matter the carnage that may ensue!

Keep in Mind

The screws used are quite small and may become a choking hazard, so always be aware.

In a Nutshell

  • Highly portable
  • Duck feet offer great stability
  • Easy to wipe clean

How We Chose the Best Booster Seats for the Table

How did we decide which booster seats to include in our top picks? By looking at five crucial areas in detail. From the safety of the booster seat to the price and versatility, we carefully examined each area to ensure these seats were up to the job.

After that, we settled on the four booster seats, out of dozens, you see featured above.

Here’s everything we looked at for some clarity:

Safety 

Safety is one of the most critical areas of a booster seat. All of our top picks have a three-point harness for kids, and they can also attach to chairs. While it’s true that kids often don’t need straps past age three, we felt it was essential to have them so parents can choose when to stop using them. We wouldn’t pick booster seats for our top picks if we weren’t confident in the safety they provide.

Easy to Clean 

A booster seat will become messy very quickly, so it’s crucial that they’re easy to clean and maintain. Specifically, booster seats should be easy to wipe down, with not too many nooks and crannies for crumbs to hide. The best booster seats will have a soft and comfortable surface that’s straightforward to clean—they should limit the opportunity for bacteria to grow. We like to see tear-resistant seats, where possible, too.

Versatility 

A great booster seat should be adjustable, or at the very least, should be able to fit kids for several years. We look for booster seats that provide value for money here and don’t require customers to reinvest quickly after their initial purchase simply because their child has grown. We like to see booster seats with backs that can be adjusted to recline, as this can offer additional support for the child as well. The best booster seats are functional and may even accommodate multiple stages of development.

Price 

When it comes to price, we think booster seats should offer value for money without compromising on quality or the safety of children. We believe and know it’s possible to have a healthy balance between features, efficiency and price, and desire to see this in our top picks each year.

Our favorite booster seats are not always the most expensive ones; rather, it’s the excellent designs, innovative features, and brands that are pro-consumer, with value at their core, that stand out.

Customer Reviews

We look at a range of customer reviews for all of the products we create guides for, and booster seats are no different. Customers reviews show us parents’ opinions on how reliable and safe their purchased booster seat has been, and we take them seriously.

We view many customer reviews before coming close to any form of decision. Once we’ve sifted through a great many, we then deliver our final decision. Rest assured, only the crème de la crème will make it.

What is a Table Booster Seat?

While a booster seat is similar to a highchair, and some parents use one in place of a highchair, it’s not quite the same. Instead of being a stand-alone seat and tray, a booster seat sits on top of an existing dining room chair. It raises your child to the height of the table, and at last, he’ll feel like a big kid!

There are a variety of booster seats available, including those with different heights and those with or without backs.

A booster seat with adjustable height will mean you won’t have to consider the height of the table in relation to the chair every time. You can adjust as your child grows. Other variants have adjustable backs to provide some extra stability while your child is still developing.

It’s worth noting that car safety seats are also referred to as booster seats, but they’re a different item altogether.

When Should my Child Use a Booster Seat?

The decision to move your child from a highchair into a booster seat is largely up to you and when you think they’re ready. With that said, most parents make the switch somewhere between 18 months and two years of age.

There is nothing wrong with children staying in their highchairs if it’s comfortable and safe, so you shouldn’t feel concerned. When the time is right, you’ll know, and your kid may even express a desire to join you at the table. If they’re actively climbing out of the highchair, this can be a strong sign they want to change. It’s also dangerous for them to keep doing so; it can mark a good point to transfer over.

It’s also essential for kids, especially those closer to a year old, to have a booster seat with back support. Older children can sit in a booster seat without a back more comfortably because their back and core will have developed. Younger children, however, will need that extra support to keep them sitting securely and without straining their back.

Remember that booster seats are portable, and often cheaper than highchairs, so they’re a worthy investment, even if the time isn’t quite right yet.

What to Consider When Choosing a Booster Seat for the Table

You may want to purchase a booster seat but aren’t sure of the key points you need to consider first. Fret not; we’ve detailed five areas you need to think about before investing in one for your child:

Child’s Age

Of course, the age of your child is a primary consideration. Some booster seats are better for older or younger children, while others are adjustable and can literally grow with your kids.

Younger children will need support for their back; ideally, the back of the seat will be adjustable, (until they have grown some more). Older children won’t really need back support as they should be able to sit up on their own. Think about your children and whether they need support at their age. It’s also worth asking yourself how vital an adjustable booster seat is for you.

Portability 

Some boosters seats will be used in the same spot over and over again until your child has grown up. Others, however, will be shuttled all around, from the nanny’s house to the daycare center and anywhere else you may need them. How important is the portability side for you?

If it’s of significant importance, then you’ll want a smaller and easier-to-install booster seat, which will be far more portable. If you don’t feel like you need that bonus portability, then focus on booster seats with features like additional trays and added comfort.

Design 

The design of the booster seat is something you need to factor into the buying process. For example, do you want a booster seat with a tray? Maybe you’re lacking on space around the house and want something minimal that gets the job done?

It’s also worth taking note of the size of your dining room chairs—are they an unusual size, and what booster seat would work best with them? Ultimately, the perfect design for you depends a lot on your preferences.

Cleaning 

Younger children can be very messy; it’s just a fact. Luckily there are a range of booster seats available that make cleaning and maintenance as simple as can be. If you’re a parent who wants the booster seat to be as easy to clean as possible—and most place this high on their list of priorities—then you’ll want to invest in a booster seat that takes that into account. This fact is particularly true for those with younger children.

In that case, you’ll want to look for booster seats with no trays or corners that allow food debris to build up over time. A quick wipe down is the aim of the game here!

Comfort 

Your child should be able to sit in a booster seat for an extended period without becoming uncomfortable. There are booster seats available with designs that focus heavily on the comfort of the child, with soft surfaces and cushioned seats.

Some booster seats have thick cushions built into them. The balance here is between being soft and sturdy, and there are some great choices out there. For instance, our top pick for the best overall booster seat this year is an excellent choice that does just that.

Booster Seat Safety

How do you use a booster seat as safely as possible? Glad you asked. We’ve detailed some hints and tips to keep your child secure and snug below:

  • Always use the chair straps: Using the straps for the booster is crucial for your child’s safety. You should always use them, even if you think your child isn’t going to be at the table for a long time.
  • Buckle the child in the seat: The straps on the chair will fasten for a more secure fit. It’s crucial to appropriately fasten the straps, until at least the age of three.
  • Positioning your child correctly: The comfort your child will feel in her booster seat depends on her positioning. She should be close enough to the table (by bringing the chair close) to be able to reach without leaning forward too much. Her back should be positioned so that her legs are at a 90-degree angle. The back, hips, knees, and feet should be well supported, as this will result in the perfect comfort for your child.
  • Do a dry run: You should test to ensure your table works well with a style of booster seat before letting your child sit down. By doing this, you can avoid any unnecessary accidents.

Related Resources

Be sure to check out our other independent guides below:


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Take charge. Children crave limits, which help them understand and manage an often confusing world. Show your love by setting boundaries so your kids can explore and discover their passions safely.

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Don’t try to fix everything. Give young kids a chance to find their own solutions. When you lovingly acknowledge a child’s minor frustrations without immediately rushing in to save her, you teach her self-reliance and resilience.

Pick your battles. Kids can’t absorb too many rules without turning off completely. Forget arguing about little stuff like fashion choices and occasional potty language. Focus on the things that really matter -- that means no hitting, rude talk, or lying.

Play with your children. Let them choose the activity, and don’t worry about rules. Just go with the flow and have fun. That’s the name of the game.

Read books together every day. Get started when he’s a newborn; babies love listening to the sound of their parents’ voices. Cuddling up with your child and a book is a great bonding experience that will set him up for a lifetime of reading.

Schedule daily special time. Let your child choose an activity where you hang out together for 10 or 15 minutes with no interruptions. There’s no better way for you to show your love.

Encourage daddy time. The greatest untapped resource available for improving the lives of our children is time with Dad -- early and often. Kids with engaged fathers do better in school, problem-solve more successfully, and generally cope better with whatever life throws at them.

Make warm memories. Your children will probably not remember anything that you say to them, but they will recall the family rituals -- like bedtimes and game night -- that you do together.

Be the role model your children deserve. Kids learn by watching their parents. Modeling appropriate, respectful, good behavior works much better than telling them what to do.

Fess up when you blow it. This is the best way to show your child how and when she should apologize.

Take charge. Children crave limits, which help them understand and manage an often confusing world. Show your love by setting boundaries so your kids can explore and discover their passions safely.

Live a little greener. Show your kids how easy it is to care for the environment. Waste less, recycle, reuse, and conserve each day. Spend an afternoon picking up trash around the neighborhood.

Always tell the truth. It’s how you want your child to behave, right ? Kiss and hug your spouse in front of the kids. Your marriage is the only example your child has of what an intimate relationship looks, feels, and sounds like. So it’s your emploi to set a great standard.

Give appropriate praise. Instead of simply saying, ' You’re great, ' try to be specific about what your child did to deserve the positive feedback. You might say, ' Waiting until I was off the phone to ask for cookies was , and I really liked your patience. '

Cheer the good stuff. When you notice your child doing something helpful or nice, let him know how you feel. It’s a great way to reinforce good behavior so he’s more likely to keep doing it.

Gossip about your kids. Fact : What we overhear is far more potent than what we are told directly. Make praise more effective by letting your child ' catch ' you whispering a compliment about him to Grandma, Dad, or even his teddy.

Give yourself a break. Hitting the drive-through when you’re too tired to cook doesn’t make you a bad parent.

Trust your mommy gut. No one knows your child better than you. Follow your instincts when it comes to his health and well-being. If you think something’s wrong, chances are you’re right. Just say ' No. ' Resist the urge to take on extra obligations at the office or become the Volunteer Queen at your child’s school. You will never, ever regret spending more time with your children.

Don’t accept disrespect from your child. Never allow her to be rude or say hurtful things to you or anyone else. If she does, tell her firmly that you will not tolerate any form of disrespect. Pass along your plan. Mobilize the other caregivers in your child’s life -- your spouse, grandparents, daycare worker, babysitter -- to help reinforce the values and the behavior you want to instill. This includes everything from saying thank you and being kind to not whining.

Ask your children three ' you ' questions every day. The art of conversation is an important social skill, but parents often neglect to teach it. Get a kid going with questions like, ' Did you have fun at school ? ' ; ' What did you do at the party you went to ? ' ; or ' Where do you want to go tomorrow afternoon ? ' Teach kids this bravery trick. Tell them to always notice the color of a person’s eyes. Making eye contact will help a hesitant child appear more confident and will help any kid to be more assertive and less likely to be picked on.

Acknowledge your kid’s strong emotions. When your child’s meltdown is over, ask him, ' How did that feel ? ' and ' What do you think would make it better ? ' Then listen to him. He’ll recover from a tantrum more easily if you let him talk it out.

Show your child how to become a responsible citizen. Find ways to help others all year. Kids gain a sense of self-worth by volunteering in the community. Don’t raise a spoiled kid. Keep this thought in mind : Every child is a treasure, but no child is the center of the universe. Teach him accordingly.

Talk about what it means to be a good person. Start early : When you read bedtime stories, for example, ask your toddler whether characters are being mean or nice and explore why. Explain to your kids why values are important. The simple answer : When you’re kind, generous, honest, and respectful, you make the people around you feel good. More important, you feel good about yourself.

Set up a ' gratitude circle ' every night at dinner. Go around the table and take turns talking about the various people who were generous and kind to each of you that day. It may sound corny, but it makes everyone feel good.

Serve a food again and again. If your child rejects a new dish, don’t give up hope. You may have to offer it another six, eight, or even 10 times before he eats it and decides he likes it. Avoid food fights. A healthy child instinctively knows how much to eat. If he refuses to finish whatever food is on his plate, just let it go. He won’t starve.

Eat at least one meal as a family each day. Sitting down at the table together is a relaxed way for everyone to connect -- a time to share happy news, talk about the day, or tell a silly joke. It also helps your kids develop healthy eating vêtements. Let your kids place an order. Once a week, allow your children to choose what’s for dinner and cook it for them.

Say ' I love you ' whenever you feel it, even if it’s 743 times a day. You simply can not spoil a child with too many mushy words of affection and too many smooches. Not possible. Keep in mind what grandmoms always say. Children are not yours, they are only lent to you for a time. In those fleeting years, do your best to help them grow up to be good people. Savor the moments. Yes, parenthood is the most exhausting travail on the planet. Yes, your house is a mess, the laundry’s piled up, and the dog needs to be walked. But your kid just laughed. Enjoy it now -- it will be over far too fast.

Teach your baby to sign. Just because a child can’t talk doesn’t mean there isn’t lots that she’d like to say. Simple signs can help you know what she needs and even how she feels well before she has the words to tell you -- a great way to reduce frustration. Keep the tube in the family room. Research has repeatedly shown that children with a TV in their bedroom weigh more, sleep less, and have lower grades and poorer social skills. P. S. Parents with a television in their bedroom have sex less often. Get kids moving. The latest research shows that brain development in young children may be linked to their activity level. Place your baby on her tummy several times during the day, let your toddler walk instead of ride in her stroller, and create opportunities for your older child to get plenty of exercise.

Get your kids vaccinated. Outbreaks of measles and other diseases still occur in our country and throughout the world. Protect that smile. Encouraging your kid to brush twice a day with a dab of fluoride toothpaste will guard against cavities. Be averti about safety. Babyproof your home thoroughly, and never leave a child under 5 in the tub alone. Make sure car seats are installed correctly, and insist that your child wear a helmet when riding his bike or scooter. Listen to the doc. If your pediatrician thinks your kid’s fever is caused by a malware, don’t push for antibiotics. The best medicine may be rest, lots of fluids, and a little TLC. Overprescribing antibiotics can cause medical problems for your child and increase the chances of creating superbugs that resist treatment.

Keep sunblock next to your kid’s toothpaste. Apply it every day as part of the morning routine. It’ll become as natural as brushing her teeth. Put your baby to bed drowsy but still awake. This helps your child learn to soothe himself to sleep and prevents bedtime problems down the line. Know when to toilet train. Look for these two signs that your child is ready to use the potty : He senses the urge to pee and poop ( this is different from knowing that he’s already gone ), and he asks for a diaper change.

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