In our experience a travel high chair is one of those items that, during the first four to six months of your child’s life you simply put on the ‘don’t need to know’ list. Who cares which is the best travel high chair, right? After all, your baby either can’t sit upright, or is happy enough hanging out in their pram. But look out, that phase doesn’t last!
When is a travel high chair useful?
At around six months the issue of where to seat your baby while she eats at a friend’s house, or in restaurant/cafe suddenly escalates in importance. About this time, your baby moves on to solid food. They also take on a far wriggler demeanour. The combination makes feeding a baby while they sit on your lap both messy and unsatisfying (they get distracted, and often will eat far less, and the mess, well, that goes without saying).
While travelling you may find yourself in a country where no self-respecting dining establishment would dream of operating without a high chair or two for their smallest guests. Or, it may be exactly the opposite. It is in these latter cases you need a couple of options up your sleeve. We recommend two options.
Option one: Best travel high chair for car trips or long trips.
For car trips or longer trips (say, where you’ll be staying at friends or relatives houses, or in an apartment) the Gold Bug pop up booster seat is excellent. It’s the perfect mobile chair for when you’re on a road trip, or at the home of a high-chair free friend or family member.
It’s reasonably bulky, although not so bulky that can’t stuff it under the bottom of a full-sized pram if you’re out and about for a full day that will include one or two dining out possibilities. (Note: it’s not super easy to clean – you’ll need to be vigilant about food falling into the cracks. Or just let it be a bit grotty; that’s okay too.)
To set it up, simply fold, wrap one set of straps underneath the base of a normal dining chair, and another around the back. Tighten, and presto; a makeshift booster like high chair. (Note: this chair does eventually lose its oomph – mostly due to the fact that the supporting material “boosting” the chair under its fabric is only cardboard, eventually it sags.) Nonetheless, it’s still super useful and it is one of our favourite pieces of baby travel gear (at home we keep it in the car for cafe/restaurant visits when there is no high chair). We also recommend this one if you’re staying with friends or family for a few days: leave it set up and when you’re out and about, take the following, even more mobile option.
Option two: Best travel high chair for mobile travellers.
The “In your pocket baby” is the ultimate lightweight, mobile baby seat. It really does fold up into a small package that, while would be quite obvious in your pocket, is unobtrusive in a handbag. The Swedes really know what they are doing: it’s basically a piece of robust material, with some straps around it which are clipped below the base of a dining chair, and around and above the back of it. The instructions are handily printed on the material, while you’re perfecting the skill the first couple of times. We love this gadget, in fact it’s one of our top items you shouldn’t leave home without if travelling with a baby. (This item is also featured in the ‘featured image’ for this post – with the baby sitting on a green metal chair.)