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When it comes to traveling with babies, there are a ton of things to think about. And a ton of stuff to bring! One of the most useful things you can add to your bags is a travel high chair for your baby, but which one should you choose?
The importance of a good high chair for babies
If you haven’t heard me talk about it already, I am a huge proponent of getting babies in properly fitting high chairs. It can make all the difference in the world at mealtimes with how your baby will eat.
The thing is, I would rather you spend your money on a good high chair that you will use 95% of the time at home, than an okay one at home and an okay one for traveling. Because when it comes down to the best travel high chair, it really isn’t as important! What your child is in at home is going to provide the base of their mealtime experience, and that’s what we want to focus on.
The best travel high chair options
With that being said, there are a few directions that you can go with travel high chairs. If you are driving to your destination and have a little room, I think one of the best options is to just go with the Ikea Antilop high chair with a footrest. The legs come off and it can easily be thrown in the back of a car. Plus, it doesn’t need an extra chair to strap to, which can make life easier at relatives’ houses or rentals. There are lots of third party footrests that you can add to this chair. My favorite is this one from yeah baby goods.
The best travel high chair for flying
When you’re flying somewhere, considerations tend to be a little different. It’s all about what you can get in your luggage easily! For this, I tend to like to go with one that is just a pop-up one that straps to chairs and your baby can use at the table. These tend to fold down fairly compactly, and we have taken ours on several cross-country flights with us. While the specific model we used for our first baby is no longer sold, this Munchkin one is very similar.
Trying to get booster seats with trays on them just increases the space needed to travel with them. And since I generally advise against trays at home, I also don’t recommend them for traveling.
Some other travel high chair options
While those two chairs I mentioned are my number one recommendations, almost any chair will work! Really!
A popular option is a chair that hooks onto the table like this one. While these are great portable options, I find them to be not as versatile as the pop-up one I mentioned because their seats tend to be very deep. Younger or smaller children can have a hard time using their hands properly if they are sitting too deep in the seat.
You can fix this fairly easily by placing a folded towel underneath your child in the seat so that the middle of their chest is at table height, but that does require carrying something extra with you. If you do decide to use this style of high chair, try placing a chair underneath it to give your child something to rest their feet on, too. It can decrease the wiggles!
Your standard booster seat that you can find at your local store is also a fine option, although they don’t tend to be as easy to travel with in luggage. Most of them position the baby at 90 degrees at their hips, which is really our main concern from an eating safety standpoint. Outside of that, keep in mind that you won’t be using it for that long.
The Bottom Line
An okay travel seat is a perfectly fine option! It doesn't need to be top of the line or fancy. It just needs to get your baby to the table or eating surface at a good height so they can eat securely. Then when you get home you can focus on having that great high chair that is going to help your baby eat as well as they can.