A booster seat is ideal for when your child no longer needs a highchair, but still needs help reaching the table. They can be used with most dining chairs, can help your child feel more grown up and take up less space. You can chose a high chair booster seat which has a tray and cushions while others are essentially just straps. What works for you will depend on what age and stage your child is at and how portable you need the booster seat to be. Some can be used for babies from six months – just make sure it has a supportive back rest and harness. Avoid anything with nooks and crannies so you can clean the seat easily and lap belts are useful too, keeping toddlers more secure.
Best for style
Beaba booster seat, £44.95, beaba.com
Verdict: A smart, practical booster seat that can be used with or without a tray. Well made and easy to clean, it has a removable insert cushion and is suitable from 18 months to when your child can sit on a chair unaided. The curved seat back feels comfortable and cocoons your child for extra security. The downside is it doesn’t come with a travel bag.
Best for younger babies
Healthy Care booster seat, £37.99, fisher-price.com/uk
Verdict: Ideal for everyday use in a small home or for keeping at the grandparents, this booster has a supportive seat that is suitable from six months. It’s quick to clean and cleverly incorporates an extra tray and lid. It does fold down but is still on the bulky side.
Best for feeling grown up
Prince Lionheart soft booster, £29.99, princelionheart.com
Verdict: This simple booster is perfect for older toddlers who want to feed themselves but can’t reach the table. It’s made from soft waterproof material and has absolutely no awkward corners, so it’s extremely easy to clean and comfortable, too. It’s sold in a choice of three colours and is suitable from 18 months.
Best for chucking in your changing bag
Totseat pocket highchair, £24, totseat.com
Verdict: A simple, clever fabric harness that ties onto a chair. It doesn’t provide a height boost so won’t help children reach the table, but is still useful for spoon-feeding. It packs down to virtually nothing, which is a huge bonus. Suitable from six months.
The First Years Swing Table Booster, £32.99, www.tomy.co.uk
Verdict: This portable highchair is superb for all ages and stages. The tray cleverly swings out of the way to make getting your little one in and out easier. When your child’s older detach the tray, adjust the seat height and voila, you’ve a practical booster seat that you can pop in the dishwasher too.
Best budget booster
Safety First Basic Booster £13, www.amazon.co.uk
Verdict: A cheap and cheerful booster that’s made from practical, wipeable materials and gives toddlers a much-needed lift up. It’s fantastic value for older ones moving on from their proper highchair, tiding them over until they can sit on a normal dining chair.
Best for holidays
Munchkin Travel Booster Seat, £20.99, www.kiddicare.com
Highly portable, height adjustable booster seat and highchair that transforms into a bag when not in use, complete with space for feeding essentials such as spoons and wipes. Suitable from 12 months.
Best for space saving
Pod booster, £45, www.mountainbuggy.com
Verdict: This clamp-on seat creates a sturdy place for little ones to dine, whether at home instead of a conventional highchair, or meals out and about. Weighing just 1kg, it folds compactly and is comfortable and supportive for babies and toddlers from six months up. The fabric is wipe clean too.
Best for pre-schoolers
MiBooster Cushion, £25, www.minene.co.uk
Verdict: This booster seat is perfect for pre-schoolers who want to do arts and craft at the table too, thanks to the brilliant crayon holder on the side. Crayons and a colouring book are included, the cover’s machine washable and the cushion can be carried backpack style with the integral straps.