Everyone’s gotta eat, and nobody does it messier than a couple of baby twins. So how do you contain that mess — not to mention the bundles of energy themselves– when you are adventuring away from home?
I can highly recommend a folding, fabric, portable baby chair for families on the move. I don’t have a particular brand in mind (if you look here you will see that there are many varieties out there), but as a life-saver when trying to travel with ever-hungry babies, this one might be my equaivalent of, oh, let’s say, the velcro strap on a sphygmomanometer.
I’m not just talking about travelling when I say these fabric chairs are useful. We carried ours everywhere when the babies were very small, even just for jaunts around the neighbourhood. (For the first year of their lives, our babies lived with us in a highly caffeinated area of Melbourne. We spent a lot of family time in cafes and one of their first words was “coffee”).
A stroller works as a mobile chair too, of course, but we found that everyone was happier and more settled if we were all seated at the table together. Besides, we often transported the little guys in slings or baby carriers and left the bulky double-pram at home.
When we did manage to wrangle ourselves away on a trip, these fold-up chairs were invaluable for every step of the journey. Meals at airport stop-overs, hotel-room dinners, lunch in the garden. We are incredibly fortunate to have enjoyed these experiences, but we were rarely lucky enough to encounter any establishment that had two available high-chairs. It was great to always be prepared.
So how do they work? Simple. They slip over the back of a standard adult chair, folding to form a little pouch for the baby, and then they strap around both the chair and the child. Most seat sizes are fine but avoid high-backed formal dining chairs and those with broad arm-rests that prevent the straps going around.
When choosing which travelling baby chair to buy, select one with sturdy fabric, nice long, adjustable straps — because some chairs are very wide — and clips that will come apart quickly when needed. Naturally you don’t want the child to be able to unclip themselves, however. Our “Little Beetle” seats fold into themselves, with a self-contained bag attached, which is another handy design feature because you don’t need yet another thing to remember or misplace.
OK, perhaps I was a bit misleading to begin with. These fantastic inventions will contain the kids, which may limit the messy damage that they can inflict upon your holiday destination. But when you choose to travel with babies and children you must be prepared for the fact that they will be messy eaters, wherever they go…
Happy, messy, travelling!