8 Must-Haves When Dining Out With a Toddler

Everywhere, and I do mean everywhere, we go when we go out to eat, we get comments on our Chicco hook on highchair seat.

I have thought about writing a post on this before but deemed it not very worthy BUT apparently, it is since the Olive Garden waiter yesterday couldn’t seem to contain his excitement over it. 

Literally, to the point of coming over and touching and looking at it all the while my baby girl is sitting in it looking at me, like “ugh, what’s going on?” This fellow waiter mind you was like maybe 20 and I’m sure didn’t have kids.

Most the people that flip out over this chair do seem to be young and just intrigued by such a majestic piece of equipment.

We have had staff sing our praises to their other employees and all gather around our table to have a chat about it. Older people walking by our table have stopped to talk about it. Frankly, I don’t get it. You would think we brought a monkey in with us at all the attention it attracts, but that’s not why we use it.


I am a germaphobe!

I have a fear of all things flu and staph and…… well everything really. And babies and toddlers LOVE to put their hands in their mouths. Toddlers are like little cesspools of germs; they attract them and they share them. Since I have this germaphobe “condition” we will call it, it is a big deal to me to avoid sickness at all cost.

I guess it all goes back to the day where I found myself awe struck by this so called rare majestic seat myself.  My little bug was around 4 months old. Not completely sitting up yet on her own and not even really eating food.  We had just taken our first baby led weaning class and were gearing up for first foods to be introduced soon.

We lugged her into Lambert’s (Home of the Throwed Rolls) in her super heavy infant seat.

Since she was actually born a 27-year-old in a baby’s body, from the day she was born she could not stand to be confined or sit for more than 5 seconds in something she couldn’t see out of. She never even thought of sleep as an option.

So, there we are juggling our baby back and forth as we try to eat and I look over and what do I see…… this couple with their 7-month-old (I asked) in one of these seats!

I knew I had to have one!

The Perfect Solution

I went home and ordered one that day!

Ironically, at the next baby led weaning class the instructor said she uses a hook on high chair at her table at home because it saves so much space!

It has honestly been the best investment ever! We started using it when she was a little over 5 months and still use it every time we go out to eat.

The seat is deep so I feel like it supported her more when she was small than a regular restaurant high chair would do, plus the huge added benefit of not having to put her in a sticky germ infested public high chair makes me happy.

It just clamps to the table and attaches within a minute. It took a little getting used to. We just keep it in the back or our SUV and lug it in with us when we go to eat.

That part is a little bit of a pain because the purse, diaper bag, the seat and then sometimes you forget to bring the baby in……just joking.

But for real I would say, that literally is the only downfall to the whole thing is remembering to carry it in with everything else, but it is so worth it.

Be sure to never put it on a table that is only supported with one metal pillar and not mounted in any way to the wall.

In my experience, all the restaurants we have gone out to eat at, there has only been one table that it didn’t work to put it on the end because of the weight distribution. We could tell it was acting a little funny when we attached it so we just moved it to the side of the table and it was fine.

So, while I’ve got you here, I might as well tell you some secrets about other items we keep on hand that make going out to eat a lot more manageable with a baby and/or toddler.

I’ll attach the links of some of our favorite brands that we have had good experience with.

Must Have’s When Dining with a Toddler

  1. Always keep diaper bag stocked with a couple of bibs, utensils, and extra sippy.
  2. Baby wipes…… of course.
  3. Always carry a waterproof zip bag of some sort to store messy utensils and bib in after the meal.
  4. I also carry around a little container of alcohol-based sanitizing wipes to wipe the table, especially during the winter.
  5. When she was younger, we would bring along a silicon suction cup mat to put on her part of the table since she would just sling plates.
  6. Plain Cheerios!! Best snack to pass the time while waiting for the food to arrive without spoiling her appetite.
  7. Small toys only used for this occasion. It helps if she hasn’t got to play with them in a while. Then just rotate them out to prevent uninterest and keep the magic alive!
  8. And of course……don’t forget the Chicco hook on seat!

Okay, that’s it! I passed all my knowledge on to you. Implementing all these things into our “out to eat” dining experiences have kept us all sane and happy while we feed our faces. Now go and try the Chicco hook on high chair and amaze passersby’s from all over