The toddler and the very tall breakfast bar
September 25, 2015 6:22 AM   Subscribe

We're renting an apartment with a very small open-ish kitchen and a full bar height breakfast bar, with a baby going on toddler who is getting harder to seat at the bar. Are there any good solutions for seating toddlers at a full-height breakfast bar?

We have a high chair that works at the dinner table and extends to counter height, but that isn't high enough. For breakfast and quick meals we sit at the breakfast bar and put the kid in a clip-on chair on the bar. The clip-on used to be great, but his size and the height of the bar are making it harder to get him in and clip the belt on. High chairs or a little table don't fit in the tiny kitchen without blocking at least two of the fridge, sink or appliances, and I'd like to be able to do things in the kitchen while the baby eats.

Has anyone managed to make something like this work? Are there extra tall high chairs available? (I don't want to spend a ton but all the fancy stuff is available used around here after the super rich parents are done with it.) A better/easier clip-on solution? A good bar chair/booster combo that a toddler can't tip?

(No horror stories please)
posted by sputzie to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We use this Inglesina Fast Table Chair, and it works really well at our breakfast bar.
posted by pyro979 at 6:41 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Would this work? If it's too high for something like that, I would just use the table. We didn't choose the high tables at restaurants until my kids were old enough to sit safely in a regular seat. You're going to hit the weight limit on the clip-on chair long before the kid is old enough to be safe on a regular tall stool. (My four year old is still a little too squirrely for comfort on high bar stools.)
posted by xeney at 6:42 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

(I just saw that the Inglesina has a 37 pound weight limit. My four year old is about 37 pounds but she wouldn't have stood for sitting in one of those from about age two and a half onward.)
posted by xeney at 6:44 AM on September 25, 2015

We used a portable booster high chair without the tray that straps to the bar chair but wouldn't work with a backless stool. Available at every big box store and great for taking to grandparents or any other house you may visit for a meal.
posted by Swisstine at 7:15 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

portable booster
posted by Swisstine at 7:17 AM on September 25, 2015

How old is the toddler? Is there any reason he can't be told to sit still and stay in his chair/on his stool?
posted by PlantGoddess at 8:13 AM on September 25, 2015

Our kiddo sat in a bumbo for many years.
posted by H. Roark at 8:29 AM on September 25, 2015

We bought a restaurant-style wooden high chair that is counter height - they make them bar height too. But, I wish I just bought a booster seat for a bar stool. That would take up much less room.

Please don't just put your kid on the stool. They will fall.
posted by galvanized unicorn at 8:38 AM on September 25, 2015

Child is a little over one - nowhere near reliable "sit still" age.

We're using an Ingelsina Fast now for the clip-on chair. Any tricks to getting a child in when its clamped so high?
posted by sputzie at 9:50 AM on September 25, 2015

My friend was an ER doctor. She was always telling people not to seat their child on a stool or chair at a breakfast bar until they are at least four. You asked not to provide horror stories, so I am not including details, but I do think that information is important. She recommended using a very stable high chair, even for older kids, but noted that you should make sure that the child cannot put their feet against the wall and push their chair backwards and over. She said that even a fall from 3 feet is a major problem, as is a flipping chair/stool. I hope I have managed to relay that information within your boundaries. Maybe someone can recommend a booster/high chair that could make this work.

I wonder if it might be approaching time for you to consider a table and chairs in your living room. I have several friends who have done that and even used half the table as their computer desk or entertainment unit, because of small space living. You could also look at a folding table with a wall mount. I used a couple of folding TV trays I got at Costco for a while. Realistically, it isn't going to be that long before your toddler wants to get up and down from the chair on their own and you're going to hit a weight limit where you don't want to be doing all that lifting and retrieving or where they are in a mood.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 2:01 PM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

Around that age we got a tiny low table and chair for our son. (He was 11 months-ish.) He eats dinner with us at the dinner table but breakfast at his own table and he seems to really prefer it. Maybe that could work for you. In our small apartment the little table is halfway under one end of the bar.
posted by Cygnet at 3:52 PM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

We used a earlier model (now updated with tray) of Phil & Ted's Lobster chair from when Sconbie Jnr was around 12 months until nearly 36 months. It was great for home when you're working at the kitchen bench. Also easy to take along with you to restaurants. Our fave cafe ended up getting some (to replace free standing high chairs which take up so much floor space) after we brought ours in so many times.
posted by sconbie at 3:55 AM on September 28, 2015

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