When T was a newborn, going out for an early dinner or meeting S for lunch was relatively easy (once I got over feeding in public). Most of the time I was able to feed T before I went out (or give him a top up / one for the road) and once we’d got to our destination he’d be asleep in his pram or the wrap.
Now that he’s a bit older, and also weaning, going out for lunch is not such a simple task. Not only do you have to contend with a baby who doesn’t always want to sleep as planned, but they definitely don’t want to sit still on you whilst you eat your lunch. Plus, they want YOUR food.
Although these days you have a huge amount of restaurants and cafes that provide highchairs, if they’re all taken or if you’re in one of those restaurants that say they’re child friendly by providing meatballs and pasta as their kids meal option but their highchair looks like a weapon of torture or sits-a-mile-away-from-the-table-because-it’s-been-purchased-last-minute-and-not-with-the-table-in-mind, you’re pretty stumped.
That’s why I found The Pod by Mountain Buggy to be a really useful tool when eating on the go, making the majority* of restaurant tables adaptable to you.
The Pod is simply a fold away highchair, but the level of design makes it rather clever.
Firstly, it’s light and compact. It folds/collapses into a neat carry case that can be put in the bottom of your buggy, in your car boot, or in your rucksack.
To assemble, simply fold out the two brackets – like the ones you get in school woodwork class – and affix to the table you’re sitting at.
Because they’re screw clamps, you can fix the seat to most* tables; thick or thin. *The only tables you’re not recommended to use The Pod with are ones that don’t have four legs; such as tulip tables, don’t have solid legs; such as fold up tables, as well as round tables, or glass tables.
The chair is made out of a tough canvas and has a solid seat that the child sits on and a metal bar that runs around the back, acting as a spine. Once assembled, it’s a strong and sturdy chair that really isn’t going anywhere. Also, because it hangs from the tabletop, it doesn’t take up unnecessary room!
We’ve used it several times now. It was our seat for T whilst in the caravan on holiday (the ones you can hire really do have a life of their own) as well as in pubs, restaurants, and park benches for picnics. We also take it with us when we go to friend’s houses for dinner.
Even if T isn’t eating, it means he can sit with us rather than be left on his playmat or passed between laps. It means he’s always included, which is great whilst weaning, and at the same level as us no matter where we’re sitting (another issue with conventional highchairs!)
What I like most about the seat is that it will last T a long time. Because of the generous leg space, in comparison to other highchairs, and general strength of the seat, it’ll be able to hold T into toddlerhood and (maybe) beyond.
In the past, when we went out with friends who had kids, there was always this roulette of having to check whether the restaurant provided highchairs or even whether the place was too busy – a sure sign that all the highchairs will be in use. If they didn’t provide highchairs, or the place was too busy, we often had to a) go somewhere else, b) wait for a seat, or if we didn’t want option b) we had option c) which was leave the babies in the buggy; taking up lots of room. This solves these issues very simply.
We were kindly given The Pod for the purpose of a review but all thoughts and opinions of three product are our own.