Skip Hop Owl Booster Seat
- High quality construction
- Fun design
- Easy to use
- Good safety features
- Food occasionally gets stuck in buckle
I hate clutter. It is the bane of compact family living – when the townhouse begins to accumulate clutter, it begins to feel very small. When that clutter is controlled or removed, the townhouse feels spacious and luxurious.
Some clutter cannot be helped. This is, after all, a functioning house in which a toddler lives. It would be absurd to try and maintain it as a Pinterest-worthy show house. We need to have toys and books in places where Hannah can easily access them.
One of the necessary pieces of clutter in our townhouse had been the high chair. This bulky contraption had stuck out like a sore thumb in our small eating area, but it was absolutely vital for containing the little baby Hannah as she learnt to eat solids. It was a pain, but it was necessary… until now.
Our Introduction to Booster Seats
We were introduced to booster seats on our recent trip to Japan. As you can imagine, in densely populated cities such as Tokyo, free space is very rare. Most restaurants don’t have the luxury of being able to offer high chairs. They do, however, cater for young children very well. In almost every restaurant we went into, a children’s bowl and a booster seat were promptly provided the moment we walked through the door.
Hannah loved this arrangement – she was able to sit at the table, right next to mum or dad. She was properly involved in the meal, rather than being set aside with her own separate space. Hannah could reach things that were on the table and begin to help herself.
Emma and I thought this was a great idea. The space-saving benefits were immediately apparent. A booster seat attached to one of our dining chairs would go a long way towards making our dining area a much neater space.
The Long Search
When we returned to Australia, we started thinking about a booster seat almost immediately. Hannah had loved using them and we were keen to bring her to our table at home. Of course, the idea of relegating the old high chair to a box in the garage was equally appealing – I would finally be able to regain some space that had been lost for a long time.
However, it wasn’t so simple. We had a very clear idea about what we wanted. It had to be safe, comfortable, robust, east to clean, look good and fit neatly under the dining table while still attached to the chair.
We must have looked at every booster seat on the market. To be honest, the process became really frustrating. We just couldn’t find what we were looking for. We tried a couple of booster seats from various places, but they were promptly returned, because they were too bulky. If the booster seat couldn’t bring Hannah right up to the table, then it wasn’t worthwhile.
Even the pop-up booster seats were unsuitable. The ones we looked at were still too bulky to fit neatly under a table, and they didn’t seem to be very robust.
The Skip Hop Owl Booster Seat
Finally! After a little frustration we finally found exactly what we were looking for – the Skip Hop Owl Booster Seat. It looked perfect – each of the criteria mentioned above appeared to be covered. There was only one thing left to do – give it a go!
When the booster seat arrived, my initial impressions were very positive. The Skip Hop Owl Booster Seat felt robust and built to last. It had a pleasing weight to it, not too light to be flimsy, but certainly lightweight enough to carry with us if we eat out.
Hannah was impressed too. She must have had fond memories of the booster seats in Japan, because she immediately wanted to sit in it. It was very cute (even if that did make it hard to take some product photos).
The Skip Hop Owl Booster Seat is all about safety. It has a range of features to ensure that a toddler can transition from a high chair to a normal chair with minimal risk.
The non-slip feet have a large footprint and they keep the Skip Hop Owl Booster Seat from skidding about on the chair. In addition there are two straps, one that goes under the chair and one around the back. These all work together to keep the booster firmly in place on the chair. We have been using the Skip Hop Owl Booster Seat for over a week and we have not had any issues with movement. The straps have remained as tight as when I first installed it.
The other main safety feature is the removable 3-point harness. This ensures that an over-excited toddler doesn’t accidentally topple out during her initial transition from high chair to booster.
The 3-point harness is removable, which means that once your toddler is capable of climbing in and out of the booster confidently and independently, they can use it more like a regular chair. I think that is a great idea and it makes the Skip Hop Owl Booster Seat perfect for that transition.
Hannah appears to be very comfortable in her booster seat. The padded seat means that she is not sitting directly on hard plastic and the rounded design means that there are no hard edges.
Hannah happily sits in her Skip Hop Owl Booster Seat for the duration of meals. She also likes to climb up into her booster seat and sit there sometimes, so I’m going to go ahead and assume that means she likes it. Hannah had learnt how to say “booster seat” within hours of its arrival.
Hannah isn’t the messiest eater, but she is still a fork-wielding two year old, and naturally not every piece of food makes its way into her mouth. Fortunately, the Skip Hop Owl Booster Seat has a few things going for it when it comes to cleanliness.
The first thing to note is that the Skip Hop Owl Booster Seat is able to slide in all the way under the table. That allows us to bring Hannah in nice and close to her food. Some of the other booster seats we looked at didn’t fit under the table and so they left a huge gap. I can only imagine how messy those meals would be! A lot of the food that Hannah drops ends up on the table or back in her bowl.
Of course, even with the booster seat tucked right in, some food is still going to find its way down. The Skip Hop Owl Booster Seat is very easy to clean, a quick once-over with a damp cloth usually does the trick. The padded seat is easily removable, so pesky little things like grains of rice can be retrieved if they happen to burrow their way in between the padding and the plastic.
The only problematic part for cleaning is the same on every child restraint – the straps. It doesn’t seem to matter what the item is, straps attract bits of old food like a magnet. The straps wipe down reasonably easily, although you do have to be careful to get everything that lodges around the buckles. They are removable for when you really need to do some heavy-duty cleaning.
The Skip Hop Owl Booster Seat is held tightly to the seat, so I haven’t had any issues with food slipping in between the booster and the seat.
The Skip Hop Booster Seats come in three cute designs. We liked the Owl the most, but there is also an exceptionally adorable bee and a butterfly. While these designs don’t have any material impact on the functionality for the booster seat, they do add an extra element of fun.
As I said before, Hannah was instantly drawn to her Owl Booster Seat. The bright colours and funny little face were irresistible to our tiny tot. We have never had any trouble getting Hannah to her high chair for a feed (the kid loves her food), but I could imagine that the friendly little face and poking-out ears could help coax a more stubborn child to the table.
Ease of Use
The Skip Hop Owl Booster Seat is simple to attach and detach. I had it all safely connected within a matter of minutes. Generous, adjustable straps allow the Skip Hop Owl Booster Seat to be safely placed on a wide range of chairs.
We haven’t taken it out of the house with us yet, but I think that will definitely be done in the future. It is lightweight, slimline and easy to attach, so it wouldn’t be too much hassle to bring it along to a restaurant. Not only would that mean that Hannah doesn’t have to be placed into a high chair of questionable hygiene, it also allows her to properly be a part of the family meal. I really like that aspect of the Skip Hop Owl Booster Seat.
The non-slip feet mean that I would even be comfortable using the booster for a short period of time unattached to the seat (if, for example it had to be placed in a booth). Of course, I would closely supervise Hannah if I did that.
The Skip Hop Owl Booster Seat has a RRP of $74.95. For such a high quality product, I feel that represents good value. The Skip Hop Owl Booster Seat feels like it is built to last and I will be surprised if it doesn’t outlast the needs of my family. I can easily picture myself passing it on to a friend or relative down the track.
The Skip Hop Owl Booster Seat can be purchased from the go-to online shop for baby and toddler products – The Stork Nest.
It’s early days for the Skip Hop Owl Booster Seat in our house, but so far we are all extremely happy with it. I am thrilled that some more clutter is gone from my compact living space, and Hannah loves being able to sit right up at the table with us. The Skip Hop Owl Booster Seat will be an integral part of our mealtimes from now until Hannah is tall enough to sit on a chair by herself.
Disclosure – When we found this booster online, I approached Skip Hop and they provided Blog Of Dad with the Skip Hop Owl Booster free of charge, for the purpose of review. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own, based on my experiences with the Skip Hop Owl Booster Seat. For further information, please visit my disclosure statement.