Toddler Feeding - Protecting Furniture

I wish I had a dollar for every time I get a comment about having young kids and upholstered dining room furniture. I did hesitate to buy our upholstered chairs, but we were due for new chairs, and I wanted to buy something I really loved, not just something the kids could trash. I am happy to report that I have not second guessed my decision, and more than one year later, our chairs are still stain free. Impossible, you say? Sounds a like an exaggeration, I know, but it is true and I sharing some of my tips to keeping your dining furniture (specifically upholstered or fabric) clean when you have young kids.




Look at that face...she would never deliberately put food on my chairs. Wrong.



This is the face of a conniving 22 month old who knows it is funny to drop her food for the dog to get. 


 We moved Harper out of her high chair and up to the table in a booster seat around 18months. She seems to love being closer to the family instead of in her high chair. But moving her at an earlier age, meant more messes - we are gluttons for punishment. I have found several factors to be key in my ability to keep our chairs clean.

1. Scotch Guard your fabric: This is an option at most furniture stores when you purchase your furniture. Always get their fabric protection plan when you have kids!! Not only are they protected with Scotch Guard (or a similar product), the stores often offer a cleaning service for stains or sometimes replacement if the stain cannot come out. I do re-apply Scotch Guard once a year. Having this guard on the fabric makes cleaning spills/stains much easier. Liquids will often pool instead of absorb straight into the fabric.





2. Use clear vinyl under booster: Think grandma's furniture covers. This has been key for keeping my fabric stain free with a messy toddler. You can purchase inexpensive vinyl by the roll or by the yard. I purchase a couple yards at our local fabric store. You can then cut a piece large enough to adequately cover and drape over the seat. These are not only super easy to wipe clean, but also inexpensive enough to just toss and replace after a couple months or particularly messy meal :)

Vinyl Installation: Your chair and booster style will dictate how you use your vinyl. I have found it easiest to secure my booster around the back of the chair only (instead of both back and bottom) so I can easily lift the booster. I can then slide the vinyl in and out from under the booster for easy cleaning after each meal. You could choose to secure under the seat as well and just unbuckle/buckle when you need to remove the vinyl to clean.

I will also use smaller squares of vinyl for my older two if we are having something that really stains - like pasta. The vinyl is slippery, so I do tuck it into the chair when I put it down for them to help prevent sliding of the vinyl on the chair. I would say that I really only put it down for these very messy meals and find that the rest of their minor spills can be easily wiped off.

Here are some shots of the vinyl in action :)









3. Easy Clean Booster: I highly recommend getting a booster that is easy to clean. We had one for the older two that did not come apart easily and I think it got a lot more dirty than the one we have for Harper. I have been really happy with our Ingenuity Easy Clean Booster. The seat removes super easily to clean out crumbs and wipe off the mess on the seat. I have to remove the entire booster way less frequently to clean because of this easy remove seat.










For some meals that are not as messy, I can simply lift the seat and wipe under the booster.



For messier meals, I pull out the vinyl and wipe off.



4. Clean your chairs daily: This sounds kinda high maintenance, but it isn't. I use baby wipes (if you aren't buying Kirkland Wipes in bulk yet, you need to) to clean off the table after every meal. It then just takes me a couple extra seconds to wipe down each chair. I quickly clean out the seat crease and scrub off any food that may have spilled. Rarely do I need to pull our spot cleaner to hit a stain.



^^Booster clipped around back. If your booster straps are not long enough to reach around your chair, they do make strap extenders.

5. Select Fabric and Color wisely: I do think the taupey grey color has helped hide some of the daily wear on the chairs. More neutral shades will hide this wear well.I would be hesitant to pick a white or a light linen color for my dinning chairs.  Also pick a fabric that you can easily scrub - the furniture store was very helpful in selecting this.

These simple tricks have helped me avoid stains and be able to justify getting the furniture I like vs. the furniture I "should" get with young kids.





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Hello, I am Brooke...wife + momma to 3! I love coffee, lists, and anything monogrammed. Here you will find fun things that inspire me and I hope you enjoy as well. Thanks for stopping by!! XO

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