The LapBaby is brand new to the market. It’s not a carrier and it’s not a highchair either – it’s what its creators call a “seating solution”.
This clever product is designed to secure a baby in your lap leaving both hands free.
It’s suitable for babies from 3 months onwards meaning parents don’t have to wait until baby can sit unaided, unlike many highchairs.
The LapBaby is a pretty unique concept and can only really be compared to Phil and Teds’ Wriggle Wrapper, which offers the option to strap baby to the parents’ waist or to a chair, so it is slightly more versatile than the LapBaby in that respect.
Like many ingenious baby products, LapBaby was designed by a mumpreneur during her maternity leave. Chloe Roberts created an early hand-sewn prototype which she used on a flight.
Once other mums and grandparents started approaching her to ask where they could purchase one, she realised she’d created something rather innovative and began designing and developing a marketable model.
When I heard about this new baby gadget, I was both excited and sceptical – was this going to be another unnecessary piece of equipment which I’d be storing in the cupboard after a couple uses? Or was it one of those must-haves I wouldn’t bare to be without?
I enlisted the help of my husband and Stanley, our 5-month-old to put the LapBaby to the test and in the name of research we headed out to the restaurant for lunch!
How does it work?
LapBaby is an adjustable padded waist-belt. It uses a velcro fastening for quick, easy fitting and two sturdy clip fastenings for extra security.
How is the LapBaby in action?
As soon as our waitress placed my plate in front of me, out came the LapBaby.
It’s very simple to fit and feels nice and secure. I attach Stanley’s toy to the clip which ensures toys don’t keep ending up on the floor (something which Stanley is starting to become quite good at doing!). It’s a simple but clever detail which many parents will be grateful for.
Once we’re set up, my husband and I enjoy a hands-free starter (by the end of which Stanley wants to stand so has to be unstrapped, then strapped in again by desert).
I have to be very careful that Stanley’s wondering arms and little hands don’t grab my knife and touch the hot plates and I also have to make sure I don’t spill hot food on his head but this is nothing more than the usual mealtime challenges I faced one-handed sans LapBaby.
I haven’t eaten hands-free or simultaneously with my husband since Stanley’s been born so it feels like an achievement!
Tell us about the extendable lap cloth?
The lap cloth is wipe-clean and waterproof (Stanley’s dribble put it through it’s paces and it survived – hooray!).
What are the seating options like?
There is only one seating position – straight ahead on one’s lap so baby is facing outward.
Is it easy to use?
Yes the instructions are clear and the product was fitted within minutes. Although it’s worth noting that while both the adult and baby belts are adjustable, the maximum adult waist size is 44 inches / 115cm.
Is the LapBaby comfortable?
Yes, the belt’s padding means it’s comfortable for both the adult and baby and the waist straps can be adjusted easily to fit most sized adults and babies.
On the downside, I found that the material clip and the belt got soaked quite quickly due to Stanley’s constant dribbling! I also worry that the belt will get dirty quite quickly as it’s a (lovely) light great colour. This made me wonder whether a wipe-clean version of this product might work better.
Can it deal with a particularly fidgety baby?
Yes, it can. The belt is thick, the clips strong and the velco has good grip so I had no concerns that Stanley might not be secure.
How is interacting with your little one?
One of LapBaby’s key USP is that it frees up both hands so that “the parent can easily interact with their child to aid early cognitive, physical and social development”.
As much as I’ve enjoyed wearing the LapBaby, I felt that the interaction between Stanley and I was limited since he was not facing me and therefore couldn’t see my face.
How compact is it?
It is compact and lightweight and can easily be stowed away in a changing bag or in the shopping basket of a buggy/pushchair. The actual measurements of the LapBaby are:
Adult belt: 72cm/28 inches
Adult belt incl strap: 115cm/45 inches
Infant belt: 52cm/20 inches
Adult and Infant Width: 14cm/5.5 inches
What do you think of the material clip?
The toy clip is such a good idea – not having to bend down every few mintes to pick up toys is just great!
What type of parent would the Lap Baby be best for?
LapBaby is great for mums and dads who work from home and need to work at a desk/table – baby can go on their lap for short periods of time whilst they get some work done! I myself used the LapBaby to type up this review.
It’s also a great product option for mums with 3 month olds and upwards who aren’t sitting unaided and therefore can’t go in a highchair.
What age child is it best for?
It can be used from 3 months upwards although I questioned the age and was told by LapBaby that “on average, a baby is able to support its own head from 3 months. Some babies do, of course, progress sooner than this.
To use LapBaby, it’s important that your baby can support their own head before using the product; hence the reason for specifying 3 months.”
Is the LapBaby value for money?
Yes – at 24.99 the LapBaby can be used from 3 months upwards. Some parents (including myself) might want to move on to a highchair once their baby sits up unaided.
Remember it only comes in a light grey colour (it could get dirty quite quickly), possible limited lifespan due to baby being able to sit in highchair around 6 months, baby’s belt is quite snug on my 5 month old.
Do you have to buy a lot of additional extras?
No additional extras are required for this product.
What’s in the box?
Just the product (in its pouch) and an A4 piece of paper detailing instructions on fitting and use of the LapBaby.
LapBaby is a truely innovative product which has been a great addition to my already very full changing bag and ideal for travelling.
It’s a fantastic product for babies who are just mastering head control but I can’t help but feel it’s fairly short term as we are now ready to put Stanley in his highchair.
Still, I will happily keep the LapBaby in my bag so that Stanley and I can continue to enjoy some hands-free time together from time to time.
We’ve got more seating solutions for your baby right here…