I've talked about place mats very quickly before- with Chick-fil-A's disposable ones that lay on a basket in our local store.
I decided in all fairness, since several of Foodie baby's little friends have a reusable place mat in their bags with them, that I would try it out.
I got the Kidoppotamus Tiny Diner place mat, emblazoned with nursery rhyme images like the cow and the moon.
After being able to tuck a small disposable mat in my bag at all times without it taking up much space (and therefore making me forget to use it a lot) a green roll of plastic roughly the size of a sugar cookie tube made a big dent in my already packed diaper bag.
The first trial was at Benjarong, where Foodie Baby didn't quite have the table space needed to keep a place mat.
A couple things are really great about this place mat. First, it helps make a plate (that is a real plate, and a heavy one at that) harder to slip off a table for a little one- plates kind of 'stick' to it just enough.
And that little food catcher thingy? Not only does it catch some of the food that falls (the closer your little one is to the table, the better) but you fold the mat in and roll it up and tuck it in the food catcher and it's self-contained and ready to shove in the bag.
Negatively, not only does it need to be cleaned after each use, it takes up space in a diaper bag.
Also, The mat itself is a lot thicker than a disposable mat- therefore, it takes up more table space.
So there you have it, a new staple in my diaper bag for when we go out (and always there just in case we do!).