When my daughter hit the coffee table contact stage, we invested in that adhesive padding that not only collected dirt and crumbs, but became a toy for my daughter who would pull it on and off as if to say "Try and keep me away!"
An interesting alternative is the Little Tumblers Table Topper. Invented by Mom Katy Terry and made in the USA, this baby-head protector covers the entire table with sturdy, stain-resistant but soft polar fleece. When dinner party guests show up, just yank it off.One caveat: If you have pets, this is not the table topper for you. (Fleece + fur = yikes). Then again, coffee tables + babies = yikes. Maybe it’s worth the trade-off. -Kristen