The Bumbo baby seat is described by Bumbo as a revolutionary concept. It is a lightweight seat for babies, made from a low-density foam. The Bumbo seat age recommendations are from 3 months up to 14 months, although I am not sure as to why a 14 month old child would need or want to sit in a Bumbo.
There are many parents who are concerned about whether the Bumbo seat is good or bad. My eldest daughter used a Bumbo when she was at that ‘in between’ stage and seemed to get along with it just fine. Our youngest daughter is now 6 months and she is a different matter when it comes to the Bumbo.
I will first describe some of the features that a Bumbo seat offers, then I will talk about some of the pros and cons that you may encounter when using one. What I would say though, is make up your own mind. If you listen to too many negatives that people like to concentrate on you may be missing out on a great product; what other people don’t like may be right for you and your baby.
- The Bumbo is made from a low-density foam. This ensures that it is as light as possible and makes it more portable.
- The materials used are non-toxic and are BPA free. This is a concern that many parents have over other baby products such as baby feeding bottles.
- There are no straps or fasteners required.
- It is durable and easy to clean
- The Bumbo is versatile and can be used in many ways but supervision is a must.
So the main features make for a pretty good product and with over 400 reviews on Amazon, most of them positive, the Bumbo is clearly a hit with many parents. We were given one by my sister-in-law who used it for her children. It was a couple of years old when we got it and it is still just as sturdy and clean as the day she bought it. The pink colour has faded a little but then over time most plastics or similar materials will fade eventually.
Personally I like the Bumbo; it gives us an easy and quick way of seating our baby daughter at meal times, especially as our eldest still uses her highchair. As there are no straps or restraints needed on a Bumbo it is a simple case of lifting her in and out when required. She is 6 months old and is just starting to turn herself around, reach out for things and wriggle – a lot. She cannot sit up herself yet so this convenient seat is good for that. She has no option but to sit upright, allowing her muscles and spine to get used to the position.
Some Good Points at a Glance
- Lightweight and portable
- Soft and comfortable
- A range of colors
- Trains a baby to sit upright
- Versatile – as many uses as you can think of but safety comes first
The shape and design of the seat gives adequate support and comfort, although it sometimes looks a little awkward to me. The sides and back are high enough to keep a baby in place, while the crotch support between the leg openings prevents an infant from sliding forward.
There are accessories available from the Bumbo range, including a play tray. This slides over the top of the legs and stays in place for a baby to play on or eat food from. You may also find a seat cover useful to keep your Bumbo nice and clean and in good condition.
The key to the design seems to be that baby’s bottom sits lower than their legs, only slightly but this uses their weight to keep them in the seat. And this leads on to some concerns, which we have recently come across.
Although I say concerns, the main and only real concern I have is the ability of a wriggling baby to tip themself out of the seat. The Bumbo comes with a safety warning telling parents not to use the seat on a raised surface. It is also worth reiterating the point that adult supervision is a must whilst the seat is being used.
A baby that starts to use a Bumbo will not be able to support themselves fully; their head will wobble and their arms will reach out. The weight of a baby’s head could cause them to lean back and if the rest of them follows with the momentum it could cause them to tip backward.
Our little one has a tendency to twist around to look at things. When being fed she gets distracted by other things in the room and I found myself constantly turning the seat around so she couldn’t see those distractions. All that did was made her even more determined and she would twist herself round so much that she would nearly climb out of the seat.
Maybe I have a healthy, strong developing baby beyond her months. Or maybe she is a perfectly normal 6 month old who likes to explore. Either way it demonstrates the need for constant supervision when using a Bumbo. It also highlights the reason for not using the Bumbo on a raised surface.
I have to confess that we used ours on a breakfast bar in the kitchen. It helped as it was a good height for us to be able to feed her. We would never leave her alone in this way so she was safe. However, just last week she was left for a minute in her Bumbo on the kitchen floor. If you haven’t guessed yet, she managed to tip herself out of the seat on to the floor. Luckily there was no harm done and after a short cry she was fine.
There are many websites that write about the safety aspects of the Bumbo but to honest, if you are going to leave such a young baby unattended for even the shortest time they should be in something with straps and restraints, giving you reassurance and confidence that they are not going to fall or lean into danger.
The Bumbo comes with a safety message on the back of it that advises against its use on raised surfaces, in the bath and so on. Therefore, if you fail to observe the warnings, which are clearly visible, I don’t think it is Bumbo’s fault.
I think the Bumbo is a great product and you should consider getting one. If you get offered one by a friend or relative give it a go as it won’t cost a penny, or at least it will be a cheap Bumbo baby seat to trial. If you want to buy a new one, click here to see the Bumbo seats and accessories at Amazon. I think the price is reasonable for a product that lasts for such a long time and is as functional and fun as this one.