Just Say No to the Bumbo Seat

The Bumbo seat has gained popularity in recent years, but is one product we did not use with our children. With my oldest I did not even want to try it; she never sat in one. I was a more relaxed with our second child and let him try one out (a hand-me down), but ended up not really using it.

First of all, when you put your baby in it, baby is sitting upright before they are developmentally ready to sit upright. Babies were designed to develop and learn over time, and oftentimes this product has the baby in a position they are not yet ready for. An article in the Chicago Tribune further discusses this from a physical therapist’s standpoint, not to mention recent recalls due to the flip-over hazard.

Many parents find the Bumbo helpful when they need their hands free to attend to another kid, cook diner, wash

Carriers go anywhere! Bumbos, not so much.

Carriers go anywhere! Bumbos, not so much.

dishes or do laundry. The Bumbo seat could be used in this manner, but is it really what is best for the baby? We used baby carriers when trying to get chores done around the house, both the Moby Wrap and the Baby Hawk. These allow your child to be attended to while you get work done. When I tried the Bumbo seat with my second, all I could think about was someone (a 3-year old) bumping into the Bumbo or knocking it over with the baby sitting in it. We have lots of tile floors and best-case scenario of a knock over would be many tears. When your baby is in a baby carrier they are right next to you and much less likely to be hurt by a “helpful” older sibling. When cooking dinner with my babies I always made sure to have them on my back, which kept them away from the hot stove top or oven.

A Bumbo seat can be a great prop for pictures, but if you are using please make sure you follow all safety warnings. The Bumbo should only be used on the floor, never on any raised surfaces. This seems like common sense, but I have seen babies in their Bumbo on the counter. For all other times, try your baby carrier for a hands-free solution. My babies were always much happier when worn by a parent than when they were laying on a blanket alone. This allowed me to get much more work done around the house.

Kristen Beggs lives and writes in Midland, TX.


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3 Responses to “Just Say No to the Bumbo Seat”

  1. Renee says:

    I found the Bumbo to be a great option for baths during those awkward weeks/months when baby was a bit too big or rambunctious for the sink but not yet ready for a big tub (we don’t have the space to store a baby bath). It saved my back a lot strain and gave me one and a half hands to work with (still had to keep a general hold of them for safety, but I could maneuver a bit better).

  2. Corry says:

    I agree with this on many levels but not that the Bumbo is bad altogether. I loved ours for our first and I have another for our little who is on the way, but we use them once baby is able to sit completely unsupported. It was a lifesaver once my oldest was more mobile but I needed to shower (he sat outside the shower playing while the tray was affixed) or wanted to catch up on dishes so he could sit on the floor beside me. Besides that baby is usually worn. =)

  3. Melissa says:

    Regarding an alternative to the bumbo… how about a good old bouncy seat? Or the Fisher Price infant-to-toddler seats? I know you are a babywearing store, but not everyone can wear all the time (I’m a c-section mama with a bad back!). But I do agree that from a physiological standpoint, the bumbo is about as dumb as you can get.