Saturday, May 2, 2009
Product Review: Bumbo Baby Seat
At first glance, the Bumbo doesn't look that special. It is a seat. For babies. So they can sit. OK. Why do you need this? If you read the reviews you'll notice that they tend to be split into "loved it" or "hated it" camps. At nearly $40 for the seat and $50 for the seat with tray, you really want to be confident that your child will use it before you purchase it.
Let's start with what makes it special. Here is the explanation from the website:
The Bumbo Baby Sitter's key feature is that the seat is at a lower level than the leg openings. This provides correct support for the lumber area of the vertebral column.
- Bumbo has a favorable orthopedic effect that is important to assist in the correct spinal development of an infant.
- The Bumbo Sitters' raised leg spaces result in an increased flexibility of the baby's hip and knee joints, which has the benefit of decreasing stress on the baby's spine.
- The front support won't push against baby's groin but prevents baby sliding forward.
Well, I won't keep you in suspense, we are in the "loved it" camp at this house. I bought it for Ian when he was about 6 weeks old because he always wanted to be upright. I held him a lot, but sometimes I wanted to put him down so I could eat. If I tried to put him in the carseat carrier or swing, he was not amused. He demanded to be upright and in the middle of the action. I thought the Bumbo could potentially be the perfect solution but I wanted to try it before I bought it. I took him to the store, removed it from the box and set him down in it. He loved it. I bought it. We used it quite a bit when he was little and as you can see in the picture, at 2.5, he still likes to sit in it.
Eva, though so far mellower than Ian, still has the same strong desire to be upright and in the action. She has been testing it out the past few days and seems to love it as well. I wear her a lot and she loves the swing, but it is nice to have another option for her, especially during these months before she can crawl or do much of anything on her own.
Even though, I really like the Bumbo seat and have found it useful (especially for taking photos of little ones), it is not a product that I would recommend for everyone and I definitely would not put it on a baby registry. Your baby's personality and your lifestyle factor into every purchase, but the with the Bumbo seat, the personality factor is much stronger. If your baby is very active and always straining to sit or stand, baby will probably like this. If your baby is laid back, baby will probably be happier in a bouncer or carseat carrier or swing. I've also noticed a correlation with baby size: skinny babies tend to like it more than cubby babies.
My only complaint about the Bumbo is that I think it is overpriced. In my opinion, it should be about $20 instead of $40. Also, I would skip the accessories like the carry bag and the tray. If you find yourself eating out a lot and taking the Bumbo to the restaurant, you can buy the tray later. I never took the Bumbo to restaurants, but I had a friend who did. I don't think that is something you know until you are living it. Also, for home use, by the time they are old enough to eat, they can go in a highchair and the age that they are in the Bumbo, they can't snack unsupervised. An older child who could snack with less supervision, won't snack by sitting in the Bumbo and using the tray. My son has snack bowls that he carries around.