Friday, 14 November 2014

Trend Watch - The Bumbo Seat

Image borrowed from
When it comes to things for kids, it's very easy to get carried away. You need a crib and a dresser, but you might also want a rocker, a change table, a bookshelf, and more. You need a bouncer or swing, but you probably want them both, not to mention an exersaucer, play mats, interactive toys, books... The problem is, there's a limit to your floor space as well as your bank balance. Moreover, kids grow and change everyday. They will only use their current stuff for a finite amount of time before they need more of a challenge.

A fluorescent feature of many a mommy's floor is the current trend in baby seating - the Bumbo. This foam supportive booster is meant to encourage good posture in addition to providing a stable sitting position for babies who cannot yet do it alone. The Bumbo International website claims:

Available at many big box stores in a variety of colours and patterns, this cute product can fit in to any nursery decor if you have quite enough neon. In addition to the safe stability of the seat itself, accessories including a play tray and a potty trainer can be purchased separately so that your little one can learn and grow with the product.

If your child fits, that is. 

The leg holes are narrow to say the least. At just over 4 months old, the son of one of my friends is already close to 20lbs. It's a struggle to seat him comfortably and you would think that he is the ideal age for the product. He's not alone either. My son is not large by any stretch of the imagination, but it felt like I had to push down on him to fit him in to the space. It also comes with a belting system that is surely just to avoid law suits. How you could buckle a child already crammed in to this foam wonder, I have no idea.

On the subject of avoiding law suits, this seat is meant exclusively for floor use. It should not double as a booster to be elevated in any way. Infants this size are incredibly top heavy. Even with constant supervision, it would take a split second for them to topple over and severely hurt themselves. I shudder at the thought. This means you will still need a highchair (unless you intend to sit crossed-legged for feedings) and you'll need a booster seat for down the road, too.

Finally, those wonderful accessories I mentioned, they are all sold separately. At up to $60 brand new, tacking on an additional $20 a piece makes this a pretty costly chair. Assuming a maximum use of 3 years, including potty training, you would have to use it fairly regularly to merit owning over $100 in foam and plastic. And again, that's only if s/he fits...

All this is to say, the Bumbo seat is a want, not a need. You probably have another safe place to seat baby that will fill this purpose for the small amount of use I see this item getting. If you still think you'd like one, I suggest trying one a friend owns to see how it fits your child and your purposes. Be realistic. As usual, I also highly recommend finding one used. Because it is a short term piece that cleans quickly and easily, it will be good as new for around $20. You can look on Kijiji or other online buy-and-sells, or those fantastic local Mom to Mom sales.

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