The Bumbo Chair

[deleted account] ( 89 moms have responded )

Did you use one? Do you think they are harmful to baby's development? I didn't know this was a debatable topic until I saw this topic on another forum lol. I didn't have one, but was just interested in everyone's thoughts about them. For those of you who don't know what they are:
http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp...

I think I find them strange because the pictures I've seen are of really small babies slumped over in them. They just don't look very comfy. If you've used one, do they suggest an age to start using them?

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Charlie - posted on 10/20/2010

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Anika out of curiosity do you sit your child on your lap or do they lie down unitl developed enough to get in a seated position themselves ?

[deleted account]

LOL guys, I'm not offended, hence the :) Believe me, my husbands favourite games is "Stir up Anika", I have a high tolerance LOL.

And I'm not a lone kook, google Dr Emmi Pikler if you want to know about natural development. I think you two at least would really like at least most of what she advocated.

Charlie - posted on 10/28/2010

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Wait , do you use a pram ?

As for the ciggerette comparison , C'mon a mass suicidal drug is not in the same league as an exosaucer that *may* cause shortened tendons .

[deleted account]

Not every kid does it Dana, but it is quite normal. It's only NOT normal if they CAN'T walk/stand w/ their foot flat. :)

[deleted account]

Jess I would buy a portable booster seat, like the ones on the link below rather than using a bumbo for that purpose because a bumbo balanced on a chair has the potential to be really dangerous. Also my nephew outgrew his bumbo at 5 months (although SIL used it until he was 6 months old - she rammed him in grr) so it may well be a waste of money to buy a bumbo now when your daughter is 14 months old (we stopped using ours cos Ethan kept toppling it to get out, making it dangerous). The booster high chairs are fab Ethan loves his, so much we don't use a high chair anymore (saves space in our house to just use the booster).

http://www.kiddicare.com/webapp/wcs/stor...

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Brandy - posted on 11/04/2010

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i didnt read the other posts so forgive me if repeat anything, however, my daughter was born at 28wks and because of her prematurity she developed something called torticollis where one side of her body was very stiff, so we started her on physical therapy right away, by the time she was about 10months she was pretty loose but she was delayed physically, her physical therapist suggested that i get a bumbo seat to help strengthen her back muscles, it was not recommended to leave her in it for very long at at first our daughter hated it, she cried and so i was nervous about putting her in it, but the pt explained to me that she was uncomfortable because she was weak and that she would get used to it, and so i would put her in it for about a min and then take her out eventually i worked her up to enough time that she could sit in it while i was feeding her and within a month she was sitting on her own. it helped her tremendously and it didnt hurt her in the least.

Kate - posted on 11/03/2010

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Lol I loved reading all the posts. I bought a bumbo because they looked like a good idea???? Never used it, just like his walking ring. As for the exersaucer, I didn't know what it was till I looked it up now. It looks hilarious and busy and wow - so much for a tiny baby to do. My baby would have been completely overstimulated by it. He was a one toy at a time baby.
But then again, every baby is different. And as long as they're getting what they need 95% of the time, I don't think it'll do any damage to not be in the perfect position - as long as they're not uncomfortable.
All round, babies are pretty good communicators and will let you know when they're uncomfortable. And if you're overusing a device so that you don't have to hold or pay attention to your baby, he or she will probably soon wise up and scream every time you take him or her near your favorite device.
Then again, I know of a child who adored her walking ring so much that she never crawled. And she carried on going in it after she could walk? Wierd. So many parenting ideas are wierd. Like cots - we have one but my baby never slept in it - not ever. So it seems really wierd to me when I see a baby sleeping in a cot.
My son will be 19 months old in Feb when his baby brother is born. He has always been high maintenance and so I'm accepting an electric swing from a friend to help with the evening shift which I do by myself. Who knows if I'll actually need it. We'll see how it goes.

Lyndsay - posted on 10/29/2010

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Wierd! Unless your child is seriously delayed, I say let them develop at their own pace.

[deleted account]

September, I already said why I don't like them...

"September, I don't like things that put babies in positions they can't get into themselves. I also don't like things that restrain a baby (except for safety reasons like a carseat) and don't allow them to move freely or make their own choices about what they want play with or how. I'm also really cheap :)"

LaCi - posted on 10/29/2010

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I didn't have one, but I really don't see the difference between him sitting in a bumbo or him sitting on my lap, although I think he'd have thrown a fit had he been in a chair and not my lap.

September - posted on 10/29/2010

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Well Anika in my case with the exersaucer (which we do own) our son would tell us, well not with words but actions that he wanted to go in his. We bought one that we were able to lower and higher so that his feet could be flat and he was also old enough to sit on his own and such when we started using it. So my question is why is that so bad? I don't agree with using the bumbo’s if you're using them before the child is able to sit on their own. I never used one but I don't see a problem with them if they are used properly. I think like anything, if you use it properly then there's no harm in it.

Dana I know you don't have a problem with the exersaucer. My question was more directed to Anika :)

[deleted account]

I know it was an analogy - I promise I was just buggin'. Hope I haven't offended you?

I've just never met anyone like you, Anika - I find it interesting.

[deleted account]

Its an analogy people. Geesh. :)

And yes, we use a pram/stroller/buggy but I made sure it could lie flat whilst she was little and only sat it up to an upright position when she could sit up unaided herself.

[deleted account]

LOL Dana. I'm not saying that if you put your child in a Bumbo or an exersaucer that it's the equivalent of putting a lit cigarette in their hands. I'm just saying you can't say "Oh but they love it!" is a valid reason to allow a child to be in something or do something that could be harmful or is just not beneficial.

September, I don't like things that put babies in positions they can't get into themselves. I also don't like things that restrain a baby (except for safety reasons like a carseat) and don't allow them to move freely or make their own choices about what they want play with or how. I'm also really cheap :)

September - posted on 10/27/2010

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So please share.....what's the harm in using an exersaucer? You guys lost me there! :)

[deleted account]

ANIKA! LMAO! I get the anology but let's be real. There's no way that smoking can be reasonably compared to a child using an exersaucer. A Bumbo? Perhaps! *winks*

[deleted account]

Why not compare an exersaucer to a cigarette? They're both products that aren't needed, that could cause harm but people like. I thought it was very apt :) Oh and people say "My child has one and they're just fine!" just like people say "My uncle Bob smoked every day and he's 100 years old!" LOL I've got my troll hat on :)

And Toni, I'll eat my lolly and then sit up on the couch because, as I understand it, that will strengthen my muscles, right? LMAO. :)

[deleted account]

Anika, you did not just compare an exersaucer to a cigarette, did you? LMAO! I understand the point you're trying to make BUT....

You can have the Bumbo, lady, but you're not gettin' my saucer. Bugger off...

[deleted account]

@Dana - I agree, Bumbos are way worse than exersaucers. But my crazy hippy self still just doesn't like them. :) I would never put my daughter in one, even if she did like it. And that's another thing, people always say, "Oh, I have a exersaucer (for example) and my child just love, love, LOVES it!". So? We often like things that aren't good for us. Smokers love cigarettes. I love lollies. Doesn't mean I should eat them now does it?

Leah - posted on 10/26/2010

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I didn't use one with our oldest but I did use one with our second. And our oldest was way further behind developmentally than our youngest! The our little guy we started using it when he was about 4 months old and he love love loved it! We mostly used it at feeding times when he was too little for the high chair and when we went to friends house's or restaurants to eat. He is right on target meeting all of his developmental milestones, so I don't think it hindered his development at all. We stopped using it when he was about 7 months old and could sit up by himself. It was a great investment because the resale value holds (we got ours at a used children's store for $40 and resold for $35). Would totally recommend it. But in the end, its up to the parents to decide, if your not comfortable with it, then don't do it, but don't judge others for their choices.

[deleted account]

Roxanne has never walked on her toes. I didn't realize that it was a normal part of development?

[deleted account]

My son LOVES to walk on his toes. He's quite good at it as well since he can walk on the TIPS of them. He's never been in a walker, jumper, etc.... Tip toe walking is a normal part of development, so I don't see the correlation between being 'anti-walker' and people complaining about tip toe walking....

I don't know when my son first sat in his Bumbo as the only pics I have of him in it were taken at 5 months old. He wasn't able to use it for long though since his legs were so chunky that he'd get stuck when I tried to get him out. ;)

[deleted account]

You haven't seen Roxanne's exersaucer. LMAO! I was babysitting my friend's daughter for a few months a while back so I had brought the saucer inside again so she could use it (she's 6 months younger than Roxanne). After Sophie would leave I would catch Roxanne sitting in it, playing. She thinks it's great.



I'm just being silly. True story though! I do understand what you're saying but IF you're putting a child in an exersaucer at the appropriate age and developmental stage, I don't think they're nearly as detrimental as the Bumbo. I agree that the Bumbo's sole purpose is to aid a child that can not sit on their own already so for the women who say they didn't use it until their child could already sit on their own, it's a moot point!

[deleted account]

@Corena - How does it help strengthen the baby's back muscles? The baby isn't supporting itself, the chair is. That's like saying I'm working out my muscles sitting on the couch. I can assure you that I'm getting podgier, not stronger!

@Dana - I'm still not convinced about the exersaucers or any of that other stuff in fact. Most babies aren't sitting in them with their feet flat, so all that bouncing is doing nothing for their feet and spine. Just today I read recommendations against using jolly jumpers and walkers (and I'd put exersaucers in with them because they're kind of like a hybrid of the two) by the NZ Sports and Recreation because they're unsafe and cause shortened achilles tendons. And I'm always hearing mothers complaining about their kids trying to walk on their toes. And as far as entertaining and stimulating goes, I think they're like most 'plastic fantastic' toys out there. Exciting for 10 minutes until they realise they only do one thing and it's no longer interesting.

Corena - posted on 10/25/2010

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We loved our bumbo. It made a great "high chair" when we were out and about and our son loved sitting in it.
I don't think they are harmful to development, the whole point is to help strengthen baby back muscles and help them sit up. Worked for us!

[deleted account]

Anika, I think that's the difference between the Bumbo and an exersaucer. An exersaucer is not intended to be used before the child is able to stay vertical on their own. It allows them to use their leg muscles to bounce if they choose but doesn't FORCE them to. It's also stimulating and entertaining.

I also agree with Loureen. These types of products (besides the Bumbo because I dislike it at any age) CAN be beneficial as long as you're using it for it's intended purpose at the right age, when your child is developmentally ready and you don't abuse it's use.

Jess - posted on 10/25/2010

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Thank Toni ! I had a feeling that without a strap the Bumbo wouldn't be great on a chair. I've seen those portable high chairs, I'll just get one of those.

Jess - posted on 10/25/2010

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We never bothered with getting one. They looked awfully uncomfortable and I hated the idea of forcing my daughter to sit up when she simply was ready or capable of doing so. Ava is now 14 months and running around, Im think of getting one because I have noticed a lot of restaurants either don't have high chairs at all or only have 1 and if someone else's baby is using it your shit out of luck ! Having the bumbo in the boot of the car would be handy for those situations. I saw a mother recently use one on a chair at a restaurant and it worked great. Her child was older than mine though and I would want to see how safe they are on a chair, but any way thats the only reason I would buy one.

[deleted account]

Yeah and I agree Loureen but the Bumbo was designed to sit up babies who can't do it themselves. That's the whole point of them. They're 'infant positioners'. So it's not parents misusing them when they put droopy little babies in them. That's what its for. And that's why I hate them (mostly).

Charlie - posted on 10/24/2010

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Anything used before it is age appropriate and in excess can delay development.

TV , Shoes , pacifiers , even prams COULD delay development if used before or after age appropriate times and in excess and all of which are unnatural but all of these things have a time and a place in which they serve a good purpose when used wisely .

So is the bumbo good for babies who lack the muscle capacity to sit unaided ? no but its a great chair for little ones that need a place to sit who can already hold their own unaided .

Krista - posted on 10/24/2010

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We used an exersaucer once in awhile, but only once Sam was able to sit up very well on his own, and only for short periods of time. It was a real lifesaver for when I'd have to run down to the basement and put more wood in the furnace. I know some people advocate wearing your baby while doing chores, but I'm thinking that putting more wood on a fire isn't exactly a chore to do while baby-wearing.

The swing, now? Oh lordy, did we use that swing. That's all he would nap in for about the first 9 months of his life. It took me a REALLY long time to get him to nap in his crib. I swear, if I had to hear the tinny, electronic version of "Für Elise" much longer, I was going to go nuts.

Beck - posted on 10/24/2010

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Honestly I remember I didn't use the Bumbo til my daughters were already able to sit up on thier own it was used to keep them from running away while being fed. That was it, I hadn't thought about it til now.

I love bumbos but still really hate it when they are used incorrectly. A friend of mine had her child in it all the time when she just needed her to stay still and I hated that. I'm not saying the bumbo is to blame but that little girl has bowed legs and I would hate to think they were caused by so much time in a bumbo. Thpough I have no idea if it was!!

[deleted account]

LOL Dana you've lost me on the exersaucer! I'd love to know why you think they're beneficial though. I think they're akin to the Bumbo

[deleted account]

The swing and bouncy seat (one of each) were lifesavers for me when the girls were babies... and the walker came in real handy in older infancy when I would be feeding one and the other would want to be right w/ me. She could see and touch me, but not climb on her sister. Of course... I only have 2 arms. ;)

[deleted account]

The only "THING" I used when Roxanne was younger was her exersaucer. She loved it and I think they're beneficial. Oh, and her Baby Einstein floor mat. She was in a hand-me-down swing very seldom.

[deleted account]

LOL, thanks Dana. These things are one of my biggest pet peeves, as you can tell...

@Toni - I'm sure its no surprise that I don't like bouncers, jumperoos or walkers as well :)
And I do agree that if you're just using it with an older baby as a highchair alternative (for example), that that is perfectly fine, especially if it was given to you free. But I so feel for those teeny little droopy limp 3 month olds (the recommended start age by the sellers) "sitting" in them.

[deleted account]

"Babies don't need them. They do more harm than good. They're bad for young babies spines and don't allow them to move freely. They do not aid the baby in any way . Why can't parents just let their babies develop at their own pace without putting them into unnatural positions before they're ready?
I would never put my baby or any baby I look after in one even if I was given one.'' ~ Anika

I agree. While I'm not as passionate about them as you are, I do agree with everything you've said.

[deleted account]

Anika, I had never realised that the bumbo was marketed as a tool to aide sitting in babies, that to me is ridiculous because you cannot develop muscles when you are not using them and being propped in a chair is not using your muscles.

I also agree that baby products are far too marketed and we are made to feel that we need so many things we do not, crawling shoes for example (one of my pet hates but that is another issue). However, for me personally the bumbo was never marketed directly, my SIL had one with my nephew which my hubby and I thought was a fab idea (and as she had leant hers to someone else, we brought one) and used it pretty much daily, more than his rocker chair because he loved being in his bumbo (although I made sure he only used it for under half hour a day - over the entire day) and gave him plenty of tummy time, back time, cuddle time etc.

When used with imagination (not correctly then as correctly is daft IMO) they are fab, but if you don't use them you are not a bad person and your baby is not missing out. It is another parenting choice that we all make (I don't like bouncers or jumperoos or the sit in walkers for example).

[deleted account]

@Jen - You say your daughter is very curious about her world, but putting her in a Bumbo just makes her an observer not a participator. At least when she's on her back she can move her arms and legs around and try and twist her body around to build up muscles and eventually roll over. I'm not telling you what to do, just putting that alternative out there. And you said that you didn't think it affected their spines but you agreed that it could affect their trunk muscles. Trunk/stomach/back muscles are all needed to hold your back up straight. So it follows on that if its not good for the trunk, it's not good for the back.

"I would never advocate using a bumbo or any other product to try and push your children to sit early because they should be allowed to develop at their own pace, however, as a tool for parenting once the child can sit up, I can see no reason why not to use them (unless of course you just don't want to)." - Toni

I agree with that Toni. But unfortunately it's primary intended use IS to use them before a baby can sit by themselves. On the link above the store placed it in the 'Infant Positioners' category. Urgh (directed at ToyRus not you Toni).

@Kati - I agree with you too. That's part of my problem with them too (I have multiple issues with this LOL). They're not really needed. They're just another piece of plastic crap marketers have convinced parents that they need.

Am I the only one who gets annoyed at all the stuff out there marketed at us parents? I know parents of older children don't like how marketers target their children during tv shows and the such, but what about all that marketing that happens to parents? "You MUST buy this for your child's safety", You MUST buy this to stimulate your newborn otherwise they'll be stupid". "If your baby doesn't have this YOU are a BAD parent". Oh please. Millions of babies grew up without brightly coloured toys dangled right in their faces and they all learnt to reach and grab. OK rant over :)

Rosie - posted on 10/23/2010

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i guess i'm pretty indifferent to it. never heard of it, but my kids got by great without it. i don't really see the need for it.

[deleted account]

I think it comes down to the parents sense of HOW they use the product. ALL products CAN be detrimental to baby if not used properly, however, when used with the correct precautions and time limitations they CAN also be beneficial.

We waited until our son was ready to sit up before allowing him to use a bumbo, we did not want to damage his spine by forcing him into sitting before he was ready, he wanted to sit up so he could see and watch (which his other chairs did not allow him to do, without something getting in the way i.e. a tray). The only reason we stopped using his bumbo is because it became a little dangerous, he thought it was fun to tip it over and then crawl out to whatever it was he wanted.

I would never advocate using a bumbo or any other product to try and push your children to sit early because they should be allowed to develop at their own pace, however, as a tool for parenting once the child can sit up, I can see no reason why not to use them (unless of course you just don't want to).

[deleted account]

First daughter had excellent strength and was sitting up by 4 months..i never had a need to really buy her stuff to help develop her strength etc.

My second daughter had weak back muscles and didnt sit on her own until over eight mths..sitting her in a chair like that would been pointless..it was uncomfortable for her to even be sat up in her buggy straight..i allowed her to strengthen her back etc by laying her on her baby duvet and it worked excellent she is as strong as on ox now..do what you feel is best.I found no need for them or other stuff like walkers etc.

Jen - posted on 10/22/2010

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@ Anika I get what you're sayin.
You said "What would be so wrong about saying, "You can't do that yet honey, but if you work on the foundation skills you'll eventually get there."? " Try explaining that to her tho! LOL Some days she yells just cause I lean her against me instead of holding her with my hands in a sitting up position. She is very curious about her surroundings and likes being able to see everything.

Back to the Bumbo topic and their spines, I don't agree that it would be damaging unless left in the seat for too long or used inappropriately, but I'm no doctor.

I can understand how it can be a hinderance to the development of their trunk muscles like Amy mentioned.
I however do not agree that it should be used to 'teach' your child to sit up.

[deleted account]

Again, I don't mean just gross motor development. Exploration can be gross motor, fine motor, cognitive, emotional etc etc etc

And that's true, just because it has the potential to impede development doesn't mean it automatically will BUT why would you want to take the risk? And that's not my only problem with them. Why can't we just let our babies be babies? Why do we feel the need to get them to do what older babies or toddlers can do?

[deleted account]

Exploration? You mean if I hadn't used these devices my daughter might've climbed to the ceiling BEFORE a year and a half?! lol ;)

You're certainly entitled to your opinion. I just happen to disagree w/ it. They CAN certainly have the potential to impede development. That doesn't automatically mean they DO though. :)

[deleted account]

@Jen - My comment was a response to Teresa's comment. She was stating the negatives of doing it one way and I was highlighting the negatives of doing the other end of the spectrum. I'm not suggesting that parents who use the Bumbo are only doing it to trap their child for their convenience BUT it can be used that way and is by some parents (consciously or subconsciously).
And you said "So am I supposed to deny her that and only let her do what she can do?". But why not? What would be so wrong about saying, "You can't do that yet honey, but if you work on the foundation skills you'll eventually get there."? What's wrong with knowing your current limitations and working on improving them naturally. To me it's like saying "I want to run a marathon. But I don't want to train. I'll just drive a car to the finish line."

And people keep saying "Oh I waited til she could hold her head up." but what about their spines?

@Teresa - it's not just the gross motor skill development that I think these things can impact on. It's other skills, like exploration and problem solving.

[deleted account]

It's a relevant comparison if you are equately 'trapping them in a chair' to neglect in any form. My kids were on the floor plenty, but they also liked to be in upright positions seeing and interacting w/ their world on occasion. Kind of pointless for me to get into this debate. I did use bouncy seats, swings, a bumbo, and a walker at one time or another (my girls had the walker, son had the bumbo), but I won't ever be having another child in 'need' of any of these items ever again. Considering that I had 3 early to average sitters, 2 average/one earlyish crawler, and 3 earlyish walkers.... I don't think my use of these items hindered their development too badly. ;)

Jen - posted on 10/22/2010

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I think they're a good idea, in moderation and when used as recommended (once your child can hold their head up unassisted).

@Anika Obviously I think you're entitled to whatever opinion you may have about the bumbo seat, but you don't need to be attacking other's parenting styles but saying that people put their children into contraptions for our own convenience. As if they're bad parents. (if you're not, sorry but it sounds like it to me) My daughter is 2mos old and she wants to sit up and check everything out, and yes she can hold her head up, but does get tired of doing so after about 10min. (so i wouldn't put her in one yet) BUT she WANTS to sit up and check everything out & LOVES IT! So am I supposed to deny her that and only let her do what she can do? Which is lay there flat and kick and wave her arms and turn her head side to side. OR what about the fact that prior to the "back to sleep" because of SIDS the developmental milestone of pushing up came much sooner?

Any parent who simply puts their child in something and leaves them in whatever it is for too long is in the wrong anyways. I would even go as far as to say that I'll bet most kids who suffered a detrimental injury or didn't develop properly. were probably either let use a support system before they were really ready, or left in it for too long. WHICH is user/parental error.

Anyways I intend on purchasing one and using it in moderation as soon as she is able to hold her head up by herself on a constant basis.

[deleted account]

Who suggested leaving them in their cot all day? How is that a relevant comparison? And what's wrong with putting a baby down on a clean soft blanket on the floor? It allows them to move freely and work their muscles in a natural way. I'd prefer that to trapping them in a chair for the parents convenience.

[deleted account]

Well, Anika.... it's better than leaving them alone all day in a crib or tripping over them on the floor. ;)

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