You’ve seen the contraption, made of low-density foam and curiously colorful. In case you have been left wondering if it’s a chair or a potty, the curved indentions along its upper edges remove all doubt. With its intended purpose to add sitting support, you’re asking, ‘When can my baby sit in a Bumbo seat?’
From four months old, your baby can lift its head, and by the sixth month, they have complete neck muscle control. It’s then that you can safely employ the Bumbo seat to sit up your infant and afford yourself much-needed hands-free time.
Sitting down is a critical baby development milestone, which once conquered signals the onset of crawling and finally walking. But propping up your baby on a Bumbo floor seat too early can negatively affect their readiness. To answer your concerns, ill cover below everything you need to know about these seats and whether and when to start using them.
What Is a Bumbo Seat, and Is It That Helpful?
As a mum, you’ll be in constant contact with different pieces of baby support equipment. It’s up to you, despite well-spoken sales jargon, to decide what’ll help your child to develop and achieve motor milestones. You’ve also got to have perfect timing, like knowing when it’s safe to start using an item such as the Bumbo floor seat to prop your tot up.
Bumbo is a one-piece low-density foam item with a deep bottom, a high back, and raised sides. There are openings for the legs, separated by a curved center that goes between your baby’s thighs. Bumbo’s are designed to be placed on the floor. A stern warning is included against sitting your baby on raised surfaces like tables, or chairs if unstrapped.
The piece of polyurethane that’s the Bumbo baby seat has faced its fair share of controversy. Equal shares of love, hate, suspicion, and curiosity pack mommy forums online. Severally you’ll find a professional pediatrician, physical therapist, or two quipping in solid opinions about the item. That’s because wording used to market Bumbo’s on the website sounds like it’s therapeutic equipment.
Bumbo’s manufacturer then added safety restraints following a 2012 recall. That was after falling incidents resulted in two fractured skulls. These occurrences happened while the Bumbo seat was on the floor, signifying that there’s also an unsafe age limit or level of activity.
Signs My Baby Is Ready to Sit on a Bumbo Seat
Sitting is one of your baby’s milestones which they are excited about. It’s the first sign that your child is eager to reach out to the surrounding world for exploration and play. When your tot can sit up, mealtimes are made more manageable. You can also have hands free to do some laundry or throw a meal together.
You may see attempts at sitting from the age of four to six months, depending on your child’s developmental readiness. By their seventh and eighth month, your child should be able to sit without falling over and probably crawling or trying to stand up.
At five months, your baby is pushing themselves up, especially when you place them face down. Sitting up comes naturally as your child aims to ape all people around them or wants to have a better perspective to explore its surroundings. At this stage, you can use supportive equipment like the Bumbo seat to help solidify this milestone.
The best time to start this is when your tot can roll in directions, scooting back and forth or starting crawling motions. At this stage, you’ll notice that your baby can push themselves up into the tripod position. This involves having your child in a seated posture but is supported by placing both hands on the floor. By then, their bodily motion control is fully established and purposeful.
Will the Bumbo Seat Help My Child Seat Up Correctly?
Your baby might not master the art of sitting until they’re nine months old. That’s normal since each child has unique developmental readiness. The ability to seat correctly requires weight shift controlled from the front, backward, left, and right. Getting all these directions correct requires back and neck muscular strength as well as practicing coordination.
The manufacturers claim that the Bumbo seat improves pelvic stability and any other facilitation. None of those claims are backed by any citations or supported by any research studies. It’s, therefore, out of owning and using these seats that I write my recommendations. I will base my views on the fact that developmental readiness is much more than that while doing my best to describe the advantages of this item for your baby.
It’s always best to speak to your pediatrician or therapist if your child has a special needs condition before using the Bumbo seat. Aspects of this equipment’s attributed to helping your baby with their seating development include;
Material and Shape of the Bumbo Seat
Alongside the Bumbo seat’s shape, its low-density polyurethane materials help hold your baby. That’s true even when your tot isn’t strapped in. When I started using the sitting support, buckled harnesses weren’t mandatory. But with its C-shaped leg holders and the bottom dip, your infant’s legs are bent up instead of lying flat, as with carriers, bouncers, or high chairs.
That means your baby who’s ready to sit is provided back, neck, and head support. In other instances, they’ll be leaning forward from the hip. At an age earlier than my recommended five or six months, your child will slouch or lean to the side if you introduce the Bumbo seat. They haven’t developed the motor skills to bring hands midline. That’s what they’ll need to reach for toys once they’ve mastered supported sitting.
Lumbar, Neck, and Sitting Posture Support
When your child is ready to use supported sitting, they’ll be excited to hold toys and play with them finally. With the Bumbo multi-seat, the tray alongside its harness will help them gain correct back, pelvis, and neck support. Your baby is accorded trunk muscle control as the pelvis is appropriately tipped forward. It’s then that they’ll be able to practice teaching skills.
Apart from the Bumbo’s shape and materials helping your baby sit upright, it prevents them from collapsing into it. Your child’s ability to confront you, siblings, or playthings front-wise gives them a sense of being grown-up and part of the real world.
Developmental Delay or Disability Assistance
When your child is developing typically, the speed at which they gain milestone independence will depend on social and physiological factors. At between five and eight months, your baby that’s able to sit up. The ability to engage with similarly aged peers, siblings, or caregivers will be incentivized to remain seated.
Kids with disabilities like Down syndrome or cerebral palsy can also leverage the Bumbo’s support to their hips or bent pelvises. Since many tend to arch from the stiffness of muscles, this equipment offers varied levels of upright support sitting with the upper trunk, neck, and head control. That combats the difficulties they have holding themselves against gravity caused by low muscle tones.
Emerging Sitter Support as Part of Learning
There’s a typical sitting position for the child age, which the Bumbo seat is designed for. Your seating-ready baby benefits from a rounded spine and posteriorly tilted pelvis. Although there’s the risk of a flexed back with misuse, this equipment offers good practice for the head, upper trunk, and arms control used in social interactions. However, used in moderation for developmental learning, the seat’s design offers upright spine and pelvis support.
After consolidating beginner sitting skills, practice these weight shifts, fall corrections, and upper trunk control movements outside the Bumbo environment. Using this seat as a teaching tool helps perfect your baby’s playtime and social interactions, and you should exclusively employ it.
When Is It Too Early to Start Seating My Baby on the Bumbo?
The manufacturer of the Bumbo claims that you can seat babies between the ages of three to ten months. That’s something I partially disagree with. I think three or even four months is a bit early. I’d recommend you wait until your baby’s fifth birthday or when you notice developmental readiness. That includes tummy play when your child is placed on their belly or lifting and crawling motions.
By seven months, many babies will begin yearning for movement as crawling instincts take over. Your tot won’t like being confined to the Bumbo seat. Use this seat occasionally, and only while your baby is strapped in to prevent falls. Avoid using the polystyrene seating support for more than two months, except if your child has delayed readiness or special needs.
You can’t ignore the multi versatility of the Bumbo seat in supporting the development of your child’s upright milestone. It’s essential to repeat that you shouldn’t place this equipment on any other surface other than the floor, except when strapped to a dining chair. That, too, is with close adult supervision.
Your baby will require a lot of trial-and-error practice before they can independently sit. Give your child attention and facilitate their play and eventual independent sitting. Besides the Bumbo seat, sit your tot on the floor, your lap, bed, or sofa while reading books, singing songs, or trying other activities.
I’m Cathrine and I’m a 39-year-old mother of 3 from Utica, New York. And I’m extremely happy you’ve come to visit my hide-out on the web. Here I post about everything related to family-life and usually it will involve babies and lessons I’ve learned over the years from experts, friends, and my own mistakes. So hopefully you will find what i write fun and informational!