Head-to-Head: Bumbo Multi-Seat vs. Fisher-Price Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat
We have been enjoying our little guy sitting and starting on solids for right around two months now! Sitting was a huge milestone for us, because it meant being able to transition our fussy guy out of his stroller and into a high chair for mealtimes on-the-go. Needless to say, I was ready to get baby sitting up and wanted him to get practice and develop the skill quickly. When Noah started to show signs of readiness, such as pushing and pulling up and wobbly sitting, I was really excited to break out the super cute Bumbo Multi-Seat I had registered for months before he was born. After all, it's a well-known name and what I considered a must-have for baby's feeding & play times... I'd even seen it used at bath time by friends with their babes, so I was thrilled to get Noah in!
Upon further inspection, however, my opinion quickly changed. Once Noah was sitting with some support, I put him in the Bumbo thinking he'd be ready; after all, their product guidelines state the age range for use of the Multi-Seat is 5 months to 3 years. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when my little guy was tipping all over the place and slouching forward. I was so confused, because he'd been doing great on the floor with the support of a Boppy, which I'll mention isn't much. But the Bumbo didn't offer him any support to keep him from looking like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I started to do some research and quickly found that the Bumbo is actually quite frowned upon by many healthcare professionals, with pediatricians, physical and occupational therapists weighing in to say they didn't find it to be helpful to babies' development, and even at times harmful (though these claims are more geared towards the Floor Seat model than the newer Multi-Seat). I encourage you to do the same if you use or plan to use one of these with your own babe. Safe to say, I wasn't happy.
Cue my cousin, Candace, who I informed of our struggle to find a supportive training seat. She's got two babes, her second just a few months older than Noah and whose hand-me-downs we totally survive on. Little Lucas had just outgrown his Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat from Fisher-Price, so Candace passed it along to us. Boy, did we LOVE it! It's perfect for kids who are just learning to sit. It has a really high and supportive back and sides, a rim that has tags for attachable toys (2 come included) and is lined with comfy, soft cotton fabric. It's got a much bulkier frame, so it will take up more space and can definitely only be used on the floor, but the frame also ups the safety factor in keeping the seat anchored to the ground.
The Bumbo is definitely easier for clean ups, as the foam seat and plastic frame can easily be wiped down, and the detachable tray which fits on the back of the seat is dishwasher safe. It's also designed with high-chair use in mind, as it has straps that attach to a chair. However, we found ourselves feeding in the Sit-Me-Up at a few desperate moments as well, and though it takes a little more effort, the fabric lining of the seat is also pretty easily detached and machine washable.
Now that little guy is sitting unsupported, we find the Bumbo is a better fit than it used to be, and we use it to feed. I thought it would make a good high chair for us since dining space is limited, but I think we'll ultimately end up investing in a full-sized seat and transition the Bumbo to a portable-use-only seat. I can definitely see it making a great booster seat for a toddler in he future! For the time being though, it's really better as a temporary feeding seat rather than an everyday high chair. I used to think the Bumbo was a must-have item, but having experienced it now, I'd definitely skip it on a registry and go for a more supportive training chair, like the Sit-Me-Up, and a full-sized high chair.
As far as the Sit-Me-Up goes, it's the perfect seat for training in that in-between stage when baby is really trying to sit up but isn't quite able to yet. It's not a long term product by any means, as I'd say the age range to use it is probably 4-9 months, depending when your baby starts to try and then masters sitting; however, for us, it was definitely a lifesaver in the learning stage! Hope this product review helps some of you mamas out there with choosing items for your babes or registries!