One of my first thoughts when I became pregnant was that I would finally be able to buy a Bumbo seat, those funny little pod-like chairs for infants. I’d seen my friends use them with their babies and thought they were adorable. We started using the seat with our son, Harry, when he was about two months old. He loved sitting upright and I liked putting him in it while I did dishes and other chores. It was also wonderful when we started giving him fruit in a mesh feeder. The Bumbo was one of the most used chairs in our house for few months there!
Before Harry was born I’d heard about babies getting injured in the seats. Everything I read said the injuries happened while the babies were sitting on an elevated surface, like a table or countertop. We only used the chair on the floor and I was never concerned that he’d topple out of it. We used the Bumbo until Harry was about six months old and sitting on his own.
Earlier this summer, Bumbo International voluntarily recalled their chairs for repair and rebranded them as Bumbo Floor Seats. They were recalled because of those injuries I'd read about while pregnant. The seats are now being sold with restraint belts to help prevent any further accidents.
What this all means is, if you already have a Bumbo, to safely use it, you'll need to get a repair kit with a strap — the company will send you one for free ( details here). Even though Harry is too big for his Bumbo now, I went ahead and ordered the kit. I wanted to make sure the seat was up to safety standards in case I decide to give it to a friend or use with a future baby.
I received the repair kit within a week of ordering it and went to work on the seat right away. The strap was incredibly easy to install and the kit included everything I needed except for a pen (to mark where to put the strap anchors). It took me less than 10 minutes to set up the Bumbo’s safety restraints. I also affixed the new, more detailed safety warning on the seat.
I put Harry in the chair to give the new straps a test drive. Since he's so big now it was hard to gauge exactly how effective they are. To me, it seems like the adjustable straps will do a good job at keeping babies in the seats, but I think they might also give parents a false sense of security and Bumbo chairs will still be placed on elevated surfaces. If you're looking to get your baby off the floor while you work around the house, try a high chair (some recline for very young babies), swing or the Fisher Price Rock n' Play.
Remember, accidents do happen so don’t ever use a Bumbo on an elevated surface and always keep a watchful eye on your baby while using it.
What do you think about the Bumbo recall and the new Bumbo floor seat safety restraints?