Thoughts on Bumbo chairs - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 26 Old 06-23-2010, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I for one think they are not a good idea, I've never had one, but after yesterday and my observation of a friend's almost 8 month old I have to say, I really think they are a developmental hazard.

My friend's son cannot sit w/out it. I tried to set him on the ground and he is super stiff with his legs out like he would be sitting in the Bumbo. I've read that it is not good for the spine and now have observed a few babies who have been in these and both at 7 and 8 months won't sit unassisted, they seem to have been trained to sit in this awkward positioning from the chair.

Anyone else observed this? Or something similar? Both my kids were sitting well unassisted at 6 months and crawling well by 7, so for me not seeing a baby sitting on their own at 8 months concerns me, but I'm not really sure if it's in the range of normal. I told my friend I thought it would be better to not put his son in the chair because it seemed as though it has made him so used to it, he's now relying on it to sit.

Just wondering if anyone else has seen this.

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#2 of 26 Old 06-23-2010, 01:43 PM
 
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My daughter used to sit in one while I folded laundry and that sort of thing, not very often, but a few minutes here and there I felt was not a biggie, but like anything else out there made for babies, overuse is not a good thing. She sat on time, crawled on time and it didn't affect her development at all.
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#3 of 26 Old 06-23-2010, 01:46 PM
 
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I can't imaging using one at 8mos! We had one with #4 only b/c I got a good deal on it at a garage sale. Honestly though I barely used it, I used it when he was around 4 or 5 months once in a while to sit him in to take pictures and I used it a few times as a portable high chair when we went out of town but I just sold it in my garage sale a couple months ago because I didn't need it anymore.

I would imagine that it would fall under the same category as most baby devices which would be that it is probably fine in moderation. I do think though that any device that is over-used is not a good thing, and I can definitely see where over-use could cause a baby to be delayed in sitting up because I don't think that you would use the same muscles in the bumbo that you would sitting independently.

My middle son didn't sit independently until 12mos because of hypotonia. The rest of my kids sat independently at 6mos. Having been to countless therapists with my middle ds I would say that 8mos is out of the range of normal for not sitting up independently but it is hard to gauge without knowing/having the whole picture of what other abilities he has. I think if it were my friend I would encourage her to ditch the bumbo.

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#4 of 26 Old 06-23-2010, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well I'm thinking that his son has been in it pretty often, I mean they brought it in the car to come visit.

I guess it just seemed odd the way he flexed his body when I tried to sit him down, I could not get him to fold them in, so he could sit on his own. IDK it just seemed odd to me.

I thought using it at 8 months was weird too.

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#5 of 26 Old 06-23-2010, 01:57 PM
 
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Both my kids had one and used them sparingly.

DS didn't sit up independently until he was 10.5 months old (8.5 months adjusted for prematurity). He had significant gross motor delays and was in physical therapy for 3 years. The sitting up late was the first milestone he was late on, and that's when we realized he had delays.

DD sat up independently at 6 months (4.5 months adjusted for prematurity).

Like anything else, if used in moderation, the risk is minimal if any.

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#6 of 26 Old 06-23-2010, 02:12 PM
 
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We love ours and use it primarily for a high chair, so probably 10-15 minutes each day. DD (not quite 6 months) can sit on her own for a good 30 minutes, though, so it hasn't seemed to impact her development.
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#7 of 26 Old 06-23-2010, 02:27 PM
 
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I think they are ok to use, sparingly, until around 6 months. After that, it should be ditched - I think - so baby can learn to sit on his own. We use ours for feeding solids. (well, technically, I have a bebe pod, not a bumbo, but it is the same idea)

I have read it is best to teach babes to sit tailor style. DS was sitting independently at about 6 months (at least in the tri-pod position I think) He now sits, at 7 months, as long as he wants, though he almost always topples eventually - on purpose or not - trying to reach something he has pushed out of reach.

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#8 of 26 Old 06-23-2010, 02:38 PM
 
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i bought one at the thrift store otherwise i wouldnt have gotten it. i love it! she likes sitting in it and we like to take it with us so she has a place to sit when we cant hold her
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#9 of 26 Old 06-23-2010, 02:40 PM
 
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My DD used one and was able to sit unassisted by 3.5 months.

I would guess that overuse is more the problem than using them in general.

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#10 of 26 Old 06-23-2010, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm pretty sure this little guy is in the chair often, his mom cleans houses and so I *think* she puts him in there while she cleans-like hours. I'm not sure I'm just a bit concerned because of his lack of flexibility when I tried to get him to sit.

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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#11 of 26 Old 06-23-2010, 03:23 PM
 
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A gf of mine is giving me hers for free! I'm excited to give it a shot. We used a boppy for J when he was learning out to sit unassisted. So, if the bumbo doesn't work, we'll give the boppy a try. We would only use the boppy during play time on the floor and picture taking - so around 15 mins or so at a time. He was developmentally right on track.

I don't see much in harm in using something like a boppy or bumbo only if you don't relay on it heavily to assist your child with sitting properly.

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#12 of 26 Old 06-23-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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I love it! My son sits in it about 15 minutes a day and has since he was almost 2 months (he is now 5 months). He's just starting to sit up by himself so idk how much longer we'll use it.
My niece and nephew also used a Bumbo and they both sat up around 6 months.
It works well for neck and stomach strength, but obviously can be overused.

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#13 of 26 Old 06-23-2010, 04:02 PM
 
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we used one for a few months and ds had no problems learning to sit unassisted. he was sitting supported on his arms at 5 months and unassisted by 6 months.

I don't think any 'baby holder' is good to use for extended periods of time, but using something for a few minutes each day isn't an issue. its possible there is something else going on and the bumbo use is just contributing to the stiffness
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#14 of 26 Old 06-23-2010, 04:42 PM
 
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We have one- I also got a great deal on it secondhand, I probably wouldn't spend the money for a new one. My son used it for brief periods for a couple months, he was able to topple himself over in it while reaching for things before being able to sit unassisted, and that's when we stopped using it.

Handy for a couple months, and for short times, but not a baby-parking-holding device in this house.
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#15 of 26 Old 06-23-2010, 07:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by texaspeach View Post
I don't think any 'baby holder' is good to use for extended periods of time, but using something for a few minutes each day isn't an issue.
I agree with this but it sounds like the baby in the OP might be spending a LOT of time in there.

We don't have a Bumbo but honestly it doesn't seem like a good idea on the face of it? To force a sitting position on a child whose musculature isn't ready to support it?

I don't really see the point. I understand the need for a baby holder for short periods but why not a bouncy seat or something that doesn't stress the baby's spine?

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#16 of 26 Old 06-23-2010, 09:45 PM
 
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ANY baby tool/gear/gadget can be a hazard if abused. I would never assume a bumbo as the culprit, unless you know this mother unecessarily relies on the bumbo in which case it's the parenting that caused the issue and not the bumbo.

My personal example: My daughter used a bumbo (within reason) and learned to sit very well, unassisted at an early age (4 months). And I'm talking, I could sit her up and leave the room to pee and she was consistently still sitting. The bumbo didn't cause any harm, nor do I think it helped a whole lot. But I think she enjoyed the different vantage point. I spent an equal amount of time allowing her to try sitting up on her own.
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#17 of 26 Old 06-23-2010, 11:05 PM
 
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You'd probably think the same thing of my babe, but we don't overuse the Bumbo. We've had them since the boys were 3 months and honestly, Tycho started arching in it so much I was afraid he'd conk his noggin and Kepler generally hates it. On rare occasions, it would keep them happy to look at something at a different angle - they've probably been in them for about an hour a week, though - that's how little we really use them.

But here we are a week away from 8 months and Tycho sits great on his own, but Kepler just. won't. allow. it. He stiffens up, and even to get him to sit on your lap you'd have to force his hips to bend. He does scoot-crawl, though, while Tycho doesn't at all. Different strokes, ya know? Part of it too, might be his lower birth weight, and *also* I've heard babes with reflux problems tend not to like sitting, so that might be adding in.

What I'm saying is don't assume. I'd feel awful if one of my friends came to a board to bad mouth me over something so silly.

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#18 of 26 Old 06-23-2010, 11:32 PM
 
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we had one as well and DD learned to sit on her own around 4 months. My cousins borrowed mine and used it as a highchair until their DD was around 18 months or so. She is also fine.

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#19 of 26 Old 06-24-2010, 01:17 AM
 
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we have a 4 month old and have a bumbo that we started to use when he was 3 months. he sits in it on the kitchen counter to watch us cook, and again at the table while we eat.

he is developing normally, in fact is ahead of the game developmentally. he is starting to sit up on his own for short periods, is starting to pre-crawl, stands while holding our hands for extended periods, tetc.

i like the bumbo and think it actually helped him get strength in his core muscles and this allowed him to develop sitting up and crawling early.

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#20 of 26 Old 06-24-2010, 01:27 AM
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I think Bumbos are dangerous! Just think of that poor baby's spine becoming unnaturally curved They definitey can make the vertebrea and hips fall out of allignment. I would not be surprised if they increase the chances of a baby becoming a hunchback cause the baby is so slumped over in it.
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#21 of 26 Old 06-24-2010, 01:34 AM
 
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I appreciate all the comments, I was thinking of getting one for 3.5 month old DD.
That is, if I can find one used.
She has great head control and is on the verge of sitting up unassisted. I think this would be fun for her to use fr the next couple of months.

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#22 of 26 Old 06-24-2010, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalaRei View Post

What I'm saying is don't assume. I'd feel awful if one of my friends came to a board to bad mouth me over something so silly.
Don't assume that I am bad-mouthing, I'm concerned about my friend's son. Plain and simple.

This goes in hand with a number of things I've observed.

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#23 of 26 Old 06-24-2010, 12:31 PM
 
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I've used ours a couple of times to put her in while I use the bathroom. Our bathroom is really narrow, and it takes up a lot less room than a bouncy chair. Though sometimes I do have a bouncy chair in the widest part of our bathroom, and use that. But if the bouncy isn't in there at the moment, and she's going to scream if she's out of my sight, I just put her in the bumbo for 2 minutes.

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#24 of 26 Old 06-24-2010, 01:11 PM
 
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We got one when my dd was 9 months old and had been sitting forever. We only use it for eating. We can put it on one of our dining room chairs and then she's up at the table eating with us . I like it SO much better than a big high chair with a tray.
I agree that they're probably not great for little ones who can't sit alone yet, though.
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#25 of 26 Old 06-24-2010, 04:19 PM
 
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with both our sons they used it sparingly for a couple of weeks. they are both big and ds2's thighs won't fit in it any more, lol!

ds1 was able to sit up from laying down at 6 months, crawled and pulled up at 7 months and walked at 10 months.

ds2 is almost able to sit unassisted at 5 months.

admittedly, we barely used the thing but it didn't impact either of them negatively.

i bet this 8 month old has been in there for hours at a time...definitely not what the bumbo is designed for imo...but the same can be said for an exersaucer, jumperoo, bouncy chair, car seat, etc...again, imo.

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#26 of 26 Old 06-24-2010, 05:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norasmomma View Post
Don't assume that I am bad-mouthing, I'm concerned about my friend's son. Plain and simple.

This goes in hand with a number of things I've observed.
In that case, since it's your friend, you should probably mention your concern(s) to her.
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