WOW! Can you believe the amount of baby gear that is available to us today?! Strollers, car seats, cribs, bassinets, pack-n-plays, Bumbo baby seats, swings, jumpers, bouncer seats, exersaucers, carriers, and walkers just to mention a few. What makes it even harder is all those irresistible bright colors, playful prints, and cool little toy attachments. And you may or may not have other moms telling you what they love and could not live without.
How do you know what is best for baby?
Do they really need all this gear?
The answer is no.
The Bumbo, swing, jumper, bouncer, exersaucer, and walker are just containers for our babies. Sold to us as ways to facilitate our babies development. They DO NOT facilitate the development of our babies. We all use them, most of the time so we can get something done around the house or you have a baby with colic or reflux who only calms in the swing or bouncer seat. Do not feel guilty for that. Do what works for you and your baby. However, you need to be aware that your baby should have limited time in these containers. Your baby should always be in a car seat in the car or whatever your mode of transportation. But once at your destination, take them out. Your baby should spend no more than 20-30 minutes in a swing, bouncer seat or exersaucer per day and always, always under supervision. As a sidenote, please do not put your baby in an exersaucer until your baby can sit by themselves, without support. Jumpers and walkers should NEVER be used because they are unsafe.
Now, I personally do not like the Bumbo baby seat and I would not recommend using it. It positions your baby in a slouched sitting posture, nor does it encourage your baby to actively use their muscles. I hear many stories of babies much too young being placed in this seat. As young as 3 months. Your baby will benefit much more from tummy time. Tummy time will strengthen and facilitate the development of your baby. Your baby has to build a strong foundation in order to prepare for a lifetime of moving. Get out of the containers and get on the floor with your baby. -GF
For more on what is tummy time and why its better read the previous blog post: Tummy Time.