Baby floor seats became popular a few years ago as a way to help your baby sit up before they were actually developmentally able to sit up. The baby floor seats allow parents to sit their baby down without having to lay them down.
The Bumbo is the most popular baby floor seat. The Bumbo actually became popular around the time my oldest child was born. We of course, as excited and exhausted new parents, bought one. However, the Bumbo never worked for our child.
The Bumbo placed him in an unnatural position that looked quite uncomfortable. Also, almost every time we put our son in the Bumbo seat after feeding him, he spat up. Finally, I put the Bumbo away.
Now, many more options are available for baby floor seats. The Fisher-Price Sit-Me-Up is a great alternative to the Bumbo. Based in the design and fit for the baby, I recommend the Fisher-Price Sit-Me-Up over the Bumbo.
The Fisher-Price Sit-Me-Up is designed to work better with the natural shape of your baby’s body. However, while the Sit-Me-Up is a useful tool, you should not leave your baby in the seat for long periods of time. In fact, only use the Sit-Me-Up or other baby floor seats moderately.
Even in the product description on the Fisher-Price website, it states to not use the product until your baby can hold their head up unassisted. I recommend sticking with a playmat until your baby is ready. My children loved the Fisher-Price Rainforest Music and Lights Deluxe Gym.
The Fisher-Price Sit-Me-Up floor seat is designed to sit only on the floor. The seat is available in a variety of colors and designs, including fun animal prints. Unlike with a diaper bag where I don’t want bright baby themed prints, for baby gear like playmats and a floor seats, I love fun child-centered themes.
The Sit-Me-Up floor seat has a wide base to support your baby. The seat also includes a soft fabric seat where the baby will sit. The fabric seat cover is removable and machine washable for easy clean up.
The seat is designed for your baby’s bottom to sit close to the floor so that your baby’s legs are fully supported by the ground. With the Sit-Me-Up seat, your baby can fully extend their legs without having them lifted slightly off the floor like with the Bumbo.
Another important feature, is the baby’s head and neck are supported with a high seat back. The seat is higher on the sides than the Bumbo which also offers more support for your baby’s arms while still allowing them to move and explore.
- Well-designed for baby’s comfort
- Higher seat back for neck and shoulder support
- Designed for legs to fully extend
- Works well for babies with chunky legs
- Seat is removable and machine washable
- Not designed for long periods of use
- Not easily portable
I recommend the Fisher-Price Sit-Me-Up over the Bumbo. However, after raising two babies, I don’t think this is an essential item for your baby. There are other alternatives that will work just fine for this developmental stage including a baby playmat or for older babies, the Boppy.
If you have room for and want to purchase a baby floor seat, the Fisher-Price Sit-Me-Up is a much better option than the Bumbo. It is designed for your baby’s safety and development.
Bumbo Floor Seat
The Bumbo floor seat is likely the most familiar and popular floor seat available. It looks fun and comes in a vast array of bright colors. The Bumbo also features an attachable tray as an add-on item. The Bumbo is made from a sturdy foam material.
The Bumbo is easily washable and portable. For safety, the Bumbo includes a three point harness. As with the Sit-Me-Up, the Bumbo should not be used until your baby can independently hold up their head.
The Bumbo is recommended for babies ages three months to nine months. According to some child development experts, the Bumbo is not a good option for developing babies. As with any baby product, check with your baby’s pediatrician before using the product.
- Easy to clean
- Highly portable
- Bright colors
- Safety harness
- Does not fit well with chunkier babies
- Seat back is not high enough to offer neck and shoulder support
- Legs are not fully supported
I do not recommend the Bumbo. While this item is popular, it did not work with my child. The seat did not offer enough support to be useful, and my baby appeared to be in a weird and uncomfortable position.
The Bumbo, like all baby floor seats, should never be used on a high surface like a counter or a table. The seat should only ever be used on the floor. A better developmental option would be a playmat. However, if you must purchase a baby floor seat, choose the Fisher-Price Sit-Me-Up.
Alternative Baby Floor Seats
Other brands of baby floor seats are available. After the success of the Bumbo, many brands created copycat versions. I do not recommend any of these seats for your young baby. Wait to use these products until your baby is able to sit up independently.
I do recommend two products in addition to the Fisher-Price Sit-Me-Up as alternatives to the the Bumbo. However, you should not leave your baby in these products for more than 30 minutes maximum.
Hugaboo Infant Sitting Chair
The Hugaboo is a plush Boppy-like seat for infants. The seat has a higher back than the Boppy and has two holes for your baby’s legs. I do not recommend this product for young babies. However, for babies who are trying to sit up that need a little extra support, this is a great option.
Like the other baby floor seats, this product is only intended to be used on the floor. It is unsafe to use baby floor seats including the Hugaboo on higher surfaces like a couch. I like this product because it is plush and offers a place to put your baby around six months of age when they want to begin sitting up but sometimes still fall over.
Summer Infant 3-Stage Deluxe SuperSeat
The Summer Infant 3-Stage Deluxe SuperSeat is a fun alternative to the Exersaucer. Unlike the Exersaucer where your baby’s legs dangle, the Summer Infant SuperSeat sits on the floor. Your baby can play with the rotating activity tray to stay entertained.
The tray is also removable to turn the seat into a booster seat for the dinner table once your baby is older. Again, I don’t recommend this for young babies. I actually like this for babies that can already sit up independently.
This is a great tool to keep baby stationary while you need a minute. I would have used this product after my son was crawling but while I showered.
Tips for Floor Seat Use
My bottom line is that you do not need a baby floor seat. The Bumbo felt like a waste of money for our family. However, if you insist on buying a baby floor seat consider the following.
Don’t rush your baby to use the seat. Babies don’t need to sit up until they are developmentally ready. Instead of the baby floor seat, stick with a playmat. My children loved their playmat. Also, the playmat allowed them to explore and develop at their own pace.
For example, one time when my son was around four months old, I walked out of the room for a moment while he was on his playmat. While I returned, he had scooted his body halfway across the room. The freedom of the playmat allowed him to naturally develop his ability to roll and scoot. This wouldn’t have happened if he’d been sitting in a baby floor seat.
I do understand parents need a place to put their baby. For those moments when I needed to lock my children in place but didn’t want to put then in the crib, I used their bouncy seat. This worked while I cooked dinner, showered or did a chore. They weren’t forced into an unnatural sitting position but were held in place and entertained.
I do not recommend using a baby floor seat until your baby can sit up independently. You do not need this type of baby gear to teach them to sit up. However, if you are going to purchase a baby floor seat, I recommend the Fisher-Price Sit-Me-Up over the Bumbo.
The seat is designed with your baby in mind. It is more developmentally appropriate than the Bumbo. The Fisher-Price Sit0-Me-Up is a good option for a baby floor seat.