Yesterday we learned from a pediatric physical therapist that Bumbo seats are a no-go because they can compromise babies’ safety and overall development. (Read that informative post by clicking here.)
So what are some good alternatives to the Bumbo seat?
Here are some ideas that can be used for playtime and/or for those times when you just need to put your baby down in a safely contained space in order to protect your baby from a pet or sibling or to complete tasks such as carrying groceries into the house, doing the dishes, eating your dinner, or being able to go to the bathroom without holding your baby (yep, we’ve all been there). This post contains affiliate links for your convenience (see full disclosure here).
Click on the links in the list below to read posts and see pictures explaining more about each idea:
- Play time on the floor, including time spent on tummy, back, and both sides.
- Tummy time! Try including an easy homemade sensory bag for added exploration and entertainment.
- Play time in a baby gym.
- Play time with a baby play table.
- Do tummy time on an exercise ball or with your younger baby or play on an exercise ball with your older baby.
- Dance with your baby.
- Wear your baby in a baby carrier such as a Moby Wrap.
- Create a “yes” space for your baby.
- Create a safe play space within the limits of a circular baby gate.
- Fill a Pack ‘n Play with ball pit balls for babies who are independent or functional sitters (so fun!).
Still need more ideas?
Here is a great post on 5 non-Bumbo ways to support wobbly sitters.
If for some reason you need to use baby equipment in order to attend to the above-mentioned tasks, try using a bouncer seat placed on the floor instead of using an exersaucer, baby jumper, or baby walker. Bouncer seats at least allow babies to initiate their own sense of movement while keeping them in a safe space without compromising the position of their joints and overall posture.
Try to only use these “equipment” alternatives for the minimum amount of time needed to get your stuff done, then transition your baby to some other type of surface (floor time is best!).
And, of course, avoid using the Bumbo seat if you can.
I hope this list gives you some helpful ideas for how to realistically get stuff done during the day while also encouraging the appropriate development of your baby’s sensory and motor skills.
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You may also like these infant-related posts on Mama OT:
CLICK HERE to access all infant-related posts ever published on Mama OT!
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In addition to being mama to two sweet little boys and wife to a crazy awesome husband, Christie is a Registered & Licensed Occupational Therapist (OTR/L). She holds a B.A. in Psychology with a Minor in Education from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA...Go Bruins!), and an M.A. in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California (USC OT). She has experience working as a pediatric OT in early intervention (birth to 3), clinic-based, and school-based settings. Her mission with MamaOT.com is to encourage, educate, and empower those who care for children. Christie loves that she gets to PLAY when she goes to work, is hopelessly addicted to Kettle Corn, and is known for being able to turn virtually anything into a therapeutic tool or activity, from empty food containers to laundry and everything in between. Learn more about Christie and what inspired her to become an OT.
Occupational therapy (OT) is a holistic profession that helps people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities, also known as “occupations”. Some OTs help people diagnosed with disability, injury, or disease. Others help prevent disability, injury, or disease. Because of occupational therapy, people of all ages are able to say, "I can!" no matter what their struggle. Isn't that amazing?!
. . . . .Please provide appropriate supervision to the child in your care when completing any activities from this site. You as the grown-up will need to decide what types of products/activities on this list will be safe for your child. If you’re not sure, check with your child’s occupational therapist or pediatrician. Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when implementing any ideas or activities from this site, particularly if there is any risk of injury (e.g., falling, crashing), choking (e.g., small parts), drowning (e.g., water play), or allergic/adverse reaction (e.g., materials/ingredients). The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities or ideas from this site.