If you are a new or expectant mom, I’m sure you’ve seen Bumbos everywhere you look. But you may have also seen the Fisher Price Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat. Perhaps you’re wondering which one is better and which one you should get. We have used both, so I’m going to share my experiences with you – and the pros and cons of each one – to help you make the best decision possible.
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I think every mom will agree that life with a baby gets infinitely easier once he/she can sit up. Baby is happier … Mom is happier… it’s a win for everyone. So when that day comes, it’s usually a cause for celebration.
However, most babies don’t sit up on their own until around 6 months of age. And even then, they’re not always very stable. So it’s nice to have handy “cheats” before that time.
Enter the baby floor seat.
But there are many different kinds of floor seats. Which one is the best one to get?
In recent years, the Bumbo has become probably the most popular floor seat. I know many moms who swear by their Bumbo. However, neither of my babies liked their Bumbo. At all. So we went a different route with Andrew that turned out to be a fantastic fit for him and lifesaving tool for me.
That seat was the Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat from Fisher Price. And it worked like a charm.
Both seats have their strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately it comes down to personal preference – yours and your baby’s. So I’m going to present my experience, as well as the pros and cons of each, and let you choose for yourself what the best option is for your family.
We got the Bumbo at a shower for our first son, Aidan. We tried using it when he was a baby, but it was a definite no-go. He was not at all comfortable in it. And his legs very quickly became too chunky for the leg holes, which are quite small. (However, I do know he sat in it at the babysitter’s house. Go figure. At home, though, he hated it.)
This is what he looked like when we put him in it:
But I know other people – like our friends who have borrowed our Bumbo twice for their babies – who love their Bumbo. I think it all depends on the size of the baby. (Aidan was chunky with a HUGE head.)
Here are some pros and cons of the Bumbo seat:
- Very portable
- Matching tray that is handy for feeding and play
- Easy to clean
- Takes up less room
- Doesn’t go very high in the back – doesn’t give as much support as the sit-me-up
- Leg holes not big enough for chunky babies (this was our problem)
- Locks them in place – no free movement
Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat
Because so many people seemed to like the Bumbo, we tried it again with our second son, Andrew. Nope. Still a no-go. He didn’t like it any more than Aidan did. Though his legs fit in it better than Aidan’s, he still looked uncomfortable, and he appeared to dislike the fact that his movement was restricted (he’s our mover and a shaker kid!)
I had seen a friend post on Facebook a few pictures of her little guy in the Fisher Price Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat, and she said that he liked it better than a Bumbo. I was intrigued. When I found out that Andrew had been using one at daycare, I knew I wanted to try it. We got one for Christmas, and Andrew liked it (as well as he liked being contained in any kind of seat, anyway). We never gave the Bumbo another glance.
Here are some pros and cons of the Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat:
- Higher back
- Looks like a more natural sitting position
- Allows for more free movement
- Bigger leg holes
- Better for older/bigger babies
- Cover is very easy to clean – remove and pop in the washing machine
- Toys attached
- No tray (though there is a slightly different one that comes with a tray)
- Bulkier, harder to pack and carry
Note: Regardless of what kind of floor seat you use, you should only use it for short periods of time as necessary (I.e. Showering, cooking dinner, etc.) Contrary to claims from floor seat companies, these seats will not make your baby sit on his own sooner. In fact, many pediatric physical therapists warn that long and frequent use of them may actually inhibit your baby’s development because they interfere with his ability to feel his own weight and strengthen his balancing muscles. But I’m sure occasional use is not going to hurt – just a little food for thought.
Many moms (and babies) love their Bumbo seats, and I can see why. They are very easy to carry around the house or even pack in the car.
However, they do not work well for chunky babies, and I was not comfortable with the design or limited free movement. Neither were my kids. For my second baby, the Sit-Me-Up floor seat worked MUCH better than the Bumbo. And I would guess that if you have a chunky baby, he/she will like it better, too.
Either way you decide to go, though, a floor seat is a wonderful gift for any mom (used in reasonable moderation, of course). It’s a must for hands-free mommas and happy babies. Everyone wins!
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