The Bumbo Multi Seat: Floor Seat & High Chair in One
Mealtimes are interesting when you have a weaning toddler. Food becomes a guessing game: what do you offer them? How much will they eat? How much should they eat? And you can always expect at least half of any meal to end up on the floor.
Reuben’s been eating solids since he was five months old but we’re still pretty much on the milk to food transition, we’re just further along in our journey. When he first began tasting foods, I wanted him to have somewhere safe to sit than just perched on my lap. That was when we got the Bumbo – the floor seat that seemingly every baby starts their independent journey in.
Initially Reuben didn’t much like his Bumbo. It was the early design that I’d managed to buy second hand, which I was glad I did because it wasn’t used for long. I did a video of it and shared my thoughts of the little seat prior to the safety harness being added. It was potentially a great little seat but the basic style as it was, just wasn’t to Reuben’s liking.
Well, now you can get the Bumbo Multi Seat: the next level baby to toddler seat that serves as a floor seat and adjustable high chair that grows with your child.
The Bumbo Multi Seat is a tough plastic seat that holds a moulded foam insert. While your baby is small they can sit snugly within the cushioning foam pad, and when they out grow the foam insert it can simply be removed so your little one can sit directly into the seat. This means the seat lasts much longer than the standard Bumbo floor seat plus you’re getting the versatility of using it as a high chair.
The seat has several straps attached which serve two different purposes. Two straps, running in two directions, enable the seat to be secured to a regular chair so it can be used at a height. Your child can eat independently from their own little Bumbo tray or be moved right up to the family dining table. The other straps are the seat’s three part safety harness; two straps come together with a centre strap between the legs, fastening around your little one’s tummy and keeping them in place.
Looking at the Multi Seat you would never know that it does actually come with its own little tray, like the one you can get for the standard Bumbo. But while the table that affixed to the Bumbo was (and still is) quite fiddly to attach, remove and then store somewhere, Multi Seat’s clever design incorporates a hide away pocket round the back that the tray slips into. And even better, it clips on and off the Multi Seat with so much ease, it’s a doddle.
Reuben uses his Multi Seat a lot. It comes out for breakfast, lunch and tea times and into the car when we go visiting family and friends for dinner. We do actually have two other high chairs, a Cosatto 3 Sixti and the Ikea Antilop high chair, both of which have their good points. But nothing is as flexible as the Bumbo which is why I tend to go for it most often on a daily basis.
Some issues I’ve found involve the safety straps, which don’t seem to adjust short enough for a tight fit. Attached to my quite regular dining chair the Bumbo straps fasten with a fair amount of sag. While I’m not especially concerned about it enough to stop using the seat, (because I’ve figured I never leave Reuben alone in the seat and he never shifts around while seated in it) the safety element is still worth bearing in mind.
The chair straps are also quite difficult to unclip from the sides. Unfastened from a chair, these straps retract back into the seat for a neat and tidy look, but when the unclipped fastener sits in its recess it is very difficult pick it out. Several times I’ve had to use a knife to prise the clip out, which is why I now just leave the straps hanging loose or attached to the chair.
Considering the Multi Seat’s positives, it’s space saving design is definitely up there as the most obvious and brilliant. I tend to leave the seat attached to a chair so it’s ready to use when we need it and then disappears out of sight when the chair’s put back to the table.
As it can be attached to a dining chair it means the Multi Seat is always the perfect height. When Reuben’s sitting on our level he feels much more involved as a family. I’ve also found it’s the ideal height for watching tv (possibly Reuben’s favourite bit!)
The little tray is a fantastic baby sized table that serves food at a convenient distance away from your child. Regular high chairs can have a fair sized space between tray and child, so the close placement on the Bumbo is much better. The downside to the tray being sized to fit neatly into the back of the Bumbo means it’s just too small for proper meals. It’s easy enough to pop a few pieces of cut toast onto the tray, but when it comes to lunch or tea – bigger meals – I end up balancing melamine plates and silicone trays onto a surface too small for them, or just decanting his food directly onto the tray.
Probably my favourite aspect to the Multi Seat is it’s super snug perfect fit. As Reuben’s legs sit in the ergonomically shaped foam insert perfectly, it means less mess as next to no excess food can fall under his bum. I just wish as much could be said for what ends up on the floor!
So I’m very much pleased Reuben actually likes his Multi Seat. I think he likes how high up he sits (high enough to sit with us, not above us) and how comfy it feels on his bottom. Sometimes when we come to take him out of it he even tries to fasten it up again himself. To have a high chair that Reuben actually enjoys sitting in as opposed to seeing it as somewhere restrictive is a huge bonus; meal times are a joy again and it makes easier work for me too.
Have you ever owned or still use a Bumbo? If you’re considering high chairs, have you thought about the Bumbo Multi Seat? What do you look for in a high chair? Leave your comments in the box below.