Can i use my Bumbo baby seat in the bath


Bumbo seats are great, they not only help your child learn to sit up on their own, but they can be a real help when you as a parent need to get something done.  It’s easy to sit your child in the chair maybe with the play tray attached and let them eat, play or watch TV whilst you get yourself a bite to eat, or do the hoovering or simply sit down and have a cup of tea whilst watching them.

More than once I have thought about using the floor seat for bath time, it seems like the Bumbo would be perfect in the bath, so why not?  I watched the film “The Change Up” recently, the body swapping comedy starring Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds.  There is a scene in the movie where Bateman is bathing his two infant twins and he is unmistakably using two Bumbo seats to make the job easier.  Ignoring the continuity error with the bubbles (the two images in this post are literally seconds apart in the film), it got me thinking, that if Hollywood producers thought it would be a good idea to shoot the scene with Bumbo’s then there must be thousands of families around the world doing exactly the same thing.   And that raised more questions.  How safe is it?  What effect does it have on the chair? Why don’t Bumbo make a Bath Chair?

The Change up Bumbo Baby Seats in the Bath tub

How safe is it?

My research has concluded that it can be either fairly safe or very unsafe.  It’s all relative to how you plan your bathtime, if you want something to keep your child in a seated position whilst you wash and play with them, then it can be just as safe as using the chair on the floor.  However if you plan on leaving the room to put the washing away or sitting on the toilet texting then you’re putting your child in danger.  The Bumbo Baby Sitter isn’t a substitute for actual supervision!

Here’s a youtube video by wngraham showing a supervised baby in the bath.

Bumbos float

There are warnings on the Bumbo itself and the packaging and warning leaflets that it is not designed for use in water.  The lightweight soft material which is so good for use in the living room or the play room doesn’t work well when exposed to water, think about it, light things float, and added to that the hollow recess underneath the chair which will stay filled with air will mean that if you have more than a few inches of water in the bath and your baby may not weigh enough to counter the buoyancy, then the chair will become unstable and your child could fall out!

They are not waterproof

Again going back to that soft lightweight material that they are made from, sometimes when Bumbos are well used they can get tiny tears in them, or holes, or rips, or fissures, or whatever you want to call them.  These weaknesses can allow water to get into them and this makes it extremely difficult to dry out the seat completely.  I think you can guess what would happen after a few weeks in this case, you’re looking at mould, funky smells and general nastiness.  It’s not worth having to throw your Bumbo away with the bathwater for the convenience of a few dips in the tub.  If you have installed the safety harness on your seat then the holes which affix the straps are the same ones which will allow water to get inside the seat.

bumbo baby sitter chairs in the bath on the change up

Twins in the tub in "The Change Up"


Why don’t Bumbo make a bath chair?

Who knows, but it’s not in the product catalog just yet, perhaps it’s because Bumbo products are known to be soft and comfy and this doesn’t really translate to waterproof very well.  There are however plenty of other fit for purpose bath chairs which are made from a more durable plastic designed especially for submersion in water.  Granted the vast majority are hard plastic and nowhere near as comfortable as the Bumbo chair, but your baby shouldn’t be in the bathtub for extended periods of time so this shouldn’t be an issue.

So can I use my Bumbo in the bath?

I wouldn’t recommend anyone putting their child in the bath using one, there are a lot of potential risks and as yet no children have died or been seriously injured due to improper use in the bath but there have been accidents, please don’t let your little one have one.  Be sensible and if you must have a seat for the bath try one of these for size.