Recall: Babies Fall Out Of Bumbo Seats At Ground Level, Too

Babies: they comprise the future of our species, and they’re awfully cute, but they’re top-heavy. And early in their lives, their muscle control is pretty poor. The Bumbo baby seat is an adorable piece of molded plastic designed to let your baby sit up and look around before it has developed sufficient muscle control to sit up on its own for extended periods. They’re immensely popular, but frequently misused, and not wriggle-proof. So the Consumer Products Safety Commission has announced yet another voluntary recall on the seats.

You’re not supposed to put a Bumbo on a counter or table to keep the baby at eye level, but that doesn’t stop some parents and other caretakers. That was the reason for recalls in 2007 and last year, and the seats now bear a prominent warning label. Parents not reading directions aren’t to blame for this latest recall, though: it’s possible for babies to wriggle out of the seats or tip them over, seven at ground level, which has led to skull fractures and other boo-boos. The solution? Restraint belts within the seats.

Bumbo owners should stop using the seats until a belt is installed. You can get a free repair kit from Bumbo USA by visiting the recall web site, or call 866-898-4999 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central time Monday through Thursday and between 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Central on Friday.

Once the belt is installed, you still shouldn’t use the seat to park your tot on a raised surface.

Baby Seats Recalled for Repair by Bumbo International Due to Fall Hazard [CPSC]

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  1. nicless says:

    I have a Bumbo… am I an unusual parent for not having left my baby to his own devices as soon as I put him in there? He’d always just sit next to me eating puffs or whatever.

    • AtlantaCPA says:

      I hear you. Sounds like people were using this as a babysitter and wandering off. I know it’s a PITA when they are little and you have to hold them while you go to the bathroom but that’s the deal!

      I’d say it’s the minority (hopefully) of really bad parents who left their baby in it and then sued when they fell out who are causing this.

    • Floobtronics says:

      Yeah, you’re apparently one of the weird ones. Don’t worry, there’s more of us out here.

      I actually know someone who in a massive fit of stupidity put their kid in a bumbo on the counter, then couldn’t fathom how the kid fell to the floor, and would up with a concussion, but thankfully not a skull fracture. She’s ordinarily quite intelligent, but apparently lacks the slightest bit of common sense.

      We used a bumbo with both our kids. On the floor, where it’s intended for use. Strangely enough, even though both of them managed to wriggle out of them a couple of times, since it was *on the floor*, no injuries were sustained. Just a little crying.

  2. mikedt says:

    This is why I stick to duct tape.

  3. aaronx says:

    Used the Bumbo with our daughter with zero issues. Never left her there unattended, but it worked great as an introductory level high-chair for feedings. Once she, and we, realized that she could throw herself backwards to get out of it, we stopped using it.

  4. Press1forDialTone says:

    This seat would inhibit the proper development of the lower back muscles
    I would think. Just patient, a normal baby will sit up on it’s own once it
    develops control and strength of it’s back and other muscles. Everybody
    wants babies to do everything right out of the uterus. This is because
    the generation that is having babies is used to getting everything they
    want RIGHT NOW.

    • benminer says:

      The bumbo was a fun place for my son sit and play until he could sit on his own at about 6 months. And you don’t leave them in the seat for hours so “inhibiting muscles” is not a concern. It has nothing to do with trying to speed up his development. Plus they make for cute pictures.

      • nicless says:

        We have a picture of my son in his Bumbo in front of the Christmas tree that we put on our cards. We think it is hilarious because it looks as if he is saying, “Hey, look at this tree!”

  5. awesome anna says:

    How about not forcing your baby to sit up before their physically capable to just for your own convenience?

    • awesome anna says:

      They’re not their. dang it!

    • nicless says:

      My son couldn’t eat on his own at first so we had to force him. Should we have let him figure that out on his own as well? Using a Bumbo isn’t “forcing” your baby to do anything. It is just a different way of having them exist.

  6. benminer says:

    So the baby falls over. What’s the big deal as long as they are on the floor? Babies are tough.

    • c_c says:

      “it’s possible for babies to wriggle out of the seats or tip them over, at ground level, which has led to skull fractures and other boo-boos.”

      My wife’s a pediatrician … babies aren’t as tough as people seem to think they are. Her rotation in the child abuse service was pretty eye opening … a lot of “I didn’t think I was being rough with him” about the baby with fractures all over his arms and legs, that sort of thing.

  7. aen says:

    It turns out that even when they’re sitting up on their own, the Bumbo is extremely convenient for feeding and just letting them play while remaining in one spot. They tend to fall over or crawl away otherwise, which is fine too, sometimes you just want them to stay in one spot!

    It’s no surprise that babies wiggle themselves out, though my daughter’s legs have always been too chubby for her to easily do that, it’s a struggle just to get her in and out of it!

  8. jeepguy57 says:

    And…. once again the stupid consumers ruin for those of us that use common sense. The appeal of the Bumbo is that it doesn’t need a strap. But thanks to some dumb parents who failed to use any common sense, we now need straps in these.

    Thankfully we already have one and we will use with our next child as well.

    • AtlantaCPA says:

      I’m done having kids but if I had to get one of these with straps I’d be trying to cut them out right away. I wonder how easy it will be to remove the strap.

    • GingerMom79 says:

      Thank you for this comment! Way too many baby/child products are recalled because of stupid people and nothing to do with the actual products! Be responsible parents!

    • bumpducks says:

      Want to tell me how i’m being stupid? I had been using mine for up until 3 weeks ago with my now 6-month old. I set him in it on the floor in the bathroom so i can have two free hands to go to the bathroom. It took less than a second for him to stick his legs out straight and arch his back and neck. His legs were no longer in the leg holes and his head was tilting back toward the tile floor!
      Obviously I can’t use the bumbo for him anymore, but i was using it EXACTLY per the manufacturers’ directions. I am lucky that he was not injured.

  9. AtlantaCPA says:

    OK last point:
    Parents not reading directions aren’t to blame for this latest recall, though: it’s possible for babies to wriggle out of the seats or tip them over, seven at ground level, which has led to skull fractures and other boo-boos. The solution? Restraint belts within the seats.

    1. I’m pretty sure the instructions already say not to leave your baby unattended, so as they start to wriggle out/tip over you should be there to catch them.
    2. Restraint belts won’t help at all with the tipping over problem, they were tipping over while still wedged in the seat already.

    Conclusion: this is a knee-jerk reaction to some bad parents who treated the seat like a babysitter.

    • TerpBE says:

      1. My 4-month-old daughter can throw her head back and straighten her body in less than a second. I could be sitting directly in front of her and still not be able to grab her in time to catch her. I don’t think “unattended” and “not having a hand on their body the entire time” are the same thing.

      2. From what I’ve seen the danger is in “falling out”, not “tipping”. When the child puts his head back and raises his hips off the seat, they can fall out of the seat. The belt would prevent this. Because of the way it’s designed, it would be almost impossible to tip a Bumbo over while the child is seated in it on the floor. But if a baby actually falls out of the Bumbo, they may tip it over in the process.

  10. MarkFL says:

    “they’re top-heavy. And early in their lives, their muscle control is pretty poor.”

    This is an obvious design flaw. I’m sure some lawyer is working on a class-action lawsuit against the designer.

  11. missminimonster says:

    I ended up getting my son the Summer Super Chair. It has a seatbelt and a removable ring of toys around it to keep him amused/safely in it. It also has a removable foam liner so my son can use it as a booster seat (with the enclosed straps to keep it on the chair) when he gets older.

    This still sounds like the parents were being negligent, though.

  12. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    Now I feel like the world’s worst mom, because 26 years ago my little one was in a **gasp** playpen! With high mesh sides, and a sort of padded flat play area! When she wanted a better view of the world, I would put her on the sofa in what passed as a car seat back in 1986. And she touched our house cat with her bare hands! Teething was done on a very large carrot.

    **hangs head in shame…

  13. wwwww says:

    Humans need to stop inventing all these baby things altogether. Animal babies learn to stand and run around at a very young age. Why can’t human babies do that? Because they have all these things that strap them down to something else, or things that allow them to stay upright without effort etc etc… Keep inventing more and more of these and soon babies will only learn to walk at the age of 20…

    • human_shield says:

      Animal babies and human babies are not the same thing. We may be smart as a species, but our babies are pretty helpless and stupid.

    • MarkFL says:

      “Why can’t human babies do that? ”

      Because our heads are too big. As a result, human babies are born at an earlier stage of development than other mammals. In theory, this allows for larger brains and greater intelligence, but the Internet tends to suggest otherwise.

    • Trjgul says:

      Dude, go crack open a book, or at least use Google.

      Basically, the extended stage of helplessness is a tradeoff for our intelligence and survival. The woman’s hips could only be so wide- too wide and it would be difficult to run from danger. Too narrow and birth would be nearly impossible without one or both dying in the process.

      The longer infant and child stage allows time for the brain to develop. If we gestated any longer to allow for further development we run into the same birthing complications as above.

      You want a more independent infant? Adopt a kitten.

  14. human_shield says:

    I put my kid on the floor and he just fell over. Can I sue the floor manufacturer?