I’ve had a Bumbo Multi Seat in my house for years. It was great to use as an occasional travel booster for my first baby when we needed to feed him somewhere that didn’t have a traditional high chair. We continued to use it without the removable foam cushion as a booster seat after my second baby started using our highchair and our first child wasn’t quite big enough to sit on an adult seat alone.
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There are some really good reasons why this product might be super useful for you and your family, and some alternatives you might want to consider too! Baby seats can be such a great product to have for a number of reasons. We’ll cover the pros and cons of the Bumbo Multi Seat and all its features in depth in this article based on my personal experience using it with kids.
I also recommend this article about the best high chair alternatives.
Bumbo Multi Seat Pros and Cons
- Can be used on floor, or as a chair booster
- Easy to clean
- Foam insert for smaller babies
- Tray storage built in
- Good travel booster option
- Foam seat insert stores away inside
- Two height settings
- Lightweight and compact design
- Only fits certain sizes of chairs safely
- Not an optimal hip position for long term usage
- Less sturdy than a traditional highchair
Bumbo Multi Seat Pros
If you’re looking for a safe place to seat your baby on the floor, you can use the Bumbo Multi Seat with its foam insert for babies 6 months and up. This might give you a few minutes to unload the dishwasher without them trying to climb in too and it keeps them in a sitting position as they play.
You can also use the Bumbo Multi Seat as a booster if you strap it correctly to an adult chair. This can be really handy if you occasionally have toddlers over and don’t want to keep a huge highchair around. It can also be helpful to take on vacation or to other locations where you won’t have access to a normal big high chair but need a feeding seat.
If you’re using the Bumbo Multi Seat to feed a toddler, it will be important for you to know that it’s pretty easy to clean! It also has built-in storage on the back of the seat for the detachable tray, so it won’t get lost as easily. The backrest of the seat is a nice smooth and functional design with this added storage feature.
The foam insert can actually be stored inside the base of the seat too. Once your baby outgrows the foam, it’s nice that it can still be all kept together.
The bumbo booster seat features retractable chair straps that you can easily store away when you’re using it as a baby floor seat. The chair straps secure to the back of the chair and the base of the chair so you can push it up next to your kitchen table or use the attachable tray for feeding time.
Bumbo Multi Seat Cons
Unfortunately, the Bumbo Multi Seat only fits certain sizes of chairs. If you have a really small style dining room chair, the straps might be too big to get a secure fit. If your straps are too loose the Multi Seat will slide around on top of the chair and it’s going to be at risk of falling off as your toddler moves around.
The Bumbo Multi Seat also states that it should not be used for prolonged periods, this means you can use it to feed your child, or to let them play for a bit, but you should not plan on leaving them in it for hours. Most floor seats, bouncers, and other infant ‘containers’ aren’t great for baby’s safe hip development. Using them for long periods of time can put your baby’s legs in an unnatural position that could cause strain on their hip joints or put them at risk for future hip dysplasia. Plan on using the Bumbo Multi Seat for short periods of time.
I also don’t personally recommend using a Multi Seat in place of a proper high chair in the long term for daily use. Most regular high chairs have additional safety features on them, like having wheels on the back two legs that help prevent accidental tipping.
How long can you use the Bumbo Multi Seat for?
The Bumbo Multi Seat is a 3 in 1 seat that can be used from 6 months to 36 months (3 yrs old). It can be used as a floor seat and if you strap it to an adult chair it can be used in place of a high chair. When you take out the foam insert, the third way it can be used is as a booster seat. Once your baby has good head control and is older than 6 months, they can use baby chairs like this for snack time or the tray table can also be used as a little play tray if you suction their toys on to it.
The Bumbo Multi Seat has two height features so you can use it to give the right amount of boost you need to seat your toddler at your table. It’s a height-adjustable base that will allow it to grow with the different stages of your child.
Is the Bumbo Multi Seat easy to clean?
- Wipe down all surfaces with a damp cloth and mild dish detergent
- Do not submerge the seat fully in water
- Do not submerge the tray fully in water
The Bumbo Multi Seat has been pretty easy for me to keep clean, and it’s seen A LOT of messy meals from my toddlers. It has smooth plastic surfaces without too many nooks and crannies for food to get stuck in.
The harness straps that are used to secure your baby into the chair are made from fabric. I’ve never had a problem with keeping them clean; they wipe down very well. But if you have a really messy eater with a puree or if it’s soaked with food, it could be harder to deep clean the straps.
You shouldn’t fully submerge the seat or the feeding tray in water. Doing so would fill it with water since it is hollow inside. The way the tray clicks into the seat during feeding time means that water can get into the inside of the tray. You definitely wouldn’t want to get water inside the tray where it could stay moist and potentially mold.
Safety features of the Bumbo Multi Seat
- 3 point harness
- Straps to attach it to an adult chair
- Non slip base
The Bumbo Multi Seat has some great safety features that go a long way in keeping babies safe while the seat is in use. The 3-point harness acts as a seat belt to secure your baby into the seat. Never use the seat on top of a table, counter or sofa. If you want the seat to be elevated, use the included straps to attach it securely to a regular adult chair.
The Bumbo Multi Seat also has non slip pads on its base so that when it is being used as a floor seat, it won’t slip around as baby moves and the pads also help protect your floors from any scratches.
What’s the difference between the original Bumbo and the Bumbo Multi Seat?
The original Bumbo floor seat is for babies who can’t sit up on their own yet. The original Bumbo seat has very small leg openings for young babies and can only be used as a floor seat, never on top of an adult chair. The new Bumbo Multi Seat is for babies who can sit up on their own and it is more versatile because it can be used on the floor, or strapped to an adult chair. The Multi Seat also comes with a tray that clicks in for feeding time. The original Bumbo does not. The Multi Seat can accommodate babies growing into toddlers if you take out the foam insert to make the leg openings and seat wider.
Alternatives to Bumbo Multi Seat
- Up Seat
- Ingenuity 2 in 1
- Standard or travel sized high chairs
- Toddler boosters
The Up Seat is one of the best alternatives to a Bumbo Multi Seat. It can be used as a floor seat, or strapped to an adult chair and comes with a detachable tray for feeding or suctioning toys to. The most important difference between the two, is that the Up Seat was designed to keep your baby’s hips in a better, more ergonomic position. You can read my full review of the Upseat here!
The Ingenuity 2 in 1 is almost half the price and has similar features. It can be used as a floor seat or booster, however the foam insert does not have built-in storage like the Bumbo Multi Seat. It’s also harder to clean because the design has more nooks and crannies, but it has a much larger tray for feeding which is a trade-off. Read my full review of the Ingenuity 2-in-1 Baby Base here.
Oxo Tot Perch retails for about $43 ($75 Canadian). It has a 3 point harness included to secure smaller toddlers to the seat. It also includes the straps needed to attach it to an adult chair. It’s a simple design and does not include a feeding tray, but you might like it as a table booster for your toddler. Read my full review of the OXO Tot Perch here.
Standard highchairs and some portable high chairs have additional safety features to keep babies safe – like a harness that goes over their shoulders as well as their waist to keep them secure. They also usually have wheels on the back as an anti-tip mechanism. If your baby pushes away from a wall or table, the highchair with wheels will slide backwards instead of tipping over.
Toddler boosters for older children usually include less structured support and have a more simple design with just a booster bottom of an extra few inches of height and some straps to keep things secure. My older toddler prefers a regular booster instead of the Bumbo Multi Seat because it has more space for his hips and legs to move freely. You can read my full review of the Upseat Boost for toddlers here.
The Bumbo Multi Seat has been a super useful piece of baby gear I’ve been using for years, for multiple purposes. It might not be perfect for every situation, but for short periods of time or to have on hand as a backup feeding seat, it has been great.
For more Essential Baby Gear articles, check these out from Mama’s Buzz!