I think most parents would agree that there are a few things they look for in every piece of baby gear. Price is probably important, but after that, the most important things are that it is a good quality product and that it is safe and healthy for your baby. Well, y’all are in luck because the Upseat baby seat ticks all of these boxes.
What I love most about the Upseat is that it was designed for the wellbeing of your baby first and foremost. What parent doesn’t love that? Here are some of the great things about the Upseat:
Promotes Good Posture
The absolute best part of the Upseat chair is that it promotes good posture. It was developed by physical therapists and they designed it to have the absolute best posture that you can offer to a baby.
Below you can watch a pediatric physiotherapist discuss the benefits of the posture that the Upseat provides:
So like the video says, many leading brand chairs will have a reclining position that will cause your baby to slump slightly in their chair. These chairs are meant to be props, and should not be used for very long extended periods of time.
The Upseat, has a slight downward slope to it, which causes babies to have a straighter spinal position. This will also help your baby have better use of his or her arms, as explained in the video.
Dr. Jo-Anne Weltman from the above video also claims that the good posture that the Upseat will provide for your baby can also help with digestion.
How can sitting correctly help your baby have good digestion, you may ask?
If your baby is in one of the typical baby seats on the market that has a slightly reclined positions, they will have a slightly rounded back. This slouched position will mean that their food is not going directly down through their digestive system. Their food instead may be getting caught for periods of time in other areas when it could be moving down the tract.
This might not cause your baby a lot of pain immediately, but it could aggravate acid reflux. When babies are slumped and their necks are pulled forward, they are more likely to have trouble chewing and swallowing.
In fact, if you are experiencing digestion problems, it might be worth trying to improve your own posture to see if that helps!
Upper Body Mobility
Another point that Dr. Jo-Anne Weltman mentioned in the video above is that the Upseat allows your baby to have more upper-body mobility.
Babies who use one of the other leading brands of floor seats on the market that reclines backward will slump slightly. This will mean that they have a harder time twisting their trunk muscles. This may not seem like a big deal, especially when your baby is only 3 months old and can’t even hold themselves upright. However, as your baby is developing, these trunk muscles will help them hold themselves up and develop the right muscles to provide good posture.
So how can you help your baby develop these muscles?
Babies will actually develop these muscles naturally as they play. You can encourage them to develop them by moving around as they are in the seat and not always be directly in front of them. Stand to the side of them at different points and have them follow you with their eyes and body. Dance around them in a circle and make them laugh. Play peekaboo. All these things will encourage movement that will help your baby develop these important muscles.
Just don’t purposely face your baby away from you for long periods of time. This can frustrate your baby and that will not be as helpful for their development.
Hip Dysplasia has been a common subject of conversation among parents who are buying baby gear. I hear about it when researching chairs, swaddlers, and baby carriers. It really is an important subject, and a lot of parents have never heard of it.
As before mentioned, physical therapists designed the Upseat, and it was to create good posture, but also to eliminate the risk for developing hip dysplasia.
Here are the things you need to know about hip dysplasia so you can make an informed decision about the baby gear that you buy.
How Do They Get It?
Most babies who have hip dysplasia have been born with it, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). The leading causes of it are:
- Gender: most babies with it are female.
- Babies born breech
- Low levels of amniotic fluid
- First babies, because they may be held tighter than other subsequent babies in a tighter uterus
- Family history of hip dysplasia
However, there are some cases where babies develop hip dysplasia after birth because of other factors, and these are the issues we will talk a bit more about here because it can be caused by some baby gear.
The biggest cause for hip dysplasia after a baby is born is by confining their legs in a tight position for too long.
Many parents will say that you need to hold your baby inward as long as possible when you carry them. This is because carrying them facing outward can force their legs in a position that is unhealthy and not well supported by the parent.
Doctors also recommend that you do not swaddle your child tightly around their legs. Instead, swaddle them around their arms and let their legs bend and kick freely. There are sleep sacks that are manufactured for this very purpose.
What About The Upseat?
So what about the Upseat baby seat? According to the Upseat company, it was created by physical therapists who have the explicit goal of creating a seat that will provide good posture to your child and eliminate the risk of getting hip dysplasia.
How is this done?
The Upseat company designed a baby chair that has a wide middle horn area of the seat, which will keep the legs spread out comfortably. Unlike many leading baby seats on the market, the leg holes are much larger and this allows babies to move their legs, hips, and knees freely.
The extra-large leg holes are also a great feature when you are concerned about your chubby baby’s thighs getting stuck or being held uncomfortably too tight.
Converts To A Booster
One of my favorite things I talk about on this blog is a 2 in 1 product. I love a product that can do two jobs, and do them well. The Upseat can be used as a floor seat, and many parents do use it this way.
You can have your baby working on their fine motor skills by eating a snack while you play on the floor with your other children. You can have them in their seat doing all kinds of activities and following you from room to room.
But the Upseat does one better. It actually converts to a booster seat. It has straps that you can hook on or remove, depending on what purpose you want the seat to fulfil in the moment. YOu can easily hook it to a chair and have your baby join in to family meals.
It has a tray, but you can remove it if your baby is at a good height where he or she can join you at the actual table.
The reason I love this tray so much is that it is easy to hook on. There are so many seats that have trays that are difficult to figure out. Have you ever gone to a friend’s house and borrowed their high chair or booster, only to realize you have no idea how to work it?
A Personal Story About Trays
I will tell you a little personal story about something that happened to me that might change how you look at those difficult trays:
So I bought a new high chair and was taking it out for the maiden voyage. I had put my baby in it and with a little difficulty, attached the tray. I had never taken the tray off, but I didn’t give it a second thought because I would figure it out when the time came. However, my baby started choking on the finely chopped peaches that I had given him. I was unfamiliar with the buckle and with the tray, but my baby was choking! Maybe I could have figured out how to get him out quickly if I hadn’t panicked, but I had never tried it out before.
So I did what any mom would, and I flipped the entire high chair over my leg, with my baby strapped inside and performed the baby heimlich and slapped his back until the peach was free.
If I had the Upseat instead of that dumb high chair, then I would be able to have just pulled the tray right off without a problem. Or at least pull my baby out with the tray still intact. That is just one reason I love the tray.
Now, obviously a baby product that is so concerned about hip dysplasia and proper posture would meet the requirements for a safe product. In fact, the FDA has vetted this product as being something that you can sell within the US for babies. Baby products have the strictest qualifications that they have to meet, so you can be sure that it is a safe product.
3 Point Harness
The Upseat comes with a three point harness, which in my mind is an absolute must when we are talking any kind of baby product where the baby has to actually sit in it. Babies are very wiggly, and they lack the kind of judgement that will keep them from doing risk behavior.
If they are upset for any reason, like they just want you to pick them up, and you can’t get to them right away, you can know for sure that your baby is in the seat safe and secure. They can arch their back or lean to one side or the other all they want and they will not budge in the Upseat.
The Upseat also comes with booster straps that will secure it firmly in place on any standard chair. These straps can connect at the base of the seat and wrap around the back and under a chair so that it will not move. They are easy to attach and remove for an adult, but it would be impossible for a baby to unbuckle them from their perch.
There are other booster seats and floor activity seats that are lightweight and can be taken from place to place, but what I really like about the Upseat is that it is portable with a handle. Other similar floor seats may have an indentation where you can grab it easily, but the full handle is so much easier to grip onto.
This is especially important to parents who are usually holding a baby, a diaper bag, water bottles, maybe a grocery bag or two and one thousand stuffies for your kids. Any feature that makes it easier to carry around with you, is essential.
It is also very lightweight and you’ll barely notice it as you carry it from room to room or take it on a trip with you.
How Old Should Babies Be?
A common question that parents wonder is how old do their babies have to be before they start sitting them up in a floor seat or booster?
The Upseat is made to accommodate babies from 4 months to 2 and a half years old. This is much longer than many of the other available floor seats and there is good reason.
The Upseat offers a safe place for your child to practice good posture. The trunk muscles that your child will need to sit up straight with good posture are not there from the very beginning. They need to develop these muscles and the safest way to do that is to develop them through practicing in a seat that puts them in a good posture to begin with.
These trunk muscles will develop into toddlerhood, so using this booster, at least during mealtimes is still great practice until your child is ready to sit on his or her own.
Starting Your Baby In The Seat
It is possible to start your baby too early in the Upseat. Babies are learning and developing their muscles by exercising on the ground and exploring their body by doing tummy time and rolling. They will be occupied doing this until they are about 3 months old.
After they start to hold their heads up securely on their own or lift up on their arms, then they are ready to start practicing sitting.
Just like tummy time, they might not like it for long periods of time at first. They may only want to be in the chair for meals or for a few minutes, but after a while, they might enjoy sitting in the seat for snack time and other activities. And you can rest assured that your baby is in a safe environment that is good for their joints and their spine.
Manufactured In Canada
Finally, I do appreciate that Upseat is manufactured in Canada. I am admittedly not up to date with all the sweatshops that are in operation around the world. I have no idea what kind of working conditions are around the products that I get from a lot of countries. But I do love that the Upseat is manufactured in a country where I know they do have fair working conditions.
It makes me feel more at ease to support a company that is treating the workers well. I don’t even mind paying a little extra for a product that I know doesn’t have slave-like conditions surrounding its creation.
In all honesty, there are other floor seats out there, many of which I have personally tried with my own babies, but the Upseat is one is the one I would feel the happiest about purchasing. I am always concerned with my baby’s health, as most parents are, especially since they cannot always communicate if they are uncomfortable or in pain. They don’t understand that they can be sore after sitting in a piece of baby furniture. It is a parent’s job to be an advocate for their baby and that is a very daunting task. With all the research that backs this chair, it makes sense that this would be the only chair I would want for my own babies.