We’ve had the pleasure of reviewing the BabyPOD® Plus for two weeks. This is the grand model of baby seats, complete with a detachable tray with two reusable placemats, a pommel top, an attachable toy by Sassy®, and safety straps to keep a clever and slippery baby from wriggling out.
It’s an inexpensive baby feeding chair and a supportive baby seat rolled into one. Lightweight, durable, non-toxic, and easy to wipe clean. This comprehensive baby seat is created and made by Prince Lionheart, a family-owned company that began in 1973.
I was particularly interested in reviewing the biomechanical effects of the BabyPOD® Plus on a developing baby’s spine and seated posture. My 6-month-old son had been sitting with support and balancing in the “tripod” position for several weeks when we first placed him in this seat. Since his bottom is smaller than the seat bucket, his bottom slipped to one side of the seat when he leaned to the opposite side (to pick up a toy that had caught his interest). He wasn’t able to readjust his sitting posture so that his trunk was upright, and he’d still lean to one side. I think placing a rubber mat on the seat bucket (until his bottom gets wider) would prevent him from slipping while seated.
Overall, I liked how his posture appeared in the seat. He wasn’t slouching, rather, he was sitting erect and stable. The safety straps kept him in place because he wanted to spend his time figuring out how to get out of the seat once he was in it. I placed him next to his play gym with dangling toys that he could now reach while seated . . . which delighted him to no end. I’d only put him in the BabyPOD® Plus for a few minutes at a time. But, after only using it for a week, I noticed when I did place him on the floor in a sitting position, he was able to remain seated on his own much longer before fatiguing and falling forward or to the side. His postural muscle strength seemed to increase tremendously every day with only a few minutes in the baby seat. I hadn’t noticed strength increases as quickly when just having him propped up with a nursing pillow. Also, the seat is very low to the ground with a low center of gravity. Even when my son completely leaned to the side to grab a toy, there was no chance the seat would tip over.
My son loves the Sassy® toy that attaches to the tray of the BabyPOD® Plus. He plays with it when it’s affixed to the tray and while it’s unattached. It’s his favorite chew toy (only second to his interesting toes). The seat is a lifesaver at mealtimes. We like having our son with us at the dinner table, but that usually means one of us is holding him while eating (which makes meals that require a knife and fork very challenging). Usually dinner time is spent preventing Calvin from swiping the tablecloth and my food. If we leave him on his playmat in another room during dinnertime, he is aware that he’s missing out on a great time and he gets frustrated. Now, Calvin contentedly plays with his toys while remaining in the BabyPOD® Plus next to the dining table, and we’re all able to enjoy mealtime as a family without playing tug-of-war.
Previously, I was holding my son in my lap and feeding him solids at the dining table. Again, the same challenge arose, trying to hold him while preventing him from spilling the contents of his food and still managing to get him to eat. Now, I can use two hands to feed him while the BabyPOD® Plus keeps him seated and the tray catches the food plops and dribbles that his bib misses. The tray and pommel attach to the seat easily and the removal methods are childproof and easy for adults. The tray’s distance from baby is adjustable based on how much a baby’s belly protrudes. Two placemats wipe off easily. The tray itself is also easy to wipe down (the placemats prevent food from falling into the divot for the Sassy® toy).
Directly from the Prince Lionheart website:
Our products are designed in part by our customers. We hear your concerns, and we implement your ideas. We listen. That is our commitment to you.
GLAD: So many options in this versatile baby seat, that it reminds me of a transformer toy!
SAD: Peeeew! Strong chemical odor fresh out of the box that’s still noticeable two weeks later.