Choosing a baby changing pad isn’t rocket science. But there are a lot of choices! In this Bumbo changing pad review, I share my personal experience and thoughts on this popular, ergonomically shaped, wipe clean changing pad. I’ve included the pros, cons and some common FAQs, all based on my personal experiences.
What is the Bumbo Changing Pad?
The Bumbo Changing Pad is a thick, super soft, and easy-to-clean cushioned changing pad made from a dense and squishy high quality foam. It provides your baby with a raised surface to lie on while being changed. And it can be used on a changing table, bed, or the floor, with appropriate supervision and safety measures.
One of the most notable features of the Bumbo Changing Pad is that it’s wipe clean. Unlike other changing mats, you don’t need to use a changing pad cover with it. When those unavoidable accidents do occur, give it a quick wipe and clean it with a mild detergent. Presto!
Unfortunately, many of the “wipe clean” changers – including the Bumbo changing pad – are currently a bit tricky to get, and are out of stock at many retailers. If you’re looking for a Bumbo, I suggest checking Amazon, Walmart, and Bed Bath and Beyond.
If you can’t find the Bumbo, you might also want to look at some alternatives, including:
- The Leander Matty, which is currently much easier to find on Albee Baby. At the time of writing, Albee Baby had dusty grey and soft pink in stock.
- The Hatch Grow Smart Changing Pad and Baby Weigh Scale Combo. Check Walmart, Amazon and Target.
- The Skip Hop Nursery Style changer. Check Walmart, Amazon, Target, and Bed Bath and Beyond.
- The Keekaroo Peanut. Check Amazon and Walmart.
Shop for Bumbo and Alternatives Across Top Retailers:
What are the Benefits of the Bumbo Changing Pad
Hygiene and Clean Up
Bumbo changing pads really excel in the hygiene department. And when it comes to pee and poop, hygiene is kind of the name of the game, isn’t it?
Well designed for baby’s comfort, they are soft, squishy, and comfy to touch and lie on. But they’re also beautifully contoured from a hygiene perspective. Because there aren’t any corners, crevices, or grooves, there’s nowhere that liquids or solids can sneak into. That means no digging into out of reach spots when you’re cleaning it.
The material Bumbo uses is porous, but minimally so. If your baby pees during a diaper change, the liquid will simply pool on the surface, not soak into the foam. If, however, you submerge the entire mat in liquid, it will soak in over time (so don’t do that).
This means you can use it without a changing pad cover. In other words? Less laundry to wash, dry, fold and find somewhere to store.
Ergonomically Shaped with a Super Soft Area for Baby’s Head
Bumbo changing pads are made out of a single piece of foam that have been thoughtfully contoured for baby’s comfort.
For one, they have nice high sides to help baby feel secure (and prevent things like diapers and diaper cream from falling off, or being kicked off by excited little legs). The high sides also function to keep a wiggler in place while you’re trying to change them.
There’s also a slightly indented cradle where baby’s head sits.
It’s also fairly ergonomically shaped, and is wide enough for babies who like their knees to fall out to the sides when they’re lying down.
It’s Lightweight, But Substantial
One thing I love about the Bumbo is how lightweight it is – only 3 pounds – without being flimsy. That means you can grab it with one hand and move it to the bed or floor for a quick change if needed.
I like the Bumbo as a “moving around the house” changing pad that works on top of a change table, but can also easily be brought with you from room to room.
Despite being lightweight, it’s still a nice and thick pad, which is a pretty unique combination when it comes to a changing pad.
This also makes it a great secondary changing pad for other homes – a weekend cabin or a grandparents’ house, for example.
The Bumbo’s profile is fairly slim. You can tuck it out of the way in a closet when not in use.
Safety Belt or Restraint Belt
The Bumbo changing mat has an attached restraint belt built into the unit. In my opinion, the safety belt is a nice, extra safety feature that needs to work in combination with parental supervision and attention.
There are a number of mats on the market that don’t come with any sort of restraint belt. My worry about the Bumbo is that the safety belt might offer parents a false sense of security.
In fact, you should never consider the restraint belt as a substitute for constant parental supervision and attention. Just because your little one is wearing the safety belt, doesn’t mean you can leave them unattended. Even for a second.
The Bumbo user manual puts it succinctly: “the restraint system is NOT designed to keep a child from sliding or climbing out of the product.”
Where the safety belt can help is keeping baby still for a moment. With the seat belt, they can stop wiggling just long enough that you do the diaper change!
The buckle part of the restraint belt is similar to a backpack buckle, but with a push button to release it. With my own Bumbo, I’m able to push the button and release the restraint belt with just one hand. Once I push the button down, the other side of the belt just sort of pops out.
Besides the ergonomics and contouring of it, the pad is really quite comfortable due to the foam it uses. It’s not cold to the touch, and is very soft, springy and pliable. Nice for babies to lie on.
Even the molded edges are soft. This is nice if you accidentally bump your baby’s legs, arms or body against the edge when you’re placing them down. It won’t hurt!
We have a basic grey Bumbo, but it does come in a wide variety of colors typically.
Check it out in Cool Grey (ours), Hemlock, Pink, Blue, Coral, or Mimosa (a yellowy orange color).
Cons or Downsides of the Bumbo Changing Pad
While the Bumbo is a great changing pad, nothing’s perfect. There are a few things I’d love to see the company improve upon.
It drives me nuts that Bumbo isn’t more transparent about the type of foam they use for the change mat. They refer to it only as a “luxurious high-quality foam.”
Compared to one of Bumbo’s top competitors in the changing pad market (the Keekaroo Peanut Changer), Bumbo provides way less information about the materials, which is a huge check in the “con” department for me.
Besides the mystery foam, this is my other major complaint about the Bumbo changing pad.
The base is slippery!
This isn’t a huge deal if you’re using it on the floor or on a bed. But it does seem like a safety issue if you’re using it on a changing table.
Even if your baby is secured with the safety belt, I’d worry constant kicking or wiggling could shift the change’s mat’s position, and cause an accident. Falls can happen quickly. It’s important you gather everything you need for the diaper change before putting your baby on the changing pad. And ensure you are physically 100% present to supervise and ensure your baby stays safe during diaper changes.
When I put the Bumbo on a wood or a veneer surface, it’s really easy to slide it back and forth and side to side. It just doesn’t stay put very well. Of course, adding a baby on there weights it down somewhat, but the bottom is smooth, and not very grippy.
I’d really like Bumbo to come up with a non-slip bottom for future iterations of this changing pad. Alternatively, they could sell it together with screw-in anchor blocks, similar to the Hatch Baby Grow Smart Changing Pad.
Not Enough Slope
The Bumbo has a gradual slope from the head cradle to the end of the changing pad. However, it’s a bit too gradual in my opinion. Liquid spills just sort of stay put on the surface of the mat. It would be better if it ran down to the foot of the mat and away from baby’s body. (The Keekaroo has solved this problem with a slightly steeper slope).
Final Thoughts of My Bumbo Change Pad Review
Overall, I think the Bumbo is a great changing pad for many families.
Price wise, it tends to fall in the middle of the pack compared to other wipe clean changing mats. It’s more expensive than vinyl, fold-up changing mats. But it’s less than many wipeable foam mats and many of the more organic and non-toxic changing pads.
Add to that, it does seem to stand up very well to abuse, and last a long time.
It think the Bumbo is a great choice for families who have the budget to spend a bit extra on a changing pad. Those dollars buy you the convenience of not having to use changing pad covers!
Have you used the Bumbo changing pad?
Frequently Asked Questions About the Bumbo Changing Pad
For wet accidents (aka: pee), use paper towel or a cloth to wipe up to liquid, and then wipe the surface with a damp cloth and mild, non toxic detergent or soap. For solid accidents (aka: poop), remove the poop, then use a damp cloth to wipe up visible marks before cleaning with a mild detergent.
Don’t use bleach or other strong chemical cleaners, as it may damage the surface of the changing pad or cause discoloration.
You can use a Bumbo changing pad until your child is approximately 18 months or 30 pounds.
While the Bumbo is about 27″ long end to end, the flat, usable space inside the contoured edges is more like 24.25″ long.
This means, as your baby grows out of the infant stage and into the baby stage, their legs are going to dangle over the edge fairly quickly, and the Bumbo will fit them from their head to their bottom, but won’t contain their legs.
In my experience, Bumbo’s suggested age range (up to 18 months) is about perfect. While some kids may be happy to use it longer, my daughter really preferred standing changes as much as possible by that stage. We transitioned away from using a changing pad for most changes by the time she was 18 to 20 months.
When it comes to baby gear, I’m actually a bit of a minimalist. I’d rather have fewer things that last longer, and are good enough quality that I can sell them second-hand once I’m done with them. I think it’s fair to say the Bumbo will last you 1.5 to 2 years, but will be in good enough condition once you’re done with it that you can re-use it for another baby, or sell it/pass it on to another family.
The official numbers put the Bumbo at 17″ wide by 27″ long by 4″ tall, but when I measure mine, the measurements are more like 17.5″ wide by 27.5″ long, measuring from the outside edge to the outside edge.
The interior, usable surface area of the Bumbo is approximately 13″ wide by 24″ long.
Worth noting, according to Bumbo, the changing pad needs to sit on a surface that is at least 19″ by 29″ for safety, so if you’re planning on using it on a changing table, double check it will safely fit!