I picked up a tip from Jackson's friend Marika. She's the same age as Jackson. Her parents acquired a highchair to sit her in while they eat. It's genius!! We already have a high chair taking up space in the dining room. It's been gathering dust in anticipation of the day we try rice cereal.
So, we tried a meal with Jackson in the chair as an observer. It was great! He was content. We had both hands free to enjoy corn on the cob, thus were also content. I've wheeled it around the house a bit to give Jackson an upright vantage point for viewing cooking and assembly of our new grill. If the babe is already grumbling, he won't take to it, but otherwise seems pleased.
Jackson has had his first chance to rest on the back of the couch. It's against the wall, so he couldn't fall behind (something I feared). He liked it because he could lie on his belly, and the cliff allowed him to rest his head without being pressed face first into the ground. I hope he doesn't start to like this position too much though. It obviously requires constant vigilance on the part of his parents. It's also been a favorite spot of the dogs, and the similarity is a little weird.
We've also added the Bumbo to the stock of baby gear that's now dominating the interior landscape. Six months ago, I saw ads for the Bumbo and thought it was at best dumb. At worst, it could make lazy babies who wouldn't develop the muscle tone to sit on their own. Now I have a child who gets frustrated with the options of lying face up, lying face down, being propped in a corner (and sliding down), or being packed around. I've decided to consider other options.
The Bumbo has advantages over other places to set the baby because it is strap free. There is a depression for the babies bottom that keeps him in place. Jackson seems pretty interested in the foam material its made of. It has a smooth texture, cool to the touch, which is quite unlike the plush surfaces he usually encounters. So I'm now hoping that Jackson can sit on his own by the time he gains another 5 pounds and outgrows another piece of equipment. (Note--Jackson's wearing 6-9 month clothes now, and they're not at all too big.) I also caught Jackson slumping in the Bumbo then righting himself and sitting perfectly straight up. So my fear of lazy-baby is gone and replaced with the idea that this might be a great piece of exercise equipment.
I'm also giving out additional props to the manufacturers of the Bumbo. The thing is winning all sorts of awards, and the inventors are working on a larger version to help older disabled children (or possibly the giant babies like ours.)