Many parents swear by using a baby bouncer for their children, and they tend to highly recommend using them. And then there are other parents out there that have never used one for their children. But do you actually need a baby bouncer for your child?
Babies do not need a baby bouncer as they reach all their development stages just fine without one. Baby bouncers are useful for parents as they entertain your baby for a good amount of time, and they provide mental and physical stimulation for your child. Plus, they let you rest your tired arms.
What are the risks and the benefits of using a baby bouncer with your child? How do you ensure that you are using the baby bouncer safely so as to not injure your child? What are the makes of baby bouncers that you can find on the market today? We will go through these in-depth and give you the answers to these questions and more in this article.
Does Your Baby Need A Baby Bouncer?
Babies do not need to have a baby bouncer in their lives as they will still reach all of their developmental goals without one; however, having one is of great help to you as a parent.
But this decision is mainly up to you, and your personal preference as a lot of parents swear by using a baby bouncer for their children. A lot of other parents say that they never actually used or needed one.
Although the decision on whether to buy a baby bouncer for your little one or not is up to you, your baby will have the last say at the end of the day. We need to remember that babies will also have their preferences, and just because you have a baby bouncer does not mean that your baby will enjoy being in the baby bouncer.
For this reason, most parents will wait until their babies are born so that they can gauge what their baby may and may not enjoy and whether this will align with the movements and actions of a baby bouncer before they actually go and buy a baby bouncer for their child.
It is imperative to understand the risks and benefits of using a baby bouncer and how to use a baby bouncer safely before you decide whether to buy one for your baby or not. So, let us go through these to ensure that you can make an informed decision.
Risks Of Using A Baby Bouncer
Even though having a baby bouncer on hand can prove to be very useful to parents, there are risks involved when using a baby bouncer. These risks can be mitigated when the baby bouncer is used properly as per the safety guidelines, but if you do not adhere to these safety guidelines, then this can cause some scary situations for you and your baby.
You need to be aware that overusing a baby bouncer can lead to some problems for your baby. For example, if the baby bouncer is used excessively with the baby being placed in the same position in the baby bouncer can lead to the child developing positional plagiocephaly, which is also known as a flat head. Babies will develop this condition when they are left to lie on their backs for extended periods.
Parents often use a baby bouncer as a place for their little one to take a nap, but this is highly discouraged by medical professionals and pediatricians as this can be quite harmful to your baby.
These medical professionals suggest that the angled position that the baby will be lying at when sleeping in a baby bouncer could potentially contribute to babies developing SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Benefits Of Using A Baby Bouncer
Even with the risks that have been mentioned above, there are some good benefits to having a baby bouncer for your baby. One benefit that is great for you, the parent, is that the baby bouncer gives you a safe a sturdy space to put your baby down so you can take a break from holding your baby.
Even though you love to hold your little one, there will always come a time when you need to use both of your hands for something, or you just need to be able to sit down and take a minute without sharing your seat with your baby. So, a baby bouncer is a great product to have in these situations.
Many baby bouncers on the market today also come with activity sets that are a great way to keep your baby entertained and engaged for a good amount of time.
Many baby bouncer models can be adjusted; this means that the baby bouncer can grow with your baby and can be turned into a normal seat for your child once they have grown out of their bouncer stage. So, you do not need to spend extra money later on to get a different seat for your child.
Most models of baby bouncers are able to fold into a nice, compact size, which is easier to transport. So, if you are going on vacation or having a day out with the family, you can take the baby bouncer with you.
Things To Consider With A Baby Bouncer
There are some other considerations that you need to consider before you decide on whether or not to buy a baby bouncer for your baby and what brand of bouncer would be best for your child.
If you do want to buy a baby bouncer, then you need to ensure that the materials used to create the baby bouncer are of good quality. If you buy a baby bouncer, then your baby may spend a good amount of time in the bouncer, so it is of paramount importance that you make sure the materials used will not cause any skin problems for your baby, such as rashes or itchiness.
When looking for a baby bouncer, you will also need to make sure that the material used to make the bouncer is easy to clean. Fabrics should be removable, and plastics should be easy to reach and wipe clean, with no hard-to-reach areas.
You can also watch out for baby bouncers that have machine-washable seats, which will help you keep the bouncer clean without adding extra cleaning time to your already busy day.
Baby bouncers can also take up a lot of space when they are unfolded and are in use, so if you live in a smaller house or apartment, then this could become an issue.
Some baby bouncers do not have a sturdy enough base for larger babies, which can cause the baby bouncer to topple over; this is a huge safety issue. So, you need to ensure that you get a baby bouncer with a good weight capacity range and a large, sturdy base to ensure your baby’s safety.
How To Use A Baby Bouncer Safely
When we are placing our babies into baby bouncers, we need to remember what baby bouncers are supposed to be used for in order to make sure that we use them correctly. Baby bouncers are designed for playtime with your baby.
Babies love to play and bounce around, and they can spend a good amount of time doing this. And as baby bouncers usually come with activity sets, they can provide a good amount of mental and physical stimulation for your baby, which can aid in development.
Some baby bouncers will also include some noises and vibrations to help further your baby’s development. In other words, a baby bouncer is intended to keep your baby’s attention and to make them excited, and keep them entertained while helping your baby reach different developmental stages.
All of this goes with the safety guideline that states that the baby bouncer is to be used when the baby is awake and alert and in need of entertainment and not to be used as space for the baby to sleep in.
As there are many different baby bouncers on the market today, it is essential that you read the product manual that goes with your specific baby bouncer model before you place your baby in it. You should ensure that the bouncer is stable and place on a flat floor surface, then you need to inspect the bouncer and ensure that nothing is broken or missing from it.
When using the baby bouncer, do not add anything to it unless it came with the bouncer, including mobiles, and other toys, as they are not designed to be used with the baby bouncer and could break off or be pulled off and cause injuries to your baby.
If you are buying a second-hand baby bouncer, you need to make sure that you know the bouncer’s history and get it assessed by a professional to ensure that it works correctly and reaches all the safety requirements.
When using the baby bouncer, always secure the harness or straps around your baby, even if the bouncer is not in motion.
Age To Stop Using A Baby Bouncer
Unfortunately, the use of your baby bouncer does need to stop eventually. The general recommendation for baby bouncers is that your baby has outgrown the bouncer when they can sit up on their own comfortably or when they have reached 20 pounds (9 kgs).
This recommendation is for your baby’s safety as once your baby has reached these milestones, there is a high risk that your baby may be able to tip the baby bouncer over as they are more active and may try to roll over or sit up on their own while they are strapped to the baby bouncer.
There is also the possibility that your child may try to wrestle out of the safety harness or straps the older they get, which could cause your child to fall from the baby bouncer and get injured.
However, these conditions for ending the use of your baby bouncer only apply to baby bouncers that are not adjustable. If you are using a baby bouncer that I adjustable, then when your baby can sit up by themselves or weighs 20 pounds (9 kgs), you should adjust the bouncer to the next seating variation.
Different Baby Bouncers
There are a number of baby bouncers that are available for you to choose from if you are looking to get a baby bouncer. So, let us go through a few different types so that you can ensure that you buy one that suits your’s and your baby’s needs.
Natural Baby Bouncers
Natural baby bouncers are bouncers that rock naturally, using the momentum of the baby’s movements or by the patent starting the bounce. This means that no batteries or other materials are required to use this bouncer. These bouncers can be quite simple in design, while others have a more thoughtful design with more add-ons.
Battery-operated Baby Bouncers
Battery-operated bouncers offer a vibrating motion that a lot of babies find soothing. These baby bouncers will also have features like music and sounds, which babies do enjoy, and this can help stimulate your baby more.
Baby bouncer-rockers are basically a combo model that is a bouncer but can be turned into a rocking chair for your child. This combination makes this model for a longer time as your child can still use it when they get too old for the baby bouncer.
If you can not decide between buying a baby bouncer or a baby swing, then this combination product maybe your best option. This is because it is a normal baby bouncer when needed, but you can also attach the seat to the frame of the bouncer to convert it into a swing for your child.
Babies do not absolutely need a baby bouncer as they will reach all of their development stages without one, but baby bouncers are useful for parents to rest their tired arms, and they can entertain your baby for a good period of time while providing a good source of physical and mental stimulation for your child.
The decision on whether to buy a baby bouncer or not is just up to your own personal preferences—hopefully, this article has been helpful to you so you can make your decision.
Article checked by:
Dr Binu George – Consultant General Pediatric
(MBBS, FRCPCH, Dual CCST (UK), Paediatric Neurodisability)
Head Of Department, Child Development Department at
NMC Royal Hospital, Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates