As a parent, you can’t seem to have enough of your baby, you always want to snuggle him up in your arms and play for as long as time permits.
But there are sometimes when you just need to break away for a few minutes to attend to another chore around the house, eat or take a shower.
In such situations putting the baby in a safe place like a bouncer is what you want to do but you have to know when to put baby in bouncer because not all babies are eligible to use a bouncer.
We also highlighted to you important features to keep in mind when choosing the right bouncer for your baby. Read On…
What Is A Bouncer?
A bouncer is a device for babies with a freestanding frame and a soft seat usually inclined at between angles 30 and 45 degrees.
They can be soothing and comfortable as some models come with built-in features like toys, music, rocking, and vibration to give that extra soothing effect.
If used properly, bouncers are safe seats to place your baby while you take some minutes away, the built-in features are soothing enough to calm a crying baby and even put him to sleep but at the watch of an adult.
When To Put Baby In Bouncer
A baby can be kept in a bouncer between the ages of 3-6 months. It is expected that at this age, the baby’s neck is firm and well balanced.
Although bouncers provide the opportunity for nursing parents to have some time to themselves, hyperactive babies should not be left alone for too long, and if you can afford to, have an adult watch over the baby while you go on with your stuff.
How Safe Is A Baby Bouncer?
Bouncers are made in such a way that the baby is secured with straps in a particular position.
They’re usually composed of a stationary frame with an angled seat that gently swings to and fro to help your baby relax while you’re away.
Pediatricians usually don’t recommend the use of bouncers because of the inclined position of the seat which may result from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) which is death caused by suffocation.
This usually happens when the baby is placed wrongly or when the straps are tight but if all measures are taken correctly, your baby’s time in the bouncer will be quite enjoyable for him.
So while going to take a shower or grab a snack or rest your back, be rest assured that your baby’s safety is guaranteed so long as you do not take too long.
This is so important because some babies that are energetic or hyperactive may try to come off the bouncer which can cause them to fall and get fatally injured.
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Things To Consider When Choosing A Bouncer
Shopping for a baby bouncer may seem like a simple task, but there are lots of different designs and features to consider and some of these things are a matter of safety.
Others are nice extras that may provide your baby a little more soothing. Here are the things to look out for when buying a bouncer that is safe and comfortable for your baby.
- Entertainment (optional)
Here is a detailed explanation of these features to help you know what to look for when buying a baby bouncer.
A good baby bouncer must have a wide base. The wider the footprint the more stable the bouncer will be, making it difficult to fall over or turn on its side.
It’s important to keep in mind that a frame that is too wide and sticks out too much past your baby’s seat is a tripping hazard for you and your baby.
Do not go for products whose frames are made of plastic. It is important to keep in mind that even the strongest plastic will weaken and eventually break over time.
Instead, when thinking of a bouncer to buy, choose one with a foldable frame made of metal. These kinds of bouncers are much sturdier, safer, and will last over a long period than more generic, plastic frames.
It might interest you to know that most known-brand manufacturers build their bouncers around a metal frame. But keep in mind, that the safety of your child comes first over every other consideration.
A bouncer frame determines how much bounciness it will offer and how much vibration it is willing to absorb.
Different products have a slightly different bounce that comes with it. Some products will be only slightly bouncy and will take some time to get going.
Others will be extremely bouncy and may require zero or little effort to get them bouncing. Others may have bounced in between those two extremes.
When deciding on the type of bouncer to get your baby, you should choose the amount of bounce that works best for you and your baby.
When deciding on the type of bouncer to get your baby, make sure the base and frame of the bouncer are made out of non-slip material so that it grips easily on the floor and doesn’t slide around at the slightest bump.
If you have more than one kid at home, of course, you know how unaware kids can be of their surroundings. Accidents can happen, and your baby bouncer may get bumped on one or two occasions.
When this happens, having a bouncer whose base and frame are made of non-slip material will help keep it in place and keep your baby safe.
When deciding the type of bouncer to get your baby, ensure the seat material is soft, comfortable, and breathable for the baby.
It’s also important to watch out for seams near where your little one sits as they can rub and irritate your little one’s skin.
A baby bouncer’s inclination depends on the type of frame used. However, the construction of the seat also plays a huge role.
Typically, newborn babies are more comfortable in a reclined position (i.e. closer to parallel with the floor). Toddlers are more comfortable in an upright position.
Interestingly, some baby bouncers are adjustable, they allow you to adjust the position for different levels of recline. Just choose the one that suits you best for you and your baby.
When choosing the type of bouncer to get your baby, make sure the bouncer is soft, comfortable, and easy to clean.
Babies always come with messes, such as leaky diapers and messy burps. So getting a bouncer to remove the seat material and toss easily in the laundry will make maintaining your baby bouncer so much easier.
When choosing a bouncer for your baby, make sure it has restraint straps – do not buy a product without them! These straps should be strong, durable, and comfortable.
A lot of first-time parents usually forget about this last variable, and unfortunately, their baby may end up disliking the bouncer.
Certain reasons may be the straps pinch, twist, or make the baby uncomfortable.
Before you buy a bouncer for your baby, read the care label carefully and check the weight limit recommended by the manufacturer.
It might interest you to know that, bouncers with higher weight limits tend to last longer — not because they’re designed better, but because your baby will be able to use them longer as they grow.
Before you buy a bouncer or any gear for your baby, check to be sure it meets the required safety measures. Most baby products usually come with some sort of seal, like for the JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association).
This means that the product has undergone thorough testing to check for safety and function.
There are reasons why safety requirements are needed, so look for the JPMA seal before making a choice on the type of bouncer for your baby.
Safety shouldn’t start or stop with baby bouncers. Babies are delicate, so ensure they’re secured at all times, especially when they’re sleeping.
Generally, bouncing is entertainment enough for most babies. Still, some bouncer brands go even further to offer models with additional features that can help keep the baby occupied and amused while bouncing.
Just like adding mobile to your baby’s crib, a toy bar offer visual stimulation for your baby.
Some bouncer brands have the toy bar permanently attached, while the toy bar is removable in other brands. Just choose the one that suits you best for you and your baby.
Some toy bars are designed with lights to help draw and keep the baby’s attention.
These can be quite fun for your baby, but always turn the lights off when your baby wants to sleep.
Music and Sound
Most modern baby bouncers come with music and sound either in the toy bar or in the seat itself. The bouncer may play cool music, familiar baby songs, white noise, nature sounds, or all four.
If you decide on buying a model with music and sound, make sure it plays a variety so you can switch it up to ensure your baby is happy and calm.
Like the lights, make sure you turn off the noise when your baby is ready to sleep.
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Safety Precautions For Using A Bouncer
- Do not keep your baby in the bouncer for too long. A maximum of 15-20minutes is enough except if the baby is under adult supervision.
- Make sure that you place your baby in the bouncer well to prevent any neck or limb cramps or even worse, any occurrence of SIDS.
- Do not pull the straps too tightly around your baby.
- Do not place the bouncer on an elevated surface like a tabletop, chair, or mattress, it can easily fall off. Always place it on the floor level.
- Do not allow your baby to sleep in the bouncer at night till the next morning. Bouncers are not ideal to be used as cots.
- Do not exceed weight limits. Every bouncer comes with an instruction label that indicates the weight limit it can carry. Most bouncers’ weight limit is between 25-30 pounds.
- When placed in the bouncer, do not swing your baby for too long or at very high speed.
- Do not carry the bouncer with your baby in it. If there’s a need for you to get something in the room or kitchen and you want to take your baby with you, take your baby off the bouncer first. Carrying your baby in a bouncer is an unsafe move and could lead to injury for the baby.
- Put the bouncer away once your baby starts to sit up. This helps provide you and your baby with new opportunities. Babies can explore their world on a whole different level, and you can engage with them like you never have before.
- Do not feed your baby in the bouncer. Since newborns lack good head control, it is not safe to give the baby bottle when he or she is in a bouncer.
- Make sure the area you kept the baby bouncer is safe and free from anything that can pose a hazard to your little one.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Baby Bouncer
- Bouncer seats are quite cheap compared to other baby accessories. Even though the length of time you can use it is short, you do not have to spend so much on it.
- It creates an avenue of a place where you can safely put your baby down during the day. Thereby giving you some time to get things done around the house.
- Since baby bouncers are light and can be moved easily around the house, this makes them portable. A lot of brands function with the use of a battery, making it possible for use anywhere, even without an outlet nearby.
- You can get a wide range of brands that comes with extra features to keep your baby entertained.
- Also, the wide base and low design make the bouncer seat more secure and stable, this ensures that your baby can sit in it safely without any threat.
- Bouncer seats respond with certain movements babies make. Those little movements keep the baby entertained and keep them calm.
The good thing about using a bouncer is how it allows you to be able to do other things while still keeping your baby snuggled up and entertained safely.
But there are the not-so-good things about using a bouncer which oftentimes have to do with its angle of inclination.
Pediatricians advised against the use of bouncers for long periods because of how the seats are inclined.
Babies between the ages of 3-6 months do not have good muscle flexibility of their own so when placed in an inclined position, it can cause muscle cramping and even death by suffocation.
That is why they suggest the use of cribs that have a soft flat mattress that only keeps the baby in a flat position to avoid any cramping or suffocation.
Also when placed on counters or surfaces high from the ground level, bouncers can tip-off and fall causing severe injury to the baby. The ideal place to keep a bouncer is on the floor.
When To Stop Putting The Baby In The Bouncer
It is one thing to know when to put baby in bouncer but it is a different thing to know when to stop putting them in it.
You should stop putting your baby in a bouncer when he has started sitting or when he can get into the bouncer on his own.
Usually, babies start sitting around the age of 6-7months or even 5months. At this stage, it is very risky leaving your baby in the bouncer as their movements can easily tip off the bouncer.
Observe when your baby starts sitting or making attempts to get into the bouncer on its own and fold up the bouncer for the next baby.
Knowing when to put baby in bouncer is as important as knowing when to stop putting it there, although any baby less than 3months can also be put in a bouncer, the recommended age is between 3-6months of age.
While you try to take some time for yourself, do not leave your baby in the bouncer without any adult watching over him, it is better to keep him in sight while still doing the rest.
One other key thing to note is that moving the bouncer from place to place while your baby is in it is not advisable.
Buy foldable bouncers that can be easily moved without much struggle and before you do so, take your baby out of it then you can place him back once you’re done moving.