If you are a new parent then you already know just how much attention a baby needs.
So having somewhere safe, comfortable and secure where you can put your baby down is absolutely priceless.
Baby bouncers fit the bill in this regard, especially as they enable you to supervise your little one while you sit down for a few minutes of rest, or tackle chores like preparing a bottle or doing the laundry.
So in this article we’ve taken a look at baby bouncers in more detail, including whether they are safe for newborns, time limits and when you should stop using one.
Let’s jump right in.
What Is A Baby Bouncer?
In its simplest form, a baby bouncer is soft, comfortable seat that is attached to a plastic or metal frame.
Bouncers can range quite significantly, from low-tech manual models that rock due to your baby’s movement, to battery or plug-powered versions that have features such as music and toys that are attached to the frame.
What Is A Baby Bouncer Used For?
Bouncers and rockers are typically liked by both babies and parents alike, because they provide a number of benefits, including:
- Rest Bite: they provide an opportunity for parents to have a break for a few minutes, enabling you to sit down or get on with something else – all while being able to see and supervise your baby.
- Stimulation: they are designed to stimulate your baby, especially if the bouncer has a toy bar with a rattle or noisemaker.
- Calming: they often calm babies thanks to their gentle bouncing or rocking motion, and this can be a particularly helpful during a development leap.
Related: Deciding What Baby Gear You Really Need – The Complete Guide
Are Baby Bouncers Safe For Newborns?
Putting your baby in a bouncer or rocker is a great way to get some much needed rest even for a few minutes.
So if you are like most parents, you are probably wondering when you can start using a baby bouncer, and if they are safe for newborns?
The good news is yes, as long as your baby is strapped in, supervised and their neck is supported (this will happen naturally if the seat extends beyond their head), then baby bouncers and rockers are safe for newborn babies, and you can use a baby bouncer from birth.
When To Stop Using A Baby Bouncer?
As baby bouncers can vary quite a lot in terms of construction, materials and size, there is no one-size-fits-all regarding when your baby’s usage should come to an end.
However, there are typically two things to consider when deciding when to stop using a baby bouncer.
1. Your Baby Has Reached The Weight Limit
Manufacturers of baby bouncers and rockers set a maximum recommended weigh limit for each of their models.
This is usually around 15 to 20 pounds (7-9kg), although for some products the upper limit can be 30 pounds (13kg) or upwards.
2. They Can Sit Up By Themselves
The other thing to consider is whether your baby is able to sit up by themselves, because an infant that can sit up on their own could potentially tip the bouncer over.
All babies are different, but typically most babies can sit up by the age of 6 months, and for some babies this can be sooner, at around the 4 months mark.
In practice this means most babies outgrow theirs by the time they reach 6 months of age.
Is There A Baby Bouncer Time Limit?
If your baby enjoys being in their bouncer or rocker, it could be tempting to leave them in there for long periods, but how long can a baby be in a bouncer for?
According to experts like the NHS, it’s best not to use one for more than 20 minutes at a time.
Are Baby Bouncers Safe?
As with all baby accessories, it’s very important to follow safety instruction and best practices.
When using a baby bouncer or rocker, the AAP recommends you follow these safety tips:
- Always place the bouncer on the floor, rather than an elevated surface like a kitchen counter top.
- Do not place a it on a bed, because it could tip over, leading to a suffocation risk.
- Always strap your baby in, and ensure the restraints are neither too loose nor too tight.
- Stay near your baby when they are in their bouncer and do not leave them unattended or unsupervised.
- Do not let your baby sleep in their bouncer – experts advise that babies should only sleep on a firm, flat surface such as their bassinet or crib.
- Stop using it once your child is able to sit up alone, or when they reach the weight limit (which should be found on the product’s label).