Are Baby Bouncers Safe for Newborns?
My niece was having her first baby and I chose to gift her a baby bouncer from her registry. But I had never used a bouncer before and as a concerned Auntie, I did a little research before I bought one. I wanted to know when it was safe for a new baby to start using a bouncer.
So, Are Baby Bouncers Safe for Newborns? The answer is yes. Most baby bouncers are safe for newborns if you use them properly and as directed by the manufacturer. But there are definitely a few things you should know before you buy or use one.
Baby bouncers are typically designed for use from newborn to approximately 6 months of age or when babies can sit up by themselves. However, some baby bouncers are safer than others and the best way to choose a safe baby bouncer for your newborn is to make sure that it is JPMA Certified.
Make Sure Your Baby Bouncer is Safe and JPMA Certified
What Does JPMA Certified Mean?
The Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association (JPMA) Certification Seal means that a baby product has been stringently tested by an independent facility to assure that it meets the highest standard for safety, function and performance.
JPMA has been testing baby products for over 40 years, so you can be more confident when you purchase an approved product.
This testing is voluntary, so sticking with a manufacturer that invests in the safety of their baby products and has them certified is a no-brainer.
Verifying that your baby bouncer is JPMA Certified should be your 1st step in deciding which baby bouncer you should chose for your newborn.
5 Safe Baby Bouncers That Are JPMA Certified
- Baby Bjorn Balance Soft Bouncer
- Fisher-Price Deluxe Bouncer: Moonlight Meadow
- Fisher-Price Deluxe Bouncer: Geo Meadow
- Fisher-Price Deluxe Bouncer: See & Soothe
- Fisher-Price Newborn-to-Toddler Portable Rocker, Rainforest
Now that you know to look for a baby bouncer that is JMPA Certified, next determine the kind of bouncer you would like.
Which Type of Baby Bouncer is Best
The 2nd step in choosing a baby bouncer is deciding which style you prefer. There are a few types of baby bouncers to consider.
Basic Baby Bouncer – These bouncers are designed to let your baby’s movement be the source of the bouncing. They have no mechanics that create sound or movement and are typically less stimulating for baby. Baby Bjorn Balance Soft is a basic bouncer. The benefits of these bouncers is they are more likely to be portable and may encourage more movement from baby.
Mechanical Baby Bouncer – These bouncers have music and/or soothing vibration options. Some even will create a bouncing movement for baby. I just purchased an adjustable bed with a vibrating feature and between me and my cats fighting for space when I turn it on, I can say the soft vibrations are very soothing. Fisher-Price Deluxe Bouncer: See & Soothe is a mechanical bouncer.
Combination Baby Bouncer– These bouncers are both a rocker (and/or swing) and bouncer. They have more moving parts, are bulkier, more expensive and difficult to transport. They are also usually a mechanical bouncer. 4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth-Enabled high-tech Baby Swing and Fisher-Price 2-in-1 Deluxe Cradle ‘n Swing are combination bouncers.
Infant-To-Toddler Baby Bouncer-These bouncers are designed to go the distance with your baby as he/she grows. They usually adjust easily from newborn to toddler settings. The Fisher-Price Newborn-to-Toddler Portable Rocker accommodates children from newborn to 40 (18.2kg) pounds, while the Baby Bjorn Balance Soft Bouncer is designed for use from 8 (3.6kg) to 29 (13.2kg) pounds.
Both bouncers are super portable which make them a really good option if you’re looking for a bouncer that will last and be easy to take with you when you travel.
Best Baby Bouncer Safety Guidelines
While all these bouncers are certified safe for your newborn, it doesn’t mean you can be inattentive to baby while he/she is using one.
Follow these simple baby bouncer safety guidelines to further assure your newborn will be safe in their bouncer or click here to see more in-depth baby bouncer safety best practices.
Do Not Leave Your Baby Unattended In Their Bouncer.
While it’s silly to think you’re going to be hovering over your new baby every second of the day (oh wait, you’re a new mom…you probably will be!) common sense should rule the day on how long you step away from baby while they are in the bouncer. A few moments should be fine, a few minutes however…maybe not.
NEVER Let Your Baby Sleep In A Baby Bouncer.
THIS IS A BIGGY! While it is so tempting to a sleep deprived parent to let their baby fall asleep in his/her bouncer, this can be very dangerous; even deadly. I see picture after picture of babies asleep in their bouncers and after all my research, I find this really concerning!
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, approximately 3,500 infants die annually in the US from sleep-related deaths. The causes of these deaths vary from SIDS to accidental suffocation. And while the cause of SIDS is yet to be determined, accidental suffocation deaths can be reduced or entirely avoided by being ever vigilant.
An infant’s airway is smaller than of an older child or adult, thereby making them more susceptible to airway obstruction or compromise. Couple this with their larger head size and smaller neck muscles, this can be a recipe for disaster should a baby’s head fall forward onto their chest while sleeping.
I’ve read a few threads online from parents who have posted that they have let their babies sleep in their bouncers. They even say that they feel like a bad parent for doing so because they are aware of the risks. But, even if there is the tiniest possibility that your baby could die because they were allowed to sleep in a baby bouncer….why would you even chance it?
Don’t Carry Your Newborn In Their Bouncer.
Baby Bouncers are not designed for being transported with babies inside. The safety straps typically are lap belts only. Not shoulder straps. This puts baby at risk of falling out when you move the bouncer with your baby seated inside.
Nothing Fluffy Or Heavy In Bouncer With Baby
When you put your newborn in a bouncer, you need to be sure that the bouncer is firm enough to keep your newborn from slumping over and dropping their chin to their chest.
Top Rated Products for Baby
Your newborn’s head and neck are heavy and baby has not developed the muscles to keep his/her head erect yet. It’s crucial that your baby’s airway is not compromised while he/she is sitting in the baby bouncer.
Soft blankets behind baby or stuffed toys should not be allowed in the bouncer. The only toys that should be permitted are the toy bars that suspend over baby and attach to the bouncer.
Keep The Bouncer On A Hard Flat Surface
To keep your newborn safe in their baby bouncer, always put your bouncer on a firm surface, the floor being the safest place. Smothering deaths have occurred when bouncers have flipped over due to being on a soft surface like a bed or a couch.
Don’t Put Your Bouncer On An Elevated Surface.
Unless strictly monitored, you should not put a bouncer on an elevated surface like a table or countertop due to the risk of falling. THOUSANDS of ER visits in the past decade have been attributed to babies falling from a table or countertop while in their bouncers.
Limit Time Spent in Bouncer.
The American Association of Pediatrics suggest that babies should not spend too much time in a bouncer due to the risk of developing flattened heard syndrome. So don’t leave your baby in their bouncer for more than 20 to 30 minutes at time. Should your baby start to develop a flat spot on the back or side of his/her head, further reduce the time spent in the bouncer. Consider more tummy or cuddle time instead.
Follow The Manufacturer’s Safety Recommendations
Each manufacturer will list weight and usage recommendation, and these should be strictly followed. According to Consumer Reports, nearly 2,000 infants are injured each year in bouncer seats due to drops, falls, damaged bouncers and improper use. So, use your bouncer as instructed and keep your little one safe.
Baby Bouncers can be a godsend for new moms when they want a safe place to put baby to enjoy a few minutes of free time. Not only are they good for mommy and daddy, they can be great for baby too.
Then encourage socialization, interaction, play, movement and muscle development. If you follow basic guidelines, your newborn should be perfectly safe and happy in their baby bouncer.
But it’s important to follow all precautions in order to keep your newborn safe and happy in their bouncer.
Baby Bouncers – FAQ Questions
Is Baby Bjorn Bouncer Safe for Newborns?
Baby Bjorn Bouncers are considered to be one of the safest bouncers for newborns and infants.
Baby Bjorn has long been a trusted name in baby care products, and this bouncer from them ticks all of the boxes for a safe, neutral, and soft baby bouncer.
When To Stop Using A Baby Bouncer?
You should not use your bouncer when your baby can sit up by themselves. If their muscles are developed enough to sit up, they can easily topple in their bouncing while trying to do so. Unless your bouncer converts to a toddler seat, stop using it when you baby can sit up.
Are Baby Bouncers Good Or Bad?
Like many things, a baby bouncer is a tool to be used for a specific purpose. That purpose is to keep your baby safe and occupied for a few minutes, leaving you to accomplish specific tasks or just take a break.
To use it outside its specific utility can not only be bad for baby, but outright dangerous. Common sense should tell that as long as you are diligent while using a bouncer for its assigned purpose, it can be a very good tool for a parent.
While bouncers not designed for parking your baby for extended amounts of time, they can be good for letting your baby move and help develop strength.
Are Baby Bouncers Necessary?
While there is some baby gear that is absolutely essential (like a car seat, or a crib) baby bouncers are not. Having said that, I do believe they can be beneficial if you have the means to buy one and the space to put it.
You can certainly put them in a playpen or on a blanket in a protected area but sitting in a bouncer helps them see their surrounding better than when they are lying down. And if they are particularly wiggly, a bouncer will hold your baby securely in place while they kick and stretch.
Having a portable bouncer can make traveling or visiting friends or family easier due to their lightweight and smaller size.