Bouncers like the BabyBjorn and Baby Swings are commonly used by parents for newborns. But are they worth it? I looked into the pros and cons and how they should properly used, and which brand is the best. This research was done in August 2022, so hopefully it can give you some recent information about baby bouncers!
Are They Safe?
Bouncers and swings are NOT safe for babies to sleep in, but they are very safe for other situations! When you can be right next to your newborn baby, you need to put them in a “container” so that you can confident they are safe. (Containers are places where your baby is strapped in or positioned in a stable position like a car seat or high chair (do not use high chairs for new borns)). This includes a bouncer or swinger where you can strap them in which gives you the confidence that the baby is being care for. You should not just leave the baby on a lounger or the floor without high amounts of supervision, so a bouncer or swing can add a lot to the safety of the baby in situations where you need to be hands off for a little bit but still keep the baby with maximum safety.
However, the bouncer is not good for the baby to sleep in. Sleeping in a non flat position can result in SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), or cause other problems with the newborn baby! Hence, you should make sure to only keep the baby in the bouncer when they are awake. If they fall asleep, the AAP implores that you take the baby out and put them in a bassinet or crib to sleep!
Are they good for development?
Bouncers and swings are not good for development! Studies have shown that excessive use of a bouncer makes babies score lower in motor development – meaning that they are worse developed physically! In general, studies show that keeping your baby in strapped in containers constantly will weaken their motor development. It may reduce the time they are using their hips or other parts of their body and hence make them developer slower.
However, bouncers or swings may still be viable to use in short bursts, particularly when you need to take a quick shower or bathroom break, or are preparing a snack. Putting a baby in the bouncer for a couple minutes a day is unlikely to hinder their growth, especially if you are doing other things right like doing tummy time. In the end, you have to decide what will be practical for you – it is not good for the baby to have a mom that can’t even go to the bathroom!
Undeniably the most recommended bouncer in the market is the BabyBjorn. Everywhere I look, people are raving about it and how much their babies like it – on reddit, twitter, blogs, and friends! The only con of the BabyBjorn is that it is fairly expensive. As noted above, the BabyBjorn is not intended for long usage and the baby can not sleep in it, so is it worth it to buy a BabyBjorn if you are only going to use it less than an hour a day?
The fact of the matter is, you need somewhere to put the baby when you need to go about your business. So the option is to have a bouncer, or to put them into the crib or bassinet. Depending on your home, it is much better to have a mobile option like a bouncer and it is also good for the baby’s development to be in different environments. You may also worry about the time to swaddle the baby. So, having a bouncer can be very worth it!
However, is the BabyBjorn the best? Another highly reviewed bouncer is the Fisher-Price Baby Bouncer which comes in at less than half the price of the BabyBjorn! This is actually more like a swing, but it serves a similar purpose, but they are very different! The fisher-price does not put a baby in an as upright position, which is valued in the BabyBjorn because then babies can have a different view of the world. It also helps the baby spit up and babies are much more likely to love it. BabyBjorn can be used for a very long time, while most bouncers may become too small for a baby before they can fully walk.
Bouncers are not a perfect solution to all of your baby problems, but they can fit in a balancer lifestyle for a newborn baby. You can use a bouncer occasionally when you simply need to be hands off but the baby is awake and you want them to be able to see the world from a different perspective.
The BabyBjorn is widely regarded as the best, but a budget option or buying one used is also an option in order to save money. The main benefits are that the baby is sure to love it and that it has secondary benefits in terms of the baby’s development. But if you are using the bouncer only a few times a day, is it worth it to shell out the money? That all depends on your financial budget and what other products you think are worth spending money on! So if you still aren’t sure, research some more products and see what things you think are important to spend your budget on. For me, the BabyBjorn is going on the list!
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Worried about a baby’s development? Black and White learning cards can help with that a lot, check out an article on them here: