A baby can go in a baby bouncer at around the age of 3-6 months.
Bouncers have become popular because the baby can be left in the bouncer when the parents want some time for themselves. The 15-20 minutes they get while their baby is in the bouncer can give them the time to shower, have meals, or relax between the feedings. However, you should make sure someone is near to the baby while they do any activity.
Parents may use bouncers to calm and soothe their babies with due precautions.
Are bouncers safe for babies?
Baby bouncers have angled seats with a stationary frame. They include restraints or straps to secure the baby in the seat. The seat bounces as the baby moves. Some bouncers are powered via a battery or connected to a power supply, which makes the seats bounce for the baby. There are different kinds of models of baby bouncers; some have built-in vibration, toy bars, and music too. Because the seats of the baby bouncers are lightweight, they can be easily moved from one place to another place in the house.
Pediatricians recommend against the use of bouncers because the inclined position can result in sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS (death of the infants due to suffocation). The suffocation is due to the wrong placement of the baby in the bouncer or securing the straps very tightly so much that it suffocates the baby. If you are not sure, ask your pediatrician for safety tips.
When used properly and under supervision, bouncers are generally safe for babies. The seat usually extends beyond their heads and there is full neck support. It is important to read the instructions that come with the bouncer and supervise your baby while they are in the bouncer. Some of the instructions include:
- Make sure you keep your babies in the bouncers only for short periods (not for more than 20 minutes at a time) during the day. You should always be near your baby during these times.
- Ensure that the straps are snug; they should not be so tight that they interfere with the baby’s breathing.
- Do not let your baby sleep in the bouncer at night or when you are asleep during the day.
- Do not swing the baby with the bouncer or carry the bouncer with the baby in it for long distances.
- Do not keep the bouncer on a higher surface, such as a table, counter, or couch.
What is the right age to stop using baby bouncers?
The general rule is to stop using a bouncer for your baby when the baby starts sitting on its own and when the weight of the baby becomes more than that of the bouncer.
If the baby starts sitting on the bouncer on its own (without any assistance) and its weight increases beyond 20 pounds or the weight limits of the bouncer, it can shake the bouncer. Most of the bouncers come with a weight limit of 25-30 pounds. The risk of the baby falling from the bouncer or getting injured can increase if the baby tips the bouncer seat. This can also happen when the baby tries to leave their seat. The typical period when a baby can sit without any help is 6-7 months. However, some babies can start sitting up on their own as early as 5 months.
Most pediatricians recommend the crib as the best place for your baby to rest. The crib should have a firm mattress and be free from any loose bedding. The baby should be sleeping on its back on the crib.
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Korioth, T. "Health Alerts: Infant Sleep Positioners, Bouncer Seats, and More." American Academy of Pediatrics. Oct. 17, 2017. <https://www.aappublications.org/news/2017/10/17/HealthAlerts101717>.
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