How do you play with a baby who cannot do much more than wiggle? By sitting your little one down in the best baby bouncer you can find, of course. With each and every wiggle your baby is rewarded with a fun bouncing sensation.
There aren’t many things cuter than a baby bouncing back and forth in his very own baby bouncer. Seriously, that grin is what makes all the hours of shoveling through poop, and the sleepless nights, worth it.
The problem is, there are so many different baby bouncers on the market that it can be difficult to determine which one is best for your baby. This guide will teach you everything there is to know about baby bouncers and how to find the best baby bouncer seat for your needs. By the time you finish reading this guide, you will be a baby bouncer expert! Pretty cool, huh?
Baby Bouncer Buyer Guide
Some of the best baby bouncers examined
Below I will examine some of the best baby bouncers available. Not only are these bouncers incredibly effective at entertaining your baby but are also adored by moms the world over.
The best basic baby bouncer
- Excellent support
- Soft fabric
- Very portable
- Easy to clean
Sometimes the simplest things really are the best. No annoying music. No flashing likes. Just comfort and bouncing. This is one of the few bouncers on the market that can be used up to 2 years old! The long use period makes the BabyBjorn bouncer an excellent investment.
Because bouncing time can quickly turn to sleeping time, the BabyBjorn baby bouncer comes with three adjustable seat settings. From upright to laying down, your baby will be kept comfortable.
Like to travel? This baby bouncer folds down flat allowing you to take it with you on the go.
The fabric is available in a few different options. With each fabric option, there are also different color options as well.
FABRIC IS AVAILABLE IN 3 DIFFERENT OPTIONS
- 100% cotton (five different colors available)
- Mesh (available in black or white)
- Organic (black/brown only)
The mesh baby bouncer is perfect for hot weather as it allows air to circulate around your baby keeping him cool. The organic option is great for those of you who worry about what nasty chemicals your baby comes into contact with. In fact; this is one of the very few organic baby bouncers on the market.
Whatever fabric you choose, the seat is easily removed and machine washable. The fabric seat itself actually molds itself to your baby’s body; evenly distributing his weight. The result is an incredibly supportive bouncer seat without all the padding. A soft and comfortable harness keeps your baby secure while using the bouncer.
In terms of quality, this baby bouncer stands leagues and bounds ahead of the rest. If you want the quality but do not like the lack of toys then BabyBjorn also offers a toy bar attachment, sold separately. Unlike other bouncer toys which are usually made of plastic, these are made of solid wood.
If you are looking for a fantastic baby bouncer without all the unnecessary distractions then look no further.
The best activity bouncer
- Removable body insert
- Songs and nature sounds
- Machine washable fabric
- Calming vibrations
The idea behind an activity bouncer is to capture your baby’s attention and keep him entertained. The Fisher Price Deluxe Bouncer has so many fun things for your baby to look at and touch that they will be entertained for hours.
So what makes the Fisher Price Deluxe baby bouncer so entertaining? You can choose different settings for vibration, music, and sounds for your baby.
The seat itself is super comfy and has a vibration setting to soothe your baby. The seat pad is very comfortable and can be easily be removed and is machine washable.
Fisher Price is famous for its interactive toy line. If you are looking for a baby bouncer with as many things to entertain your baby as possible then you simply can’t do any better than this Fisher Price baby bouncer.
The best baby bouncer for sleeping
- Built-in blanket
- 3 developmental hanging toys
- Soothing vibration and lullabies
- 3-point safety harness and non-slip feet to keep baby secure
If you use baby bouncers as a sleeping aid then you will absolutely love the Cuddle Bug Bouncer by Sassy. The entire baby bouncer resembles a bug. The wings of the bug are not just for show. When your baby falls asleep you can use them like a blanket. Seriously, check it out!
Support and Comfort
The blanket is especially helpful for fidgety newborns who may not immediately take to the baby bouncer. The blanket can be tucked tightly to simulate a swaddle, helping to calm your baby. Speaking of newborns, a removable head support will keep your newborn comfortable until he gains control of his neck.
The adjustable padded harness, cradling seat and head support all designed with comfort in mind. You will be pleased to note that the head support can both be machine washed.
A toy bar features 3 removable toys (a target, a bee and a mirror). The toy bar can be completely removed and used separately if you so desire, or if you just don’t want your baby overstimulated as he falls asleep.
Located at the front of the baby bouncer are two buttons. One controls the vibrating seat (with three adjustable vibrating levels). Pushing the other button plays one of 10 soothing lullabies.
If bouncing soothes your baby to sleep then this is one feature packed baby bouncer you can’t go past.
The best cheap baby bouncer
- Removable toy bar
- Machine washable pad
- Soothing vibrations
- Non-slip feet
This baby bouncer actually features a vibrating setting. That’s right, a feature that is usually found on the more expensive of bouncers has made its way into this budget version. Just be mindful that the vibrating setting does use batteries which can add to the overall cost.
The Bright Starts Playful Pinwheel Bouncer gets its name from the toys on the toy bar. As you may have guessed, all the toys can spin. The toys consist of a mirror a spinning lion and elephant. The toy bar can even be removed with one hand, great when you are balancing your baby in the other and trying to position him in the bouncer.
If you are looking for a cheap baby bouncer that won’t send you broke then the Bright Starts Playful Pinwheel Bouncer is definitely the pick of the bunch. I had to do a double take when I saw the price. It is amazing just how many features are packed into this baby bouncer for how inexpensive it is.
The seat consists of an adjustable three 3-point harness and a removable seating pad. As you would expect the seating pad is machine washable.
If you are on a budget but don’t want to spend your life savings on a baby bouncer then the Bright Starts baby bouncer is hands down the best value for money. You can find the price and more reviews here.
What is a baby bouncer?
In it’s simplest form, a baby bouncer consists of a metal frame covered by a soft piece of padded fabric. Your baby lays on the piece of fabric. Each time your baby moves and wiggles, the baby bouncer seat will bounce up and down.
Baby bouncers are also commonly known as baby bouncy seats or baby bouncer chairs.
Why do you need a baby bouncer?
A baby bouncer is an excellent way to both soothe and entertain your baby. This can be invaluable if you have a fussy baby. In addition to the baby entertainment benefits, a bouncer allows you to have a rare moment with both hands-free. Do some chores, read a book, or simply scratch yourself. Having free hands as a new mom is priceless. Keep in mind that a baby bouncer is not the same thing as a baby swing (or a baby cradle, or a baby rocker, for that matter). Bouncers and rockers are different. Also, whether you want a baby swing or bouncer will depend on the need you want to fill.
What is the difference between bouncers, jumpers, and swings?
To put it simply:
- Baby bouncers – Bounce according to your baby’s wiggly movements in the seat.
- Baby jumpers – Bounce up and down when your baby kicks off the floor.
- Baby swings – Swing back and forth without the need of your baby to move.
Okay, with the basic questions answered it’s time to jump into the meat of the guide…
Different types of baby bouncers
Unlike other baby products, baby bouncers are not very complicated. In fact, there are only two different types of baby bouncers. Let’s take a closer look and explore the pros and cons of each type.
Basic baby bouncer
A baby bouncer in its most simple form. A basic baby bouncer has no bells or whistles. It does one thing and it does it well; allows your baby to bounce. If you are worried about over-stimulating your baby then you should definitely consider a basic baby bouncer.
Most basic baby bouncers are generally more bouncy than their feature-packed sibling, allowing your baby to bounce with minimal effort.
Basic baby bouncers are very portable. The lack of features allows them to easily be folded up and either placed into storage or taken with you when traveling.
One of the downsides of basic baby bouncers is that they generally only come in bland styles. The fabric often only consists of one or two basic colors; no fun patterns or themes here.
Baby activity bouncer
While a baby bouncer may sound good enough, what happens when your baby gets bored of bouncing? Activity bouncers come with all manner of different features, from toy rails and mobiles to vibrating seats and musical melodies to keep your baby entertained.
Whereas activity bouncers can keep your baby amused for a longer period of time, the extra weight from all the features can make it slightly less bouncy than a basic baby bouncer.
Another downside to activity bouncers is that they are not as portable as basic bouncers. The sheer amount of features makes activity bouncers quite bulky. Some activity bouncers do not fold down at all!
So what is the best type of baby bouncer?
Ultimately it comes down to how you personally want to use the baby bouncer. Do you want a lightweight bouncer that is easy to transport? A basic baby bouncer is just what you need. Does it need to be an adjustable baby bouncer? Do you want a complete entertainment solution or your baby? An activity bouncer will keep your baby amused long after the bouncing has stopped.
If you consider how you will use the baby bouncer, you are much less likely to choose the wrong type of baby bouncer.
Which baby bouncer is best for a newborn?
All commercial baby bouncers come with age guidelines telling you how old your child should be to use the unit. Most baby bouncers are designed for pre-sitting children, and can be used between birth up to 25 lbs., or until the baby can sit up unassisted. It should be safe to put your newborn in a baby bouncer seat for short periods, but they are most effective for infants between three months and six months of age. The rocking motion of a bouncy seat may have a tendency to lull your baby to sleep. Always be sure that your baby’s airways are clear and the child’s head is properly supported.
Buyers guide: Baby bouncer features
When shopping for a baby bouncer it is important that you take the features into consideration. Comparing the features available will help narrow down the perfect bouncer for your baby. Below are some of the most important features found on baby swings.
Your baby will spend his whole time in the baby bouncer seat. Consider the following seat features.
- Seat Material – Your baby will be much more likely to take to a baby bouncer if he finds it comfortable. The material of the seat should be soft to touch and contain no coarse seams that could irritate your baby’s skin.
- Padding – While some baby bouncer seats are little more than material stretched out over the frame, others are heavily padded. A padded seat can stifle vibration and help keep your baby comfortable as he bounces away. Avoid seats with too much padding as they may not provide your baby with proper support.
- Easy to clean – A seat that is easy to clean will make your life much easier the next time your baby makes (I’m looking at you, leaking diaper). Some baby bouncers come with covers that can be machine washed while others are made from a waterproof fabric that is easy to wipe down.
- Head support – Newborns are unable to support their head and neck on their own, and parents should take this into account. A cushioned head support will protect your newborn’s neck while in the bouncer. Head supports are removable, allowing your baby to continue using the bouncer as he grows.
- Seat incline – Some baby bouncer seats that can be adjusted to different reclining positions. Newborns are generally more comfortable in a reclined position while older babies often prefer to sit upright.
A bouncer frame keeps the seat supported off the ground. Let’s explore the different features of the frame.
- The bounce – The frame also helps determine a crucial but often overlooked feature of a baby bouncer: the bounce. This is what defines the baby bouncer vs a baby rocker. How well does it bounce? How much vibration does it absorb? Depending on the frame’s design, the bounce can range from slightly bouncy (like a spring mattress) to super bouncy (springing back and forth with the slightest movement).
- Wide base – You don’t want your baby bouncer to topple with your baby inside. Parents know the safety of the child always comes first! The wider the base of support the harder it will be to knock the baby bouncer over. On the flip side, a baby bouncer with a frame that sticks out too far may become an annoying trip hazard to you and others.
- Portability – When not in use, some baby bouncers can be folded up into a smaller size. If you like to keep your baby’s gear in storage when not in use or are have a small home then being able to fold up your baby bouncer is an important feature.
- Material – Brand name manufacturers will generally use metal in the baby bouncers frame. You may come across generic imported baby bouncers from China that use plastic for the frame. Avoid these. Metal frames are much sturdier and will ensure your baby bouncer outlasts your baby’s use. Machine washable fabric is always a plus, where available.
- Non-slip – The last thing you want is for your baby’s bouncer to slowly creep across the floor with each and every bounce. Slipping can be caused by too much vibration in the unit, especially on smoother floors like wood or tile. To combat slipping, many baby bouncers have non-slip pads on the underside of the base.
The following features will keep your baby safe while he is bouncing up and down.
- Secure straps – Straps form the safety harness that holds your baby in place while he is bouncing up and down. Look for straps that are not only strong and durable, but comfortable as well. You don’t want your baby rejecting the bouncer because of discomfort.
- Weight limit – Each baby bouncer will come with a maximum weight capacity that has been determined by the manufacturer. Some baby bouncers can hold a heavier baby than others. You will want to take the weight limit into consideration as a higher weight limit generally goes hand in hand with a baby bouncer that takes longer to outgrow.
- Sun shade – If your baby bouncer sits near a window or outside then you may want to consider buying one with a sunshade. A sunshade will help prevent your baby’s delicate skin from burning while bouncing.
In addition to providing a comforting bouncing motion, modern baby bouncers also come with additional features to keep your baby entertained while bouncing.
- Toy bar – Many baby bouncers come with a toy bar (an arch that sits over your baby that toys hang off). While most toy bars come with their own toys, others have space for you to hang your baby’s favorite rattles or teethers. Be mindful that some toy rails are permanently attached to the baby bouncer frame while others can be removed.
- Music and sounds – Some baby bouncers have a built-in sound machine that can play white noise, music, and sounds. An especially popular option is nature sounds (by “nature sounds” we mean running water, ocean waves, gentle rain, etc.). While these sounds can be very soothing to a baby, hearing the same sound on repeat could drive you crazy. Choose a baby bouncer that has a wide variety of sounds and songs. Your sanity depends on it.
- Lights – A feature usually reserved for premium baby bouncers is lights that flash in different patterns to keep your baby entertained. While your baby may love the flashing lights in front of him; you may find that the lights are more stimulating than soothing which makes them unsuitable to be used before nap time. If you do want a baby bouncer with lights, choose one where the lights can be turned off independently of all other features.
- Vibrating seat – Found in some of the premium baby bouncer models is a vibrating seat. In addition to the bouncing motion, the seat gently vibrates, providing yet another comforting motion to your baby. Vibrating bouncers are great for newborns who do not yet know how to bounce. If your bouncer includes a vibration option, you’ll want it to have a comfortable seat pad for your child as well.
- Theme – If you have a baby boy you are probably not going to choose a bright pink baby bouncer. On the flip side, a car and truck themed baby bouncer may not interest your baby girl whatsoever. Parents know their own babies better than anyone else, so they should try to choose a bouncy seat theme that will help enhance the baby’s enjoyment in the bouncer.
Baby bouncer safety tips
Although baby swings are safe when used correctly, there are still some safety precautions that you should follow.
Always follow age, weight and height guides
Baby bouncers come with their own recommended age, weight and height limits. Continuing to sue the baby bouncer when your baby exceeds these limits may result in injury.
Watch the slip
The rocking motion and vibration of your baby bouncing up and down can actually cause the bouncer to slip and slide across the floor. This is particularly a problem with lighter, more portable baby bouncers on slippery floors such as timber or tile. If you notice your baby’s bouncer starts to move across the floor, immediately discontinue use. A non-slip mat placed underneath the baby bouncer will usually solve the problem.
Set the baby bouncer up in a safe area
As a parent, it is important that you choose a safe area to set up your baby bouncer. The area should be flat and free from pets that may get excited by your baby’s bouncing motion and jump on your baby.
Final Word: Your Best Baby Bouncer
A baby bouncer can be a safe and happy place for your little one, as long as you fully understand the needs of your child at the different stages of your baby’s development. There are plenty of options out there for an informed parent, but by using this guide to learn the facts, you should have no trouble choosing the best baby bouncer chair to fit your situation.
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