A bouncer can be an invaluable tool in the parenting arsenal. With a bouncer, you don’t have to lug your baby around, you can keep him safe while you complete tasks and chores around the house, and it’s small enough that it doesn’t take up much space in your home. Of course, even with the best of intentions, you can make mistakes while using a bouncer that could lead to severe injury or death of your baby.
Do your research
Before purchasing a bouncer for your baby, do your research to find out the best bouncer for newborns. Pay close attention to reviews and recommendations by other childcare professionals, and read the fine print. Doing your research will allow you to choose a safe option that meets all safety standards while still being comfortable for your child.
Choose the right bouncer
There are many different types of bouncers on the market, so it can take a lot of work to know which is right for you. The easiest way to figure this out is by answering the following questions:
- What do you need? (How often will you use it? Do you want it to rock?)
- How much room does the bouncer require?
- How big is your budget?
Place the bouncer in the right spot
Don’t place the bouncer next to something baby could get into trouble with. If you want to put it by the television, be sure there are no cords for baby to pull down or reach up and grab. Be sure to place it reasonably close to an open door, window, or stairwell, which can lead to falls. Keep the air circulating by changing your position periodically so the air stays energized. It’s best for baby’s health if there is some space between him and the bouncer as he grows older so that he has room to bounce around on his own.
Use the bouncer correctly
Here are some things to keep in mind each time you use the bouncer:
- Place the bouncer on a flat surface with an even floor that is not carpeted or covered by any soft material.
- Ensure that the seat back is at an angle, so baby can lean against it while sitting upright.
- The safety straps should be tightly fastened to ensure that baby cannot slip out of them, but they should not be so tight as to restrict breathing or circulation. On most bouncers, this means adjusting the straps so they are just above the baby’s shoulders and below their armpits.
- Make sure there is nothing within reach of your child that could cause choking or injury, such as small objects (toys, blankets) or dangling cords from electronic devices like phones and televisions nearby.
- Use no more than 2 hours at a time.
Check the bouncer regularly
Every few days, check the bouncer for anything that may pose a choking hazard. A good rule of thumb is to take out anything that is small enough to fit inside an empty toilet paper roll. Some everyday items to remove are plastic rattles, small stuffed animals, toys with long strings or ribbons, and teething rings. The bouncer should also be removed from the doorway if someone has access to it but does not have constant supervision over baby.
Don’t leave baby unattended
A bouncer is an excellent investment for any new parent, but it can be difficult to know what to do with the baby once they no longer enjoy being held as much. To keep baby safe, you should never leave them unattended. Keeping the baby in sight when using the bouncer is also important. If you need to put them down for any reason, make sure that there is nothing around that could pose a choking hazard before doing so.
Don’t use the bouncer as a crib
A bouncer is not a crib. It should never be used as one, even for the shortest amount of time. Babies who sleep on their backs need to be placed on their backs when they’re using a bouncer, so they don’t end up choking or suffocating while they sleep. In addition, babies who are too young to use the bouncer should never be left unattended inside it–even if it has a lock that prevents it from bouncing around. Always remember that bouncers are designed to help keep baby entertained while you get your work done around the house, not as an alternative to taking care of them at all times.
Don’t use the bouncer on an uneven surface
Bouncers are great for keeping baby entertained, but make sure you use them on a flat surface. If the ground is uneven, it can cause the bouncer to rock back and forth, which can risk your baby’s safety. Also, don’t let anyone else hold your baby while they’re in the bouncer. Keep an eye on them if they try to climb out or unclip themselves from the straps. And always make sure that the straps are securely fastened before bouncing – and then only bounce gently so as not to shake your little one around too much!
Keeping baby safe is one of the most important tasks for parents. Bouncers are a great way to keep your baby entertained, but there are some things you should know before buying one. Check out these dos and don’ts to make sure you’re getting the best bouncer for your baby.