Baby Bouncer: The Complete Buying Guide For Parents
We know it can be difficult to put your newborn down when they first come home — cuddling is so much fun! Sometimes, though, you need a safe place to lay your little one when it’s time to take a shower, prepare a bottle, or grab a bite to eat. A baby bouncer is the ideal solution!
In this complete buying guide, we give you all the information you need to choose the best baby bouncer for you and your newborn.
What Is A Baby Bouncer?
At its most basic, a baby bouncer is a lightweight metal frame covered by soft, padded fabric to form a chair that supports your little one’s entire body.
From there, many baby bouncers (a.k.a. bouncy seats, bouncy chairs, and several other names) boast additional features, including:
- Foldable frame for easy travel
- Mesh and other breathable fabrics
Regardless of the features, all baby bouncers work the same way: when your little one moves, kicks, and wiggles, the seat bounces up and down.
Before you dismiss this as too dangerous, rest assured that the bouncer never leaves the ground (and that your baby is strapped into it!).
This small bouncing motion is similar to one you might make when your little one is in your arms and you’re trying to soothe them. That’s the beauty of a baby bouncer: it’s both fun and comforting for your newborn.
The Difference Between A Baby Bouncer, Jumper, And Swing
Because baby bouncers go by so many different names, new parents often confuse these products with others, like the baby jumper and the baby swing.
Here’s the fundamental difference between a bouncer, jumper, and baby swing.
Baby bouncer: Bounces up and down slightly in response to your baby’s kicks and wiggles. Your baby is in a reclining position.
Baby jumper: Bounces up and down when your baby kicks off the floor. Baby jumpers are usually suspended from a door frame, a self-standing frame, or an “activity center” that sits on the floor. Your little one is in an upright position.
Baby swing: Swings back and forth — usually in response to a small motor — without effort from your little one. Your baby can be in a reclining or upright position.
By far, the simplest of the three is the bouncer, but each option serves its own unique purpose.
Why You Need A Baby Bouncer
As we touched on at the beginning of this article, a baby bouncer provides a safe place to put your baby when you need two hands to get the job done or you can’t take your little one with you.
After a few days at home with a newborn, you’ll find that taking a shower, going to the bathroom by yourself, preparing food, and even just having your hands free is a rare luxury that you didn’t know you’d miss until it was gone.
The bouncer gives you the freedom you need to relax for a few minutes, tidy up your living space, read a book, or just interact with your newborn in a different way and from a different perspective.
But baby bouncers are about more than just giving you two hands to work with again. They’re also fun and relaxing for your little one. The repetitive bouncing motion makes many a baby smile with delight.
It also encourages fine motor control — the kicks and wiggles they need to get the baby bouncer going — and, when they’ve mastered the bouncy movement, it provides a source of entertainment and exercise.
At the same time, the repetitive bouncing motion can also soothe a tired and fussy newborn into a deep, satisfying sleep.
Those two benefits alone — the entertainment and the relaxation — are well worth having a baby bouncer available for your newborn just in case you need it.
We’re confident that both you and your little one will come to love whichever bouncer you choose.
Baby Bouncer Buying Guide
Baby bouncers come with three basic, non-optional features and one optional feature. These features are:
- Frame (non-optional)
- Seat (non-optional)
- Safety (non-optional)
- Entertainment (optional)
We’ll discuss the details of these features in the next few sections so you know what to look for when purchasing a baby bouncer.
Width — A good baby bouncer has a wide base. The larger the footprint the more stable the bouncer will be, and the harder it will be for the whole thing to fall over or turn on its side.
That said, a frame that’s too wide and sticks out too much past the baby seat itself is a tripping hazard for you and others.
Material — Always avoid products with frames made of plastic. Even the hardest plastic will weaken and eventually break with repetitive use.
Instead, choose a baby bouncer with a frame made of metal. A metal frame is much sturdier, safer, and will last much longer than more generic, plastic frames.
Most name-brand manufacturers build their bouncers around a metal frame. But just in case, always put the safety of your baby first over every other consideration.
Bounciness — The frame of the baby bouncer determines how much bounciness it will offer and how much vibration it will absorb.
Every product will have a slightly different bounce to it. Some will be only slightly bouncy and will take a lot of effort to get going.
Others will be extremely bouncy and will take very little effort to get going. Still other products will have bounces in-between those two extremes.
Choose the amount of bounce that is right for you and your little one.
Material — When shopping for a baby bouncer, make sure the seat material is soft, comfortable, and breathable.
It’s also helpful to watch out for seams near where your baby sits that can rub and irritate your little one.
Incline — The incline of the baby bouncer has a lot to do with the frame, but the construction of the seat also plays an important role.
In general, newborns tend to be more comfortable in a reclined position (closer to parallel with the floor). Older babies tend to be more comfortable in an upright position.
Some baby bouncers allow you to adjust the position for different levels of recline.
Washability — As well as being soft and comfortable, the seat of your baby bouncer should be easy to clean.
Accidents like leaky diapers and messy burps do happen, after all! Being able to remove the seat material and throw it in the laundry will make maintaining your baby bouncer so much easier.
Restraint Straps — The restraint straps on your baby bouncer — don’t buy a product without them! — should be strong, durable, and comfortable.
Many new parents forget about this last variable and their little one winds up disliking the bouncer because the straps pinch, twist, and are generally uncomfortable.
Weight Limit — Make sure you read the label carefully and determine the weight limit recommended by the manufacturer.
Baby bouncers with higher weight limits will last longer — not because they’re made better, but because you’ll be able to use them longer as your baby grows.
For most babies, bouncing is entertainment enough, but some brands go even further to offer models with extras that can keep your little one occupied and amused while they’re bouncing.
Toy Bar — Much like adding a mobile to your newborn’s crib, a toy bar provides visual stimulation for your little one.
In some brands, the toy bar is permanently attached, while in other brands, the toy bar is removable. Choose the one that’s right for you.
Lights — Some toy bars include lights to draw and keep your baby’s attention.
These can be entertaining for a while, but make sure you can turn them off when your baby wants to sleep.
Music And Sound — More advanced baby bouncers will also include music and sound either in the toy bar or in the seat itself. The bouncer may play lullabies, familiar kid’s songs, white noise, nature sounds, or all four.
If you choose a model with music and sound, make sure it plays a variety so you can switch it up to keep your baby happy.
Like the lights, it’s also vital that you are able to turn the noise off when your baby wants to sleep.
Choose The Best For Your Newborn
Choosing the right baby bouncer for your newborn is mostly a personal choice — it comes down to the one you like best and think your baby would enjoy the most.
That all changes when it’s time to buy a crib mattress. The best is no longer a personal choice but becomes a matter of safety and comfort.
Newton Baby takes the safe and comfortable principle to heart in everything we do because we want what’s best for your baby. We’ve designed all of our products — including our mattresses, mattress pads, and crib sheets — to be 100 percent breathable.
In fact, thanks to our unique Wovenaire® and Breathe-Thru technologies, our breathable mattresses are 90 percent air by volume.
That means if your little one rolls over in the middle of the night, they’ll still be able to breathe. That’s peace of mind you can’t get anywhere else!
And because all Newton Baby mattresses are made of safe, food-grade polymer, they’re also:
- Fully washable
- 100 percent recyclable
- Free of toxic fire retardants
All of this so that your newborn will have the safest, healthiest, and best sleep possible!