One thing that parents (especially “repeat” parents!) will quickly find out is that all babies are not created alike.
As their bodies develop, so do their personalities and along with that come a host of different preferences. Meeting those individual needs can often be a daunting challenge.
“Baby No. 1,” for instance, might have never missed a nap and was easily put to sleep with just a short dose of good old-fashioned rocking in the arms.
Baby No. 2 was a bit more difficult to soothe and the solution for him or her turned out to be one of the many wonderful mechanical, motor-powered swings that pepper the baby-products marketplace.
But when Baby No. 3 arrives, nothing – even the best and most adjustable swing – seems to work.
That’s where industrial ingenuity comes to the rescue in the form of baby bouncers, also sometimes called “bouncy seats.” These seats are very simple and extremely versatile. Even the most elaborate ones won’t cost much and they typically require little or no assembly. They can truly be a godsend, especially for newborns, when it’s time for mom or dad to eat, take a shower or a break. The seat can be carried along wherever they go.
These products aren’t quite swings and aren’t quite jumpers. But they undeniably occupy an increasingly important niche and offer parents a welcome alternative. Of special note is that they tend to be “powered” by the occupant him or herself so there’s no need to worry about batteries or electric power – at least not for the bounce effect.
One issue is that there are so many bouncers available and it can understandably be difficult to find the “right one.” That’s where we come in – we’ve looked at an array of such products and settled on a list of five bouncing seats that are absolutely worthy of being put on any shopping list.
With so many choose from, we’ve narrowed down your choices to a workable number.
With their sturdy frames, all of those on our list meet or exceed minimum safety requirements. At the same time, of course, some basic safety precautions should be religiously followed in the home.
A very important one is this: Don’t place the bouncer on any elevated surface when the baby’s in it and never put it somewhere like on a bed or piece of upholstered furniture. Babies can be surprisingly active, and his or her sudden movement could tip it off its perch and onto the floor.
And, regardless of where you put it, don’t leave the baby unattended or unobserved. In addition, as with any jumper, swing or similar product, don’t let it be an end in itself. There is (and never will be) a worthy substitute for good old-fashioned hands-on cuddling, soothing and coddling.
All that being said, every one of these selections is well worth checking out:
Babybjorn Bouncer Balance Soft
[image altimg=”BABYBJORN Bouncer Balance Soft” imgid=”815bi%2BkxMLL”]
The Babybjorn has been carefully designed with ergonomics in mind which means that it’s as safe, effective, and comfy as any product of this type that you can buy.
As with similar products, the tyke does all the work to get the seat to bounce and rock. This is extremely important for muscular and other phases of a baby’s development. The more effort and energy he puts into it, the greater the effect.
Design-wise, the product’s head and body support are highly rated by actual consumers and it adjusts in a total of four positions so the occupant can either rest and sleep or play and frolic in (hopefully!) preparation for sleep.
This device easily folds completely flat for storage and road trips.
It also does double duty as a plain, non-bouncing chair.
It is designed to safely and comfortably accommodate babies and infants weighing up to 20 pounds.
Tiny Love Take Along Baby Bouncer
[image altimg=”Tiny Love Take Along Baby Bouncer” imgid=”41G4RNQRQrL”]
Weighing in at less than 4 pounds, this budget-priced entry is as portable and easy to carry as they come. (Also, there’s also no assembly required at all.)
It’s an ideal device for safely occupying and constraining a new baby while mom or dad do chores and the little one can choose to go to sleep or gently bounce at will, depending, naturally, on mood.
It’s fairly utilitarian in looks but at the same time manages to be quite attractive. It’s available in a variety of colors and its soft, polyester fabric is easy and quick to spot clean.
It is recommended for occupants up to six months old or weighing a maximum of 25 pounds and a very handy carry bag is included as a free bonus. The bag could be a deal-maker for some parents who appreciate such “extras.”
Sassy Cuddle Bug Bouncer
[image altimg=”Sassy Cuddle Bug Bouncer” imgid=”81DFDtnmJAL”]
In “Violet Butterfly” motif, this bouncer is visually nothing short of dazzling. But there’s more here than merely looks: The Sassy’s built-in blanket is as plush and soft as we’ve ever seen in such a product. The company says the blanket mimics the softness of the womb and that is hardly an exaggeration.
Appropriate for babies with a weight of up to 25 pounds, this entry comes with some welcome goodies not found on most others including a trio of removable hanging toys. (The toy bar itself is also completely removable.) There’s also a vibrating function as well as a few lullabies (two “C” type batteries are required for the sounds and vibration).
Among the unique features here are the “Cuddle Bug Wings,” which easily adjust to fit the baby as he or she grows and gains weight. They’re cute – but also quite useful and effective. The entire fabric is removable and safely machine-washable.
On the downside, this one doesn’t fold and thus is less portable than most other bouncers. Therefore, it will more frequently “stay put” and mostly be used in one place.
Fisher-Price Moonlight Meadow Deluxe Bouncer
[image altimg=”Fisher-Price Moonlight Meadow Deluxe Bouncer” imgid=”61B2zkTgPVL”]
Not surprisingly, the venerable baby products manufacturer Fisher-Price has a winner with this medium-priced bouncer, one of the sturdiest and most well-made that we’ve seen recently.
Despite its fairly substantial weight (nearly 8 pounds) and size (21.5 x 21.8 x 4.8 inches), the bouncer does easily and handily fold up for storage and transportation.
There’s more here, however, than just a bouncy little seat. Two “playful friends” (soft toys) hang from a removable bar above the baby’s head. Some might see the toy bar and toys as frills, but they can go a long way toward keeping a fussy baby entertained and eventually leading him or her to dreamland.
The bouncer also includes a gentle vibration function and a selection of up to 20 minutes of soothing music and sound effects, all operated by soft-touch controls. Thankfully, one of them is a volume control. Note that the music, sounds and vibration require the installation of three “C” type batteries.
The soft, quite plush (and unusually deep) seat pad and insert are completely removable and can be safely tossed into the machine for washing. One safety feature parents are sure to like is the presence of secure, non-skid feet.
Fisher-Price Comfort Curve Bouncer
[image altimg=”Fisher-Price Comfort Curve Bouncer” imgid=”71i9vSogm2L”]
A bit more budget-oriented, the Comfort Curve Bouncer is less striking in appearance than some others, but is just as well-constructed and functional with good support for newborns. It has a removable, washable insert, as well as several toys on a removable toy bar. The baby can develop his hand-eye coordination while batting at the colorful and cute toys. If he doesn’t seem interested, it’s quite easy to take them off.
There are no music and sounds here but there is a vibrating function and one “D” type battery is included which is required to make use of it. Battery life is estimated at an impressive 60 hours.
The bouncer is recommended to safely be used by babies and infants weighing up to 25 pounds. Of course, as with any product in this category, if a baby is big and/or heavy enough to try and climb out, it’s time to stop using the product entirely for safety’s sake.
Interested shoppers should note that this particular unit neither reclines nor folds.
As we said at the outset, any of these five will come in enormously handy for soothing a fussy baby or safely “parking” him or her during busy household times or during family outings or various other activities. In addition, pediatricians agree that there are genuine health and developmental benefits for the little ones as they grow – in fact, properly used, bouncers can even help to a degree with cases of colic, even where other remedies simply haven’t seemed to work.
In addition, pediatricians agree that there are genuine health and developmental benefits for little ones as they grow – in fact, properly used, bouncers can help to a degree with cases of colic, even where other remedies simply haven’t seemed to work.
When it comes to making the actual purchase, the factors to consider are price, features and portability.
Our list includes offerings from the most basic to the fairly elaborate. One of these will fit your individual needs and preference perfectly.
Which is the “best” bouncer? That, of course, depends – on your budget, your requirements and your preferences.