Babies love to have fun and test their limits. They also like to bounce like crazy, even if it means you’re doing the motion for them.
If your arms are starting to feel the strain from all the bouncing your baby wants to do, consider getting them a bouncer of their own.
They’ll be able to work on their coordination while saving your muscles from feeling constantly sore.
To figure out which baby bouncer will be right for your family, keep reading our guide to get the inside scoop.
|1. Fisher-Price Rainforest||Bouncer Chair|
|2. Evenflo Zoo Friends||Heavy Baby|
|3. BabyBjorn Balance||Reflux|
|4. Fisher-Price Meadow||Bouncer Seat|
|5. Evenflo Door Jumper||Cheap|
When Can I Start Using a Bouncer?
You don’t have to wait until your baby is capable of walking or furniture cruising before using a bouncer. But unlike a baby swing, it’s not always something you can use as soon as they are born either.
Before using a bouncer, your baby should have a strong enough neck to hold up the weight of their head if you’re using the traditional sit-up type of bouncer seats. Companies do make bouncer seats that are more recumbent so your baby is able to lay down, much like they would with a recumbent baby swing.
If you have this type of bouncer — one that reclines back far enough — it is safe to use it for a newborn because it gives them the head and neck support they need. But you should always supervise the use of a bouncer to make sure nothing goes wrong.
How Should I Use a Baby Bouncer?
Note About Bouncer Safety
Any bouncer you use should have a seat belt for your baby, whether it’s a three-point or a five-point harness.
You should also make sure your bouncer has gripping feet so it won’t slide all over the place. If you have a wood or laminated floor and there aren’t non-slip feet on the bouncer, your baby could scoot all over the floor with their bouncer. If there are staircases nearby, that could be a big danger to your baby.
Sometimes after all the jumping, your baby may get tired from so much activity. Since babies love to sleep so much, before long they might be sleeping in the bouncer.
Sleeping in a bouncer
The one exception to this rule is if you buy a bouncer that can be transitioned into a reclining position that is safe for a sleeping baby. If your baby falls asleep in one of these, you can simply lower the seat down so your baby is reclining and let them keep resting.
Once your baby begins using the bouncer, keep a close eye on their weight and make sure it is still within the guidelines for the bouncer you’ve bought. Bouncers vary greatly in how much weight they’ll hold. While one may hold up to 25 pounds, another may only hold 20.
How Long Should a Baby Stay in a Bouncer?
With a swing, you can leave your baby in there safely for an hour or two without worries, but you shouldn’t use a bouncer for that long at one time, unless it’s a reclining bouncer.
My daughter used to love being in her bouncer, but after 10 minutes or so, she’d slow down on her activity level and start to get restless. When I noticed that starting to happen, I knew she was getting tired or bored with the bouncing. Then I would pick her up and give her all the cuddles she needed.
How Many Bouncers Will I Need?
You’ll only need one bouncer, particularly if you’re a stay-at-home mom. If you are a mom who is planning to work outside of the home and your daycare provider has requested that you bring some equipment for her to use, I still wouldn’t bring a bouncer — I would opt for a swing or a pack ‘n play for that purpose.
Although my daughter loved her bouncer, I wanted to make sure she was safe while I was at work. Since babies are only supposed to be in their upright bouncers for such a short while in any one sitting, I didn’t feel comfortable bringing a bouncer. I worried the babysitter would get sidetracked with the other children and my baby would be stuck in there for far too long.
There really aren’t any circumstances I can think of that would require you to have two bouncers, unless your baby outgrows the one you’ve bought and you find one that holds more weight that they’ll be able to use for a couple more months.
What Types of Bouncers Are There?
There are three basic types of bouncers you’ll see.
- The reclining bouncer: This is the one that is best for newborns that don’t have control of their head movements yet. Supporting the head is crucial for a newborn, as your doctor will tell you before you leave the hospital. If you don’t properly support a newborn’s head, it can lead to brain damage, suffocation and neurological concerns (source). With the reclining bouncer, your baby’s feet will never touch the floor.
- The upright bouncer: These are the classic type of bouncers you see babies having fun in when they are jumping as much as they can by pressing their feet off the floor. These should only be used when a baby can support the weight of their own head with their neck muscles.
- Doorway bouncers: These hang from doorways in your house and they look like a glorified baby swing that you would see at your local park. I never used one of these because I always worried they would become dislodged from the door trim right as my baby was in the middle of an epic jump. Plus, I didn’t want my doorways blocked. I do have friends who used this type and loved it though.
Which Type of Bouncer Should I Choose?
Each type of bouncer has its own set of pros and cons.
- If you’re looking for a bouncer that you can use for the longest period of time, you should opt for a reclining bouncer since many times you can use that from the first day you bring your baby home.
- If you want your baby to work on developing motor skills, an upright bouncer is your best bet, when your baby becomes old enough to use it.
- If you have limited space, a doorway bouncer could be the best option for you. They are easy to take down and set back up when you don’t want your home to become an obstacle course to walk through. Just be aware that if you have odd-shaped or thick doorways, a doorway bouncer may not work for you.
What Should I Look For in a Bouncer?
To make sure you’re buying a bouncer that you can entrust your precious baby to, you’ll want to look for the following features.
- A wide frame: To ensure the bouncer won’t tip over, you’ll want to find a bouncer that has a wide, well-made frame. If it seems too lightweight or the seat sits up too high, you might be too worried to let your baby bounce to their full potential. Moms have enough to worry about as it is without adding an unstable bouncer to the list.
- A seat cover you can take off: Babies are well-known for their ability to make big messes. To help keep the mess at bay, you’ll want to be able to take off the seat cover so you can stick it in the washing machine for a thorough cleaning.
- If you want extra motion: Many bouncers simply use the power of a baby’s kicks to give it movement. But other bouncers use a motor to give additional movements, like vibrations, for your baby. That can come in handy if you have a colicky baby — it can give you a much-needed break.
- Battery or outlet power: If you go with a bouncer that has lights, music or movements, you’ll need to decide if you want to keep investing in batteries to keep it powered up or if you would like to have a power cord that lets you hook up to an outlet.
- Price: Simple bouncers don’t have to cost a week’s pay. You can find low-end models that work perfectly fine for a reasonable price. If you want the extras or a motorized version though, you’d better be prepared to shell out a little more.
- Portability: If you plan to do a lot of traveling, you should look for a bouncer that can easily fold up so you can take it with you.
- How many extras you want: You can get bouncers that play music to sooth your baby. Bouncers also come with mobiles hanging down or toy bars attached if you feel like your baby needs more distractions.
The Best Baby Bouncers of 2018
Now that you know about the safety precautions to take when using a bouncer, and exactly what to look for when buying one —
Here are our top 10 picks in 2018:
This bouncer has a vibration mode you can use to help calm down an upset baby. Plus it has a removable bar that has animal toys on it so your baby will have some entertainment when they’re tired of bouncing.
The seat is padded so your baby will be comfortable. And if they have a spit-up incident or a poopy blow-out in their diaper, you can remove the pad on the bouncy seat and clean it in the washing machine.
It has non-skid feet so in case your baby becomes a wild bouncer, the seat should stay in place. The seat has a three-point restraint, which means there aren’t any shoulder harnesses on this bouncer. While it doesn’t have a reclining option, it does lean back pretty far so your baby should be able to take a nap while in this bouncer.
- This bouncer is affordable for all budgets.
- The toys on the toy bar are brightly colored so they should attract your baby’s attention.
- It holds from 5 pounds to 25 pounds, which is a good range of weights.
- It doesn’t fold up once it is assembled.
- The bouncer runs on battery power.
This bouncer and swinger combo is gorgeous to look at and offers plenty of options to keep your baby feeling comfy and cozy.
The swing seat is removable so you can either use this chair as a swing or a bouncer, depending on your baby’s mood. It has a two-speed vibration setting to keep your baby content.
The seat reclines and has head support so you can use it even when your baby is a newborn. The swing portion can hold from 5.5 to 30 pounds, while the bouncer holds up to 18 pounds.
It can run on either the power cord or batteries. In addition to the bouncing, the swing offers six different speeds of side-to-side swinging. It comes with a five-point harness to ensure your child’s safety.
A toy mobile is attached for your baby’s amusement.
- It has 15 nature sounds and songs to keep your baby happy.
- You won’t have to keep replacing the batteries since it has a power cord option.
- You’ll be able to keep using the swing portion for up to 30 pounds.
- It’s pretty expensive.
- Some parents have said the assembly is confusing.
This bouncer isn’t made for newborns, but if you have an older baby, this might be one of the best purchases you can make. It’s like a playground for your baby.
In order to use this, your baby must be between two developmental milestones — they need to be able to hold up their own head, but they shouldn’t be able to walk yet.
The jumperoo lets your baby bounce or jump using just the power of their own two legs. When your baby does jump, the jumperoo rewards that effort with noise, music and lights going off.
This equipment has plenty of extras your child should appreciate. It has an overhead toy bar and a musical piano.
The wide base goes in a complete circle around your baby’s feet, which means this unit won’t tip over, even if they jump like crazy.
- The springs for the jumperoo are guarded by covers, so your baby’s fingers won’t be pinched.
- It adjusts to three different height positions.
- The seat rotates all the way around.
- It folds up for storage.
- You must use batteries with the jumperoo.
- The maximum weight it holds is 25 pounds.
This bouncer doesn’t rely on any kind of artificial power to work — it only uses your baby’s natural bouncing motions. That means you won’t need to be next to an outlet or keep replacing worn-out batteries.
It’s certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, which means it’s a safe option for your baby. It offers great support for your baby’s neck and head.
You can adjust it into four different positions, which is great news if your baby suffers from acid reflux.
If you want your bouncer to be portable, you’ll be glad to know this one folds flat so you can pop it in the trunk or store it in a closet when it’s not in use.
The best part about this bouncer is that it can be used for a long time — from newborn to 2 years old. It can be converted into a chair after your baby is too old to bounce in it.
- You can use it for rest and play.
- It weighs less than five pounds, so it’s easy to carry around.
- The adjustable positions make it a great pick for babies with acid reflux.
- It is expensive.
- The bouncer doesn’t have any toys to keep your kids entertained.
This isn’t an overly large bouncer that will take up too much of your limited space. It can hold up to 25 pounds and while it doesn’t fold up for storage, it is easy to put together and take apart.
Plus, if you want to move it from room to room, it only weighs 5 pounds so it’s easy to lift.
Despite being a smaller bouncer and really affordable, it still has enough extras to keep your baby content when they’re starting to feel cranky. It uses battery power for the vibrations it offers.
It has a toy bar that can be taken off the bouncer with one hand, which is nice when you’re trying to pick your baby up and you don’t want to bump them on the toy bar.
The seat is comfortable, soft and colorful enough to keep your baby entertained.
- The cover can be taken off and cleaned in the washing machine.
- It has non-slip rubber over the legs of the bouncer.
- The cover is made of a breathable material which is nice if your baby tends to get sweaty while in seats.
- It requires a battery for the vibrations.
- This bouncer should only be used by babies that can already support their own head.
When you need a bouncer that’s easy to take with you on a trip and can be used inside or outside, this bouncer fits the bill. It’s light enough that you’ll be able to carry it around without feeling the strain.
Moms who hate assembling their bouncers will love that this one doesn’t require any assembly. That would have come in handy when I struggled to put my child’s bouncer together one afternoon — I was ready to lose my mind.
It comes with a carrying bag, so you can keep it clean and protected when it’s in the trunk of your car. When you fold it flat, you’ll need both hands.
For being a portable bouncer, it can handle a wide range of weights. It can hold babies from 8 pounds to 29 pounds. It doesn’t play music or use artificial movements so it doesn’t require any batteries.
- It’s highly portable — it folds up and is lightweight.
- It doesn’t require any complicated assembly.
- The bouncer can be used outside too if you want to take your baby camping.
- It’s fairly pricey for such a simple bouncer.
- The bouncing movements are jerky, not smooth.
This bouncer is a good pick for parents of newborns because it reclines back far enough that it can be used the day you get back from the hospital. Your baby can continue to use it until they weigh 25 pounds.
It also has a removable body insert that is great for newborns. As your baby grows, you can take out the insert to give them less support and more room.
It uses battery power to play the eight songs and nature sounds it offers and parents can even control the volume level of the music. That’s nice when you have a sleepy baby on your hands that you don’t want disturbed by loud music.
The fabric is supposed to be safe even on the sensitive skin babies often have. The toy bar can be taken off if you don’t want it distracting your baby from their nap.
- The volume control for the music is a nice touch.
- It reclines back enough to use for newborns.
- The toy bar can be removed.
- It runs on batteries which gets expensive.
- Some parents have complained about it being hard to assemble.
If your doctors gasped in surprise when they weighed your baby, chances are you have a whopper on your hands. This bouncer can handle babies weighing from 7 to 30 pounds. But a newborn won’t be able to use this one — they’ll have to be able to support their own heads first.
This bouncer does more than just entertain and soothe your baby, it helps them develop their skills as well. It helps them with critical skills like their motor skills and hand-to-eye coordination.
The seat will swivel all the way around so your baby will always be able to face the direction they want to.
Nothing on this bouncer takes any batteries, which moms who hate spending money to replace them will appreciate. Moms who hate flashing lights and music on other bouncers will like the simplicity of this one.
- It’s affordable.
- This bouncer doesn’t require batteries.
- There are enough toys to keep your child entertained.
- Some parents have complained about their babies hitting their heads on the overhead bar when they jump vigorously.
- Even though it doesn’t have music, this bouncer is pretty loud when your baby is active in it.
Your twins will love seeing their sibling bounce around in these units. They may start having competitions to see who can bounce the highest. Plus, these bouncers are affordable enough that you’ll be able to buy two without taking out a bank loan.
These bouncers have a dozen things for your babies to play with, including hands-on activities and toys. You can change the height of the seat so as your babies grow, the bouncers can grow with them. They have three different adjustable positions.
Your babies will be able to turn their seats around 360 degrees. If your baby has an accident or spits up in his bouncer, you’ll be able to take the seat pad out and throw it in the washing machine. It’s easy to remove and put back in.
- This bouncer doesn’t take batteries.
- It can hold up to 25 pounds.
- This will keep kids entertained for a quite a while with all the toys that are attached.
- It can’t be used for newborns.
- The seat doesn’t have cushioning.
If you want a traditional bouncy seat that you aren’t using for napping purposes, this Evenflo ExerSaucer is a great value for the price. Your baby will get hours of fun out of bouncing and jumping in this seat.
You’ll have to attach it to a doorway, but most doorways work since it fits ones that are 3 to 6 inches thick.
The springs are all covered with material so your baby won’t pinch its fingers when jumping up and down. The seat goes completely around your baby, which protects them during their most vigorous jumping. It comes with adjustable straps that can be changed as your baby continues to grow.
This bouncer works for babies up to 24 pounds. But before they begin to use it, they must be able to hold their heads up by themselves first.
The pad on the seat can be taken off for cleaning purposes.
- Your baby’s fingers are safe with this bouncer.
- It’s easy to clean.
- You can take it with you on vacation or to a caregiver’s house.
- You won’t be able to use it for newborns.
- It makes fairly loud noises while your baby is jumping.
My Favorite Is…
Unless you’re looking for a reclining bouncer your baby can sleep in, the Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo is one of the best baby bouncers you can buy.
Your baby will be constantly entertained by the toys and activities on this bouncer. With this bouncer, your baby is rewarded for his activity level. When he bounces, noise, music and lights go off.
The wide base on the bouncer gives you a level of security that the unit won’t tip over and hurt your baby.
As your baby continues to explore its limits, you can watch reassured from the sidelines. Letting babies grow and mature is one of the hardest aspects of parenthood, but watching the fun they have along the way is well worth it.
Featured Image By: Andrew Bardwell Licensed under CC4.0