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How to Choose a Baby Bouncer

At Pottery Barn Kids, we understand that, as a great parent, you take good care of your baby and keep a constant eye on him or her. But parents sometimes need a few moments to grab some water, munch on a quick snack, heat up a baby’s bottle or take a shower. That’s where having a baby bouncer works like a charm; the soothing aspect of rocking keeps your baby entertained and happy while you zip off to take care of other things. The best part is that baby bouncers are easy to move from room to room, so your child is always close by. Here are a few tips to help decide what kind of baby bouncer is right for your family.

Types of Baby Bouncers

There are a few different categories of baby bouncers, along with some combination types. Classic bouncers offer support and comfort, letting your baby provide the soft momentum to rock back and forth or up and down. Electronic models usually allow babies to bounce if they want to, but also offer automatic options that can help rock your child to sleep. These vibrating models often simulate the way a mother or father holds their baby, rocking from side to side instead of back and forth.

Comfort

One thing to consider when looking at baby bouncers is the amount of comfort they provide. All bouncers feature soft padding and comfy fabric, but some come with additional features beyond that. Ergonomic seating molds to your baby’s body shape, offering an extra level of support for their spine, neck and head. Bouncers with open mesh areas in the construction provide more ventilation, so babies stay comfortable in warm climates. Choosing organic textiles like cotton are another great way to keep infants cool and dry. If your baby has sensitive skin, look for something "Oeko-Tex" certified, meaning that the fabric is free from harmful or irritating chemicals and odors.

Age and Size Considerations

Another important factor has to do with how long your baby will use his or her bouncer. Some models are custom tailored for newborns, while others offer the support and size suitable for toddlers. There are also some designs that adapt to both. These can be great because babies tend to get used to their toys, so even as a toddler they feel happy and secure in the same bouncer. High-quality materials mean that all models last for a very long time; the only consideration is whether your child will outgrow them or not. Fortunately, manufacturers list the weight and age recommendations for their models to make it easy for parents to decide.

Safe and Secure

What are some areas to look at related to your baby’s safety? One has to do with your child’s personality and the stability of the baby bouncer. Not every baby is alike, and some are more energetic from an earlier age than others. Looking for a baby bouncer with a wide base gives kids extra stability if they like to jump up and down with major force. Harnesses make sure children stay inside the bouncer no matter what. Certain harnesses only encircle their legs and waist, while others function more like a car seat, with straps over their shoulders as well. Some babies like the freedom of moving their arms unimpeded, but there are also parents that would rather have their child snug as a bug.

Extra Features

Extra features make a world of difference when it comes to your family’s specific needs. Adjustable height controls, for example, are perfect for families that like to watch TV together, since the bouncer can rise to the occasion, so to speak. Activity bars, which attach above a child’s head, let them play with plush toys, listen to music and hear soft sounds like heartbeats or ocean waves. This helps babies to fall asleep quickly, as well as soothing them when they’re teething.

No matter what you choose, it’s possible to stay true to your decorating style while also keeping your baby happy and healthy. A natural wood rocking bouncer adds warmth to a nursery or living room. Some bouncers are designed with a simple, almost artistic profile, which fits minimalist decor beautifully. That way a baby’s nursery feels inviting and open.

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