can a baby sleep in a vibrating bouncer (2)

Can A Baby Sleep In A Vibrating Bouncer?

A popular question from first-time moms is, “can a baby sleep in a vibrating bouncer?”. Knowing what to do and what not to do with babies can be a little frustrating sometimes. From their feeding to clothing and even their sleeping area and sleeping position needs extra attention. 

Babies generally need to be handled with extra caution since they are still very tender and developing, not strong enough to withstand a certain stress level.

Baby bouncers are one of the many gadgets mothers, and expectant mothers buy for their babies. They are eager to get their babies all the beautiful things they need for pleasure and comfort. Due to the soothing effect of vibrating bouncers, babies love to stay in them and sometimes sleep off.

Since pediatricians have advised against waking sleeping babies, mothers are usually caught between allowing their babies to sleep in the vibrating bouncer and taking them to their crib. Transferring them to the crib might cause them to wake up. Hence, the question: can baby sleep in a vibrating bouncer?

Pediatrics journal in 2019 revealed that annually, roughly 3700 infants undergo sleep-related infant death, making it a dominant factor of postneonatal infant mortality (that is, child death within 28days- 1year old). The same source stated that out of 11,779 infant sleep-related deaths, 348 (3%) happened in sitting gadgets. Therefore, there is a valid need for concern about where a baby should or should not sleep.

To begin, let us understand the primary function of baby bouncers. Bouncers, also known as bouncy chairs, are designed to hold your little one in place when they are alert, and you have to busy yourself with something else. 

You can also use their bouncers to hold babies down when you want to feed or play with them. Also, vibrating bouncers are used to calm them when they are cranky. This calm feeling often leads to their dozing off, but the bouncer was never made to take the place of a crib.

If, at this point, you still need a direct answer to the question, “can a baby sleep in a vibrating bouncer?” The answer is NO except for unavoidable reasons and under close supervision. 

It is not advisable because when the baby is asleep, you are tempted to leave the baby unsupervised to do other things you couldn’t do while awake. 

Leaving the child in such a position alone can be hazardous. Some implications of leaving a baby to sleep in a bouncer are;

  • Positional Asphyxia: Asphyxia is a medical condition in which there is inadequate oxygen supply to the body due to abnormal breathing. Positional asphyxia occurs when the baby's positioning limits the baby’s breathing. Bouncers are usually inclined between 30°-45° to the vertical, which is not a very safe position for a newborn because their necks are not strong enough to hold their heads in place. The fragile neck may cause the head to drop forward, thus obstructing their breath. Also, bouncers come with straps meant to hold the babies in place. When babies are left unsupervised, the strap may suffocate them, baby.
  • Positional Plagiocephaly: Plagiocephaly is simply a condition where the baby’s head is distorted (flattened) on one side. Positional plagiocephaly results from continuously laying the child on their back over a long period. The distortion occurs because the baby’s skull is soft, not well fused. Continuous pressure allows it to assume a different shape based on where the pressure is exerted. If a baby falls asleep in the bouncer, there are chances that they have stayed in it for a long time. The National Health Service (NHS) advocates that babies should stay a maximum of 20minutes in bouncers. Since pediatricians advise that babies sleep on their back, they must assume other postures when they are not sleeping. The National Health Service also reported that keeping your baby in a bouncer for a long time causes them to maintain an inclined position. The result is that the baby will experience a delay in sitting by themself.
  • Death: An even more drastic effect, death, may result from allowing your baby to sleep in a bouncer. Prolonged asphyxia caused by dropping the baby’s head or tightening the strap can cause the baby to suffocate after a while, resulting in the child’s death. Such infant deaths are referred to as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  • Restricts Baby’s Movement: Due to its design, the baby bouncer does not allow your child to stretch fully or change sleeping positions as they may wish to. The baby is held down in one position, which can cause discomfort to the child and even disrupt the child’s rest.

The soothing effect of vibrating bouncers that causes the babies to sleep off on them easily has left many mothers with the question; can a baby sleep in a vibrating bouncer? Even though the bouncer is a very good and comfortable baby gadget, it can have negative implications when used wrongly, some of which are drastic.

This article, therefore, exposes the possible negative effects of leaving a baby unsupervised in a vibrating bouncer. It also reveals the best sleeping posture for your child to reduce every possible chance of sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Baby Nursery FAQs

Rock cots and swings are only intended for lulling children to sleep; babies shouldn’t spend their nights in them, so they shouldn’t be used for their safety.

Yes, but it depends on your situation. All models of vibrating bassinets comply with the JPMA’s strictest safety standards.

Similarly, baby bouncers and swings shouldn’t be carried or hung from counters or tables and don’t ever need to be picked up or carried. Parents should use the baby bouncers and swings on the ground floor at all times – not the counter or table. The benefits of bouncers and swings can be determined by supervised activity, as long as there are no injuries or problems.

Generally, babies can enjoy playing with baby bouncers between the ages of 3-6 months. Around the age of 3 and a half months, babies can enter baby bouncers. The purpose of bouncers is to allow parents to leave a baby in them when they wish for some privacy.

A Baby bouncy seat can tip over if the vibrations of its seat cause the chair to fall over if the child doesn’t wear a harness. Accordingly, vibrating seats must always be stored on the floor instead of on a raised surface such as a table or bed.

Are Vibrating Bouncers Safe?

can a baby sleep in a vibrating bouncer

As a new parent, you're probably tempted to buy all the gadgets and equipment to make life easier. While some of these items are ideal choices for life with a baby, others might be unsafe or unnecessary. 

Vibrating bouncer seats are touted to keep your baby content or lull her to sleep while you get things done around the house. Understanding the safety of a vibrating bouncer allows you to use it as safely as possible.

Proper Use

When you place your baby in a bouncer seat, you want her to be as safe as possible. Most bouncers are recommended for babies up to 6 months old, and most have a weight restriction. Once your baby reaches the age or weight limit, putting her in a vibrating bouncer is unsafe.

Meanwhile, properly restrain your baby using the strap or harness on the bouncer. This keeps her from sliding out, whether she tips over or the vibration slowly pushes her down. ConsumerReports.org suggests using head support for newborns to be comfortable in the seat.

Time Limits

A vibrating bouncer seat might be just the thing to get your fussy baby to calm down. However, prolonged use means she's in the same position for an extended time. Since a baby's head is still growing and the bones haven't fused yet, this can lead to the flat head syndrome, also known as plagiocephaly. 

Since doctors recommend keeping babies on their backs to prevent suffocation, some spend much of the day with their heads resting against a bouncer, stroller or car seat. Orthotist Kate Chauhan, quoted in an article on MailOnline.com, recommends ensuring that time in the bouncer is balanced with plenty of time for your baby to play on her tummy or in your arms, which allows her skull to grow and develop normally.

Sleeping

It can be tempting to leave your baby in her vibrating bouncer if it helps her fall asleep. While it's likely safe for your little one to play in the bouncer when you're close by to keep an eye on her, sleeping in a bouncer isn't a good idea. 

According to the National SUID/SIDS Resource Center, babies shouldn't spend excessive time in a bouncer because of the pressure applied to the back of the head, which could eventually cause plagiocephaly. The safest place for a baby to nap is on her back in her crib.

Choosing a Vibrating Bouncer

ConsumerReports.org recommends choosing a vibrating bouncer that has been certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. These bouncers meet safety standards regarding small parts, sharp points and restraints. 

If you're buying a secondhand bouncer, look it over carefully for broken pieces, ripped fabric, exposed batteries and sharp edges and make sure it comes with the original owner's manual.

The Benefits of Using a Baby Bouncer

From soothing fussy tots to spatial awareness development, bouncers come with a host of benefits for both baby and you!

Soothing

A baby bouncer is a small seat that you can strap your baby into, but unlike static chairs, it is designed to move, which can help to alleviate your little one when your arms need a break. 'That bouncing motion is soothing; babies love that rhythmic movement,' says Lucy Shrimpton, Sleep Consultant and Founder of The Sleep Nanny.

Baby awareness

A bouncer can also be a great tool to help your baby develop spatial awareness, plus they will benefit from a different point of view. 'Bouncers hold the baby in an almost 45-degree angle, so your baby is not fully upright, but they’re not laying down either, which is great because they can get to see you and look around,' explains Shrimpton. 

'This is good because babies spend a lot of time on their backs, so it’s nice to let them sit up for a while.'

Multitasking

When your new baby arrives, it's perfectly OK to let the chores slide! But after a while, normality will need to resume. Popping your little one into a bouncer for 20 minutes won't impact your parent-baby bond, but it will help you function. 

'A bouncer is useful because it's the perfect place to put your baby when you’re multitasking – so if you’re busy trying to change a nappy, make a bottle or just walk across the room and you need the baby to be strapped in somewhere safe and secure, you can see them without needing to hold them,' says Shrimpton.

Help with reflux

If you have a fussy baby who won't settle, try popping them into a bouncer. 'If they're suffering from reflux, a bouncer can help with wind,' says Shrimpton. 'When they’ve had their milk rather than laying down – sitting in a bouncer for a little bit can help digestion as they’re in a more upright position.'

Growing families

A baby bouncer is essential for parents who have more than one child to look after. 'For example, at bath time, you’re trying to juggle everything – washing and drying your baby while your toddler’s splashing around. A bouncer can be handy as you can strap the baby in, and you know that they’re safe, and they can watch you and be a part of what’s going on,' says Shrimpton.

Baby Bouncer Safety Guidelines

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Bouncers are generally best for newborns and babies up to about six months old or until they can sit up independently. To ensure your bouncer is right for your baby as they grow, Shrimpton recommends the following safety guidelines.

  • Bouncers are not safe to sleep in. Babies should always sleep on their backs on a flat mattress with no loose coverings or loose items, foot to the base with head clear of the top.
  • If your baby nods off for five minutes while you’re reading a bedtime story to their sibling and you can see that they’re OK, that’s fine – but don't leave them to sleep in the bouncer.
  • Always refer to the safety guidelines for an individual product, as guidance can vary massively. I can’t speak for all the products on the market, so my safety advice is to consult the guidelines before you start using it – and even before you buy it.
  • Don’t leave your baby unattended in a baby bouncer. Make sure that it’s in sight and you’ve got your eye on them while they’re in it.

Conclusion

When your newborn arrives, alongside the all-important baby changing bag, it's normal to feel like you should be holding your little one close to you 24/7. But trust us, it doesn't matter how many hours you spent at prenatal Pilates working on your triceps. At some point, you'll have to pop your baby down. 

Quite apart from the need to shower/eat/pee, a day is a long time to spend with a tiny human strapped to your chest, and everyone deserves a break. Step in bouncers: the answer to your baby jiggling needs.

To help you choose the best baby bouncer for your family, we've outlined the benefits of buying one, with tips on using it safely, plus our pick of the best baby bouncers currently on the market.

 

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