A baby bouncer is one of the must-haves for new parents. It is the "helper" for when you cannot carry your child, but still want to keep an eye on them and make sure they are safe and comfortable - but first and foremost it is important that the bouncer is safe and ergonomically supports the early childhood anatomy. We have looked into the myths of bouncers in part 2 of our series but here is a closer look at what the perfect baby bouncer has to be able to do, and what you need to look for.
10 things to look for when buying a baby bouncer
A baby bouncer can help to promote your child's development. However, according to Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V. (AGR: campaign for healthier backs), there are a few requirements that need to be met. You can use the list below when researching baby bouncer’s and once you have ticked all the boxes, you will have an ergonomic, safe and comfortable bouncer for your baby. After all, the foundation for your child's back health is laid in the first years of life.
- Functional and adaptable: It is important that your child can be positioned easily in the baby bouncer and that it can be adjusted to the size of the child. For newborns from about 2.5 kg up to about 4 months of age, a newborn insert is required. You simply use this until your baby has outgrown it. Then you simply place your baby in the bouncer, as it should now have enough room for movement, growth and fun. After this development phase, you can use the bouncer as a toddler chair, just like our Ergobaby 3-in-1 Evolve Bouncer offers.
- Ergonomic M-position: Your baby's anatomy is designed to be carried. That is why the bouncer must allow the legs to be squatted and spread, similar to the way they are carried. The so-called M-position is a prerequisite for the healthy development of the hip joints and the spine.
- Support for the spine: The baby bouncer should provide ergonomic support for the spine. This should be achieved in the first few months by using an ergonomic newborn insert and then by an ergonomic design of the baby bouncer itself. It should be noted that lateral support is provided at the same time. Our Evolve 3-in-1 Bouncer was developed together with a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon and bears the AGR seal for back-healthy products.
- Developmentally appropriate head support: your baby's head must have enough space for its occiput (back of the head) to rotate so that its chin is not pressed against the chest. Since this turning movement works differently than with us adults (the baby always has to stretch its head slightly backwards for this), an ergonomic bouncer will take this into account. A little tip: If your baby's head is tilted downwards, this is a sign that the bouncer offers too little space in the head area. This can then affect breathing and in the worst case even hinder it. In addition, a good amount of space for the head can even prevent flat head syndrome.
- Adaptable sitting and lying position: Depending on age and stage of development, your baby has different needs. That's why the AGR recommends a baby bouncer that adapts accordingly, for example by offering different developmentally appropriate positions from the lying position for newborns to the sitting position for older babies or toddlers. The Ergobaby Baby Bouncer allows your little one three easy-to-adjust positions via foot pedal and the removal of the newborn insert when your baby has grown too big for it. This makes the Bouncer a newborn recliner, a baby bouncer and a toddler chair all in one, while at the same time being easy on the back for adults.
- Protection against overstimulation: too much stimuli can quickly overwhelm your baby and that is why it is important that the bouncer protects against overstimulation and at the same time offers the possibility of self-regulation. This is provided by a rocking function. Batteries or electricity are not necessary for this, because your baby controls this himself with the movements of his arms and legs instead.
- Natural rocking movement: The bouncer should have a fixed point at the bottom of the frame so that your child does not move back and forth like on a swing, but only the upper body starts to swing - and this through their own movement or light nudging from a parent.The head is always in the highest position, to help prevent or inhibit reflux or spitting up.
- Optimal climate: To ensure that your baby doesn’t get cold or sweat while in the baby bouncer, the fabric should be breathable. Pollutant-free materials also allow you to protect your baby's sensitive skin from toxic substances. For the Ergobaby baby bouncer, we have used soft, breathable fabrics such as cuddly double jersey and cotton that are certified according to Oeko-Tex Standard 100.
- Absolute safety: make sure it is stable, i.e. the baby bouncer must not slip easily even on smooth surfaces and must be stable (stable frame and rubber feet) - i.e. must not tilt. In addition, it must not be possible to fold the baby bouncer accidentally. So make sure you have appropriate safety mechanisms that prevent this on the one hand, but allow comfortable operation on the other. This is why we have built a pedal lock into our Evolve 3-in-1 Bouncer, which prevents accidental adjustment of the reclining surface angle, and an additional safety lever for complete folding.
- Easy to clean: Hygiene is extremely important, especially with newborns. Therefore, make sure that the cover can be easily removed and is washable. The baby bouncer should also be easy to clean and easy to care for. This creates the best conditions for a cosy and comfortable environment.