One of the most popular and most famous toys for babies is the baby bouncer. All over the world, Moms and Dads are happy looking at their precious little ones jumping up and down their bouncer toys. Unfortunately, there have been some issues concerning its use. It would seem that some Moms are not really aware of the correct usage of these toys. It doesn’t necessarily mean that since it is popular among Moms it should already be considered excellent for babies, too. It is equally important to look at what the baby bouncer can really do for your baby.
This is the reason why we came up with the top 10 baby bouncers so you will be more empowered to choose the right one for your baby. We have also included in our article some of the reasons why leading child safety advocacy groups and child development experts are not really appreciative of these kinds of toys. Baby bouncers are helpful in developing the muscles of the lower extremities of babies, but only when used properly and at the correct period in their young lives.
Here are the top 10 baby bouncers that we are positive you will find appealing and highly beneficial.
How We Chose the Top Baby Bouncers in Our List
Choosing the top baby bouncers in our list is never easy simply because we had to take into consideration what child health experts, pediatricians, and chiropractic professionals are saying about these toys. You see, these baby bouncers are very popular among Moms but not so with child care experts. And this is where the difficulty in choosing the best baby bouncer lies.
Nevertheless, in our effort to provide you with the top 10 baby bouncers, we had to carefully examine each one primarily for their additional features which can benefit babies and not only their “bouncer” functionality. We then scrutinized each of these features to determine whether they are appropriate to the development of babies for a particular age. Of course, we also had to consider safety and product quality as well as compliance of the toy manufacturer to strict quality control standards set by the federal government as well as other third party organizations.
We hope that our list of the top 10 baby bouncers will help you identify the best one for your baby. However, we do strongly encourage you to read the succeeding section so you will have an understanding of the reasons why experts don’t necessarily recommend these types of toys.
Mother-Approved Baby Bouncers, But is It Safe for Babies?
Baby jumpers are a joy to behold especially when you see your baby giggling as he or she bounces up and down his or her seat that is suspended either on the ceiling or on the supporting structure of a walker. For many of us, seeing our young babies smile every time they bounce is like little joys in our hearts. But the question we have to ask is – “Is the baby bouncer designed to entertain us or to develop the full potential of our young babies?” Because, if the answer is the former then we have clearly made the correct choice. But if the decision to buy a baby bouncer is to help our babies grow healthier and stronger, then we are doing them more harm than good.
Child development experts, chiropractors, and pediatricians all over the world strongly advise against the use of baby bouncers simply because these do not help the baby at all or that they have very minimal use. In recent years, there have also been a lot of product recalls because of faulty manufacturing practices. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not totally ban baby bouncers per se but it does caution parents not to use it until the baby has fully developed his or her torso, usually by the time the baby reaches 6 months of age. Consumer Reports already has discontinued the updating of this particular product category because of its developmental inappropriateness.
You see, babies develop in a cephalocaudal manner. This means that the very first parts of the body that will be developed first is the head and moving towards the feet. That is why babies will learn to lift and control his or her head first before he or she can attempt to control his or her arms, torso, legs, and feet. When we give them baby bouncers long before they have fully developed control of their back and torso, we are essentially skipping this natural development pattern and go on directly to the development of the feet.
Additionally, if you are going to look closely at the pictures on these so-called baby bouncers and you will notice that the baby is actually tip-toeing, especially if the height of the seat is not high enough to allow the feet to dangle. According to chiropractors this can lead to serious feet deformities if not corrected at once or if left as is. This can also affect babies’ stability and in severe cases, can significantly undermine the developing nervous system.
Looking at babies on their baby bouncers again and you will quickly notice that their bodies are rather thrust awkwardly forward in the bouncer seat. This position does not favor the use of the baby’s hip and gluteal muscles. Some pediatricians even think that this particular position can put a heavy strain in the ligaments of the torso and lower extremities. The forward leaning posture also elicits a reflex reaction to draw the head back to help attain balance. Unfortunately, doing so will also pull the baby’s shoulder blades too far back. Given this very unusual position, the body loses its sense of proprioception such that it can no longer determine if the body is in the correct upright position or not. If this is not corrected immediately, you are looking at a baby who has a strong likelihood that he or she will not learn how to balance his or her body standing on his or her feet.
Ok, so baby bouncers are bad, right?
Well, not necessarily so. If you intend to give your kid a baby bouncer, child health experts strongly recommend getting a baby bouncer-rocker instead. This is like a bouncer but it cradles the whole body of the baby. Imagine a bassinet or even a rocker where baby can conveniently lay down and then rocked up and down. This can address some of the musculoskeletal issues about baby bouncers.
You may also have to heed the advice of professionals regarding when to provide the baby bouncer. It should only be used once the baby has already established excellent control of his or her spinal column or back. This will help him or her to focus on developing his or her feet as he or she has already developed his or her torso.
More than that however, you may have to use the baby bouncer sparingly. Instead let your baby roll on his or her tummy as this can help strengthen his or her core muscles. The development of these muscles is crucial to the development of extensor muscles which can help integrate the different flexor muscles and reflexes of babies. These will, in turn, help babies learn to walk in a more upright position while ensuring optimum balance and coordination.
Our list of the top 10 baby bouncers should be used with caution and should be used sparingly until your baby has achieved full control of his or her back or spinal column. These are useful toys but only when used correctly.