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Baby bouncers are a fantastic way of getting pre walking babies some exercise. It can help strengthen their legs and get their heart rate going in a safe manner.
But, is it possible to use a baby bouncer too much?
How long can babies stay in a bouncer safely?
Bouncers are a wonderful invention but like most things in life it can be too much of a good thing. Babies should never stay in a baby bouncer for more than 20 minutes at any one time and no more than 2 hours in a full day.
Bouncer seats, whether it’s hanging from a door or on its own overexerts the lower vertebrae and makes stomach muscles contract which can lead to baby becoming bowlegged (extreme cases) and have uneven muscle growth as the lower muscles are being worked at the expense of higher torso muscles.
Furthermore, the bouncing effect throws the head back and forth which naturally causes problems with the neck muscles and inevitable trips to the osteopath, this damage can last well beyond babyhood and toddlerhood.
Baby bouncers strengthen muscles but do not help their balance as the bouncers keep their balance for them, this can lead to a baby having a harder time balancing when they are trying to stand up, delaying their walking progress.
Lastly, using the bouncer too much can make them not want to take part in other important mobility and sensory activities such as tummy time and crawling. They may become too reliant on it which can cause some problems.
Therefore, it is advised that baby bouncers should be used no more than 20 minutes at any one time, and no longer than two hours in a full day. This advice also extends to baby seats.
This will allow baby to get their necessary exercise without compromising on the baby’s development or future mobility.
Can babies sleep in a bouncer?
No, babies should never sleep in a bouncer.
Some babies may naturally fall asleep in a bouncer from exhaustion, but baby bouncers are not a place for baby to sleep. The best position for baby to sleep is on their back and a comfortable but firm surface. A baby bouncer, when a baby is asleep can restrict blood flow, pull on muscles which are in contact with straps and the chair and a bouncer will not support their neck.
For bouncer chairs which are flat, this is still not advised. Babies can roll and kick when they sleep and the chair may restrict this.
If your baby does fall asleep in a bouncer the baby should be taken out straight away and then placed in a safe sleeping place.