Do you need a bouncer seat?

Consumer Reports News: October 14, 2011 07:08 AM

You'll want a snug and safe place to put your baby down, and a bouncer seat can be a great choice during the first six months. But do you really need one? Our 3 guidelines will help you decide.

Keep this product's short life span in mind
Your baby will probably use a bouncer for only five or six months. In those early days you'll be relieved to have a safe place to put him besides the crib so you can grab a quick bite, for example. But once he can sit up unassisted, he'll probably move on to doing more interesting things, like playing and rolling, and the bouncy seat could become hazardous. At that point, a play yard might be a safer place for your little explorer.

Go with baby’s flow
Some infants will nap in bouncers, but many babies just enjoy hanging out and interacting with the rest of the family from their own comfortable seat. You might love the look of a bouncer but that doesn't guarantee your baby will like it one bit—even if it has multiple vibrating settings and plays Beethoven.

Buy a bouncer seat or a swing
If budget and space are considerations, choose one or the other. Many parents say it's overkill to buy both because a bouncer seat and a baby swing essentially do the same thing: provide a secure and soothing place for your baby while you get some time to catch up on things. If you can, try a friend or relative's swing and bouncer or test store models first to determine what your baby prefers. If he doesn't like the motion of a swing, go with a bouncer. If he seems to need more motion than a bouncer provides, choose a swing.

Check out our buying advice and Ratings for a wide range of products for babies and kids. And find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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