Baby bouncers are well known for providing a safe seating space for babies, allowing moms’ and dads’ hands to be free to do something else. In addition to their ergonomic design, they’re also easy to clean and travel with. That said, many parents often wonder if they can feed a baby in a bouncer.
Ideally, a baby bouncer isn’t suited to be used as a feeding chair. Since the baby is in a reclined position, the likelihood of choking is increased. The risk is the same for babies who are being bottle-fed or eating solids. Larger babies may also wiggle themselves out of the chair and injure themselves.
- Experts don’t recommend using a baby bouncer as it provides a choking hazard.
- Babies and infants should be fed using the 90/90/90 rule.
- There are better alternatives such as high chairs, car seats and swaddles for newborns.
What is the purpose of a baby bouncer?
Babies respond well to the calming motion of the baby bouncer as it reminds them of the swaying motion of the womb. Their bouncy motion easily calms fussy newborns and also soothes babies suffering from colicky symptoms.
Can you feed a baby in a bouncer?
While many parents may think the bouncer’s ergonomic design makes it a suitable feeding chair, the reality is that there are some hazards to using the chair for feeding. The two main hazards to be concerned about are the risk of choking as well as the baby slipping or wiggling out of the chair when your back is turned.
Can you feed the baby on a Baby Bjorn bouncer?
Despite the Baby Bjorn being such a popular product with a bunch of benefits, the risk of choking remains the same. So, while some parents feed their babies in the Baby Bjorn, experts don’t recommend using any bouncer.
What are the safety concerns of feeding your baby in a bouncer?
It’s essential to keep in mind that baby bouncers aren’t specifically designed as feeding chairs. Since the baby is not sitting upright, there’s an increased risk of choking or SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). This risk is increased when your little one is slumped down in the chair.
While the baby bouncer is an excellent place for the baby to sit for a few minutes while you catch up on some housework, laundry or making the next bottles, there’s also a danger of your baby slipping out of the chair. Babies are crafty little beings, and the curiosity of what’s outside the chair may encourage them to try and wiggle out.
Safety recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies should also be seated in an upright position for feeding. The best place for your little one to sit while they eat is at a table. They should also be supervised at all times during the meal.
Babies should also not be seated in types of chairs where they can easily slip out of, slump over or slide down (resulting in the baby lying at an angle). All of these instances put the baby at risk of choking.
Furthermore, the AAP and additional experts such as the U.K. NHS all agree that parents should adopt the 90/90/90 rule when feeding infants. Essentially, the 90/90/90 rule states that: Infants should sit with their hips, knees and ankles all bent at a 90-degree angle. Arms should be able to rest on a table (or counter) for additional support.
Advantages of using a bouncer for feeding your baby
While experts don’t recommend using a bouncer to feed your baby, some parents claim it works fine for them. If you are constantly supervising your little one and making sure they’re sitting up and not at risk of choking, then there shouldn’t be any concerns. In this instance, beneficial features include:
- Ergonomic design: The chair provides optimal support for a baby’s back, neck and head.
- Easy to clean: Fabric seats are machine washable, making them easy to clean if any food or milk spills on them.
- Travel friendly: An excellent reason to use a bouncer is that it’s travel-friendly, making it easy to feed a baby on the go if you have no alternative.
Better alternative seats for feeding a baby
If the hazards associated with feeding your baby in a bouncer leave you feeling that it’s just too risky, the good news is there are a bunch of other alternatives to consider. The most common of these are listed below.
High chairs are the most recommended form of feeding infants from about 6 months old. Since babies develop at different rates, you should always make sure your little one is ready to sit in the chair. With high chairs being specifically designed to accommodate the 90/90/90 rule, your infant will sit upright and have a small table plate to rest their arms.
Here’s a short clip to show you just how easy it is to adjust your baby’s high chair to prevent fussing during feeding.
Swaddle belt for newborns
Many newborns enjoy being in their swaddle belts. This is quite possibly because the swaddle is cozy and comfortable. With that in mind, many parents prefer to feed their newborns while in the swaddle. It may also be easier for your baby to doze off to sleep once feeding is done. However, if you find your baby dozing off before drinking too much, you should take them out of the swaddle to keep them alert enough to drink a sufficient amount.
Car seats can easily be used to bottle feed or feed baby solids in a car seat. Obviously, breastfeeding will simply be too uncomfortable for both you and the baby. Keep in mind that the vehicle shouldn’t be in motion as this might create a choking risk. When feeding a baby in a car seat, ensure that the baby is supervised the whole time. Smaller babies will still need assistance holding the bottle.
Once the baby has done eating, experts recommend waiting for some time for the milk or food to settle. Ideally, your little one should have at least burped before to reduce the chances of motion sickness once you start driving.
Standard chair for toddlers
Many smaller toddlers want to assert their independence by insisting that they can sit on a standard chair like the rest of the family. If this is your little one, you can sit them at the table on a standard chair. You might need to put them on a sturdy, flat pillow to raise them up to reach the table comfortably.
The same rules will apply that you use for baby feeding.
- Never leave the little one to eat unsupervised.
- Encourage them to sit still and not play and be restless to avoid slipping off the chair.
- Place a placemat under their plate to catch any spills.
Based on what experts have to say, it’s not recommended to feed your little one in a baby bouncer. Rather opt for one of the safer alternatives that support the 90/90/90 rule. Ensuring that your baby is never left unsupervised will also keep them safe while feeding.
And what about breastfeeding or bottle feeding your baby in a car? That’s another important topic I covered in a separate article.