Like I did with the crib buying guide, I’ll start this baby loungers buying guide with some recent sad news associated with infant loungers.
There have been several concerns about infant loungers that have resulted in the deaths of infants. The U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)has urged parents to stop using some baby lounger brands, especially for sleeping as they’ve been shown to suffocate infants.
Just this year, AAP formally advised parents to stop using baby loungers as they “create a dangerous sleep environment for babies.”
In light of the deaths, AAP reminded parents to ensure they are following the safe sleep guidelines for babies which includes:
- -Babies should sleep on their back from birth until they are 1 year old
- -Babies should sleep in a crib, bassinet, or pack ‘n play that meets current safety standards with a firm, tight-fitting mattress
- -The sleeping area should be free of pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, and other soft items
- -Babies should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or on a chair alone or with another person
Going by several expert recommendations, it is important that you avoid any lounger that;
- – Are soft and cushiony
- – Have raised sides or pillows around the edge
- – Are V-shaped
- – Come with straps or harnesses that could keep your baby in one position
What is a baby lounger?
A baby lounger is a seat that props up an infant in a semi-reclined position and typically has padded sides to keep your child snug and comfortable. They often come with straps the best ones are made of soft breathable fabric that can be machine-washed.
Some baby loungers resemble a mini hammock and can be hung from a stand or door frame, while others look more like a padded seat or bouncer.
Why use a baby lounger?
Baby loungers can be a godsend for new parents. They give you a few much-needed minutes of freedom to take a shower, eat a meal, or use the restroom without having to hold your baby the entire time.
They’re also great for travel as they can easily be packed up and taken with you on the go.
- Baby loungers can be a godsend for parents who want to free up their hands for a few minutes while their little one is contentedly snoozing nearby.
- Light and portable loungers can be a convenient option for travel, while those that double as a bouncer can provide extra value.
- They are available in different sizes
- Can can be used for tummy or playtime
- They are easy to clean with some coming with machine-washable covers.
- There have been reports of infant fatalities in baby loungers, so it’s important to use them correctly and never leave your child unattended.
- While some parents find them helpful, others find that their baby doesn’t take well to being propped up in a lounger and prefer a traditional bouncer or floor mat instead.
- They are expensive
- They have short lifespan and the baby outgrows it very fast. Most models can’t be used after the baby is 12 months old.
Why are baby loungers dangerous?
While baby loungers can give parents a much-needed break, they can be extremely dangerous.
In November 2019, the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released a statement warning parents about the dangers of baby loungers after receiving reports of at least 10 infant deaths.
The CPSC found that baby loungers can cause suffocation if an infant rolls over or gets wedged into the padded sides.
See the illustration above by Consumer Reports;
Baby loungers are part of sleep gear items that fit the description of inclined sleep products, which the AAP does not recommend for infants.
Another thing to note is that baby loungers are only good for until the baby is able to roll over which happens long before their first birthday.
73 cases of infant death in the U.S were reported from 2005 to 2019, with most of them being attributed to inclined sleepers.
While some parents find them helpful, others find that their baby doesn’t take well to being propped up in a lounger and prefer a traditional bouncer or floor mat instead.
The incline in baby loungers is what makes it dangerous. The edge-shaped baby loungers can cause an infant to roll over into an unsafe position and become wedged between the mattress and the back of the sleeper, resulting in asphyxia.
The CPSC recommends that parents only use baby lounges for short periods of time while supervising their infants.
What to look for when buying a baby lounger
Whenever you’re buying anything for your baby, safety should be your number one priority. With that in mind, here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a baby lounger.
- 1. Avoid products with straps or buckles across the front: Straps and buckles can create a risk of suffocation if they’re positioned across your baby’s chest.
- 2. Look for a product with a firm, flat bottom: A flat bottom will help to prevent your baby from sliding down into an unsafe position.
- 3. Make sure the sides are low and not too soft: Soft sides can pose a risk of suffocation, so it’s important to choose a product with firm, low sides.
- 4. Avoid products with raised edges or pillows: Raised edges and pillows can cause your baby to roll over onto their stomach, which is not safe for sleeping babies.
- 5. Choose a product made from breathable fabric: Breathable fabric will help to keep your baby cool and comfortable, and it’s also easier to clean.
- 6. Look for a product that’s easy to clean: A machine-washable cover is a must-have for any baby product, and it’s especially important for something that will be used as often as a baby lounger.
- 7. Select a lounger with padded sides to prevent your baby from rolling out or getting bumped around.
- 8. Choose a baby lounger that’s lightweight and portable so you can take it with you on the go.
- 9. Avoid products that have any sharp edges or small parts that could pose a choking hazard.
- 10. Make sure the product you select is age-appropriate for your baby.
- 11. Look for a baby lounger that comes with a money-back satisfaction guarantee.
- 12. Check the reviews before you buy to see what other parents are saying about the product.
Factors to consider when Buying the Best Baby Lounger
If you’re set on buying a baby lounger, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Go for breathable models:
Look for a lounger that is made of breathable mesh or fabric. Breathable materials will allow your baby to stay cool and comfortable. In addition, the breathable fabric does not overheat and reduces the chances of suffocation in case your baby’s mouth and nose become covered. It also promotes air circulation to keep your baby’s skin healthy.
Avoid loungers with straps or buckles across the front:
While some parents find these straps helpful in keeping their baby in place, they can be dangerous. If your baby happens to roll over, the straps could end up covering their face and mouth, leading to suffocation.
Choose a product with a firm, flat bottom:
A lounger with a firm, flat bottom is essential for safety. A flat bottom prevents your baby from sinking in and getting stuck. It also provides a stable surface for your baby to play on.
Check the age limit:
Most baby loungers have an age limit of 9 to 12 months. However, some models can be used until your baby is 18 months old. If you’re planning on using the lounger for a long time, make sure to buy one that will grow with your baby.
Choose a lightweight model:
A lightweight lounger is easy to carry around and can be used both indoors and outdoors.
Look for a lounger with a removable cover:
A baby lounger with a removable cover is easy to clean. If the cover is not removable, make sure it’s machine-washable.
Choose a lounger with a stable base:
A baby lounger with a stable base is less likely to tip over. This is especially important if you have an active baby who likes to move around.
Get loungers with padding:
Padding is important in a baby lounger as it provides comfort and support for your baby. However, make sure that the padding is not too thick as it can cause your baby to overheat. In addition, the padding should be firm enough to provide support but soft enough to be comfortable for your baby.
At least 27 infant deaths have been attributed to bumper pads since 2006, according to the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission.
In most cases, the infants suffocated after rolling over and getting wedged against the padded sides of the crib.
Bumper pads are not required by federal safety standards, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend their use.
If you decide to use bumper pads, make sure they are thin, firm, well-secured to the crib, and do not cover the entire crib surface.
Choose the right size:
Make sure you choose a baby lounger that is the right size for your child. The lounger should be big enough for your baby to move around in, but not too big that your baby can get lost in it.
The typical lounger’s length is around 27 inches, while the width is between 15 and 17 inches.
Look for a lounger with a harness:
A harness is a strap that goes around your baby’s body to keep them securely in place. Look for a lounger that has a 5-point harness system as this will provide the most support and security for your baby.
Avoid hanging baby loungers:
Hanging baby loungers are particularly dangerous as they can swings and sway, which can cause your baby to roll over or fall out. If you’re using a hanging lounger, make sure it is well-secured and never leave your baby unattended.
Get the right design:
Make sure the baby’s position is well supported by the lounger’s design. Look for a lounger that doesn’t have loose fabric surrounding it, since this could bunch up and become dangerous.
What are some safer alternatives to baby loungers?
If you’re looking for a safe alternative to a baby lounger, consider getting a:
– Baby bouncer: A baby bouncer is a seat that bounces your child up and down when they move or wiggle. Baby bouncers can be placed on the floor or in a doorway.
– Baby swing: A baby swing is a seat that swings back and forth, similar to a regular swing. Baby swings can be placed indoors or outdoors.
– Play yard: A play yard is a large, enclosed area where your child can play safely. Play yards typically have padded floors and mesh sides.
Some models come with straps that can be used to secure the lounger to a chair or stroller. This is a great safety feature as
– Avoid any loungers with padding that can block an infant’s airway.
– Make sure the lounger has a firm, flat bottom so it won’t tip over.
– Don’t use any lounger that has gaps or openings that could entrap a baby’s head.
– Never leave your baby unattended in a lounger.
Some major Baby Lounger Brands:
The Snuggle Me is a unique lounger designed to hug your baby. It has a U-shaped pillow that helps support your baby’s head and neck, and the bottom is flat so it won’t tip over.
The DockATot is a multifunctional lounger that can be used as a bassinet, changing station, or play mat. It has a soft, padded bottom and sides, and comes with a machine-washable cover.
See the entire list of top brands here.
- About the Author
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Hi there! I am Ashley Davis, a mom of three kids and the editor here at Motherhood HQ. I have been a parent since 2011 and have been doing full-time consulting as a baby sleep expert since 2019. When I am not researching or testing the next baby gear hitting the market, you’ll find me teaching my toddlers a trick or two – especially over the last few months with the lockdown. I hope you’ll find my guides and reviews helpful as you make your next purchase decision. If you have any questions, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.