First off, are baby loungers safe?
Yes… but not entirely.
As a matter of fact, we can also say they are dangerous… or should I say, DEADLY!
Sounds weird, right?
Don’t worry. I’ll get things cleared up as you read on.
Speaking of “DEADLY,”…
Do you know: report shows eight babies have died between December 2015 and June 2020 because they’re being placed in baby loungers without supervision?
Further analysis proves the infants died due to suffocation.
Now if we think about that for a second, it’s obvious these babies died gasping for air—not a good experience, especially for their tender and delicate nature.
However, while I’m out here telling you the dangerous aspect of baby loungers, it doesn’t negate the fact that they can also be put to good use under the right situation.
That said, this guide is focused on telling you precisely, as a parent, all you need to know about baby loungers.
What you’re about to learn (if you haven’t already) will help you make better decisions while using them.
What Is A Baby Lounger?
The baby lounger is a pillow-like bed that you can easily fit your baby into when you’re not disposed to having them in your arm at a particular moment.
Probably you’re doing the laundry or just taking a break….whatever the reason you can’t hold your baby at a given time, baby loungers come in handy in such situations, provided you keep a close watch on the baby.
Loungers are pretty soothing for babies because it keeps them relaxed while giving you enough time to go about other activities at home.
Are Baby Loungers Safe?
We tend to come across adverts from big brands that portray baby loungers as something that enhances peaceful sleeping in the lives of infants.
This is misconstruing—a false sense of reality, passing off the wrong idea as TRUTH, which makes the whole thing even more dangerous.
In other words, these baby loungers are not designed for sleeping, especially when unsupervised.
The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have confirmed, that this is because loungers can lead to suffocation, worst case scenario: DEATH!
That said, it negates the idea of allowing your baby to sleep in a lounger.
The best you should do is allow your baby to stay in the lounger for a while, but if they fall asleep, quickly transfer the baby to the crib.
It’s also good to point out that while your baby is in a lounger, it should be placed on the floor.
Not the bed.
Not the cribs.
Not even the bassinet.
And before I forget, when your baby is in a lounger, awake, always keep a close eye.
Sometimes they roll onto their stomach (face down), and they’ll likely find it hard to roll back (face up) because of the walls of the lounger.
And because of their underdeveloped neck strength, their face gets stuck in a face-down position, pressing against a soft surface, giving room for little or no air to pass, eventually leading to suffocation.
You can only bypass all these by always watching your baby closely.
By that, I mean:
- Turning them over if they ever roll onto their stomach or side and
- Making sure they don’t fall asleep in the lounger.
Soft surfaces have never been a good choice for infants with regard to sleeping.
Even the American Academy Of Pediatrics Safe Sleep guidelines stipulated that the sleep surface of infants must be firm and lacking soft objects or whatever bedding accessory is soft.
On that note, loungers are disregarded as safe sleeping beds because their softness goes against the safety requirements of safe sleeping in babies.
Until now, I know I haven’t been clear on the question: are baby loungers safe?
Well…This is it:
Yes! Baby loungers are safe for infants to stay in, provided you’ll keep a close watch so they don’t fall asleep in the lounger. This is because the softness of loungers goes against the safety requirements (as addressed by AAP) for safe sleeping in babies.
You’re good to go if you can be attentive enough to ensure they don’t fall asleep in the lounger.
Best Ways To Use A Baby Lounger
The safest ways to use baby loungers include:
- Don’t allow your baby to fall asleep on a lounger. So always keep a close watch.
- Don’t focus excessively on time-taking activities while your baby is in a lounger.
- While busy with other minor activities, don’t lose sight of the baby. Things happen so fast with babies.
- Ensure the lounger is placed on the floor rather than the bed or crib.
- While your baby is in a lounger, don’t allow them to roll onto their belly or sides.
- If your baby falls asleep in the lounger, transfer them to the crib.
- While the baby is in the lounger, always make eye contact with your baby to understand at any point if there’s a distress call from the baby.
- Don’t use them at night: avoid using loungers at night because you might fall into a deep sleep, and checking up on the baby becomes a problem.
- Don’t co-sleep with loungers: no matter what you think or what you’ve been told, co-sleeping with loungers is a bad idea. Not just because of the risk of rolling over the baby but also the risk of suffocation—your bed is a soft surface—unsuitable for loungers. Furthermore, co-sleeping with loungers is wrong because you don’t have to sleep at all, leaving your baby in a lounger.
- Use only a lounger with breathable fabric: what this means is getting a lounger that makes it easy for the baby to breathe. This will keep the baby comfortable and reduce the risk of suffocation.
- Lastly, please don’t fall asleep. Lol. Sometimes, as a parent, you get worn out and hit the bed even without knowing. It could be dangerous if the baby is still in the lounger. So whenever you sense you’re wearing out and the baby is still in the lounger, please transfer the baby to the crib. By so doing, you won’t be taken unawares.
Choosing The Right Baby Lounger
There are a lot of loungers out there that vary, usually in size, material, design, strength, weight, etc.
The point is not all loungers are suitable for use. That’s precisely why, in this section, I want to highlight tips you should consider before choosing a baby lounger.
The best design in terms of baby loungers is the one with an incline.
It is better than the regular, flat ones because it provides support, an excellent visual perspective, and comfort.
Also, you can easily make eye contact with your baby in an inclined baby lounger, making monitoring the baby’s situation easier as you go about other activities.
When choosing a baby lounger, consider a material with good breathability.
Such materials reduce the risk of suffocation if the baby rolls onto their stomach.
Also, don’t go for a material with an itchy surface. We both know your baby will never be comfortable in such materials.
Another point to consider is going for materials that can be easily cleaned.
No doubt the baby will sometimes mess up the lounger with spills, and if the material is not cleanable, you’ll have difficulty getting rid of the mess whenever needed.
One of the recommended materials that fit the cleanable situation is loungers made with waterproof material. You could also check it out.
In terms of strength, we’re talking about the softness or hardness of the lounger.
Note: loungers are not all that hard, but their softness differs from one another.
That said, don’t go for an overly soft lounger because it increases the risk of suffocation if the baby misguidedly rolls over to the belly position.
On the other hand, don’t go for a lounger that is too hard.
The Babies’ skin is quite soft and delicate, so you don’t need to place them on very hard surfaces, especially when they could spend a few minutes or hours there.
What you need is a lounger with moderate strength—not too hard, not too soft.
Price and Budget
This is the part where you make the final decision. These (price and budget) are the big guys who say everything.
On that note, after making the necessary choice, you’ll always want to determine if the lounger’s price fits your budget.
No one has so much money to throw away, so you need a cost-effective budget-friendly lounger.
By cost-effective, I mean a lounger that fits your budget and offers full value for such a price.
At this point, you have all you need to decide on baby loungers. After that, you can either choose to get one or not.
Getting one means you’re ready to play by the rules to keep your baby safe.
On the other hand, not getting one means avoiding questionable situations entirely.
Both choices are super okay; your baby will be fine with or without a lounger.
And come to think of it, not all babies have loungers.
On a final note, baby loungers are very nice, and if you’re thinking of getting one, understand it’ll help a lot, especially during the first few months after delivery.
One more thing: for mothers who birthed through C-section, you could find baby loungers handy because you could place the baby there while you recover. You can also interact with them.