A popular question from first time moms is “can baby sleep in a vibrating bouncer?”. Knowing what to do and what not to do with babies can be a little frustrating sometimes. From their feeding to clothing and even their sleeping area and sleeping position needs extra attention. Babies generally need to be handled with extra caution since they are still very tender and developing, not strong enough to withstand a certain level of stress.
Baby bouncers are one of the many gadgets mothers and expectant mothers buy for their babies. They are eager to get their babies all the beautiful things they need for their pleasure and comfort. Due to the soothing effect of vibrating bouncers, babies love to stay in them and sometimes sleep off.
Since pediatricians have advised against waking sleeping babies, mothers are usually caught between allowing their babies to sleep in the vibrating bouncer and taking them to their crib. Transferring them to the crib might cause them to wake up. Hence, the question can baby sleep in a vibrating bouncer?
Pediatrics journal in 2019 revealed that annually, roughly 3700 infants undergo sleep-related infant death, making it a dominant factor of postneonatal infant mortality (that is, child death within 28days- 1year old). The same source stated that out of 11,779 infant sleep-related death, 348 (3%) happened in sitting gadgets. Therefore, there is a valid need for concern about where a baby should or should not sleep.
What is The Function of Bouncers?
To begin, let us understand the primary function of baby bouncers. Bouncers, also known as bouncy chairs, are designed to hold your little one in place when they are alert, and you have to busy yourself with something else. You can also use their bouncers to hold babies down when you want to feed or play with them. Also, vibrating bouncers are used to calm them when they are cranky. This calm feeling often leads to their dozing off, but the bouncer was never made to take the place of a crib.
What Happens When Baby Sleeps in a Vibrating Bouncer?
If, at this point, you still need a direct answer to the question, “can baby sleep in a vibrating bouncer?” The answer is NO except for unavoidable reasons and under close supervision. It is not advisable because when the baby is asleep, you are tempted to leave the baby unsupervised to do other things you couldn’t do while the baby was awake. Leaving the child in such a position alone can be hazardous. Some implications of leaving a baby to sleep in a bouncer are;
1. Positional Asphyxia:
Asphyxia is a medical condition in which there is inadequate oxygen supply to the body due to abnormal breathing. Positional asphyxia occurs when the positioning of the baby limits the baby’s breathing. Bouncers are usually inclined between 30°-45° to the vertical, which is not a very safe position for a newborn because their necks are not strong enough to hold their heads in place. The fragile neck may cause the head to drop forward, thus obstructing their breath.
Also, bouncers come with straps that are meant to hold the babies in place. When babies are left unsupervised, the strap may suffocate the baby.
2. Positional Plagiocephaly:
Plagiocephaly is simply a condition where the baby’s head is distorted (flattened) on one side. Positional plagiocephaly results from continuously laying the child on his/her back over a long period. The distortion occurs because the baby’s skull is soft, not well fused. Continuous pressure allows it to assume a different shape based on where the pressure is exerted.
If a baby falls asleep in the bouncer, there are chances that he/she has stayed in it for a long time. National Health Service (NHS) advocates that babies should stay a maximum of 20minutes in bouncers. Since pediatricians advise that babies sleep on their back, they must assume other postures when they are not sleeping. National Health Service also reported that keeping your baby in a bouncer for a long time causes them to maintain an inclined position over that period. The result is that the baby will experience a delay in sitting by himself/ herself.
An even more drastic effect, death, may result from allowing your baby to sleep in a bouncer. Prolonged asphyxia caused by dropping the baby’s head or tightening the strap can cause the baby to suffocate after a while, resulting in the child’s death. Such infant deaths are referred to as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
4. Restricts Baby’s Movement:
Due to its design, the baby bouncer does not allow your child, to stretch fully or change sleeping positions as he/ she may wish to. The baby is held down in one position, and this can cause discomfort to the child and even disrupt the child’s rest.
What is the Best Sleeping Position for a Baby?
It is best to put your baby to sleep in a crib, bassinet, or cradle. The mattress should be firm with a well-fitted covering but no pillows or any form of obstruction. Babies should be placed on their backs while asleep to prevent them from suffocating to death. However, if your baby has learned how to change position while sleeping without help, there is no need to try to return your baby to his/her back.
Your baby should sleep in the same room with you. Place baby’s crib or cradle close to your bed to help you monitor and protect your baby. However, do not share the same bed with your baby as this is another leading cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Can baby sleep in a vibrating bouncer?
The soothing effect of vibrating bouncers that causes the babies to sleep off on them easily has left many mothers with the question; can a baby sleep in a vibrating bouncer? Even though the bouncer is a very good and comfortable baby gadget, it can have negative implications when used wrongly, some of which are drastic.
This article, therefore, exposes the possible negative effects of leaving a baby unsupervised in a vibrating bouncer. It also reveals the best sleeping posture for your child to reduce every possible chance of sudden Infant Death Syndrome.