When you’ve got a million things going on and need both your hands to get them all done, a baby lounger can be your best friend. These extra-large cushions look like absolute heaven for your baby. They’re also great for some active relaxation that allows you to lay your child down and play.
But are they a great option for putting your baby to sleep? We’ve got a list of pros and cons of using baby loungers and what you need to know about safe sleep practices with these devices.
A baby lounger looks like a big cushion or “nest” that’s used for soothing and relaxing your baby hands-free. This means you can take care of a few chores while keeping a close eye on them as they play or watch you.
You can find baby loungers for sale in multiple places online, in most baby stores, and in many other big box stores. They’re available in many brands, such as SnuggleMe Organic or DockaTot. These are great tools for exploration, positioning, and even supervised activity tummy time.
Baby loungers, like any product, are safe if you use them for what the company designed them for. They’re also safe if your infant is well-supervised. Parents should only use baby loungers in a secure area like the floor or a flat surface. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend loungers as safe for sleeping. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) hired an independent expert to test multiple sleep products and found products with inclines of 10 degrees or fewer, and with flat and rigid surfaces, are likely safe for infant sleep. Their expert also found that soft and plush-like sleep surfaces pose dangers to infants because the soft padding can make breathing difficult if their face presses against it.
Only products specifically named bassinet, pack-n-play, or crib are considered safe for sleep. All other products, even those designated as “sleepers,” are not safe. As a result, experts and government officials do not recommend baby loungers for any sleep time. They also don’t recommend using them on a couch, in a crib, bassinet, or a bed. Hazards associated with sleeping in baby loungers relate to children who may roll over and become obstructed. If your child falls asleep in a baby lounger, gently remove them and move them to a safe sleep space. This could be their bassinet or crib.
Here’s a look at some pros and cons of using a baby lounger and what to know about using it for sleep:
Some parents may believe it is okay for an infant to sleep in a baby lounger. However, there is a risk of suffocation when sleeping in one. Since a lounger is not flat, the uneven spaces and sides may cause breathing difficulties. It’s important to ensure you watch your baby while they’re in their lounger. Also, you’ll want to make sure you only purchase safe products. You can look for product recalls or warnings from the CPSC.
The pros of using a baby lounger include providing general convenience to parents as they try to multitask. Baby loungers are just that. They’re a great place for your child to lounge and relax as you tackle the day. You can freely exercise, wash the dishes, or catch up on laundry in your living room. They’re perfect for doing whatever you need to do while keeping your baby close by. Especially with a newborn that lacks neck support, a baby lounger will also help set your baby at a good angle to keep their eye on you.
Baby loungers are versatile because you can set them up anywhere you go. Having a baby lounger is also exceptionally helpful when traveling to someone’s home or going out of town. It gives you a perfect little tool where you can safely allow your child to play, lay down, and lounge. At home, the portability allows you to have a safe space to allow your child to lie down wherever you are. You don’t even have to lug around a swing or a bouncer from room to room.
A baby lounger isn’t a recommended option for getting your baby to sleep or letting them nap while you work. But they are wonderful for having your baby conveniently and safely close by as you move throughout your home or when you travel because they are lightweight and portable. They also can keep your baby busy and relaxed while you manage life. A baby lounger is so useful for these situations that it was worth the buy! Just not for sleep. 😉