A baby door bouncer consists of a fabric seat, which resembles an infant swing seat, connected to a spring system and attached to a doorway by a clamping mechanism. When the bouncer is set up for use, the spring system allows a young child to bounce by using his legs to push himself off the floor. In essence, a door bouncer is like a trampoline seat for infants and older babies. When used safely, a door bouncer can provide both entertainment and exercise for your baby.
A door bouncer can be as simple as just a secure seat to hold the child as she bounces. More elaborate bouncers can include music players, and trays for holding snacks and toys that hang in front of the children while they bounce. Some models even include vibration settings so children can enjoy massages while they jump.
Buying a door bouncer second-hand is not recommended. Damage may be hard to see, and there is no way of knowing how the previous owners treated the bouncer if you don't know the owners. A used bouncer may be compromised and unsafe for your baby. The better way to get a safe door bouncer is to buy a new one.
The biggest potential danger in a door bouncer is that the top of the door frame might be unable to support the child's weight. If the door frame gives way, the child will fall to the floor, and the bouncer's clamping mechanism and any debris from the door frame could injure the child. Another safety concern comes from the risk that a baby will be injured on the door frame or items in the vicinity while he bounces.
Check the strength of the doorway before attaching the bouncer. If the framing around the door feels loose, use a different doorway. Read the instructions included with your door bouncer and follow the weight and height guidelines for your child. If your child exceeds the height or weight recommendations, do not use the bouncer. Only babies who have the ability to support their heads should be placed in door bouncers.
If your child begins to swing in the bouncer after she pushes with her feet, stop the bouncer immediately. Swinging can put undue stress on the bouncer or cause injury if the child swings into the door frame. Do not leave a child in a bouncer for more than 30 minutes at a time. Any longer and you risk exhaustion and cutting off blood flow to your child's legs. Finally, never leave a child unsupervised in a bouncer.
Other similar baby toys also provide physical activity. One alternative to a door bouncer is a station bouncer, which is supported on its own frame. This eliminates the risk of a doorway giving way. Another option is a saucer toy, which allows a young child to twist and bounce in a centre seat while safely surrounded by a plastic toy bench.