As a parent, having a safe space where you can dock your baby is key if you want to get anything done around the house. Baby loungers are awesome for this purpose - whether you’re looking to get some laundry done, clean up after lunch, or just need to rest your arms, baby loungers save the day. Simple as they may seem, loungers do come with a learning curve. In this post, we’ll dig into the baby lounger best practices.
About Baby Loungers
Baby loungers are essentially specially designed pillows. Whether you’re looking for a baby lounger for a crib or a flat surface, they typically have raised edges and grooves in the middle, which help keep your baby in place and offer spinal support. They come in several sizes, so you can pick the right option for your unique baby.
There are some options that are multi-purpose and can be used for tummy time, falling asleep, and breastfeeding. Some are washable and made so that they do not harbor heat. They’re usually used for newborn babies up until the 1 year old mark.
Choosing a baby lounger for your baby
DO: Consider the age of your baby - a baby lounger for 4 month old will not fit a baby who is 13 months. Baby loungers are sized based on age range, so be sure to pick one that works for your baby’s age and size.
DO: Decide the primary purpose of your baby lounger before purchasing - are you looking to put it in the crib? Use it for supervised co-sleeping? Or will you just use it during the day while monitoring your baby? Not all baby loungers are created equal.
DO: Consider fabric content. Babies’ skin is sensitive, so you have to be mindful of what materials your baby comes into contact with, especially for long periods of time. Bamboo and cotton are breathable and hypoallergenic, which is best for babies. Some loungers are even made of organic bamboo or cotton, which makes them safer than other materials which may have come into contact with pesticides and chemicals.
DO: Pick a fun color that matches your decor. There are so many options out there - some are even reversible so you can have two colors to choose from.
DON’T: Just buy the first one you see. There are tons of options on the market, so you’ll want to do your research instead of making a rushed decision. Various colors, shapes (flat, poofs, ovals, chairs etc,) sizes, and purposes are all things to consider before making the purchase.
Setting up a baby lounger for crib
DO: Place the baby lounger in the center of the crib to keep the lounger and the baby safe and in place.
DO: Put your lounger on a flat, firm mattress - this applies in a baby lounger for bassinet as well.
DON’T: Put the baby lounger on an uneven surface - this risks the possibility of your baby falling off the lounger due to any movement.
DON’T: Place the baby lounger near any of the edges of the crib.
DON’T: Put the lounger near any cords or strings, such as window shade strings, electrical cords, or toy mobiles. You don’t want the baby to have a chance of grabbing onto strings or cords and potentially being strangled or choked.
DON’T: Add any extra pillows, blankets, comforters, or toys, as this may result in blocking your baby’s airway.
DON’T: Use any baby lounger until you have it fully assembled.
Positioning your baby
DO: Research the specific baby lounger you’ve purchased ahead of time. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has warned that babies should not sleep in any product that holds them in an incline, especially infants. Most products are made with parental supervision required.
DO: Lay your baby flat on their back in the baby lounger with their face up - this will ensure lack of incline, safer use, and a clear airway for the baby.
DO: When using a baby lounger for tummy time, be sure to supervise your baby at all times to ensure safety.
DON’T: Lay your baby on their side or tummy if they are under 12 months old, this may result in blocking their airways.
DON’T: Carry your baby around while they are in their lounger - this would run the risk of them rolling and falling out of the lounger.
Co-sleeping with a baby lounger
DO: As all baby loungers require supervised attention, only use for co-sleeping if another adult can keep an eye on both of you.
DO: Make sure your baby’s shoulders and hips fit in the middle of the baby lounger and be sure to use a lounger that has padded, raised edges to keep your baby from rolling over.
DO: Choose an oval shaped lounger, which mimics the safe feeling of being in mom’s womb. Many parents say this helps their baby sleep much easier.
DO: Most importantly, use close supervision to ensure that your baby stays in place. Movement from side to side can risk suffocation.
DON’T: Let your baby co-sleep with an adult who suffers from sleep disorders or is obese. Avoid letting your baby co-sleep with anyone under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
DON’T: Let your baby co-sleep with other kids - toddlers or older children can put your baby in risk. Pets should also not be allowed on the bed.
Cleaning a baby lounger
DO: Spot clean for smaller spills or spit-ups, with a wet rag and a gentle, preferably unscented soap, like Dawn dish soap.
DO: Remove any detachable covers and wash that. If the cushion underneath is dirty, it’s best to take a wet cloth with a gentle soap to scrub out any messes.
DO: Wash the detachable cover by hand if possible. If cleaning it in a washing machine, use cold water with a mild detergent. Choose the lowest agitation option.
DO: Hang dry or choose to dry the cover in a dryer. If you’re using a dryer, be sure to choose a cool temperature setting.
DO: Allow the cover and cushion to dry completely before using the lounger again.
DON’T: Bleach the baby lounger - you don’t want your baby’s sensitive skin to come into contact with bleach or bleach residue.
DON’T: Dry clean your baby lounger. Dry cleaners use chemicals which can be harmful to a baby’s sensitive skin.
Traveling with a baby lounger
DO: Consider the size of your lounger - a baby lounger for 6 month old will obviously be much smaller than one meant for a toddler, and thus, easier to travel with.
DO: Some baby loungers come with a travel bag - depending on which type you have, this is a great way to travel with the lounger. If not, most are lightweight and can be folded down to fit into a bag that you already own.
DO: For road trips, you can put the lounger in a safe spot, even just on top of the rest of your luggage, rather than trying to pack it down and stuff it into a small bag. Just be sure to keep the lounger safe from any pets or dirt - otherwise you may have to wash it once you arrive at your destination before allowing your baby to use it again.
DON’T: Carry your baby lounger onto a plane without some type of bag or covering. Being in a contained space like an airplane means you come into contact with all kinds of germs. It’s best to keep the baby lounger covered. If you must, just be sure to wash the cover of the lounger once you arrive at your destination before using.
Toys & baby loungers
DO: Buy your baby all the cute fluffy stuffed animals and learning toys that your heart desires.
DO: Allow your baby to play with the toys only when you are able to supervise. Sure, you’ll want something to keep them distracted when you set them down in the lounger so you can get things done around the house, but if the baby has a toy while in the lounger, they must be supervised. Toys can be a choking hazard when combined with a baby lounger.
DON’T: Put any toys on or near the baby lounger while your baby is sleeping. Just like with blankets and pillows, we know it can be tempting to make your baby’s sleep space cozy and comfy, but it’s a choking hazard. Keep all toys separate from baby lounger sleep time.
As any parent knows, having a safe spot to put your baby down is so important. Without products like baby loungers, we’d never get a chance to get anything else done! We highly recommend investing in one - just be sure to choose wisely. Once you are the proud owner of a baby lounger, be sure to use your best judgement. Keep the lounger on flat surfaces. Don’t put it near any toys, strings, or blankets that could be a choking hazard. Supervise your baby as much as you can. Above all else, enjoy your time with your baby - they’ll only be small enough to use a baby lounger for a short time. These are the memories you will cherish when you’re chasing them around the house in a couple short years!