explain the opposition to bouncers, etc. - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-05-2007, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i understand it's not very AP to leave your babe in a bouncer all day--but why do some of you not want to use contraptions like that period? i couldn't LIVE without the bouncer. literally could not function at all.

DD takes virtually all her daytime naps in hers--unless she's in the sling with DH. or if i'm napping too, we do it on the bed. she will only sleep in her co-sleeper at night. the bouncer puts her to sleep the best of anything, though. she's liked it from day one.

maybe part of why i'm relying on it so much is that i haven't really been able to wear her due to my c/s incision (vertical, LONG), which is now infected. i had all these grand plans of babywearing hours a day, and i absolutely hate it because of the soreness. so i've only done it like twice for 15 minutes.

anyway, i don't really feel BAD about using this stuff. it works for us. but i'm just curious what the rationale is behind not buying/using bouncers or swings. (she's just starting to like/get the swing. the mobile is now pretty cool to her, it seems.)

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Old 06-05-2007, 11:01 AM
 
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I think you are going to get a lot of different responses to this one. I think generally speaking, some people are uncomfortable w/ things that confine infants. They don't learn too much when stuck in one place. Having said that, I think most people are understanding that things in moderation are usually not harmful. (But don't get me started on those parents that have no problem w/ long periods of confinement!)But, you can also get into the specifics of how certain pieces of equipment aren't developmentally appropriate, and perhaps harmful. (ie: Bumbo seats aren't needed in order for a baby to learn to sit, exersaucers aren't needed in order for a baby to learn to walk, etc.) Also, I think anytime you say, "I couldn't live without ____________" then marketers have done their job well. That's not a personal slam against you, btw. Lord knows I have my list of things that I think I can't live without! I just think it's kind of funny that for centuries there wasn't all this baby gear, but we've all managed to be convinced that we need it.

Sorry about your infection, too. I sure hope you heal soon. May you have many blissful babywearing days in your future!
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Old 06-05-2007, 11:01 AM
 
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i am so sorry to hear about your incision infection! i hope it heals soon.

i don't know about bouncers specifically, but i know that if a babe is asleep in a swinng or carseat, he can slump over in a way that might make it difficult to breathe. i still let him sleep in there occasionally though... just can't bring myself to wake a sleeping baby... actually that's how we got started on the 10 o'clock nap routine... 2 days in a row i set him down in the swing after his morning feed because i had to pee, and he fell asleep! so now i put him down to nap on the bed.

anyway as long as you stay close by him and know he's okay, there is NO reason to feel guilty abou8t what works besrt for you!
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Old 06-05-2007, 11:08 AM
 
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I love my bouncer and use it for her naps, she will fall asleep on me or in her sling and then I will put her in the bouncer and she will sleep for a good while!

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Old 06-05-2007, 12:38 PM
 
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I didn't use any baby gear with my second (I had a bouncer and exersaucer with #1) because I felt they were unnecessary and leads to less human contact. I really believe that it is ideal for babies to be held/worn/touching someone 24/7 so that's what we did.
However, I'm lucky enough to have a supportive partner who held the baby while I showered, ate, rested, etc. and I had a gentle unassisted birth. With physical problems or no partner, I can see why one would need to use those contraptions. I just wouldn't, personally. Also, all that stuff is really ugly and I don't want it in my house.
Sorry to hear about your infection, I hope you have a quick recovery!
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Old 06-05-2007, 12:56 PM
 
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our bouncy seat becomes the seat on our swing...she's only in it for a nap during the day (she's in there right now, snoozing). I felt guilty at first, but it gives me a chance to shower, EAT (sometimes it gets to be 2pm and I realize..huh I haven't eaten yet....that's not good), and have a few moments for myself.....I love wearing her in the Moby, but she pretty much hates it unless she's asleep or about to be asleep...and I can't wear her in the shower anyways.

As a PP said, all things in moderation. Gianna is in there for MAYBE 2 hours a day, and the rest of the time she's either in mine or DH's arms or on the bed next to me (or in the wrap..if she's not screaming about it)
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Old 06-05-2007, 01:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by earthgirl View Post
I just think it's kind of funny that for centuries there wasn't all this baby gear, but we've all managed to be convinced that we need it.
But in most of those past centuries, there was more extended family around to hold the baby and give mom a chance to eat.

DS loves the toy bar on his bouncer; he will talk to the toys and bat at them for half an hour if we let him. He sometimes (maybe once/ week) sleeps in there too. It is a safer angle for him than a carseat or swing.
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Old 06-05-2007, 01:03 PM
 
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I don't think there's so much opposition to bouncers as there is to exersaucer type of things and that because people over use them and they facilitate development of wrong muscles for walking.

I used a bouncy type seat because DD could see me (once she could see me) better than she could off the floor while I did crazy things like eating and going to the bathroom. Once she could flip over on her own she didn't want to be confined in it anyways. Then she got put on the blanket on the floor and hasn't been confined very much since.

Congrats on your new arrival and I'm sorry to hear about the incision
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Old 06-05-2007, 01:04 PM
 
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i used my swing for ds naps for one month and noticed he became fussier and started doing that annoying arched back thing when i held him...started wearing him in a wrap for most of the day and he is just a peach! but, your situation sounds like you reallly need these for right now. i wouldn't feel bad. as soon as your scar heals you can start babywearing and soon thats what you won't be able to live without.
i don't think the fact that people have these is wrong, just the way some use them, although next time i think i might not get so many . i do use his bouncy chair in the bathroom to set him in while i go, which is helpful. but the swing just tempts me to put him init and walk away.and like i said, i noticed a huge difference in his personality when i did that, even just for naps.
hope you get healed up soon.
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Old 06-05-2007, 01:32 PM
 
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I don't think it is good for a baby to be routinely comforted by things (swings, bouncy seats, pacifiers, etc.). In order to properly bond, a baby should get most of their comfort from a person.

Also, when a baby spends a lot of time confined in a swing or bouncy seat, he/she is not getting enough stimulation or interaction.

I wouldn't worry about small amounts of time in the swing or bouncy seat, but I think it's best if those kinds of things are used only when necessary and in moderation, instead of *for as long as tolerated by the baby.* :
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Old 06-05-2007, 02:02 PM
 
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I think some people over use alot of the baby gear- but the past few weeks I have been sitting for my nephew who is 3, and I can definitely see why parents of more than 1 little one need some of those things! Right now I am : heheh he is so busy!
I have a swing and a bouncy seat. Trixie sits in the swing when I cook or am cleaning, I dont like haveing her in the sling when I am useing things I dont want her to tounch. She really enjoys

and The bouncy seat is great for when I need to get dressed or when I have to do something with Bryson (my nephew) like whne we play ball, i really dont want her to get hit with a ball!:

we also have a Hopper that she really really loves, but my little one is an odd baby she doesnt like being in the sling all day

dont feel bad though - you do whats best for your baby! and I hope you feel better soon!
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Old 06-05-2007, 05:42 PM
 
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I think things in moderation are fine in my book. By used the swing mostly as a safe place to put 3rd baby. I needed a safe place where the older 2 kiddos couldn't reach him when I needed to do something.

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Old 06-05-2007, 06:45 PM
 
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Actually, I'm reading this really interesting book called "What's Going on in There: How the brain and mind develop in the first five years of live" by a neuroscientist Lise Eliot.

It's fascinating and she has a whole chapter on 'Why Babies Love to be Bounced'. It's the inner ear stimulation and challenge to their equilibrium and actually facilitates motor development, prepares them to balance when walking etc... (and probably contributes to our love of merry-go-rounds and roller coasters etc...)

In fact, they did a study where adults spun in an office chair with a baby vs. a control group and reflexes and motor development were more advanced in the spun babies than the ones who did not spin. They did the same study with twins--one twin spun, the other didn't-- with the same result. The spun twin mastered head control before their sibling.

So whether you bounce (or spin) your baby yourself or use a chair, it's all contributing to your child's motor development by exercising their vestibular system and reflexes. Not to mention babies find it soothing.

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Old 06-05-2007, 07:10 PM
 
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I agree with the sentiments above. Things have changed a lot in the last 50 years and there IS a necessity to have some things for baby so that mom can get a few minutes to do things that are simply a necessity, like eat and use the bathroom. There are parents out there that use those contraptions far too much in my opinion, like when baby spends MOST of the day in the bouncey seat, swing, exersaucer, etc. but there is certainly a time and place for them, especially now that moms tend to have less help and more to do!
DD will sit in the bouncer for a few minutes while I cook dinner IF she can see me. Same with the swing. But she much prefers to be in arms, the wrap or even laying in her crib (heehee, we use it as a changing table!) watching the mobile and having naked time.

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Old 06-05-2007, 11:20 PM
 
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Definitely. And so much depends on your individual baby. Mine preferred being in a bouncer or swing (as it more like a sitting up position) facing me than being in a carrier when I was sitting down. Arms were fine, but if I needed my hands free, it had to be the bouncer.

We only had a bouncer, not a swing (as I did need somewhere to put her down sometimes--DH is out at work all day). My mother got a swing for when we visited and I have to admit DD loves it. She loves motion, and she's at that stage where all she wants to do is sit up and look around at everything. Tempting as it is (she's much better behaved at mealtimes now, we can both eat two-handed) I don't think we'll buy one.

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Old 06-06-2007, 12:12 AM
 
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Things have changed a lot in the last 50 years and there IS a necessity to have some things for baby so that mom can get a few minutes to do things that are simply a necessity, like eat and use the bathroom.
It's fine to use an infant seat once in a while, but I don't agree that it's a necessity. It's not only possible to get by without the baby gear, but in many ways, easier.

I agree with earthgirl. We are so heavily marketed to, we come to believe we can't live without this stuff.
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Old 06-06-2007, 12:19 AM
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I'd worry mostly about any item that harmed physical dev, like by the babt hanhing by the crotch, or wearing on the legs too much...

in this isolated age (even w/ my ILs wanting to be over all the time holding dd!) i think a swing can be useful so I can get good nutrition by actually eating, lol... but then adain mt babyhawk is on order and maybe I can do more things w/ dd in that than our sling!






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Old 06-07-2007, 11:09 AM
 
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I use both a swing and a bouncy chair. I originally didn't buy one. Then the gassy issues started and the side to side swinging motion was a life saver. The bouncy chair is great when I want to do things like :shower and use the toilet! As a single mother, I need the help of these things if I ever want to be clean or eat a meal!
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Old 06-07-2007, 11:09 AM
 
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I use both a swing and a bouncy chair. I originally didn't buy one. Then the gassy issues started and the side to side swinging motion was a life saver. The bouncy chair is great when I want to do things like :shower and use the toilet! As a single mother, I need the help of these things if I ever want to be clean or eat a meal!
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Old 06-07-2007, 11:17 AM
 
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[QUOTE=sunnysideup;8306491]I don't think it is good for a baby to be routinely comforted by things (swings, bouncy seats, pacifiers, etc.). In order to properly bond, a baby should get most of their comfort from a person.

Sunnysideup-
I have a question for you, in regard to this statement. It's just out of curiosity and fun...So, my DD loves to be bounced to sleep as I hold her on the exercise ball. So, she's in my arms, laying on my shoulder, BUT we're both sitting on the exercise ball. In fact, it is ususally the only way I can get her to sleep. I have often wondered about this dependency of mine, and even tried to wean myself off, but finally broke down. What do you think of that?

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Old 06-07-2007, 11:23 AM
 
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my DD loves to be bounced to sleep as I hold her on the exercise ball. So, she's in my arms, laying on my shoulder, BUT we're both sitting on the exercise ball. In fact, it is ususally the only way I can get her to sleep. I have often wondered about this dependency of mine, and even tried to wean myself off, but finally broke down. What do you think of that?
I think your daughter is being comforted by you, in your arms, and that's good Whether you're sitting on a ball, in a rocking chair, or standing and bouncing, doesn't much matter. I wouldn't worry about having to change your routine. She will eventually grow out of the need to be bounced to sleep.
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Old 06-07-2007, 12:33 PM
 
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I don't have a bouncy seat myself, but I put DS in one for a few minutes when I was at my dad's house last weekend. He LOVED it. But I had been wearing him for a few hours at that point and we were at a hot, noisy family gathering. Maybe it was just the cool and quiet of the house that did it.

I am thinking about getting one for dinner preparation purposes. I just don't feel comfortable wearing him while wielding sharp and boiling items.

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Old 06-07-2007, 12:58 PM
 
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It's been said before, but I think sometimes gear is nessecary.

I moved to WA when I was pregnant and I still have yet to make any friends. I don't have any family or friends who can come over and hold the baby while I do basic housework, personal cleaning or basic relaxing. DH works and goes to school so he's basically only here to sleep.

I have a few bouncy seats that I keep in various rooms so that if I have to change clothes or shower, I can. Everything else I do with her in the wrap.

After 6 weeks of being totally isolated in my apt with a babe in my arms I was dying to go back to work part time. I never thought I'd want to leave my baby, but sad to say it is the only opportunity I have to get a break. When the sitter comes I choke down some food, pump, go to the bathroom, brush my teeth, etc- all the things I can't do during the day.

I think if we lived in a society that valued the family unit a lot more and we all had DPs, extended family, friends, whatever around to help us out we could get by without much gear at all. However, since we don't I don't know how it can be done while retaining the sanity of the mother.

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Old 06-07-2007, 12:58 PM
 
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I am thinking about getting one for dinner preparation purposes. I just don't feel comfortable wearing him while wielding sharp and boiling items.
That's one of the things ours gets used for most.

Sunnysideup, what DO you do while cooking?
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Old 06-07-2007, 01:09 PM
 
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I just follow my child's lead. We do have a swing and a couple exersaucers. With some recent back issues and two older kids who sometimes need help, wearing Owen all day is just not an option. Plus, he doesn't like to be worn for long periods of time.

So I just go with what he likes. If I have to use the bathroom, I'll put him in the saucer and the kids will play with him or he'll play by himself. If he's happy in there after I'm done, I let him play. When he fusses, I get him out.

Same things with everything else. Stroller, baby carrier, chairs . . . if I need to use one, I let him let me know when he's done. And he REALLY lets me know. Most of the time he's in my arms or in my lap, but I need space from time to time--and I think he does too. He loves to roll on the floor and practice his creaping.

Maybe this wouldn't work with a more passive child, but it works for us.
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Old 06-07-2007, 01:20 PM
 
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well that makes perfect sense, sunnysideup. For some reason, I thought I had a trick question for ya, but no, you answered it logically and truthfully. I think it is my dependence (like I said) and not hers. But, hopefully she will grow out of it soon because now I fuss when we're on it for too long! Thanks for the encouragement, and entertaining my silly notions-

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Old 06-07-2007, 01:29 PM
 
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Sunnysideup, what DO you do while cooking?
If you want to get by without using a sling or baby seat, a baby can be laid down on a blanket, or worn on your back, and there were times I used to wait for dh to get home to start dinner.

I don't see anything wrong with using a baby seat every once in while, when you need to. I think they do get over used, parents become dependent upon them and get to a point where they don't even try to do things while holding or wearing their baby, and then both parent and child miss out on a lot (bonding, stimulation, interaction, etc.).
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Old 06-07-2007, 02:10 PM
 
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both the bouncer and the swing are my dd's worst enemies!! she won't take a pacifier, either. i planned on ap'ing, but didn't know if my dd would tolerate being worn, etc. so we bought a swing and bouncy seat. what a waste of $! the sling is her favorite piece of baby gear, and my boob is her pacifier. seriously those 2 things are all we really need right now. she doesn't even like the glider my sister gave us. it's like she's an ap baby to the max..she just came out that way!!
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Old 06-08-2007, 05:32 AM
 
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When Cora was first born, I was totally anti-gear, until the only place she would sleep for a 3 week phase was in her carseat/carrier (but ironically, never when actually in the car!)

Cora used to spend TONS of time in the sling. And she hated the bouncy chair. But the baby I watch right now hates the sling. And I put her in a bouncy chair a little bit today, and she actually slept, which was so odd to me. Her mom has her in a wrap a lot, but for some reason she doesn't like the very same wrap with me! But she'll fall, and stay, asleep on my chest/shoulder area just fine, so long as it's the left side! So, I had to put her in the bouncy chair after a few hours, so I could pee. When I got back, she had fallen asleep, so I took the opportunity to wash some bottles. Even AP moms need to get the feeling back in their arms, and empty out their bladders! Though, w/ Cora, when she was going through her very sling-dependent years, I learned to go potty w/ her in the sling!

(True Confessions, AP-style: from age 11 months to 22 months, Cora took every single afternoon nap at home in a battery operated swing!)

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