Product Type: Lindam baby products
Newest Review: ... once the child can walk this item is a no go (but I am sure the child won't want to be restricted then anyway). The bouncer itself is a... more
Bouncing Baby Boy
Lindam Door Bouncer
Member Name: MagdaDH
Lindam Door Bouncer
Date: 20/11/06, updated on 21/11/06 (6847 review reads)
Advantages: fun for baby, fun for parents, change of scene
Disadvantages: scratched door frame
A door bouncer has to be undoubtedly one of the best baby-kit inventions ever.
For those who don't know, it's a type of swing-like contraption that is mounted in the doorway on a spring and thus allows a correctly inserted child to bounce up and down as they touch the ground with their toes.
There are different designs, I have used three so far and I think this one from Lindam is an excellent one: the fact that it has been sold in pretty much the same format for a good few years means it must be getting things right!
This bouncer is intended for children from the age they can hold their head up firmly. This will be usually some time round 3-4 months, but be guided by your child. Mine was using it happily for short periods at about 10 weeks, but his head control was rather early.
The bouncer has a weight limit of 12kg and is not advised for children who can walk, I personally think that most children will have grown out of it well before reaching 12kg. The ideal age for this contraption is in my opinion period between they learn to hold their head up and the sitting firmly/crawling stage at about 8-10 months, but again let your baby be your guide.
The greatest thing about the bouncer is that it allows the baby who has virtually no gross motor skills to be upright and see a lot, plus it gives them some kind of influence (if not exactly control) over their position and movement. And, of course, it's fun to bounce and swing about.
For parents it's another of these change-of-scene items which might cheer up a baby that is just starting to become grumbly without the need to actively entertain them/carry/rock etc.
At other times it's a great toy with which to play with your baby by gently bouncing them, swinging and chatting, making faces and laughing.
You are not supposed to use the bouncer for more than 15 minutes at the time, but to be honest I think it depends on the baby: some will like and take more, some much less (especially younger ones). In my experience, 15 minutes is about right for my 4 month old, but with lots of company and an adult to play with he'll often happily use it for another 10 minutes or so. The simple rule of thumb is to take them out when they get grumpy or/and floppy as it means they are tired or bored.
Now, to the technicalities.
Lindam bouncer attaches to the door frame with a mighty crab-claw like clip that goes over the frame and rests on the wood with two plastic ends. An obvious advantage is that you can use it over many doors and that you don't have to drill a hole in the door frame and worry about securely inserting a large hook (which might need a hammer drill in a concrete block or be impossible in a door located in a flimsy plasterboard wall). So this bouncer is a portable, plug-and-play device.
A disadvantage of this method of mounting is that you obviously need a door frame and not just a door-like opening in the wall or a hook in a ceiling: not so good with open-plan designs.
Another disadvantage is that the large clip means the whole contraption is even more unwieldy and cumbersome when not in use.
It's easy to put it on, though the clip-holding spring is very strong and I had my hands squashed a few times when trying to take it off. I think it's necessary though, to make sure that the bouncer stays secure on the door.
Below the clip is the main vertical spring, encased in a plastic tube: this is presumably for security reasons, so that fingers don't get trapped in the spring. I would rather see the spring myself to see that nothing is uncoupling (the baby cannot reach that high and I think I can be trusted not to trap my fingers, thank you very much). I don't like simple devices with 'no user serviceable parts inside' sections. But it's not a big deal.
Below the spring is a wide crosspiece which means that the straps that hold the seat don't rub the baby's head. This part of a bouncer design varies between them: sometimes there is a circle round the seat that also provides protection from banging against the door sides, sometimes there is just a crossbar above the baby like in this Lindam one, sometimes both, sometimes nothing. I think the circle is good if the bouncer is used for an older child, or used as a swing, otherwise just the crossbar is enough and makes the seat less cumbersome.
The seat hangs from the crossbar (it can be detached and washed when your hands start to stick to it while putting the baby in ,-) and it's made from a thick, well padded fabric secured with Velcro straps and additionally a clipped belt.
It's not that easy to put the baby in or take it out as their legs and arms tend to get entangled with the straps and the seat itself. A person holding the seat open (even another child) comes in very handy here. But it's perfectly possible if a bit fiddly without help, and as the alternative would be to have a more roomy, swing-like seat rather than a snug, nappy-like one I'd rather have a snugger one as it's much better for a small baby: a 3 month old couldn't use a roomy bouncer as they don't have any lower back control and would simply slump down. I also think that such a snug seat is much better for small babies' spine.
And finally, we have been also using our bouncer as a swing: raise the bouncer by pulling the top strap so baby's feet are well off the ground and gently push making sure that you push in the right plane so the baby's head doesn't hit the door frame.
I bought the bouncer second hand and don't recall reading instructions, it is possible that there were some dire warnings about using the bouncer like that. It does seem to work very well in that capacity, though, and the baby loves it as much as the bouncing, so I can't see any harm done.
All in all, an excellent contraption, both as a toy to use with your baby and as means to get some off-hand time when you need to finish mixing the pudding or writing this all important review, while the baby is having fun doing things that normally are not possible until they are at least 12 months old.
A new one costs about £25 (Argos).
On ebay you can get one for about £15 including postage and as they seem to be very robust things I cannot think of a reason not to keep one from ending up in a landfill and save a tenner at the same time.
Summary: one of the best baby entertaining contraptions ever