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I didn't plan to buy a baby bouncer for my new baby as my toddler hated her's when she was little and simply wouldn't sit in it for 2 minutes. However, this second baby has entirely different preferences; she can't stand being left lying down in her Moses basket, and always prefers to sit upright when she is awake and I am holding her. Since I can't hold her in an upright position all day long I decided to invest in a baby bouncer for her, and after doing a bit of research online the baby bouncer I went for is the Bright Starts Safari model.
I particularly liked the look of this baby bouncer because all the other ones were either blue or pink, and I get tired of the limited colour choices for my little girls (they are always being given pink things). I can't imagine that any boy or girl wouldn't love the look of this bouncer, as it has a lovely 'safari' animal design on it. It is mostly yellow with a blue patterned bottom and several animals and trees on it. The animals include an elephant, giraffe, a lion, and a few ladybirds, and the trees have brightly coloured leaves of varying colours. It really is lovely to look at, and the design hides stains nicely in the way that a single-coloured design wouldn't. My toddler loves to point out the animals on the bouncer too.
This bouncer is fairly basic in design, but also very sturdy and safe. It doesn't have a music facility, as we have enough noisy items in the house and I mostly wanted the bouncer for sitting up purposes. In this regard it is perfect, as it is strongly made, with a metal frame that I can't imagine being easily damaged, and a soft large padded seat for baby to sit in. As this seat is nicely curved my baby also quite likes falling asleep in it while being rocked, as it is comfortable against her back and allows her to curl up in it a little. The seat has a seat-belt type contraption set into it which baby can be slid into, one leg on either side so she is in there securely. It is really easy to get her in and out of the seat and the entire contraption is just perfect for when I need to jump up and answer the door or make a phone call or anything else that needs baby to be settled, safe and content for a short while, that doesn't require lots of fiddling to get it right.
The cover is easy to wipe clean with a baby wipe and also easy to detach to wash it, and easy to put back on the bouncer.
The bouncer is great for rocking baby to sleep too. It can easily be rocked back and forth with minimum effort, with just a foot for example, and when baby is hard to settle and writhing about, this very wriggly motion makes the bouncer bounce, so in a way it allows her to self-soothe while I give my tired arms a wee rest. Also, the bouncer has a small contraption at the bottom of it which takes an AA battery and when activated by a simply button it makes the whole bouncer vibrate. My daughter absolutely loves the gentle vibration, as it helps her to relax. The button is on the vibrator at the bottom of the bouncer and it is easy for an adult to switch on and off but is not easy for a toddler to use, which in this household is a good thing!
We picked up our Safari design bouncer earlier this year from Mothercare for £19.99, which is it's current price as it is on sale. I deem it excellent value and I also think we'll get a lot of use out of it, as it looks like a well made and durable product and my daughter is only a few months old yet. I have heard people say that bouncers can only be used from 6 months of age, but I think it depends more on weight, as it is fine for my chubby girl. She is happier than if left in the moses basket, and safer as my toddler can't attempt to get her out of the seat harness. I also never leave her in there for long unsupervised, which is sound advice for any parent with a young child and a toddler anyway.
One drawback of the bouncer is that you can't lift it to carry it around the house while baby is in it - it isn't designed for that. I use it in different rooms of course but I have to move it using two hands and then put baby into it afterwards. For this reason, there is a bar that goes across the top of the bouncer, but it releases when you only lightly pull it. This is also a drawback in my opinion, because my toddler is forever pulling it out and then trying to slot it back in, which is of course dangerous as the plastic ends could hurt baby while she is in the bouncer. I therefore only put it in when I am in the room and can see what my toddler is up to.
The bar is plastic but partly padded and multicoloured in stripes to match the bright design of the bouncer. Each end slots easily into place on either side of the bouncer, and it hangs across it so that the two plastic figures on it hang directly in front of baby. These are a bright yellow giraffe and a blue elephant. My baby girl does love looking at these, and they are nice and bright and smiley figures, however they are also made of hard plastic, and as she is able to knock them to make them swing, before too long she will be big enough to be hit by one of these swings. So I will soon be putting the bar away, and I think it's a major drawback with this model, as padded/cloth figures would have prevented such a problem. I therefore have to give the Bright Starts Safari baby bouncer 4 stars instead of the 5 I would like to give it.
Overall I will say that this is an excellent bouncer and great value for money, and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
As I was returning to work and the grandparents were going to be looking after our little boy for us, not long after he was born we began buying duplicates of certain things which would stay at their house for him to save us loading the car up three times a week when we dropped him off.
We already had a Bright Starts Bouncer in the Zoo theme, and loved the chair so much...as did our son, we decided to get another form the same brand. We decided on the 'Fun on Safari' chair.
This chair is a standard bouncy chair with a flexible metal frame, with rubber bungs on the corners. The chair is a hammock style design with a stretchy turquoise fabric that stretches over the metal frame and uses plastic clips to hold in place. The fabric fits to make a cosy snug seat for baby with a triangular lap belt to hold them in, that fixes with the same plastic clips. This lap belt can also be moved to accommodate your baby as he grows.
The seat also takes 1 large battery which then gives it the option of a vibrate function if you want it. Across the front you can then attach the bar which is colourful padded material and suspends three hanging toys in front of you baby to entertain them. These toys are a Yellow plastic lion in the centre, a red and clear plastic rattle to the left, and a green teether type toy on the right.
As our son loved sitting up, these chairs were ideal as they meant he could see more of what was going on, and it was a change from sitting on our laps or lying down. It was also great to pop him in as we ate our dinner or had chores to do as you knew he was safe. The seat is comfortable, washable and well fitting. The frame is flexible enough to give a nice bounce but stays strong, and the toy bar has enough to keep young babies entertained. The toys help encourage fine motor skills and hand eye coordination.
We used the bouncers from birth, until our son could sit up which was about 6 months. Once your child can sit up, the chairs don't seem as safe as the lap belt isn't enough. But they do recommend only using them to around 6 months so we can't complain.
The bouncer is priced at around £40, depending on offers or promotions, this is a decent price for the quality of the product and how long it lasts.
Features: Soothing vibrations. Toy bar. Support strap. General information: Suitable from birth. Suitable for babies up to 9kg. Removable washable cover - machine washable. Batteries required 2 x C (not included). EAN/MPN/UPC/ISBN: 0074451069121. WARNING(S): To be used under the direct supervision of an adult.