How much? RRP £14.99
Where? All good nursery stores
There’s such a lot of stuff you need to think about buying when you’re pregnant with your first child; Most of it you’re not sure about, a great deal of it you’ll find afterwards was completely unnecessary and a few bits will be totally invaluable. Like most mums-to-be, I’d looked around at the array of beautiful things I could spend my money on in anticipation of The Boy’s arrival, and made a list of what I thought would be needed. I then got my mum and my mum-in-law to go through the list with me and we made some changes at their suggestion, and off we went to Mothercare and various other stores to pick up what we were after.
One thing I never even considered was purchasing a baby bouncer. I don’t know why it didn’t strike me as something that might be useful: I know my mum had one for me and my brother when we were little, and my mum in law had one for The Hubby and his sister when they were babies too, and most of my friends with children had one, but nobody had ever said to me “You absolutely must get one of these!” so they just struck me as being very nice to have but not entirely necessary.
Two weeks before I went on maternity leave one of the ladies I regularly spoke to phoned in with a big problem, and it took me all day to get it sorted out, but I managed it and phoned her back about five minutes before I packed up for the day to say it was sorted out: She was so thrilled she was going to send me a bottle of wine to say thanks, but then we got chatting and I said that the wine would have to live in the fridge for another couple of months because of the pregnancy, so then she said she’d send me a gift for the baby!
The following day a courier delivery guy arrived with a package for me, and it was a lovely Bright Starts Bouncer!!
The style I have is a bright blue seat fabric and frame with brightly coloured stars and swirls on the fabric (The fabric is the same as this image, but the toys on the bar are slightly different). It has a removable toy bar, can be adjusted into various recline positions to make it suitable from birth until baby is about six months old – max weight 9kg (or can sit up unattended, whichever comes first) It has a little box on the front with one button for vibrating option, low level and high level, and another button for playing nursery rhymes, low volume or high volume. It has an automatic stop function after it has been on for 20 minutes.
While I was on maternity leave, before The Boy was born, doing all those bits and bobs you do in preparation, I kept contemplating whether it was worth setting up the bouncer or whether it would be a waste of space until my baby was a little older; In the end I did leave it boxed up for the first few weeks, but I could have used it sooner.
The first time I used it, was when I was tidying up my bedroom after The Hubby had gone back to work, so The Boy would have been about four or five weeks old. He kept crying whenever I put him into his Moses basket and I couldn’t sit holding him all day, so I set up the bouncer and put batteries in it and popped him in, using it in the most recline position. He was unimpressed at this stage with the vibration or the music, so I left those off and he quite happily watched me as I bustled about doing the cleaning; after about half an hour he fell asleep, and he was absolutely fine and comfortable so I left him where he was while I continued. As he got older I used the vibration options and music options and he enjoyed them, especially as I became used to the pattern of songs myself and would sing along to them!
I quickly realised what a useful little thing it was; it became one of my highest recommended baby items, and every time someone tells me they’re pregnant it’s the first thing I recommend they buy! I used it daily for The Boy – if I was at home alone with him, and he wasn’t asleep, I’d put him in it in the bathroom while I took a shower (the midwife said the steam was good for him too, so that was a double bonus!) I took it out into the garden and we’d sit in the fresh air, I used it in the living room when we had people visiting and took it to my parents-in-laws house when we went round to see them for the day. It’s so lightweight you can pick it up and move it around as you please; and it comes apart simply as well, so it’s no hassle to pack it into the car boot to take it with you if you go out with baby. It provides an excellent alternative to having a young baby constantly in your arms and I found it so handy to have!
Of course there’s plenty of other options on the market; ones that rock as well, ones that change with the child as they get older to eventually become a toddler chair, different designs, different brands, but whichever one you decide upon it really is the must have for any new parent; I think the Bright Starts one is fantastic because while it’s at the cheaper end of the market and it’s simple, it does what it says on the tin and never once did I worry about The Boy falling out of it (it does up around baby with two secure clips on either side and you can easily adjust it to fit nicely).
I was quite naughty and used it past the time he was six months as he was still under the maximum weight and wasn’t sitting up unsupported til he was eight months, and the day he was able to sit up unsupported and I had to pack it away I was very sad indeed. It’s been lovingly packed up – I removed the batteries and cleaned the fabric, packed it all back into the original box – and it’s been put in the loft in anticipation of Baby 2. I have removed the toys from the toy bar as The Boy still enjoys playing with them; three brightly coloured plastic toys that spin and rattle, so they’re still coming in handy to keep him entertained. Once he grows bored of them they’ll be put away with the rest of it.
Overall, I’d give the Bright Starts Bouncer five out of five. It’s handy, well made, despite its frequent use it still looks brand new and the batteries still had plenty of power when I removed them to store it. I would absolutely, definitely recommend this product to anyone whose pregnant or who has a young baby as I have found it is one of the best products a new mummy can have!