If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed a recurring theme in a lot of the photos of Rory. The Baby Bjorn Babysitter Balance has sort of become the 5th member of the family. This bouncer even piqued Sam’s interest as soon as we set it up. And unlike me, Sam NEVER gets excited about baby paraphernalia.
So, what’s so good about it?
It folds flat. This is SUCH an important factor for us, as we often take the bouncer to grandparents’ houses when we visit for the day. Our car has two car seats in the back and a travel system pram in the boot, there is NO room for a bouncer seat unless it folds flat. We once tried to put Arlo’s old, unfoldable bouncer into the car and it wouldn’t fit.
There are 3 positions – play, rest, and sleep (otherwise known as upright, slightly reclined, and full recline). We’ve used some bouncers that have just one static position, and I’ve found that it’s slightly too upright for a newborn, and not upright enough for a baby over 3 months who is keen to interact more.
The seat is designed to last until 2 years old. Most bouncers last until 6 months or when your baby is sitting up. The Baby Bjorn bouncer may be the pricier option, but you definitely get your money’s worth if you plan to use it into toddlerhood. Since I’ve had our babysitter balance, I’ve spoken to quite a few parents who wished they’d bought the Baby Bjorn bouncer sooner, rather than when they realised their 8 month old was still quite partial to a bouncy chair but had outgrown their old bouncer. Why not buy it from birth and get the full two years use out of it?
The balance sitter is much more responsive to movement. Our cheap bouncer has no way near the same flex. This is the point that most impresses Sam. It’s also REALLY strong. If a toddler felt inclined to sit in it (as Arlo often tries to get away with when he thinks we are not looking), I would be confident that it would hold his weight, whereas I reckon that our other bouncer would collapse straight away.
It has suspended fabric over a frame – a bit like a hammock. This feature of the chair has become more important to me than I ever imagined. Rory has developed plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome) due to having a preference to always turn his head to the right. We are constantly repositioning his head and giving him lots of tummy time/sling time, but I don’t worry as much about the flat spot getting worse when he’s in the bouncer as the fabric moulds around his head rather than head moulding to chair. There is much less pressure on his head than if he was using a chair with a solid fabric back.
There are no noisy clips to disturb a sleeping baby when strapping them in. The harness is secured with button-style fastenings. Arlo has an obsession with clips at the moment, and loves fastening and unfastening them, especially where his little brother’s toys and equipment is concerned. So, although it’s a two-handed job, (which can be quite tricky especially when you have a sleeping baby in your arms), the toddler-proof fasteners are a major plus point for me – there’s no way Arlo could work out how to undo them.
The fabric just lifts off the frame and slides back on like a slip – easy-peasy removal for washing. We’ve had some bouncers and baby chairs that were barely washed, or surface washed only as it was such a pain to remove and re-attaching the covers. Some bouncers don’t even have an option to remove the fabric at all.
Most importantly, Rory loves it. We accidentally left the Bjorn at Grandma’s house recently, so Rory was relegated to Arlo’s old rocker chair for a few days, during which time he didn’t settle well for naps at all. I could be imagining it, but I swear it was because we didn’t have our balance sitter.
In a nutshell, the babysitter balance does everything you would ever want from a bouncer, and it does it far more effectively than any other bouncer we’ve tried. If you are looking for the king of bouncy chairs, look no further.
The Baby Bjorn Babysitter Balance comes in Cotton Mix, Mesh, or Organic Cotton with an RRP from £114.
I was provided with the Baby Bjorn Babysitter Balance free of charge for the purpose of this review.