For many years mothers would purchase either a rocker or a bouncer to lay their child in for quiet playtime. In recent times, baby bean bags have emerged as a popular baby rocker alternative. While some new moms love the idea of the baby bean bags, others are skeptical of the potential SIDS risk.
If you haven’t heard of a baby bean bag you may have the following questions:
‘What is a Baby Bean Bag?’ and ‘Are Baby Bean Bags Safe for Infants?’
In this article we will take a look at why some mothers recommend baby bean bags and whether or not they are safe for infants.
- 1 What is a Baby Bean Bag?
- 2 What are the Benefits of a Baby Bean Bag?
- 3 Are Baby Bean Bags Safe?
- 4 Baby Bean Bag Reviews and Recommendations
What is a Baby Bean Bag?
Just like it sounds, a baby bean bag is in fact a miniature version of the large bean bags many of us lounged on as kids. Baby bean bags are generally filled with polystyrene or dried beans. The loose filling allows them to mold to the shape of an infant.
The baby bean bag was introduced as an alternative to bouncers and rockers for infants that can not sit up unassisted. These bean bags are not only used for infants but are useful for toddlers with hip dysplasia.
The cover of a baby bean bag sports soft fabric and some brands are produced with a harness for babies that tend to wriggle. The baby bean bag allows your infant to view the world around them from an upright angled position. The soft padding around your baby will allow them to feel secure while not needing to lie in your arms.
What are the Benefits of a Baby Bean Bag?
After learning what a baby bean bag is, you may now be wondering why so many mothers recommend these sitting devices. Below we’ve collected a handful of reasons mothers love their baby bean bags.
Baby Bean Bags Provide your Infant with Support
Infant bean bags promote good support as they mold to your babies body. Although tummy time or play time on a flat services is always important, a supportive bouncer or bean bag can also support you infant before their muscles are stronger to do so alone.
While baby bean bags are predominately used for infants that cannot yet sit up, many baby bean bags on the market today are designed to grow with your baby into their toddler years. Baby bean bags are perfect for toddlers to rest in during quiet time watching their favorite movie.
Baby Bean Bags Reduce ‘Flat Heads’ and Acid Reflux
Due to the nature of a baby bean bag they reduce the risk of your infant having a ‘flat head’. Unlike a flat mattress or other surface, the baby bean bags mold to your infant’s body meaning that their head is never placed against an entirely flat surface. Pressure is never applied to one part of the infants body at any given time.
Furthermore, these latest sitting devices actually help those babies who suffer from acid reflux. Acid reflux is a common condition that occurs in a number of babies. It involves spitting up or vomiting after feeds. Some symptoms of acid reflux include vomiting after feeds, gagging when trying to feed, a gassy stomach and colic. It has been found that keeping the baby in an upright position for half an hour after feeds can help with acid reflux. When using a baby bean bag, the infant is in a propped up position at an angle that prevents reflux.
Mothers can also easily feed their infant a bottle when lying in the upright position in a baby bean bag.
Baby Bean Bags Provide Comfort for Infants
The soft, adaptable filling of a baby bean bag allows your infant to lay in a position that is comfortable for them. Rockers and bouncers often hold an infant in a stiff position while the bean bags allow for free movement. The soft fabric of the chair also provides the infant with added comfort and warmth.
Baby Bean Bags are Light Weight and Portable
These latest bean bags are light weight and can be carried anywhere you go. Many designs come with carry handles that are great for moving them around the house or taking them for a trip to a relatives house for the day (always ensure you remove your infant prior to picking up the bean bag).
Not only are these infant chairs lights weight and portable, they are also stylish. There are many baby bean bag designs available to suit any themed nursery.
Baby Bean Bags can be Easily Cleaned
The majority of baby bean bags are made from material that can be easily wiped clean. For larger baby vomits or mishaps, the outer material can be unzipped and washed clean. A number of baby bean bags come with an additional cover that sometimes also has a harness attached to it. As a mother, we all know how important it is to use carriers and chairs that can be easily cleaned.
Are Baby Bean Bags Safe?
Changes made during the last decade in the 1900’s ensured bean bags were safe for children, but are bean bags safe or babies?
Like any bean bags, the small pieces of filling, measuring between 1mm to 9mm in diameter will always pose a chocking risk to children. It is important to ensure there are no holes or easily accessible zips that your children can open and pull out the filling. Laws introduced during the late 1900’s stated that all bean bags sold must have locking safety zippers and dual stitching.
Depending on the country you live in, baby bean bags may be or may not be deemed safe for infants. No matter where you live, if you choose to use a baby bean bag for your infant (under the age of one) always ensure you:
- Never leave the child unattended
- Place the infant in a comfortable position and never compromise their posture
- Read any instructions from the manufacturer
- Abide by the hazard labels on the bean bag
- Ensure all caregivers of the infant know the correct procedures when using the baby bean bag
In Australia, Red Nose has deemed infant or baby bean bags as unsafe. Any bean bag sold within Australia must display the following warning:
“WARNING: Children can suffocate if bean bag filling is swallowed or inhaled. Do not let children climb inside this bean bag. A bean bag is not a safe sleeping surface for an infant under 12 months of age.”
Despite this information, many parents still love and use their baby bean bag on a day to day basis. Like any mattress, rocker or bouncer there is always going to be a SIDS risk. It is the parents or caregivers responsibility to always monitor the infant.
Why do Some Parents Choose not to Use Baby Bean Bags?
Many parents choose not to use baby bean bags due to the suffocation risk they pose.
If a baby bean bag is used incorrectly an infant can:
- Suffocate if they fall asleep and their head has not been positioned correctly
- Choke if the filling comes loose
On the other hand there is a large number of mothers who happily use a baby bean bag. They choose to use a baby bean bag over a rocker or bouncer because:
- They do not leave your baby flat-headed
- Are easily to transport around the house or even to a relatives house
- They grow with the baby and can be used as a bean bag even when the child is a couple of years old
Baby Bean Bag Reviews and Recommendations
Our first recommendation would be to try and find a baby bean bag that grows with your infant into their toddler years. You may find your infant will cry in any bouncer, rocker or bean bag and only wants to be rocked in their mothers arms. If you choose an adaptable bean bag suited to children up to 3 years, more than likely you will find your toddler relaxing on it when they become tired. If you are going to spend a considerable amount of money on a baby bean bag, you’d hope it would last at least a couple of years.
What Should I Consider When Selecting a Baby Bean Bag?
When selecting a baby bean bag for your infant ensure you:
- Consider the size of the chair and the maximum weight limit to ensure the bag will grow with your baby.
- Investigate what materials were used and ensure they will withhold even a rough toddler.
- Read the reviews left by other moms. This may help you determine the best baby bean bag.
- Where possible, see the bean bag in person prior to purchasing it. This way you can feel how comfortable it will be for your baby.
Popular Baby Bean Bags
In the section below we will take a look at three different branded baby bean bags that are all common choices among new moms.
#1 Chibebe – Baby Bean Bag
Chibebe were one of the original designers of baby bean bags. They have a large range of different colored, patterned and themed bags. The baby bean bag pictured below is the Flamingo Heart Donuts.
- You can choose the color of the seat with all Chibebe designs
- Includes an additional cover that does not include a harness for an older toddler
- Easily removable bean bag allowing for washing of cover
- You can choose to add a foam or bean filling
- The price does not include beans. They must be purchased separately
- Some have commented saying that the postage of the item wasn’t as speedy as they would have liked
Age Suitability: There is no specific age suitability. From birth on wards.
Material: The seat material is a stretch Lycra blend that is soft against your infants fragile body. The Lycra has a water resistant backing to prevent any leakage to the beans. The base of the baby bean bag is a polyester fabric that can be easily wiped clean.
Size: When this bean bag is filled, it measures 28 inches (72 cm) in length and 20 1/2 inches (52 cm) in width.
Product Reviews from Real Mums:
- “This is the comfiest place for a baby besides Mum’s arms, but when Mum can’t hold baby all day it’s great to place him all snug in the pod and adjust beans from propped up to flat.”
- “Fantastic baby bean bags. Our little one loves relaxing in it. Love all the bright and colorful design choices as well.”
- “My little darling absolutely loves his Snuggle Pod. I use it in the kitchen in the mornings when I need time to make coffee and wash bottles.”
- “This was really great for my second born to give me two hands to deal with the eldest child. Very versatile and useful in all sorts of places.”
#2 Mama Baba – Baby Bean Bag
Mama Baba is an English company that offer a wide range of baby bean bags. They are a family business that pride themselves on the quality, comfort and the safety of their products.
Price: $46.00 from Amazon.
- Each bag comes with two covers, one with a harness (suitable from birth to one year) and one without a harness (suitable for a toddler who does not need straps)
- Durable bags that have a waterproof base
- No zipper tag to prevent children opening and accessing the beans
- Features a velvet cover to provide the infant with the softest underlay
- Double stitched seam to prevent children accessing beans
- The soft velvet cover is not waterproof
- Does not come with beans
Age Suitability: This baby bean bag is suitable from birth upwards.
Material: This baby bean bag is made of velvet and cotton.
Size: This baby bean bag is 29.5 inches (73 cm) in length, 21.6 inches (55 cm) wide and 15.8 inches (40 cm) off the ground when it is filled.
Product Reviews from Real Mums:
- “Baby bean bag arrived earlier than expected.. Very happy with service and with the product. Would recommend this seller.”
- “My 6 day old absolutely loves her bean bag! Perfect for strapping her into for naps or while your doing bits around the house! It’s super soft and the babies position can be changed around by pushing down on the filler.”
#3 BayB – Baby Bean Bag
BayB bean bags are soft, stylish and supportive. These bean bags can hold up to 40 pounds.
Price: $50.00 from Amazon.
- Pre-filled and ready to use
- Double stitched to prevent loose beans
- Seat belt included
- Top of cover is waterproof
- Only comes with one bean bag cover
Age Suitability: Birth until the maximum weight is reached
Material: Cotton is used in the cover while the beans are 100% polystyrene
Size: 28 inches long by 20 inches wide and 16 inches high
Product Reviews from Real Mums:
- “I absolutely love the Bayb bean bag! Quality is great and my granddaughter loves it! Great purchase! I would highly recommend!”
- “Got his as a gift for my baby shower. It was perfect. My little guy snuggles right in and falls right to sleep while we’re hanging out watching TV. I can’t wait to give this to my friends when they’re pregnant!”
- “Wonderful. This was purchased for a baby with a disability. She is 2 years old and this supports her very well. It is comfortable and she is able to sit without being held.”