A bouncinette (also known as a bouncer or rocker) is a chair that allows baby to either bounce or rock in an inclined position.

It may have been suggested by family and friends that you place your baby in a bouncinette in the first couple of months to help settle or sleep them. We recommend that babies always be placed on a firm flat surface to sleep, never in an inclined position.

When considering using a bouncinette here are some things to be aware of:

  • There is no Australian Standard for bouncinettes, we are careful to keep up to date with reports of accidents associated with their use. To date, the most frequent accidents associated with bouncinette use are falls and entrapment hazards. Furthermore, deaths have occurred when baby has been placed to sleep in a bouncinette.
  • We recommend that baby be slept on the back on a firm and flat surface.
  • When a baby falls asleep in a propped up device the head can fall forwards, pushing the chin down towards the chest. This can lead to the airway becoming blocked and reducing airflow.
  • Tilt your own head forward and place your chin on your chest. Try to breathe through your nose. Can you breathe freely? No. Babies breathe better when they are lying on their back on a firm, well-fitting, flat (not tilted or elevated) mattress.

The Australian government draws on these reports and produces guidelines on ways to reduce these types of accidents, which are available in the Australian government’s publication ‘Keeping baby safe - a guide to infant and nursery products’ available here.

Last modified: 29/4/22