Imagine a baby sitter who didn’t charge you ridiculous rates. Who popped round immediately whenever you needed to have a bath or make some proper coffee. And who wasn’t a female relative/in-law who subtly implied, with her very presence, all the many ways in which you were failing as a mother and raising your baby to be a backwards sociopath.

That in a nutshell is the beauty of the doorway baby bouncer. This marvellous contraption is a fabulous way to reclaim just a little me-time in the sea of changing nappies, doing laundry and sterilising bottles that occupies your baby‘s first year. It means five minutes off from having to be a pitiful Mr Tumble impersonator, or reading that bloody book about the brown hares who love each other, one more time.

OK, the osteopathic community might be in two minds about whether it’s bad for your baby’s hip joints. So we suggest you don’t leave him or her in the bouncer for, say, the entire duration of This Morning, Loose Women and Murder She Wrote. Fifteen minutes will probably suffice. And I have to confess, my son developed a disturbing after-effect whereby he would bounce around on any surface you placed him on for days afterwards, like a disturbed meercat at the zoo. (I can only think it was like that dizzy seasick feeling you get hours after going on a particularly vigorous fairground ride.)

But all things considered, for a few minutes’ peace, baby bouncers are well worth the money. Do it. Just, for heaven’s sake, make sure the thing is hanging in the middle of the doorway, so they don’t repeatedly bash their tiny little skulls against the frame…

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