While shopping for Baby’s arrival, there are a number of essentials you probably thought of right off the bat.  Crib?  Check.  Diaper bag?  Check.  Baby clothes?  Check.  Stroller?  Check.  Baby lounger …?  Wait, what exactly is a baby lounger?

Simply put, a baby lounger is soft cushion with an indentation in the center which your baby can rest on while you are busy around the house.

This is a supply a lot of new mothers never think to buy.  I didn’t even know what a baby lounger was until one of my friends gave one to me at my shower.  Thank goodness she did—it turned out to be one of the most useful items I could have had during Baby’s first few months.

In this buying guide, I will tell you everything you need to know to shop for the best baby loungers.  I’ll then share some quick reviews with you of some of the most popular and highly rated baby loungers on the market.  Let’s get started!

What is a Baby Lounger?

A baby lounger is just a cushion that is specially designed for infants.  Sometimes baby loungers are round.  Other times they are rectangular.  What they share in common is the indentation in the middle that keeps your baby from rolling off.

The goal here is to free up your hands.  If you are preparing dinner, set your baby nearby in the lounger and get to work.  While washing Baby’s clothes, Baby can rest on the lounger in the laundry room.  Baby can lay next to you in your craft room while you knit her a new pair of socks, and so on.

When Should You Buy a Baby Lounger?

Most baby loungers are designed for newborns.  They usually support a weight of up to 16 pounds or so, which means that you can use them until your baby is around 4 months old.

That means to maximize the use you will get out of a baby lounger, you should get it before your baby is born.  That way you can start using it right away.

Why aren’t baby loungers designed for older babies?  After a few months, your baby can generally prop himself upright.  At that point, there is no way that he is going to stay put in the lounger.

Do You Really Need a Baby Lounger?

At this point you might be saying, “Well, I’m only going to get a few months of use out of this.  Do I really need this?”

My answer to that is a resounding yes.  The first four months of your baby’s life are going to be some of the most challenging months of yours!  A baby lounger can help you in the following ways:

  • Free up your hands.  A baby lounger makes it easy to set down your baby in any room of your house and use both your hands for other chores.
  • More portable than a bassinet.  Thinking of using a bassinet for that purpose?  You can, but wheeling around a bassinet isn’t nearly as simple as picking up a cushion and carrying it to another room.
  • A slight angle supports your baby’s well-being.  Many baby loungers feature a very slight incline.  This gives your baby a better view of the world, and may also be good for respiratory and digestive health.
  • Easier to clean than a bassinet.  Another benefit of a baby lounger over a bassinet is that washing a cushion is a lot faster and easier than trying to clean a bassinet.  And believe me—you are going to be doing plenty of cleaning up after Baby!
  • Use it as a pillow later.  It’s true—a baby lounger can only be used by your infant for four months or so.  But that doesn’t mean it’s totally useless later.  Repurpose it as a cushion or pillow.  Someone in your household can probably think of a use for it.  If not, just gift it to an expecting mom!

Are Baby Loungers Safe?

Yes, with a caveat.  Your baby should never sleep on any sort of soft pillow or cushion.  Doing so poses the risk of suffocation.  Make sure your baby is always lying face-up on the lounger and is awake.  The rest of the time, use a bassinet or regular crib.  Also note that a baby lounger is not supposed to be used in place of a carrier.

Types of Baby Loungers

You will notice while you are shopping that there are some differences between baby loungers on the market.  Here are a few different types you may stumble across:

  • Round loungers.  These are simply baby loungers with a round shape.  Your baby’s entire body will fit on the lounger.
  • Rectangular loungers.  These baby loungers have a long, rectangular shape.  Once again, your baby should be able to fit entirely within the crease or indentation.  Often the “sides” are more defined with these types of loungers than they are with the round ones.
  • Inclined loungers.  This is any type of lounger with a noticeable incline.  These are particularly good for digestion, and thus can sometimes even double as feeding stations.

Features to Look for in the Top Baby Lounger

Generally speaking, a baby lounger is a pretty straightforward item.  But there are some special features to consider:

  • Safe organic materials.  Look for a lounger which is made using fabrics that will be safe and comfortable for Baby’s sensitive skin.
  • Hypoallergenic.  Protect your baby from allergies by shopping for a lounger made out of hypoallergenic materials (both the cover and the filling).
  • Sling.  Some models include a sling which can be used to swaddle the baby and prevent rolling.  This may be useful for babies that are particularly anxious or active.
  • Waterproof pad.  This can be very useful when it comes to preventing messes.
  • Multi-use.  There are loungers you can buy that double as feeders, travel beds, and so forth.  These can be a great deal since they provide extra value.
  • Price.  Naturally you want to shop for a cushion which is not going to cost you an arm and a leg.  Remember, your baby will only be using this for a few months, so budget accordingly.

Top 5 Recommended Baby Loungers for 2018

Now you know which features are important to keep in mind when buying a baby lounger, and you are familiar with some of the different types of baby loungers available.  Let’s take a look at 5 of the best baby loungers which you can buy online right now.

Leachco Podster Sling-Style Infant Lounger

One of the most popular and highly-rated infant loungers you can shop for online is the Leachco Podster.  This round cushion is available in four different colors, and includes a “sling” center.

This area expands with your baby’s weight and has a cradling effect.  Along with adjustment tabs, the sling design means that the lounger can be used comfortably by your infant as he or she is growing.

Additionally, the cushion is slightly elevated, perfect for digestive and respiratory support.

Any drawbacks?  A couple of buyers have mentioned that the zipper on the cover is a bit delicate.  Most however have said the cushion is very well-made overall.

Why Should You Pick This Baby Lounger?

Consider this lounger if you are looking for a soft, cozy cushion for your infant and you are on a budget.  It is one of the most cost-effective products on the market right now which offers this level of quality.

Snuggle Me Organic Co-Sleeping Baby Bed

This is another incredibly popular and highly rated infant lounger.  It has a rectangular design, and doubles as a mattress pad for portable cribs and bassinets.  Made from 100% cotton, it is organic and safe for your baby.

Another great thing about the Snuggle Me Organic baby lounger is that it is lightweight.  So carrying it from one room to another is easy.

Buyers say that the design of the lounger does a wonderful job “snuggling” the baby as he or she sleeps.  This helps your baby sleep peacefully and deeply.

As far as drawbacks, a few buyers have said that their babies never took to this product, but that is a risk with any baby lounger pillow.  That is why I suggested borrowing a friend’s lounger before buying your own, just to make sure your baby enjoys one.

Why Should You Pick This Baby Lounger?

This is a fabulous option if you are in search of a lounger which is 100% organic cotton with no synthetics.  You can rest assured that your baby is only being exposed to safe, natural materials.  Because it can work as a mattress pad, it is also the best baby lounger for crib.

DockATot Deluxe+ Dock Baby Lounger

Another rectangular baby floor lounger to think about is the DockATot Deluxe+.  This lounger consists of a tube and pad which are both 100% polyester along with a cover made of 100% cotton.  The product is touted as “reinventing the womb,” providing the same kind of snug, comfortable environment in which to relax.

The rounded tube design not only helps hold your baby comfortably in place while resting, but also can prop up your baby during tummy time.

There are not a lot of drawbacks, but a few buyers in humid environments have said that the fabric could be a bit more breathable.

Why Should You Pick This Baby Lounger?

I would recommend this lounger if you want a two-in-one solution for supine rest and tummy time.  Take note it is one of the pricier options on the market however, so make sure it will fit your budget.

Hiccapop Day Dreamer Sleeper Baby Lounger Seat

Here is a baby lounger that is a bit different from the rest.  It features a raised design that is a more like a seat than a cushion.  As a 4-in-1 product, it functions as a travel bed, sleeper, lounger and feeder.

The seat is propped at a 28-degree angle and includes curved walls for support.  The cover and core are both breathable, preventing heat and moisture from taking hold.  Additionally, the product has received extensive safety testing.

Any cons?  Some products have more padding than this one.  Is that a major drawback?  Not for most babies, who will still find the seat perfectly comfy.

Why Should You Pick This Baby Lounger?

If your baby has acid reflux, this lounger would be an excellent choice.  The Leachco Podster is worth thinking about too since it is slightly elevated, but this Hiccapop design features more of an incline and would work even better for relieving symptoms.

CubbyCove Baby Newborn and Infant Lounger

One more baby lounger bed worth thinking about is the CubbyCove lounger with canopy.  As with the DockATot Deluxe+, the walls of this lounger provide the perfect support for tummy time, making this a multifunctional item.

Premium 3D mesh fabrics were used in CubbyCove’s design to ensure that all materials would be breathable and bacteria-resistant.  What’s also awesome is that this lounger comes with its own travel bag.

A couple buyers have said the pads could be easier to wash, but this is a pretty minor flaw in an otherwise excellent product.  The vast majority of customers have had nothing but praise for CubbyCove.

Why Should You Pick This Baby Lounger?

Think about this as an alternative to DockATot Deluxe+ if you are looking for a product which is ideal both for lounging and tummy time.  The travel bag is a great added bonus if you know you’ll be taking the lounger out of the house a lot.

Conclusion: A Baby Lounger is Comfortable For Your Baby and Convenient For You

A lot of new moms look at a baby lounger as an optional purchase—or do not even know what one is or why they need it.  But it can make a huge difference in your day-to-say life during your baby’s first four months.  The best baby lounger pillow can free up your hands and save you a lot of headaches.  So check out each of my baby lounger reviews in detail—and enjoy the ease and convenience of a baby essential which is often overlooked!