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Béaba is a French brand that’s been around since 1989. It’s most well-known for its Babycook baby food maker, but now produces a huge range of stylish products to help make life that little bit easier for parents. The Up and Down Bouncer is a modern take on the traditional baby bouncer chair, suitable for use from birth to nine months (with a weight limit of 9kg). What makes this different from a standard bouncer is the fact it can be adjusted to four different heights – meaning your baby can be at your height whether you’re standing or seated. It also has a choice of three reclining positions and a manual rocking function, which is perfect for relaxing a grumpy baby.
It sits at the premium end of the baby rocker market, much like the Babymoov Swoon Motion Swing, £169.99 (£150.61 on Amazon), and the Joie Sansa 2in1, £149, although these both boast automatic rocking and sound features. Other products on the market include the Nuna LEAF Rocker, £160, which doesn’t have a recline function or height adjustment but can be pimped up with the Nuna Wind Leaf Rocker, £70, a motorised add-on gadget to keep the chair rocking continuously. It’s a booming market and baby bouncers/rocking chairs are definitely big business, with many parents happy to splash out in the hope of finding that product that will calm even the grizzliest of babies.
Sarah Dawson lives in a small village in the Cotswolds with her husband, 3-year old son Wilfred and 6-week old baby, Edie. She tested the Béaba Up and Down Bouncer with her baby, from 1 week old.
What were your first impressions of the Béaba Up and Down Bouncer?
The Béaba Up and Down Bouncer instantly got the thumbs up from me thanks to its stylish, muted grey colour scheme (anyone else feel like they’re drowning in rainbow-coloured plastic since having a baby?!). The overall design is minimalist and modern, so you won’t have to worry about trying to hide it behind the door when visitors come over. The only downside is that it takes up a lot of room. I live in an old cottage and our cosy kitchen started to feel a bit cramped with this around the table at mealtimes. If only it could fold down!
How easy is it to assemble the Beaba Up and Down Bouncer lll?
I was grateful this took minimal effort to put together – apart from having to screw the bottom of the base together, everything else just slotted together easily. The instructions were in picture steps rather than written instructions, but I found these very straightforward to follow. Honestly, if I can assemble this, anyone can!
What age is this seat designed for?
The seat is designed to be used from birth up to nine months, or 9kg in weight. It comes with a removable newborn insert, which is recommended for the first three months and looks like the comfiest thing on earth. I started using the seat when my little girl was just a week old (she’s now almost six weeks) and she looks so cute and snug in it. At the moment we’re using it for her to relax in or have a very quick snooze in (it’s not intended for long periods of sleep) and as a way to keep her close to me while I’m washing up or working on my computer. We also use it if she’s awake during family mealtimes – our pre-schooler loves having her around the table at the same height as the rest of us. Although it’s already been a useful product, I think it’s really going to be worth its weight in gold over the next few months as she gets older and more alert. It’s the kind of seat that really works well for three to six-month-olds.
How does it work?
The Béaba Up and Down Bouncer is really easy to operate, which is something high on my list of priorities with baby gadgets – no one wants to be grappling with complicated products when surviving on criminally low levels of sleep. To recline the chair, you just have to pull a lever on the back of the seat and move it forwards or backwards to lock in into position – it’s so simple you can do it with one-hand. If you want to adjust the height position, you push the large white buttons on either side of the frame, then slide the seat up or down into place.
Does the Béaba Up and Down Bouncer need batteries?
No. The rocking function is completely manual – you just fold up the rocking stand at the bottom of the base and gently rock the handle or the base. I know a lot of parents would prefer a motorised rocker, so it’s certainly something to bear in mind if you’re looking at different options. Also, remember that no batteries means no sounds or music – again this might be a deal breaker for you, but for me I’m just grateful there isn’t yet another lullaby to get stuck in my head on constant repeat. Baby music ear worms are the bane of my life right now!
Does the seat feel sturdy and secure?
Absolutely. This is a huge plus point for me, especially as I’m using the seat with such a small baby. The quality is really good, the seat is comfy and plush and the newborn insert helps keep wobbly heads safely in place. The five-point harness is also easy to adjust to ensure it perfectly fits your child and means they won’t be going anywhere. Just be sure to always clip your baby in when using the chair, especially when in the elevated height positions, as they can sit quite upright when the seat is not reclined and the chair is rocking.
How easy is it to strap your child in?
This is really simple – you just pop your baby’s arms through the five-point harness and click in place. Make sure the rocking stand is down when you do this – you don’t want to attempt to strap your baby in when the base keeps rocking backwards and forwards!
What do you think of the design of the Béaba Up and Down Bouncer?
Stylish and unobtrusive, this bouncer gets the thumbs up from me thanks to its streamlined, minimalist design. I really love the Heather Grey colourway, but if you fancy something a bit more statement, you can pick from blue stripes, a pink Liberty-style print or a monochrome and yellow graphic print. If I could change one thing, it would be that the handles could also move down when you adjust the seat’s height position. This would just make the whole thing a bit more compact, however I understand that keeping the handles fixed at this height makes it easier to carry from room to room without having to bend down constantly.
How many different seat positions does the Beaba Up and Down Bouncer lll have?
It has 12 positions in total. There are four different height positions and three reclining positions (from almost fully-reclined – perfect for sleepy newborns – to upright, which more alert babies will enjoy). Just pick what position you’d like before you strap your baby in though.
How comfortable is it for your child?
My baby seems to love it once she’s strapped in. The newborn insert keeps her snug and in a safe and comfy position, and the gentle rocking motion is just right for chilling her out. The cushions are super-soft and padded too. To be honest, I would quite fancy an adult-size version!
Is it easy to clean?
The frame can be easily wiped clean and all the cushions and harness strap cushions are removable – although these are hand-wash only.
How transportable is the Béaba Up and Down Bouncer?
Despite the size (87cm x 51cm x 52cm) the Béaba Up and Down Bouncer is relatively lightweight at 5kg. This makes it easy enough to carry from room to room, but as it doesn’t fold down, I wouldn’t recommend taking it travelling with you. It would be a case of dissembling then reassembling at your destination and no one has time for that. There are other way more portable bouncer chairs on the market if that’s what you’re after.
What feature do you like most?
It’s got to be the adjustable height feature – this, for me, makes the Béaba Up and Down Bouncer such a great product. It’s amazing to be able to have my baby safely clipped into a cosy bouncer, while being off the ground and away from a dog who has a thing for licking babies’ ears and a three-year-old who runs around like a maniac. Also, I can’t wait for her to get a bit more alert as she gets older, so we can all interact with her at mealtimes. This is a really important part of family life for us, and it’s a great way to include her in dinner before she is weaned.
Is it good value?
There’s no getting around it, this is an investment, especially as it doesn’t play music or vibrate/rock on its own. However, it’s really excellent quality, looks great and is something that will grow with your baby, from birth up to nine months (although realistically I’d say you’ll get the best use up to six months).
What’s in the box?
- 1 x Béaba Up and Down Bouncer
- 1 x newborn insert cushion
Are there any accessories needed or available?
There is an additional Play Arch, £25, available, which easily clips onto one of the side handles. It comes with three removable toys (a mirror, rattle and squeaky toy) to keep your baby occupied and stimulate their senses while they are in the bouncer.
What do you wish you had known before you’d bought the Beaba Up and Down Bouncer lll?
I wish I’d known that the Béaba Up and Down Bouncer doesn’t fold down. As I mentioned before, the frame takes up quite a lot of space, and in a small room that’s not great. I would have rated this product even more if it was able to collapse down and be stored away when not in use.
Would you recommend this seat?
Yes – the quality is really impressive and I love how our little girl is able to be included in family life or kept close to me while I’m getting on with chores, rather than being stuck in a bouncer on the floor. It’s definitely a considered purchase, due to the price, but if bought from birth you can get your money’s worth.
Where can I buy the Béaba Up and Down Bouncer?
You can buy the Béaba Up and Down Bouncer from Amazon and Kiddies Kingdom
If you’re after a product to keep your baby safe, comfy, relaxed and close to you – while still having your hands free – this stylish, multi-height bouncer is a good buy. It’s perfect for involving your baby in day-to-day family life, as well as interacting with them while you get on with the cooking or a bit of work – or even just keeping them out of the way of curious pets and toddlers.