Updated November 13th, 2018
Admitting that your baby prefers lying on their tummy is like admitting that you deal drugs, hunt dolphins, or don’t recycle. But when a reflux baby is on their back, no-one sleeps! The Babocush Newborn Comfort Cushion bravely tackles what most of us don’t like to talk about: Some babies refuse to sleep on their back so we put them on their tummies. Shhhh.
Even if reflux isn’t a factor, we spend all day holding our high needs babies. They won’t be put down. Ever. So when we saw the Babocush we whispered in awe “holy shit, that’s genius.” And bought one to test.
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- The ease of use
- Washable cover
- Holds baby in on-chest position that a high needs, reflux, or colicky baby really wants
- The chance to spend time with the other kids, or just give our arms a rest
We didn’t like…
- That the butt strap is too narrow to put baby in the frog leg position when at a near-vertical angle
- The short lifespan of use. Once tummy time kicks in properly (from around 3.5 months or so) the Babocush won’t be useful. Still, a decent resale value helps a bit with that
- Generally NOT available on Amazon. We bought ours on Ebay
Put the Babocush on a steeply angled bouncer. As close to vertical as possible. This will make or break your experience, seriously
Best damn thing ever invented for high needs babies. Enough said.
Like so many of the products we road test, the Babocush isn’t cheap. We picked up this one second-hand and it still cost $80.
[UPDATE JUNE 2018: If you buy the Babocush direct from the manufacturer you are responsible for shipping costs if you want to return the product (ship to Northern Ireland). The cushion must still be sealed in the original plastic and packaging for the return to be accepted]
Important to know: The Babocush is just the cushion, it doesn’t come with a bouncer. You can use it on its own or attach it to a baby bouncer/rocker that you already have.
Pre-flight safety checks. Let’s see how this thing works…
The Babocush is designed for babies to lie on their tummy. It was amazing how difficult it was to get over the psychological hurdle of this fact. So it made completely innocent design elements seems scary:
“Will the baby roll off this?” Yeah probably if you completely ignore the safety harness AND deliberately tip the cushion
“Will the baby suffocate?” Suffocate in what? The soft but completely flat fleecy cover?
“Is that harness strong enough?” We asked a (fairly large) Dad in our group to pull hard on the stitching. He managed to rip a seam partway open. If your baby is 6’3″ and 220lb with a slightly aggressive attitude you may not want to buy a Babocush.
When the Babocush is on the floor with the straps still clipped, it makes the rig a bit slippery on wooden flooring. Putting the cushion on a rug eliminates this issue. We’ve seen a few other users just undo the clips completely and let them flop around. That works too.
Our test baby suffers reflux so the burp cloth went onto the head area of the Babocush before the baby did. There will always be puke though, so it’s a good thing that the fleece cover is removable and can be thrown in the washing machine.
How to put your baby in the Babocush
1. Open up all parts of the harness
2. Place your baby facedown with their belly in the middle of the Babocush, where the harness straps cross each other.
3. Bring the torso straps, butt strap and shoulder straps towards your baby’s middle. You can do this in whatever order you like. The straps have velcro and everything kind of attaches to everything else.
We started off using the Babocush by itself (without attaching it to a rocker)
Babocush on the floor
Results were pretty mixed with this one. Yes, it was insanely easy to lay our baby down and strap her in. No, she wasn’t thrilled with it even when we got that amazing vibration thing happening. Things got a lot better when we started to experiment with the rockers.
Babocush on a rocker
How to attach the Babocush to your rocker
- Slip hood over head area of rocker
- Clip straps underneath
- Yup, you’re done
You can even skip step 1 depending on the rocker’s size and what angle it’s at. For a steeply angled rocker like the mamaRoo (by far the best pairing with the Babocush), the hood helped us feel like everything was a bit more secure.
How it looks
On a flattish rocker it looks fine, albeit a bit weird to have baby sitting high above the edges of the rocker. It’s a psychological thing, I guess.
On a steeper rocker
On a mamaRoo the look of the rig took some serious getting used to. The butt strap is too narrow to encourage an ergonomic frog leg position that you want to see in a good baby carrier. And we couldn’t help feeling like the whole cushion was going to slide off, baby and all.
Turns out we were worrying about nothing. The straps can handle some heavy treatment as we found out by tightening the crap out of them. If they were any tighter they probably would have crushed the rocker. That cushion – and the baby – isn’t going anywhere. It’s completely secure. As you can see from this little guy we found on Instagram!
How it performs
For the first time EVER we were able to put our baby down while awake. There was even a nap – OK it was only 20 minutes but IT HAPPENED BY ITSELF.
No two-hour rocking, no bouncing on fit balls. The baby just drifted off.
You may already be crying with relief at the idea of being able to eat, to take a dump, or to do anything with two hands for 20 whole minutes. We cried too.
Our gassy baby farted about 150 times. This kind of winding would normally take momma 30 minutes of baby-leg-cycling and a pint of Infacol.
We’ve heard that other babies hate the Babocush. To help a high needs baby get used to it, start off with a few minutes a day when they’re at their most calm. Even a few seconds, just holding baby on the cushion without doing up the harness will help. Stick with it for a few days before you think it’s failed. This goes double for older babies – the really little ones will take to it a lot faster. And remember to make that rocker STEEP.
Important to know: The manufacturer has advised that you never let your baby sleep on a Babocush. We’re pretty sure that this is to cover themselves if there are any implications of encouraging conditions that lead to SIDS. We ignored this advice and let our sleeping babies keep sleeping. Where’s the wine?
Babocush and mamaRoo
Look, mamaRoo rockers aren’t cheap, we know that. Budget is always a concern in our families so we don’t say this lightly: Get both. You won’t regret it. And if you know someone with a high needs or fussy baby, please get the set for them. They will love you forever.
The steep angle of the mamaRoo allows for a much more natural on-chest or on-shoulder position for baby. Combining the mamaRoo’s movement with the vibration of the Babocush heartbeat is a pretty good way to give a high needs baby some comfort while you pee in peace.
The Babocush and mamaRoo. Both pretty pricey but an unbeatable combination
Babocush is NOT on Amazon (we’ll keep looking)
Editor’s Note: We’ve had a few emails saying that tummy sleeping is dangerous and we’re encouraging bad practices. No-one at Please Stop Crying is recommending that safety guidelines be ignored. We just get kind of annoyed that the Back To Sleep campaign against SIDS has worked so well that it feels like a crime to let a reflux baby have a pain-free nap on their tummy. We still have no idea what causes SIDS. So fear-mongering like the online petition calling for the ban of the Babocush is kinda over-the-top. Especially claims like the one from this signatory:
We agree more with this person: