Some parents swear by a bouncer, rocker or swing as a way to help soothe the baby during those first months. If you’re trying to decide if you want to add one to your registry—or which one to add—this guide can help.
We’re breaking down everything you need to know about bouncers, swing and rockers: what they are, why you may want one and which ones we recommend.
Looking for nursery baby rockers? Check out our range here.
The reason why I opted to start with the swing is that it is what babes want during their very first few months.
Just as its name suggests, a baby swing is a nicely padded chair that is suspended on a sturdy frame just like an adults’ swing. It keeps swinging back and forth (or side to side) in a motion akin to the womb’s rocking motion, and can be used right from birth to when the baby is around 6-9 months old.
Of course, there are also baby swings for older babies who can already sit upright – for indoor or outdoor use.
Swings create the repetitive motion baby experienced in utero. A swing can be a sanity-saver if you have a fussy baby or one that is hard to put to sleep.
The latest swings move in multiple directions, at varying speeds, and in either a rocking or bouncing motion. You will find your baby prefers some settings over others. Most models also have music and toys to entertain baby while you are busy.
In addition to understanding and adhering to the recommended age groups and weight limits, most manufacturers and pediatricians advise parents to retire the swings once the user is able to sit unassisted or climb out and plunge to the ground.
How to choose the best baby swing
- Understand the type- baby swings come in all types ranging from basic models to combination swings that integrate the functionality of 2 types of chairs (a bouncer, a grinder, a rocker, and a cradle) to break the monotony.
- Mode of powering- baby swings need power for their swinging motion, and they can be powered either through batteries or electricity. Of course, battery-powered baby swings are the best if you want something that you’ll be moving a lot with. The only twist is that batteries tend to be expensive to replace down the road.
- Safety harness- generally, baby swings are expected to have a 3-point harness system at the minimum. But most of the recent models now feature a 5-point harness that includes an over-the-shoulder restraint in addition to the mandatory waist and belt harness system.
- Type of motion- traditional baby swings rock head to toe. But most of the newer models now incorporate other types of motions including circular moves, and up and down hops, and they are the best at soothing babies.
If you’ve used an adults’ rocking chair before, then a baby rocker shouldn’t be so hard to understand. This is basically a kiddo’s seat with two slightly curved bands at the bottom that allow you to push the chair in an arc motion by either using your hands or simply nudging it with your toe to initiate the rocking motion.
When should you use a baby rocker?
Similar to a swing, a baby rocker can also be used right from birth, but most of them are only usable up to around six months.
Compared to baby swings, most baby rockers are generally more compact in that they have a smaller frame (because they are not suspended mid-air like a swing chair).
Rockers are a hybrid of the swing and bouncer. They sit lower to ground and have rockers on the bottom as you would see on a rocking chair. Babies can be rocked back and forth with a little touch from you or may come with automatic rocking motions.
The rocking motion also mimics utero movements and will calm baby. These seats are designed for soothing and play. The risks for SIDS eliminate their use as a sleep aid. You can rock a baby to sleep but move the baby to a flat surface to sleep.
If you have ever utilized a rocking chair, then a baby rocker shouldn’t be hard to understand. This is a baby’s seat with two slightly curved bands at its base to allow you to push the chair in an arc motion. This can be done by either pushing the chair or tapping it with your toes to initiate a rocking motion.
Babies love being soothed most of the time, and baby rockers can swing mildly in back and forth motions while your baby relaxes and enjoys the movements. The rocking motion is all babies need to keep them soothed.
Studies show that this back and forth movement reminds the baby of the time in their mother’s womb, the reason why some babies can’t sleep without them!
Mothers need lots of rest and swaying their babies is close to impossible; therefore, baby rockers come in handy. Also, when the baby drifts off, you can take a nap or rest. Furthermore, new moms can get time to tend to household duties as their little ones recline and savour the swaying movements of a rocker.
How to choose the best baby rocker
- Frame- the functionality and reliability of a baby rocker mainly boil down to the sturdiness of the frame. The best baby rockers have a frame made of strong metal while most run-of-the-mill Chinese-made models are made of cheap plastics. Of course, the former will come at a cost, but the good thing is that they allow you to leverage the rocker throughout their usable life and can actually be passed down to younger kids thereby saving you money in the long run.
- Wide base- consider a rocker with a wide base to alleviate the risk of tipping over.
- Non-slip pads- double-check whether the baby rocker has non-slip pads to prevent sliding dangerously, especially on tile and wood floors.
- Adequately padded seat- a nicely padded seat goes a long way in boosting the comfort level of the baby rocker. You don’t want it overly done, though, or it will create issues of sinking uncomfortably into the seat, thereby leading to other issues such as heat build-up and retention. The seat should also be soft on your baby’s skin and not itchy.
- Entertainment- most regular rockers don’t offer much other than the rocking motions. If you don’t mind spending just a little more, however, you’ll be comparing some advanced baby rockers, some which include lights, vibrating seats, and musical sounds to keep your young one occupied.
Similar to baby swings and rockers, baby bouncers are meant for infants who cannot sit unassisted yet and usually serve up to 9 months. After that time some of the baby bouncers can be used as a toddler chair (for example the Nuna Leaf Grow and BabyBjorn Bouncer Balance Soft).
At its most basic level, a bouncer is simply a seat on a wireframe that allows it to spring up and down. At first, the child can relax or sleep in the bouncer, while mommy or daddy are rocking it with their hands.
These chairs are also designed for playtime and come in handy when the tot realizes that a few legs and arms movements are all it takes to start the stimulating spring movements of a bouncer. So it actually helps to teach the baby cause and effect.
Bouncers are low-tech baby rocking furniture. It has an inclined position for baby with a small base. The seat can be bounced with your feet or hands. There are some that have some mechanized movement such as vibration.
As the baby gets older and begins to move their arms and legs, they will soon realize they can make the seat move on their own. The bouncer is portable but should not be put above ground level. These seats can come with a canopy for hanging toys.
A bouncer is a fantastic asset for all parents but the child as well. It can be reassuring knowing that your baby is safely strapped and at the same time having fun. As a result, a baby bouncer can permit the parents to continue with their chores as the baby plays.
There are various types of baby bouncers, and the most common one is a door bouncer. This hangs from a door, and the baby is strapped in an upright position like in a bungee jump. Hence, ideal for babies who are older enough to hold the weight of the head up by themselves.
However, for younger babies, it’s an excellent idea to use a bouncer that permits the baby to lie flat as they bounce.
How to choose the best baby bouncer
- Check the weight capacity- using a baby bouncer involves the toddler using her legs and arm muscles to spring up and down. While it’s hilarious to see them do this, it’s essential to consider the weight restriction to eliminate the risk of toppling over due to intense vibrations.
- High-quality textile and materials- kids generally love bouncing, and you might find it hard to get them out of the bouncer once you put them on it. Considering the amount of time that they are bound to spend on the bouncer, it’s of paramount importance to ensure that textiles won’t cause any skin problem including itchiness and rashes.
- Easy to clean- the fabrics and the general surface of the bouncer should also be easy to clean, considering how prone they are to messes. Good thing, most bouncers come with removable seats that can actually go into the washing machine. Not all are machine-washable, though, so remember to double-check.
- Portability and ease of storage- do you plan to move a lot with the baby bouncer? If so, consider a travel bouncer that is lightweight, and that can fold into a compact size for easy transportation. A bouncer that folds flat also makes a great alternative if you are pressed for space in your apartment.
What Should I Buy? A Swing? A Rocker? A Bouncer?
If you have the resources, you may be tempted to purchase all three, but with careful reflection, you should be able to find the right equipment for your family.
We have a wide range of the best baby rockers for your baby.
Swings are the largest and the least able to relocate, especially throughout the day. They work best if the baby is in a central place during the day, such as the kitchen or living room. The bouncer and rocker both take up only a small amount of real estate in your home but check their dimensions. They are both easier to port and fold down easily.
Swings offer the most options for movement due to their powerful motors. Ensure you purchase a brand that plugs in. Although that will limit placement, it is much cheaper than buying batteries.
Bouncers and rockers need either human power or battery power. The batteries in these units will last much longer than a swing as they do not use as much power. Both offer styles that have automated vibration and rockers can have automated rocking capabilities.
Depending on the model you choose, swings, rockers, and bouncers all come with toy and music attachments. The lower the price range, the fewer options available.
Swings are best to calm upset babies. They allow you two hands to complete something important. Rockers allow for the rocking motion and have fewer options than a swing.
They are a better choice if you do not have space or room in your budget for a swing. The bouncers are great to allow siblings or guests to engage with the baby without holding. The bouncing sensation is pleasant to babies, and they will even figure out how to make it bounce on their own.
Swings come at many styles and prices. Out of the three, swings are the most expensive. You can spend over $500 and have every possible attachment. But you can also spend below $100 and have a swing that only swings front and back and has fewer toys, music and timers.
There is no evidence that swings that move in multiple directions are any less effective than the lower-priced back-and-forth model. Ensure you know the dimensions, ensure it has a stable base, and that it is easy to take the baby out.
Rockers are mid-level compared with swings and bouncers. They have additional features like bouncing, rocking, vibration, toys, and music. They come in a large range of prices as well.
A rocker would be the best choice if you have limited space in your home or plan on moving the baby around in the day. Look for rockers that have metal or wood rockers rather than plastic. They come in base models with no automation, music or toys as well as fully loaded.
Bouncers are the cheapest option. This is a great option if you want to be with the baby while rocking. The automated vibration can give you a chance to soothe the baby while you make supper. I like that the baby can learn how to make the chair bounce on their own, but it does require more input from you than the swing.
Comparison: Bouncer vs Swing vs Rocker
Baby bouncer, baby swing, and baby rocker are the best options for parents with newborn infant babies that don’t always have the patience and time to calm their babies in their own arms. However, choosing among baby bouncers, baby swings, and baby rockers can be challenging. This is the need for Rocker vs Swing vs Bouncer comparison.
A baby bouncer is what a baby can use for playing, sleeping or sitting. It has a built or construction of foam and cotton for the comfort of an infant. Bouncers help a baby to learn how to walk gradually without any assistance from the parents.
Depending on the push or force applied to the bouncer, bouncers are cuddle fit baby holders that are motion-powered and may move or vibrate for some time. In addition, baby bouncers are motion-powered baby seats which are normally smaller than the swings and rockers.
If you give a bouncer a little bounce or when your tot wiggles around, the bouncer will vibrate for a while and then wind down to a stop until when you humanly power it again.
This is the best way to give some fun to your baby. A baby swing demands more effort from you than the baby bouncer. Baby swings are normally used to make the baby sleep with comfort and then move forward and backward. You don’t need to push the seat forward or backward manually because the swings are electrically operated. All baby swings are manufactured with quality materials to guarantee durability.
Baby swings are powered mechanically and normally occupy too much space than a bouncer or rocker. They will swing for as long as the swing is turned on. In general, baby swings cost more than baby bouncers and baby rockers.
My Baby Nursery has an extensive range of baby rockers for you to choose from.
This resembles the swing and works great for the comfortable sleeping of a baby. Nearly all the available rockers are made of wood, steel, and plastic. Manual rockers that need to be pushed gently are available, and there are electrically operated rockers that you don’t need to push at all.
Electric rockers feature calming songs and music for quicker sleeping. As a result, your tot will have a deep and sound sleep without any commotion.
We have reviewed top baby bouncers, baby swings and baby rockers that are really worth the money. We have also examined the differences between a baby bouncer, swing, and rocker as well as their benefits and drawbacks. It has also been pointed out that each type is different in its own way. You may choose to have all the baby seats in order to be equipped for quite a lot of circumstances.
Baby bouncers are more of a wide-awake kind of seat, while baby swings and baby rockers are mostly used to calm a baby to sleep. Having the comparison of Bouncer vs Swing vs Rocker, you can now shop for the perfect one that will suit your baby without having any tough time again.