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Best baby bouncers and rockers to keep your little one calm and happy 2023

Discover the best baby bouncers, rockers and swings to buy this year. After in-depth testing and extensive research, we've carefully curated a shortlist of the top 10 products most loved by parents, whether you're looking for a soothing chair, an entertaining bouncer or a combination of both.

By Gemma Wilcock | Last updated May 22, 2023

Selection of the best baby bouncers Mumsnet Best

Prices and availability checked and updated by MNHQ on 22 May 2023.

Welcoming a beautiful new baby is a joyful time. It’s also a period of huge change. Some pieces of baby kit can make the transition into new parenthood easier and this includes a baby bouncer or rocker. 

The best baby bouncer should be a safe, secure and cosy place for your infant to relax and play. Some baby bouncers are lightweight and portable so you can keep your baby close by at all times. Others are entertainment centres with music, lights and vibration settings, providing stimulation and fun well into your child’s toddler years. Many options also include a bar overhead with fun baby toys attached, dangling and ready for your child to reach for to practice their motor skills and hit those all-important baby milestones

Investing in one of the best baby bouncers can give you moments of much-needed peace and will help your little one learn and develop. So, which one to choose? We've drawn on the vast wisdom of Mumsnet parents to collate a list of the top baby bouncers for every family, from budget and travel-friendly options to those that will grow and change with your child.

We scoured bestseller lists, looked at expert reviews from child development experts and consulted our own forums for trusted products that real parents rate. As the largest online network of parents in the UK, our Mumsnet users certainly know what they're talking about.

We thoroughly tested various baby bouncers with mum of two, Luci, who put each one through their paces to determine which were best in class. She scored each product on six key areas: safety and stability, assembly, day-to-day use, cleanliness, aesthetics and value for money.

Here are the best baby bouncers and rockers to buy right now.

Best baby bouncers at a glance

1. Best overall baby bouncer: BabyBjörn Bouncer Bliss

BabyBjorn Bouncer

Price: RRP £210 | Buy now from Amazon 

Star rating: 4.8/5 (Amazon)

Tested by parents: Read our full BabyBjörn Bouncer Bliss review

Key specs

Suitable from: Birth to two years (3.5-13kg) | Fabric sling removable and machine washable: Yes | Additional features: None | Dimensions: 56 × 79 × 39cm (highest position) and 11 × 89 × 39cm (transport mode) | Weight: 2.4kg | Batteries required: None

What we like

  • Portable - lightweight and it folds up
  • Removing and re-attaching the cover takes seconds
  • High-quality and super soft machine-washable cover
  • Comes ready assembled 

What we don't like

  • Expensive 
  • Not quite upright enough for older babies
  • Toy bar comes at an additional cost

What Mumsnet users say

“BabyBjörn is one of the best things we bought. We take it into the kitchen so they can join us at meal times or just put the baby in it in the living room so we can get stuff done. Our baby loves bouncing in it and it’s also very portable - we’ll take it with us when visiting [people]. Probably started using it at about three weeks old. I’ll be gutted when they outgrow it.” (Tried and tested Mumsnet user Laaalaaaa)

Our verdict

The BabyBjörn Bouncer Bliss comes ready assembled, and it’s exceptionally simple to fold down and transport. Even though we found it impressively lightweight (just 2kg!), the Bliss feels solid and trustworthy. 

This nifty seat is designed to react to your baby’s movements, so when they start kicking their legs and waving their arms, it will bounce. This feature is excellent for teaching your little one about cause and effect and improving their balance and motor skills. As they grow, the three position recline provides support for children up to two years if they want a break from their play mat or play pen.

We found keeping this chic bouncer clean and hygienic a cinch. The material repels stains and can be spot cleaned. And, if the mess requires it, the cover is easy to remove and chuck in the washing machine. In addition, it is quick to dry and keeps its shape beautifully. The only downside is the price. It’s one of the more luxury models on the market, and we were disappointed it lacks additional features like a vibration mode and toy bar (the toy bar is available to buy at an additional cost, however).

Read next: Shopping for an older baby? Our selection of the best baby walkers will support and entertain them as they take those precious first steps.

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2. Best budget baby bouncer: Chad Valley Jungle Friends Bouncer

Chad Valley Jungle Friends Baby Bouncer

Price: RRP: £25 | Buy now from Argos

Star rating: 4.7/5 (Argos)

Tested by parents: Read our full Chad Valley Jungle Friends Bouncer review 

Key specs

Suitable from: Birth to 9kg/20lbs (approx. six months of age) | Fabric sling removable and machine washable: Yes | Additional features: No | Dimensions: 42.2 × 53.3 × 48.3cm | Weight: 1.6 kg | Batteries required: None

What we like

  • Great value 
  • Simple to build 
  • Lightweight 
  • Removable, machine-washable cover 

What we don't like

  • No additional features or toy bar
  • Only one recline position - no lie-flat postion

Our verdict

The Chad Valley Jungle Friends is a basic bouncer that is perfect for families on a budget. It is easy to assemble – it took us just 17 minutes. The seat has a bounce mode that parents can initiate in the early weeks. After that, your baby will be able to kick their legs and make it move. Unfortunately, there is no toy bar, but that's to be expected for the price. There is no newborn insert either – however, because the seat is deep and cosy, there is plenty of support. Our tester liked that the shape of the seat allowed her to take her baby in and out of it without having to unbuckle the harness too.

The stain-resistant and wipeable cover is super quick to remove and pop back on after a machine wash. It can be gently tumble dried too, and the frame can be cleaned with hot soapy water if needed. Our tester was thrilled with the easy maintenance of this chair, describing it as "perfect" after putting the seat through its paces and cleaning it.

It's a great option if you need a comfy, safe spot for your little one while you carry out essential tasks such as trimming their nails with a pair of baby nail clippers, taking their temperature (see our guide to the best baby thermometer for help with that) or even clearing their nose with a nasal aspirator.

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3. Best baby bouncer for newborns: Tiny Love 3-in-1 Rocker Napper

Tiny Love 3-in-1 Rocker Napper

Price: RRP £109.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Star rating: 4.4/5 (Amazon)

Tested by parents: Read our full Tiny Love 3-in-1 Rocker Napper review

Key specs

Suitable from: Birth up to 9kg/20lbs | Fabric sling removable and machine washable: Yes | Additional features: Toys, music and lights | Dimensions: 74.5 × 48 × 74cm | Weight: 5.4 kg | Batteries required: Three AAA and one C

What we like

  • Entertaining and soothing - lots of additional features such as music and lights  
  • Sturdy and robust
  • Three recline positions

What we don't like

  • Takes a long time to assemble 
  • Heavy 
  • Outer cover is tricky to remove

What Mumsnet users say

“Have a look at the Tiny Love 3-in-1 Rocker. It lays flat so is suitable for a newborn and then sits more upright as the baby grows.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user PrayingandHoping)

“We bought the Tiny Love 3-in-1. It's not a bouncer but it rocks, vibrates, has a mobile on an arm, and becomes a seat (rocking or still).” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz)

Our verdict

The Tiny Love 3-in-1 Rocker takes a long time to assemble and takes some skill too. However, once it’s up, it provides a safe and secure place for your baby to relax or play. During testing, we found it stayed firmly in place on all styles of floor from carpet to slate. 

We were delighted with the versatility of this fantastic baby rocker and upright seat. Each mode is easy to switch between and it will be useful right from those days of trying to soothe a newborn to keeping your baby in one place as they try their first foods. In chic dove-grey, this fantastic rocker is an elegant alternative to the usual bright colours baby kit comes in. The fabric is soft and comfy, yet durable, and it can be wiped clean with a damp cloth or machine washed at 30 degrees. 

The play modes on this clever seat are superb. There are 18 melodies, two vibration settings, and a rocking mode. In addition, the sturdy bar has entertaining lights and detachable cute soft toys, making the mobile an excellent sensory toy for babies. The arch is also adjustable and can be removed if desired. 

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4. Best baby bouncer swing and rocker: Joie Serina 2-in-1 Swing and Rocker

Joie bouncer

Price: RRP £160 | Buy now from John Lewis

Star rating: 4.8/5 (John Lewis)

Tested by parents: Read our full Joie Serina 2-in-1 Swing and Rocker review

Key specs

Suitable from: Birth up to 9kg/20lbs  | Fabric sling removable and machine washable: No | Additional features: Swing, rocker, toy bar, music, vibrations, lights  | Dimensions: 91.5 × 73 × 81cm | Weight: 10.4 kg | Batteries required: One D (1.5V) battery or it can be plugged into the wall socket

What we like

  • Elegant design 
  • Transforms from a multi-position swing seat to a rocker
  • Extra secure five-point padded harness with adjustable shoulder straps
  • Luxurious padding ideal for newborns

What we don't like

  • Expensive
  • The covers can’t be machine washed
  • Large footprint

What Mumsnet users say 

“Joie Serina is amazing. Get it used, it has been the best thing we bought.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Megan2018)

Our verdict

The Joie Serina 2-in-1 Swing and Rocker is surprisingly easy and quick to set up. It took our tester just 10 minutes. This is a heavy piece of furniture, and much of that weight is in the base. Consequently, it isn’t very portable. However, it’s perfect for large families as it shouldn't move as toddlers and pets brush past it. 

As your baby starts to engage more with toys, whether that's in the tub with the best bath toys or exploring on their play mat, they'll start to learn more about the world through play. With the Serina, and its included toy bar, Joie has created a cosy and comfy seat ideal for playtime and peaceful moments. This fantastic swing is also sumptuously padded and has a newborn insert that provides neck support. The seat has three simple-to-adjust recline positions, but it doesn’t lie completely flat. 

If you’re looking for a baby seat that will fit into the style of your front room, the minimalist Serina is an excellent option. The covers aren’t machine washable, which is a shame, especially as the colours are light. However, they can be spot cleaned with stain remover. If you have a small home, check the dimensions though, as the Serina has a large footprint. 

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5. Best baby bouncer for longevity: Nuna Leaf Grow Bouncer

Nuna Leaf bouncer

Price: RRP £260 | Buy now from John Lewis

Star rating: 4.1/5 (John Lewis)

Tested by parents: Read the full Nuna Leaf Grow review

Key specs

Suitable from: Birth until 60kg | Fabric sling removable and machine washable: Yes | Additional features: Toy bar and canopy | Dimensions: 45cm (H), 71.1cm (W), 73cm (L) | Weight: 6.9 kg | Batteries required: None

What we like

  • Long-lasting - it’s suitable from birth to 60 kg (toddler age) 
  • Motion activated - no need for batteries 
  • Soft and cosy newborn insert
  • Three position recline

What we don't like

  • Expensive 
  • No lie-flat position

What Mumsnet users say

“I have the Nuna Leaf for my daughter and it's great. The only thing I can say bad about it is that it doesn't rock for long enough, probably about two minutes before you have to give it another push. It also holds a lot of weight! My five and four-year-olds also like to sit in it, whereas if they did that in another rocker it would probably break.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Mumoflittles

Our verdict

The Nuna Leaf Grow will last right from the early days to when your (not so) little one is 60kg in weight, around three to four-years-old. So, despite the hefty initial investment, it’s very good value. You’ll also save money on batteries as it is motion activated. One push will last around two minutes, and once your little one is strong enough, they can bounce themselves with a kick of their legs. 

This superb seat has a streamlined design, so there are few nooks and crannies for dirt and germs to accumulate. The breathable mesh fabric is 100% organic cotton and can be spot cleaned or machine washed. When we tested it, we were impressed that it also stays securely in place on all types of floors thanks to the anti-slip feet which are very useful in a busy household with older siblings and pets. 

The Nuna has three recline positions, and as you complete tasks, the luxuriously padded three-point harness will keep your baby extra safe with tough velcro. Undoing the straps will feel annoyingly loud though if you have a tired, grumpy baby, however.

Read next: Don't miss our guides to the best baby shampoo and best baby toothbrushes for more essentials for your little one

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6. Best baby bouncer for style: Maxi-Cosi Kori Rocker

Maxi-Cosi Kori Rocker

Price: RRP £99 | Buy now from Amazon

Star rating: 4.8/5

Key specs

Suitable from: Birth to 9kg/20lbs | Fabric sling removable and machine washable: Yes | Additional features: Newborn inlay, three reclining positions | Dimensions: H48 x W42.5 x D72cm | Weight: 2.3 kg | Batteries required: None

What we like

  • Stylish design
  • Comfy, deep seat
  • Folds away for easy storage
  • Lightweight

What we don't like

  • No toy bar included

What Mumsnet users say

"We have a Maxi Cosi Kori bouncer which looks good and seems very comfy. It was around £50 cheaper than a BabyBjörn bouncer - was a good compromise for us in terms of price while still looking nice and being practical." (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Needmoremummyjuice

Our verdict

Not too dissimilar in style to the BabyBjörn Bouncer Bliss, the Maxi-Cosi Kori Rocker is around half the price yet still provides comfort and quality for your little one. We love the cosy, deep seat, and it also includes a newborn insert for added comfort for small babies. It's a stylish choice too; the sleek, Scandi-inspired design has been described as "beautiful" by testers, and it offers three recline positions so it's fairly versatile. 

Our biggest grumble is that it doesn't include a toy bar or additional toys to keep babies entertained, but for a simple, study option we rate this as a more pocket-friendly alternative to the BabyBjörn. 

Read next: We’ve carefully chosen the best tummy time toys, loved by parents and their babies 

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7. Best basic baby bouncer: Red Kite Bambino Bouncer

Red Kite bouncer

Price: RRP £18 | Buy now from Amazon

Star rating: 4.4/5 (Amazon)

Key specs

Suitable from: Birth to 9kg/20lbs | Fabric sling removable and machine washable: No | Additional features: None | Dimensions: 50 x 50 x 55 cm | Weight: 1.5 kg  | Batteries required: None

What we like

  • Great value 
  • Simple yet effective model
  • Generous size 
  • Attractive design 

What we don't like

  • Not machine washable
  • No newborn head support
  • Doesn't offer a lie-flat position

What Mumsnet users say

“I got a Red Kite one and it was great... She was too light to make it bounce on her own for the first month or so. By six months she was trying to escape it.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user miltonj)

Our verdict

If you’re looking for a simple baby bouncer at a low price, the Red Kite Bambino Bouncer is perfect. It is suitable from birth, though you may need to purchase a head and neck support cushion. It should last till six months plus, when your little one may start to try and escape and may have the best toys for 9-month-olds in their sights instead.

The adorable elephant design in bright yellow and dove grey would look great with most colour schemes. The seat is spacious, and the fabric is durable rather than luxurious, but the padded strap and harness pads will keep your baby cosy. It's simple to assemble, but strength is needed to push the pieces together. Once built, it feels sturdy, and the non-slip rubber feet provide friction on laminate and wooden floors. 

This great value seat must be spot cleaned rather than machine washed. Thankfully the material is resistant to dirt, and hot water and mild stain remover will take care of the worst of any marks. 

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8. Best baby bouncer for small spaces: BabaBing! Ellie Float Bouncer

Babing bouncer

Price: RRP £40 | Buy now from Amazon

Star rating: 4.5/5

Key specs

Suitable from: Birth to 9kg/20lbs | Fabric sling removable and machine washable?: Yes | Additional features: Toy bar | Dimensions: H5 x W50 x D52cm | Weight: 1 kg | Batteries required: None

What we like

  • Machine-washable cover
  • Easy assembly
  • Great value

What we don't like

  • No head support for newborns
  • Doesn't offer a lie-flat position

Our verdict

The BabaBing! Ellie Float Bouncer is compact without compromising on space and has a deep seat for small babies to snuggle up in. The padded three-point harness fastens within the fabric to prevent tiny fingers from getting trapped and sits high up your baby’s body to keep them secure. Some reviewers complained about the lack of neck and head support for small, low-birth-weight babies, so you may find it helpful to buy a newborn insert. 

The BabaBing! comes with a robust toy arch and cuddly elephants. These toys have high contrasting colourways, so they will entertain babies whose eyesight is still developing. There is also space on the bar to attach their other favourite toys, keeping your infant entertained while you get jobs done. 

This baby bouncer is relatively easy to assemble. However, you’ll need a screwdriver and a good look at the instructions before attempting. Once built, the BabaBing! has a solid base with anti-slip feet to keep it from wandering across the floor.

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9. Best multifunctional baby bouncer: Stokke Steps Bouncer

Stokke Steps Cloud Bouncer

Price: RRP £159 | Buy now from John Lewis

Star rating: 4.7/5 (Amazon)

Key specs

Suitable from: Birth to 9kg/20lbs | Fabric sling removable and machine washable?: Yes | Additional features: Newborn insert, detachable toy hanger | Dimensions: H53 x W67 x D80cm | Weight: Not specified | Batteries required: None

What we like

  • Overhead toy arch
  • Five-point harness for safety
  • Can be attached to the Stokke Steps high chair
  • Stylish design

What we don't like

  • Expensive
  • No toys included for the bar

Our verdict

Cleverly designed to replicate the feeling of being cradled, the Stokke Steps Bouncer is a comfy seat to place a newborn baby in; the soft insert and harness will keep them safe, secure, and cosy. There's also a detachable overhead arch included to clip toys onto to keep them stimulated - the toys aren't included though, so you'll need to choose and add these yourself. It's very stylish too - we love the muted colours and cloud print, although a plain grey version is available if you'd rather keep things minimalist.

The main drawback is that it's pretty pricey. However, we're impressed that it can be clipped onto the Stokke Steps Chair so it can be used at the dinner table, keeping your baby cosy and at eye level, but this is an extra expense to factor in.

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10. Best vibrating baby bouncer: Mamas & Papas Capella Baby Bouncer Cradle

Mamas and Papas bouncer

Price: RRP £69 | Buy now from Mamas & Papas

Star rating: 4.5/5 (Feefo)

Key specs

Suitable from: Birth to 9kg/20lbs | Fabric sling removable and machine washable?: Yes | Additional features: Cloud pillow, toy bar and music | Dimensions: 57 x 64 x 70 cm | Weight: Not specified | Batteries required: 3 AA batteries (not included)

What we like

  • Lovely design
  • Two toys included on the toy bar
  • Plays melodies and has a vibrate mode to soothe little ones

What we don't like

  • A few reviewers didn't like the cushion
  • Cheaper options are available

Our verdict

With a dreamy design centred around a nighttime theme, this stylish yet muted Mamas & Papas bouncer would look great in most homes. It's not all style over substance though - it has a vibrate mode and plays four melodies to soothe your baby, making it an excellent choice to calm your little one down. We also like that there's two cute toys attached to the overhead bar for your baby to reach towards or watch.

It features a cloud 'head-hugging' pillow attached for extra comfort, although a few reviewers weren't keen on this, finding it didn't provide as much support as they'd have liked. Overall though, this is a good buy - it's easy to assemble, is comfy and cosy, and it feels well-built.

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What age can my baby go in a bouncer?

Most baby bouncers can be used from birth (check the manufacturer recommendations before you buy though). Your baby will get the most out of a bouncer between three and six months when they can bounce or rock themselves and play with any toys.

Bouncers tend to last up to six months (9kg) or until a baby can sit up, roll or crawl. When they start trying to escape, it’s time to stop using the bouncer.

Some seats will transform into toddler seats that can be used up to age two or even beyond. These models tend to be more expensive, but their price per use will be impressively low. 

Is it worth getting a baby bouncer?

A baby bouncer can really make a difference to your life, especially in those early months when you want to keep your baby close, but also want to free up your arms to have a shower or eat your dinner while it’s still hot.

Bouncers often come with different recline settings for babies to rest, relax, play, and interact with an older sibling.

As babies love to see what’s going on around them and enjoy kicking their legs and reaching for toys, bouncers are also useful for aiding their development.

MNHQ tip: Keep your baby's nails neat and short with the best baby nail clippers to avoid accidental scratches when they play in their bouncer

How much will a baby bouncer cost me?

Prices range from £18 up to £300+. While there can be a big difference in design, the most expensive seats aren’t necessarily the best.

A basic bouncer can be just as effective as a luxury model and, as most seats only last until six months of age, you'll want to consider how often you will use it and what features you need before deciding how much to invest.

The more expensive bouncers tend to be multi-functional and will rock or swing as well as bounce. If you’re buying an electric model, factor in the cost of batteries. 

A second-hand bouncer, rocker, or swing can be bought for as little as £5, depending on the design. Ensure the seat is not damaged or has any loose parts, the frame is sturdy and bounces safely, and the harness still clips securely.

Should I buy a baby bouncer or baby swing?

There are several styles of infant seats available, from basic bouncers to high-tech swings with toys, lights, and music. 

1. Basic bouncer

These are simple seats on a wire frame that bounce when your baby kicks. They don’t usually come with a toy bar so may not keep your baby entertained for long, but the frames tend to be lightweight and portable which makes them very useful for travel and storage.

2. Regular baby bouncer

Similar to a basic bouncer, regular baby bouncers also come with entertainment – most often a toy bar, lights, or music. Some also vibrate and offer different recline settings, from lie-flat to upright. These seats don’t tend to take up too much room and may be folded down for storage or travel, and some even come with adjustable height options too.

3. Rocker

A rocker is a baby seat that gently rocks backward and forwards. With a gentle nudge to start the motion, it is meant to remind babies of being rocked by their parents. Rockers tend to offer different recline settings and usually come with entertainment bars as well.

4. Baby swing

A soft seat that swings back and forth, baby swings are usually motorised and offer different settings and motions to suit your baby. They tend to come with a toy bar and are bulkier and heavier than a regular baby bouncer, so they may not be portable or suitable for smaller spaces. Baby swings will usually require a power source to move. 

5. Electric baby bouncer

These high-tech bouncers will bounce, sway or rock your baby for you. Some even allow you to connect your phone to play music and control the seat’s movements. Electric baby bouncers sit at the higher end of the price range and are often bigger, heavier, and less portable than regular bouncers.

What to look for when buying a baby bouncer, rocker, or swing chair 

  • Size: Some bouncers and swings are bulky and may need to be plugged into a wall, so consider how much space you have and where it will be stored around the home.
  • Portability: If you travel away from home a lot or want to move the seat easily around the house, you may need a lighter model that can be folded down or one that has a handle or wheels.
  • How easy it is to clean: Babies can be messy so ideally look for a seat that has a removable, machine-washable cover. Also ensure that the straps, frame, and toys can be cleaned too.
  • Safety: A three-point harness is the minimum a baby bouncer should have, but a five-point harness, which has shoulder straps, is even better.
  • Seat position: For newborns, check that the seat reclines almost flat. Also, look for a bouncer or rocker with a wide base that won’t be tipped over by an excitable older sibling.
  • Padding: A padded insert is useful for newborns as it will provide extra support to their head and neck. Straps and harnesses should also have cushioning to prevent rubbing and fingers from getting trapped as you fasten them in. 
  • Extras: Decide whether you want a basic seat or one with fun extras like toys, music, lights, and vibrations to soothe and entertain your baby.

Read next: Newborn essentials: the ultimate baby checklist

Baby bouncer safety guidelines

When it comes to any baby product, safety should always come first. All baby bouncers should meet the relevant European safety standards, but child development expert Karen Sherr advises parents to always read the manufacturer's guidelines before using a bouncer.

  • The NHS advises that a baby should not use a baby bouncer for more than 20 minutes as it can put excessive strain on their back. Parents should balance time in the bouncer with playtime on the floor.
  • Bouncers are not suitable for sleeping in – it is recommended that a baby sleeps on a firm, flat surface. Visit The Lullaby Trust for advice on the best places for babies to sleep.
  • Never leave your child unattended – a young baby has little muscle control which can cause their head to flop forward.
  • Make sure harness straps are always done up, even if you are only putting your baby in the seat for a couple of minutes.
  • Never put your baby bouncer on an elevated surface such as a worktop or table – they can bounce off or get knocked off accidentally.
  • Most baby bouncers can be used from birth but may not be suitable for premature or low-birthweight babies.
  • Ensure you follow the manufacturer's guidelines about weight and height restrictions for your product.
  • Do not carry the bouncer around with your baby inside.

How we selected the best baby bouncers, swings and chairs

We commissioned Gemma Wilcock, a writer, and mum of two, to research a variety of baby seats.

With two young children, Gemma knows the importance of having somewhere safe to leave your child while you make dinner or drink a cup of tea (a luxury, we know!) and has written extensively about parenthood, including reviews on the best newborn beds for Mumsnet.

Gemma spent 10 hours researching which products to put to the test. She looked at the different types of bouncers currently available, scoured the Mumsnet forums to find testimony from real-life parents, read reviews on other trusted sites, such as Which? and Amazon, and spoke directly to parents to see which products came highly recommended.

She also spoke to Karen Sherr, a child psychologist, former play specialist at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, and founder of Musical Minis (a preschool music group focused on child development), to find out what parents should be looking for when buying a baby seat and how to use them safely.

Once the research was complete, she ended up with a shortlist of highly-rated bouncers, swings, and rockers to put to the test, covering a range of parenting needs, brands, and budgets.

How we tested

To ensure testing is fair, we ask one tester to use all of the products in their own home. This reduces any potential variables in the testing process and ensures that our results are based on a like-for-like comparison.

Our tester, Luci, has a five-year-old and a four-month-old who was just two weeks old when testing started. She used each model for at least a week in her busy three-bedroom mid-terrace.

Luci assessed the quality of the materials and whether the seat was supportive. She checked the harness, whether the seat could be knocked over easily or cause trip hazards, and how sturdy any toy bars were. She also had help from her son who was eager to bounce his little sister and put the bouncer's overall sturdiness to the test.

She also scored the bouncer on how easy it was to assemble, reading the instructions to see how helpful they were and timing how long it took to put the seat together.

Then, while using the bouncer, she tested the motion and whether a baby could bounce or rock it themselves. She assessed how easy it was to lift her baby in and out and tested out the recline options.

She considered how entertaining and soothing any toys, music, lights, or vibrations were. Luci also marked the bouncer on how big it was and whether it was portable.

She ran stain tests on each seat, looking at whether the covers could be removed and machine washed, and how easily everyday stains like milk, baby sick and food came off.

Luci then looked at the aesthetics, whether it was a stylish baby product that would blend in with her home or a vibrant, more child-friendly design.

Finally, she marked each bouncer on whether the quality of the seat matched the price tag and, most importantly, whether she would recommend it to others.

Why you should trust our reviews

Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust – brands can’t pay to be featured in our articles or win a Mumsnet Best award.

We spend hours researching, speaking to parents, analysing data, and listening to experts before we test out the products on our shortlist.

Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about how we tested the products we recommend. We won't always recommend the cheapest products or the ones with the most extra features. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to parents – the ones we'd recommend to our own friends and family.

We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful and independent review pieces like this one. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage.

There's no incentive for us to be lazy with our research or in our testing process. There's no reason for us to respond to pressure from retailers or brands trying to promote new products. It's actually quite the opposite and we think it's a good system, one that keeps us focused on making parent's lives' easier.

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