Bouncers and rockers are useful for parents of babies and have come a long way over recent years. There are a number of options out there, from simple, classic bouncy seats to electric rockers with all the bells and whistles. Many are bold, bright and colourful (particularly so with the cheaper models), but there are also plenty which cater for those looking for something more contemporary or in muted tones.
A bouncer / rocker is the right buy for you if…
- You’re looking for a chair to seat your baby in that will help soothe and calm him
- You’re looking for something to entertain your baby (most bouncers and rockers come with a toy bar)
- You have the room for one. Some bouncers and rockers can be rather bulky so if you have a small space you might want to consider buying one that can be stored away easily.
A bouncer / rocker might not be for you if…
- You don’t need a seat for your baby; for example you might prefer to always hold or ‘wear’ your child
- You already have other toys for him to play with or are happy to find different ways to entertain him yourself
- You’re limited for space
- You don’t have the budget – bouncers and rockers are a ‘nice-to-have’ and not a must-have
How the figures stack up
Bouncers and rockers range from as little as £20 to well over £150. If yours stays in good condition you can, however, expect to recover around half its value on resale, particularly if you’ve invested in a top-of-the range or popular model like the BabyBjorn Soft Balance Bouncer or the Nuna Leaf.
A bouncer is so useful. Perhaps there are babies that don't get on with them, but all of the babies I've known have loved them. It's a safe and comfortable place to put them, and it's also often a really easy place for them to drift off, especially as newborns.
How to choose the right model for you
Consider your budget
How much money do you have or how much do you want to spend on one? Bear in mind things like whether you will have another child that will perhaps use it one day? How often will you / your baby really use it etc?
Think about your space
Have you the room to go for a bigger bouncer or rocker or you do need one that will store away easily?
Choose from electric or non-electric
There are all kinds of bouncers and rockers on the market these days that basically fall into two options – non-electric and electric – so consider which type you would prefer. If you’re looking for a chair that will provide you with multiple patterns, speeds, lights and music options, then an electric bouncer would be best. But if you simply want a safe seat for your baby that bounces or rocks from side to side (maybe with a little bit of your help), then stick with non-electric.
Future proof your choice
Do you want the bouncer or rocker to ‘grow’ with your child? (The Nuna Leaf, for example, can be used as a seat for a small child as well as a baby). Perhaps you would like to invest in an expensive highchair and buy a baby seat attachment instead? Stokke and Nomi both offer this. Or are you happy with just a cheap and cheerful bouncer that you will only use for a few short months? In this case, you might want to look at brands such as Red Kite or Mothercare.
Consider your baby
How does your baby like to be soothed? Does he like to be bounced or is he only happy when he's being rocked? Movements may differ from bouncer to bouncer. Will your baby be happy to be seated in a chair or does he only settle when he's in your arms or laid out flat?
How safe is the bouncer? Does it have a harness to hold your baby? Can it be knocked over easily (if you have older children or pets for example)? Is it well made? Is the base sturdy? Does it have a head hugger for a newborn or small baby?
And if you’re still not sure, have a look at our Talk boards, or post a question.