Baby bouncers, swings and rockers – what types are there?

A guide to the baby chairs – such as bouncers, rockers and swings – that can soothe and entertain for your baby, plus give you a hands-free moment!

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  • Swing chair

    If you find that your baby will only settle when she’s being rocked or walked back and forth, a swing chair might be the perfect solution. Usually suitable from birth, this type of chair can normally be used until your child is about 6 months old.

    There are a lot of different options to choose from. Some have soft toys and play music, others are simpler, with just a rocking seat. It’s worth considering where it gets its power from (batteries or mains) when you’re deciding which one to go for.

    Also check the dimensions of the swing chair – some can take up quite a bit of space so might not be suitable for your home.

  • Travel swing chair

    A travel swing operates in the same way as a normal swing chair, but with the added bonus of folding for easier storage. This perfect if you’re already struggling for space, and makes it more portable for travel, too. Some have carry handles or a travel bag, so it’s simple to move from room to room with you, or to take away when visiting or holidaying.

    Many come with toys attached, and some play music and have an option for you to plug in your MP3 player.

  • Rocker

    A rocker has a slanted base so that you can rock your baby gently while they lie in the chair. The rocking motion can help to soothe some babies, and most rockers enable you to just give it a nudge with your toe to set it moving.

    Suitable from birth until about 6 months, a rocker can give your arms a break without you having to lie your baby down in a Moses basket or cot. A rocker may be able to be reclined at different angles as well, so that your baby can have a good look around or keep an eye on you while you get on with some work.

    Some are simple and straightforward seats, while others have toys and entertainment bars on them to help keep your baby occupied. You can get more high tech options that play music or that you can plug your MP3 player into.

  • Basic bouncer

    A basic bouncer can be a good budget option. Without any extra entertainment features, a basic bouncer is a simple seat on a wire frame normally designed for use from birth.

    Because it’s free from frills you can often add what toys you like and they’re quite easy to keep clean or take on holidays. The downside is it might not keep your baby entertained for long.

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  • Bouncer

    A bouncer is a seat suitable from birth until about 6 months that doesn’t rock, but is slightly flexible so that it moves slightly when you push it or when your baby kicks as she gets older.

    A bouncer usually has a bar with toys and lights, and some have music and vibrating options to help soothe your baby. Some of the new bouncer chairs have an option for you to plug in your MP3 player.

    A bouncer is good for keeping your baby entertained while you get things done. It doesn’t take up too much space, and you can usually remove the toy bar, to transform it into a handy feeding seat for when you begin weaning.

  • Graco Sweetpeace

    The Sweetpeace is designed to be used from birth, as it mimics the sounds and movement your baby would have experienced in the womb, and will last until your baby is about 6-9 months. It’s quite a unique product, and there’s currently not anything really like it on the market.

    The Sweetpeace has a lot of different accessories, including a swaddle blanket and a canopy you can pull down to block out light. If you don’t want to use one of the 15 pre-programmed sounds or melodies, you can plug in your own MP3 player.

    A bonus of this chair is that if you have a Graco infant car seat, you can clip it straight onto the Sweetpeace base – so if your child has fallen asleep in the car, there’s no need to wake her.

    However, at £169.99, it’s quite expensive and is something you’d want to plan on using often to make the most of your investment.

  • Where do you start?

    From vibrating bouncer seats to travel swings, there are a lot of different options when it comes to keeping your baby entertained so your arms can have a break. To take the stress out of choosing, we’ve undertaken in-depth reviews of bouncers, rockers and other baby chairs to help make your decision easier.

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