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Baby bouncer chairs and rockers: What are they?
Buying a baby bouncer or rocker is a good investment – you get some hands-free time and your baby is entertained (hopefully).
There are many different bouncy chairs that offer various features and benefits, some have recline positions and most come with a mobile or toy bar to keep little ones entertained.
Price-wise, you’re likely to find a chair to suit any budget; from the top of the range all singing, all dancing models to the most basic of chairs, (probably like you had as a baby.)
So what types of baby chairs are there?
- Rockers are usually suitable from birth until about 6 months and have slanted bases so that you can rock your baby gently. 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.
- Bouncers – or bouncy chairs – can sit newborns and babies until they can sit upright, which is usually about 6 months. They are flexible enough to move slightly when you push down or when your baby kicks as she gets older. Bouncers usually have a toy bar, ideal for keeping your baby entertained while you get things done. And they can come in handy as a feeding seat for when you begin weaning.
Swings are ideal if your baby will only settle when she’s being rocked or walked back and forth. Usually suitable from birth, this type of chair can normally be used until your child is about 6-months-old.
Now read our our top picks of baby bouncer chairs and rockers…
1. Mamas & Papas Baby Snug and Activity Tray, £49
Age suitable for: From 3 months (or when baby is able to support their own head) to 12 months approximately
Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2019 Baby bouncer/swing/seat – Gold
A snug seat for babies to use as soon as they can support their own head. It features eight different interactive toy arrangements to keep them entertained – plenty of fun without the musical accompaniments of something like the Tiny Love Gymini Bouncer.
The play tray removes which means this would be good for the start of weaning, as the whole thing is easily wiped clean.
Without the activity tray it’s similar to the Bumbo Multi Seat but your baby will outgrow it sooner. It’s one of the cheapest on the list though, still making it good value.
Our MFM judge says: “The best thing is my baby seems to feel like she’s sitting with the grown-ups and I can still play with her while she’s seated.”
Available from: Mamas & Papas, Amazon, Precious Little One
2. Apramo Flippa, £44.99
Age suitable for: From 6 months to 15kg (approximately 3 years)
Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2019 Baby bouncer/swing/seat – Silver
This is a nifty, easy-to-fold booster seat with its own carry handle, designed to fit most dining chairs or to be used on the floor.
It’s less bulky than the Mamas & Papas Baby Snug for compact living spaces or out and about and the tray can be removed, which is good to get your baby at the table with everyone else.
Our MFM judge says: “Great price and easy to use.” It’s not as stylish as the sleek BabyBjorn Bouncer but is more portable and great for families who enjoy eating out with their little one.
Available from: Halfords, Pramworld, Amazon
3. Bumbo Multi Seat, £59.99
Age suitable for: From 6 months (or can sit unaided) up to 3 years or 15kg (33lbs)
This seat can take you through 2-and-a-half years so it’s good value like the Apramo Flippa. It’s wipe-clean the same as the Mamas & Papas seat but longer lasting, although it doesn’t have an activity tray to keep your baby amused.
It’s not a high-tech product but the functionality is great – keeps your baby snug and secure and strapped in as they grow.
Our reviewer says: “The great thing about the Bumbo Multi Seat is its longevity. Because of its design it can be adapted so you can use it as your little ones grow. The height of the seat is adjustable as there are 2 settings, and it comes with a foam insert that can be removed as they get bigger.”
Available from: Buggy Baby, Amazon, Kidly
4. Red Kite Baby Wave, £105
Age suitable for: From birth to approximately 6 months
Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2019 Baby bouncer/swing/seat – Bronze
The Wave bouncer is a sleek wood and fabric seat in muted greys and whites, designed to look stylish in homes that have not yet been taken over by the never-ending tide of brightly coloured plastic kids’ toys.
Babies can bounce themselves so no batteries are needed and that also means it’s a silent chair – no musical nursery rhymes, which some parents prefer.
It’s suitable for up to around six months which means it lasts for less time than the BabyBjorn, but is cheaper than the similar looking Bloom Coco Baby Lounger. Our MFM judge says: “Looks good and more expensive than its price tag.”
Available from: Argos, Red Kite Baby, Precious Little One
5. Chicco Balloon Bouncer, £69
Age suitable for: From birth up to 9kg (around 6 months)
This stylish grey bouncer is more understated than the vibrant Tiny Love Gymini Bouncer but still has a bright pastel toy bar to entertain your little one.
It plays sounds and melodies, vibrates, and you can even record a voice – so it truly is all singing, all dancing, although not all parents will love the musical element, and that does mean you need to buy batteries.
The seat is well-padded and suitable from birth, great when you need to pop baby down and get on with jobs or take a shower. Carry handles are a bonus feature making it easier to carry from room to room than the Nuna Leaf Rocker. It’s cheaper than some bouncers on the list but only lasts to around six months so you don’t get a longer use for your money.
Available from: John Lewis, Mothercare
6. BabyBjorn Bouncer Bliss, £139.99
Age suitable for: From birth up to 24 months
This stylish bouncer comes in plain black, greys and navy blue, and shies away from the vibrant bright colours of Tiny Love or Mamas & Papas seats.
It’s a long-lasting bouncer suitable up to age 2, meaning it gives great value for money, although the Nuna Leaf Rocker outlasts it by another 2 years. It’s very lightweight and folds flat for storage which is a bonus in smaller homes.
Babies can bounce it naturally themselves so it doesn’t need batteries but for little ones looking for toys to play with, a seat like the Chicco Balloon Bouncer provides more entertainment.
Available from: BabyBjorn, Amazon, John Lewis
7. Tiny Love Gymini Bouncer, £59.99
Age suitable for: From newborn to 8 months
This is a colourful, eye catching seat full of fun features to keep your baby entertained. It has toys, music, baby-activated lights and vibrations, and offers good value for money as one of the cheaper seats on the market.
The 2 separate toy bars to the side of the seat are a great feature – within your baby’s grasp but to the side of their vision so the view of mum or dad and the world around them is not obscured. It’s not stylish like the Bloom Coco Baby Lounger but your little one will love its vivid colour scheme.
Available from: Amazon, Baby’s Mart
8. Nuna Leaf Rocker, £160
Age suitable for: From birth to around 4 years (tested up to 60kg)
This is at the top-end of the market for price but it’s very stylish – and lasts right up to age four which is a great selling point and by far the longest-lasting of this list. Older siblings will love it so if you have a small age gap they’ll be happy in it when baby goes down in the cot for a nap.
The 3 legs make it more cumbersome to move around than a seat like the Baby Bjorn or Bumbo Multi Seat. But it’s suitable from birth and has cute high-contrasting black and white toys on a removeable toy bar which is great for newborns.
Our reviewer says: “One of the biggest selling-point of the Leaf is the fact that it doesn’t need batteries. A gentle push will rock your baby for around 2 minutes. My four-year old daughter loved lounging in it whilst watching episodes of My Little Pony on loop and could happily rock herself using her feet.”
Available from: Buggy Baby, Kidly
9. Skip Hop Bouncer, £130
Age suitable for: Babies up to 9kg (20lbs)
The Skip Hop Bouncer’s unique selling point is its ability to be elevated to sofa height, meaning your baby is not condemned to remain low to the floor. They can be a part of family life from birth and join in with the rest of the family.
Babies can bounce themselves naturally but it also offers battery-operated melodies and sound effects like a heartbeat and the ocean.
The toy bar can be tucked away or used with the mirror toy provided, and other toys can be added, but that does mean it has less to offer than the Mamas & Papas Activity Tray or the Tiny Love Gymini.
Available from: Pramworld, Amazon, JoJo Maman Bebe
10. Bloom Coco Baby Lounger, £159
Age suitable for: From birth to approximately seven months or 12kg (25lbs)
Parents looking for something sleek, stylish and wanting to steer clear of so much plastic will love the Bloom Coco Baby Lounger. Its simple curved, wooden base gives a smooth, self-rocking motion and is naturally chic. It doesn’t fold flat like the BabyBjorn Bouncer and there is no toy bar, unlike the Skip Hop Bouncer.
It’s a beautiful piece of furniture in its own right but it’s not as good value as the longer lasting Nuna Leaf Rocker.
Our reviewer says: “This has the look of a modern classic and is built to last, so you’ll definitely want to use it again for any subsequent children – though you may feel it’s too special to pass around your family and friends!”
Available from: Bloom Baby
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