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. Bumbo Multi Seat, £49.99, MadeForMums Awards Gold Winner
Age suitable for: From 6 months to 3 years
Bumbo’s Multi Seat takes its classic baby floor seat to a new level with this gold standard creation. You can use it as a floor seat from six months, where it’s a great place for your little one to sit and play while you prepare a meal or tackle the dishes.
It has two height positions, and an easy-to-fit tray, which you can store in the back of the seat when you’re not using it. It can also be used as a dining booster seat for children up to three years – remove the soft insert to create a more spacious seat and use the straps to secure the seat to a dining chair.
It’s easier to store than a highchair, and super-portable for holidays or trips to grandparents.
What our MadeForMums Awards Judges say about the Bumbo Multi Seat:
“I really like this product. It is versatile and easy to transport, meaning it can be taken on days out. My little girl finds it comfortable and never fusses when I put her in (something she often does in her high chair). I love how the tray stows away neatly in the back, keeping all the parts together. Also, it is extremely easy to use. Pop your baby in, strap them up and add the tray if need be.” Mum of 1, Kathryn
“We love this chair! It is really good value for money as it is versatile and grows with your child. My little girl sat comfortably in the seat and enjoyed using it to eat with us at the table. It is easily portable around the house or when dining out and due to its size, it is much easier to store than a highchair. I also like how easy it is to clean as the tray and insert can be easily removed to clean.” Mum of 1, Laura
You can buy this seat from Very and Argos
2. Apramo Flippa Dining Booster, £34.99, MadeForMums Awards Joint Silver Winner
Age suitable for: from six months to 15kg (about 3 years)
Our silver winner is a height-adjustable flippy chair that’s perfect for visiting friends and restaurants. You can use it as a floor seat from six months and safely attach it to a dining chair with safety straps in place of a highchair.
Pop some finger food on the tray and watch as your little one explores their first tastes. When they’re done, tuck it away into the built-in storage. You can fold the seat up into one neat piece, carried with a handy carrystrap.
It’s also easy to set up right out of the box – a big plus if you’re not a fan of complicated instruction manuals!
What our MadeForMums Awards Judges say about the Apramo Flippa Dining Booster:
“After using it for a few weeks, I love this chair! I was pleased by the quality and sturdiness of the frame, and the instructions provided were clear. My 10-month-old son sits happily in the chair and it’s great we can all sit at the dining room table together now. Thanks to is portable size we will be using this on holidays and days out. Great quality product, I love this.” Mum of 4, Jo
“I like the Flippa, it is easy to use and would be a great addition for holidays or days out, or even at home if space is at a premium.” MFM Reviews Editor Magda Ibrahim
You can buy the Apramo Flippa Dining Booster from Uber Kids or Amazon
3. Chicco Balloon Bouncer, £70, MadeForMums Awards Joint Silver Winner
Age suitable for: from birth up to 9 kg (around 6 months)
Our testers loved this comfy bouncer’s high quality, gorgeous colours and generous weight limit, which also has a removable full body booster cushion and adjustable headrest.
Little ones will enjoy playing with the overhead toy panel and listening to the sounds of nature and relaxing lullabies. There’s even a voice recorder so you can record a special message from mummy or daddy to play as they bounce.
What our MadeForMums Awards Judges say about the Chicco Balloon Bouncer:
“It’s obvious from the minute you open this item that its excellent quality. Gorgeous neutral colours, perfect for any nursery or living area. The chair has carry handles, which makes it easier to move from room to room. I also like the padding for both baby to sit on and the head,” mum-of-two, Janet.
“This chair comes fully assembled (bar the arm with the balloon on) in its box, so there is no need to put anything together. As you take it out the box, it just clicks into its upright position. All you have to do is put the arm in and insert some batteries – to the balloon and to the seat to enable the vibration function,” mum-of-one, Victoria.
You can buy the Chicco Balloon Bouncer from John Lewis and Mothercare
4. BabyBjorn Bouncer Bliss, £135, MadeForMums Awards Bronze Winner
Age suitable for: From birth up to 24 months
As stylish and sleek as you’d expect from Bjorn, the new bronze award-winning Bouncer Bliss is just the ticket to soothe a fussing baby, from newborn up to 24 months. The gentle baby-powered rocking creates a calm sensation, while the well-designed seat provides proper support for their back, neck and head. The soft mesh comes in three colours – powder pink, cocoa and anthracite.
It’s worth remembering that when using baby rockers, baby swings or baby bouncers, that babies shouldn’t sit in them for too long. The standard safety recommendation for babies to be in any seated position is no longer than 2 hours.
What our MadeForMums Awards Judges say about the BabyBjorn Bouncer Bliss:
“I liked the Babybjorn Bouncer Bliss from the minute I opened the box! It was folded flat and I could set it up with one hand while holding my eight-week-old boy. It is very light and easy to move around and also folds up flat for easy storage or transporting. The material feels very good quality and the cover is easy to take off and wash as well as being stylish! My baby loves the Bouncer Bliss, will happily fall asleep in it.” Mum of 1, Rachel
“A very stylish baby bouncer that would look out of place in any home. Easy to set up, great materials and fabrics.” MFM Reviews Editor Hazelann Williams
You can buy the BabyBjorn Bouncer Bliss from John Lewis
5. Tiny Love Gymini Bouncer, £59.99
Age suitable for: Birth – 8 months
This cheerful multi-stage bouncer can be used from newborn to 8 months, and is packed with fun features, including baby-activated lights and music with a stand-alone crab toy which promotes independent play.
The semi-upright position and adjustable arches help babies explore their surroundings, while the colourful bouncer has two recline positions, and can be used for feeding once you’re into the weaning stage.
Buy the Tiny Love Gymini from Dunelm and Amazon
6. Nuna Leaf Rocker, £160
Age suitable for: Birth – around 4 years, but tested up to 60kg
For the design-conscious out there, the beautiful Nuna Leaf rocker combines style with functionality – and has some great features, like the fact it can be used from newborn to 60kg.
So it has a really long lifespan and even big brothers and sisters can use the chair when it’s not soothing baby.
Nuna has also brought out a motorised device – the Wind – which is a gadget that rocks the Leaf chair gently from side to side.
Read our full review of the Nuna Leaf rocker chair.
Buy the Nuna Leaf rocker from John Lewis, and Mothercare.
7. Skip Hop Bouncer, £130
Age suitable for: Babies up to 25lbs
Unlike many seats which remain low to the floor, this multi-level bouncer can also be elevated to sofa height at the turn of a dial, raising your little one up to join in with the rest of the family.
As well as taking in the world around, your baby can enjoy a soothing vibration feature, along with two melodies and heartbeat and ocean wave sound effects. There’s also a toy bar which can be tucked away when not in use.
Its neutral colours will blend in well in any room in the house, and you can remove the cover if you need to pop it in the wash. The seat folds for storage and takes babies up to 25 lbs.
You can buy the Skip Hop bouncer from Pramworld or JoJo Maman Bebe
8. Bloom Coco Baby Lounger, £160
Age suitable for: Birth – 2 years
A super stylish baby chair and rocker that will add a touch of chic to your house, the Bloom Coco baby lounger has a smooth, self-rocking motion to naturally soothe your baby.
The curved, wooden base – which comes in cappuccino, natural wood, or white – is lined with soft leatherette or cotton fabrics and a 5-point padded safety harness keeps your little one safely in place.
Our tester loved the simplicity of this baby chair and so did her little one. She also highlighted the attention to detail, which is outstanding – for example, the underside of the Coco has non-slip strips baby will stay put and your floor won’t suffer any damage either.
Read the full review of the Bloom Coco baby lounger
Buy the Bloom Coco Baby Lounger from The Baby Room and Natural Baby Shower
9. Tiny Love 3-in-1 Rocker Napper, £79.99
Age suitable for: Birth – 2 years
With three positions, including fully reclined with sides that raise up to create a bassinet, a removable baby-activated mobile, soft toys and music box with nine different tunes the Tiny Love 3-in-1 rocker is packed with features.
Our reviewer liked the fact that it sits high off the ground and was a big fan of the volume control on the music box.
This is a spacious chair, with plenty of room to grow in, and it can be used to 9kg in the fully reclined position, or up to 18kg as a seat.
Unlike some other chairs it doesn’t have a huge frame, so it’s a hit for its space saving design an the mobile and flashing lights were an instant hit with our four month old tester.
Read the full East Coast Nursery Tiny Love 3-in-1 rocker napper review here
Buy the Tiny Love 3-in-1 Rocker Napper from John Lewis and Pramworld
10. Stokke Steps Bouncer, £149
Age suitable for: Birth – 9 months
As we’ve come to expect from Stokke, the brand is always thinking about the evolution of family life and with its Steps Bouncer, the seat can be used for the different stages of baby life.
Used on its own on the floor, the bouncer is ready to go from newborn, with soft, machine-washable fabrics and a removable newborn insert. The detachable toy bar helps with the entertainment factor, while the wide, sturdy base is super stable.
The bouncer (which folds flat for easy storage) can also be attached to the Stokke Steps highchair (£169) to bring your baby up higher for feeding and interacting.
Buy the Stokke Steps Bouncer direct from Stokke, or from Pramworld.
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