Chicco is an established baby brand that has over 50 years experience making baby products and won many nursery awards for its variety of merchandise that ranges from pushchairs, car seats and cots to bouncers, highchairs and toys.
As part of its recent collection of new baby goods, Chicco has released the new Hoopla bouncer.
Having already picked up a Prima baby bronze award last November for Best Bouncer/Rocker, it has been a hit with the critics, but how would it fare with a newborn baby? I was eager to find out.
Rivaling the likes of the BabyBjorn Balance, Summer Infant Cuddly Owl and Mothercare Love So Much bouncers, it offers three-point adjustable waist harness, toy bar and non-slip feet.
To me, the Chicco Hoopla looks like the Rolls Royce of baby bouncers. I used it for our newborn daughter Celestia when she was two-days-old as I wanted to the lie flat mode was all about.
What’s in the box?
- 1 x Hoopla Frame
- 1 x Seat Fabric
- 1 x Newborn Insert
- 1 x Harness
- 1 x Toy Arch
- 3 x Hanging Toys
- 1 x Set of Instructions
Any additional extras?
Does it require assembly?
No, you never actually need to assemble nor dismantle the Hoopla as it simply folds flat for storage.
Is it easy to strap your little one in?
Not really, the straps were a bit fiddly and they are difficult to extend.
So how is the Hoopla in action?
I initially had some reservations as I had read a few online reviews that said the Chicco Hoopla does not really work for larger (in this case a seven month old) babies.
The weight limit is 9kg – which is around nine months for an average baby and as our daughter was just under a week old when we first started using it, size was not a problem.
Since then we have used it downstairs every day because it is an ideal post-feed option when you may not want to lie a newborn flat.
It also removes the need to have a Moses basket or buggy as baby can sleep in it!
Our daughter is now three-weeks-old and I love the fact that it rocks gently on its non-slip feet – though you have to do this manually as it is not electric.
When our daughter gets a bit bigger I would imagine that her weight would gently rock her without us having to intervene.
Is it comfortable for baby?
Yes, the feet are closer to the ground than other bouncers and it is less wire than other bouncers, giving it a sturdier feel.
The headrest cushion and bottom ‘booster cushion’ are useful and well placed, as not only do they provide baby with super comfort they can be easily removed for washing.
The headrest cushion is adjustable to three different positions and as the baby grows the two cushions can be removed to give baby more room.
There are also four recline positions and this is easy to achieve by pressing both side buttons simultaneously – it is easy I promise.
So it’s easy to clean?
Yes, the pads wash well on a gentle or wool wash and as they are synthetic they don’t take long to dry.
What about storing the Hoopla?
If space is an issue the Hoopla may not be suitable for you, as it is, compared to other bouncers, on the large side – 45cm in length to be precise.
I must say it takes up quite a lot of space in our medium sized kitchen and my older daughter did trip over it once.
However, that aside, I much prefer it to my other bouncers (Fisher Price, Mamas and Papas) – although to be fair they are about eight-years-old now!
Tell us about the toy bar.
Toy bars are like (sorry for the clichéd simile) marmite, some people love them because they offer stimulation for babies and others hate them as they think they may be safety hazards.
I am in the latter camp, as the toy bar, which comes on and off easily, can be taken off by older children and I think this is a downside to the Chicco Hoopla bouncer.
Certainly my five-year-old, who thinks she is a baby expert, keeps removing it.
However, you can move the toys along the toy bar which is a clever feature – the people at Chicco call it a SlideLine system.
In short, this is an excellent bouncer if space is not an issue and you don’t have older naughty children who are likely to wave the toy bar around.
We have used the Hoopla at home on a variety of different surfaces including flagstone flooring and carpet. It worked very well on both. It would be an excellent travelling companion given how easy it is to fold and unfold.