The best baby swings, baby bouncers, and baby rockers are to new parents what baby Yoda is to The Mandalorian: Absolutely indispensable. They give parents a break, which in itself is priceless. But while they’re a solid and safe place for babies to hang out while you maybe read a book, you should never let them sleep in rockers or swings unsupervised, because snoozing at an angle is unsafe for infants.
“You need a flat surface, nothing inclined, a firm mattress, with a tight-fitting sheet,” says pediatrician Dr. Ben Hoffman, the chair of American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention. “If you have a baby in a swing and they enjoy it, they’re going to fall asleep in there from time to time. You need to be there and constantly vigilant.”
When choosing a bouncer or swing, pay attention to the following:
- Aesthetics and size, to make sure the rocker or swing works within your home in terms of space and design.
- Output, depending on whether you prefer one that’s battery-operated, one that plugs into an outlet, or one that rocks on its own because it is powered by the baby’s movements.
- Weight limit, with some swings maxing out at 20 pounds and others lasting well into toddlerhood because they convert into chairs.
Not all rockers or bouncers are created equal, both in terms of features and functionality. Thus, we’ve listed the weight limits for each, plus other factors that will impact your decision.
The Best Baby Rockers
You get a soothing seat and baby rocker in one. This rocker has an adjustable incline, and plays 16 songs and 3 soothing sounds, plus It has 6 glide speeds. The max weight is 25 pounds and it's AC-powered.
This baby rocker has a 3-position recline, adjustable calf support, and 2-speed vibration. The weight limit is 20 pounds. It switches seamlessly from rocker to bouncer, if you flip a switch. At 9 pounds, it's easily portable since it folds flat. It's battery-operated.
Sweet, portable, and handy, this rocker is easy on the wallet and easy on the eyes. It has two recline positions and calming vibrations that can help soothe and comfort your baby, plus a fold-out kickstand for stationary seating. It's not particularly fancy, but it gets things done. And it converts into a toddler chair, so kids up to 40 pounds can use it. It runs on batteries
This battery-operated rocker plays 5 melodies and 3 sounds, and uses calming vibrations to relax your baby. The weight limit is 20 pounds. It has a reversible head pillow that can be adjusted and removed as your child grows. This rocker isn't fancy, but it's easy to use and portable.
The Best Baby Bouncers
This BabyBjörn rocker has four different positions: play, rest, sleep, and transport (in order from most to least vertical). You can use it from newborns weighing at least 8 pounds to toddlers weighing 29 pounds. It's easy to fold down and weighs just a pound, so taking this rocker on the go is a breeze. The seat is easy to remove and machine washable, and you can use it as a comfy chair once your kid is able to sit upright. It's self-bouncing, so you don't need a power source.
Not only does this bouncer look pretty damn nice, but it also works as a rocker. It has an easy one-handed fold. The fabric cover is machine-washable, and the bouncer has a removable toy bar. The weight limit is 20 pounds.
An ultra-portable bouncer, this one has a three-position recline to accommodate the pickiest of children. We like the mesh inset, so your baby stays cool, and the fact that it uses natural bouncing motions to soothe your kid. It folds flat, and the cover is removable so you can wash it. The weight limit is 20 pounds.
If you don't have a ton of space, you should take a look at this bouncer. It responds to your baby's natural motions, and has 20 minutes of music, nature sounds and calming vibrations. This lightweight baby bouncer is suitable for infants up to 25 pounds. It's portable, and you can either bounce it manually or set it to auto-vibrate; it's battery-powered. The insert is machine-washable.
It's a modern, dare we say elegant, baby rocker, that's right at home in your living room without being hard on the eyes. Plus, it's one of the most eco-friendly models available. You get seat pads with a five-point harness. This rocker is free of lead, BPA, phthalates, PVC, formaldehyde and flame retardant materials, and has a smooth, self-rocking motion, hence no power source needed. The rocker is suitable for newborns and babies up to 25 pounds.
This elegant bouncer is height-adjustable, meaning you can see your baby (and vice versa) from anywhere. It has four adjustable heights and three reclining positions, including a (doctor-recommended) lie-flat option. If you release the wedge at the bottom, it rocks, and has carry handles that double as toy bars. You can use it from birth until your baby is six months old.
The Best Baby Swings
We're huge fans of 4Moms' baby products because they are next-level smart, and this is a wonderful glider and swing for parents with small spaces. This swing is one-third the size of most regular (translation: huge) baby swings. It has a back and forth gliding motion and five speeds. The seat is removable, and it comes with an AC adaptor so you never need batteries. You can use it from birth until your baby is 25 pounds, or can sit up unassisted.
This self-swinging swing will work for kids weighing up to 60 pounds. How, you wonder? First, babies are strapped in and the things moves from side to side, quietly and gently. The motion lasts for up to two minutes until you have to push it again. And when babies outgrow it, it turns into a toddler seat. This is self-powered, so no need for batteries or an outlet cord.
The main difference between the two 4moms swings is that this is one is Bluetooth-enabled. It has 5 unique motions and speeds, 4 built-in sounds, and you can control it all via the app using Bluetooth. The weight limit is 25 pounds.
The DuetSoothe does double duty as a hanging swing and a rocker that rests on the ground. Hang the swing seat on the sturdy frame to take advantage of the six different rocking speeds and two vibrating strengths, powered by your choice of rechargeable batteries or a power outlet. The DuetSoothe is safe for kids up to 30 pounds (most others cut off at 25), so you can use it for longer. You can also use it as an analog rocker simply by grabbing the handle and puting the Duetsoothe on the ground. You can either plug it in, or use batteries.
Instead of rocking, swinging, and/or vibrating, this baby swing moves in five different patterns that 4moms claims are more like how mothers comfort their kids. The mamaRoo 4 comes with interactive and reversible toy balls: one with a rattle, one with mirrors, and one that crinkles to help build motor skills and keep your baby entertained for hours. There's a built-in speaker and Bluetooth connectivity so you can adjust the music and motion pattern from your phone, though there is also a pretty comprehensive control panel at the base of the unit. It can be used from birth until 25 pounds and it plugs right into the wall.
This baby swing from Fisher-Price gives you a choice of 2 swinging motions, plus a variety of gentle music and sounds. You get 6 different baby swing speeds and the cradle swing actually senses your baby’s weight, so speeds won’t slow as the baby grows. It plays 16 songs and nature sounds. The max weight limit is 25 pounds and the swing can be used from birth. It doesn't take batteries, meaning it always has to be close to an AC power source.
The bizarrely named Snugapuppy is the rare rocker that can both soothe and entertain thanks to its particular feature set. There's the dual motion swing that rocks your baby back-and-forth or side-to-side at one of 6 speeds, a padded seat with 2 different recline positions, and a speaker that plays nature sounds. It can be used up to 25 pounds and plugs into the wall.
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