A baby bouncer may seem low down the list of items new parents need for their little one. Yet you’ll soon realise just how tricky it can be to get on with everyday tasks as simple as eating if you haven’t got somewhere to place your bundle of joy.
As the name suggests, a baby bouncer is a baby seat that has its base on the floor and a soft chair suspended above to allow a soothing bouncing motion. You can also buy baby swings and baby rockers. These all come in various shapes and sizes with added extras such as vibration settings, calming music, a toy bar and more, depending on your budget.
Below, you’ll find our guide to buying the right product for your child, followed by our pick of the best baby bouncers available to buy.
Best baby bouncer: At a glance
Best baby rocker: At a glance
Best baby swing: At a glance
How to choose the best baby bouncer for your child
What’s the difference between a baby bouncer, a baby rocker and a baby swing?
Baby bouncers are designed to keep babies entertained and stimulated with a gentle springy motion. Baby rockers and baby swings, meanwhile, are intended to encourage your baby to snooze using vibration settings and various swinging speeds. Rockers and swings tend to be more expensive due to their various swing settings. In general, all of the best baby bouncers, rockers and swings are designed to mimic the gentle motions your baby would have experienced in the womb.
Rockers typically take up a lot of room so aren’t good for small spaces, and swings usually require batteries or a mains supply to work so it’s worth thinking about what you’re going to use your chair for before you commit to buying.
Are baby swings good for babies?
There are myriad positive benefits from baby bouncers, baby swings and baby rockers. From a parent’s point of view, the best baby swings offer a safe place to put your little one as you grab a cup of tea or pop to the toilet. A portable baby swing or bouncer can move around the house with you too, so you don’t need to leave them alone.
The best baby swings are those that stimulate your baby’s senses and offer vibration settings, various swinging speeds and a recline position to mimic the womb and give them reassurance. A plush seat and head support is also a great alternative to the comfort of your arms for a short time.
That said, you should never leave a baby unattended and check the weight limit of the seat your baby is in, just in case they outgrow it. And once your baby can roll, they should no longer be put in a baby swing, bouncer or rocker.
When buying the best baby swing or baby bouncer, look for the BS EN14036:2003 safety mark to ensure it complies with up-to-date safety standards.
Best baby bouncers to buy
1. Fisher-Price Woodsy Friends Comfy Time: The best affordable baby bouncer
Price: £40 | Buy now from Amazon
If you’re looking for a cheap but sturdy baby bouncer that will last until your baby is at least six months, the latest version of this staple from Fisher-Price offers comfort, convenience and an “earthy” colour scheme for a great price.
With a musical owl on a toy bar that dangles by the baby’s hands and a vibration setting to help soothe them to sleep, this all-singing, all-dancing chair proves that you can have all the bells and whistles without spending a fortune. It has a reassuringly wide base, “sticky” feet and its new deep plush seat and head support cushion make it easily as comfortable as some of the higher-end brands.
Key features: Washable cover, three-point harness; Maximum weight/age: 9kg, six months
2. Babybjörn Bouncer Balance Soft: The best baby bouncer for style
Price: £185 | Buy now from John Lewis
Want something simple that will last (and have a fair chunk to spend)? Look no further. Supportive, strong and snugly, the Balance Soft baby bouncer is highly responsive: every little kick creates a rocking movement and helps your baby self-soothe.
It has four recline positions – play, rest, sleep and compact – and folds flat enough to slip down the side of the sofa when not in use or on the boot shelf of your hatchback. This makes it perfect for small spaces. The soft padded plush seat is made from jersey fabric and comes in a range of neutral colours, but if you have a summer baby, you may opt for a Bouncer Bliss, which is a stylish update of the 1972 original and comes in a cool, child-friendly mesh. There’s also the option to buy a travel bag and a set of tasteful wooden toys that clip on to the front.
Key features: Machine washable fabric, three-point harness; Maximum weight/age: 13kg, 24 months; Dimensions: 61 x 39 x 92cm
Buy now from John Lewis
The best baby rockers to buy
1. Nuna Leaf Rocking Chair: The best baby rocker for contemporary style
Price: £160 | Buy now from John Lewis