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Baby Bouncers or Rocking Chairs?

What you will learn:

  • The difference between a bouncing chair and a rocking char
  • Which one best suits your child’s needs

Although a newborn spends much of their time sleeping, as the weeks go by, they will spend more and more time looking around them. Lying in a cot or pram staring at the ceiling can be very boring! They want to see the world around them; they especially want to see mum. 

In addition, mum needs a safe space where she can put baby without having to carry them around. The answer is a bouncing or rocking chair. These can be used from birth until baby is old enough to sit up by themselves, usually around six months, although you should use them sparingly for the first few weeks. They are also useful when it is time for their first feeds.


What’s the difference between a bouncing chair and a rocking chair?

Typically, a bouncing chair is a seat on a frame which bounces when baby kicks, sometimes quite violently if baby is feeling energetic. They can learn that the kicking causes the movement as soon as a few weeks after birth! At one time there was concern about whether this had a detrimental effect on baby but research has shown that the forces involved are minimal.

A rocking chair is a seat on curved runners so baby just moves back and forward. Most have a mechanism which stops the chair from moving which is very useful if you are using it to feed baby!

The simplest bouncing chairs are little more than fabric stretched over a metal frame. Some chairs have a more luxurious padded fabric and some have an adjustable backrest. This means that baby can be more upright to see what is happening while they are awake, or more laid back for a midday snooze. If you intend using from birth, look for one that has newborn head support. And if space is short, look for one which can be folded and put away or taken out and about.

Many come with toy bars, with dangling toys to entertain baby and some of the more expensive ones vibrate which can be great at helping baby sleep.


IMPORTANT! Never use these chairs anywhere but on the floor. It can be tempting to put it on a work surface so baby and mum can see each other. However, the chairs move with baby’s movement, sometimes quite quickly and can so easily fall, seriously injuring baby.