Caring for a baby is an incredibly hard task especially when you have a fussy baby. Getting your baby to sleep or stop crying so you can get some time to handle other tasks is a big challenge that all parents have to face and overcome. There are many ways that people use to calm their baby and one of the best ways is rocking your baby to sleep. However, rocking your baby to sleep in your arms consumes a lot of time and energy. This is why you may need a baby automatic rocker.
A baby automatic rocker is a rocking chair of sorts with comfortably well-cushioned seats and a safety harness which holds your baby in place while providing a soothing motion to keep your baby calm. Most rockers provide a stimulating motion that can either lull your baby to sleep or soothe fussy babies.
The truth is that the rigors of parenting can easily overshadow the joys of having a baby, especially for new parents. If a mother doesn’t have a baby product to keep her baby occupied while she relaxes or completes other chores, things can get pretty frustrating. Baby rockers are a key tool for helping parents to keep their sanity.
Apart from providing you with “me” time, baby automatic rockers also calms your baby by simulating the sensation of being in their mother’s arms for a baby. A rocker is also a safe way to strap your baby to a chair rather than placing them on a surface from which they can roll off.
Baby rockers also provide assistance for a child’s mental and physical development by helping your baby to find a sense of balance. The movement and motion which simulates the familiar motions your baby experienced in the womb are also good for your child’s mental and social development.
Whether they swing or bounce, produce musical melodies or have vibrating seats, baby rockers come with quite a range of features and the purpose of this article is to help you choose the best baby rocker that fits you and your baby’s needs.
Whether it’s a baby rocker, bouncer, swing, bassinet or jumper, each of these baby seats all serve the same purpose which is to entertain and calm your baby while giving you hands-free moments to attend to other matters. However, each of this baby seats has distinctive features that make them different from each other.
As a parent buying baby seats for the first time, you need to decide which of these baby seats you want to choose. In other words, you need to know which one best fits your needs before making your purchase. So you’re probably asking what is the difference between a rocker, bouncer or swing?
A baby rocker is usually designed with a similar base with the rocking chairs our mothers or grandmothers used to sit in while rocking us to sleep.
A bouncer, on the other hand, usually has some spring in the base which allows it to manually bounce your baby. It is also usually designed as an inclined seat.
A swing is usually designed as a reclined seat attached to a frame or base which mechanically moves your baby in either a rocking or bouncing motion.
The KOVA baby bouncer is a stylishly designed baby rocker on our best baby rocker list. It provides your baby with all the benefits of a baby rocker: entertainment, soothing and rest.
The Kova baby bouncer has 2 modes of use: bouncer and rocker. It is also easily adjusted to fit you or your baby’s needs. The baby bouncer also includes a soft and plushy removable newborn insert to provide your newborn babies with all the support they need to keep their head upright.
You don’t have to worry about assembling the Kova baby bouncer when you get it because it comes pre-assembled. All you have to do is hold the one-hand fold button to switch between different recline positions and allow your baby to enjoy varying bouncing or rocking motions. The premium seat fabric material is also soft to the touch and machine-washable.
And you don’t have to worry about entertainment because this Bornfree baby bouncer comes with a removable toy bar featuring two plush black and white toys to encourage your baby’s visual development. One of the two toys crinkles and the other makes a soft rattling sound that will surely entertain your baby.
Aesthetically, the Kova baby bouncer definitely doesn’t disappoint. The bouncer was designed with a mix of light and dark gray as well as brown leather and sleek silver metal which gives it an attractive look and feel.
The weight limit of the Kova bouncer is 50 pounds which means your baby can use this chair from the infant stage to toddler stage. The baby bouncer also features a stroller and a canopy in case you want to go for a walk with your baby.
The Fisher-Price Rocker can be arranged as a stationary seat for a newborn with bat-at toys overhead to entertain your baby or it can be converted to a toddler chair when the toy bar is removed. The rocker also offers two very comfortable recline positions and calming vibrations to help your baby feel comfortable.
The Fisher-Price Rocker is easy to clean with a removable seat pad and seat fabric material that is machine-washable and dryer-safe. The two overhead bat-at toys are colorful and attractive looking toys to help stimulate your baby’s senses. With a weight limit of 40 pounds, your baby can enjoy this rocker
The DuetSoothe is a baby automatic rocker with two vibration speed settings, 10 melodies and 5 nature sounds as well as 6 different swing speeds to choose from to keep your baby soothed and entertained. The motor of the rocker-swing combo has two power source options that you can use, either plug in or batteries (Polaroid D batteries for best results).
Aesthetically, the Graco DuetSoothe doesn’t fall short either. The swing-rocker combo baby seat is designed with Winslet colors of light beige and light green which are warm and appealing.
Both the swing and rocker seat options are suitable for babies above 5.5 pounds. Their weight limits are, however, different where the swing has a weight limit of 30 pounds and the rocker has a weight limit of 25 pounds. Of course, as a swing-rocker, the Graco DuetSoothe is not very portable with an overall weight of 21 pounds.
One of the reasons why we chose the Graco DuetSoothe as the best rocker and swing combo is because of the ease of switching between swing seat or rocker seat mode. After detaching the swing seat, this baby seat easily becomes a rocker seat with a rather convenient carry-handle which makes it super easy for you to keep your baby by your side even as you move from room to room in your home.
This rocker can soothe your baby with calming vibrations and entertain with music and nature sounds and it is powered by replaceable C batteries. The baby rocker also has overhead bat-at toys to entertain your child.
Apart from its entertainment features, the Ingenuity Boutique Collection Rocker is very chic and is designed with warm color hues. The harness is wrapped in fleecy materials and the seat’s fabric material is premium and posh which allows your baby to feel comfortable while snuggled in. The weight limit is 24.2 pounds.
The Ingenuity Boutique Collection Rocker is also very portable weighing 4.07 pounds and can be easily folded flat for storage or transportation. You can also choose to either enjoy using it as a stationary seat or a rocker seat which you can carry around.
The Summer 2-in-1 bouncer-rocker duo has a weight limit of 20 pounds. It also has a removable padded insert that increases your babies’ comfort. It is powered by C batteries and can easily calm your baby with its soothing vibrations. It is also very compact with a flat fold design and a weight of 5.55 pounds which makes it easy to store and transport or travel with.
You can control the motion, speed, music and volume of the rocker from your Bluetooth enabled android native phone. This means you just need to pick up your phone and change the vibration or speed settings on this rocker via bluetooth. The rocker is powered by AC adapter.
4moms mamaroo also has overhead toys that include reversible and interactive toy balls that rattle, mirror and crinkle. The rocker seat is also adjustable to any position including full recline to give your baby maximum comfort. The seat fabric material is nest-knit fabric which is both smooth and machine washable.
The weight limit for the 4moms mamaroo baby rocker is 25 pounds which means you may only be able to use it till your baby is 3-6 months old.
1.Aesthetics and size
When buying a baby rocker, one of the things you need to consider is aesthetics and size. This doesn’t just refer to how your baby rocker looks and the colors used to design it. This might be important but it is not as important as how much space the rocker would occupy and how much space you have in your home.
If you don’t have enough space in your home for a baby rocker to sit, it would be a wiser choice to either choose a baby rocker with a smaller size or one that is easily folded and stored.
2.Weight limit and capacity
Each baby rocker has a minimum and maximum weight limit as determined by the manufacturers and it is essential that you take this into account when buying a baby rocker for your baby. This is because the weight limit determines how long your baby can enjoy using the baby rocker.
If you want your baby to grow with his or her baby rocker, then you need to get one with a higher weight limit that your baby can use from infancy to his toddler stage. This also means that you can reduce your expenses in terms of baby seat for your baby.
Most times, the output of a baby rocker is determined by its power source. In other words, does the baby rocker run on replaceable batteries, must it be plugged into an outlet or does it rock or sway naturally based on your baby’s movements and your push? Well you need to consider this when buying a baby rocker for your baby.
Basic baby rockers which are powered by your baby movements usually have a poor ability to entertain or soothe your baby as compared to baby automatic rockers. This is because they have no vibrating seats, sweet melodies and no swing, bounce or rock speed settings and other features that can be found in an automatic rocker.
Automatic baby rockers run on batteries, electricity or both. Baby rockers that run on replaceable batteries can become expensive to maintain. For example, for a baby rocker with vibration settings, swing or bounce settings or sounds, you would need much more power and might have to replace the batteries regularly. This increases not only your cost but also your carbon footprint. Of course, baby rockers running on batteries have their own advantage which is that they’re much more portable than their plug-in counterparts.
The best option for an auto rocker power source is a battery and plug-in combination. This way, you can enjoy the advantages of using batteries and recharging with electricity.
Other features of baby automatic rockers you need to consider:
Another feature to consider when choosing a baby rocker is its portability. Depending on your needs, you should consider if you would need to carry the baby rocker from room to room at home and ensure that the baby rocker you buy is easy to carry around. If you’re someone who would love to move around with your baby rocker to take a walk around the park or visit friends and family, it would be better for you to buy a baby rocker that is built for travel which would is compact and less-bulky than the one you can carry around the house.
All in all, you need to consider how mobile you want to be with the baby rocker when choosing a baby rocker so you can pick one that is highly portable. Some portable rockers we can recommend is the Kova Nova Bouncer and the Summer 2-in-1 Bouncer and Rocker Duo.
Baby auto rockers have different prices. There are some really expensive baby rockers with numerous features and add-ons. And there are also less expensive ones with varying attractive features. When buying a baby rocker, it is best to pick one within your budget which offers most of the features you’d like your baby to enjoy.
Best budget baby bouncers are usually in the price range of $40-65. For example, the Fisher-Price Infant-to-Toddler Rocker is $45 and it offers quite a number of features. Of course, there are also rockers within the price range of $66-100 like the Kova Baby Bouncer ($98) which is our pick for best baby rocker.
6. Durability and convertibility
When buying a baby rocker, another feature to look out for is how long the rocker can last. Although, you want a baby rocker with great aesthetics, you have to ensure that you’re buying a baby rocker that won’t fall apart after 1-3 months of use. Therefore, you need to ensure the fabric material, the frame, the base, the seat pads and harness are all top-quality products that make your best baby rocker option. For example, metal frame rockers (steel or aluminum frames) are usually much more sturdy and durable than plastic frames.
You also want a baby rocker that provides you with a lot options like a baby rocker that is a combination of either swing and rocker or bouncer and rocker and so on. This way, you can easily switch the baby rocker to swing mode or bouncer mode when you need to.
7. Easy to clean
When buying a baby rocker, you also need to consider how easy it is to clean it. You don’t want your baby sitting in a baby rocker that is dirty which can pass germs to your vulnerable baby. And it is inevitable that your baby might spit out or have a diaper leak while strapped in. For this reason, you should get a rocker with fabric and materials that are removable and machine-washable. Of course if you can’t get a rocker with removable machine-washable fabric materials, you can get one designed with waterproof material that can be wiped down.
8. Support and Comfort
Your baby will most likely spend a lot of time in the baby rocker so it is essential that you consider the issue of comfort and support.
Your baby will enjoy sitting in the baby rocker, if and only if, the rocker is comfy. Because of this, you need to find a baby rocker with soft fabric that is not irritable to the touch and has no coarse seams that may irritate your baby’s sensitive skin. You also don’t want to get a baby rocker with poor padding that is thinly stretched over the frame of the rocker or one that is overly padded.
Another important element is the head support. Newborn babies cannot support their head and neck on their own, they need support. This is why if you’re buying a baby rocker for a newborn, you should probably pick one with a removable newborn insert. The seat incline should also be adjustable to fit different reclining positions.
While purchasing your baby rocker, it is also advisable that you buy a baby rocker with a metal frame rather than one with a plastic frame. This is because the metal frame is much sturdy and durable than the plastic frame.
When choosing a baby rocker, you need to also consider the entertainment aspect. There are different means of entertainment that can be attached to a baby rocker such as musical sounds, vibrating seats, toys and lights.
Some of these entertainment features can actually be beneficial to your baby’s social, mental and physical development. For example, some baby rockers have toys with certain colors and design to help your babies’ visual and tactile development. Overhead bat-at toys are a great example of toys that also help develop your babies’ gross motor skills.
Many rockers are also equipped with musical sounds including melodies, humming, lullabies and natural sounds which excite or calm your baby down.
You might be wondering why people recommend baby rockers to new parents? It’s simply because most newborn babies are prone to being fussy because they often suffer from a little anxiety. This is because they are having a completely different experience from the one they were conceived and grew up in: the womb. Now, they have to endure things like noise, new means of feeding, sensitiveness of their skin and temperature fluctuations.
Most times, babies are prone to crying for long periods of times (extended hours) especially in the first three months and one of the few things that can calm them down is when you hold and rock them. As a parent, you cannot hold and rock your baby for so many hours every day without going insane. Since baby rockers mimic the rocking and gentle vibrations a child is used to, the baby seat can give you time to rest your arms, calm your fussy baby and help them fall asleep.
Are vibrating rockers bad for babies?
Not necessarily. A little vibration is not going to harm your baby. In fact, one of the few techniques used to soothe fussy babies, apart from swaddling, singing lullabies and massaging includes the use of vibrations. Not vibrations like the ones your phone makes on hard surfaces when it’s ringing but soothing gentle vibrations.
You might not realize it but your baby is already used to these gentle vibrations. In the womb, babies have already experienced the vibrations generated by blood rushing to the placenta, from a mother’s heart beat and her regular activities like walking or talking.
The vibrations on rockers are repetitive motions that follow a rhythm thus reminding your baby of the gentle vibrations he or she enjoyed in the womb. And this is why fussy babies calm down faster when you put them in a rocker with good vibration settings.
Most automatic rockers are usually equipped with adjustable vibration frequencies and automatic shut-off functions which allow you to regulate what kinds of vibrations your child should enjoy and how long. So you just have to ensure that you know how to moderately and safely use the vibrations to calm your baby.
Do babies like bouncers or swings better?
Deciding whether babies like bouncers or swings better might be a little tricky but the best answer would be that babies have different natures that might suit bouncers or swings.
The baby bouncer, for example, has natural movements and is a great place to get your young child to recline comfortably while the bouncers rocks itself according to your babies’ movements or you rock it with your hands. A baby bouncer’s natural movement can also advantageous because when your baby gets older, he or she can find their own rhythm and rocking motions by waving their arms around or kicking their legs about.
Baby swings, on the other hand, have different speed and vibration settings as well as distinct rocking and swaying motions. They usually have melodies that can excite or lull your baby to sleep. But they are usually stationary seats and are usually not very portable.
So depending on what can keep your baby occupied, entertained and soothed, you can make your choice.
Are baby rockers safe?
Most baby rockers are safe. However, the safety of every product depends on its quality and usage. It is essential that you do not leave your baby in a baby rocker without supervision for too long. A baby rocker doesn’t take over the responsibility of taking care of your baby, rather it allows you have hands-free moments.
You can decide to leave your baby for a minute or two unsupervised but it is important that you don’t leave them alone for too long. This is because babies can be incredibly wriggly and it would be disastrous if you’re not present and your baby accidentally shifts out of a safe position in the rocker.
Apart from closely supervising your baby, another important element is picking the best baby rocker. Don’t settle for just any baby automatic rocker you see out there, carefully consider all the important features you want and don’t want to see in your baby rocker before picking the best choice.
You should also try to adhere to the safety precautions for the usage of baby rockers such as the need to place the rocker on a flat floor surface. This means that you should never place your baby’s rocker on any raised surface like a table or counter.
Another precaution is to avoid allowing your baby to sleep in their rocker. You can lull them to sleep in the rocker but it is not a safe sleeping space for your baby at all.
As long as you follow the necessary precautions, baby rockers are a safe baby product for soothing your baby or keeping him or her occupied.
Which is better bouncer or rocker?
For some parents, the bouncer is better than the rocker and vice versa for others.
A baby rocker usually has a combination of the features of a swing and a bouncer. With a small push, a baby rocker can produce a rocking motion back and forth that soothes your baby. And there are also baby automatic rockers that have different rocking motions and speed settings to entertain and calm your baby.
Bouncers are usually less techy than rockers. Usually you can easily get the bouncer to bounce with your feet or hands but there are also bouncers with mechanized bouncing or vibration as well as other mechanized movement. Just like rockers, bouncers can have canopies and attached toys. They might also be much lighter and less bulky than rockers. However, baby bouncers usually have less automated movement options when compared to rockers.
Generally, it would be hard to decide which is better between the baby bouncer or rocker because the needs of parents and their babies are different. And there is also the fact that many baby seat companies are producing products which combine the features of swings, bouncers and rockers to make outstanding baby seat products.
Is it OK to let baby sleep in bouncer?
No, it is not okay to let your baby sleep in a bouncer, rocker or swing. Occasionally you may not be able to help it but try to avoid this because of SIDS. Baby seats are mostly designed for soothing and play and very few are designed for sleeping.
Even the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that baby seats are not approved safe space for babies to sleep. You can rock your baby to sleep in a baby bouncer but it’s much more advisable to move your baby to a flat surface once he or she falls asleep. In fact it’s best for you to follow safe sleep guidelines when caring for your baby.