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Best Bouncers and Swings

November 2016

For the first 6-7 months or so, before baby can sit up by himself, a good "baby holder" or two is an absolute essential! Infant seats and swings provide a safe, comfy place for baby to hang out during awake time or naptime. If you're lucky, they might even allow you to take a shower or scarf down something to eat!

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Note: Our editors developed this list by summarizing TotScoop parent favorites and adding a few hand-picked editor favorites and new releases. Our picks are 100% unbiased — we never accept compensation in exchange for coverage. This page may contain affiliate links; see our full disclosure.

What to look for

  • Seat positions: Multiple recline positions are helpful if you want to be able to use the seat for both awake time and napping.
  • Soothing & entertainment features: Some products offer vibration or automated rocking, which can be lifesavers for fussy babies. Some also offer light/music features and/or a toy bar to keep baby happy in the chair for longer.
  • Bouncer/chair-specific features: Chairs may have stationary seat, or may have a seat with some bounce (in which case they're called "bouncers"). "Rockers" have curved runners to allow rocking; most require manual rocking, but some fancier ones have a motor for automated rocking.
  • Swing-specific features: Most full-featured swings rock both side-to-side as well as front-to-back, however some swings (including most space saver swings) only swing in one direction. Some babies prefer one direction over the other, so be sure to test out a product that only swings in one direction before buying to see if it does the trick! Also, swings tend to eat through batteries quickly, so we highly recommend one that can plug into the wall if possible.
  • Timer: If you get a product with electronic features such as vibration, light or music features, or automated rocking, look for a timer (e.g. turn off after 15/30/60 minutes), so you won't need to sneak back into the room after baby falls asleep.
  • Machine-washable fabric: Trust us, a removable, machine-washable cover is a big plus. At a minimum, look for wipe-clean fabrics.
  • Organic, certified fabrics: Certain premium bouncers are available in organic and/or Oeko-Tex certified fabrics (sadly, we don't know of any swings like this yet).
  • Longevity: Most bouncers and swings are really only useful up to 6 months or so, when baby starts sitting up. A few can be converted into toddler seats, so if longevity is important to you can look for that.
  • Safety: Many bouncers and swings come with a three-point harness, however five-point harnesses are safer (especially once your baby becomes mobile).
  • Footprint: Most full-featured swings and bouncers take up quite a lot of space, but you can also find smaller, portable products that are friendlier for urban living and/or on the go.

Best bouncers, rockers, & infant seats

Popular pick: Fisher-Price Bouncers, $28-40

Fisher-Price's bouncers are tried and true — they do the job at a very reasonable price. They are all basic bouncers and come in a few different flavors, including the Fisher-Price My Little Snugapuppy Deluxe Bouncer/Snugabunny, regular Bouncer, modern-looking Comfort Curve, and Infant To Toddler Rocker, all in the $28-40 range. Most have sounds/music, vibrations, and a toy bar or mobile. They'll all do the job, so if you're looking for something affordable you can pick whichever you like the look of most.

Value pick: Bright Starts Rocker, $32

The Bright Starts Rocker is a great, budget-friendly pick that comes in a few cute designs. It has bouncy and stationary modes, two recline positions, vibrations, a 3-point safety harness, and a machine washable pad. Some parents complain that toys hang a bit too low from the bar.

Value, grow-with-me pick: Fisher-Price Rockers, $30-40

A popular option is the Fisher-Price Infant to Toddler Rocker — which not only rocks, but also has a longer lifespan than the simple F-P bouncers. Use it in recline mode as a traditional infant seat during the infant stage (with a 3-point safety harness to keep your little one contained, and a vibration feature to soothe), then change to the upright seat position and remove the toy bar and harness to convert it into a toddler rocking chair (weight limit 40 pounds). A fold-out kickstand keeps it stationary on demand. A more modern-looking version and folding/portable version are also available in the same line.

Design pick: Jonathan Adler Crafted by Fisher Price Deluxe Bouncer, $120

Jonathan Adler recently teamed up with Fisher-Price to design a deluxe version of their classic bouncer ($120). It’s quite a bit more expensive than their basic bouncers, but its high contrast design featuring geometric shapes definitely goes easy on the eyes. It's weight tested to 30 pounds, has music and sound features, comes with a newborn insert and mobile, is battery operated, and has a machine washable seat. Coordinating versions of the Rock 'N Play and activity gym are also available.

Premium, grow-with-me pick: BabyBjorn Babysitter Balance Bouncer, $138

Probably the most popular high-end bouncer on the market, the BabyBjorn Bouncer Balance features a minimalist design that appeals to many parents who are trying to minimize the number of blinky-blinky lights in their living room. It features three recline positions, is constructed from Oeko Tex-certified fabrics, weighs less than 5 pounds, and folds (mostly) flat for storage. It can also continue to be used well past infancy, as a toddler chair. An organic fabric option and an optional wooden toy bar are available.

If you just need something for the infant stage, also consider the lower-priced BabyBjorn Bouncer Mini ($92), which is suitable up to six months and is also a bit smaller and lighter weight.

Premium, grow-with-me pick: Nuna Leaf & Leaf Curv Bouncer, $220

We love the Leaf and Leaf Curv (identical, but for the design of the base) for their stunning modern looks, deep recline, noiseless operation, and ability to grow with baby up through the big kid years (up to 130 lbs.!). Unfortunately, the motion lasts only a minute or two before needing to be reinitiated, unless you buy Nuna's optional Wind accessory ($100) to automate it. The toy bar ($40) is also sold separately. In our opinion $340 (all in) is a little steep for a baby chair, but it is pretty great looking, and your kid will be able to use it for years.

Euro, grow-with-me pick: Stokke Steps Bouncer, $200

The Euro-inspired Stokke Steps Bouncer may be an option worth considering if you're also interested in the Stokke Steps Children's Highchair for use down the road. This additional purchase allows you to bring your baby up to the table for meals during the newborn/infant stage as well. It has multiple recline options and a bouncing motion, comes with a newborn insert, and folds for storage.

Modern, space-saver pick: bloom Coco Go Organic Lounger, $200

If you don't mind dropping a few extra bucks, the Coco Go Lounger will have your baby lounging in modern, inobtrusive. It is a 3-in-1 seat (bouncer, rocker, and stationery seat) with three recline positions (including totally flat for newborns). It also vibrates and folds flat for storage, making it ideal for urban living and on the go (travel bag also included). An organic fabric option is available.

Bloom also makes the full-size Bloom Coco Stylewood Lounger (also $200), which has a fixed seat made of a single piece of wood. Both have a 5-point safety harness, boast removable and washable fabric, are made from pressed birch wood, and are completed made with low VOC finishes and formaldehyde-free adhesives.

Modern, space-saver pick: BabyHome Wave Wooden Rocker, $179

The sleek design of the BabyHome Wave Wooden Rocker makes it another great modern pick. It features removable and washable fabric, two recline positions, and a stationery option, and folds down for easy storage.

Innovative pick: Skip Hop UpLift Multi-Level Bouncer, $150

The new UpLift allows you to raise your baby up as high as 34”, so you can bring him up to the family dinner table if you like. You twist a knob to adjust the height — the process can be a bit cumbersome, especially for more significant height adjustments, but this is such a novel feature that it's still pretty cool. The UpLift also boast a removable and washable fabric seat, has a 5-point harness, comes with a newborn insert, offers sound and vibration features, and folds flat for storage. Note that it has a larger footprint that may not work in small spaces.

Tech-savvy pick: 4Moms Mamaroo Bouncer, $199

If you love gadgets and gizmos, definitely check out the mamaRoo. Its big claim is that it utilizes the same natural motions (e.g. bouncing and swaying) that parents do, making it a more effective soother. Some parents swear by it, but it doesn't work for all babies. It features a variety of motions and speeds, has built-in sound, and is MP3 compatible. You control it from your smartphone. It features adjustable seat recline and comes with a toy mobile.

A less expensive alternative from 4moms is the bounceRoo ($99), which has fewer features than the mamaRoo, but has the benefit of being lighter weight and portable. Another option worth a look, if you're interested in sway and bounce type motions, is the Fisher-Price Soothing Motions Seat (MSRP $160, Amazon $125).

Newborn lounger pick: Boppy Newborn Lounger, $30

The Boppy newborn lounger is a favorites for the newborn period. It doesn’t bounce or sway, but is designed to cradles your tiny babe at a gentle upright angle to you can interact with him hands-free during awake time. It works great on the couch or bed. The exterior fabric is wipe clean, and the entire pillow is also machine washable. None of Boppy's products contain any flame retardants.

A similar alternative that also gets great reviews is the Leachco Newborn Lounger.

Floor seat pick: Fisher-Price Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat, $35

Once your baby has some head and neck control, but is unable to sit unassisted, you may find a floor seat useful. The Sit-Me-Up is a parent favorite that allows you to interact with your baby hands-free during playtime. It features two toys and a removable and washable seat pad, and folds up conveniently for travel.

Best swings

Popular, full-featured pick: Fisher-Price Cradle 'N Swing, $85-135

If you're looking for the most popular and functional baby swing, Fisher-Price pretty much has the market cornered. Their swings are huge and aren't made of the highest-quality materials, but their full arsenal of soothing features works like a charm on most babies. Fisher-Price makes a few different styles ($85-135), including the My Little Snugapuppy (pictured), My Little Snugabunny, Moonlight Meadow, Mocha Butterfly, and Rainforest Friends (see more models here). Most of them have dual side-to-side and front-to-back motions (important because different babies have different preferences), multiple seat orientation & recline positions, multiple swing speeds, and built-in sound and toy features, and can be operated using either batteries or the included AC adapter (we strongly recommend getting one with an AC adapter!). The fabric seat is removable (with some effort) and machine washable. It has a huge footprint and can't be easily moved around, however many parents find it worth the real estate.

Innovative pick: 4Moms Rockaroo Swing, $130

The RockaRoo provides a back and forth (no side to side) gliding motion in a compact (1/3 the size of a traditional swing) and modern design. It has multiple speeds, is MP3 compatible, has removable and machine washable fabric, and operates off of wall power. Parents report it can be a bit hit or miss (some babies love it, some don't), so try it out beforehand if you can.

Portable pick - value: Comfort & Harmony Cozy Kingdom Portable Swing, $51

The Cozy Kingdom Portable Swing is a solid pick for parents who are both budget and space conscious. It's reasonably priced, and folds up compactly for storage or travel. It has two recline positions, six speeds, music, a timer/auto shut-off feature, and a removable headrest. The fabric is also machine washable. Drawbacks include the fact that it only swings front-to-back (the norm for portable swings), its exclusive reliance on batteries, and the fact that the animals on the toy bar strangely face away from your child.

Portable pick - everyday: Fisher-Price Deluxe Take Along Swing and Seat, $64

The Fisher-Price Deluxe Take Along Swing and Seat is a great pick if you live in a small space, or want something to Grandma's house or for travel. The footprint is small and the seat folds nearly flat for storage or travel. It features six speeds, sounds, and vibrations. The seat is machine washable and comes with an infant insert. It converts to a stationary seat. One downside is this product is exclusively battery operated.

Multi-function pick - full size: Graco DuetSoothe Swing and Rocker, $135

We love baby items that are multi-functional, and Graco has done a nice job of creating a hybrid bouncer and rocker with the DuetSoothe. Like most swings, it's got a pretty big footprint — but at least it doesn't have two really big footprints, right? Pick up and carry the bouncer/rocker around the house, then just connect it to the larger swing unit when baby needs some automated soothing. The swing only swings from side-to-side, but the seat can be oriented to be front, left, or right-facing, so you can effectively orient your child to swing from front-to-back as well. The swing unit has six speed settings, can be plugged into the wall, and also has vibration and sound features. Some parents complain that the motor can be a little loud.

If you're on a budget but still like the idea of a combination product, also see the Fisher-Price 3-in-1 Swing ’n Rocker ($89). It's only battery operated, however, which some feel makes the investment in the Graco worth it.

Multi-function pick - space saver: Graco Glider LX Gliding Swing, $125

If you live in a small space, you may want to consider the LX Gliding Swing. It’s a compact swing that only swings head to toe, but takes up 40% less space than a traditional swing. It also has a gliding feature, so it can double as a bouncer or infant seat. It has three recline positions, sound, vibrations, a toy bar, and a removable and washable cover. The swing feature utilizes an AC adapter, but the vibration feature is battery operated (and does not have an auto shut-off feature).