Constant movement is a big hit for baby, but all that carrying and bouncing of chunky little babies can be tiring. Many parents turn to baby bouncers to give their arms a break and to keep baby entertained. Let us help you sort through the many, many baby bouncer and bouncer seat options out there.
What you’ll find in this article:
What is a Baby Bouncer?
A baby bouncer is cloth or fabric stretched over a frame (usually metal or plastic) with a harness to clip baby in. The bouncer bounces from the action created when baby kicks their feet (like a rebound effect). They can be very simple or come with battery-operated sounds and vibrations, and canopies with hanging toys to entertain baby. A baby bouncer differs slightly from a baby rocker in that the movement isn’t necessarily intended to help baby fall asleep.
As with many baby items, cost and function are some of the key factors in deciding what to buy. And this can be especially true of bouncers because babies are in them for a relatively short period of time, so it’s important that you choose one that works best for you.
Before we review some of the available bouncers, it’s important to note that like all things for baby, they should be used as intended and babies should never be left unsupervised. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following:
- Make sure you supervise baby while in the bouncer.
- Make sure the bouncer is placed on the floor and not on an elevated surface or a soft surface (where they could easily tip over).
- Use the harness and restraints provided every time so baby can’t wiggle out.
- Stop using the bouncer when the baby is able to sit up on their own or weighs 20 pounds (or the maximum weight label indicated on the bouncer).
Baby Bouncers: Let’s Dive In
Ready to get started on a deep dive into the best baby bouncers on the market? Let’s bounce on over to our review board! (Sorry, we know we’re cheesy, but we are talking about baby products here, right?)
Best Luxury Baby Bouncer: BabyBjorn Bouncer Bundle
With an upper-end price range, the BabyBjorn Bouncer Bundle features a sleek, simplistic design and is known for being incredibly easy to use. If you’re looking for a baby bouncer that looks great in your home in addition to being functional, then this will fit the bill. Another bonus? It’s lightweight and portable, so you can move it around the house with ease.
The fabric is baby-safe and is free from harmful substances. And perhaps our favorite feature of this bouncer is that it can be used for a longer period of time—when baby can sit up on their own, the fabric can be turned around and it converts to a child seat, making it worth the extra dollars. And finally, no batteries or power outlets are required to use this bouncer; it’s powered exclusively by baby’s own kicking.
Best Double Duty Bouncer: Graco DuetSoothe Swing + Rocker
For those parents who are looking for both a swing and bouncer, the Graco DuetSoothe Swing + Rocker is worth a look. As you probably guessed, this is two products-in-one, and allows you to swing baby from side-to-side or front to back, with the rocker detaching. This combo swing/rocker does require batteries or access to a plug to allow you to use the six swing speeds, vibrations, and music.
A few things to note about this rocker: while you can move it from room to room, it does weigh about 21 pounds, so it certainly isn’t light. Many of the online reviews have also noted that after considerable use, the motor does slow and can become fairly loud (some of the reviews noted that this product was great for newborns, but as baby gets heavier it does put a strain on the motor).
Best Tech-Savvy Baby Bouncer: Evenflo Lyric Bouncer
This bouncer has Bluetooth connectivity, allowing parents to play whatever music they want to keep baby entertained. Reviews noted this was a great bouncer to take on the road, and at eight pounds can also move around the house easily.
The bouncer is compact in size (and even lays flat) and is easy to clean, with both the insert and cover removable and machine-washable. Many reviews note the sleek and modern appearance, and the price point is still affordable. One online review did find that the toy bar didn’t stay on very well, but that seems like a small nuance for such a well-reviewed product.
Best Bouncer for Newborns: Fisher-Price Sweet Snugapuppy Deluxe Bouncer
This bouncer has an infant insert to provide a bit more support for the newest babes. With a three-point harness and headrest, and a seat that is machine washable and dryer safe, this bouncer is both secure and easy to clean. And at roughly eight pounds, it’s very easy to move from room to room.
A few comments to note: the seat length is a bit short, so longer babies might have to tuck their legs up to stay comfy. And other reviews noted that the bouncer can be a bit awkward to assemble, but all in all, it’s a hit as an economical and practical option.
Best Baby Bouncer for a Budget: Fisher-Price Infant to Toddler Rocker
Even with the most affordable price on our list, this bouncer fits the longevity requirement because it transitions from a bouncer to a toddler seat. The seat features a higher weight limit than many bouncers (up to 40 pounds), and the recline is adjustable. And at just six pounds, this is the lightest of the bouncers reviewed, making it the easiest to transport around the house.
Many of the online reviews noted the price point was a key factor for purchasing—the affordable price made it a popular choice as a second bouncer or to stash at a grandparent’s or other caregiver’s house. The seat can also be made stationary by using the kickstand at the base. One note: while the seat cover is removable and machine-washable, many said it was a challenge to remove and replace.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I wash my baby bouncer?
In many cases the fabric on the baby bouncer can be spot-cleaned, or the entire seat cover can be removed and thrown in the washing machine (if the fabric is machine-washable). It’s also important to check and make sure the fabric is dryer-friendly so ensure it doesn’t lose its shape or shrink up in the dryer. In cases where you aren’t sure, just air dry to be safe.
What’s the difference between a baby bouncer and a swing?
A baby bouncer typically moves due to baby’s own kicking motion. A baby swing uses a power source (either battery or plug-in) to move the swing back and forth, or side-to-side (so you can imagine the movement of the swing is more consistent than a bouncer). If a rocker requires a power source, it’s likely to accommodate any sound, music, or vibration features.
Can a baby nap in a bouncer?
It’s not recommended for baby’s safety. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies not use baby bouncers as a part of their regular sleep routine, and this is especially true for babies four months of age and younger. If you notice your baby has fallen asleep in the bouncer, be sure to move them to a crib or other safe sleeping surface.
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Reviewed by Chaunie Brusie, RN, BSN…