The majority of parents love bouncers and swings so that their babies can play, rest, or nap while they get things done around the house. A bouncer is a lightweight, low-to-the-ground seat designed to sit on the floor and bounce when your baby kicks their legs or moves their arms.
Usually heftier than bouncers, a baby swing is a seat that moves your little one back and forth or from side to side. A toddler bouncer (bouncer seat) is a versatile, mostly inexpensive piece of baby equipment that your baby can use from day one. It can be beneficial in the early days as a safe place to lay your newborn while you grab a bite to eat or take a shower. All you have to do is bring the lightweight seat into the kitchen or bathroom.
In the beginning, your baby will recline semi-upright, happy to stare up at you or the attached toys. Later, the baby bouncer will respond to your little one’s kicks with a springy up-and-down motion, satisfying your child’s desire for movement. It also provides a calming and relaxing effect, which can soothe a fussy baby to sleep.
After reading this review, any parent will be able to pick the best baby bouncer for their little one.
The Different Models
There are many different models to choose from. For instance, there is a simple model that moves when your baby moves. The more advanced versions vibrate, play music, move your baby around, or even hold electronics within the baby’s view. Some even fold flat for storage or travel, which is a convenient feature.
Additionally, you can pick the materials your bouncer is made of. Some models are crafted from natural materials such as wood, and others are made of plastic or metal. Most bouncers can only be used until your baby can sit up independently (usually between 4 and 7 months). The weight limit of these is 25 pounds.
However, some models can be used for children up to 30 pounds, and others have a weight limit so high that even small adults can sit in them. At least one bouncer and rocker model can be used as an infant to toddler rocker because it holds up to 130 pounds. For the price, infant to toddler bouncers and rockers will expectedly have the highest price tag.
Instead of investing in both products, you can pick one or the other. If your little one prefers constant motion, both products will come in handy.
When You Will Need a Bouncer and Swing?
Baby bouncers and swings are primarily designed for the pre-sitting stage. Thus, they are best for newborns and babies of up to 6 months or until they can sit up independently (and probably squawk at being confined).
2 Popular Types of The Best Baby Bouncers on Amazon
In comparison to other baby products, even the best baby bouncers packed with features are less complicated. There are two different types of baby bouncers, so let’s take a closer look and explore the advantages and disadvantages of each one.
Basic Baby Bouncer
A basic baby bouncer is the simplest form and has no bells or whistles. It does one thing, and it does it well-it allows your baby to bounce in the bouncer seat. If you, as a parent, are worried about over-stimulating your baby, then the basic model will be the best baby bouncer for you.
They tend to be more bouncy than their feature-packed siblings, allowing your baby to bounce with minimal effort. This type of toddler bouncer is very portable. The lack of features will enable them to easily be folded up and either placed into storage or taken with you when traveling. The disadvantage of basic baby bouncers is that they generally only come in bland styles with no fun patterns or themes.
Baby Activity Bouncer
Baby activity bouncers include everything from toy rails and mobiles to vibrating seats and musical melodies to keep your baby entertained. Activity bouncers can keep your baby amused for a more extended period of time, but the extra weight from all the features can make it slightly less bouncy than a basic baby bouncer.
One more disadvantage of activity bouncers is that they are not as portable as basic bouncers. The sheer amount of features makes activity bouncers quite bulky. Some do not fold down at all!
4 Top Rated Baby Bouncers Reviews & Comparisons
1. BabyBjörn Bouncer Balance Soft Baby Bouncer (Cotton, Mesh, or Organic)
BabyBjörn Bouncer Balance Soft Baby Bouncer is part of the best baby bouncers. It is the simplest and most versatile model on the market. This infant to toddler rocker is available in basic cotton (which is truly soft and durable), a more breathable mesh, and an organic cotton version. As a parent, you’ll surely be interested to know that we interviewed two moms for this article that had the BabyBjörn. Initial reaction? They raved about it!
One had the mesh seat pad, and the other had the basic cotton machine-washable seat pad version. Both loved how soft the fabric was, how it adjusted between sitting upright and lying completely flat, and how it didn’t include all the music, vibration feature, and other baby gear distractions.
They also highlighted the versatility of other positive aspects. These included the stylish design, the no assembly out of the box, the machine-washable cover (but hang dry) of the bouncer seats, and its long shelf life and reliability. Neither of them had any issues with seat stains, rips, or other problems with the design.
One also commented that the legs on the unit go directly behind the bouncer, which differentiates it from cheaper bouncers with legs on all sides. This way, the baby swing removed the tripping hazard, which is annoying. The Björn has a truly trip-free design. The ergonomics of this deluxe bouncer are fantastic. They position the baby with some leg flexion and with excellent head padding. BabyBjörn Bouncer also folds completely flat, which is great for traveling or storage.
Unfortunately, there are also a few disadvantages to consider. Firstly, it is the second most expensive bouncer on our bouncers and swings list, which can be a limiting factor for many people. Secondly, instead of buckle clips on the harness, this bouncer uses buttons, which can be a pain when you’re trying to quickly assembly a baby in or out.
Finally, the unit can be used from 8-lbs to up to a 29-lb baby, but this is misleading. When your baby reaches 19-lbs, BabyBjörn recommends flipping over the seat cover to use it as a bouncer seat without the restraint part. But if you have a daughter or son over 19-lbs but not ready to sit without restraint, this design might not work very well for you.
As it turns out, the real problem is that babies over 19-lbs can’t fit their legs into the restraint links straps. Despite this, however, it is a fantastic bouncer that we believe is the best on the market, if you can afford it.
2. Tiny Love Gymini Baby Bouncer (Blue/Yellow, or Tiny Princess Colors)
Tiny Love Gymini Baby Bouncer is available in a blue/yellow pattern and pink feminine pattern. When you see it for the first time, the Tiny Love bouncer may look like a typical traditional style bouncer, but if you look closer, you’ll find plenty of features that help it stand out against the rest. This baby bouncer has two adjustable bars for hanging toys. You can put them directly over the baby’s reach or slightly to the side.
This feature is excellent for expanding your baby’s range of motion in the arms and increasing contralateral reaching and looking. It’s also convenient to push them aside when you’re putting the baby in or out. In comparison to the Björn bouncer, this baby bouncer has some basic soothing vibrations, and the toys have motion sensors that will turn on some music and lights for fun.
You have the option to turn them off as well. There are positive sides like the washable cover, good cushioning, ergonomic sitting position with some leg flexion, and a recline feature that lets you lie your baby down for naptime.
However, it is still more cumbersome than the BabyBjörn. Don’t forget that it’s less than half the price, though. A disadvantage is that it’s not as versatile or stylish as the BabyBjörn, with only two recline settings. It can make your living room look like a daycare with all the crazy colors, lights, and sounds. This is not for those looking to go back to basics. Of course, some batteries die and need to be replaced from time to time.
3. Fisher-Price Comfort Curve Bouncer
Fisher-Price Comfort Curve Baby Bouncer is original and has been around for over a decade now. This toddler bouncer has a classic frame style with iconic colors and a removable toy bar over the center. It is pretty similar to the Fisher-Price deluxe bouncer and the Bright Starts Playful Pinwheels at the basic level.
The overall frame of the Fisher-Price has a similar shape but with a more modern sleek plastic design rather than the flimsy-looking metal.
As part of the baby gear, near the removable toy bar, it offers the basic soothing vibration option if you pop in a single D-size battery. It also has a removable and washable fabric seat cover, decent seating position, and easy-to-use 3-point adjustable buckle links. The differences between them are in the toy bars, recline feature, and the toys themselves.
This model does not recline, has a push-in/pull-out toy bar that is always in the way, and the toys are relatively simple without sounds/lights or motion sensing. There were six parents in our focus group that had experience with the Fisher-Price infant bouncers.
The disadvantages that parents found in this swing mainly were related to removing and putting the toy bar back on every time they used the bouncer. It is possible to slide the baby in and out from the top, but it requires a bit of a struggle. Also, there is no sound option for parents that want to play nature sounds to their babies.
In conclusion, it’s one of the cheaper options on our list and has very high reliability. All of the parents confirmed the vibration was still working. One of them had a Fisher-Price bouncer for 7 years, and it was still going strong with all its baby gear. The assembly is easy, and it is simple to travel with.
For a parent who is on a budget and looking for a good baby rocker without sound options but with vibration settings for their babies, this is the one.
4. Moms MamaRoo Motion Bouncer (Several Color Options)
The 4MamaRoo Motion bouncer is a new addition to the bouncer market as of 2012, and it is rated as an impressive option. It is expensive but also feature-rich and unique. This baby bouncer is both capable and stylish and adds a whole new realm of motion swings.
It has 5 unique motions that simulate a baby’s favorite and most relaxing activities: car ride, tree swing, rock-a-bye, ocean floating, and kangaroo bounce. It has music, including nature sounds and white noise, and you can also play MP3s if you attach your iPod.
It also has a highly adjustable seat recline, a machine-washable seat, a nicely padded cover with good ergonomic support, and a sleek and unique style. If you don’t really need a bouncer and would rather have something a bit fancier with more features, this would be the best choice.
Along with all of its great features and style, there are of course some disadvantages as well. First, it does not take batteries, so you need to position it in a place close to a wall outlet. Second, some people complain of some odd clicking noises and reliability issues because of all the moving parts, rare but worth mentioning (note that they have a 1-year warranty). If you buy from Amazon, you can use their free return policy).
If you want a fancy device different than any other rocking chair or swing, this is the right thing for your child. We are sure you’ll love it and think it was worth every penny.
5 Features to Consider When Buying a Bouncer for Baby
1. Comfort and Ergonomics
If you want a bouncer to give your fussy baby utmost comfort and a relaxing place to unwind or take a nap, choosing a device with a good function is important.
You might find that your child sits in the bouncer for an hour or two at a time (maybe 15-30 minutes of play, followed by a 45-minute nap). That’s why it’s vital that their posture is well-positioned in the swing and supported in the right places, including the butt, back, and head.
Many cheap bouncers position babies in a hammock swing position without any posture support. Such a seat will limit arm and leg movements. If the legs of your child are forced to extend straight, it’s not a good position. Ideally, your baby’s legs should be slightly flexed, as shown in the photo to the left. As a side note, this point also applies to baby carriers.
Regarding head support, the same way you like to use a pillow in bed or on the couch when reclining, your baby’s head should also be slightly supported with a contoured upper seat or small integrated cushion.
The pricier options are best for comfort and ergonomic support, especially the BabyBjörn and 4Moms bouncers. The fabric cover in those swings also provides superb comfort.
2. Adjustable Positioning & Portability
It is ideal if your baby bouncer serves several purposes. It can be great for playing or napping but also for spoon-feeding or finishing a bottle. Some of the prettier bouncers have multiple seating positions, adjusting from high and upright (used for feeding), to moderately upright (used for play), to lying flat down (used for napping). Parents should always use the safety harness when adjusting their babies to the
Even if the adjustable ones tend to be more expensive, they are much more versatile, and you will find yourself using the bouncer for different activities, making it worth the money. Toddler bouncers that can lie flat also tend to be more portable, making it easier to squeeze into your trunk, into a box when moving, or under the couch when cleaning up.
Some more traditional models have been on the market for decades, like the Fisher-Price baby bouncer that are good, cheap, basic bouncers, but they are terrible for travel purposes. The BabyBjörn Balance Bouncer folds completely flat, which is a great feature.
3. Soft & Washable Cover
It is a fact that even the cutest and best-behaved babies make messes. All babies spit up, spill, crush little crumbs in every crevice, and occasionally blow out of even the best diapers. In any event, every once in a while, you will need to launder the cover, so you’ll want it to remove quickly and be machine friendly.
You also want it to be made with soft and high-quality fabric and very well pre-shrunk, so you’ll be able to fit it back onto the bouncer after a good scrub and spin in the dryer. All of the baby bouncers we put on our top baby bouncers list above provide an easily removable cover that is soft and durable and is not only machine washable but will not shrink if you follow the instructions.
Look for a certification seal from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association 2016, which means the model conforms to independent safety standards.
In recent years, bouncers have been recalled for having frames that broke, toy bars that detached unexpectedly and caused injuries, and sharp metal objects in the seats. Before buying one or using a secondhand one, check our Product Recall Finder.
When your child’s in the bouncer, place it well away from hazards like heaters, window cords, and monitor cords. And keep it in the same room as you so you can keep an eye on the baby.
Never place your bouncer on a table or other elevated surface with your baby in it. The same goes for soft surfaces, like a couch or bed. A baby’s movement could tip the bouncer or send it over the edge, leading to a fall or – in the case of soft surfaces – suffocation.
While your baby is in the bouncer, don’t carry it by the frame or toy bar. These aren’t intended to be handles and could come loose or snap off.
Follow the manufacturer’s recommended weight and age limits.
Finally, although your little one may love the bouncer – and it may feel like a lifesaver during the newborn months – try not to rely on it too much. Your baby needs plenty of time cuddling with you and doing tummy time to strengthen the muscles needed for crawling and standing. Experts recommend limiting the time your baby spends in car seats, bouncers, and baby swings.
5. Certified Bouncy Seat
Among all the brands on the market, there are nine certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) for meeting safety standards set by ASTM International. These are Delta Enterprise, Dorel Juvenile Group/Safety 1st, Fisher-Price, Graco Children’s Products Inc., Kid Brands (Sassy/ Kids Line/ CoCaLo/ Bonavita/ Babi Italia/ Europa Baby/ Nursery 101/ Kathy Ireland Baby by Lajobi/ Graco), Maclaren N.A. Inc., Regent Baby Products Corporation/Baby King, Scandinavian Child, and Summer Infant Inc.
The voluntary standards cover stability, structural integrity, the restraint system, and slip resistance of the swing. Safety instructions have to be stamped on the product or a permanent label. Certified bouncers also meet standards for small parts, hazardous sharp points and edges, secure latching, and the size of openings. Any wood parts must be smooth and free of splinters.
Models must also comply with federal regulations prohibiting lead in paint. If parents are buying a second-hand bouncer, they should still make sure it is a certified model. It needs to be sturdy and stable, with a secure toy bar, no ripped fabric, sharp edges, missing parts, and an instruction manual (current manuals might be on the manufacturer’s website).
Also, check the Consumer Product Safety Commission to be sure that the model hasn’t been recalled. All these ensure that when parents buy a new swing seat for their babies or put it on their baby registry, they can rest assured that it meets all safety standards. We believe that trustworthy health information should be available to everyone.