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9 Best Baby Bouncers to Buy You Some ‘Me Time’

A bouncer seat is clutch when it comes to keeping baby safely entertained. Who knows, you just might get to take that shower you've been dreaming of.
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Published
April 26, 2022
best baby bouncers 2022
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As any new mom knows, babies love to be bounced and rocked in their parent’s arms. The soothing motion can magically appease even the fussiest of babies, lulling them into a deep ocean of calm and comfort (not unlike mama’s womb!). Every now and then though, you actually need your arms back to eat a meal or put away the dishes. So investing in a bouncer for baby is a great way to keep their need-to-be-cuddled nerves at bay and ensure you can get some productive things done during the day (or, you know, enjoy some couch time). But before you add any baby bouncer to your registry or click ‘add to cart,’ you’ll want to have a basic rundown of bouncer benefits and considerations to keep top of mind when shopping for one. Read on to learn more about this must-have piece of gear that’ll keep your little one safe, happy and busily engaged—while also buying you a well-deserved “me time” moment.

Do You Need a Baby Bouncer?

We’ll almost always support the “you can’t spoil a baby by holding them too much” school of thought, but when juggling other siblings is involved and personal sanity is at stake, taking a pause to put baby down becomes incredibly important. Your arms need a rest, your body needs a break and, let’s be honest, when you can separate for a hot sec, it gives baby some welcome downtime too. Everyone wins, really!

Created as a solution for parents to give babies a safe and singular place to relax or play when they’re unable to sit yet themselves, a bouncer—which basically describes a simple seat fixated on a wireframe that springs back and forth—provides a plentiful number of payoffs for both you and your mini:

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The soothing motion created by the spring functionality (and baby’s own, manual movement) imitates the naturally hypnotic and consolatory sway they experienced in the womb. Some parents even say that the intrinsic motion helps relieve fussiness or discomfort caused by gas or colic.

The placement of easy-to-manipulate playthings or pinchable product add-ons like toys or plushies can stimulate baby’s curiosity and encourage gross motor development.

The stationary nature and small-footprint of a bouncer means it can be moved easily from room to room to accompany caregivers or seamlessly stationed in shared play spaces.

Baby swing vs bouncer

Though they’re often grouped with baby swings or rockers, for similar functionality, baby bouncers are unique. For starters, they’re often powered by a baby’s independent movements: rocking back and forth, waving hands and kicking legs. Of course, sometimes, Mom or Dad can help out with a nudge, tap or push to kickstart the kinetics. Bouncers are traditionally grounded by a smaller, immoveable frame (metal or plastic), but they may also sport two rounded or curved bands at the bottom that allow the design to oscillate and rock with little effort. These dual baby bouncer and rocker options are excellent multitaskers!

Swings, on the other hand, are a lot less analog and usually require a battery or power cord to prompt mechanical motion. They can swing side to side, back to front or in a circular pattern, and generally have the same assuaging effects as their bouncer counterparts. They can also be a bit more clunky, cumbersome, and hefty to tote around, given the attached battery units, cords or tech additions that can come with the swing.

Both bouncers and swings have solid reputations for occupying babies while parents take a breather; they just do so in more manual versus mechanical ways. In a bouncer, baby is the one in the driver’s seat, so to speak; they’re generally creating the movement (unless, of course, you have an automatic baby bouncer or a vibrating baby bouncer). In a swing, baby doesn’t have to do the work themselves, rather, the seat itself is armed with a host of calming conveniences: vibrations, lights, sounds and music, etc. You may sacrifice some sensory stimulation with a simpler bouncer option, but it ease-of-use and portability reign supreme.

Either one—a baby bouncer or baby swing—is a smart investment; just remember to use them solely for short breaks and recreation and not for napping or sleeping. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not endorse either design for safe sleeping, so be sure to stay vigilant about baby nodding off and never leave your little one unattended.

Things to Look for in a Best Baby Bouncer

There are tons of bay boucers on the market today, and all of them serve a purpose to pacify your peanut while you “put a pin in” the placating for a moment. You’ll find that there are more streamlined, modern models that can pass as furniture and more playful editions that entice baby with cuteness and whimsy. But before you decide on one to fit your aesthetics, available space and family, keep these must-haves in mind:

Safety. If they can’t be in your arms morning, noon and night, then you’ll obviously need a trustworthy surrogate to swaddle your babe during those time-outs. Getting help from a bouncer is great, but only if safety and peace of mind are of paramount importance. First, you’ll want to know exactly how much weight the baby bouncer seat can accommodate, so you can gauge when baby can start using it. (Is it acceptable for newborns? Are head and neck support systems in place?). You’ll also want to know when to retire it. (Is there a weight limit? Does it have transitional features that extend its life cycle into toddlerhood)?

Next, you’ll want to get a good read on the safety selling points. Every bounder for baby should have a three or five-point harness to securely fasten your little fidgeter and keep them from falling out as they navigate balance.

Finally, you’ll want to examine the adjustability and incline. Bouncers typically have two to three different grades of incline, with newborns favoring a more reclined position and older infants favoring a more upright position. Flexibility is a fantastic asset, especially if your baby is particularly fussy or grapples with issues like acid reflux.

Comfort. If baby doesn’t like the seat they’re sitting in, chances are their level of “chill’ will be short-lived. That’s why you’ll want to make sure the materials that comprise the chair are soft and breathable (mesh is major!); the straps are secure but not suffocating, twisting or pinching and there are no itchy or rash-causing cautions to be concerned about (ill-placed tags or seams can be irritating to baby’s supple skin).

Portability. If you find yourself tethered to the baby bouncer, then being hands-free for a spell really won’t be all that useful. The best baby bouncers will be lightweight and a cinch to grab and move from room to room. They’ll be easy to compress and tuck away under a bed or in the closet when they’re not in use, and, if possible, they’ll be able to fold up and stow away in a travel bag for day trips to grandma’s house.

Best Baby Bouncers to Shop

We’ve put together an impressive list of the best baby bouncers to shop right now. Whether you’re on the hunt for something to delight your little one at home, or want to give your bestie a few hours back in their day, we’ve found the baby bouncer seat for you. Keep scrolling to browse the options.

Image: Buy Buy Baby

Overall Best Baby Bouncer Seat: BabyBjorn Bouncer Balance Soft

This ergonomic, battery-free bouncer chair is suitable from day one (up to 2 years) and offers three positions for play, lounging and sleeping. It’s pediatrician-recommended, folds up easily for storage or on-the-go and comes with a super-soft, machine-washable cotton cover, available in a range of chic color combos. If baby’s in the mood to play, you can attach an adorable toy bar (sold separately). What more could you ask for?

What we love:

  • This bouncer for baby was developed in close collaboration with medical specialists to ensure an ergonomic design that provides optimal support for your baby’s back, neck and head
  • All of the available fabric combinations are baby-skin-friendly. You can choose from an airy mesh, quilted cotton, supersoft 3D jersey or a snuggly cotton-jersey mix in an array of lovely colors
  • Parents rave that the “bounciness” is very receptive to baby’s kicks, which is a worry behind many manual designs

Things to consider:

  • The chair itself is very basic, so if you’d like to add any forms of amusement, you’ll need to purchase the toy bar (which isn’t inexpensive)
  • This baby bouncer chair is on the more expensive side—especially considering there’s no automatic bouncing function

Buy it: $200, BuyBuyBaby.com

Image: Buy Buy Baby

Best Baby Bouncer Jumper: Stokke Steps Bouncer

This large, padded baby bouncer is like a luxury infant barcalounger. And with a newborn insert that accommodates those under 4 months old, even the littlest can get in on the soothing action. This bouncer seat offers multiple seating positions to adjust to baby’s weight and a toy hanger for playtime—plus, it folds flat for easy storage and travel. Use it on the floor or mount it on to the Stokke Steps Chair and it turns into a plush spot for hanging with the family at mealtime.

What we love:

  • Its base is super sturdy to avoid any sliding in either the on-floor or in-Steps chair modes
  • The detachable toy hanger allows you to fasten with rings or toys of your choosing (no boredom here!)

Things to consider:

  • If you don’t have the Stokke Steps high chair seating system already, the bouncer add on is irrelevant

Buy it: $209, BuyBuyBaby.com

Image: Buy Buy Baby

Best Baby Bouncer Swing Combo: 4Moms Mamaroo

Let’s face it: The best baby bouncer (at least in baby’s eyes) is Mom’s arms. But after a while, mama needs a break. Enter the mamaRoo. The five unique motions of this genius baby bouncer move just like you do, so baby never feels far from your touch. It features a fully reclining seat, and you can adjust the bouncer seat’s movements right from your smartphone. Built-in noise machines keep baby calm, or you can use Bluetooth to stream your own playlist.

What we love:

  • The motion swing for babies features five unique movements (like “kangaroo” and “car ride”) and five speed options for a total of 25 different combinations
  • It’s available in three fabric options: the plush seat fabrics (multi and silver) are a softer, blanket-like material; the classic seat fabrics (gray and black) are made with a smooth, woven polyester material and the cool mesh-seat fabric (dark gray) has a smooth, breathable surface to maximize airflow to keep baby cool and comfortable.

Things to consider:

  • It’s could be a hit-or-miss with babies. Parents have shared that by three or four months, their babies lost interest in it or were trying to sit up/get out all the time

Buy it: $240, BuyBuyBaby.com

Image: Buy Buy Baby

Best Automatic Baby Bouncer: Chicco E-Motion Auto-Glider & Bouncer

If you think this recco falls into the “classic bouncer with few bells and whistles” category, we beg you to reconsider! While it’s rather simple in construction, you have the ability to turn the glider on for a gentle side-to-side sway or to switch into manual mode so that baby can control the action. The seat pad features soft, 100 percent organic cotton fabric in stylized quilting for natural comfort, and a non-restrictive yet secure three-point harness affords your baby a full range of motion to wave their arms and move with the glider’s sway (without feeling jolted or jostled). And wherever you go, you’ll be able to keep the E-motion moving with AC and battery-operated power options. Panicked and stressed-out babies and parents rejoice!!

What we love:

  • While gently cradling your little one, the automated glider provides a comforting side-to-side glide that mimics a parent’s sway
  • Uninterrupted side-to-side movement lasts for a duration of 10 minutes and advanced motion-sensing technology restarts the timer when baby’s movement is detected (or when you provide a gentle nudge)
  • The framework is very lightweight and easy to fold away
  • We can’t help but smile at the affordable price point

Things to consider:

  • Head support is minimal (without a newborn or infant insert) and the angle of the seat can’t be adjusted, so some parents find it a bit too upright for their baby’s head. It may be better to use after a few months, when baby’s neck and head strength are stronger
  • Some report that the music it plays is low quality and sounds a bit distorted or muffled

Buy it: $100, BuyBuyBaby.com

Image: Amazon

Best Baby Bouncer for Small Spaces: Tiny Love Boho Chic 2-in-1 Rocker

Small spaces don’t always call for “miniature” designs, especially when you can get your hands on a minimalist and lightweight design that’s as transportable as it is transitional — easily shifting between rocking mode, stationary seating and three cozy reclining positions for baby’s comfort. This earth-toned, chicly designed rocker is equipped with a cozy, soft in-lay to support your newborn and two adorable developmental toys for fun engagement. The plush koala doll and a wooden rattle with crinkly leaves will foster baby’s cognitive and emotional skills and stimulate their senses. Plus, it’s practical for everyday use.

What we love:

  • It’s super easy to assemble out of the box, and with just one hand you can easily adjust the rocker to a desired recline position for baby
  • The newborn in-lay is removable and can be wiped clean in no time; the fabric liner itself can be zipped off and thrown in the washer for easy cleaning and maintenance (blowouts be gone!)
  • The toy arch can be disconnected to streamline the already-trim design

Things to consider:

  • Conversely, the toy arch is not a handle. It will easily pop out or break if you’re tempted to try to lift it like a car seat
  • Shallow and short rockers like this one work better on hard surfaces than on carpet

Buy it: $120, Amazon.com

Image: Buy Buy Baby

Best Luxury Baby Bouncer: Bombol Bamboo 3DKnit Bouncer

Created by engineer and designer parents, this innovative 3D knit bouncer is the first to support littles from newborn to age 5. So, yes, babies can bounce and play around at first and then read and relax on their own high-end padded piece of furniture later. Fully engineered with breathable mesh fabric that is lighter, more comfortable and stronger than traditional bouncers, the proprietary 3D knitting technology weaves a single fabric with alternating zones to create the perfect support in all the right places as your child grows. What’s more, the copper yarn is naturally antibacterial and antifungal and can reduce a broad spectrum of germs by over 99.9 percent (while also inhibiting the growth of mildew). Sign us up!

What we love:

  • The patented dynamic backrest lets you or your older child choose their position (sitting up or laying back) simply by shifting their weight. You can also adjust, lock or release the backrest’s position silently without disturbing the child
  • An aerospace-grade aluminum frame ensures the bouncer moves softly under the smallest of newborns, yet it can effortlessly carry the weight of children as they grow (up to 220 pounds, to be exact)
  • The two color options, pebble grey and denim blue don’t scream “baby gear” at all

Things to consider:

  • The bouncer doesn’t support any add-ons, like a toy bar or built-in vibrations, so if your baby needs more to keep them engaged, you might need to do the entertaining yourself!

Buy it: $250, BuyBuyBaby.com

Image: Buy Buy Baby

Best Budget Baby Bouncer: Bright Starts Playful Pinwheels Bouncer

The Bright Starts baby bouncer is an adorable, affordable crowd pleaser, proving that affordable baby bouncers can still offer amazing value. With a removable toy bar, soothing vibrations and a three-point harness, this bouncer seat offers plenty to keep baby happy and safe. Parents love the cheery design, easy-to-clean fabrics and enticing price point.

What we love:

  • The frame is easy to wipe clean and the seat pad is machine-washable, so spills and messes are no match
  • The toy bar is perfectly positioned for baby to reach the dangles (and self-reflecting mirror) and zero in on the colors and spinning mechanisms
  • The bright, colorful rainbow aesthetic offers great gender neutrality and appointment in any kids’ playroom

Things to consider:

  • The thin metal legs are a bit flimsy
  • There is no dedicated toddler mode (as the weight limit caps at 20 pounds), so the product has a relatively short lifespan (although for the price, it seems worth it!)

Buy it: $40, BuyBuyBaby.com

Image: Buy Buy Baby

Best Vibrating Baby Bouncer: Fisher-Price Sweet Snow Leopard Deluxe Bouncer

You can’t go wrong with a Fisher-Price baby bouncer. This snuggly, deep-seated bouncer chair is gently powered by baby’s natural movements, but it doesn’t make your little one do all the work. The vibrating baby bouncer also plays up to 20 minutes of sounds and music and features an overhead mobile with adorable toys. Good to use from birth, it’s a great option for newborns—but once baby starts sitting up, it’s time to put it aside.

What we love:

  • The super soft fabrics, plush newborn insert and supportive head rest help keep little ones cozy as they bounce, play or soothe
  • The mobile toys captivate baby and encourage eye-tracking, helping to strengthen developing visual skills

Things to consider:

  • Parents do note that the batteries (responsible for the vibrations, sounds and music) wear out quickly and C batteries aren’t as easily accessible and affordable

Buy it: $60, BuyBuyBaby.com

Image: Bloom Baby

Best Portable Baby Bouncer: Bloom Coco Go 3-in-1 Bouncer

If you swoon over Scandi design (and soothed babies), you’re going to love Bloom’s 3-in-1 baby bouncer, lounger and upright seat. Designed to fold completely flat and slip into a reversible carry bag, the lightweight Coco Go is perfect for traveling everywhere from Grandma’s house to the Grand Canyon. This two-speed vibrating baby bouncer seat features three seat positions and an organic cotton, machine-washable seat pad with a five-point harness. With its gorgeous muted seat colors and natural wood base, it’ll be a welcome guest wherever you go.

What we love:

  • The five-point safety harness gives parents total peace of mind when it comes to baby’s security
  • The design is so attractive that parents don’t need to keep it sidelined in baby’s nursery or playroom—it can shine in the living room or any other prominent gathering space
  • It comes with a carry bag comes, so portability is obviously a top consideration

Things to consider:

  • For the price, many parents wish that the chair came with the newborn insert
  • The weight limit maxes out at 20 pounds, so babies can grow out of it very quickly (before a typical 6-month mark)

Buy it: $219, BloomBaby.com

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