What are baby bouncers and swings?
Babies come with a great deal of "stuff", so much of it, in fact, it becomes difficult to know the items that are necessities versus just nice to have. And, that opinion will be different from one parent to the next, and maybe even between multiple babies in the same household. The things I personally used for the first baby I used again for my second baby, but there were a few things that worked for one that didn't for the other, and vice versa.
Typically, a home with one or more babies has at least a bouncer or swing. But, you may wonder what, exactly, the difference is between them, if they are worth having, and how to choose the right one for your baby's needs.
What is a bouncer?
Bouncers are infant chairs that stand on flexible legs that make them bounce. The sensation is supposed to mimic the way it felt in Mommy’s womb and provides soothing comfort to a fussy or bored baby. There are two main types of bouncers. The first type bounces baby manually and the second, powered by batteries or a wall adapter, bouncer automatically. Many times these products come with vibration and music as well.
What is a swing?
A swing is similar to a bouncer in shape, recline angle, and intention. It differs in the motion that it provides to your baby. A swing mimics the feeling of being rocked more so that the feeling of floating around in a warm pool inside of Mom. Like bouncers, these are either battery operated or run off of electricity. Very old models of swings used a crank to wind it up kind of like a music box.
Something to consider: Babies won’t want to swing or bounce once they are crawling and walking. You have to decide the cost is worth the short amount of time.
Some babies will only sleep in a swing or bouncer. Not safe sleeping practices, but better than sleeping with mom and dad. Reflux babies do better being propped up. Harness seems safe but can be a safety hazard if baby becomes entangled while parents are sleeping.
Best electric baby bouncers and swings
Bouncers and swings can be manual, electric/battery operated or a combination of both. We will be looking at bouncers and swings that are electric.
1. Ingenuity The Gentle Automatic Bouncer
This is the bouncer that I used with both of my babies and I cannot say enough good things about it. The automatic bounce feature is so nice. There is a self bounce option (you can also bounce it manually), vibration, music, and heartbeat and nature sounds. My babies loved watching the elephants on the detachable mobile dance while the bouncer was in action too. The cover is removable and machine washable. It is also very easy to get back on and I remember doing so plenty of times! At around $50, you cannot go wrong with this product.
2. Fisher Price Soothing Motions Bassinet
This product is unique in that it is a bassinet that vibrates, and sways either manually or with a remote. The advantage of this product is that it encourages safe sleeping practices while adding some comforts for the baby, and conveniences for parents. The cost of this product is relatively low, which earns this product another positive mark.
A drawback of this product is that your baby can only lay flat, and once he or she is pulling up, the product is no longer safe or useful.
3. Graco Simple Sway Baby Swing
This is a very basic electric swing that moves the baby from side to side. There is a spinning mobile, wall adapter, battery port, music, and multiple speeds.
4. Graco Glider LX
This swing is meant to mimic the feeling of being rocked in a glider chair. Although one of its marketing points is how compact it is compared to other swings, it is a pretty monstrous machine. There are 3 seat positions, and all of the other standard gadgetry that comes with Graco swings including multiple speeds, music, nature sounds, wall adapter, battery port. There is also a toy bar with soft plush toys attached for your baby’s entertainment.
5. Fisher Price Deluxe Take Along Swing and Seat
Ringing up at just around $50 this is a nice little swing that is electric, portable, and has a cover that is easily machine washable.
6. Fisher Price Moonlight Cradle N Swing
This product swings baby either forward and backward, or side to side, or “cradling”. If you’re wanting to go with a swing only, this one is a good bet because it accomplishes two things with one machine and base. There is also a motorized mobile with a mirror so baby can look at the adorable swing passenger. The seat can be positioned 3 different ways as well, so if you find yourself with a baby who will not sleep anywhere except a swing, this one might be a winner.
3 in 1 baby bouncer swings
3 in 1 bouncer swings are a combination of a bouncer, swing, a third, additional piece of equipment or feature, such as a rocker. In these machines you get all of the great benefits of having a bouncer swing, plus an added motion option.
1. Graco Everyway Soother
This bouncer swing has a lot of options. It rocks side to side, or front to back. It bounces. It has 8 swing “motions”, including figure 8, circle, and waves, among others. What makes this a 3 in 1 is the removable rocker feature. The seat can be removed, positioned 3 different ways, and sits on the floor to be a rocking chair for baby. This product is typically under $200, which is a good value overall for the amount of things it does.
Baby bouncers and swings combo
Bouncer and swing combos are a hybrid between two or more baby items. These are similar to the 3 in 1 type products, with a lot more variation in the combinations. Though these items are typically used for the same purposes, such as briefly entertaining baby so you can step away to take a speed shower or change over the laundry, functionality wise they are different.
1. 4moms MamaRoo 4
The bouncer swing that certainly comes in with the highest marks across numerous websites is the 4moms MamaRoo 4. It also has hands down the highest price tag at nearly $400. So what does this machine do for the cost?
It bounces and sways side to side. There are 5 different sensations to choose from for your baby. One of the unique features it has, and perhaps one of the reasons why it is so expensive is because it is BlueTooth compatible. It also has built-in sound or you can connect it to an Mp3 player for customized sounds or music.
Reviews on this product mention it is easy to assemble, and that it really helps babies sleep. One reviewer on Amazon stated, “This thing is expensive but it's giving me about 3 hrs a day right now with my hands free so I can get a couple of things done without a baby freaking out in the background. Hard to put a price on that.” Touche.
2. Graco DuetConnect LX
This is a baby swing that goes either front to back or side to side. The seat doubles as a removable and portable bouncer. It can be plugged into the wall or operates on batteries.
3. Fisher-Price 4 in 1 Rock n Glide Soother
The Fisher-Price namesake has been around for generations. While their products are typically very basic, they are usually the most affordable for parents who are on a budget. And truly, many of their products, though less expensive and with slightly less bells and whistles, get equally positive reviews as other more expensive options in the same category. That certainly applies to this inexpensive but versatile piece of combo equipment.
4. Ingenuity Swing 2 Seat
This is a swing and electric bouncer in one, complete with the added bonus of being portable. The average cost of this product is under $100. It can accommodate an infant up to 9 months of age and runs on batteries.
Baby bouncers and swings from Mothercare
Many of the brands and models of bouncers, swings, and combinations thereof are available from Mothercare. One of their most popular products is the aforementioned MamaRoo 4.
1. Tiny Love 3 in 1 Close to Me Bouncer
A baby bouncer that has adjustable height means less bending down on the part of the parents to tend to the baby. Not only can you adjust the height on this bad boy bouncer you can also adjust the angle of the seat so your baby can easily go from sitting to laying. This product comes with a removable toy bar and washable seat cover.
2. Babymoov Swoon Up Bouncer
This is another bouncer with adjustable height in addition to a swivel function.
3.Joie inspired by mothercare haven 2 in 1 swing *exclusive to mothercare*
Part swing, part bouncer, this is a great 2 in 1 product boasting some positive reviews. The spotlight and built-in mobile are additional unique features.
Baby gear can be difficult to decipher so having the pros and cons of any product at your disposal can be helpful in making a purchasing decision. The general considerations that you need to make when choosing a bouncer, swing or combination of one or both are your budget, how long you anticipate your baby will be using it, how much room you have, and what other parents who have used it have to say about it.
There are many products out there, all of which have pros and cons. Do your research and decide what will work best for you and your baby.