Required: At least 1 bouncy seat, rocker or baby swing
Baby Rockers, Bouncers and Swings: Buying Guide
On the activity side, you will need at least one baby bouncer, baby rocker or baby swing (perhaps more if you have a larger home and spend time in many different rooms). Your baby cannot sit up on his own during this period, and you will need a place to put him in an upright position while you get other things done – most babies find these products quite relaxing as the motions mimic the natural bouncing and swaying your own movements.
For many frazzled new mums and dads, baby rockers, bouncers or swings are life savers. They magically soothe cranky babies and provide you with much needed hands-free time in the first few months. The movements of bouncy seats and swings are supposedly more “natural” (side to side and bouncing rather than just back and forth) than those of a mains or battery operated swing, but it is this automatic movement of baby swings that some parents appreciate most. Baby swings range from basic, no-frills models to fully loaded entertainment centers. You can opt for a smaller, more portable baby bouncer or rocker or a full-size baby swing, depending on your space availability and need for mobility.
Some things to consider:
Batteries or a cord? You will be going through a lot of batteries if required for your device. However, a cord operated model may be something of a safety hazard if you have other young children around. For many, baby bouncers that are stimulated by baby’s own movement are the most natural option.
Safety harness: Making sure baby is secured properly is very important. For swings, a three point harness is a requirement while a five point harness including over-the-shoulder straps is even safer.
Speed and motion: Most baby rockers move back and forth, but some newer baby bouncers such as the Mamaroo offer a side-to-side rocking motion that your baby may find closer to your own movement. Baby swings can offer up to eight speeds appropriate for different ages.
Sturdiness: Look for a bouncer or rocker with a wide, sturdy frame, low to the ground so it won’t tip if your baby leans to one side.
Comfort: Look for seats that recline quite far and are good for newborns. All seats should be well padded.
Extras: Many bouncers, rockers and swings come with “extras” – trays, toy bars, mobiles, light displays and music which extend their age appropriateness and can keep even the youngest babies easily entertained.