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A bouncer or rocker is a key tool in your parenting arsenal. They can replicate the swaying, soothing movement of rocking a baby to sleep in your arms, whilst also allowing the baby to bounce excitedly (and safely) and have a bit of fun when nap time is over. Most importantly, though, they give you hands-free time to catch up with your daily duties.
You can think of baby bouncers as baby-sized recliners that you can move around the home to wherever they’re needed. While basic models require you (or your baby) to manually rock the seat back and forth, some motorised models do the rocking for you, while others play music or white noise to help lull your baby to sleep.
Below, you’ll find a selection of our recommended baby bouncers, as well as some hints and tips on how to pick the right one for your baby.
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Best baby bouncer: At a glance
- Best budget baby bouncer: Joie Wish Bouncer | £40 | Buy now
- Best modular baby bouncer: Stokke Steps Bouncer | £149 | Buy now
- Best electric baby bouncer: 4moms Mamaroo 4.0 | £299 | Buy now
- Best for style and simplicity: BABYBJÖRN Baby Bouncer | £180 | Buy now
- Best compact, travel-friendly option: Maxi Cosi Kori | £80 | Buy now
How to choose the best baby bouncer for your little one
What are baby bouncers for?
Babies become accustomed to rocking and bouncing movements while they’re in the womb, and that’s why baby bouncers act as a soothing mechanism for your little one. Pop your baby in the bouncer, carefully strap them in and then you can gently rock them to sleep. Alternatively, older babies can bounce themselves or just sit and play with a toy while you have your hands free to do other things.
Remember: Never leave your child unattended in a bouncer. It’s also advised that babies lie flat when asleep.
What types of baby bouncers are available?
There are several options out there for you to choose from. Broadly speaking, simple baby bouncers provide a bit of bounce thanks to flexible frames which you have to nudge manually with a foot or hand, while electric baby bouncers use batteries or mains power to do the rocking or bouncing for you. Some models also add sideways swaying motions in addition to back and forth bouncing.
Other bouncers add sound or vibration to the mix, too, providing some additional soothing through simple music or white noise, and pricier models combine both movement and music. Another thing to look out for is bouncers with modular designs that allow them to clip into high chairs or combine with other products in a manufacturer’s range.
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The best baby bouncers to buy in 2021
1. Joie Wish: Best budget baby bouncer
Price: £40 | Buy now from Argos
If you’re in need of a simple, affordable bouncer that has some fun toys for your baby to focus on, the Joie Wish is definitely one to consider. The design is a little different to most of the other manual bouncers here. The seat rests atop a rear-mounted metal frame which provides a lovely light bounce and the five-point harness keeps the baby safe and secure. The downside of the unusual design is that the Wish doesn’t fold away flat for easy storage.
That said, it has all the features you could ask of a £40 bouncer and a few more besides. It offers three seat positions to keep the baby comfortable during nap times and playtimes, and comes with a couple of cute toys for the baby to interact with. A supplied support helps keep newborn and smaller babies’ heads from flopping to the side, too.
One nice surprise is the vibration feature: a motor in the seat’s base has two intensity settings, which gives parents a hands-free option for soothing their baby to sleep. Also, as the vibration motor makes a gentle white noise-like hum, you may not need to reach for a white noise app on your phone, which is handy.
Key Specs - Size: 50 x 81 x 38cm (WDH) | Weight: 3kg | Suitable for: 0-6 months, up to 9kg
Buy now from Argos
2. Maxi Cosi Kori: A light, portable and stylish option for under £100
Price: £80 | Buy now from Amazon
Maxi Cosi’s Kori is a stylish and sensibly-priced option. The wood-effect frame and marl grey padding look lovely, and it’s sensibly designed throughout.
A newborn insert helps to keep tiny babies safely in position, and this works in tandem with a soft, broad three-point safety harness. A simple latch on the rear of the seat allows you to adjust the seat position with one hand, and you can lock out the rocking position when and if you need to.
The lightweight, folding design is a real boon, too. The Kori’s 2.3kg frame folds up very neatly, so it’s easy to move from room to room or pop in the boot when staying away from home.
Key Specs - Size: 42 x 72 x 48cm (WDH) | Weight: 2.3kg | Suitable for: 0-6 months, up to 9kg
3. Stokke Steps Bouncer: The best modular baby bouncer
Price: £149 | Buy now from Stokke
When space is at a premium, it’s handy to have products that fulfil more than one purpose around the home. Enter the stylish Stokke Steps bouncer, which – in addition to being a standalone bouncer – clips into the Stokke Steps highchair to provide a comfy seat at the dining table.
The supplied insert makes the bouncer suitable for newborns, while the integrated footrest is a boon for bigger babies. You will need to manually rock the Stokke yourself, but it offers several seat positions to help keep your baby comfortable during both playtime and nap time.
If you want your baby to sit at the dining table with you, you can simply click the bouncer into place in the Stokke Steps highchair. Once dinnertime is over, the design folds away neatly when not in use.
Key Specs - Size: 80 x 67 x 53cm (WDH) | Weight: 3.74kg | Suitable for: 0-6 months, up to 9kg
Buy now from Stokke
4. 4moms Mamaroo 4.0: The best electric baby bouncer
Price: £299 | Buy now from Amazon
This pricey, mains-powered bouncer offers five different types of swaying motion to soothe your baby, with settings such as ‘Car ride’ and ‘Kangaroo’. Each of these movements can be made faster or slower depending on your preference and can be controlled remotely via Bluetooth using the companion smartphone app.
In addition to the movements, it also features several white noise effects that can be played through its built-in speakers. The speakers won’t win awards for clarity but are more than sufficient to provide soothing background noise for your little one.
The Mamaroo is adjustable and flattens down to a near-horizontal position which is great for newborns. There’s also a mobile that attaches to the top of the bouncer to provide some entertainment for your little one.
This is an expensive option, but we found it to be so effective that we wouldn’t want to live without it. Our advice is to keep an eye out for discounts, as this mode regularly features in sales.
Key Specs - Size: 50 x 84 x 65cm (WDH) | Weight: 8.6kg | Suitable for: 0-6 months, up to 9kg
5. BABYBJÖRN Bouncer Bliss: Expensive, but super light and stylish
Price: £180 | Buy now from Amazon
The Babybjorn bouncer is the perfect marriage of style and simplicity. It’s small and lightweight, which makes it easy to move from room to room or stow away when it’s not in use, and the design provides gentle, effortless bouncing for your baby.
The wonderfully springy frame stays reassuringly stable when sat on the floor, but it’s sensitive enough to allow your baby to rock themselves with even fairly gentle movements. You can choose from three positions – play, rest and sleep – and the bouncer folds down flat for easy storage.
You can take your pick from airy mesh fabrics or quilted cotton versions in a variety of soft, pastel shades, and unlike some bouncers which only suit babies up to around 6 months in age, the Babybjorn is suitable for children up to two years of age – simply flip the fabric cover around once your baby can sit unaided and they can use it as a comfy recliner.
Key Specs - Size: 39 x 92 x 39cm (WDH) | Weight: 2.23kg | Suitable for: 0-2 years, 3.5kg to 13kg
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