Baby Bouncers Vs. Rockers: A Guide

Baby Bouncers Vs. Rockers

Does your little bundle of joy want to be cuddled the whole day? Do they sleep when held, and the minute you put them down, they scream their lungs out? Is it tough just to get the regular house chores done? If you mark any of the above boxes, you need one (or both) of these baby chairs as it is impossible to hold your tot the whole day.

Bouncers and rockers may be the game changers as they are two of the safest and most comfortable devices for your tot.

What is the difference between the two of them? This guide will help you make the right decision on these baby chairs and choose the right one and the best fit for your sunshine (remember, it is all about THEM!) 

The Fundamental Difference Between A Bouncer And A Rocker

The significant difference between baby rockers and bouncers is how they move. 

Bouncers are created for playtime as they are triggered by self-generated movement as your tot has to squirm, wiggle, or kick to move and jiggle it gently. This allows your young to use their arms and legs as they enjoy the stimulating springy movement, thus developing their motor skills. You can also give the device a nudge to activate the motion.

Bouncers will usually serve your kiddo up to nine months, and some of them will grow with your toddler as a chair (how cool is that!). They are small in size, and most of them can collapse and lie flat, easing transportation and storage.

As bouncers are meant for playtime (and baby's wake time is playtime), they will keep your tot happy as they feature fun extras (soothing vibrations, toy bar, music and lullabies, and more) and safety thanks to their multi-point harness.

Rockers are intended to soothe.  It features a back and forth rocking motion that you can initiate manually. It is a stand-alone device that sits on and low to the ground with a curved base.

Rockers offer a comfortable space for your tot to rest and relax as they resemble reclined baby seats. 

What is a Bouncer Designed For?

A bouncer is a great and safe place for your infant's playtime as it is designed for play. Bouncers feature stimulating springy motions that are soothing, ensuring your young one enjoys as they stay happy. 

Pros and Cons of a Baby Bouncer



Stimulating: Baby bouncers are not always quiet they are stimulating with toys and sounds.

Limited movement: As it does not require power for motion, its movement is limited.

Portable: Making them easy to move around.

Requires manual movement: Baby bouncer will need to be nudged into motion by you or your tot.

Promotes proper growth of the child's spine: Baby bouncers have been designed to promote the development of your child's spine as they move their arms and legs.  

Its broad base provided for stability hinders easy movements in small rooms.

Strengthens leg muscles enabling your kiddo to walk without assistance gradually; as your tot tries to shove themselves, they have to kick their legs, and in the process, they are exercising.

Calms down your baby: Baby bouncers are great for fussy and colicky babies as it soothes and calms them.

Adjustable elevation: Most baby bouncers will allow you to adjust the elevation levels for your baby's comfort.

Can be converted to a child's seat: Baby bouncers grow with your toddlers and have the ability and capability to convert into a toddler seat.

It has an incline design that helps your young one interact with the world around them: Baby bouncers occupy your baby as they learn.

Easy to clean: It has a machine washable cover/fabric that is also easy to clean by hand

Things To Consider With A Baby Bouncer

So, what should you consider when getting a baby bouncer for your young one? To ensure your tot will relax and calm down in their bouncers, you need to consider:

  • Portability and Ease of storage: Do you plan to move with your bouncer around the house or while traveling? Then a traveling bouncer will be best as it folds into a compact size and can easily be stored in the boot. It will also ensure to save on your apartment space.
  • Weight capacity: It is important to consider weight restrictions to avoid accidents due to intense vibrations as your tot springs up and down.
  • Suitable straps and headrest: You should ensure the straps and buckles fit your baby's body snuggly, and the headrest is comfortable not to strain the neck muscles.
  • Textile and material used: The material used should be soft, smooth, and itch-free. The textile should not cause rashes to your young one.

What Is A Rocker Designed For?

Rockers are designed for nap times as they keep your infant relaxed and calm them during periods of anxiety or colic. The back and forth rocking mimics Utero movements, thus soothing babies to sleep.

Pros and Cons of a Baby Rocker



Calms crying babies: Baby rockers are designed for soothing and play, thus calming babies.

Baby rockers tend to be a higher investment

Reasonably easy to move around: Rockers have smaller frames making them manageable

Compared to bouncers, rockers are not as portable.

Great for giving tired arms a break: Baby rockers will allow you some time with your hand free as the baby enjoys the rocking. 

Rockers are designed for babies up to six months only.

There is no need for power to operate: Rockers only require a quick nudge for continuous motion, ensuring your tot sleeps uninterrupted.

Stimulating movement: Rockers often can adjust the intensity of motion and feature a selection of different rocking patterns.


Things To Consider For A Baby Rocker

Before purchasing a baby rocker, there are things you need to be keen on. They are:

  • Non-slip-pads: Before purchasing a baby rocker, you should double-check its base to ensure it has non-slip pads which prevent sliding dangerously on tile and wood floors.
  • Suitable straps and headrest: The straps will ensure your kiddo is safely fastened to the rocker minimizing any fallouts. A suitable headrest will enable your toddler comfort without putting a strain on their neck and back muscles.
  • Adequately padded seat: Boosting the comfort level of your tot is a priority. Then a padded seat that is optimal will do it. It should not be too padded, though, as this may create sinking issues, leading to heat build-up and retention. 
  • Frame: The sturdiness of a baby rocker's frame will enhance its functionality and reliability. The ones made out of high-quality material will save you money in the long run as they can be reused and passed down to new-born sibs.
  • Materials used: You should choose a rocker with materials that are soft and highly breathable.
  • Broad base: You surely don't want your baby tipping over while they play. Then purchasing a rocker with a wide base will alleviate the risk.

Deciding Between a Baby Bouncer and a Rocker

Both of these devices are great for your tot as they offer different benefits helping her achieve those essential developmental benefits. Often most parents find it prudent to purchase both a bouncer and a rocker as while one is intended for soothing and naps, the other is for playtime.

Be more mindful about where you place your devices, especially if you live in a storeyed apartment. It is ideal to have the rocker upstairs and the bouncer downstairs. With the bouncer downstairs, your guests, sibs, or you can interact with your baby.

General Aspects to Consider When Shopping for Bouncers and Rockers

Before purchasing a baby rocker or bouncer (or both), there are things you need to consider to ensure you get the best. They are:

  • Aesthetics: Does the rocker or bouncer look good? Will it fit in with your house décor? Then it is a good deal. 
  • How long are you looking to use it?: Answering this question will guide you on the suitable device to purchase.
  • Portability: Is the bouncer/rocker easy to move? Do you intend to travel with it or move it around the house? Does it fold compact for great storage?
  • Power: Is the rocker/bouncer power operated? Does it always need to be plugged in, or is it battery/manual operated?
  • Ease to clean: Is the device made of materials that are easy to clean?
  • How much space do you have?: Are you short on space? 

Other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) Regarding Rockers and Bouncers

  • When exactly should a bouncer be used?
  • A baby bouncer can be used right after birth up until your baby turns 6-7 months old. Its headrest is perfect for your tot who can't sit unassisted.

  • Is a rocker good for new-borns?
  • Yes, rockers are ideal for new-borns as they are mainly intended for babies. The device will help soothe your fussy baby to a nap as it features a back and forth rocking motion.

  • How long can a baby be in a bouncer for? Can a baby sleep in a bouncer?
  • Although there are no set guidelines for how long your tot should be in the bouncer, you must not forget that floor time is essential. You need to find a good balance where your baby will benefit from significant developmental milestones.

    So long as you supervise your baby as they nap, a short span of sleep is ok. But long naps are not ideal due to the possibility of restriction of airways.

  • Can a baby sleep in a rocker all night?
  • No, your baby can not sleep in a rocker the whole night. Once the baby has fallen asleep, they should be moved to a safe sleeping place like their crib.

    Safety Considerations

    Here are some safety guidelines that you should consider.

    • Supervise your baby: Always ensure to supervise your baby whenever using the rocker/bouncer. This will help tend to them immediately should the need arise.
    • Check the weight limits: This will make sure you do not exceed the weight limits as your tot continues to grow.
    • Do not move your rocker while your baby is in it: Remember to move the baby out of the rocker before moving it to avoid any accidents.
    • Make sure your baby is in a reclined position: Ensuring your baby is reclined will mean they do not strain their spine, thus affecting their back.
    • Always put rockers/bouncers on the floor, no soft surface: These devices are safe on the ground rather than on soft surfaces like the bed or chair as they might tip over.
    • Ensure your baby is strapped in snuggly, but make sure it is not too tight such that it inhibits the airways.

    Finn & Emma Balance Board Rocker

    baby smiling lying in rocker

    We have thoroughly researched for you, should you decide to purchase the rocker.  Finn and Emma balance board rocker is a two in one device for new-born babies that they can use for up to eight years. It can be repurposed into a balance board and a fun Montessori toy, developing their sensory and imaginative skills.

    smiling boy balancing on balance board

    It also has incredible features that include:

    • Felt pads.
    • It has a detachable organic cotton pad with buckles to secure your baby and easily snap off for machine washing.
    • Premium non-toxic Birchwood, smooth curved wood. 
    • Wider and longer than other rockers in the market.
    • Natural, soft rocking motion.
    • Looks great with any décor due to its aesthetically pleasing, simple design.
    • The finish is lead and Phthalate free, CPSIA, Cal prop 65 tested.
    • Easy to clean.



    It's most important to determine what is suitable for you and your baby, and whichever you choose between the rocker /bouncer (or both), your tot will let you know which they like best. Ideally, both the rocker and the bouncer are devices that will come in handy when handing your tot and for you to get some things done other than rocking your bundle of joy.

    And though each device has a specific use, the bouncer, which is intended for play and the rocker for soothing and taking naps, they will offer your kiddo developmental benefits.

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