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Bouncer or Swing?

April 2004

I'm a new mom and I'm considering buying either a bouncer (that vibrates) or a swing for my baby. Which one of these calms a baby best? Since our small apartment will only fit one of these things which one would you recommend we buy? On the fence


Hi, I have a 9 month old and we had both. She's too old to use either of them right now, and outgrew the bouncer first. If I had to do it over again, I'd buy a bouncer/rocker instead of a regular bouncer, and I wouldn't buy a swing. First off, the swings are huge. They take up a lot of space. There are new rockers on the market that can be used even up to age 3. I looked online and Combi, Chicco, and Fisher Price all make these rockers. They have little toy bars on some of them. To answer your question about soothing the baby, I think it depends on the child. Our daughter never really fell asleep in the bouncer, but she did sometimes in the swing. Good luck and congrats! Hannah
I have two small children. If I had to pick between our bouncer and our swing, I'd go with the bouncer. The swing doesn't work for every child. Both of my children have loved the bouncer and I can move it with me from room to room (including the bathroom so that I can shower)! My daughter liked the swing, but only for a limited amount of time. I found that she could be in the bouncer for extended periods of time and not complain. My son does not appear to like the swing at all. However, he loves the bouncer. It's also nice because I can sit on the floor and talk/play with him while he sits in his bouncer. I hope this is helpful information. Good luck with your decision. And remember, all babies are different. Though this makes your decision difficult, your baby might love the swing. Shoshana
I would recommend a bouncer. I teach the New Mother's Workout and have a bunch of bouncers for the babies. I think they would serve you for a longer period of time. Also they take up less room. Get the vibrating kind. They really sooth the baby. Also when they get older there is a toy bar that can keep their interest. Karen
Congrats on your little one! We had much better luck with a swing. Overall, they take up more space and aren't as portable (although I've seen a smaller portable swing which I'll seriously consider if we have another baby), but our daughter would swing happily for good lengths of time. She never took to a bouncer. Beth
Bottom line: get a vibrating bouncy seat with a toy attachment. My daughter liked both the swing and the seat, and for the first couple of weeks we used the swing a lot. However, my son is not interested in the swing but loves the seat. The swing can take up a lot of room and is more expensive than the seat. So I'd recommend just the bouncy seat. Liz O.
I would get both because they are both useful. I bought a used swing that is called a portable..it's about the size of a nice bouncer and it has worked as well or better than the bigger swings that have long legs and trays. Also, we are still using our bouncy chair as a highchair because my daughter has begun eating rice cereal but can't sit completely upright yet. Both devices have given us all much relief and pleasure! anon
It's impossible to say whether a bouncer or a swing will calm your baby best, because different babies have different preferences. And some babies hate both! It sounds like your baby is already here, so the best thing to do is to actually try out some different things, at friends' homes or in stores, and see what your baby seems to prefer.

We wore our son in a sling more or less all the time for the first few months; the ONLY thing that ''calmed'' him was to be held/carried. We also used bouncy seats, especially after about 3 months when he began to tolerate being in it for longer stretches of time; they're small, inexpensive, and relatively easy to move around the house, so there isn't much reason not to have at least one. Once our son could sit up on his own, rendering the bouncy seats unsafe, we used an exersaucer when we wanted to support and/or contain him. We also had a swing -- a free hand-me-over from a neighbor -- which lived in the dining room. Our son could take or leave it, pretty much; we usually put him in it while we ate dinner, until 6 months when he started solid foods and we got a highchair; we never used it as a calming thing.

And if by ''bouncer'' you mean one of those doorway jumping things, I can't comment -- we didn't have any appropriate place to put one, and they freak me out anyway as seemingly unsafe. :- ) (Note that this is not a judgment of anyone who uses one; I have no idea what the actual safety statistics are. It's just a personal reaction, never investigated because I had no reason to do so.) Holly


I'm sure not all babies are alike in this regard, but the swing was indispensible to us, and still is at 5 months. It calms my daughter and helps her fall asleep for naps and at night, and we even leave her to sleep in it when she is too restless in the crib or bed. I would recommend a full-sized swing; we had one of those little fold-up portable swings too, but she outgrew it by 3 months, and it didn't really have enough ''juice'' to provide much motion as she got heavier. The big swing is still going strong, and I dread the day she outgrows it. Evette
If you got one of those smaller, portable swings, you might be able to have both! My sons both lived and died by the swing, BUT I found the bouncy seat invaluable as a place to stash them during the day, for them to just hang out and later to bat at their toys. The vibrating aspect did nothing for them, but it's really handy to have several 'stations' to move them to (a blanket on the ground with toys, then 20 minutes later, on to the bouncy seat, then the gymini, then into the swing for a quick nap, perhaps?!) I relied entirely on the swing for the first 5 months as the ONLY way my son would nap. If it were up to him, he'd say forget the vibrating seat, give me some serious motion. But they are all different and they are all pretty adaptable. Many never even try the swing and live to tell the tale! Best of luck. Christine
I had both. I found that the vibration of the ''bounce'' chiar did nothing for my son, but he loved his swing. We have the portable fisher-price swing. It was great because it was small enough that I could take it every where including our tiny bathroom so that I could take a shower. I only wish that the weight limit was more than 17 lbs. There are now other smaller swings that may have higher maximum weights. So check them all out first. If you are still on the fence then go to a store where they have working models and feel the vibration of the bouncer....I found it to be not comforting at all. The vibration is to fast, it needs to be slower and more like the car or dryer. Congrats on your newcomer. I vote for the swing!!
If you're choosing between the bouncer and the swing, I would pick the bouncer. For one, it's a lot less space (I know what you mean about the small living space!) and for another babies tend to appreciate being put in those more than the swings. 'Not to say that swings don't work for some babies, but in general, I suspect you'll have better response with the bouncer. Plus, they're easier to move from room to room and spot to spot. Have fun! Bouncy Seat Believer
I would recommend the bouncer. It's easy to move around your house and it travels well when you need to take it to visit friends and family. Patty

Baby bouncer that isn't loaded with toys?

Sept 2002

Can anyone recommend a baby bouncer that isn't loaded with plastic toys and loud colors? It seems like everything I am seeing is loud, cumbersome and overdone with plastics. Thanks Marion


we thought the Graco Jumper Bumper was super and very durable - no toys on it - just a plastic rim to protect the baby from whacking into doorways (and the doorways from the baby). Ioana
Graco Jumpster - we bought ours barely used off the UCB Marketplace list for 10 or 15 dollars. My 10 month old still loves it after almost 6 months of use. It has a little tray, but no gee gaws, is easy to get him in and out of and is adjustable for height. About $30 at ToysRUs. Heather
Try the Summer brand bouncers. We have one and love it. It has a simple toy bar that is removable, and several choices of fabric. We had to order a replacement cover from the company and they gave us several choices and we also found out that you could order the toy bar in different colors as well, (inc pastel). They were very nice and the charge was minimal. The bouncer is sturdy and well made, a metal frame, thick insulated fabric cover and a good secure safety strap. I know that Rockridge kids has them new, and I'm sure that you can find one used as well. Natalie
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