Berkeley Parents Network >
What/Where to Buy >
Baby Gear >
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!
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
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.
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
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
this page was last updated: Dec 27, 2004
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network