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Whether you’re a first-time parent or this isn’t your first time at the rodeo, you know that as much as you might enjoy holding your little bundle of joy, there are going to be times when you just can’t.

Maybe you need to help your other children get ready for school, or your baby is asleep and you finally have time to make yourself a snack. Or maybe you’re exhausted from the newborn stage and the only thing that will keep your little one happy is the consistent motion from a bouncer.

Whatever the reason, most parents agree that investing in a quality baby bouncer or swing is well worth it. But with so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to pick the right one that keeps your little one content and gives you peace of mind.

In addition to being safe, you want something easy to operate, potentially travel friendly, and that will at least accommodate your child for their first 6 months.

To narrow down our recommendations for the best baby bouncers, we looked at factors such as:

  • a variety of vibrations or swing speeds
  • construction
  • portability
  • power source
  • stability
  • ease of use
  • parental feedback
  • ease of installation or assembly
  • quiet operation

An endorsement from authoritative groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also influenced our selection process.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $60
  • $$ = $60–$120
  • $$$ = over $120

Best bouncer for infants

Best bouncer for toddlers

Best budget baby bouncer

Best multidirectional baby bouncer

Best adjustable baby rocker

Fisher-Price Infant-to-Toddler Rocker

Price: $

The word “adjustable” can be alluring when you’re trying to outfit your nursery. Fisher-Price’s Infant-to-Toddler Rocker is an adjustable bouncer that transitions from a convertible rocker for younger babies to a stationary seat for toddlers. As a rocker, you can seamlessly shift from a mobile rocker to a stable seat that features gentle vibrations to soothe your fussy baby.

An adorable mobile with colorful characters helps to round out the infant features. The Infant-to-Toddler Rocker will support up to 40 pounds.

Best simple baby jumper

Best freestanding traditional baby jumper

Best portable baby swing

Ingenuity Portable Swing

Price: $$

If you’re going to hit the road, it can be nerve-wracking to find travel-friendly gear that makes it possible to keep your baby happy and calm. The Ingenuity Portable Swing folds down to save space and to make it easy to take with you for a road trip to grandma’s house. The six quiet swing speeds and multiple melodies, along with the toy bar, will help to keep your baby occupied and soothed.

However, some parents note that of the two reclining positions, the upright option forced the child into an uncomfortable angle where they almost fell out of the seat.

Best luxury baby swing

One of the biggest benefits to a bouncer or swing is that it frees up your hands — and arms — so that you can accomplish other tasks. While many parents use bouncers as a space to let babies snooze, it’s important to note that the AAP strongly discourages this because of the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Most bouncers and swings are rated for use up to 6 months of age or around 25 pounds. But during the earliest months, babies can’t roll over. This is why the AAP recommends “ABC sleeping” — alone (A) on their back (B) in a crib (C) — as the safest option since it leaves the airways unobstructed. In a more upright position, as is common in swings and bouncers, baby’s airway can become blocked.

With these things in mind, let’s take a look at the best baby bouncers for you.

While they’re not the same thing, you’ll find that baby bouncers, swings, and jumpers often appear in the same category or aisle when you’re browsing online or visiting a store. But even though they can all serve a similar purpose, they’re different in how they function.

Bouncers, rockers or swings are ideal for newborns as they offer total support. In contrast, a jumper is only safe for older babies that can hold their heads up unassisted.

Baby bouncers and rockers

A baby bouncer or rocker is a stationary seat that sits low to the ground. Once your baby is securely seated and strapped in, their movements can help to create a “bouncing” or rocking motion. Many models offer a range of vibrations you can cycle through that help to soothe babies and may include toy bars to keep them entertained.

Baby swings

In contrast, a baby swing is typically larger, sits higher, and as the name implies, swings your child at one or more speeds. Some swings may include music, sounds, lights, and mobiles to help further engage your baby.

Baby jumpers

A baby jumper should only be used once your little one has full control of their neck and can hold their head up unassisted. Jumpers can be purchased as a freestanding item with a supporting frame or as an item that needs to be secured to an existing structure like a door frame or hallway ceiling.

Bouncers are an ideal part of your baby’s gear that can keep them occupied when you need to accomplish a task or soothe a fussy baby. But when shopping for this essential item, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Weight limit

Always confirm the recommended maximum weight limit for any item you purchase. Most bouncers are designed to accommodate babies from the newborn stage up to around 6 months of age. However, as is shown in our buying guide, some models are designed to grow with your child through toddlerhood.

Baby’s dexterity

Especially if you’re thinking of buying a jumper, your baby should have neck control and be able to hold their head up unassisted. But many bouncers also convert into a range of positions. So, before adjusting the position, ensure that your baby will still be safely positioned without the risk of injury or excessive pressure on their neck or head.

Ease of assembly

Bouncers are usually very easy to assemble. But always check the product description or review the website for other parental reviews that outline how easy — or difficult — it is to assemble an item.

Portability

There are a range of reasons why you might prioritize a portable bouncer. You might want to move it around the house, take it with you when you travel, or just store it out of sight when it’s not in use. You’re going to want to look for models that fold flat or come with a cover to keep it clean when not in use.

Additional features

Extra options like vibrations, music, and even mobiles or toy bars are nice additional features that can turn your bouncer into an invaluable tool to keep your little one occupied and content. Often, these are standard features that most major brands include in their models. So, you don’t have to view these options as a splurge.

Budget

It’s not necessary to spend a premium price to get a quality item with the features you need. We’ve highlighted a range of options from budget friendly to median to luxury pricing. But within each range, you should be able to find a bouncer that offers a safe place to keep your baby along with value added features like vibrations, sounds, and mobiles or toy bars.

Safety regulations

If you’re buying a new bouncer or are putting it on your baby registry, you can rest assured that it meets safety regulations as set forth by the CPSC. But if you’re buying or receiving a second-hand model, always check that it’s not listed on any safety recall product lists and always inspect the product for signs of damage or wear that might impact its safety.

Even if you have plans to be the most hands-on parent that ever existed, the time is going to come when you need to put your baby down to free up your hands. And sometimes, simply putting them on the floor on a playmat isn’t going to cut it.

In other cases, sometimes you just can’t compete with the soothing rhythm or vibration of a bouncer when your baby is fussy. A bouncer can help to keep your little ones safely entertained or calm a fussy baby.