Baby bouncers can soothe, entertain or keep your baby out of harms way if you can’t hold them. Find out how to choose the best.

baby bouncer

Which is the best fit for your baby – a rocker chair or a door bouncer? What sort of baby bouncer features can you expect on your budget? Whether you’re a new parent buying your first baby bouncer or you’re looking for a larger chair fit for a toddler, we can help you spend your money wisely.

We run through the different types of baby bouncer, and reveal the key features to look out for when you’re shopping for a new chair, plus important safety advice.

Which type of baby bouncer should I choose?

Baby bouncer chairs or rocker chairs

These can be simple, with just a few toys attached, or they can be more elaborate – some have a built-in rocking motion or vibration, or even music, to help soothe your baby to sleep.

Just remember that if you go for a baby bouncer like this, you’ll need to use batteries, or get one that plugs in. Some models have a number of different recline positions, which means they’ll work as a toddler seat when your child is older.

Bouncer chairs are for young babies – many are suitable from birth

Bouncer chairs are for young babies – many are suitable from birth – enabling your little one to lightly bounce while they kick and move around. You can use a rocker chair only until your baby is around six-months old, can sit up independently or weighs about 25lb, but always check the instructions that come with your chair.

Door bouncers

With a door bouncer, your baby sits in a special seat that’s attached to a long elasticated strip, the top of which is clamped to the door frame. The baby pushes against the floor with his or her feet, and bounces up and down. You can get fabric or plastic door bouncers, costing between £15 and £70, and some have a small shelf with toys attached.

The bouncing sensation can delight babies – and be hilarious to watch. This will probably be the first time your baby has felt the thrill of being able to move fast using his or her own leg muscles.

Door bouncers can be used from about five to six months of age

However, even babies who love bouncers may tire of them after 10 minutes or so, and you should keep sessions fairly brie f – 15 minutes is fine, 30 minutes the absolute limit. When it comes to using a door bouncer, make sure your door frames and doorways are suitable for it. Narrow doorways aren’t particularly suitable because your baby will bounce sideways as well as up and down, so he or she could knock against the frame. Ensure the bouncer doesn’t slide sideways as the baby is using it. Door bouncers can be used from about five to six-months of age – as soon as your baby can support his or her head.

How much do I need to spend on a baby bouncer or rocker?

The majority of baby bouncers you’ll find in-store and online are available for under £100. At this price point, you’ll get basic features such as bars with hanging plush toys and cushioned foot rests and side supports. Spend a little more, though, and you’ll be looking at baby bouncers that have several different vibrating modes and movement speeds. Prices can rise beyond £200 for chairs that provide adjustable seat recline and built-in musical soundtracks to soothe your baby.

Which baby bouncer brand is the best

? We asked 3,286 parents with children 12 years or under about their experiences using a baby bouncer. Using the feedback we received, we can help you spend your money wisely on the very best baby bouncer brands. In our latest survey (conducted February-March 2019), we ranked the following baby bouncer brands by customer score:

Bright Starts

Chad Valley

Chicco

Fisher-Price

Mothercare

Joie

Can I buy a second-hand baby bouncer chair or rocker?

Yes. If you’re buying a baby bouncer second-hand, make sure you check its condition – look particularly for cracks or weaknesses – and check it’s not a recalled product by visiting the Trading Standards website.

baby bouncer

Baby bouncer safety tips

Whichever type of baby bouncer you choose, make sure that the frame is sturdy and solid, as it will need to take the weight of your baby. You should also check the minimum and maximum weights on the bouncer.

Clear a space

Make sure there is plenty of room for your baby to bounce; for example, if it’s a door bouncer, check that the cord isn’t too long to avoid your baby hitting the floor.

Check the straps

The bouncer must have at least a three-point harness – preferably a five-point one – to stop your baby from falling out.

Check the straps

The bouncer must have at least a three-point harness – preferably a five-point one – to stop your baby from falling out.

Look for a safety mark

Your baby bouncer should have the BS EN 14036:2003 safety mark. This indicates that the product complies with the appropriate safety standards.

Stay alert

Keep an eye on your little one, and make sure the bouncer is well away from hazards, such as heaters or wires.

Never place a rocker chair on a raised or soft surface, such as your bed, in case your baby makes it move enough for it to drop off the edge, or tip over. Never place a rocker chair on a raised or soft surface, such as your bed, in case your baby makes it move enough for it to drop off the edge, or tip over.

Use a flat surface

Never place a rocker chair on a raised or soft surface, such as your bed, in case your baby makes it move enough for it to drop off the edge, or tip over. Never place a rocker chair on a raised or soft surface, such as your bed, in case your baby makes it move enough for it to drop off the edge, or tip over.

Never place a rocker chair on a raised or soft surface, such as your bed, in case your baby makes it move enough for it to drop off the edge, or tip over. Never place a rocker chair on a raised or soft surface, such as your bed, in case your baby makes it move enough for it to drop off the edge, or tip over.

Best baby bouncer brands

Baby bouncers are a great way to keep your baby active and entertained, and can help to soothe little ones to sleep.

Baby in a bouncer chair

To help you pick the most reliable baby bouncer brand for you and your child, we’ve ranked the top brands for customer satisfaction. Our guide to the best baby bouncer brands includes some familiar names – Fisher Price, Joie and Mothercare are among those rated by parents who’ve owned one of their bouncers. When you can buy a baby bouncer for as little as £15 or spend up to £100, our guide to the best baby bouncer brands will tell you whether it’s worth splashing out on more expensive baby bouncers with features such as built-in vibrating motion and toy bars.

Best and worst baby bouncer brands

Our table below summarizes the results of our latest baby bouncer customer survey. Baby bouncer brands are ranked by their customer score which refers to whether customers would recommend the brand. Six baby bouncer brands were included in our survey, with a 13% difference between the top-scoring and lowest-scoring brands.

Baby bouncer brands Customer score (%)

Joie 81% Bright Starts 79%

Fisher-Price 77%

Mother care 75% Chicco 70%

Chad Valley 68%

Which baby bouncers are popular with parents?

As part of our latest baby bouncer survey, we quizzed parents on which baby bouncers they were using at home. Two baby bouncer brands in particular stood out as the most commonly used.

Fisher-Price Mothercare Chicco Bright Starts, Chad Valley, Red Kite Baby Bjorn Obaby Joie Bloom are 22% ,22%, 15%, 12%, 10%, 9%, 8%, 7%, 7% and 6% popular among parents respectively.

As you can see, Fisher-Price and Mothercare are tied as our two most popular baby bouncer brands. Fisher-Price sells a range of colourful, attention-grabbing baby bouncers on its website. Some of the brand’s chairs, including the Kick n’ Play Musical Bouncer and Rainforest Friends Comfort Curve Bouncer, come with entertaining toy bars.

Mothercare has more than 50 ‘bouncing cradles and rockers’ online, with prices starting at around £10 and rising to a hefty £300. The brand’s priciest baby bouncer at the time of writing is the 4moms mamaroo 4.0. It offers parents five unique motions and speeds and is suitable from birth up to 9kg. The bouncer has its own sound library, but you can connect an MP3 player if you want to use your own playlist.

Baby bouncer features to look out for

baby bouncer

When it comes to shopping for a new baby bouncer, keep an eye out for these features:

Toy bar – if you want your little one to stay entertained while they’re sat in their bouncer, look for a model with a toy bar

Built-in rocking motion – depending on the baby bouncer you buy, you may be able to choose between different rocking motions and speeds

Built-in vibration – a vibrating motion can help soothe your baby to sleep

Recline positions – pick a baby bouncer with different recline positions and it will last longer, effectively transforming into a toddler seat as your child grows