As much as any of us love cradling and rocking our precious bundles, there are a few flaws in the idea of doing this for hours on end.
First up, back ache and arm ache. Those muscles need a break occasionally - this is never truer than once your teeny little newborn has started to bulk up and gain weight.
Secondly, life. Arms, and their attached hands, need to be doing other things - making coffee for instance. Plus laundry. So much laundry!
And then there are the times when you need to shower, change, cook … the list goes on.
The point is, just as most adults love the sensation of sinking in and stretching out on an armchair, babies love to kick back in a rocker or bouncer.
The best baby bouncers are ones which will keep your baby both relaxed and entertained, with features that enable soothing movement. You may also want to look out for additions providing visual, aural and tactile stimulation.
Newborns, whose neck muscles aren’t yet fully developed, may need additional head support to stop their heads rolling to the side, so chairs with attachments that can be removed as the baby develops and grows are useful.
Removable, washable covers are a huge bonus, too, as is portability: you may need to carry the bouncer from room to room (not with the baby in it!) as you go through your day.
Best Baby Bouncers 2019
Stokke Steps Bouncer
Norwegian brand Stokke has long been synonymous with adaptability and growing with your child. Their Steps system is no exception: not only can the baby bouncer be raised to table height to ensure maximum engagement, but it can also be adapted, over time, to become a high chair.
While you’re still revelling in all the baby-baby love, you can enjoy the inclusion of a newborn insert; there’s also the fact that it has been designed with the input of a paediatric physiotherapist to ensure that it accurately mimics the feeling of being in a parent’s arms.
There’s a hanging toy (it hangs a bit low, so you may want to adjust) but it’s removable if baby’s not in the mood. Easy to clean, easy to assemble and stylish to boot - yes, the price tag is relatively high but may well be justified by the bouncer’s longevity.
£149 | Stokke | Buy it now
Mothercare Motion Rocker
Suitable from birth to about 6 months, this baby rocker pretty much dispenses with the need for a Moses basket, allowing a newborn to lie flat or, as they get older, to be lowered down from the sitting position for a nap.
The gentle rocking motion calms and soothes, and can be switched from side-to-side to front-to-back, according to which your baby seems to prefer.
Entertainment is provided by way of two soft animals on the detachable toy bar, plus optional music and vibrations; meanwhile, a three-point harness system keeps your baby safe. The chic greige fabric will blend seamlessly with most decors but is spot-clean only.
£70 | Mothercare | Buy it now
Baby Bjorn Bouncer Bliss
No batteries are required for this delightful little baby bouncer, so the motion by which your baby is soothed is all completely natural, caused by the baby’s own movements.
An ergonomic design ensures top-notch support for newborns, while a simple base mechanism changes position from upright to reclining, depending on whether your baby is alert or relaxed.
Removable and machine washable, the fabric covering comes in either soft jersey, cotton or mesh and the bouncer folds away flat for easy storage and travel.
There’s a lot of life in this baby bouncer, too - you can reverse the fabric covering on the frame to make a toddler chair suitable up to age 2.
£149.99 | Baby Bjorn | Buy it now
Charlie Crane Levo Baby Rocker
Featuring a sleek wooden frame and a selection of removable, washable fabric covers, the Charlie Crane Levo baby rocker will swiftly get your baby accustomed to the more aesthetically pleasing things in life.
Suitable for up to 7 months, baby is kept secure with a harness, but the absence of a head support means that newborns may occasionally require their position to be adjusted.
Quick to assemble and easy to transport, it responds to baby’s own movements and lacks any stimulation (by way of toys, music or visuals) for a soothing and natural experience.
£184.95 | Scandiborn | Buy it now
Also available on Amazon
BÉABA Up & Down Bouncer
Well, parenting is full of ups and downs, so why shouldn’t infant furniture be, too? A simple click provides four different heights on this baby bouncer, which is suitable for up to 6 months, so that your baby can be soothed and stimulated by family activity and companionship - being raised up to table level at mealtimes, for example.
A soft padded cushion ensures baby is comfy, and newborn head support is provided by way of an integrated head hugger. Constipation an issue? This baby bouncer has you covered, with hip flexion that facilitates bowel functions, while the 3-point reclining backrest allows you to lay your baby flat if they nod off while sitting or reclining.
£150 | Boots | Buy it now
Mamas & Papas Capella Bouncing Cradle
This baby bouncer is dubbed ‘dream upon a cloud’ thanks to its sweet cloud design, but there’s a whole bundle of fun to be had here when your baby is wakeful, from the detachable toy bar, from which toys contain intriguing rattles dangle, to four different melodies and soothing, battery-operated vibrations - plus the bouncing generated by baby’s own movements, of course.
The wipeable fabric makes for swift and easy cleaning and the cosy head hugger is machine washable, taking the stress out of the occasional drool incident. Suitable up until 6 months or 9 kg, it’s a stylish piece of kit that’s easy to transport and store.
£59 | Mamas & Papas | Buy it now
BabaBing! LoBo2 Baby Bouncer
This is a stylish baby bouncer with a unique and patented leaf spring design that smoothly works with your baby’s own range of motion for its bounce, so parents worried about harsh, juddering movements and tinny music can toss those AA batteries to one side.
Companionship comes by way of cute little monster toys, which dangle temptingly from the overarching toy bar - but babies, like monsters, are unpredictable creatures and if they suddenly seem to decide they hate their new friends, the toy bar is easily removed.
With two positions - reclining and upright - theLoBo2 bouncer is suitable from birth to 6 months and made from wipeable and machine washable materials, keeping baby clean and grot-free when chilling out.
£49.99 | BabaBing! | Buy it now
4Moms mamaRoo Rocker
If part of your ‘buying for baby’ mentality is ‘I’ll show Smug Stephanie from the NCT group a thing or two,’ then look no further than the 4Moms mamaRoo Rocker: it’s the salve for every competitive urge.
Does your baby always nod off in the car? Don’t leave the house - just turn the motion dial to ‘car ride’ and you’re away; there’s also kangaroo, tree swing, rock-a-bye and wave settings from which to choose.
Naturally, it looks super slick and stylish - the perfect complement to a modern home - and features an adjustable seat, machine washable cover and interactive overhead toy mobile.
Choose from four built in sounds (or use MP3 plug in to indoctrinate your baby in your favourites).
It’s also Bluetooth enabled, so you can control motion, speed, sound and volume remotely: you just can’t control whether your baby will roll over or wean before Smug Stephanie’s.
£269.99 | John Lewis | Buy it now
The ability to raise baby up to adult level is an absolute boon, not only for the baby’s entertainment and development, but also for the purposes of saving a parent’s back from the strain or repeated bending and lifting - so, because its usefulness persists beyond six months (even though there are additional purchases to be made after this time) the Stokke Steps Bouncer pips the others to the post.
It’s pricey though (initially, as well as with the extras) so for a more affordable option, the battery-free BabaBing! LoBo2 Baby Bouncer is a winner.