The 5 Best Baby Bouncers (2017 Guide & Reviews)
Let's face it: if you have a new baby in the house, one "must have" item is definitely a baby bouncer.
With my little guy, he was very active and couldn’t keep his legs still, so this was just what I needed!
Plus, a baby bouncer is a great way to contain your eager baby—especially if you need to cook dinner, swap out the laundry, or simply run to the bathroom.
Without a doubt, a good baby bouncer should be on everyone’s registry, and I'm so glad I had mine, because I got a lot of use out of it!
Baby Bouncer Reviews
The Tiny Love Gymini Bouncer (click here to check the price on Amazon) has the type of aesthetic that you may readily associate with a bouncer or any similar baby toy. You got your bright color scheme, you got your whimsical artwork, and you have some happy smiling animal toys for your baby to engage.
But there’s more to this bouncer than what initially meets the eye. A smart combo of music and lights keeps your baby stimulated throughout the session, while calming vibrations can act as a soothing conduit for calmness.
What we like
- Your baby won’t be bored. There’s plenty of things going on here to keep your baby completely engaged during his or her session. The bouncer’s overall design also makes it easy for you to attach your own toys to its arch-like frame, providing even more fun opportunities for stimulation.
- Easy access. It’s very easy to set up your baby in the chair, and it’s equally easy to pull him or her out when the session is over with. Just as importantly, when your baby is settled into the bouncer, he or she will be extremely secure.
- A very comfortable product for babies. Plenty of parents give the bouncer high marks for being soft and cozy. Plus, it’s adjustable nature makes it a good bouncer for acid reflux babies to fall asleep.
Things to be aware of
- Can be tough to assemble. Some parents do note that the Tiny Love Gymini Bouncer isn’t the easiest thing to put together in comparison to some of the other bouncers on the market. This may be something to note if you’re not mechanically inclined.
- The music can get obnoxious. While the repetitive nature of kids’ music in various toys is bound to get on your nerves time and again, a few parents have noted the music on this toy can be particularly annoying. Adjust your expectations accordingly.
- No automatic vibration timer. Some parents note that the bouncer’s vibration action has to be switched off manually. If you’re not diligent with switching the bouncer on and off, you may end up going through more batteries than you’d anticipate.
BabyBjorn’s brand has become strong enough to enter that rarified air where a product becomes a replacement noun for the product field. And their baby bouncer (click here to check the price on Amazon) has plenty of examples as to why this is the case.
Its sleek, ergonomic design looks handsome, but it’s more importantly designed to provide your baby with a snug, comfortable measure of support to his or her neck and back.
What’s more, it can be shaped into four positions that work for rest and play, and this malleability makes folding it up for storage or transportation a snap.
What we like
- It’s not an eyesore. This may seem like a minor plus at first, until you think about how many baby products have an aesthetic that sticks out like a sore thumb – especially when you have people over. This bouncer’s design is handsome to the point where you won’t mind if it becomes a permanent fixture in your living room.
- Sturdy build without sacrificing comfort. Your baby will get comfy when he or she nestles into this bouncer, which will be a prime source for smiles. You’ll appreciate it on a different level because there is a strong framework behind the comfort, one that can take a whole lot of bouncy beatings over time.
- It can easily to adjust to a baby’s development. Because the BabyBjorn can adjust into four different positions, you won’t have to worry about your baby outgrowing the chair once a certain milestone is achieved. This gives the bouncer an extra sense of flexibility that other bouncers may not have.
Things to be aware of
- It can get dirty quickly. Its fabric has a tendency to gather lint and debris rapidly. This could be an issue for you, especially if you’re planning on taking the bouncer outside on occasion.
- Not the easiest to clean. Some parents report that the bouncer is difficult to clean, partially because it needs to be washed gently than other bouncer fabrics. This could quickly become a cumbersome chore if you find yourself constantly having to clean up remnants of baby poop.
- It doesn’t look like baby gear. One of the bouncer’s biggest pluses may be viewed as its biggest minus, depending on your point of view. This certainly doesn’t have the appearance of a brightly colored, wildly designed baby product. If your idea of having a baby comes with images of bright baby stuff in your living room, this may disappoint you.
Fisher-Price is a brand that has spanned generations, and will most likely continue to do so for generations to come. Their lightweight Deluxe Bouncer (click here to check the price on Amazon) demonstrates that they aren’t merely resting on the laurels of their good name.
Equipped with soft fabric, a strong base, and an adjustable belt harness to ensure proper safety – not to mention a couple of stimulating gizmos – the bouncer is designed to provide engaging fun for your baby in style.
What we like
- Easy to clean.The Fisher-Price Deluxe Bouncer’s plush pad can be machine washed and dried along with all of your other clothes that require cold water and a low tumble dry. It’s easy to access, too. All you need to do is remove it from the frame.
- Just the right amount of stimulation. The bouncer’s simple inclusion of nature sounds, eight songs, an easy vibrating mechanism, and a charming bird mobile that gently sways overhead will keep your baby engaged. This modest number of gizmos may appeal to those that feel some brands engulf babies in overstimulation.
- Light and portable. The frame is sturdy, but it’s also lightweight. As such, you won’t have any problem transporting it from room to room – even outside. The fact that it’s also easy to clean may give you more confidence to take it multiple spaces.
Things to be aware of
- The vibration isn’t as strong as other bouncers. The subtle nature of the bouncer’s vibration may make it somewhat tough for some babies to feel. Ultimately, this may make it a little tough to get the desired happy response when the vibration is turned on.
- It takes up a little more room than you may think. The bouncer has a surprisingly wide base, considering how light it is. This surface area may make it a bit tough for you to set the bouncer aside when it’s not in use.
- Some questionable design elements. A few parents have noted that the bouncer has a couple of harder plastic elements that larger babies may be able to inadvertently kick during their play session. If your baby skews in the larger percentile, this may be something to bear in mind.
In a world where baby products can become overstuffed with whistles, bells, and other elements that take the stimulation process up to “11,” it’s nice that there are still some items on the market that keep things simple.
This Fisher-Price Comfort Curve Bouncer (click here to check the price on Amazon) goes back to the basics, presenting a brightly colored, compact bouncer that delivers soothing comfort, snug security, and just enough toy-fueled engagement to keep your baby happy.
What we like
- Simple, streamlined design keeps things easy. There’s not much to this bouncer, which some parents may see a beautiful thing. It’s sleek, edge-free design doesn’t take up a huge hunk of space, and the removable toy bar is as uncomplicated as it gets. Add in the gentle vibration, and you may find the device to be a simple way for your baby to have fun.
- Terrific portability. Because the bouncer has such a small surface area, it almost goes without saying that it’s a very portable device. This could be a particularly important feature if you’re a parent that’s planning on taking your baby out and about.
- It has great back support for newborns. The curvy design of the bouncer provides excellent back support for babies, especially for newborns. This can be an important component to keep in mind as their bodies continue to develop.
Things to be aware of
- The toy bar is too high. Some parents say that the toy bar sets the toys that dangle from it too far out of the reach of babies. This issue even comes from parents of babies that are in higher percentiles. This potential inability to engage the toys in that manner could cause your baby to lose interest in them.
- The vibration is too subtle for some. Some parents point out that the bouncer’s vibrating action is a bit too gentle to have the desired impact on their baby. This could be a potential red flag if you’re planning on using the bouncer a means to consistently soothe your baby.
- Part of the design may interfere with larger babies. A few parents have noted that the bouncer does contain a plastic piece in its front that some larger babies may be able to accidentally kick during playtime. This may mean that your baby may outgrow the chair sooner than you may want him or her to.
Bright Starts’ Baby Bouncer (click here to check the price on Amazon) keeps things simple and sweet in more ways than one. Adorned with bright colors and whimsical characters, the bouncer is pretty adorable even without your baby in its soft, comfy seat.
Once your baby’s in the chair, he or she will find a solid array of stimulation in the form of interactive toys and calming vibrations. It’s the kind of bouncer you tend to picture in your head even before you go on the hunt for a good bouncer.
What we like
- Easy maintenance. The Bright Stars Jungle Steam Bouncer’s fabric is machine washable, which makes it very easy to clean up. Its light frame also makes it a snap to carry around with you and move to various rooms in your home.
- Simple, no-frills design. There’s not a whole lot of stuff going on here to overstimulate your baby. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing. The jungle-themed toys, vibrant colors, and gentle vibration provides just enough entertainment to keep your baby engaged and involved.
- A comfortable seat. Lots of parents that like the bouncer point to how comfortable it makes their baby. Its cozy, deep, pocket-like chair makes it easy for babies to nestle, making it easy for them to settle into that sometimes-elusive nap.
Things to be aware of
- It’s extremely basic. If you’re looking for a bouncer that has something beyond the basics, this may not be the option you’re looking for. People do note that this is about as bare-bones of a bouncer as you’ll find on the market.
- The toys aren’t as engaging as the toys on other models. Some parents note that the toys attached to the bouncer aren’t quite as stimulating as they hoped. Some of the toys can be made more engaging by parental involvement, but your baby may find them to be a tough sell on their own.
- The vibration isn’t too strong. A few parents have noted that the vibration goes about its business too gently. This could be a potential issue if you’re counting on having a strong vibration mechanism to help soothe your baby’s nerves.
Why you really need a baby bouncer.
There are a lot of benefits to having a baby bouncer in your home—here are some of my favorites.
- Portability. I always moved my bouncer from room to room, even taking it outside on nice days. My son was always happy and bouncing away, in any room he was stationed in. Not only that, I was able to move the bouncer out of the living room when we had company over and my son had gone down for the night.
- Developmentally friendly. Most bouncers have colorful and noisy toys to manipulate, which is great for developing fine motor skills. Plus, it’s a great way to keep a baby’s interest if they are giving their legs a break from jumping. Bouncers also refine a baby’s gross motor skills—like jumping. They strengthen the legs, feet, and toes.
- Mind stimulation. Many bouncers play music, which is known to soothe and stimulate the mind. In addition to helping develop fine motor skills, a bouncer’s items also interest babies and help them problem solve, identify items, and classify them in a number of ways. My son was always trying to figure out how to put certain shaped items back into their place, and he was always tapping away on the keys of the attached piano.
- Body stimulation. Some babies have more energy than others. My son was always naturally curious and “busy.” A bouncer really helped tire him out and do so in a safe and confined way! I made it a point to let him bounce away a half hour or so before nap time or bed time to really ensure he exhausted his little body!
- Keeps baby stationary. As I mentioned before, I liked having my son with me so I could keep an eye on him if I needed to get dinner started, put the laundry away, or even take a shower. A baby bouncer is a great item to keep babies stationary when you need to get a few things done or simply don’t have your hands free.
- Nap time prep. Sometimes, I’d put my son on the jumper a little bit before it was time for his nap. The combination of the movement and the activity would often help him push out that last bit of energy that may have otherwise kept him up. Sometimes, he’d even end up catching a few “Zs” in the bouncer.
- Soothes your baby. Sometimes, your baby will just get grumpy. When my son did, putting him in the bouncer calmed him down in relatively short order. Needless to say, his happiness helped stopped my nerves from fraying on more than one occasion.
- Gives you time. Let’s face it: we all need a break every once in a while. I don’t mean extended “me time” here – just a few minutes here and there to do very basic grown-up things, including simply having my hands free long enough to do a chore or two. A baby bouncer gives you a chance to do that while your little one busies himself.
Things to look for in a good baby bouncer.
While there are a lot of baby bouncers on the market, make sure yours checks off most (if not all) of these boxes:
- Durable. Your baby is going to be using their bouncer a lot, so you want something that can hold up to a lot of wear and tear, and is able to sustain lots of movement and bouncing.
- Portable. A bouncer should be able to be moved from room to room with ease, absolutely! This is more important than you may think – especially if you’re planning on having family or friends come over on occasion.
- Easy to clean. All that jumping can make a baby’s bottle or baby food come right up! Look for something that has a cloth seat that is easy to remove for washing reasons, but also a smooth surface that is easy to wipe down (and doesn’t have to many nooks and crannies for the spit up to slide into—yuck!).
- Colorful. A bright and colorful bouncer will be interesting and inviting to your little one! It will also stimulate their mind and senses!
- Full of hands-on manipulatives. Babies get tired quickly because they jump so hard in a bouncer. It is essential that your bouncer is filled with other attached manipulatives that allow them to explore, improve their fine motor skills, and even introduce them to basic colors and shapes.
- Attached teether. My bouncer’s attached teether was amazing. My son always had something to gnaw on and that wasn’t able to hit the ground if it slipped out of his mouth or if he threw it.
- Makes music. Music is an added bonus! You can find a bouncer that plays a variety of different tunes while bouncing, or that plays sounds after some of the items on the bouncer are manipulated.
- Comes with a warranty. Chances are, you are going to be spending a lot of money on a bouncer, so you want to make sure it comes with some kind of warranty in case a part malfunctions. It’s a great way to protect your investment.
- Easy to put together. A bouncer should not be too difficult to assemble—it should come in only a few parts that are simple to slide on or snap together.
- Comfortable. If a bouncer isn’t comfy for your baby, it’s simply not worth your time! You’ll want to pay special attention to make sure the seat material is soft and free of coarse seams. Making sure the bouncer has sufficient padding is also very important.
- Head support. Newborns can’t support their head or neck by themselves, so it’s very important that your bouncer has a cushioned head support to add a layer of protection. The one I bought for my son had a removable head support, so he could still use it comfortably even after he was able to hold his head upright.
Keeping things safe.
Safety first should always be the motto that guides you to purchasing anything for your baby. So when it comes time to pick up a baby bouncer, it’s important that you keep an eye out for the following safety features:
- Weight limit. Any reputable baby bouncer will feature a maximum weight capacity as provided by the manufacturer. This weight limit is not universal; it does fluctuate from bouncer to bouncer. The limit will also typically give you a bead on how long it will be before your baby outgrows the device.
- Protection from the elements. Chances are you’re going to be taking the baby bouncer outside so your baby can frolic in the open air. In this case, it may behoove you to purchase a bouncer that comes with a sunshade, lest your baby’s delicate skin get burnt.
- Secure straps. Your baby will obviously be bouncing in the bouncer, and this bouncing could get a tad bit rambunctious. Good, secure straps will help keep things under control. A good bouncer will have straps that are strong, durable, and comfy.
It’s also very important that you exhibit a strong measure of common sense to keep your baby safe. The general rule of thumb here is, if you think a certain action is potentially unsafe, it probably is.
For instance, don’t ever leave your baby in the bouncer unattended. Even if you think your baby is completely strapped in and safe, mistakes happen.
Additionally, you shouldn’t keep your baby in the bouncer for an extended period of time. The general rule of thumb here is you should limit their bouncing sessions to 30 minutes.
Finally, don’t ever transport the bouncer with a baby in the seat. Even if the bouncer has carrying handles, the extra weight can put undue stress on the device. It’s not too kind to the baby, either.
The Tiny Love Gymini Bouncer really stands out because it provides a well-rounded bouncer experience for your baby from top to bottom. For one thing, it looks like a baby’s toy, which is a bonus. More to the point, it acts like a baby bouncer should: it engages, stimulates the senses, and can calm your baby down if need be.
Yes, the music that emanates from the bouncer may be a little bit nerve-wracking. However, this really shouldn’t be the thing that prevents you from getting this bouncer. After all, obnoxious noises are an important part of the baby-raising experience, and they always should be.
A baby bouncer really is a great item to own, and can do wonders for a baby’s developmental skills.
Plus, I loved knowing I always had a safe but stimulating place to put my baby if I needed to do something around my home, or if we were going somewhere and I needed to keep a close eye on my son.