Bouncer vs Swing vs Rocker
Using a baby hammock is one of the best products to calm, amuse, entertain or even put your newborn to sleep during their first months of life.
Motherhood or fatherhood can be quite exhausting at first, and on many occasions, we will want to have a moment of calm and tranquility at home even if the newborn is awake. In these situations, it is infinitely appreciated to have a hammock, a small rocking chair or a best swing for babies.
At present, we can find a huge variety in any of the previous 3 ranges of products discussed. But beware, not all of them are recommended and some have poor security measures, such as the Rock’n Play hammock that was withdrawn from the market because it is a real danger to babies.
So next, we are going to see the characteristics that the best hammocks for babies should contemplate, their benefits that we can obtain. The differences they have compared to using a seesaw, a rocking chair or an electric swing. Finally, we will analyze which are the most recommended brands in this type of childcare products so widely used in our home.
Bouncer vs Swing vs Rocker
We can find up to 3 products that we can use with our baby that are apparently the same, but that actually present substantial differences.
- Baby hammock: it is an almost horizontal seat with a slight inclination, where after sitting the baby only wiggles up and down.
- Electric baby swing: it is a small suspended chair that swings back and forth like a pendulum. It is like the typical park swings but smaller and at ground level.
- Rocking rocker for babies: it is a small chair where its two legs are curved, resting on the floor and where the newborn, once placed, can rock back and forth.
In the end, these three products can be used in the baby with the same purpose, but it is convenient to emphasize a little more the characteristics of each one of them, since in the end the small differences can end up being quite important.
The rocking hammocks for babies are completely made of fabric except for the aluminum legs that act as the base. The great advantage is that simply with the weight of the newborn it works, without needing the help of any adult or electronic device. Once you have placed the little one, simply with its own weight and shake the lounger, it will make the movement up and down.
Another differentiating characteristic is that the speed depends on the wobble or pressure that the baby is exerting. So it is impossible for him to exert so much force that he can be thrown forward or overturn the hammock.
The base being rectangular and covering a large surface of the ground, also allows strengthening stability. So that no matter how much lateral force the baby makes on the sides, the hammock will always be well placed on the ground and will not be able to tip over to one side.
According to the opinions of pediatricians and midwives, their preference is to use a baby hammock rather than a swing or a rocking chair.
Then we have the electric swings for babies. They need more security measures compared to hammocks and rocking chairs.
First, the base must be very well secured to prevent it from tipping over to one of the sides. As you can see in the following image, the side supports are joined at the front and the back, and it also has a central reinforcement that joins the front with the rear on the ground.
To the detriment of a hammock, to use a baby swing you need the help of an adult or that an electric battery or batteries activate the movement, since the newborn cannot get the momentum to swing by himself.
It is obvious that when treating a product for use in babies, the different speeds that it has configured will be smooth to avoid that the newborn can get dizzy and prevent the seat structure from falling off.
Finally, you can also use a small rocking chair or rocker for the baby. The big difference with respect to the hammocks is that the rocking chair does not swing with the simple weight of the baby, since it requires force in the area of the back or in the feet so that it can rock back and forth. So this time you will need your mom or dad to push the rocking chair lightly from time to time.
As you have seen, of the 3 products it is best to use a baby hammock since it works without any help due to its same weight; and they are also safer and more stable.
When to use a baby hammock or swing or rocker?
You can use a baby hammock or swing or rocker from the second month when the newborn is already able to hold his head up. In the end, it depends on the physical evolution that you develop, since in some cases it may be that after the third week you can lift your chin and turn your head to the sides.
If you read in any other blog that you can put the newborn in a hammock from the first day, we indicate that it is more advisable to wait for him to keep his head up. Imagine how uncomfortable it must be to swing the little one and have his head turned to the side because he does not have enough strength.
When you go to buy the best baby hammock, an electric swing or the rocking chair, they always indicate the maximum weight they can hold. It is usually up to 8 or 9 kilos in weight. In any case, when the baby begins to walk or crawl, its use begins to be counterproductive, since while it is swinging, it may want to undo it or force itself to leave and end up overturning.
So, as a general rule, the use of hammocks, swings or rocking chairs for babies is recommended from the second month of life to approximately 18 months.
Regardless of the product you choose, you should keep in mind that you should always place the baby hammock on the ground. Don’t put it on the bed, sofa, table, or any other elevated surface; since any possible fall can be very dangerous for the integrity of the newborn.
You can also find some evolutionary rockers, rocking chairs, swings or hammocks so that as the baby grows they can also be used as a chair without a rocker in younger children up to 3 or 4 years old. For example the children’s hammock in the image below.
Regarding the use of hammocks, rocking chairs or swings for babies, indicate that they are only designed for short periods. It is not convenient to leave the newborn on top for many hours since the position is not the most recommended for their body development.
Benefits of hammock, swing and rocker
Next, we are going to see the different utilities that we can obtain when using a baby hammock, an electric swing, a rocking chair or seesaw.
Once you use the hammock for the first time, you can quickly see how the baby is having fun. Just the mere swaying already brings some joy to the little one. As we will see later, many brands also provide a bow with stuffed animals and / or toys so that the newborn can touch them with their little hands.
You can also check how many times they also incorporate music or lights; so that they serve to stimulate the baby’s senses. The touch of the stuffed animals, the sight with the colors they project, or the ear with the sounds they transmit.
The use of hammocks and swings in babies also favors the development of the vestibular system, which regulates the sense of movement and balance. It is one of the first senses to develop in the prenatal stage and from birth. Rocking and turning provide great vestibular stimulation to the brain, helping to better organize and process balance information.
Another function that baby hammocks have is the calming effect. As you may have seen, on many occasions the newborn likes cuddling and being held in a small arm giving it small rocking. On many occasions the hammock, the swing or the rocking chair can also satisfy the little one.
In situations of insomnia or if we see that it is difficult for him to fall asleep at naptime, we can try to leave the baby in his hammock to relax. On many occasions, this trick works and in the end you end up falling asleep. Although it is only recommended for short periods of time, at most an hour.
And of course, whenever the baby hammock is being used it means that we are getting valuable and precious time to enjoy, relax or do some task that is very difficult to do with the newborn by our side.
How should be the best hammock, seesaw or swing?
Next, we are going to indicate the characteristics that the best baby hammock, the best electric swing or the most appropriate rocking chair should have.
The main thing is the physical integrity of the baby and that it does not pose any danger to his life. So within this category we should focus on the following aspects:
- The height of the seat or lounger should always be level with the ground, the lower the height the better.
- Secure restraint harness to prevent baby from undoing or escaping. Usually they are usually 3 points, where it will always be held at the waist and crotch. As these types of items are usually used from a very young age, it is normal that the harness itself often reaches chest height.
- The hammock, swing or baby seesaw begins to be used when he is able to keep his head up. Even so, it is always positive if the backrest has a special shape for the cervical area or even has a reducer to support your head.
- Another aspect to take into account is to make sure that the baby’s feet are not dangling and are always rested. The feeling of tranquility in the newborn and parents will be greater.
- And the last determining aspect in the safety of baby hammocks, swings or rocking chairs is to check that there is a rapid braking system in case we want to remove the newborn immediately.
Another vital issue about hammocks, swings or rocking chairs for babies is the comfort of the seat or cabin. For them we must analyze the following aspects:
- Although the use of these products are intended for short periods, it is always convenient to have an ergonomic position for the baby’s body. Ideally, it should have an egg shape similar to that of a maxicosi.
- Many models of baby bouncers and rocking chairs allow the backrest to be tilted in various positions. The most common position is that it has a 45º incline, which will be the most enjoyable for you. On the other hand, some brands allow intermediate positions up to an almost horizontal one in case the newborn has fallen asleep.
- For summer or hot days it is preferable if the hammock, swing or seesaw is made of breathable fabric to prevent the baby from sweating. As we always indicate, it is preferable that it be 100% cotton natural fabric.
- There will be occasions where the little one dirties the aforementioned fabric. It may be that he spits up a little milk, drools when nibbling on a doll, or any other substance that may stain. So it is very useful that it was removable to be able to machine wash or clean dirty areas in an easy way.
- Regarding the comfort for when the baby is lying in the hammock or sitting on the swing, it also has a positive influence if the backrest and / or the seat has a small soft padding.
Another set of important features to consider is how easy it is to use these types of products. Specifically, we refer to the following points:
- Although the baby hammock, seesaw or swing is designed to be used indoors, it is often one of the first things we keep in the trunk of the car for when we go on trips. So if the baby hammock is portable or foldable, it will be much more comfortable to transport, and it will take up less space at home when we want to store it.
- It is also a plus if the hammock or rocker has handles to grab, in this way it is more comfortable to move and move.
- Especially in baby swings or hammocks when they have music, it is necessary to use batteries or have the battery fully charged. In case of using batteries, the space must be screwed, hidden and out of the child’s reach, to prevent them from being removed and manipulated.
- At the beginning, we have commented that the hammocks for babies, swings or rocking chairs are designed to hold a maximum weight of about 8 kilos. But you can also find some models of evolutionary rockers that can be used for more years, even also as a pushchair during their childhood stage.
To finish with the properties that the best baby hammock should have, there are the complementary utilities that in the end stand out in differentiating one brand from another.
- We have already commented that one of the benefits of hammocks, seesaws and swings for babies is that it strengthens the stimulation of their senses. Especially those that include music or the possibility of hearing curious sounds for the newborn.
- Another very recognized feature in an electric baby swing is the existence of different speeds in the swing. Of course, they will always be smooth and with little speed.
- In electric hammocks, the vibration mode can be found as an additional function, where in the lying position or when the backrest is still without swinging a small tremor.
- A very convenient aspect to consider in this type of product is the level of loudness it emits. When they are electric, with sounds or have the vibration function, they will always be noisy to a greater or lesser extent. Even normal baby hammocks can also make a little squeak if the dock is old or a bit rusty.
- Finally, another differentiating element is the existence of an arch with games, which will be stuffed animals or teethers so that the baby has one more addition to have fun while in the hammock, rocking chair or swing.
As you have seen, it is best to use a baby hammock since fun is guaranteed and it perfectly meets all the comfort and safety conditions. Although lately the electric rocking chairs and swings have more and more followers due to their additional functions that serve to stimulate the development of the little one.