For some reason that I can’t explain, the conventional wisdom for the design of baby bouncers seems to be to go as gaudy and cheesy as possible—just splash that sucker with a whole bunch of primary colors or washed-out light pink or baby blue, and don’t forget to add cartoons of baby rattles and bottles. Not that it’s impossible for bright colors and bold patterns to look good, but typical bouncers scream, “BABY!” when many parents would prefer something that speaks a bit more softly.
Fortunately, there are plenty of products on the market that offer you the convenience you need and the design you want. Here are a few of my favorites that combine tasteful, modern style with much-needed utility.
It’s a little known fact that BabyBjörn’s first product was a bouncer! The Balance is compact, simple, portable and it works.
BabyBjörn Balance ($199.95)
The Nuna LEAF is one of the hottest products around! It silently sways from side to side for up to two minutes with just one push, and it’s super-comfy for babies. It also holds up to 130 pounds, so it will grow with your baby for years to come.
Nuna LEAF ($219.95)
Stokke Steps is a new seating system from one of the best brands in the baby business. It’s unique because it extends the usefulness of your baby seat. It starts off as a bouncer, and when baby is older, you can fasten it to the Stokke Steps Chair so he or she can see you at eye level when you’re sitting around the table. When your baby grows out of the bouncer stage, you can start using the Stokke Steps Chair as a high chair.
Stokke Steps (Bouncer: $199.99, Chair: $279.99)
If you love beautiful design, the Bloom Coco is the bouncer for you! You can choose both the base color and the cushion color to fit your taste—it’s even available in gold or silver metallic.
Bloom Coco ($239.99)
The Tiny Love Take-Along Bouncer is a simple, modern design at an affordable price. It’s also lightweight and folds compactly to go anywhere!
Tiny Love Take-Along Bouncer ($44.99)
Because you are Project Nursery readers, I know design is important to you, and if you’re using a baby product every day, you want it to look good. Trust me—you will use your bouncer every day. After three kids of my own and recommending products to hundreds of parents over the past ten years at Magic Beans, I’ve come to the conclusion that great baby bouncers are essential in the transition to parenthood.
In those first couple of weeks after you come home with your new baby, you will learn about yourself as a parent just as much as you’ll be learning about your new baby. Your baby will be with you almost constantly, and you’ll be busy with holding, feeding and rocking, but there will also be times when you’ll need to put the baby down—to eat, to take a shower or to go to the bathroom—so a light, portable baby bouncer that you can take from room to room is absolutely indispensable.
Update: The Stokke Steps Bouncer was recalled on July 25, 2019.
If you own the affected product, refer to the recall announcement for details on how to get the repair kit.