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Do You Really Need a Glider (or Rocker) for Your Baby? (Pros & Cons)

Do You Really Need a Glider (or Rocker) for Your Baby? (Pros & Cons)

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If you are designing your nursery, looking for something new, or even just interested in different alternatives to the standard air chair, gliders and rockers are likely something that family and friends have brought up as suggestions to you. But do you need a glider or rocker for your baby?

Most parents who have had a glider in their baby’s nursery consider them a necessity because of their comforting motion. In addition to a smooth front-to-back motion, many gliders are able to spin, and some even come with gliding ottomans. If you do not have the space or budget for a glider, many household seating options make great alternatives.

Keep reading to find out what makes a glider or rocker a nursery mainstay, plus the pros and cons of each.

Is a nursery glider or rocker necessary?

Whether you plan on going all out of your little one’s nursery or you’re planning on room-sharing for the first year, you’ll need somewhere to feed, comfort, and bond with your baby. Many parents will swear that you need an expensive nursery glider to ensure that you’re both comfortable, but is it really a necessity?

Gliders and rockers aren’t necessary to have in the house. They do bring a certain level of comfort and functionality for most parents, but there are certainly other great options – some that you may already have around the house. If you have the money (and space), they can be worth it but aren’t required to properly take care of your baby.

They can be fun to have around. They may even seriously help you with feeding, entertaining, and putting your baby to sleep! It is, in the end, up to your personal preference after all. 

What is a nursery glider?

 Are you looking for a new chair for your nursery? Maybe that old armchair your parents gave you when you got married just isn’t cutting it anymore. We get it, we’ve all been there. When having a new child we want the best of the best for them and nothing short. Some people may suggest a glider to you. But what is a glider, you ask?

A glider is a chair similar to a rocking chair or armchair. It is mounted on a stationary track that allows the user to noiselessly move forward and back in a smooth and easy motion. Some glider chairs even come with a 360° swivel option. They may also come with an ottoman or rocker option.

Gliders in your nursery can be a very beneficial piece of furniture to have when you spend a good deal of time in there comforting, feeding, and cuddling with your little ones. These chairs are even said to simulate the movement of the womb. 

Are gliders good for babies?

 Gliders are said to provide your babies with the simulation of movement within the womb, which could in turn comfort them to a higher degree. But are they truly good for them? Are there any safety features to look out for?

There are a few different tips you could use to ensure that your baby, and you, remain safe while the glider is both in and out of use

  • Lock the glider – Locking the glider when not in use can prevent your baby from climbing and falling, getting their fingers or toes stuck in the mechanism underneath, and help the chair from moving around if there is a swivel option.
  • Do not place near windows or other high ledges – Keeping the glider on a flat, non-elevated surface while maintaining distances from places like the window, crib, changing table, or other otherwise high ledges can keep your baby from exploring and climbing only to fall and get hurt.
  • Use covers to keep the mechanism out of reach – With the little gears and moving parts of the mechanism underneath exposed, babies can find themselves getting fingers caught, and even with a locking mechanism to stop this, babies may still be injured. It is best to make sure these sections are enclosed and out of reach.

What is the best glider for a nursery?

We understand that deciding on a product when there are dozens, sometimes hundreds, of options out there can be a very daunting process. We don’t imply that we are experts in anything, however, we do like to do research and find the best and most affordable products whenever possible.

We want you, your little ones, and your family to be as safe as possible while still not emptying your pocket at the same time.

For our money, the best nursery gliders available are:

 While being incredibly affordable and readily available, this glider is said to be worth every penny spent.

At just under $150, you can be expected to save a significant amount of money while still being able to have the appropriate level of comfort and functionality.

This glider offers a spacious seating room and both the glider and the ottoman glide simultaneously to offer both you and your little ones the comfort for any need you may have. With storage in the arms for books, feeding essentials, and anything else you may need during your time in the chair, you are covered with comfort, functionality, and mobility.

Windsor Glider and Ottoman

Similar to the Storkcraft glider in both price and design, this glider is just as affordable at around $150.

Not only is this glider affordable but it is also spacious, meaning the seating room and ottoman space are both plenty for you and your baby to relax on.

This glider has removable cushions for easy cleaning. Cushion all around, storage pockets, and a beautiful finish are all incorporated into this glider. An affordable and obvious choice when trying to find comfort and watch the pocket.

What is a nursery rocker? 

Nursery rockers, not to be confused with nursery gliders, are similar but offer a different functionality. Both chairs rock back and forth and have similar options in comfort and durability. 

Rockers are an armchair similar to gliders or armchairs. They tend to have curved legs which allow for the chair to rock back and forth – hence the name – and give the user a strong and consistent motion. They come in various shapes and sizes and some offer cushions for comfort.

Whether it is for your nursery, your front porch, or even a den or living room, rockers are great for comforting, feeding, and relaxing snuggles with your little ones. Are they good for your babies? Are there affordable but dependable rockers out there?

Are rockers good for babies?

Similar to the nursery glider, the safety risks of a rocker are almost identical.

When using a rocker in the nursery, you should beware of:

  • Fingers – Even without a load of mechanisms underneath rockers, you should always ensure that when near one, it doesn’t rock back and forth while your baby’s fingers are underneath the legs. This could of course cause injuries to their tiny little fingers.
  • Assisted use – It is always recommended to allow your child to use this alone when under direct supervision as they can fall asleep and potentially lay face first in the cushions and suffocate.
  • Do not place near windows or other ledges – Keeping the rocker out of reach from places like windows, cribs, and otherwise out of reach surfaces keeps your little ones from climbing and falling, preventing possibly severe injuries as a result.

Touching back on the safety risks of the gliders can also aid you in preventing anything from happening to your children and should be taken very seriously to prevent any injuries. 

What is the best rocker for a nursery?

 We aren’t experts, but we do our homework and research the best and most affordable products for our parents who view these articles.

These are a few recommendations to what we believe fit the bill for the best and most affordable rockers:

Paddie Rocking Chair

Costing just under $200, this rocking chair can provide both the comfort and the affordability that you require. 

This chair has a very sturdy design, but also offers great comfort in the level of cushioning it provides.

The spacious and modern feel of the chair allows for all users big and small to be happy and satisfied every time they sit down. This is a chair for not only the parents to help persuade their babies to sleep, but for everyone else in the family to enjoy also.

Avawing Rocking Chair

 Although this beautifully crafted rocking chair is slightly pricier (by less than ten dollars) it is just as comfortable and only slightly less affordable than our previous recommendation, and the reviews are amazing!

This chair also has a sturdy base and offers great stability. It has the comfort of padded cushions on the backrest, headrest, and both arms. It also comes with pockets on the sides to store anything you may need for the occasion.

Baby glider and rocker alternatives

Not everyone needs or wants a dedicated baby chair, however. If you don’t have the space, budget, or interest in purchasing a chair that you’ll probably only use for a few years, try looking around your home for suitable alternatives.

The best alternatives to a glider or rocker are:

  •         Regular rocking chair
  •         Couch
  •         Office chair
  •         Vibrating/rocking bassinet
  •         Recliner

Regular rocking chair

These standard rocking chairs are very similar to gliders and nursery rockers as they have the same purpose. The difference is generally the level of comfort.

If you are unsure if the glider or rocker you were looking at purchasing isn’t going to be useful for very long, these standard rocking chairs are great options that can go anywhere in your home once your baby outgrows them!


If your budget is extremely tight, or you don’t believe a rocking chair would be up to your standards, the couch in your living room can offer an equally as comfortable place to care for your baby.

A couch paired with a great nursing pillow can still provide everything you are looking for.

Office chair

 Even office chairs can become a great alternative if you are trying to find places in your home that you may already have around.

Roll up that office chair and pair it with a nursing pillow. It may not be as comfortable as a glider or rocker, but certain office chairs do recline slightly which could mimic a rocker. They are also very affordable if you don’t own one and want to buy something cheaper than the gliders and rockers.

Vibrating/rocking bassinets

If you aren’t so worried about a comfortable place to feed your baby, but more along the lines of getting them to sleep then check out some of the vibrating and/or rocking bassinets out today.

There are quite a few brands to choose from and each one have their functions and can help put your baby to sleep with ease!


Arguably one of the most comfortable of these alternatives seating arrangements, your living room recliner offers the reclining and sometimes even the rocking motion that you may be seeking while maintaining a beautifully laid-out comfort.

While most recliners cost more than the rest of these alternatives (besides a couch) they are well worth the money and if properly taken care of can be kept around for years to come!

Joshua Bartlett
Joshua Bartlett

My name is Joshua Bartlett I run this blog with my wife Jarah. We have more than 11 years of parenting experience including three girls and one boy. I started this blog in late 2018 when I realized that I was dealing with baby-related issues on a constant basis…please read more about me here!