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Good, better, best: 3 baby bouncers your little one will love

A baby bouncer is one of those items you don’t absolutely “need,” but trust us when we say there will come a day when you desperately want one. It’s nice to have a place to put a fussy or bored baby; like all of us, a little one can benefit from a change of scenery and a fresh perspective. A bouncer gives them a designated place to recline, play, and, yes, bounce to their heart’s content (aka burn energy so they’ll nap later).

Of course, there are lots of baby bouncers to choose from. While some might be grouped with swings and fancy 360-degree rotating options, we’re going to distinctly classify them as a simple seat that bounces up and down and/or subtly sways. They may be battery-operated or propelled by a gentle push from Mom or Dad (or, better yet by the crazy kicks of an excited infant). Pretty straightforward, right? You can find bouncy seats at a wide array of price points — and it’s hard to decide whether to go simple and affordable or sleek and splurge-worthy — so we’re breaking down the choices.

Good: Fisher-Price Comfort Curve Bouncer

Your little one’s natural wiggles will make this seat gently rock and bounce. Self-controlled motion encourages fine motor movement, while two cute and colorful overhead toys stimulate Baby’s visual-tracking skills. The seat features a three-point restraint harness for optimal safety and security. (It should be noted that while this seat is not battery-operated for bouncing, it does have a separate vibration feature.) This seat can be used for babies weighing up to about 20 pounds.

Better: Ingenuity DreamComfort SmartBounce Automatic Bouncer

If Baby doesn’t seem keen on self-soothing or bouncing, try an automatic bouncer option that works to mimic your natural movement. Created with multiple speed settings, you can find the “bounce” that makes your baby happy or relaxed. The super-soft and snuggly fabrics promote airflow, while a removable head-support bolster cushion secures a newborn cozily in place. There are two plush overhead toys, and this bouncer can even soothe your sweetheart with 12 tunes and four white noise/nature modes. This can be used for babies 5 to 20 pounds — or approximately until 6 months of age.

Best: BabyBjörn Bouncer Balance Soft

Ergonomically designed for comfort and efficiency, the BabyBjörn bouncer is soft and cozy. It’s designed to support a little one’s head, neck, and back, and to evenly distribute weight for optimal comfort. At first, your infant might just sit in this bouncer and enjoy the new angle and perspective, but soon enough they’ll learn how to get the bouncing party started (you’ll be amazed at how quickly they get the hang of it!). It is a decisively low-tech option, but one that provides hours of endless engagement. What’s more, this “do-it-yourself” bouncer helps Baby develop those all-important balance and motor skills. It offers three positions for playing, resting, and portable transporting — yes, you can fold it flat and take it on the go! It’s suitable for babies weighing 8 to 29 pounds.

Whatever your budget, your little bouncing baby will enjoy having their own special seat for playtime and relaxation. It can calm your cutie-pie down or rev them up and help them channel that extra energy. Either way, it’s important to remember that a bouncer is not suitable for overnight or nap-time sleep — especially once a little one starts rolling over (this can present a major suffocation risk). As a busy parent, you will likely appreciate having a bouncer as much as your baby does; it’ll free up your arms for a bit, so you can get stuff done around the house. It’s a win-win, really — so start browsing our picks and bounce on over to buy one.

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