by Staff Writer
Baby bouncers and baby swings both have their pros and cons, so which one is right for you? Both baby swings and bouncers provide parents with a helping hand and a safe and soothing place for your baby to play. Bouncers and swings can both keep your baby happy and occupied at times when you need your hands free to do something else, such as care for another child. Although baby bouncers and swings are similar in what they do, they have some important differences to consider before you choose one.
Size and portability: The amount of space you have in your home could be the deciding factor for you. Baby swings are larger than bouncers. Although some portable swings can be folded and stored, standard baby swings are heavy, difficult to move from room to room and, therefore, require a dedicated space. A bouncer is lightweight and easily portable, and some even fold up completely flat, making them perfect for traveling.
Motion: Swings and bouncers move in different ways, and some babies actually prefer the motion of one over the other. Swings can move back and forth or side to side; some swings can do both. Bouncers pretty much have one motion, bouncing. If you're not sure which motion your baby will prefer, try gently bouncing your baby while you hold her, and then try rocking your baby side to side or back and forth. If one motion seems to soothe your baby more, choose your baby gear accordingly.
Power source: Most swings run on batteries although some are wind-up and some are electric. Most bouncers don't require any batteries, winding or electricity unless they have special features such as lights, music or vibration.
Cost: Typically, baby swings are more expensive than bouncers unless you choose a brand-name bouncer with lots of special features. A basic, no-frills bouncer can be as inexpensive as $20, while a high-end, brand-name bouncer can cost as much as $100. Swings range in price between about $40 for a low-end, wind-up swing to a couple hundred dollars for a fully featured swing.
Weight limits: Swings and bouncers have similar weight limits. Both swings and bouncers can typically accommodate babies up to 25-30 pounds. The weight limit is not only important to consider for safety reasons, it's also important when deciding how much you want to spend. A $200 swing looks really nice until you realize that your baby will only use it for a few months. If you plan on having multiple children, you will get more value for your money from a high-end swing.