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Baby Swings, Bouncers and Activity Centres


A baby swing, baby bouncer or baby activity centre is a great way to keep little ones entertained while giving you some hands-free time.


As much as you love to cuddle your baby, sometimes you need to give your arms a break either to do chores or just relax. A comfy baby swing, bouncer or activity centre, lets babies rest or play safely. Just remember to never leave an infant unattended. With models ranging from basic to deluxe featuring lights, music and toys, it can seem overwhelming to pick one. Below are a few tips on what to look for when shopping.

Baby Swings

With its gentle swaying motion, a baby swing can help calm a crying baby or send him off to sleep. When picking an infant swing, there are a few things to look for:

  • a sturdy, wide frame that won’t tip if your baby leans over
  • a seat belt and center post help keep baby in place
  • battery-operated vs. wind-up: you can choose to either spend more money on batteries or spend more time & energy winding up the swing
  • a well-padded seat with a removable, washable cover
  • a reclining position for infants who can’t yet sit up on their own or hold their heads up
  • extras include music, volume control, multiple speeds, multiple motions (back & forth, side to side),  tray, toys, timer, lights and canopy
  • check the swing’s weight limit; babies usually outgrow their swings by the time they weigh 15-25 pounds

Baby Bouncers

A baby bouncer, also known as a bouncer, baby bouncer chair or baby bouncer seat, is simply a fabric seat suspended on a frame that gently bounces as your baby moves. It’s ideal for newborns and infants who can’t hold their heads up yet, but want to see what’s going on. It’s also good at soothing fussy babies and helping those with reflux. They also have the benefit of being a little smaller than a swing and generally less expensive. A few things to look for when buying your bouncer include:

  • a wide, stable base with nonskid bottom
  • a three- or five-point harness is a must
  • a removable, washable cover
  • extras include additional reclining positions, vibrating feature, detachable toy bar, sounds/music, lights, canopies, and travel models that fold flat

Baby Activity Centres

Whether you call it a baby activity centre, baby play centre, baby entertainer or by the brand name ExerSaucer® by Evenflo®, this is a fantastic piece of gear that will stimulate and amuse your baby. Designed for babies who aren’t yet walking, an activity centre will let your baby bounce, kick and spin about safely, since the centre remains stationary. Once your baby has good head and neck control (about 4 months), she may be ready to try it out. When choosing a baby play center look for:

  • a comfy, removable, washable seat
  • an adjustable seat that can grow with your baby; when baby’s waist is higher than the tray of the saucer, it’s time to adjust the height
  • if the seat spins around it should do so smoothly and there should be no gaps at the rim that could pinch tiny fingers
  • a variety of easily cleanable toys that will stimulate your baby’s senses