Rocking Chair Buying Guide
One of the bonuses that comes with bringing new life into the world is getting to decorate a nursery. Soft, sweet and totally adorable, your nursery furniture is bound to differ from the rest of the home, both when it comes to aesthetic and function. One piece that’s unique to this beautiful setting is the rocking chair.
Not only are rocking chairs full of benefits for your bub during the newborn stage and beyond, they’re also often beautiful pieces you’ll want to keep, even as they grow up. If a rocking chair sounds like a central fixture of your nursery-to-be (or perhaps you’re looking to level up your baby’s routine), we’ve put together a go-to buying guide full of expert tips.
The benefits of a rocking chair for your baby
There’s a reason rocking chairs are so popular for new parents and their babies – they offer a whole host of helpful benefits that will aid your little one’s sleep, digestion, mood and more.
As you venture into parenthood, you may initially struggle with what to do when your baby cries. Instead of resorting to a spin around the block in the pram (or the car if they’re particularly fussy), a rocking chair could present a great alternative. The gentle back and forth motion will soothe them as they fuss and encourage them to stop crying or fall asleep.
Rocking chairs are also the perfect spot in the nursery for breastfeeding or bottle feeding – in fact, they’re often referred to as nursing chairs! Whatever your mealtime routine with baby is, the rocking chair environment is a comfortable spot for the both of you to chill out during these important intermissions. When your baby has finished eating, you’ll be in the ideal position and spot to burp them effectively, too!
As your bub grows older, the rocking chair might become more of a place for winding down, or even play – and that’s a great thing! The frequent undulations of the rocking chair are actually stimulating for your little one’s brain and ability to pay attention and react, so don’t underestimate the power of these gorgeous furniture pieces.
Types of rocking chair to consider
If one of these superbly comfy seats is on the cards for your nursery, there are a few types of nursing or rocking chair to consider. Below are some of the most popular.
Traditional rocking chairs
The classic rocker style nursing chair is popular for a reason – it provides a comfortable back and forth swing that’ll put the baby to sleep easily (and perhaps help you to drift off, too!). It is designed on an arc-shaped base that encourages a quick and effective oscillating motion as the arc moves along the ground.
Glider rocking chairs
The other common style you might like to consider is the glider rocking chair. Unlike rockers, gliders don’t have an arc-shaped base, but rather, a reinforced flat base with a swing seat attached that then moves back and forth on a mechanism. Because the part of the chair that rocks is constrained in part by the base, the resulting movement is more subtle and smooth.
Other types of nursing chair
If you’re looking for a chair to effectively nurse or feed your little one in, but aren’t swayed by the idea of a rocking chair (see what we did there…), you might prefer a different style of nursing chair that is cosy without the swinging motion.
Electric recliner chairs are incredibly comfortable – just ask your dad, who probably has one chilling in his living room. But, these nifty chairs aren’t just for max relaxers. They can make for a fantastic nursing chair, as they’re plush, durable, and can be adjusted into various positions to make breastfeeding or bottle feeding a seamless experience. Simply put your feet up and relax with your little one!
Of course, there’s always the option of simply using your favourite armchair. Opt for something soft and squishy with lots of support to encourage a smooth, comfortable experience nursing or feeding your baby. Then, once they’ve grown up and out of the nursery, you’ll be able to repurpose this beautiful piece of furniture elsewhere in your home.
Nursery rocking chair styles
With your favourite type of rocking chair in mind, let’s talk style. Similar to any other piece of furniture, the style you select will be entirely influenced by both your own personal taste, and the room as it currently stands. If you’re decorating your baby’s nursery from scratch, this is a unique and exciting opportunity to set the tone and imbue it with the right feeling ahead of your little one’s impending arrival. Here are a few beautiful and timeless rocking chair styles to consider.
Wooden rocking chairs evoke an old-world style whilst fitting right in with the trends of today. Although you might need to top off a fully wooden piece with a plush cushion, they look stunning and striking, and are bound to be timeless. A well-constructed wooden piece might last your family generations!
For both your and baby’s comfort, you might like to opt for an upholstered rocking chair. You’ve got two options here – a fully upholstered piece that sits flat to the ground on a glider mechanism, or a hybrid rocking chair that features a wooden frame and legs with a luxe upholstered seat. Either way, you’ll be lying back in total style while you hang out with your little one.
A design decision we often see adorning rocking chairs is tufting – fabric-covered studs or buttons that cover the backrest of the chair to create an elegant and whimsical look. While this doesn’t add to the functionality of the rocking chair in any way, it’s a gorgeous style that really fits the nursery environment, and ensures the chair will have a life even as your baby grows up and out of it.
Although colour is ultimately a statement you’ll have to make yourself, one very popular choice that many new parents make for their nursery chairs is grey. A grey rocking chair is soft, subtle and super calming, creating a fantastic place to chill out and feed, burp or calm your bub. Plus, this colour choice generally blends in with most decor and styling decisions – whether you’re all about modern, coastal, Scandinavian, traditional, or something else entirely.
Where to place your rocking chair or nursing chair
Now that you’ve determined exactly what you want out of a rocking chair, and are hopefully on the way to finding the perfect pick, the last thing to consider is placement. Luckily rocking chairs aren’t crazy heavy, as our one piece of advice is this: try it out before you settle on a spot. If you can switch it up every few days and see what works best for you and baby, that’s definitely the best way to carve out its place of pride in the nursery. You might encounter unknown factors like temperature, sunlight, proximity to other items in the space, noise and maneuverability, so this trial and error approach will help you be reflexive and reactive.
Of course, the nursery chair isn’t relegated to… well, the nursery. Rocking chairs are beautiful, fun and functional, and deserve to be considered seriously for other areas in the home, too – whether you have a newborn or not! If you like to read, knit, colour or complete other relaxing activities, a rocking chair could be a fantastic addition to your living room.