Is a rocking chair really that big of a deal?

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Jaime sent us this question about rocking chairs — are they necessary, or can you get by without one?

I’m six months pregnant with my first child. I’m in the process of putting the baby’s room together and I’m wondering if I need a rocking chair.

They seem to be a fixture in every photo spread I see of kids’ rooms. We have a great easy-chair in our living room that doesn’t see much use — can I use that instead, or is there something about a rocker/glider that will make my life so much better?


What do you say? Do you guys absolutely love your rocking chairs, or could Jaime find an alternative?

Comments on Is a rocking chair really that big of a deal?

  1. I gotta say, I didn’t have a rocker or a glider to start with. I wasn’t sure it was a necessity either. My mom ran right out and bought me a glider.

    For that horrid first two weeks or so of learning to nurse, the glider changed my LIFE. It was a comfortable place to sit in peace with the baby and just get things sorted out.

    Even months later, the glider provides the rocking motion that is sure to (eventually) put a baby to sleep. Unless you want to stand there and rock back and forth or be constantly buying batteries for a swing, the rocker/glider is a friend.

    • I’ve only been a mom for 3.5 days, and only home from the hospital for 24 hours-but the rocker in the kids room was my refuge coming home yesterday-house was a wreck except the kids room (labored at home and the cat went nuts) and I was able to calmly nurse there while my family turned our house into a little more of a presentable state. So: could be a value as an adult refuge when and where you are primarily focusing on the baby. Take that with a grain of salt.

  2. I have to speak on this! 🙂

    First, that’s my ever-so-fab rocking chain the photo. I LOVE our rocking chair. Sean picked it out as a surprise from a vintage shop in Portland and carried it home on his back 10 or so blocks, so I already love it for that. On top of the good story, this chair has been mine and Jasper’s spot since he came home from the hospital. He still likes me to rock him to sleep in it (he’s two) and when he’s not feeling well, that chair is the first place he wants to sit. I love the chair for all of the memories we have and the ones we’ll make. I know that the chair will FOREVER remind me of all these precious times when he’s still so young. In short: I love the fuck out of our rocking chair.

    Is it necessary? Probably not. But for us it TOTALLY is.

  3. We got a rocking chair from my grandma that she had had since her kids were born. I used it every night when I was breast feeding. I still use it now when Alice is feeling sick, or wakes in the middle of the night to calm her down with cuddles. Personally I think I would have run out and bought on if we hadn’t gotten one. but I also think that you could do without one, as long as you have some sort of chair or something to sit on while feeding/comforting.

  4. I’ve was wondering this myself since we have a TINY one-bedroom apartment that is already full to the gills, (our baby is due in June), but my mom assured me that, if I get nothing else, I NEED a rocking chair.

  5. We were given a glider (used) as a gift, and I rarely used the glider function, but it sure was a comfy place to nurse, especially because I could prop up my legs on the ottoman that came with it. So, for us, rocking/gliding were not essential, but a comfy chair with leg support sure was!

  6. yes! you need it!
    after i had my twin boys, we recieved a rocking chair as a gift. although it sat in the nursery for about a month before we used it ( for some reason my husband and i were stubborn and didnt believe that all babies liked to be rocked) but one day after over an hour of the boys crying with no consolation, i rocked them and seriously after 10 minutes there were both passed out in my arms. we have used it everyday since then and my twins are now 8 months old. the rocking chair is not only good for breastfeeding and rocking them to sleep, it also calms them down when they just need to chill out for a bit.

  7. I never had a rocking chair…& I have 3 kiddies. It’s the one thing I wanted so badly! I did go into Babies R Us or anyother furniture store and rock (& nurse hehe) on their rocking chairs lol Maybe for #4 I’ll get my rocking chair….

  8. I think a rocking chair is a MUST, but don’t get fooled into buying an expensive glider. People seem to use those for babies and then have no use for them. Get something you will use beyond the infant stage, and make sure you have leg support. As someone said above, having an ottoman or something to put your legs up on while nursing is so key, I found.

    We got a lazy-boy type rocker/recliner (on the advice of a friend). Sure, it’s not the cutest thing ever but it is SO comfortable! I have twins and more than once I have fallen asleep in it (reclined) with one or both babies in my arms (back before they were squirmy I could hold both of them and nurse both of them in it). Other times my husband and I have just slept in their room in it when we needed to watch on a sick child and got tired of getting out of bed every 15 minutes.

    It has all the features–comfort, rocking, reclining, and feet/leg support–that I think are really necessary. Plus, once we don’t need it in the nursery we can put it in the living room or sell it.

    • We have a rocker-recliner. It’s not attractive, but it is useful. I’ve slept in it with a flu-stricken baby draped across my chest.

  9. We were gifted one. Maybe because it was narrow and had no ottoman, but I hardly ever used it. We got way more use out of the yoga ball.

    • Agreement on the yoga ball. More portable, more types of motion, and think about the great core strength you’ll build!

  10. For the next baby, I think I want to get a big, comfy La-Z-Boy-esque chair that kind of rocks or bounces a bit. We were visiting a friend who had a chair like that and I used it to nurse. So comfy. The arms of our rockers were uncomfortable and got in the way.

  11. I LOVE my glider. After nursing in a rickety, creaky rocking chair, I found someone giving away a glider on Freecycle. I brought it home, cleaned it up and it’s perfect. For a growing one year old, there is space for him to nurse and sprawl out. And when the next baby comes, it’ll be moved to the living room and become my nursing station.
    Basically, I love rocking and nursing.

  12. Yes…a rocking chair is perfection. It calms you; it calms the baby; it has the magical power to block out the rest of the world. I would rather have a rocker than a changing table. My oldest is 18…and the thing I miss most is holding him in my arms and just rocking his troubles away. And when he is upset even now and I can manage to pull him into my lap, I catch myself rocking! It doesn’t have to be fancy—just yours and comfortable
    …baby blessings to you!

  13. I was just talking with a soon-to-be-mom about this very thing and my 2 cents, I’d dare say a rocker is essential to your home. However! If possible, spend a little more on a good quality rocking chair rather than a glider, I’ve yet to see a glider *not* start to get rickety after even a short while. (not even a year at our house.) A good rocker will last a lifetime and become an heirloom to hand down to your child when they become a parent. An option early on is an exercise ball. That was better for the Bot and myself at first as she liked the bouncing rhythm. But in time, kids get too big to do that comfortably. So now, it’s rock-a-bye at nursing time.

    • Just to throw in my 2 cents, my parents were given a glider by my grandparents when I was born and my mom used it through all four kids with no problems. It was always her favorite chair and held up extremely well over the years, so there definitely are some good sturdy gliders out there.

  14. We got a rocking chair for our son and we only used it about 5 times in the 6 months he’s been alive. our son was pretty indifferent about it and i liked walking around with him better then sitting still. Some people love them for nursing but honestly i liked lying down at night (since we cosleep) and i’m done nursing so the poor chair never got used. Its at the end of our room right now, and it makes an awesome laundry basket. Everyone told me I would want something comfy to sit in at night but between the couch and bed our tiny apartment could have done without it.

    • This was also our situation. The Droidlet is not so much into sitting down, ever. He likes being walked around the house or swaying (and for some reason, doing these things while standing is infinitely superior to when sitting…). When I was nursing him, I was more comfortable propped up all fluffy on the couch. So, for us, the rocker wasn’t a necessity either.

  15. I’m really glad we got the large lazyboy rocker/recliner. The rocker rocks for getting boy-oh settled down. And sometimes he needs to sleep more inclined and we can do it together in the recliner. A life saver for late nights. An exercise ball has also been a saving grace (bounce, bounce) but a bit hard on the back, unless you put it behind your back and rock on it while sitting on the floor. It works!

  16. Anything that can make the rocking motion is usually a good idea. We had this second hand lazy boy that was tattered, torn and must have been every bit of 30 years old, and used it to the point where the springs snapped. For the first few months, I slept in it, ate in it, cried in it, watched tv, read and breast fed. Hell, at one point, after my c-section, I even peed on it. That chair was a godsend, and the day we threw it out, I cried my heart out. We have a new little rocker now, but its not the same. Its been 4 years, and I still miss that chair.

  17. Yes, or at least somewhere to sit that is super comfy. I had a wooden rocking chair- it rocked but was not cozy. I love gliders simply because they just feel so comfortable (IMO) but any old chair where you can rest (and maybe rock) with baby on those late nights will do the trick.

  18. I have a glider that I barely use. I have a baby that likes to be “bounced” when he is tired and fussy. So, I basically do mini-squats until he is calm, or bounce on the bed gently. He LOVED the bouncy seat when he was a newborn. Maybe he will like to rock as he gets older, so we keep the chair. At least it’s a good work out in the meantime!

  19. I can count on one hand the number of times I sat in the glider with my 9 month old daughter. It was just taking up space and we got rid of it last week. We breastfeed either lying in bed or on the couch. IMO, a rocking chair is not necessary as long as you have somewhere comfy to feed and cuddle the baby.

    • I had a rocking chair for my first son. It was never used. It went away. With my second son, I never gave a chair a thought. I didn’t see the need for one in my house because I was usually cuddling with them on the couch, laying in bed with them, or dancing softly in their room. My kids must be future rockstars because they preferred to be rocked side to side quickly and wrapped tightly in my arms. Slow rocking just kept them awake.

  20. I’m expecting in September and I just found a glider at Goodwill for 30 bucks. I get it home and find out it’s a really expensive brand and they are over $300 new. We’re going to reupholster or cover it because it’s ugly, but I feel pretty victorious about the whole thing. It doesn’t have an ottoman though, so maybe i’ll keep my eyes peeled for one over the next 5 months.

  21. I can’t speak to the rocker myself, but I have heard a lot of my mommy friends talk about how much they love having a daybed/twin bed in the baby’s room so they can nurse there or sleep there. Not something I would’ve thought about.

    • We had one of these accidentally — it was just an extra mattress we had to put somewhere and not part of a plan — and it was a huge help — we did many a nursing nap stretched out on it, and I often slept in there at night once he was in his crib (he does better in his own physical space) so I could react/respond quickly. It also made a nice baby massage table, and we still read on it a lot. Someday he will move into the bed and sleep there himself!

  22. I didn’t get a chair for our nursery before Rubes was born and now I am on the hunt for one. Not necessarily a rocker, but something comfortable that we can feed her or read to her in. Getting one beforehand would have been nice!

  23. We found our glider slightly used on Craigslist. Our son liked to be bounced on our birth ball as a newborn but as he got bigger, my back couldn’t take it any more. We moved to gliding when he needed to be soothed and it worked great for a long time. So I say yes–get a rocker or glider but get it used. There are tons out there.

  24. We don’t have one, but we were recently at a beach house for a friend’s birthday and there were giant Lazboy chairs there. Oscar and I (he’s seven weeks old) spent most of the party in one of those chairs. As soon as we can get rid of some other furniture, I’m going to try to find one. Not the most attractive piece of furniture, but amazing for nursing and snuggling in.

    We have a rocking chair, but it’s the wrong size and style for us — I’m always afraid Oz is going to bash his head on the wooden arms, and it doesn’t rock very much.

    • I never got the hang of the rocking chair. But our second hand lazyboy chair is awe-some. I really love the padded arms so that I don’t have to worry about banging the baby’s head.

  25. I am sure rocking and swaying our kids with out a rocker/glider was great for exercise, but after a long night @ work on my feet, coming home and having to do that for an hour or so was exhausting. I would get a rocker, but I would look for a used one before I bought new. We also had a small apartment, but I would have gladly given up space of something else for a rocker.

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