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. Yes, a good comfy rocker is a wonderful thing to have. Make sure you get one that fits YOU – the first one we got the seat was just a smidge too high off the floor for me to put my feet flat on the floor. We swapped with a taller friend for one that was about a 1/2″ shorter and it was bliss.

    Besides spending hours rocking in the chair, we also spent hours bouncing on the yoga ball, walking up and down the hallway, swinging the carseat back and forth, dancing around with kiddo in the bjorn, and generally trying every possible type of rythmic motion to keep him from screaming his cute little head off all night long (sleep, when acheived, was a bonus). So you might want to have a back-up besides just the rocker. Some kids just really want to MOVE.

  2. We definitely used (and continue to use now that my son is coming up to 2) our glider LOTS. He has pretty much fallen asleep in that chair every night of his short little life. I gotta say though if you are a gal who wants her baby to fall asleep in his/her crib a rocker/glider might actually be a negative thing. Since we gave up on that idea a long time ago it has been a god send but if you really want to avoid rocking your kid to sleep when he’s two maybe its better to avoid it all together? Could be wrong though…just an idea.

  3. I’m the original poster and I can’t tell you how helpful all your comments are. Thanks Mamas, I really appreciate it!

    • Whatever you get, if you plan on nursing, Get a Boppy! You will be amazed how much it helps, and it seemed (to me) make chair arms less of an inconvenience. But no worries you’ll do super fine and be a super mom.

      • Actually, I prefered the Breast Friend. It’s a little more supportive than the Boppy, which tends to get floppy (sort of like your favorite pillow), and has some nice support for your back.

  4. We got a glider, a nice one that suits our living room, and I NEVER used it. Our baby wasn’t a big fan of rocking (he held his head up really early and was always doing that to look around; rocking meant he had to put it down and he didn’t like that; that’s my theory on why he wasn’t a fan) and I was more comfortable on the couch. At night I fed him in my bed and then carried him back to his crib; we eventually moved the upstairs sit-and-nurse chair to the living room as well because it was just taking up space upstairs.

    But my husband loves the glider for reading in the evenings and my toddler now likes to climb up in it and throw his body back and forth to make it rock. 🙂

    So my advice is, if you buy a glider or rocker to use with the baby, buy a nice one you’d be happy to use in your living area for 10 years. That way if you don’t use it with the baby — or when you don’t need it any longer for the baby — you’ll still have a nice-looking, comfortable chair that people will like to sit in that can be in your living area.

    (Ours is wood with cushions that’d make it easier to reupholster if we wanted to change it to suit different decor, which might be one consideration.)

  5. We use an ancient wicker rocker, now on it’s 4th generation of babies in this family. I remember being rocked it it. I can’t imagine life with out it. We use it JUST to calm our 11 mo old down sometimes! I highly recommend some kind of rocking chair, even if it isn’t fancy.

  6. For some reason I think this is an N. American thing, because None of the people I know in Switzerland have rockers/gliders. We had a “rocking” easy chair from Ikea and because I am only 5ft. tall, I couldn’t really rock in it very well. My 6ft husband had better luck. I used the big exercise ball and bounced the baby. I took the advice of a few books and never bounced/rocked/nursed until the baby was asleep— just until she was getting sleepy then I put her down and let her go to sleep on her own. At 2, she is excellent at going to sleep on her own… Could be just her, but I do think that not rocking her or nursing her to sleep was part of it…. Good luck

    • I think you just got lucky. I tried in vain to put my baby down sleepy but not asleep for months. Every time his little tired body felt the mattress beneath him, he screamed and flailed and we’d have to start the soothing process all over again. The only way anybody got sleep was for me to nurse or bounce him to sleep. He’s two now and needs us to lay down with him for him to drift off but there’s no rocking or nursing necessary any more. All kids are different.

  7. I never had a rocker, I had an easy chair that kind of rocks and it susally does the trick. I’m so tall that it is hard for me to find a chair I can jsut stand right up out of, so I didn’t even try.

  8. I put a chair in our room in case I wanted to nurse in there, but it was always so much easier to walk out to the couch so my husband could keep sleeping (so I could wake him later when the baby was fussy…lol). So, I just took a basket I had around the house and put a bunch of our cloth wipes in it, nipple cream, chapstick, and the ‘rice sock’ (sock filled w/ rice and tied in a knot that you heat in the microwave to help with Reynaud’s nipple). Then, I’d just grab the basket and sit on the couch.

      • uggg, I had it too. I felt like my nipples were conspiring against me! The sock idea is good…I lined my bra with fleece and shoved hand warmers down my shirt.

  9. I love our glider and ottoman and couldn’t imagine life without them. In the early days, it was a good way to keep the baby moving with minimal effort when I was exhausted. Now my son is two and still asks me to rock him in it.

  10. My daughter never cared about rocking. She liked being jiggled to sleep. So we never really used the rocking chair or the glider. Now she’s 20 months, she loves climbing on the rocking chair, but we’ve gotten rid of the glider.

  11. I’ve had both – I had a rocking chair with my daughter and a glider with my twins. I much preferred the glider, but the most important part was the arm height – the lower arms on the glider made it easier to nurse.

  12. We were going to borrow one from a friend, but when I was 36 weeks pregnant they flaked. So we had to run out and buy a chair on a limited budget. Unless you find one used (good luck!), gliders are ridiculously expensive unless you’re going to use it as, you know, a permanent piece of furniture.

    I got a nice comfy armchair instead of a glider, and I love it. I prop my feet up on an Ikea table and we go from there. We ended up getting a used glider after about a month after our son was born, and we hardly used it. It’s now sitting in our living room, not being used, and looking horribly out of place. Meanwhile, we use the comfy armchair in our son’s room every day.

  13. I think my baby missed the memo on this one. She hated being rocked or nursed in the glider from the get-go. Anything with arms just made nursing far too awkward for us. But I’d second the note about having another bed (in the nursery) – super helpful!

  14. You DO NOT need one! My dad bought a stellar rocker for me and my babe from Ikea and it collects tiny baby clothes and lots of books and toys… other than that we rarely use it!

  15. I never use my rocking chair. I prefer “laid back” nursing or side lying in the bed. But then, we bed share, so I was never up in the middle of the night.

  16. We were given a glider when O was a couple months old. I didn’t really find it all that great actually. The ottoman didn’t really seem to glide properly so when I had my feet up it wasn’t gliding anyway. You do need a comfortable place to nurse, but you don’t need a rocking chair. They’re nice, but not a baby necessity. Just get a chair you like, if it’s a rocking chair, so be it. I like the la-z-boy idea I read in an earlier comment.

  17. When it comes to just having a baby there is no place better than a rocker. But for me my rocker is a LA-Z-BOY!!!! OH YEah So even when the little one feel asleep I reclined and slept with her. If your easy chair also rocks I say you are set. It’s the rocking part that is soothing for both mama and baby. Now rocking chairs are also walking chairs (They move all over the place) Stay with gliders. Most important it has to be COMFY! But I always say, put out the money for something that you want to sit in, And get a Boppy!

  18. I wanted a glider SOO bad, but in the end I didn’t use it much. I just didn’t go into the room where it lived very often. Once we moved and it was more prominently placed, it was MY spot to sit.

    While it is nice to be able to rock the baby, I definitely don’t see it as a necessity. I’ve passed it along (via Craigslist) and don’t expect to replace it when I have another baby. I am, however, a minimalist these days. That can make a difference.

  19. I bought myself a fancy rocker when I got pregnant, and am sad to admit that I spent more time nursing on the couch with a boppy than I did in the rocker. So my thoughts are no, you don’t need one.

    That said, having the rocker did enable this ridiculous video:
    [vimeo 5217279 w=398 h=299]

  20. My son is three months old, and I’ve probably spent at least a thousand hours (totally not exagerating!) in my second hand glider. It’s super comfy and in my living room in front of the TV….it’s the only place I nurse my son when we’re not in bed. I put my feet on a footstool and my Boppy rests on the arms perfectly. The rocking usually doesn’t put him to sleep — he usually needs to be bounced to sleep on the yoga ball — but I enjoy the rocking. I’m ADD and have a hard time sitting still. For me, it is the perfect nursing spot. The glider and the Boppy are two things I didn’t think I needed when I was pregnant, and now they are the two things it would really suck to do without.

  21. I bought a rocking chair but my cat kept sitting on it and getting hair on it so it never really got used. I just nursed my son on the couch with the boppy pillow and never had any problems.

  22. I’m going to be one of the few who say no a rocking chair is not a necessity. I had a lazy boy that in no way rocked and used it maybe once. My refuge was our giant fluffy couch that we got from God only knows where. it was here when I moved in and I don’t think anyone else really knows where it came from either. When booger was newborn we would snuggle on the couch and it was our breastfeeding haven. Booger also napped many a naps there before he learned how to roll over and even now it’s the go to place for nursing during the day. It’s also where I slept the entire 9 months of my pregnancy. Basically it’s the couch my baby has been raised on up to this point and it’s been amazing. I honestly don’t think any rocking chair could be as great as my trusty old couch.

  23. I have a personal aversion to gliders, so I didn’t get one when I was preggo. Fast forward to my kid being 6 months old and in super duper love with the rocking motion. I lucked out and found a vintage rocker in pristine condition for $45 bucks at a small-town consignment shop and I snatched it up! We couldn’t live without it. She’s pulling up now and will get off my lap when her bedtime story is over, crawl over to it, and pull up on it as if to climb up. Fabulous!

    My advice: wait until you see what your kidlet likes. Some kids like the more violent swinging in arms, some like a rocker, some a glider, whatevs. It’s also super helpful to have a chair near her crib for quieting her when I’m not in the mood to bring her into bed with me, so that’s a consideration as well.

  24. I’m a first time mom-to-be (3 weeks to go!) and I actually purchased a couch for my nursery. I’ve had many a mom since then tell me that that was a smart move and they wish they had had somewhere to lie down in their nursery (especially for the first few months).

    My sister had twins in November. She has a glider in her nursery but never uses it. She chose not to rock, sway, or do any type of movement with her children to put them to bed. So while we use it for sitting – we never glide.

    To answer your question – it’s up to you to put a rocker in your nursery or not. You don’t need the rocking feature – but a spot to sit is a definite.

    • We have a daybed in our daughter’s room and I have slept on it more times than I can count! Best idea. Just don’t overstay, or you won’t be allowed to leave…!! I have a 3 day rule. If she’s sick or needs a little extra attention or wakes and won’t settle, I (or hubbie) will sleep in her room. But 3 days in a row max and after that she is on her own. Done it many times!

  25. We didn’t have room or budget for a glider, and frankly rocking chairs give me a headache. I seem to have managed just fine. It might have been a nice luxury, but it wasn’t *necessary*

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