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. There were a few weeks where a rocker was a NECCESSITY to keep my little guy happy, but I just borrowed one for that short time. I don’t think it’s something you have to buy and work into the nursery.

  2. One of my boys loved to be rocked to sleep, but the other hated that motion. It was absolutely indispensable for the first baby, and then didn’t get used at all for the second. The second loved bouncing, so we sat on my yoga ball and bounced him to sleep instead of rocking. I didn’t know babies who hate rocking existed before our experience!

  3. We have a huge, plushy rocking recliner in the living room and a rocking chair/ottoman combo in the nursery. I use the recliner and hubby uses the rocker – both have been essential for our kid’s first year!

  4. I wanted a cute chair but my husband desperately wanted this ginormous lazyboy type rocker/recliner so he could eventually have it in his man cave. He won (as it was cheaper)… And he was soooo right! It actually looks pretty cool in the little man room created for our baby’s nursery. It is all vintage airplanes and cars, dark wood, brown leather. But more importantly it is our place for feeding, calming, reading and cuddling and I cherish my time in the big comfy chair. There is lots of room to snuggle a toddler too. My husband might not be seeing this chair as soon as he had hoped!

  5. I’ve got a 6 week old now and we don’t use a rocking chair. I’ve got an old Poang chair with ottoman from Ikea that I sat in exclusively to nurse the first few weeks because I am not sad to see it get spit up on. I use the couch these days now that we’ve covered it with a thick blanket. The cat is very happy to have her Poang back.

  6. We have an office/nursery in our small 2 bedroom place in the city. I got a rocking office chair from Ikea that we use to rock the baby and it works great. We actually also borrowed a traditional wooden rocker but, it’s not comfy. It’s creaky, loud, moves around, and scuffs up our floors. The Ikea chair works better for us and it’s pulling double duty – a must for small spaces.

  7. yup. get one. my baby’s two months old and my partner and i both love the rocking chair my mom got us. it beats walking around with the babe in our arms until she falls asleep. also – comfortable.

  8. I had a cesarean and was unable to stand up out of my reclining rocker for a few weeks. It was straight up or lying down for me!

  9. I was one of the primary caregivers for my nephew the first year of his life. our rocking chair SAVED me, my back my neck and shoulder. A rocking chair for our future baby is HIGH on the list probably right next to crib.

  10. Gliders’ rocking motion makes me queasy for some reason. We had a futon in the baby’s room that became my favourite nursing spot. It has a nice high back,and for me it had the perfect angles, and no arms to get in the way. Now it’s great for us to all pile onto a read stories. That said, with baby #2 coming we need to make room in the same space for the crib and a bed, so we may not be able to keep the futon (already sad about that!), so we’re considering the lazy boy option.

  11. I looked into a rocking chair but we had no money when my child was born. I didn’t buy any furniture for her – not a crib, changing table, etc. The only thing we got was a $30 diaper disposal thing and a $15 IKEA mattress for naps. I did experience a glider at the hospital, and it was nice, but I can’t say it was necessary. Also, I had a little bit of fear about a rocker crushing her little hands and feet when she became a crawler – probably irrational, but it made me nervous.

  12. Every baby is different and unfortunately you won’t know until they arrive, BUT we never used the rocker. Unless by used you mean to throw clothes on. I breastfed my newborn in our glider/rocker a handful of times but not enough times to make it worth the money. We happily sold our still-new glider to a pregnant couple recently for some sweet extra cash though, so if in doubt I say register for one or buy one and if it is never used, sell it and make most of your money back.

  13. It’s probably not necessary, but I can’t wait to use mine. it was originally my great grandma’s chair, and my grandma used to keep in in the kitchen and rocked all of her children and grand children in it as babies, including myself.

  14. Yes! I’ve gone through no fewer than 4 rocking chairs during my son’s first 10 months. We bought on of craiglist before he was born and it turned out to be the right size for me (I’m short and small), but not cushy enough. A friend loaned us their deluxe Shermag glider, which was wonderfully cushy, but MUCH too big for me. I spent some time then in an old rocking arm chair that we already had, and while I still like that one sometimes, it was kind of low and hard to hoist myself out of in the first few months while I was rebuilding some of that lost strength. After realizing that I LOVED a good glider and that it helped me maintain good nursing posture, and had become a place where I read to my son, hung out and watched TV in the evening with my husband, and read whenever I got a spare minute to myself, we sunk a good chunk of change into a new one from babiesRus. I picked one that was small and cozy enough for me, but still nice a squishy, and it reclines (this is important when your baby fall asleep on you and you want to catch a nap too!). We waited until there was a 20% off coupon that applied to special order furniture, and ordered it in a finish and color that complimented our living room furniture so it could live a life outside the nursery long after our baby-years are done.

  15. We had one, but never used it. Now, I’m [cough] gifted in the bosom – really crazy gifted in the bosom. (My husband calls them novelty over sized.) So I couldn’t get comfortable anywhere but the couch with lots of pillows while I nursed. Now, if my son wants to rock (he’s two so that happens less and less) I sit on the floor and rock. No chair needed.

  16. The exercise ball was the only way to get my son to sleep for the first 5 months of his life (well, that and nursing).

    BUT- I moved to the recliner/rocker after he fell asleep and I am incredibly glad I had it for that reason, since he wouldn’t abide being put down.

  17. I have to say that if not for a rocking chair I would never have been able to be successful with breastfeeding. We came home from the hospital with a little girl who latched perfectly, breastfeeding was great, but then I had nowhere comfortable to sit at home and ended up hunched over on the bed, baby propped up on two breastfeeding pillows, back throbbing, gritting my teeth and determined not to give her a bottle. A week later my dad brought by my grandmother’s old rocking chair and it was absolute bliss. I could breastfeed without my back killing me, she was at the right height to latch easily, and the rocking motion soothed her to sleep. She is now 7 months and has never had a bottle. I attribute our breastfeeding success to the rocking chair and breastfeeding pillows.

  18. Don’t have one, never felt we needed one. For nursing I just sat on the couch cross-legged with the Boppy. For soothing we’d have to walk him around the apartment because he gets mad if we sit down while soothing him. He makes us work, no sitting down on the job. For us it would have taken up much needed space, but if you have the space and find one you like, might as well get it, if only because decorating is fun!

  19. Yes! Sometimes it is the only thing that gets him to sleep! I thought we could get by with just a yoga ball but the rocking works better than the bouncing for us.

    We actually found our glider outside our apartment by the dumpster! Perfectly clean and new looking. I recovered the cushions to a color that matched the nursery with fabric I had on hand.

  20. When we were kids, my parents had this awesome maple rocker. (I don’t know what ended up happening to it…I think they gave it to someone when they moved.)

    Anyways, my one definite memory of the rocker is the time my brother and I saw Chinese acrobats doing tricks on chairs, and standing on chair arms. The only chair that was handy that had arms was the rocker. I stood on the arm, and immediately fell off. Despite this, my brother decided to give it a try.

    He fell off, hit his head on the runner, and ended up needing stitches.

  21. I have a 9 month old and have been nursing him since day one. I think a rocker/glider is a must … but for your living room. I have a comfy chair (clearance sale) in the nursery for late night feedings but the rocker is just my favorite place in my living room to feed him and to have some mommy alone time.

  22. We got not one, but TWO rockers. They became mainstays in our daughter’s room for comfort and for our nightly story time routine. Now that she’s older, she wants one of the rockers to herself, so we’re considering transforming the area into a bean bag and pillow configuration.

    But please don’t spend an arm and a leg. We got both of our rockers at good will and use extraordinary rudimentary sewing skills to cover the old cushions. It’s still going strong two years and a lot of late nights later.


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