Best Baby Gliders

Our top picks and reviews

baby rocker

What are the Best Baby Gliders?

Are they a good investment for your nursery?

baby glider

You have a lot of things to buy for a baby. Let’s face it – those little drooling, adorable moochers are going to cost you some big bucks over the next 18+ years. But you want the best of everything for them, the best that your budget can handle, including furniture like glider chairs. With a gazillion of them on the market, how do you choose the best baby gliders?

Long ago and far away, there lived a mother, a father, and their new baby girl. Mom and Dad bought some wonderful baby furniture to have there when she arrived. One item Mom was particularly excited about was the glider rocker and matching ottoman. Every feeding, Mom would nurse and rock the baby before naps and bedtime. When Mom and baby weren’t there, the cats even napped on it.

As baby girl #2 and baby boy #1 arrived later, the chair wasn’t used quite as often. It was hard to keep up with toddlers while feeding the baby. But, the glider proved to be a comfy spot for bedtime stories and comforting the little ones when they didn’t feel well.

You may have guessed that the mom in this little story is me. We only recently sold our glider rocker, and our kids are 15, 12, and 9 now. While it did see lots of use for the first few years of their lives, it was rather neglected after that. So it went to another family with a new baby. Provided they’re still in good shape, gliders make GREAT hand-me-down or yard sale items when you’re finished with them.

So, just like many baby items, the glider rocker was a good investment for our nursery while our kids were babies and toddlers. Some people love to have gliders even if their kids are grown. They’re like super comfortable rocking chairs. And you never know…you may use it for your grandchildren one day.

Do babies even need to be rocked?

No, but like all forms of comfort and contact, rocking helps soothe and relax both mom and baby. The mistake parents often make is getting babies into a habit of having to be rocked to sleep. I was lucky to have good sleepers. My firstborn slept all night by 2 months old, but some babies aren’t so easy.

By the time they’re 3-4 months old, however, they should be able to fall asleep on their own without any intervention. Things like pacifiers, breastfeeding, bottles or even driving around to put baby to sleep (yes, we’ve done it too) can become obstacles in developing healthy sleep patterns.

Courtesy of Red Blossom Photography - best gliders and rockers

So, what do I do if my baby won’t sleep without help?

First, you have to be patient. The baby’s been in your womb for 9 months, without the benefits of circadian rhythms. They were so much easier in the womb, weren’t they? But once they’re out in the big, bright, noisy world, that’s when the real work begins. They have no idea what day or night is, so it’s up to you to train them to follow your family’s routine.

The best approach is to rock or nurse the baby until she’s drowsy, but not fully asleep. Then you put her down while she’s still awake so she becomes used to the routine and doesn’t think she has to be in your arms when she falls asleep. Sure, you can get up multiple times at night and rock her back to sleep, but don’t forget that YOU need sleep too. It’s not selfish, it’s essential to your health and keeps you alert and functioning well enough to safely care for your baby.

It’s not, and I repeat, NOT bad to rock a baby. It provides essential skin-to-skin contact and cuddle time that benefits both of you. Scientists have proven this in several studies over the years. Gentle touch and cuddling help baby develop proprioception, a fancy word for a sense of self. They discover they’re a distinct being who can experience the world through their senses and that they’re part of something bigger.

If it sounds a little existential, read the story of Dani, a young girl who was severely neglected and adopted when she was 6. The lack of human contact left her severely underdeveloped mentally and socially. Luckily she found a loving home.

What kind of glider rocker should I buy?

That depends on a lot of factors, such as your budget, decor, comfort, how often you’ll use it, etc. One of the best ways to choose is to try them out in person at a store so you’ll know if it feels right for you.

Some things to consider:

  • Size of your room vs. the glider – do you have room for a matching ottoman?
  • How much room do you need in the seat?
  • Does it feel comfortable enough to sit for >30 minutes?
  • Do you want or need a headrest?
  • Do you want to use it in a room other than the nursery? Make sure it matches the decor.
  • What options interest you? Reclining, locking, a stationary footrest, electronic control, USB port, storage pockets, etc.
  • How much can you spend? Gliders can range a lot in price, but you do tend to pay for what you get.
  • Don’t depend only on online reviews for your choice. Try them out in person if you can or watch video reviews of real moms using/assembling the gliders themselves.

 

Expert mom tips: Be sure to place your glider a foot or so from any wall, or you’ll bump into it when rocking. Also, watch those toddlers – little fingers can get pinched if they happen to get behind or under it.

Here are our top picks in baby gliders to help you get started.

Storkcraft Hoop Glider and Ottoman Set

This set comes in black, espresso and cherry colors. The padded arms include a pocket to store things like burp cloths, storybooks, wipes, toys, TV remote, etc. It glides smoothly thanks to the ball bearing design. Storkcraft earned a 2018 Women’s Choice Award for most recommended baby furniture. Winners are based on surveys of thousands of moms across the country.

The cushions are spot clean and hand washable only and does require assembly. Weight limit is 250 pounds, but some women reported breakage at much less weight, so if you’re on the heavier side, this one might be iffy.

Pros
  • Smooth motion
  • Side pockets for supplies
  • Comes in 3 colors
Cons
  • Weight limit (250 lbs) may not be accurate


Baby Relax Rylan Swivel Gliding Recliner

This trendy square profile baby glider both rocks and swivels. That’s useful if you’re trying to keep an eye on toddlers while you nurse. It doubles as a recliner with three positions so you won’t need an ottoman. Good news if you don’t have a lot of space. The upholstery is velvety soft, and it comes in two colors, grey and beige, which is perfect for neutral, modern decor.

While most reviewers loved how comfortable it is, some had issues with the noise level and the frame and footrest malfunctioning. It’s also pretty pricey compared to some models, but if the modern decor is what you’re going for, it’ll look nice in your space.

Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Reclines, swivels and glides
  • Comes in 2 colors
Cons
  • May be noisy when gliding
  • Frame may have issues (inspect it before use)


Dutailier Modern Glider

The Dutailier glider/combo set is Canadian made and definitely one of the premium models out there. It’s adjustable with six positions so you can recline and stop the glider at whatever position is comfortable for you. The sturdy hardwood frame screams durability. This Quebec company takes comfort and safety very seriously. In fact, all the paints, stains and varnishes you’ll come in contact with are non-toxic. You’ll also get a 5-year warranty for this one.

But is it worth the premium price tag? Maybe. A few recent reviewers have noted that the quality has diminished compared to older models of Dutailier gliders. One also had an issue with a strict return policy, so be sure to check that out before you buy any large item like this.

Pros
  • Comfortable and safe
  • Reclines with 6 positions
  • 5-year warranty
Cons
  • Return policy could be restrictive (check before buying)
  • May have quality assurance issues (inspect it before use)
  • Expensive


Shermag Madison Glider

 

Another multiple position glider rocker/ottoman combo (wish they’d had those when we were buying), with a solid hardwood frame. This one comes in espresso, beige or gray, good for those neutral furnishings that you can accent with colorful pillows or blankets. An over-sized seating area gives you plenty of wiggle room.

It’s moderate price tag might appeal to those on a tighter budget. Many reviewers loved it and said it was very comfortable; some even tried it out themselves in stores first. Others mentioned poor construction and gliding issues. Could be a good one to go try in person before you buy, but it won’t break the bank.

Pros
  • Sturdy hardwood frame
  • Multiple reclining positions
  • Roomy seating area
Cons
  • May have quality assurance issues (inspect it before use)


Windsor Glider and Ottoman

This glider/ottoman set will fit with pretty much any decor because it comes in 13 colors. If you’re not into chevron patterns, then pick a solid color. With comfy, roomy seating and storage pockets, this might be one of those pieces you want to keep around even after the baby’s grown. It’s pretty darn affordable too.

Recent reviews have noted poor quality assurance issues, which seems to be common among many of these gliders that are manufactured outside the US. Whether it’s cheap construction or damage during shipping, I’m not sure. Always check the manufacturer’s return policy and warranty info before buying, and if possible, try it out in person at a local retailer.

Pros
  • 13 colors, with solid and chevron pattern
  • Storage pockets in arms
  • Roomy seating area
Cons
  • May have quality assurance issues (inspect it before use)


Babyletto Kiwi Electronic Recliner and Swivel Glider

If you’re looking for ultra-modern gliders, this one fits the bill perfectly. It’s hand-built and upholstered, free of chemical retardants, swivels, and reclines with a hidden push-button control. To add icing to this stylish cake, it even has a USB charging port so you can keep your phone or tablet charged while nursing the baby. No more interrupting nursing to answer the phone, and you can catch up on those e-books you’ve been wanting to read.

The lumbar pillow supports your lower back for comfy nursing sessions. It’s a pretty heavy chair at over 100 pounds, but it’s only in two parts for easy assembly. The only downside that I can see is the price. It’s the most expensive glider on this list, but if you follow the “you get what you pay for” motto, you’ll want to consider this one.

Pros
  • Ultra sleek, modern look
  • USB port
  • Swivels and reclines
Cons
  • Only two color options (white and gray)
  • Expensive
  • Must be plugged in to recline


Babyletto Madison Swivel Glider

 

Another Babyletto glider, and another modern style, this one is a great option for those who need to save space. It swivels 360 degrees so you can interact with family and keep an eye on older siblings while holding the baby. The very soft microsuede material is both water-repelling and stain-resistant.

The low profile makes it easier for shorter folks (like me) to get in and out easily. The downsides are it doesn’t recline, doesn’t have a headrest and doesn’t come with an ottoman. So it may be better for shorter nursing or cuddling sessions, and it would look good in a living room. But for the fashion-savvy mom, you can pair it with a cute separate ottoman or footrest as an accent piece. Plus it’s one of the more affordable gliders on this list.

Pros
  • Ultra sleek, modern look
  • Microfiber upholstery
  • Stain and water-repellant
  • Swivels 360 degrees
Cons
  • No headrest
  • No ottoman
  • Doesn’t recline


Graco Parker Semi-Upholstered Glider and Nursing Ottoman

This one looks comfy enough for me to nap in right now. Check out the ottoman – it has a pull-out stool so you have a stationary place to rest your feet while nursing. It has a modern meets classic design that I really like. It’s from Graco, a longstanding baby product company, so they know what moms and babies prefer.

Some reviewers have noted it’s too narrow and harder for larger moms and dads to be comfortable. Others found some quality control issues, but for the moderate price, it’s worth considering.

Pros
  • Ottoman with pull-out foot rest
  • Modern meets classic design
  • Moderately priced
Cons
  • May have some quality control issues (inspect before using)
  • Size may be too narrow for larger people


Stork Craft Tuscany Custom Glider and Ottoman

Now, here’s a chair that will fit any color combo you have. With 20 colors to choose from, you’re sure to find one you like. There are also 6 wood finishes to choose from. The added lumbar pillow helps support your lower back while you’re nursing.

Some reviewers noted quality control and noise issues, but the price will fit into almost anyone’s budget. It doesn’t recline and is very similar in style to the classic one I had when my kids were babies. It’s just a basic glider/ottoman with a small pocket to store a phone, remote, bottle, etc.

Pros
  • Comes with lumbar pillow
  • Affordable
  • 20 colors to choose from
Cons
  • May have some quality control issues (inspect before using)
  • May be noisy while gliding


Baby Relax Mikayla Upholstered Swivel Gliding Recliner

I love the classic look of this glider with the button tufts and welt trim and a modern shape. It comes in 4 colors with your choice of soft microfiber or linen upholstery. It swivels 360 degrees and reclines into 3 positions. Pair this with some colorful blankets or pillows, and it’ll look lovely in the nursery or living room.

Some reviewers noted big gaps in the sides so it could swallow your remote or phone. Some also mentioned the wings on the back are too narrow to rest your head against when you’re sleeping, but I don’t know many parents who actually sleep in their gliders. You may feel like a mombie, for sure, but most of us just do the 2 AM feeding, burping, changing all blurry-eyed, put the baby back in her crib and shuffle back to bed. For the price, it’s a real contender on our list.

Pros
  • Classic design and trim
  • Reclines into 3 positions & swivels 360 degrees
  • 4 colors to choose from
Cons
  • May have some quality control issues (inspect before using)
  • Small objects could slide into the gaps in the seat


Are you ready to shop?

Now that you’ve seen our list, which gliders caught your eye? In which could you see yourself sitting with the baby? Writing about all these has made me almost want another baby. Almost. But not really.

I’ll leave you with one other word of advice. Enjoy every moment you can with your baby, because she’ll grow up in the blink of an eye. Cuddle that cutie as often as possible until she says, “Mom, stop being weird.”

ProductPhotoCustomer RatingPortableCost
Summer Infant Pop N' Play Portable Playard Yes$
Graco Pack 'n Play Playard On The GoYes$$
Chicco Lullaby Dream Play YardNo$$$$
Graco Pack 'n Play Playard with Automatic Folding FeetYes$
Gupamiga Activity Centre Play YardNo$$$
North States Superyard Colorplay 8 Panel Playard **EDITOR'S CHOICE**Yes$$
Graco Pack 'N Play Playard Portable Napper and ChangerYes$$

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Best Baby Humidifiers for Your Nursery

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