The Best Baby Rockers for Your Limited Budget
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Top 10 Baby Rocker Picks: The Best Baby Rocker for Your Limited Budget

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With all of the other endless baby gear purchases we recently made, my husband and I were determined not to buy a baby rocker. Not only do I run a blog devoted to getting babies to sleep in their cribs, but from a monetary standpoint, we just couldn’t afford any more baby gear!

Enter teething, the witching hour, sleep regressions, GERD, (Insert Your Baby Ailment Here)… and suddenly, finding a baby rocker swing became a necessity.

If you’re an expecting or new parent looking for a budget-friendly rocker for baby, the search can feel a little bit overwhelming. Not only are there so many to choose from, but it’s difficult to discern what features separate each model and what is even worth your money.

That’s why I’m so glad you’re here. In this post, we’re only reviewing the highest-quality, feature-loaded baby rockers for the best price. That way, the hardest decision you’ll have to make is which awesome rocker to choose from.

RELATED POST: The Best Infant Car Seats for Under $300

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How to Find the Best Baby Rocker for Your Limited Budget

What is a Baby Rocker

Before we explore the best baby rockers, let’s clarify what exactly we are looking at.

A baby rocker performs a very specific motion: it rocks.

A baby rocker may also swing or bounce, but at minimum, it needs to rock. This is usually defined as a side-to-side motion, but may also include “gliding” for some models.

From this point, baby rockers can be separated into three categories: baby rocker chairs, baby rocker sleepers, and baby rocker bassinets. Usually the incline of the seat determines how the baby rocker is defined.

Most of the rockers in this post can be defined as both baby rocker chairs and sleepers (since most have adjustable recline), but every single product on this list will at minimum, qualify as a automatic rocker.

What’s the Difference Between Baby Rockers, Swings, and Bouncers

If you’ve done any research into these baby products, you’ve probably seen both baby rockers and baby swings. It can be very confusing, because many reviewers and manufacturers use these terms interchangeably.

So, what’s the difference between baby rockers and swings?

A rocker has a smooth side-to-side motion that is much more similar to your arm movement. A swing moves the baby in a forward motion (think a swing from the playground).

A baby rocker swing can perform both movements.

Most of the rockers on this list can be categorized as baby rocker swings. So, no matter which motion your baby prefers, you’re covered.

What to Look for When Buying a Baby Rocker

10 Budget-friendly Baby Rocker Swings - Baby Swings

Last but not least, below are the main considerations you need to keep in mind while you look at the baby rockers on this list. As you read through these qualifications, you’ll realize that some features are more important than others. Narrowing down your key features will help you determine which baby rocker is the best choice for you.

Price

Obviously this is a huge factor when you’re searching for the best baby rocker. You’re a new parent! Hospital bills and baby essentials have already drained most of your money.

Now your baby is all but demanding a rocker as well?

Don’t sweat it. While baby rockers usually range from a $60-$300, 7 out of the 10 rockers on this list are priced under $150.

For the three that aren’t, I’ll go over the additional features so you can decide if they are worth the extra investment.

Functionality

Functionality encompasses a lot of aspects, but the main ones you need to consider are:

  • Recline: is it a baby rocker sleeper, baby rocker chair, or a rocking bassinet? The last two are acceptable for napping (under supervision), while a baby rocker chair is not.
  • Padding: Comfortable, machine-washable padding is preferred. Every rocker on this list will meet this minimum requirement.
  • Durability: Motor and noise complaints are pretty common for any electronic swinging unit, but make sure that the model you’re interested in isn’t inundated with poor durability reviews. For this post, I’ve done most of the work for you. Every rocker in this post has a minimum 4-star rating.

Safety

Just like a car seat or crib, your baby rocker should meet the updated safety codes.

A baby rocker also needs to be equipped with an appropriate harness. Once again, all of the rockers on this list will meet this minimum.

(Note: Check out the bottom of the post for addition safety and SIDS warnings regarding baby rockers and safe sleep).

RELATED POST: The Best Infant Car Seats Under $300

Motion Settings

Even if you decide to purchase a baby rocker swing that provides both side-to-side and front-to-back motion, make sure you check out range of motion and speed settings as well. Some babies are like Goldilocks and only prefer the setting that’s just right.

The more options you have, the better.

Power Source

While a battery-operated baby rocker is portable, it can eat through batteries quickly. Likewise, a outlet powered rocker limits your flexibility. The best rockers are equipped with both options.

Size

Are you wondering what the best baby rocker is for a small space?  What about portability? Do you envision moving your baby rocker chair from room to room?

If this is the case, purchasing a compact rocker could be your most important priority. Just keep in mind that the larger the range of motion, the bigger the rocker frame. The bigger the rocker frame, the less portable it is.

Additional Features

Like most baby gear, some rockers are getting real fancy. Here are just a few popular options that come with baby rockers:

  • Moving Mobile
  • Lights
  • App and Bluetooth Control (MY favorite feature)
  • Soothing Sounds and Lullabies
  • Baby Crying Detection
  • Vibration
  • Motion Patterns
  • Removable seats

These budget-friendly baby rockers have a lot of these options, which we’ll go over in more detail below.

What You Can Expect from This List:

Now that we’ve gone over what you need to keep in mind during your search, here’s what you can expect from the rockers on this list:

  • All have at least a 4-star customer rating
  • All are under $250. Most are under $150.
  • All have a rocking motion, most can swing too.
  • All are “automatic baby rockers”, so no manual pushing

Best Baby Rockers At-A-Glance Comparison

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of the links I will make a small commission at no charge to you. I only recommend what I trust. Blunders in Babyland does not diagnose, treat, or give out any professional advice for any medical conditions. 

Best Baby Rockers Quick Comparison

ROCKER HIGHLIGHTSRATING
Ingenuity Automatic Rock N SootheCheapest Rocker, Rocking Motion,
Equipped with Timer.
4.3
Fisher Price Rock n’ PlaySmart Connect Technology,
Rocking Motion,
Equipped with Timer, Highly Rated
4.4
Graco Simple Sway SwingSide-to-Side and Front-to-Back Motion,
Sound and Vibration,
Removable Seat, Battery and Power Cord
4
Fisher Price Snugapuppy Dreams
Cradle 'n Swing
Side-to-Side and Front-to-Back Motion,
Sound and Vibration, Adjustable Recline,
Battery and Power Cord
4.2
Graco Duet Sway LX Swing
+ Bouncer
Side-to-Side and
Front-to-Back
Motion, and Bouncing,
Plus All Features Listed Above
4
Graco DuetConnect LX Swing
+ Bouncer

Side-to-Side and
Front-to-Back
Motion, and Bouncing,
Plus All Features Listed Above,
Hefty Motor
4
The Fisher Price Snugabunny
Cradle 'n Swing
All Features Listed Above, High Ratings,
Durable Motor, and Heavy Frame
4
Graco Dreamglider Gliding Swing
and Sleeper
Rocking and Gliding Motions, Removable
Bassinet, Timer
4.2
Graco EveryWay SootherMulti-Directional Seat with 8 Motion
Patterns, Vibration, Sounds
4.2
4mmoms Mamaroo4 Baby SwingBluetooth and App
Control, Multi-Directional
Seat with Motion Patterns,
Vibration, Sounds, Timer
4

Our Top 10 Affordable Baby Rocker Picks: Detailed Reviews

Ingenuity Automatic Rock N Soothe Sleeper Cuddle Lamb

If you have no budget to speak of, the automatic rocker from Ingenuity is a great buy. If you’ve ever seen the infamous Fisher Price Rock n’ Play, this is its direct competitor.

The Rock n Soothe is a pretty basic device that only offers side-to-side rocking, but it’s easy to pack up, has a very small footprint, and the automatic rocking feature is very convenient. The Rock n’ Soothe also features a handy timer that stops at 30, 60, and 90 minutes.

The obvious downside to this rocker is its basic nature: it only rocks from side-to-side, you’re restricted to wall outlets, and there’s really no “extra” features included.

PROS

  • Timer: 30, 60, and 90 minutes
  • Extremely compact
  • Portable
  • Budget-friendly

CONS

  • Very basic motion
  • AC Cord Only

Fisher Price Auto Rock ‘n Play Sleeper

UPDATE: Due to recent recalls, the Rock n Play is unavailable. This is a great time to take a peek at the note at the bottom of the post about safe sleep and rockers. Please remember that most rockers are not considered sleep safe surfaces!

The Rock n’ Play is somewhat of a phenomenon in baby gear circles. It’s budget-friendly, gets the job done, and has ridiculously high ratings.

I personally own the Rock n’ Play and I LOVE it. It was a lifesaver on those nights when my daughter’s acid reflux wouldn’t allow her to sleep in her crib and whenever I needed to work on chores that required both hands.

I also loved the Rock n’ Play’s deep seat with minimal padding and breathable mesh sides. Perfect if you’re just a little paranoid about SIDS like I was.

The Rock n’ Play is very compact, light, and easy to fold up.  Plus, if you have an extra $15, you can buy the Rock n Play with Smart Connect Technology, which allows you to control the rocking, sound, and vibration with your phone.

The only downside is the limited features. There are only two speed settings and it’s only run by an outlet.

PROS

  • Timer: 30 minutes or 6 hours
  • Extremely compact
  • Budget-friendly
  • Extra Features: Smart Connect Technology, Deep Seat, Vibration
  • Machine-washable insert

CONS

  • Very Basic Motion
  • AC Cord Only

Graco DuetSoothe Swing and Rocker

When most people think about a baby rocker swing or baby rocker chair, the Graco DuetSoothe is most likely what they envision.

This model features side-to-side and front-to-back motion, 6 speed settings, and plenty of soothing sounds and lullabies to keep your baby entertained. Combine all of these features with a great price (the best deal by far is found online at Target), and you’ve got a great rocker!

I also love that, despite its rather large footprint, the actual frame is surprisingly light. You can also remove the baby carrier, making it extremely portable as well.

Having said all that, this is a rocker for less than $100. Over time you might notice a few quality issues, like rough sound quality, a clicking frame, or at worst, a failing motor.

PROS

  • Side-to-Side and Front-to-Back Motion
  • Budget-friendly
  • 2 Reclining Positions
  • 6 Swing Speeds
  • Machine-Washable Insert
  • Power Outlet or Battery Operated
  • Additional Features: Mobile, Vibration, Removable Seat, Lullabies and Sounds

CONS

  • Large footprint
  • Slightly louder motor with more longevity complaints
  • No Timer or Bluetooth Control

Fisher-Price Sweet Snugapuppy Dreams Cradle ‘n Swing

The Snugapuppy Dreams is best competitor for the Graco DuetSoothe. It comes with your standard baby rocker chair / swing features, such as side-to-side and front-to-back motion, lullabies and sounds, and the option for a power outlet or battery power source.

The biggest difference between the Graco DuetSoothe and the Snugapuppy is the lack of a removable baby carrier and the added ability to easily adjust the recline with the touch of a button. That makes the decision between the two models more of a personal preference.

Like the Graco DuetSoothe, the Snugapuppy’s problems stem from the inexpensive build. As a lower-level model, the frame is heavy and may have long-term reliability issues.

This is a small motor paired with a heavy frame, so keep that in mind if you plan on using it around the clock for your baby.

PROS

  • Side-to-Side and Front-to-Back Motion
  • Budget-friendly
  • 6 Swinging Speeds
  • 2 Reclining Positions – One Button Release
  • Machine-washable Insert
  • Power Outlet or Battery Operated
  • Additional Features: Rotating Mobile, Vibration, Lullabies and Sounds

CONS

  • Heavy
  • Large Footprint
  • Slightly louder motor, especially when it first starts
  • Small motor, heavy frame may translate to long-term longevity issues
  • No Timer or Bluetooth Control

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The Best Baby Rockers and Baby Rocker Swings


Graco Duet Sway Swing LX + Bouncer

The Graco Duet Sway Swing and Bouncer  is one of the the best baby rocker swings for small spaces.

It’s very compact and lightweight, but still loaded with all of the features you would expect from the larger swing models, such as  multiple rock speeds, side-to-side and back-to-front motion, dual power sources, sounds, and vibration. The baby carrier is also removable and serves as a bouncer.

Perfect for keeping your baby entertained while you’re getting some chores done!

The frame is very lightweight, weighing only 17lbs, and it’s easy to fold up and move to another room at a moment’s notice.

However, as a lightweight model, the downside is a lack of power. There have been several reports of Simple Sway’s motor not being powerful enough to effectively swing a larger baby. Some parents also complain that it gives out after only a few months of use.

PROS

  • Side-to-Side, Front-to-Back motion, and Bouncing
  • Budget-Friendly
  • Compact
  • Very lightweight (only 17lbs)
  • 3 Recline Positions
  • Adjustable Speed
  • Removable Insert (Does not specify if its machine-washable).
  • Power Outlet or Battery Operated
  • Extra Features: Vibration, Sounds and Lullabies, Removable Baby Carrier

CONS

  • Batteries drain quickly
  • Smaller motor, long term reliability is a concern
  • No Timer or Bluetooth Control

Cons

  • Batteries drain quickly
  • Smaller motor, long term reliability is a concern
  • No Timer or Bluetooth Control

Graco DuetConnect LX

If you love the features of this rocker/bouncer and size isn’t your main priority, the Graco DuetConnect LX is a highly-rated, more powerful model you can purchase for just a few dollars more.

With side-to-side and front-to-back motion, plenty of speed and sound options, and a hefty motor, it’s one of the best baby rockers on this list.

The only thing missing is bluetooth control or a timer.

PROS

  • Side-to-Side, Front-to-Back Motion, and Bouncer
  • Budget-Friendly
  • 6 Swing Speeds
  • Machine-washable Insert
  • Power Outlet and Battery Operated
  • Extra Features: Mobile, Lullabies and Sounds, Vibration, Removable Baby Carrier

CONS

  • Large
  • No Timer or Bluetooth Control

(Note: Make sure you check Target’s Cartwheel promotion. Most of the time they run promotions encouraging you to purchase online or choose the “Free Order Pickup” option.)

Fisher-Price Snugabunny Cradle Swing

The Snugabunny Swing is the highest rated swing on this list.

It has robust features, such as side-to-side and front-to-back motion, adjustable speeds, adjustable recline, and adorable aesthetics. However, this particular model solves a problem that’s plagued basically every swing before this one: durability. Before this point, the most common complaint we’ve seen for each model is the motor either giving out or losing range of motion.

While this model still has a few of these complaints, the ratings are absolutely staggering: over 1000 reviews and still a four-star rating!

But, this durability does come with a price (figuratively speaking…this model is actually really affordable too). The Snugabunny’s frame is pretty heavy, weighing almost 25lbs, and it has a large footprint.

PROS

  • Side-to-Side and Front-to-Back motion
  • Budget-Friendly
  • 6 Swing Speeds
  • Machine-washable Insert
  • Power Outlet or Battery Operated
  • Extra Features: Rotating mobile, Vibration, Lullabies and Sounds
  • Outstanding Reviews

CONS

  • Heavy
  • Large Frame
  • No Timer or Bluetooth Control

Graco DreamGlider Gliding Swing and Sleeper

Now we’re getting into the baby rockers over $150.

For those of you that are concerned about using a traditional baby rocker for extended periods of time, the Graco DreamGlider Swing and Sleeper offers the best of both worlds.

Dreamglider functions as a rocker bassinet and baby rocker chair.

It includes all of the features you would expect of a baby rocker: multiple recline positions, vibration settings, gliding and swinging motions, and machine-washable inserts.

It also includes a lever that shifts the recline into the sleeper position. This is especially handy if you want to change your baby’s recline level without waking him up!

However, the rocking bassinet does have a few downsides. The function of this rocker is slightly different, so it won’t rock as high or a forcefully as other rocker sleepers might. And, while this model is advertised as a sleeper and certainly looks like a bassinet, Graco does recommend constant supervision during use.

PROS

  • “Gliding” and Swinging Motions
  • Versatile
  • Timer
  • Compact & Easily Portable
  • Machine-washable Insert
  • Power Outlet or Battery Operated
  • Extra features: Quiet Motor, Mobile, Vibration, Bassinet, Lullabies and Sounds

CONS

  • Swing doesn’t have a lot of range of motion
  • Some frame issues: feet are unlevel, swing squeaks, hard to fold up, etc.
  • Not an AAP recommended safe-sleep surface

Graco EveryWay Soother with Removable Rocker

If your baby prefers a large variety of motion, this rocker is perfect for you.

The Graco EveryWay has eight–yes, eight–motion patterns and the ability to move side-to-side or front-to-back.

Not only that, but this rocker is extremely portable and has one of the smallest footprints on this list. The seat is removable and also functions as a manual rocker. The actual base is only about 30” (about a foot narrower than some of the rockers on this list!)

The only real downside to this rocker is that with its vast array of motion patterns, it doesn’t have the capability of swinging back-to-front like a traditional baby rocker swing.

PROS

  • Very Compact and Portable
  • 8 Motion Patterns
  • 6 Swing Speeds
  • 3 Reclining Positions
  • Extra Features: Stationary Mobile, Lullabies and Sounds, Vibration, Removable Baby Seat, Quiet Motor

CONS

  • Power Outlet or Battery Operated
  • No Timer or Bluetooth Control

4moms mamaRoo 4

The first time my husband saw the Mamaroo4, his jaw nearly dropped to the floor. He couldn’t believe that a baby rocker could actually be so “cool.”

I have to admit, it does have a lot of perks. If your main priority is technology and variety, the Mamaroo4 Baby Swing is the perfect baby rocker for you.

It features 5 motion patterns, bluetooth and app control, and totally custom sound capabilities.  In addition to these awesome “extras” you’ll also find several standard features, such as a machine washable insert, vibration settings, multiple speed settings.

The reliability rating on this product is pretty good (4 stars with over 300 ratings!), but the most common complaint is the motor stopping after a few months. Amazon actually offers a great protection plan; something I would recommend for any piece of baby gear over $150.

If I would have had the budget when my daughter was a baby, this would have definitely been my top choice.

Note: If you’ve already done some research on the 4moms rockers, you’ve probably noticed a model called the “Rockaroo”. I’m recommending the Mamaroo model because of its high level of performance, additional motion patterns, and smartphone capabilities. However, if none of these features matter, the Rockaroo model is a less expensive option you might also consider.

PROS

  • 5 Motion Patterns
  • Infinite Reclining Positions
  • Lightweight, Compact Frame
  • Bluetooth or App Control
  • Machine-washable Insert
  • Extra Features: MP3 input, Vibration, Crinkle Ball Toys

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Power Outlet Only
  • No Mobile and Lights

Baby Swing Honorable Mentions

In addition to baby rockers, there are several baby swings that are definitely worth looking at as well. The swings below are great products, but do not feature a side-to-side rocking or gliding movement.

Best Priced: Ingenuity Cozy Kingdom Portable Swing. This model is perfect  for out of town trips or transferring from room to room. It’s compact, has a great range of motion, and comes at a great price. https://amzn.to/2Vtozqj

Best Technology: Primo 2-in-1 Smart Voyager Convertible Infant Swing and High Chair. https://amzn.to/2tJ2b02 The Primo 2-1 is the baby swing to end all baby swings. Seriously. With bluetooth, cry detection and auto start, you’ve basically hired yourself an electronic babysitter. Plus, it doubles as a high chair. When you factor in the cost of a traditional high chair, it certainly pays for itself.

What is the Best Baby Rocker?

All in all, with so many good options to choose from, the only way to determine the best rocker for baby is to narrow down your main needs.

If your main priority is getting your best bang for your buck, the Graco DuetSoothe is a budget-friendly option with tons of features.

Alternatively, if your main priority is smart technology and variety, the Graco EveryWay  or Mamaroo4 is a fully loaded baby rocker chair that will keep your baby (and you) entertained for hours.

Whatever baby rocker you choose, I hope you’ll let us know! We’d also love to hear from you if you’ve had any experiences with the rockers on this list. It’ll help our other readers a lot!

Important Safety Note on Baby Rocker Sleepers

While the name is somewhat of a misnomer, baby rocker sleepers are not considered a safe sleeping surface by the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics).

Even the rocking bassinet on this list is not a perfectly flat surface.

SIDS isn’t the only consideration for long term swing and rocker use. Studies have shown that long-term use can lead to flat head syndrome and torticollis.

This isn’t to discourage you from purchasing a baby rocker or swing. Many, many parents use baby rocker sleepers without any negative results. Sometimes to treat GERD, sometimes because baby won’t sleep in anything else. I did, but sparingly. Having said that, it’s important that you’re aware of the risks and possible side-effects.

The best surface for your baby to sleep on is a baby mattress inside a safe, up-to-code crib.

If you’re having trouble getting your baby to sleep in his own bed,  I just want to invite you to explore our blog some more. We have several posts dedicated to getting your baby to sleep in his crib every night, all night, that can help!

CHECK OUT OUR BABY SLEEP POSTS

If this post helped you, would you consider taking this 4 question survey? I’d love to know your thoughts and how I can best serve you in the future!

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