Rocking chair, glider, or recliner for the nursery: Is It really worth it?

You’re getting everything ready for the arrival of your baby. And now, you ’re wondering how someone so little needs so many things: from bassinets to cribs, to poop bag dispensers!

Do you really need all of these things for your baby?

And what about a rocking chair?

Is a rocking chair really necessary in the nursery? Like many things I say about having a child, this is a decision you have to make for yourself. I went minimal for our son’s nursery. So I didn’t buy a rocking chair and just used the couch  (+regular chair for night time feedings). We had Ikea Poang chairs but I was never a big fan of that. This is one of those questions with answers that will drive you nuts! Some mothers really love it and some hardly ever used it at all. Here’s a quick guide to help you decide whether or not you need a rocking chair.

How important is a nursing chair for breastfeeding? Do you really need it?

Here’s the thing. An expensive breastfeeding chair that comes with all the bells and whistles is not necessary. But, you will need something comfortable to sit on when nursing your baby.

There are many different options for this

Nursery Chair Alternatives

  • A chair that’s specially made for breastfeeding like a rocker, glider or recliner.
  • The sofa
  • A regular chair
  • An office chair
  • Breastfeeding in bed (for night time feeds)
  • The Ikea Poang chair
  • A combination of any of these chairs plus a really good breastfeeding pillow (makes it more comfortable)
  • Huge exercise balls
  • A regular wooden rocking chair (not so comfortable if you have an episiotomy)

So you’re really not stuck at having to buy this for the nursery.

If it’s too much of an expense or there’s no space for it, then there are other options available.

If the expense is the problem, you can always buy a second-hand chair and see if you like using it or not.  Or you can go without and see how you go with just using the sofa or a chair.

The Importance of your individual situation

Like many new parents, I know you want to be fully prepared when your baby comes.

But also remember that your individual situation will decide if you’re going to use a nursing chair or not.

For example, we had Ikea Poang chairs which a lot of mothers swear by for breastfeeding. But I had an emergency caesarian due to a placental abruption and I was in a lot of pain during the first few weeks.

And that Poang chair? With me being short and with it designed with a dip on where you sit, it was impossible to stand up without any help. (too much ab work involved!)

But in saying this, I also know of other parents who couldn’t possibly imagine not using a breastfeeding chair. The main reason they love it is that it’s very comfortable.

And it really all boils down to that.

It’s a lot to do with comfort.

What’s so comfortable about a nursing chair?

During the first few weeks when you’re still learning how to breastfeed making sure that the baby latches properly, the thing you sit on is the last thing you want to be thinking about.

And nursing chairs are made to make the first few weeks easy for you.

It’s formed in such a way that you don’t slouch while feeding (makes positioning much easier), your bottom is comfortable after sitting for long periods of time, and you don’t hurt your back.

Now if you already have a chair like that at home, then great! But if you don’t, then you might want to consider getting a breastfeeding chair.

Related Reading:

Rocker, Glider or Recliner: The Different Types of breastfeeding Chairs

If you’ve decided that you want to buy a breastfeeding chair, the next thing you need to think about is what type of chair you want.

Say what?

That’s right. There are different types to choose from.

Do you want a rocking chair? A glider? A recliner? Or a combination of these three?

The Nursery Rocker

What is a nursing rocker? It is what it says. It rocks. It’s like any rocking chair with arced legs that make the rocking motion. It’s also marketed as a good way to get baby to sleep as the rocking motion helps with sleeping (for some babies).

The Nursery Glider

Unlike the rocking chair, a nursery glider slides forwards and backward.

The Recliner

So yes, you’re right. This nursing chair reclines. 🙂 Many of them also swivel i.e it moves left to right.

Rocker Glider And Recliner Combinations

And finally, there’s the combination of these chairs in one. You could get a glider rocker, a glider recliner, or a swivel glider recliner.

My thoughts

Based on my very unscientific research, it seems that mothers prefer to use a rocking chair (if you think otherwise, please feel free to say so in the comments section below).

They feel that a rocking a chair is more comfortable and easier for both mother and baby.

But remember that you can also buy a combination of all these features! Obviously, the more features the chair has, the more expensive the price gets.

Do I need an ottoman for my glider?

Here’s another thing to consider: an ottoman.

This is basically a posh footstool that’s part of a nursing chair on which to rest your legs on.

It’s also useful if you’re short or have short legs and you want to prop your leg on to something.

So do you need an ottoman for your glider? Some moms say that this is a very important feature for a nursing chair. If you love putting your legs up for comfort, then you’re going to use this a lot. However, if you don’t want the added expense, remember that you can also just use a short table or chair that is positioned at just the right height.

Related Questions


What is a Victorian nursing chair?


Forget about the modern rocking, nursing or gliding chairs. The Victorian nursing chair didn’t have all these features, but it was made for the same purpose: the mother’s comfort. These chairs were made of hardwood. The seats had springs and were stuffed with horse hair to make it soft and comfortable.  The stuffing is braided which helps plump up the “cushion” to make it comfortable.


Are nursing chairs worth it?


This is the million dollar question. There are many reasons not to buy one – they’re expensive, too big, too ugly. But then, there’s one important reason to buy a rocker, glider or recliner for your nursery: It makes breastfeeding comfortable. That’s really all there is to it. Now if you have other chairs (or the other alternatives listed on this page) at home, then no — you don’t need to buy a nursing chair.


Does a glider recliner rock?


I have not seen a nursing chair that does all three (if you have, please comment below). But there are glider recliners that swivel,  rockers that swivel and recline, or gliders that are also rockers.– but not a combination of all three. Updated: here’s one I found on Amazon that is a glider, recliner and + an ottoman that’s also a rocker


Does a nursing chair need to rock?


No. The basic feature of the nursing chair is just to have a comfortable place to feed the baby. However, some parents feel that the rocking motion helps with rocking baby to sleep especially when they’re older.


Do you need a rocking chair for baby?


No. It’s not the most essential thing you need for your baby. But it’s nice to have especially if you have a child who easily falls asleep on one.


Is a glider a rocker?


No, these two have different motions. A glider moves back and forward, a rocker rocks up and down in an arc. But, you can buy a nursery chair that is both a rocker and a glider!


What does swivel glider mean?


These are nursing chairs that move forward and back which helps with getting baby to sleep. It also swivels left and right (preferably for 360 degrees), so you can easily look at any direction without getting out of the chair — A  somewhat useful feature especially if you’re also looking after a toddler who’s every move you want to see while you’re breastfeeding.

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