When my daughter was first born, we used our bouncer quite frequently. After about four months, it was obvious that my daughter was bored with the bouncer and wanted to be sitting where she could sit up higher. In addition, we had just begun feeding her rice cereal and since she was not ready for the high chair and the bouncer did not sit her high enough to safely eat, we needed to find another means.
Recommend this product?
We came across the Newborn to Toddler Rocker made by Fisher Price and paid about $50. The product offered many different features that peaked our interest:
1. The rocker adjusted to accommodate a newborn through the toddler years.
2. The rocker allows for the head and body recline angle to be adjusted separately.
3. The rocker has a vibrate setting.
4. The rocker is equipped with a swing bar with toys (one of which was musical) and a toy on the arm rest.
5. The rocker is bright and colorful and is decorated with cats, dogs, and birds. The rocker is done in orange, blue, yellow, and green and is appropriate for a boy or girl,
6. The rocker seating area is made up of soft material that is comfortable to rest on.
7. The rocker could be folded up for easy storage and transportation.
8. The seating area is washable.
9. The rocker is able to accommodate up to 40 lbs.
10. The rocker is light weight and easy to carry although is sturdy.
When we first set the rocker up, I was flabbergasted as to how easy it was to put together as I am not mechanically inclined whatsoever. The rocker includes easy to follow instructions and if lost, they can be retrieved from the Fisher Price website. I became familiar with all of the control options of the rocker and found that in order to have the head rest area at a full recline position, there was a fastener that is released to allow for the material to be extended to its full capacity. In order to bring the recline position back, the fasteners are snapped back into place. One flaw in the rocker design is that the head recline only has two positions to choose from. The rocker could also have had some padding in order to maximize the confort and support provided although my daughter does not seem to mind. Small blankets or towels can be supplemented to provide any needed additional support. The full body recline feature is controlled by buttons in the legs of the rocker that adjust the overall angle of the chair. One major flaw in this recline feature is that it is possible to recline just one side which could create a lopsided seating arrangement for the baby. At the bottom of the legs, there are stands which prevent the rocker from actually moving and becomes stationary. I would have liked to have seen the stands work together as each one is set individually to prevent any potentials for an awkward position. With these different options, the rocker can be in a rocking or stationary position in a two levels of a recline position for the head and/or body. As an infant, the greater recline is the most comfortable position. As the baby matures, the amount of recline in head and/or body decreases for comfort. This rocker provides the ability to personalize the settings that are the most comfortable and appropriate for each baby.
A stationary position with the least amount of recline is the safest manner to feed a baby solid foods when they are in the rocker. As the rocker sits lower to the ground, the amount of splash zone is reduced. The rocker is also relatively easy to clean. This rocker was the perfect transition to the high chair when she was learning to support herself in a sitting position.
The strapping in mechanism has padded material between the plastic fasteners and the baby thereby preventing the baby from being pinched by it. This was especially nice during the summer when my daughter would only be wearing a diaper. The strapping mechanism is adjustable to get the most proper fitting for the baby. The restraint pad is machine washable.
The rocker is also equipped with a vibrate feature that will likely be most helpful for an infant. The vibrate system is turned on and off with a switch is located on the front of the chair for easy access. It requires one D Alkaline battery that is NOT included with the purchase. The vibrate strength is very mild and is soothing to the child. It would have been of more benefit to have more than one strength setting on the vibrator mechanism as there were some occasions in which my daughter did not seem to be aware of it at all.
The rocker is equipped with a swing toy bar that makes it easy to put the baby in and take them out and adds entertainment value. There is a hard plastic musical dog that plays when an attached bone is pulled and a cat playing with a ball of yarn. The musical dog requires 2 cell batteries that are included. The toys are easily slipped in and out of the swing bar making cleaning much easier. These toys can be cleaned off with a wet cloth. It would have been nice if the musical dog would play more than one tune as it can be extremely repetitive (Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone). The swinging toy bar can also be removed if it is too stimulating for a sleepy baby or if they have outgrown the toys. There is a hard plastic toy in the shape of the bird that snaps into an opening in the arm rest. My daughter loves to play with this as she can easily grasp it and take it out of the holder. She especially likes to chew on it when she is teething.
The rocker is light weight and easy to carry from one room to another. I am able to carry it with one arm whether it is in a collapsed position or not. The are releases on the back of the chair which enable the rocked to move into a collapsed position which allows for easier transportation and storage. It seems a little bulky although I would say it is equivalent to any other bouncer or foldable chair. I have found this rocker especially helpful when I had work to do in the kitchen. My daughter is held securly in place in a comfortable chair that allows her enough freedom to play with either the attached toys or any others that she is given.
When using the rocker, it should be on the on a flat floor level. As it is a movable item, it is important that the weights be as evenly distributed to the legs of the rocker to prevent tipping over and injury. It is important that the strapping feature be used when an infant is sitting in the rocker to prevent them from sliding out. Once a child is able to support themselves with their legs, the straps will probably no longer be necessary.
I recommend this chair for any parent as it provides another form of stimulation for a child and becomes more practical as time goes on. The chair is sturdy and has a safety strap to prevent an infant from falling out.