Canstar Blue’s 2021 baby bouncer review has seen Baby Einstein, Bright Starts, Fisher-Price, BabyLove and Ingenuity compared on child enjoyment, design, durability & quality, weight & size, additional features, value for money and overall satisfaction.
There’s never a dull moment when you have a little one running around. While it can be exciting to see them explore the world around them, sometimes having them figure out how everything works from just one spot in the house can be just as enjoyable. But keeping your bub settled in a particular area can be tricky, unless you have a good baby bouncer.
Baby bouncers, swings and rockers have been a saving grace for many tired parents, allowing your child to burn off energy while playing safely. But while it may be tempting to simply grab the first bouncer you see on the store shelf to give you a bit of brief respite, your choice of baby bouncer may impact on your child’s enjoyment, as well as your bank balance ─ you don’t want to fork out cash only to find out that the quality doesn’t live up to your expectations, or your baby’s needs.
To help you out (and your bub), we’ve asked nearly 400 parents for their feedback on the baby bouncer, swing, rocker or activity bouncer they purchased in the last three years. Respondents rated brands on child enjoyment, additional features, durability and quality, design and style, weight and size, value for money and overall satisfaction. Manufacturers that received the minimum survey sample size of 30 responses are featured in our report.
Aussies cooed over Baby Einstein in our latest ratings, giving the brand a five-star review for overall satisfaction and in the majority of categories.
Here are the best baby bouncers in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s 2021 review:
Baby Einstein bounced to the top in our latest baby bouncer ratings, after earning the only five-star review for overall satisfaction. It also got full marks for child enjoyment, design, durability and quality and additional features.
It’s worth noting that all brands rated this year managed to score a five-star review in at least one category, suggesting there’s something for everyone. This includes runner-up Bright Starts which edged out Baby Einstein on weight and size and Fisher-Price which received the only five stars for value for money, plus full marks for design and additional features. BabyLove earned five stars for child enjoyment and weight and size, while Ingenuity got top scores for design and additional features.
Read on as we explore what the three brands in our 2021 review have to offer, plus tips on what to look for in a good baby bouncer.
Baby Einstein is a renowned brand of multimedia products, including direct-to-video programs, CDs, books, toys, play mats and baby items that offer interactive activities for infants and toddlers. In terms of bouncers, Baby Einstein only stocks ‘activity jumpers’ suitable for babies at least six months old and who can sit up unaided.
If your little bundle of joy has musical ears, Baby Einstein has the Neighbourhood Symphony Activity Jumper ($299 RRP), packed with musical activities including electronic bongo drums with lights, a piano that plays music and spins, a guitar with colourful beads, plus more. It comes with four height positions to keep your baby’s growing legs comfortable and a Secure Support seat.
For little ocean lovers, there’s the Baby Einstein Neptune’s Ocean Discovery Jumper ($299 RRP) that features an electronic turtle toy station, a crab that spins inside a clear ball, a little starfish that holds a self-discovery mirror, an octopus paddle toy, flashcards with real-life imagery and more. You can find Baby Einstein products from Target, Baby Bunting, and other baby speciality shops.
Bright Starts has also been in the biz of making baby bouncers for more than 40 years, and also under the Kids II banner. Available at popular retailers such as Big W and Target, as well as baby speciality stores, the brand has a number of rockers and baby bouncers for parents to choose from. There’s also a bunch of other baby products on offer, including everything you need to take you from playtime, to nap time.
Bright Starts is one of the more affordable brands on the market, with some bouncers available from just $20. The bouncers feature vibration settings to help calm your baby, as well as a removable toy bar and machine-washable fabric, finding a middle-ground between child comfort and something easy to take care of for parents.
Bright Starts also offers a range of themed bouncers and rockers like Sunshine Seaside, Playful Parade, and Disney-themed ones featuring characters like Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh, making them the ideal companion for those Disney movie marathons with bub. There’s also a couple of Safari-inspired bouncers and rockers. All come in multiple sizes and configurations.
Those after a portable swing also have a few products to choose from, with most models including multiple reclining seat positions, non-slip feet for additional safety and a foldable design to help you take it on the go.
Founded nearly 90 years ago, Fisher-Price has been a mainstay within the baby market, offering a wide variety of products for babies, infants and children. While currently operating as a subsidiary of Mattel, the Fisher-Price brand is available from a wide variety of retailers, such as Myer, Kmart and Target, and offers one of the largest ranges of baby bouncers and the like around.
With bouncers, rockers and swings suitable for newborns, infants and toddlers, Fisher-Price has plenty for parents to choose from, including the Take-Along Swing & Seat – which features a soft seat pad, gentle music and sounds, and soft animal friends for your bub to play with, plus swinging motions and calming vibrations to help your little one nod off.
While it doesn’t have the range as some of its competitors, BabyLove offers both rockers and bouncers for parents to consider. Available from speciality baby retailers, BabyLove additionally stocks baby seats, cots and walkers, suitable for whether you’re looking for something for around the house, or something that can go with you.
BabyLove’s primary baby bouncer – the imaginatively named ‘Rock a Baby Rocker’ – features an easily adjustable toy arm and folding capabilities for easy transportation and storage. Incorporating a 3-point safety harness and an adjustable backrest, the Rock a Baby Rocker weighs in at just over 2kg, and comes in either mulberry or cream finishes. Side note: this bouncer is discontinued, but can still be purchased on some third-party sites like Amazon and eBay.
Under the Kids II umbrella, Ingenuity has been operating within the baby product market for over 40 years, and is available at baby speciality retailers, as well as general retailers such as Big W and Target. Offering cots, swings, rockers and bouncers, Ingenuity has daytime and nighttime covered.
Ingenuity’s range includes products such as the InLighten Cradling Swing, which features six swing speeds that sway in three different directions, helping to lull your bub off to sleep, as well as plug-in capabilities to save on battery costs. Other products within the Ingenuity range include the SmartBounce, which features 30 minutes of continuous automatic bouncing, as well as the Moreland bouncer, which features an adjustable three-point harness and removable toy bar for a safe and fun playtime.
While this year’s baby bouncer review compared five major brands, there are still more worth checking out.
Made by Valco Baby, VeeBee is a wholly-owned Australian brand selling baby and nursery products such as strollers, ride-on accessories and play yards. The brand markets itself as being on the affordable side, and offers baby bouncers retailing between $59 and $89.
The cheapest option is the Serenity Bouncer, a lightweight option suitable for newborns and onward. Similar to other baby bouncers, it’s fitted with an adjustable 3-point safety harness. The soft mesh seat is also said to make this particular option comfortable in warmer weather. Plus, the Serenity Bouncer is stated to store flat when not in use. Keep in mind that assembly is required.
It’s not just price that counts when buying a baby bouncer. There’s no one-size fits all, just ask the handful of parents who previously tried a different baby bouncer that didn’t suit their baby (10%). Here are a few more insights our survey uncovered:
Other key findings from our 2021 survey include:
Finding something for your bundle of joy can be a tricky process, regardless of what you’re after. But many consumers are doing their homework to make the decision easier, with 25% of those we surveyed having searched for online reviews before choosing which baby bouncer to buy.
Our latest research also shows Aussies continue to spend an average of $155 on their baby bouncers. A quarter of our respondents (28%) opted for a swing, while 21% chose a basic bouncer and 19% picked up a rocker. Activity bouncers were the next most popular type of baby bouncer (16%), followed by pods (2%).
Two-fifths (42%) of parents purchased the cheapest bouncer they could find, with 28% of respondents managing to snag a baby bouncer that was on sale or part of a deal. Another large portion of people surveyed picked up something which matched their other baby products (45%), such as finding a bouncer with the same brand or colour.
As with any purchase, looking into all of your options before you head to the checkout can save you not only a few dollars, but a bit of back and forth between the store, particularly if you have a fussy baby or need something specific for your bub. Some providers offer hybrid models that convert from a bouncer to a baby seat, while other models acquire some assembly, which may impact on how likely you are to take it home with you. Additionally, keeping an eye on your budget will also influence which brand and product you walk out the door with, meaning there’s plenty to factor into your next purchase.
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s home & lifestyle journalist, Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito. She’s an expert on household appliances, grooming products and all things grocery and shopping. In addition to translating our expert research into consumer-friendly ratings reports, Tahnee spends her time helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services, while highlighting the best deals and anything you need to be aware of.
Photo Credit: Bluedog Studio/Shutterstock.com.
Canstar Blue surveyed more than 1,200 Australian parents of children aged 6 years and under across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased a baby bouncer/swing/rocker in the last three years – in this case, 382 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
Here is the previous winner of Canstar Blue’s baby bouncer ratings: