Gliders vs. Rockers – Is One Better Than The Other? That Depends on You!

You’ve spent hours researching cribs and changing tables for your baby’s shower, and now you’ve come to your next stop – deciding between a glider vs. rocker for a nursery. Both offer the soothing motion that reminds your baby of life in the womb, but is one better?

Buying a rocker or a glider is a big purchase for your nursery, so you need to know the differences and which will work best for your situation. Let’s take a look at what you should know.

Glider vs. Rocker: The Differences

You know both chairs allow movement, but how are they different? Understanding the differences is vital.

The most significant difference is the way that they move.

A rocker has arched legs that create a steady, swaying motion. Chances are you’ve sat in a rocking chair and rocked yourself to understand this back-and-forth rocking motion.

360 degree smooth swivel by Naomi

On the other hand:

A glider moves as well, but it’s stationary, and the legs are flat. It moves back and forth on a mechanism that glides it back and forth forward and backward. Gliders offer a quiet, smooth movement. You can find some gliders that swivel and ones with a lock feature to stop fingers from getting caught.

A Look At Rockers

Rocking chairs are a classic choice; your grandparents probably used rocking chairs for their kids. A rocker is likely what you envision when you imagine a mother rocking her baby. 

Thankfully, rockers have evolved and changed over the years, but the primary function has stayed the same. You still rock back and forth on arched legs. 

Rockers come in different sizes and styles. Even though you might envision a rocker in the nursery, there is no reason your living room or playroom cannot have one. They’re a classic, after all!

Intense Rocking Motions
A Classic Design
Matches Most Nursery Themes
Larger Size
Can Rock on Fingers

A Look at Gliders

Gliders have a back-and-forth motion that glides along a fixed track. The movement is smooth and not as aggressive as a rocking chair. Many gliders come with a matching ottoman, making them a comfortable choice. 

Smooth Movement
Comfortable and Upholstered
Smaller Sized
Varieties of Designs
Can Squish Little Fingers
Limited Movement

What About Gliders vs. Recliners?

Another option that some parents prefer to use is a recliner rather than a glider or a rocker. A recliner is typically a piece of furniture that you find in your living room or family room. They’re comfortable and recline backward, typically with a footrest that comes up as you lean back.

While these are comfy choices, the negative would be that they are actually too comfortable. If you fall asleep with your baby, it can be dangerous; you should never sleep in a recliner with a baby. 

Recliners tend to be more expensive, and not all have a rocking option. Some recliners rock or swivel, but most of them do not. You can expect to pay more for that! 

How Long Do You Use a Glider or Rocker?

You can use them right at birth, no matter which one you select. Your baby will wake up at night (and start crying) several times, and there are two options for seating that you need to feed your baby in the middle of the night. 

Chances are you’ll use it often for the first five to six months, but then it will slowly taper out as your baby starts to sleep longer stretches at night. By the time that your baby sleeps through the night, you won’t be using your glider or rocker.

Gliders and rockers can be reused with each child that you have. There is no reason to purchase more than one because the quality should be good enough to withstand several years.

Final Thoughts

When comparing gliders vs. rockers, remember that the most significant difference is how they move. Rockers have an intense movement that you can control with your body, while gliders have an even, smooth motion. Both are great options for your baby’s nursery.