Whether you are shopping for a baby shower gift for a loved one, or you’re an expecting family who is putting the finishing touches on the nursery, a nursery glider is without a doubt that one special piece of furniture that you certainly don’t want to overlook.
As you read through our guide, we’re going to fill you in on everything you might want or need to know about these life-changing pieces of furniture (okay, maybe they aren’t life-changing, but they are pretty spectacular!). We’ve got a lot of ground to cover so let’s get started, shall we?
This article is going to give you a comprehensive look at everything you need to know about a nursing glider. These can be the perfect piece of furniture for your baby’s nursery, but you want to make sure that you make the best choice for you.
In this article, we will start with the basics about what these chairs and how they function, including the many design choices available. We will then compare them against the traditional rocking chair. Then, we will dive deeper into all the different features you can expect from a nursery glider purchase, as well as some manufacturers that you can trust.
Overall, we aim to give you all the tools to make your decision. Before you dive into the options on the market, you should know what you are looking for. This way, you will not become overwhelmed with choice, and can pick the one best for you. So without anything further, let’s get started with some nursery glider basics.
A glider is like a rocking chair, but instead of rocking in an arc-like the rockers on your front porch, they move like a swing seat where the frame of the chair remains stationary. The way the glider works is by utilizing a double-rocker four-bar linkage that’s supported by springs. The patent for this type of chair appeared in 1939 and is generally found in glider chairs.
Today, gliders can be found either on the porch for relaxation or in the nursery to help with feeding newborns. Parents often prefer these types of chairs because it’s a little better at preventing small children and pets from getting hurt since the moving parts are away from the floor.
Whether a glider is right for you will probably come down to personal preference. Many prefer them in terms of comfort and functionality, but it often requires some experience to know whether they are the right chair for you.
We aren’t going to pretend that rocking chairs and gliders are two totally different things and one is far more superior than the other because they aren’t.
They are both stylish, they can both be comfortable, and there’s a reason why you see rocking chairs on porches all over the country. However, there are some slight differences in the way they are built, the way they function, and the basic style of the chairs.
When it really comes down to it, the proper choice for you will depend on your personal tastes. It helps to make this decision at the outset, so that you don’t make an investment into something you don’t enjoy. To help make this decision, we’ve included a list of relevant considerations below. Try to decide based on each factor, and then you will probably have a good idea on which style is best for you.
In terms of style, rocking chairs have been around for centuries, and the form hasn’t really changed much since then. These chairs are designed to be used inside and outdoors, and they’re typically made from wood, which can be painted from time to time to give it a facelift.
With a glider, we like to think of them as a modern take on the rocker. The gliders are usually upholstered in a variety of patterns and colors. There are some companies that will give you the option to choose from a selection of fabrics so you can create the nursery glider that is perfect for your décor.
So it really comes down to what your preferences are. A rocker chair is certainly the more traditional look. You can likely get a rocking chair and not ever worry about it going out of style. If your nursery has that traditional, timeless appeal, then a rocking chair will fit right in.
A swivel glider, while modern, can still be quite timeless and muted. You can get them in a wide variety of styles to fit most any type of nursery. So if you are in the market for something a little bolder, then a glider is likely what you are looking for.
Rocking chairs are pretty easily identifiable. They are chairs built on two arched legs. To get the chair to rock, it requires physical effort from the person sitting in it. With a glider, there is a stable base that sits on the floor, and there is a sliding mechanism on top. This sliding mechanism allows you to glide with very little effort from the user.
Rocking chairs are usually bought without any extra cushions or padding - it’s just the hard wood. Because of this bare bone's wooden construction, in order to make the chair comfortable, you’d have to purchase separate cushions, which can be an added expense. With a glider, the cushions and padding are part of the complete package.
Also, most gliders have some kind of locking mechanism that you can engage to keep the chair in place when it isn’t being used. This locking mechanism can go a long way in keeping little fingers and curious pets from getting hurt from the sliding mechanism.
Often, the differences will largely come down to how well the construction is done. You have to be a bit more careful with gliders, as the large amount of moving parts can make them more prone to defects and less than optimal performance. Therefore, you really want to do your research to ensure that your choice functions optimally.
On the other hand, a rocker chair is probably a safer bet for consistent performance. So long as the design is sturdy and the materials are quality, you should have no problems operating it exactly as intended.
Gliders and rockers move differently, so when you’re choosing which piece of furniture will work best for you, you’ll want to take that into consideration. With a glider, you’re going to be moving back and forth in a smooth, fluid motion.
With a rocker, it’ll feel like you’re on a boat, rocking back and forth, which can sometimes feel choppy and not always smooth. Also, some gliders have a base that allows you to swivel the seat around in a full 360 degrees, so you can easily reposition the chair without physically lifting and moving it.
This movement can be quite useful if there is something on a table behind the chair and you can’t get up to retrieve it in fear of waking the sleeping babe on your chest - or if you want to look out the window or catch the latest drama unfolding on the television.
In terms of usage in a nursery, most parents find that a glider does the job better. This is simply due to the time spend in these chairs. When you need to be in a chair for extended periods, with different parenting tasks and ways to take care of your baby, you are going to need to sit in a different amount of positions. The glider simply allows more functionality, and more ways to sit, sleep, and nurse comfortably.
When you look at the comfort level between one chair and the next, there’s no denying that the glider is going to be the clear winner. You can’t beat the comfort that you’ll get with an upholstered chair that’s stuffed with great padding. To up the comfort factor, there are a good number of gliders that come with a matching ottoman so you can rest your weary feet.
And be sure not to confuse comfort with simply having soft pillows. A comfortable chair needs to be firm, and give you great support for your back, arms, and neck. Typically, higher quality gliders will be designed with these features in mind. You want a chair that is soft, but not so soft that it doesn’t offer ample support while you sit, rest, or sleep.
As we previously mentioned, rocking chairs usually do not come with padded cushions, nor do they come with an ottoman. While the ottoman set isn’t a necessity when you’re feeding or comforting your little one, it certainly is nice.
If you’ve settled on purchasing a nursery glider over a rocker, then you will have to decide if you want a wooden glider or an upholstered one. With a solid wood glider, you have the option of changing the cushions as you see fit.
They take up less space in the room, and you can even find additional features that will make the chair more comfortable for you. These accessories include things like:
With an upholstered glider, you are getting something that can be as unique as you are. You can choose the type of upholstery that best suits your décor, they’re going to be more comfortable because of all that cushioning, and there are some that have the ability to recline (or have an ottoman included with it).
Typically, an upholstered swivel glider is a better option for a nursery because of safety issues as well. There are less exposed moving parts, and present less of a hazard for your baby becoming stuck or injured. By having all moving parts and the entire mechanism covered, you can be more secure that your baby is safe.
You can also typically choose between a high back and a low back for your glider. With a high back glider, you can lay back and rest your head. A low back glider will only offer back and core support.
The lower back gliders are more modern in their design and appearance and are much more compact in size, which makes them the ideal choice for a smaller space. High backs, on the other hand, are more traditional and will definitely take up more room.
It will come down to whether you want more space, or more support. It will also come down to your height, as to whether the back is long enough to offer ample support.
The challenge of choosing a nursery glider goes beyond just wood or upholstery. There are other aspects of the glider that should be taken into consideration before you buy the first chair that catches your eye. Some of the features worth taking note of include:
You’re going to be spending a lot of time in that chair for the first few years of your child’s life, so you’re going to want to make sure that it is going to be comfortable and functional not only for that time period but also after your child grows up as well.
Additionally, durability will ensure that the gliding function continues to operate smoothly and efficiently. With a mechanism that isn’t operating smoothly, you might experience some jolting in movement, as well as noise. This type of action can startle a baby, or even wake it. You want to find a glider that can hold up to heavy use over time.
As an extra added level of comfort, there are gliders that have the ability to recline. These types of chairs are great for feedings, but also to help your little one fall asleep if they are particularly fussy. Don’t be too surprised if you happen to fall asleep too when reclined!
This may seem like a small feature, but it might not seem so small when you are spending extended periods beside your baby’s crib. A gliding recliner offers you the option to kick back when you want to, and even fall asleep. Many parents choose the glider recliner because it offers them more comfort options, which will soon become a very valuable consideration.
Generally speaking, upholstered gliders are going to have comfortable armrests to begin with. If you prefer to go with a wooden glider, you’ll want to choose one that has rolled, and padded armrests instead of straight wood. This padding will be much more comfortable for your arms to rest on while feeding or holding your baby.
When you have a newborn, you will find yourself spending a considerable amount of time with them in your nursery glider. For this reason, you want to make sure it offers you good lumbar support. With the right lumbar support, the pain and stress is taken off your back, hips, shoulders, and neck. You will find that it is also especially helpful as the baby gets older, taller, and heavier.
Aside from lumbar support, finding a chair with neck support is great as well. A chair with a long back will offer this. However, it will also depend on your height and body type. Pay close attention to the dimensions of the chair before you make a purchase. You want enough support to keep you and your baby comfortable.
Caring for your child can get messy, so it only makes sense to have furniture with washable or removable covers. Some fabrics can be spot cleaned easily, where there are others that will have to be taken off completely and thrown in the wash.
If you’re worried about stains, we suggest opting for a dark-colored fabric or pattern because the light-colored fabric will show stains much quicker, even with regular use.
In any purchase decision, price is going to play a key role. With gliders, or with any sort of furniture, you can find a wide range of prices, from affordable to premium.
However, we recommend that you consider price in terms of quality. While you can often expect to receive more quality with a higher price, this is not always the case. You really want to examine your options, examine the features, and examine customer reviews to see if the glider truly lives up to the price.
Occasionally, a higher price tag might simply represent a more recognizable brand. You might also be paying for features you don’t need. That is why you have to decide if the price is worth it to you. Consider these features as a whole, and find a chair with a price tag you like. This is an investment after all.
We previously mentioned how a locking mechanism is an important feature on a glider to keep small children and pets from getting hurt, but gliders that lock are also safe for parents too. The locking mechanism can make getting out of the glider a little easier for you, especially if you’re trying to get up with your baby in your arms.
Other features that are quite important for safety include concealed parts and no spaces or gaps. You don’t want anywhere your baby could become stuck or injured. This is why it is so important to buy a chair specifically designed for a nursery. These chairs consider these safety issues, whereas a living room glider may not. But of course, you need to do the research with any product you buy, to identify any potential safety hazards for your baby.
If you don’t care for the look of a recliner and you have the space, gliders that come with an ottoman are nice things to have. A glider and ottoman combo might seem like the perfect choice for the comfort inclined. Not only can you rest your feet on it and relax, but you can also use it to change your baby, put reading material on it, and other light things that you may need while tending to your baby.
One concern with ottomans is the space that they occupy. Your nursery is likely already tight on space, and an extra piece of furniture simply may not be realistic. However, an ottoman is lightweight, and can be stored when it is not in use. If you anticipate spending a long time in the nursery, it is a good option to be able to break out the ottoman and put your feet up.
Being comfortable is probably one of the first and most important things new parents think about when choosing a nursery glider. Look for a glider that is comfortable to get out of when you have your baby in your hands. Also, look for a glider with ample cushioning and padding - and that locking mechanism!
You want to aim for pillows that are soft, but not overly soft. You want a level of firmness to provide some support for longer periods of sitting, nursing, or sleeping. Over time, you will be much more comfortable if your back, neck, and body are supported.
Wanting or needing a wide seat isn’t a reflection of any lingering baby weight. The wide seat is actually meant for giving you enough room to reposition yourself with your baby in your arms and without needing help. Also, the wider seat is nice for when your baby becomes a toddler, and it’ll give you enough space for you both to sit together and bond.
Of course, we can’t talk about furniture without mentioning style. As with any type of furniture, you can find these gliders in a wide range of variants and styles.
The furniture itself is quite a modern looking piece. Because the glider is a more “advanced” type of furniture, it is probably more suited to a more modern style, but you can definitely find ones with a more classic look as well.
Our recommendation with style is to plan out your entire nursery according to a unifying design scheme. Have an idea of what type of look you are going for before starting your nursery, and you can let that guide all your choices. Whether you want a more modern look, a quirky look, a classic look, or anything in between, you can likely find a glider to suit your needs.
Another consideration with style is longevity. Typically, a more classic look will last you quite a bit longer, as it will be almost guaranteed to stay in style. These gliders can last you through multiple babies, and can even graduate into the living room once you are no longer in the nursery as often. So if you are looking for more bang for your buck, the classic look is the way to go.
Another consideration that you might have will relate to the assembly process. Many people don’t mind assembling furniture themselves, but for some it is a deal breaker. Be sure to check before you buy as to whether there is assembly required.
Of course, this also might be an opportunity. If you don’t mind assembling the chair yourself, you can most likely save some money. You can get a superior quality chair for a lower price, and you just need to do a bit of extra work.
Be sure to check out the warranty on any product that you buy. This is especially important with a glider, as it is a complex chair and there are many things that can go wrong with the mechanisms.
The last thing you want to worry about is a chair that doesn’t properly glide or makes a lot of noise. You don’t want to startle your baby awake with a jolty chair.
Make sure your warranty covers problems such as this. After all, with a chair that gets this much use, it is somewhat likely that something could go wrong eventually. Put your mind at ease with a solid warranty.
As you can see, there are many features and specifications to consider when selecting a glider for your nursery. You really want to narrow in on the top two or three considerations that are most important to you in selecting this furniture. As long as your chair meets your top priorities, you will likely be satisfied with your purchase.
Nursery gliders aren’t just a pretty piece of furniture you sit in to feed and bond with your baby. There are quite a few benefits to using one of these nifty things before, during and after your pregnancy. Don’t believe us? Keep reading, and you’ll be convinced!
As a pregnant woman, a nursery glider can be quite helpful, especially when you don't have a lot of energy to exercise or to walk from one room to the next. The rocking/gliding motion of these chairs works to keep your blood flowing smoothly and like normal.
It’s a great way to stimulate the entire body, and when it comes time to deliver your little bundle of joy, you don’t have to worry about walking to help your labor along. Instead, you can use the glider and save your energy for when you have to start pushing.
After you give birth, you’re going to need to be able to sit comfortably. That new glider that’s sitting in the nursery is going to be the perfect solution. Not only will the padding help keep you comfortable, but it can help your lower back pains, even if you don’t have a lower lumbar pillow that is sometimes included with some models.
Of course, a nursery glider will help you with your new baby because that gentle gliding motion will keep your new baby relaxed, so they’ll take to the breast or the bottle easier, but they’ll also be more inclined to fall asleep quicker too.
Nursery gliders are also designed with ample space for you and your baby. Unlike an ordinary living room recliner, they are designed with this space in mind, and it makes all the difference when you are caring for your baby. This extra space become even more important as your baby grows.
The arms of the glider will make feeding easier for you because holding a baby for a prolonged period of time can make your arms sore. By resting your arms on the arms of the chair while holding your baby, you’ll find there is less stress on your arms and feeding will be a breeze.
While gliding in your chair is a good source of gentle exercise and can help you feed your child, it can also help you decompress, de-stress, and rebalance your mind. Being a parent is a great feeling, and you may never know a stronger love than what you feel for your baby.
But it can be pretty stressful, especially if you’re a new parent. The nursery glider can be a nice way to relax, and if you have a good audiobook, podcast, or even some soft, soothing music to listen to, it can significantly boost your mood.
Overall, the key theme running through all these uses is comfort. No matter what you are doing in your glider, you want to be doing it in comfort. There are enough stresses that come with being a parent, and your chair should be last on your list. So whether you are sitting, sleeping, nursing, or anything else, there are wide variations of chair out there to help you and your baby relax.
In addition to making feeding time and breastfeeding easier for the new mom and baby, there are other benefits you will find when you choose a nursery glider and ottoman set for your nursery or really any other room in the home.
Some of the best memories with your baby are made in their nursery while you are holding them and rocking and feeding them in the glider. As the child grows older, this can also be a memorable spot where the child cuddles up on your lap to read their favorite book for the hundredth time with mom and dad. A good glider makes for a great routine and can create amazing bonding moments.
The last thing you want is an uncomfortable chair to get in the way of creating these excellent memories with your child. You want something that is sturdy, reliable, and with enough space for both of you.
The right nursery glider is also affordable. Even if you find that you are on a tight budget, you will still be able to find a good deal on a glider and ottoman set that will last you and your baby a long time. You could also consider adding the nursery glider to your baby registry as well.
However, you don’t want to sacrifice quality for a much lower price. You will be spending a lot of time in this chair. So if it malfunctions and needs to be replaced you might end up needing to spend more money. Consider longevity in your investment, so that you get the most bang for your buck.
If you have hardwood floors or tile, nursery gliders won't mark up the floor as some rocking chairs would. The glider is designed with a stable base that will not scratch the floor as it moves back and forth. It provides the advantages of mobility without actually dragging and scraping across a floor.
Some nursery gliders don't have an ottoman, and you have to purchase them separately. So, you will need to decide if this is something you are going to want or need.
Basically, an ottoman is a feature for extra comfort. If you want to be able to comfortably put your feet up as you feed and hold baby, then an ottoman is a good addition. We think they are quite often very necessary. Considering the amount of time you will spend in this glider, the opportunity to kick your feet up might seem priceless at times.
However, you need to take stock of how much space you have available and if an ottoman will fit in the space nicely without being too overwhelming or taking up too much of your valuable space. Of course, you can always store the ottoman and only break it out when you really need it.
When you’re looking for the best nursery glider, you want to choose one that comes from a well-known and trusted company. You want to at least consider one of the gliders from these companies because this is what they are known for - furniture that is crafted with your child’s safety and your comfort in mind. They will also fit in very nicely with your other nursery décor.
These companies are a great place to start. Survey their options and see what is best for you.
Let’s take a look at some of the top companies in the industry:
Stork Craft has been in the industry for more than 70 years, and they dedicate themselves to bringing affordable, stylish, and innovative furniture for every stage of your child’s life, and not just Stork Craft Gliders. In their product lineup you’ll see cribs and accessories, dressers, changing tables, baby gates, beds for when they are toddlers and older, and much more.
Naomi Home is a company that has all types of furniture for the home. Along with Naomi Home Gliders, you can find furniture for almost every room in your home, be it the kitchen, bedroom, office, and of course, the nursery and kid's rooms. If there’s anything you need for your home, chances are you’ll be able to find it here and in the style that you’re looking for.
Pulaski is one of the top brands in home furnishings, and you can expect that each piece is a perfect specimen of craftsmanship and style.
The company specializes in numerous design styles ranging from traditional, contemporary, and transitional. Along with Pulaski nursery gliders, you can find things like display cases, bedroom furnishings, accent pieces, and other incredible pieces for your home.
DaVinci isn’t just the name of a famous inventor and artist; there’s a company with the same name that has established themselves as the leader in baby furniture and safety. The company has a variety of complete room collections if you want something more than just a DaVinci glider.
The Poppy Regency, Clover, and Jayden are some of the company’s most popular room collections, but you can purchase pieces separately if there’s an item you’ve really fallen in love with.
Dorel Living is another company that sells more than just the Dorel Living gliders. The company brings you trendy and classic designs for every room, ensuring that you’ll find something special that you’ll no doubt fall in love with.
Whether you are preparing for a new baby, surprising a teen with a room makeover, or you want to update the living room, Dorel Living can be your one-stop shop for all those things - and more!
With all the reputable and established brands on the market, how are you supposed to make your choice? We can safely recommend any of these brands, and it might just be helpful to narrow your search to a few brands that you like most.
In finding a chair that suits your needs, the brand shouldn’t matter all that much. As long as it is trustworthy, you should really just focus on finding the chair best for you. So take note of these brands, but survey their offerings to see which chair matches your own preferences.
It might be more helpful in making your decision to use our list of nursery glider features from above.
Keeping your nursery glider clean isn’t just important for cleanliness sake, but also for the health of your child and yourself as well. While it’s inevitable that the cushions of your glider are going to show signs of wear and tear as you use it, you can do regular cleaning to help prolong the look of the cushions.
There are several ways that you can clean those cushions without having to take them to a dry cleaner:
Note: Before you use any type of stain remover, you’ll want to make sure that the solvent isn’t going to change the color of the fabric of your cushions. Read the label and make sure it doesn’t contain any bleach, but you may still want to test it out on a small, unseen piece of fabric on the chair.
To keep the chair in good repair, so it lasts a lifetime, you’ll want to perform regular maintenance checks to ensure all the screws, handles, and other pieces are nice and tight.
You also want to make sure that there isn’t any exposed wood, staples, or nails where there shouldn’t be. These exposed things can be quite sharp and could hurt your baby, pets, other members of the family, or yourself.
Also, as you use your glider more and more, you may discover that it doesn’t glide as smoothly as it once did. If this does happen, don’t be afraid to turn the chair upside down (or have the man of the house do it for you) and lubricate the bearings. The lubricated bearings will make the chair glide smoother, and it will be much quieter too.
If your glider has paint on it, you’ll want to do random checks every now and then to make sure the paint isn’t chipping away, which can be quite hazardous if your child or pet swallows it. To fix the paint, just sand down the area and repaint it with the same color. Let it dry and add it back to the nursery.
So you’ve gotten through this article and you’ve learned a whole lot about nursery gliders, their features, their benefits, their drawbacks, and everything else. But you probably have one question remaining – what now?
The fact is that there are still a lot of gliders on the market, and a lot of decisions to be made. That is why, as our top recommendation, we think you should first make a list of what are the most important decision making factors to you.
Throughout the article, we talked about many different benefits and features of these chairs – from price, to quality, to functionality, to safety, and much more. You should read through each and decide which is most important to you. If you settle on an ideal chair for your situation before you start going through your options, your decision making process becomes much easier.
You can effectively narrow your search quite easily with this method, and the number of options and competitors becomes much more manageable. So sit down and take some time now to save yourself a lot of time later.
As a new parent, you’ve got a lot on your plate. You have this new life that relies on you for everything, and you want to give it to them, and so much more. While a nursery glider isn’t going to make you the best parent in the world, it can help make the whole experience just a little easier - both on you and your baby.
There are many different styles and types of gliders out there to choose from. With so many options available, it can all get a little bit overwhelming. It’s completely understandable that you may feel confused about how to choose the best nursery gliders or glider and ottoman set for your home.
Well, now you can put your mind at ease. We've done the hard work for you. You can head on over to our buying guide not only for a few ideas about what to look for but more importantly, for a few of our top choices.
Remember to think of this as an investment. This is a chair that you will spend a lot of important time in. A baby nursery is a very important space. You want it to be stylish but you also want it to be functional. It needs to be a place that you can sit or sleep comfortably, and is a proper space for both you and your baby.
Leave us a comment below and tell us what your own must-have piece of furniture for the nursery is. Do you prefer a rocking chair, or are you more of a glider person? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
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