Do You Need A Rocking Chair For Nursing? (+ 5 Budget Alternatives)

Do You Need A Rocking Chair For Nursing

Medically reviewed by Macy Tollefson – doula, breastfeeding specialist & prenatal yoga teacher

Parents-to-be face a lot of challenges while preparing for their little one’s arrival. Of course it can be an exciting time, but it’s completely understandable for you to feel stressed or even overwhelmed trying to figure everything out – especially with tons of mommy influencers and advertisements constantly saying “YOUR BABY NEEDS THAT!” or “THIS IS A NURSERY MUST-HAVE”.

Knowing what is really a must-have and what you can leave off your registry can be challenging – especially when it comes to nursery chairs! It’s so important for you to feel comfortable after giving birth when you’re feeding your baby, but you may be wondering if you can skip the nursing chair altogether and save some money.

It’s true that breastfeeding chairs can be very useful and provide many benefits to your feeding experience (like proper support and soothing motions for your baby), but there are some other ways you can create your own perfect nursery chair – without buying anything new!

Let’s explore some of the benefits, alternatives, and important considerations when it comes to nursing chairs. By the end, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to make an informed decision – whether that means finding the perfect nursing chair to cradle you through late-night feedings or embracing alternative options that suit your unique parenting style.

This article is not a substitute for medical advice or consultation.

What Kind Of Chair Is Best For Nursing?

Regardless of the type of breastfeeding chair you choose (even if it’s a “regular” chair), it should offer you plenty of support and allow you to feed your baby comfortably.

In general, you should be on the lookout for a chair that provides maximum comfort and allows you to sit in an ergonomic position. Armrests can be super important for support, as well as footrests. Both will help relieve the potential strain on your neck and upper back.

Using a designated chair that stays in the baby’s nursery can also be a huge asset – especially for night feedings!

How Important Is A Nursing Chair For Breastfeeding?

I’m sure you’re wondering “do i need a rocking chair for the nursery?” – well, let’s see if it’s really a must have!

A nursing chair can be a valuable addition to your breastfeeding routine, because they are usually designed with support and comfort in mind – unlike regular chairs. Having a comfortable chair specifically designed for nursing can provide you with the necessary support and cushioning to make the experience more relaxing and pleasant1.

Keeping the right, ergonomic position and staying relaxed during breastfeeding is super important for establishing good latch (or dealing with a shallow latch) and reducing back pain.

With that being said, its importance can vary from person to person. Many mothers swear by their specific nursery chair, while others breastfed successfully without one! It really comes down to personal preference.

There are several different ways you can create a supportive, comfortable space for you and your baby – even without a gliding or rocking feature.

Reasons To Get A Nursing Chair

Here are the reasons to get a nursing chair (whether you’re thinking about a glider or rocking chair for nursery):

1. It makes breastfeeding more comfortable

A chair that is specifically designed for breastfeeding moms will keep you comfy, especially during the nighttime feedings when you’re super tired. Best nursing chair has also a footrest so you could prop your feet up and fully relax. Ergonomic position will help you to avoid back pain, get a good latch and in general increase your comfort during nursing.

2. You can take a nap in it

If your baby sleeps in their own room, nursing chair is a perfect place to stay close by during nap time or when you’re waiting for your little one to fall asleep. It can be also useful when you want to keep an eye on your baby during illness.

3. Help to soothe fussy baby

Sleep regression, growth spurt, teething – all of that can mean sleepless nights for parents. During those restless nights you may find yourself cradling your little one in your arms, rocking and bouncing them to help them fall asleep or soothe their pain.

Why would you want to do it while standing or slouching on your bed? It’s easier to comfort your baby while sitting in a rocking chair – and the gentle motion of your chair will also help to calm your fussy infant.

4. You can use it not only for breastfeeding

Even once you stop breastfeeding, you’ll still be able to get plenty use of that nursery chair! Think of story time and reading book before bedtime.

Later it may become a comfy chair for your toddler or preschooler.

Oh, and don’t forget that you can also use a nursery chair if your an EPing mama! Staying in a comfy ergonomic position can also help you to avoid back pain during pumping.

Do You Need A Rocking Chair To Nurse

Types Of Nursing Chairs

Mothers today have a variety of nursing chair options to choose from, depending on their preferences and needs. Here are some of the most common types of nursing chairs:

  1. Rocking chairs
  2. Glider chairs
  3. Recliners
  4. Armchairs
  5. Convertible chairs
  6. Swivel chairs

Let’s look at the two most common nursing chairs available on the market today: rocking chairs and gliding chairs.

Rocking Chair For Nursing

A rocking chair works by utilizing the principle of a rocking motion. They feature curved legs or a rounded base that allows them to move back and forth. The chair’s legs are usually positioned slightly curved outward or backward to allow for a smooth this rocking motion.

When someone sits on a rocking chair and shifts their weight or pushes off the ground with their feet, the curved runners on the bottom of the chair initiate the rocking. The chair moves back and forth or side to side, depending on the design and orientation of the runners.

The rocking motion of a rocking chair can be rhythmic and soothing, providing a calming effect for those sitting in it. It has been used for relaxation, comfort, and as a means to lull babies to sleep for many, many years2.

Reasons To Skip A Nursing Chair

Benefits Of A Rocking Chair

  • The rhythmic movement can promote relaxation, connection and calmness.
  • The rocking motion mimics the sensations your baby experienced in the womb, providing a familiar and comforting experience – this could help them fall asleep!
  • Helps you stay in a comfortable position and provides lumbar support.

Glider Chair For Nursing

A glider chair operates on a different mechanism, compared to a rocking chair. Instead of relying on a curved rocking motion, a gliding chair moves in a smooth, linear back-and-forth motion.

When you sit on a glider chair and initiate movement, the chair slides along the track or moves on the ball bearings, creating a seamless gliding motion. This motion is often more gentle and fluid compared to the rocking motion of a rocking chair.

The gliding motion of a glider chair can be controlled by your body movements, requiring minimal effort to maintain the smooth back-and-forth motion. This makes it particularly convenient and effortless for nursing or comforting a baby during feeding or soothing sessions.

Many glider chairs also come with an accompanying ottoman or footrest that moves in sync with the chair’s gliding motion. This allows for a coordinated and comfortable resting position for the feet and legs while gliding.

do i need a rocking chair for the nursery

Benefits Of A Glider Chair

  • Only requires minimal effort to generate movement.
  • Provides a smoother and more consistent glide (in comparison to a rocking chair).
  • Many glider chairs are equipped with comfortable cushions and an attached footrest.
  • Glider recliners allow you to try out to different positions for maximum comfort.

Rocking Chair Vs. Glider Chair For Nursery – Key Differences

A rocking chair and a glider chair are both popular choices for breastfeeding mothers, offering a soothing and comfortable environment for nursing. However, there are some key differences between the two:


  • A rocking chair moves in an arcing motion, typically back and forth or side to side, depending on the design. This motion is achieved through curved legs or a rounded base.
  • On the other hand, a glider chair moves in a smooth, linear motion. It typically features a mechanism that allows the chair to glide forward and backward on a fixed track.

Motion Control

  • Rocking chairs require manual effort from the occupant to initiate and control the rocking motion. You need to push or shift your weight to create the desired rocking movement.
  • Glider chairs, on the other hand, glide back and forth effortlessly with the help of the built-in gliding mechanism. This can be great for when you have your baby in your arms, as you don’t need to exert much physical effort to maintain the motion.


  • Rocking chairs have a traditional design, with curved legs that create the rocking motion. This design can make rocking chairs slightly less stable compared to glider chairs, especially if the floor is uneven.
  • Glider chairs, with their smooth gliding mechanism, tend to offer more stability.


  • Rocking chairs can produce creaking or squeaking sounds over time due to the friction between the moving parts.
  • In contrast, glider chairs are designed to minimize noise. The gliding motion is typically quiet and smooth, making it easier to avoid disturbances to your baby’s sleep or concentration during breastfeeding.


  • Many glider chairs come with a built-in ottoman or footrest that moves in sync with the gliding motion, providing extra comfort and support for your feet and legs.
  • Rocking chairs may or may not have an accompanying footrest, depending on the specific design.

Do You Need A Rocking Chair To Nurse?

If you’re still wondering “do i need a rocking chair for the nursery?” the answer is: it’s totally up to you!

It’s important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and what works best for each mother may vary. Some mothers may prefer the gentle rocking motion of traditional rocking chairs, while others may find that it’s not as helpful.

Ultimately, the choice of nursing chair depends on personal preference, space, budget, comfort, and the specific needs of the mother and baby.

Do you need nursing chair for baby nursery

Do You Really Need A Glider In The Nursery?

Again, the decision to use a glider chair for breastfeeding your new baby comes down to personal preference. Some mothers prefer the smooth gliding motion of a glider chair, while others don’t like that specific motion.

Consider trying out as many options of nursing chairs as possible, to determine which one suits your needs and preferences best!

Reasons To Skip A Nursing Chair

While there are many benefits to a nursing chair, they are definitely not essential3. Many moms get by just fine without one, and some baby’s don’t find the motion to be soothing!

You certainly don’t need to go out and buy a separate nursing chair in order to feed your baby comfortably. A reclining chair may do the trick, or even cozying up on a comfy sofa with plenty of pillows for support!

Keep in mind that if you choose to exclusively breastfeed, you’re going to spend a lot of time (up to 1800 hours in the first year alone!)4 in this chair, so you’ll want to make sure it’s the best fit for both you and your baby.

5 Nursing Chair Alternatives For Moms On Tight Budget

Whether you’re on a tight budget, or just don’t want to add extra furniture to your space, here is how you can use the items you ALREADY have in your home to make the perfect nursery chair!

Remember, the ultimate goal is to get you in a comfortable, supportive position – for both you AND your baby. Here are some great alternatives:

1. Grab A Step Stool

If you don’t have a chair in the nursery with footrests, using a step stool is a great way to give yourself more support! Lifting your legs up will help bring your baby closer to you, so you don’t have to hunch over to reach them.

2. Use A Breastfeeding Pillow

A nursing pillow is an excellent way to support your baby (and save your arms) during a feeding. There are all sorts of sizes and types of breastfeeding pillows, so be sure to try them all out and see which one is best for your body type and baby. Adding a great pillow to your nursery chair can make all the difference!

3. Try Side-Lying In Bed

If you don’t have access to a chair at all, nursing laying down is a good position to help both you and your baby relax. This can be a great breastfeeding position to use when you’re feeling especially fatigued! Remember, your bedroom should be a calm, stress free environment for feeding time.

4. Use ANY Comfortable Chair, Recliner Or Sofa

Try simply using your favorite place to sit in your home. It’s true! Any comfy chair might just do the trick. Wherever you feel most comfortable is likely going to be a great spot to breastfeed your baby. Some moms like to stretch out, while others prefer to curl up and even sit cross legged while they feed! There’s really no right or wrong way, as long as your comfortable and supported.

Nursing Chair Alternatives

5. Try An Office Chair

If you have a home office, see if your office chair provides you with enough support. Is there good cushioning? Is your back supported? Does it recline a little? Are the armrests the right height for you and your baby? Most office chairs are adjustable, which can be great to help you find your perfect set up.

Wrap Up: Do I Need A Rocking Chair For Nursery?

Every mother’s breastfeeding journey is unique, and there is no universal solution that suits everyone. While some mothers and babies may find solace in the gentle rocking motion of traditional rocking chairs, others may discover that it doesn’t quite meet their needs.

Remember, there’s no right or wrong answer here. It’s essential to consider what brings you the most comfort and support during breastfeeding sessions. So, take the time to explore different options, try them out if possible, and trust your instincts to guide you towards the nursing chair that will make your breastfeeding experience truly enjoyable and nurturing.

Article By Macy Tollefson

Macy Tollefson is a full spectrum doula, breastfeeding specialist and prenatal yoga teacher. She is passionate about guiding the modern mama on her journey through the beautiful (and wild) transformation of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Macy envisions a world where every mother has access to the resources she needs, and follows her intuition to make the best decisions about what is right for her and her baby.

The purpose of this article is informative. It’s not a substitute for professional medical advice or medical care. Remember: safety first! Consult your doctor/pediatrician in case of any doubts. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here.


About Me - Zooey BarnettHello Moms! I am Zooey. I am a wife and a mother of three amazing kids: almost 5-year-old Haley and 2-year-old twins Jesse and Matthew. I am a jogger, cooker and blogger.

If you have a question or a comment, do not hesitate to write to me! 🙂

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