A rocking chair is the classic type of chair to sit in for feeding a baby but not all rocking chairs make good nursing chairs, there are some other options to consider when choosing a rocking chair for a small nursery.
While a rocking chair is the classic choice, many parents now choose glider chairs which slide backwards and forwards on a track. This can lessen the amount of room they need so glider nursing chairs can work well for a small space. Many glider chairs often also have the option to recline which is difficult to achieve on a rocking chair (as you would fall over backwards). Some gliders also offer the option to swivel in addition to gliding which can also be useful. As gliders offer a similar sensation to rockers along with a number of additional benefits we’ve included some in our list of rocking chairs for a small nursery.
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Rocking chairs for a Small Nursery
Below are our choices for the best rocking chair for a small nursery. This section just covers rockers so if you’ve decided you’d prefer a glider, scroll down a bit further.
Paddie Nursery Rocking Chair
The Paddie Rocking Chair* is a really stylish rocking chair for a small nursery that’s simple enough to suit most nursery designs.
Size: 37.25″ H x 26.13″ W x 37.25″ D
Comes in Dark Grey only
- Large pockets on each side to keep everything you need close at hand
- Wide arm rests to support you while feeding
- Stylish enough to re use in another room when it’s no longer needed in the nursery
- One of the smallest footprints you’ll find for a rocking chair
- No foot rest to make feeding more comfortable
- Back not high enough to provide neck support
dadada Weeble Rocking Chair
The dadada Weeble Rocking Chair* is a padded rocking chair that uses cushions to provide support and is waterproof.
Size: 26.8 x 35.6 x 41.7 inches
Available in dark grey and light grey
- Waterproof fabric allows for easy cleaning
- High back for neck support will be useful for some people
- The attached head cushion offers extra support
- Narrow, low arms so less support when feeding a baby (although this can work better if you use a feeding cushion)
- Modern design won’t suit every nursery
- No foot stall included which can make it hard to get into the right position
Emma Nursery Rocker from Delta Children
The Emma Nursery Rocker* is a fully padded, soft cosy armchair on rockers, great if you like to snuggle up.
Size: 34.75″L x 35.75″W x 39.5″H
Available in a range of neutral colours
- Fully padded so really comfortable and cosy
- Wide supportive arms for feeding
- Looks like regular chair so will look fine in another room when it’s no longer needed in a nursery
- Could make you too warm in hot weather
- Being all fabric it won’t be easy to clean
- The arms are curved so you won’t be able to put things on them
- Won’t provide head support for most people
Haotian Rocking Chair
The Haotian Rocking Chair* is a great cheap option for a simple rocking chair for a small nursery.
Size: 35.8 x 25.39 x 38.1 inches
Comes in medium grey with birch frame
- A really good price if you’re on a budget
- Solid, supportive arms
- High enough back to give good head and neck support
- Removable washable cover that zips on and off so easy to keep clean, great for a sicky baby
- Not fully padded so less comfortable than some chairs
- Although it’s narrow, the Frame is quite long so will need a fairly deep space so that it doesn’t hit the wall when rocking
Yoleny Rocking Chair with Footstool
The Yoleny Rocking chair* is a simple rocking chair comes with a matching footstool to help you get into a good position for feeding.
Size: 25.5 x 32 x 40.5 inches
Comes in light grey and cream
- Comes with a footstool to help your get in a comfortable feeding position
- Fully padded so very cosy
- Wide arms to support you while feeding
- Both colour options are pale so will show stains
- The footstool means it takes up more room (although the actual chair is very small)
- No head and neck support
Glider Chairs for a Small Nursery
Glider chairs can sometimes need less room than a rocking chair because gliding requires less space than rocking. These are our top choices for a glider chair for a small nursery.
Cotzon Baby Glider and Ottoman Cushion Set
The Cotzon Baby Glider chair* is great for feeding babies and includes an ottoman for your feet.
Size: 27.5 x 26 x 40.5 inches
Comes in Grey, brown and pink
- A nice range of colours including a dark one to avoid stains
- A great price for a glider chair
- Very compact size
- No reclining back
- Ottoman takes up quite a bit of room
Emerson Upholstered Glider by Delta Children
The Emerson* is a fully upholstered swivel glider is also available as a rocking chair (see “Emma” above)
Size: 34.75 x 35.75 x 39.5 inches
Available in a range of neutral colours
- Being fully upholstered means the chair is very comfy and cosy
- Swivels as well as glides allowing you a range of options while feeding baby
- Supportive arm rests
- No head and neck support
- Could be too warm in hotter weather
- No foot rest so harder to get into a good feeding position
Gavin Recliner Glider Swivel Chair by Delta Children
This chair does it all, the Gavin Recliner Glider Swivel Chair* glides to rock baby to sleep, reclines so you can relax and swivels so you can face whichever way you want.
Size: 30.1 x 30.9 x 32.3 inches
Available in grey or beige
- Swivels so you can face whichever way you prefer
- Reclines to you can take a nap on it if you want to
- Fully padded so very comfortable
- Stan resistant, moisture repellent fabric
- No back and neck support
- You’ll need more space of you want to use the recline function
- Could be too warm in hotter weather
Evolur Raleigh Basic Glider, Recliner, Rocker
If you want a chair that does everything, then the Evolur Raleigh Basic Glider* is one for you, it rocks, glides, reclines and swivels
Size: 31″ L x 32″ W x 39″ H inches
Comes in a wide range of colours
- Swivels and rocks so can be used in whichever way you prefer
- Reclines so that you can rest comfortably and swivels so you can face whichever way you want
- Made from easy to clean material
- Built in foot rest
- Quite pricey
- The back isn’t high enough for head and neck support
Things to Consider When Choosing a Rocking Chair for a Small Nursery
Choosing a nursing chair is different from choosing any other piece of furniture and there are some specific things you should take into account.
Should your Nursing Chair be Upholstered or Not?
While you can buy some lovely looking old fashioned rocking chairs which aren’t upholstered I wouldn’t recommend them for nursing. At the best of times they will become uncomfortable quite quickly and if you’re sore from labour and birth then that will happen even faster.
Types of Fabric for Nursing Chairs
So you know you want your nursing chair to be upholstered but what type of fabric should you choose? Generally I would avoid waterproof fabric as they are likely to make you sweaty when you sit in them, water repellent is a better choice. Zip off covers that can be put in the washing can be great but you don’t tend to get them with the really comfy armchair styles so it’s best to choose something with a stain resistant fabric. You may also want to consider a dark colour to minimise how grubby the chair looks. If you’re really keen to protect your chair for future use, putting a throw over it will help.
Do You Need a Foot Rest for your Nursery Rocking Chair or Glider Chair?
Personally, I was only really comfortable feeding my babies with my feet up so for me, a foot rest is a must, whether it’s a separate footstool or something built into the chair. To help you decide, think about how you sit at home, if you often have your feet up you’ll want a foot rest. You can of course buy a chair without a foot rest and buy a rest separately.
Should you Choose a Rocking Chair or a Glider Chair for Nursing?
The movement you experience in a glider chair, assuming it’s well made, will be smoother that the one you get from a rocker. Having said that, babies often enjoy quite a vigorous movement so smoothness isn’t necessarily important. If you’re on a budget, then rocking chairs are the cheaper option, particularly as you need to pay a bit more for a glider to get decent quality that will move well.
One real downside of rocking chairs is that they don’t recline and the option to recline can be a real bonus when you’re a sleep deprived new mum!
Does a Nursing Chair Need to Have Arms?
Yes! I inherited a lovely upholstered rocking chair from my grandmother that had no arms which I thought I’d use for nursing but it was just impossible to support baby comfortably without arm rests.
Can I Buy a Second Hand Nursing Chair?
There is a thriving market for second hand baby equipment so if you want to buy a second hand nursing chair you should be able to find one. Make sure you try it out to make sure it moves smoothly and check it carefully for stains.
What are your Long Term Plans for the Chair?
Do you plan to just use the nursing chair for feeding your baby and possibly future babies or do you hope to move it to another room after you’re done feeding in it? There are plenty of stylish nursery rocking chairs that won’t look out of place in another living space so you’ll want to consider these if you plan to relocate it when the feeding is done.
Choosing a Nursing Chair for a Small Space
While all of the chairs above have a small footprint, you’ll need to bear in mind that they will need space to actually rock or glide. This won’t be a problem if the space you have is narrow but deep however if the space is shallow you might have to move it forward to actually sit in it.
As a rule, gliders need less room to go back than rockers so can be a better choice if you can’t place the chair very far from the wall. If your space is shallow you might want to avoid paying a premium for a reclining feature you won’t have the space to use.
Features to Look Out for In a Rocking Chair for a Small Nursery
Here’s a quick summary of the features that rocking chairs and gliders have which can be relevant to your choice:
- Reclining Function
- Swivel Function (up to 360 degrees)
- Glider (moves on a track)
- Rocker (swings back and forth on curved rockers)
- Removable covers
- Water repellent fabric
- Stain resistant fabric
- Wide arms for support when feeding
- High back for head and neck support
- Separate footstool
- Build in for rest
- Fully upholstered for extra comfort
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