Best Seats for Baby’s First Year and Beyond

Every parent’s arms need a break from holding their baby. There are times when you actually need two hands free to get things done. It is nearly impossible to change laundry loads, cook, change the sheets, or do any other number of household activities while holding a small and fragile infant in your arms.

A comfortable, soothing and/or educational seat provides positive and productive opportunity for both baby and parent. Baby may also start to develop a bit of independence, knowing he/she can sleep comfortably without being on mom or dad. A bit of a cautionary word is in order for new parents regarding use of infant seats, as well as swings. These products should not replace contact with your infant, and baby should still receive daily belly time to develop neck muscles and encourage self-mobility.

Depending on your baby’s size, age and needs, there are a number of high-quality seats from which you can choose.

What to Look for

For young infants, seats like the following, which are low to the ground and mostly stationary are preferable to bouncer swings, which may be too unsturdy and not plush enough for the newborn.

The Fisher-Price Baby Papasan Infant Seat is the best choice for a premature baby, a newborn or a small infant. Although the soothing vibrations should not be used for a premature baby in the first couple months of life, they work wonders on your full-term newborn or small infant. The contoured seat is incredibly plush and conveniently washable. Of all the seats available, this is definitely the softest and plushest and is complete with support for an infant’s delicate neck and head. There are clips in the back which come apart easily for washing the fabric. Another comforting feature of this seat is its proximity to the floor. On each side of the seat are large green handles which make moving the chair, with baby it it, a breeze. In addition to vibrations, the chair also plays soothing music. The unique frame folds easily for storage, although you won’t be putting this one away until your baby grows completely out of it.

The Soothing Motions Glider by Fisher-Price is a cozy seat for babies up to 25 pounds. The best feature of this glider is that it glides baby back-and-forth or front-to-back, simulating a rocking motion. This glider is more of a seat than a swing, as the bottom of the seat is mounted on a stationary base. The seat has two settings, one reclining for smaller babies. Soothing music may also be turned on for baby.

Baby Einstein’s Discovering Water Rocker Seat is another seat that is low to the ground. Like other Baby Einstein products, the developmental features are as important as every other feature. On this particular model, a combination of soft plastic teethers and lush developmental toys are easy for baby to grab. The rocker seat features a dual speaker stereo which lulls baby with 7 songs, including classical music and nature sounds. The audio system is compatible with iPods, cassette players and MP3 players. An added benefit of this product is that it easily converts into a toddler seat.

For fast-growing babies (aren’t they all?), Fisher-Price’s Infant to Toddler Rocker is a great purchase for the older baby. Your infant will soon outgrow the infant chairs and this chair, which will accommodate baby up to 40 pounds, is a wise investment. This chair can be rocked and it can provide soothing vibrations for baby. The hanging animals on the bar may be a little too close when baby decides to start batting them around. Luckily, the bar is easily removed as are the animals, which are attached with Velcro.

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