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Gliders & rocking chairs Buying Guides

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Getting started

The gliding motion of a glider or rocking chair will add to the soothing effect your baby feels when being held, and there's nothing better than a cozy glider for you for quick catnaps, those 3 a.m. feedings, and snuggling in to read to your little one.

Basic hardwood rocking chairs have been around for ages. A glider is an updated version that's designed to slide forward and backward rather than rock in an arc. Some also swivel. Most gliders come with cushions. An ottoman you can prop your feet on is also available as a stand-alone item and is purely optional, so don't feel like you're missing out if you skip it. Some ottomans are stationary while others glide back and forth with their matching gliders.


Allow plenty of time for the chair to arrive before your baby is born. Although many baby Websites and stores have gliders in stock, gliders with custom-fabric cushions have to be ordered. Allow up to 10 weeks for delivery. Minimal assembly may be required.

To narrow the selection, make a list of must-have features, coming as close to matching the list as you can within your budget. In general, look for solid wood construction, dense, darkly colored cushions that won't lump and that are covered in woven fabrics that won't fray, high-padded, supportive back cushions, padded arms, and dense-foam seat cushions. You'll also want to seek out chairs with springs underneath the seat for support, a smooth gliding mechanism, mechanism bearings with a warranty, a locking mechanism, and the ability to recline. Secondhand is an option, but look for the same features you'd want in a new chair, such as the list we just mentioned, and make sure that the locking, gliding, and recline features still work. Gliders that don't come assembled can take up to a half hour to put together. Allow yourself plenty of time. Save your receipt, gift receipt, or packing slip in case the glider you buy is missing parts or is defective. Some retailers won't let your return an item, make an exchange, or repair or provide parts at no cost without one.

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Copyright © 2006-2012 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission.

Getting started

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