Gliders & Recliners

Parent Q&A

  • Supportive nursing chair recommendations

    (9 replies)

    I have a five week old infant, and I’ve yet to find a comfortable chair in my apartment for nursing. I have straight back dining chairs with no arms, which are not supportive enough. I have a big arm chair, but the arms aren’t in the right position for being useful breast-feeding. Mostly I nurse in bed or on the sofa in various different positions, but have yet to find the perfect solution. I often have to change positions due to plugged ducts on the bottom left side. I’d like to find a comfortable armchair, that does not necessarily need to be a rocking chair. Any advice or suggestions are welcome.

    If you feel comfortable going into the store, I would visit Tot Tank in Alameda and try out a number of their chairs. I bought my chair from there, which I loved for nursing and is still one of my favorite furniture pieces 2 years later. I have a babyletto power recliner glider but my suggestion would be to sit in a few chairs and see what feels comfortable on your back. The staff at Tot Tank was very helpful in making suggestions on how to tell if a chair is a good fit. 

    I didn’t find a particular chair, although long term my glider rocker has been great, we’re going on two years nursing. At the beginning the biggest help was pillows! I finally tried a my breastfriend after only using the Boppy and found it soooo much better. They are often available for cheap or free on Craigslist or Nextdoor if you’re comfortable with something used. Hope you find a comfy position and I’ll also plug mommastrong, an amazing mom centered workout program that’s $5/month and has all kinds of short videos for exercise but also stretches specific to breastfeeding and other momma aches and pains. Sending you strength, it’s hard work!!

    The answer may be a better chair (especially with needing to change positions a lot right now) or it may be a nursing pillow, if you're not using one already. That saved my back and arms so much pain with all my kids. My Breast Friends is by far my favorite as it's very firm.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Is a Glider a must-have?

April 2012

My husband and I are preparing the nursery for our first baby and we're debating whether or not to get a glider. I'm not a fan of the wood look so would opt for an upholstered glider, but those get expensive! Any suggestions on where to get a nice upholstered glider for cheap? I'm not opposed to buying a used set. But the main questions I'm wondering is about usage-- would a comfortable armchair ottoman do the same trick? If you didn't have a glider for your little one, do you regret not getting one? Thanks for any insight!

We never had a glider or rocker for any of our 3 kids, mainly because I hate the look of them. Never missed it. We got a big comfy armchair, wide enough for a grown-up and kid together, instead and used it for nursing, snuggling, reading. The kids are in elementary school now and still sit in the chair to read, sometimes alone and sometimes together. I mostly nursed on the couch - I found I liked to sit criss-cross-applesauce when nursing, anyway, which wouldn't have worked in a glider. My advice would be to wait and see if you feel like you need one after the baby is born - there's no rush. Maybe try out a glider with the baby at a friend's house or store. If your baby likes motion, bouncing on a yoga ball might be an alternative, too. Keeping it Simple

Glider or rocker indeed. Armchairs don't move and babies need movement. Enjoy this time -- comfortably!

No, it's not a must-have, especially in the Bay Area where space in our homes is at such a premium. Better to get/use a comfy chair (or couch) that you will continue to use after the baby becomes a toddler. I found that for nursing (a lot of what you are doing in the middle of the night) the chair needed to be still anyway, rather than in motion, and my kids wanted to be held to fall asleep but didn't particularly want/need to rock. And with #2 I ended up mostly nursing her in the bed anyway.

I think what you'll find is that those picture-perfect nurseries where the baby is in a separate room with a matching set of furniture and a glider just really don't work. Even in those rare families who have the room for a separate nursery space, the space often goes nearly unused. The baby just wants to be with you anyway, and you would rather be in bed or watching TV or eating dinner or being with the rest of your family, not hanging out ''alone'' (with baby) in his/her room. mom of 2

We got one. I hated it, and never used it, but my husband loved it. I still can't stand the thing (my son is 12) and am hoping I can convince my husband to get rid of it soon...
Didn't see the point

We have three kids and we never had a glider. There were times when I thought it would have been cool, but I promise you'll find other ways to sit/feed. I don't really think I'm a holier-than-thou minimalist or anything. Gliders were just super expensive and took up a lot of real estate in our smallish house. didn't glide

I personally feel that it's a must-have! I did not use one single thing more than I used that glider. I was never comfortable sitting in a regular chair (even the big comfy ones) to feed my kids. And, when they are younger, just sitting in the chair to snuggle (up through 2+ years) happened every night & both my husband and me appreciated the glider.

My $.02. You should be able to buy a used one on Craigslist for a reasonable price - just ensure it has removable cushions you can wash. Laura

A glider with a tall back for neck support was a must have for me, and I don't know if I could have survived the late nights breast feeding or what not without that glider. My son is now almost 3.5 and we still use it every night for bedtime stories and rocking to sleep on days he isn't feeling well. It was the best baby investment I made. This is the glider we purchased from Giggle in SF, which can be purchased at other places as well (and comes in more colors than Giggle offers) Glider/LUCAGLCHAR,default,pd.html?start=3&cgid=nursery-decor- rockers-gliders. Granted, this one is $1000! But I was working at a high paying job and it was the only one I could find with the tall back. I'm not even very tall (5'4'') but most of the other gliders were uncomfortable on my neck. I like how this glider could look good in any room. I also purchased a matching ottoman, and while I do use it sometimes, that was kind of a waste of money for me at least. Fast forward to the present, I'm now a SAHM expecting her second son, and would love to have another glider for the baby's room since I still use the other one with my son every day, but I don't want to shell out a lot of money. I saw one at Babies R Us not that long ago that while not as nice, is a whole lot less expensive and still has the tall back/ neck support. I'm pretty sure this is the one I saw in the store for only $300 and it was comfortable. Anyway, congrats to you. Get a glider, you won't regret it. Cynthia

W/my first I had a wood only glider (no cushioning), and thanks to a long back labor and a recovering tailbone, it was a miserable experience! So w/the second I plunked down the big bucks for a well-padded Dutalier which is wonderful and totally worth it. You should easily be able to pick up a used one on Craig's list or on BPN. We still use it to read to my two yr. old b/f bed/naptime. Been there

no. I didn't get one, didn't look at getting one and never missed it. I nursed my babies just fine in the chairs we aready had. Don't waste your money on a piece of furniture you'll have trouble finding a home for. I still see those things sitting in homes of much older kids because the parents ''just can't bear to part with them after the cost spent'' huh? skip it and move along! use the funds for a weekend getaway. PS my kids are 5&7, happy bright engaged kids, can't see it harmed them any! gliding through life just fine!

This question is so funny for our family -- after we have had two very different babies! I would not have survived without a glider with my first child. Seriously. Rocking my child was the only way I could get him to sleep. So, when my second child was coming, I was convinced that I needed to get another glider (my first was still using the glider to get to sleep, so this is a second glider for us). But, my second baby hated the glider. My husband is still laughing about the unused second glider. Anyway, I would tell you to make sure that you have one chair/ottoman/recliner in your house that is comfortable enough for you to fall asleep in and just wait until the baby comes to make a decision about a glider. Mom of picky babies

I balked at the price of our upholstered glider too, but I still sit in every night, and we've had it for 4 years. There are tons of how-to guides for upholstering a glider (easy one) on Pinterest; if you want to save, you could buy one on CL then reupholster. We love ours though, it was $600 with the ottoman and so worth it. Heather

No, you don't need a glider. All you need is a comfy chair with arm rests at the right place. Bonus points if you have something to put your feet up.

We never had one and I never missed it. We have a comfy armchair that worked really well for me. And seriously, once we had the hang of this breastfeeding thing, I just nursed wherever I happened to be. No glider in this household

Yes, I regret not getting a glider! I bought a cheap, used wooden rocker instead, thinking I didn't want that additional large piece of furniture (or the expense) and feeling overwhelmed by all the new stuff that you have to buy. I didn't realize how comfortable the gliders were until trying out my friends'. I say go for it. (Sorry, I can't give advice about where to get one or which to get!) Suffered through two babies without..

If you can find one, GET THE GLIDER! They are so superior to other rocking chairs. My kids are now 8 and 12 and I still use mine daily! Love the gliders!

Get one!! I didn't really understand how useful having a glider would be until we had the baby and needed to rock him to sleep. For a while I sat on the edge of my bed (crib was next to the bed) and rocked back and forth. It killed my back and made my arms sore. Using the glider provides the baby with a better rocking, and it's much easier on your back and arms. It's also where I nurse him, and the armrests are very helpful for that, too. We got ours at Babies R Us and it was a little pricey, but it is holding up well. You can sometimes find the really expensive ones for sale used. Just make sure they don't squeak - the last thing you want when you're rocking a baby to sleep is a squeak to wake them up! Now that we have a glider, I always want to have one - it's a great piece of furniture for sitting in to read. new mom

No, you don't need a glider, or most of the so-called ''must haves'' for parents. Soon-to-be parents are the biggest suckers for marketers! mom of a now teenager who wishes she knew this way back then

I didn't get a glider for my first and I got one for my second as a treat for myself and have loved it. Whether its a must is questionable. If you found all the good features of them in another chair, it would be fine clearly: its just that they tend to have all the good features needed for baby feeding. A wood rocking chair (which I have and do love) is not as great for baby stuff I find because you have to worry about bonking heads, but if the arms were padded I would think it would be okay. I would say the biggest problem with a regular easy chair would just be that you would sink into them and the seat would be too deep. Often, especially at the beginning, I needed to be pretty upright while breast feeding. And I need to get in and out easily without waking baby or using my arms, hence the problem with too deep. Also too deep means it hits your leg at the wrong spot; and more over you probably want a nursing stool to get your legs to the right hight -- again too deep is a problem. Some gliders could have the same problem, so I'd recommend trying them. I found the lower end glider of the Dutailier was a better size for me than the more expensive ones. I haven't found the ottoman a must, although for long-term use as general furniture its nice.

No. We had a hand-me-down old-style rocking chair that was fine. They're expensive, not particularly attractive, and whatever benefit they provide is pretty short-lived. I think there's much more useful things you can do with that money. Spend it on a date instead

A glider is not a must-have. I did not have one for my first two and everything worked out fine. I did get one for the third. I admit it was something that motivated me to get out of bed to feed him in the middle of the night. It is very comfortable to sit in for extended periods. So for 6 months or so, it was useful. Now, 11 years later, there it sits, still in the bedroom, in the corner. It is too ugly to be in the living room. It's ugly in the bedroom too but no one sees it there. Every couple of months I sit in it and read. I wish I had bought a comfy armchair instead. Six months out of 11 years is not really worth it! a mom

You do not need a glider.

You DO need a comfortable place where you can and safely hold and nurse the baby while you are half asleep.

You may or may not already have such a place in your house. A couch or armchair or even an arrangement of pillows or bolsters on your bed can work. If you don't have something that qualifies, or you want something new to fit into a nursery room, consider a ''regular'' recliner - - rocking or not, your preference -- with a deep, wide seat and arms. This works as a baby nursing station (a wide seat provides space for a nursing pillow, and a deep seat and supportive arms help keep baby safe even when you both fall asleep there) and can also be used for bedtime stories in later years. I bought mine at JC Penney; you can look any place that sells furniture suiting your taste and budget. There's no need to limit yourself to ''baby furniture'' places.

Oh, and if it turns out that your baby needs constant gentle motion in order to fall asleep -- as many newborns do -- and you'd like to be able to provide that while sitting down, you're more likely to be successful with bouncing on an exercise ball than with a glider or rocker. Holly

Hi! I had twins, who nursed for over a year, and we didn't have a glider for any part of it. For us it was just an expense we couldn't make room for, and we also didn't have any literal room in our apartment for anything! Between the couch, an old recliner, our bed, and an oversized bean-bag style ''lovesac'' I didn't want for a place to feed them. I actually found that I preferred to have my feet on the ground, sitting up, for breastfeeding. The only thing I'd recommend investing in are several good pillows! Good luck! happily without

We tried to go without.... it lasted about 3 weeks. We use it all the time. barbara

I would definitely recommend something that moves like a glider or a rocking chair. Babies love to move. I don't know how I would have managed w/o a rocker. We have an upholstered rocking chair (I did not like the motion of the glider chairs myself) but I think any kind of chair with motion would be a must have. I don't think you need to spend a lot since a regular old rocking chair with a comfortable cushion would be fine. anon

Just my experience...I didn't want a glider (ugly, big, etc) but bought one after our baby was a month old -- they are easier to get out of than a regular rocker or chair in my opinion, which is important when you are holding a baby who's finally asleep. I got a very simple one that's ok looking, and found that the footprint isn't as large as I feared. I fought the glider & the glider won

I had a regular wooden ''porch rocker'' -- wide and comfy once I added the pads -- for kid #1 and went for a glider the second time around. The glider was more expensive than the rocker but I never regretted either decision and have really fond memories (as do my boys) of hours and hours of rocking and gliding with them.

Using a glider with twins

Oct 2007

Our twins are due in late Dec/early Jan and we are just starting to purchase items for the nursery. We've heard a rocker/glider + ottoman is a necessary item. I've started to research them a bit and am wondering if it's actually possible to hold both babies and rock/glide them to sleep--the arms don't seem wide enough. Any thoughts? Recommendations? Thanks, megan

A comfortable seat for nursing and dozing in is a ''baby gear'' necessity, twins or not. But that seat does not necessarily have to be a Dutailer-type glider. I preferred a cushy upholstered swivel rocker-recliner ($300 at JC Penney, best money I ever spent preparing for a baby), and I know moms who have preferred a couch or regular armchair plus a small footrest. Of course, some do like the glider and matching ottoman. Very much a matter of personal preference.

Typically you want to make sure the arms of the chair are at a comfortable height to rest your arms on, but the baby (or babies!) when newborn will most often be resting on a nursing pillow or other cushions or pillows anyway, so you want to make sure the width of the chair's seat and the height of the arms are appropriate to accommodate your nursing pillow. If you plan to use one of the nursing pillows specifically designed for supporting twins, then take it with you when you shop for a chair and see how it fits.

Aside from that, the main consideration is to get something with a high enough back that you can relax and doze in the chair. Don't get one that doesn't support your head. Holly

Congratulations on your twin pregnancy!

First of all, I really recommend that you join Twins by the Bay or at least try to make it to their bi-monthly expectant and new twin parents support group. It is a phenomenal resource. When I went when my twins were little, there were always pregnant women there who got a lot of great advice from those of us that already had our babies. The glider question gets asked a lot. Having twins is a whole lot different than having just one, so it really is good to get advice from other twin moms. Also, Twins by the Bay has an email forum where questions like this get asked and members will give advice. Website is -- there's also a great blog that non- members can view and you'll read a lot of great advice and hear about life with multiples.

A lot of the stuff out there is geared towards singletons. You need the EZ2 Nurse pillow, available at, or on loan from the Twins by the Bay equipment loaner program. This pillow is much bigger than regular nursing pillows and is designed for nursing twins. Many twin moms I know prefer nursing on a couch because it's an easy way to get the babies set up if there isn't someone there to hand you to them. You place the babies on either side of where you're going to sit, turn to one side and pick up the first baby and put him/her on the pillow, then turn to the other side to pick up the other baby. When you're done you can place a baby on either side of you so you can get up.

I happened to have a glider from my first, singleton pregnancy. The only way I could use it was to have both babies in a bassinette next to me in the chair. I had to sit on an extra pillow or the nursing pillow would rest on the arms of the glider and be way to high. (It all depends on how big your breasts are - some women need the nursing pillow to be higher.) Then before sitting down I would strap on the nursing pillow, pick up one baby and sit down. I'd place her on the pillow on the side opposite of the bassinette and then pick up the other baby. It was kinda precarious as there was just the drop off on either side. So that's why some woman prefer the couch. It also was harder when they got bigger. Around 3 months when they were faster eaters I started just nursing them one at a time. Now I only tandem nurse if I'm in a hurry or they are both melting down.

It's hard at first, but it gets easier. I didn't have enough milk at first and supplemented with a tube feeding system. It was hell but worth it. Proud mamma of 10.5 month twins

I don't have twins, but work at a daycare part-time. I have managed to feed a baby while quieting another without problem...these are usually older infants (4 to 9 months), so I assume you could figure something out with twins.

Also, for my own children, I just used my grandmother's rocker without an ottoman. I wished that I had a footstool, but wasn;'t necessary as I am 5' 10''. Don't always believe the hype. We could afford what we needed (hubby makes close to $200,000) , but didn't get a glider plus ottoman plus a lot of other 'must haves.' -it will work

My opinion from experience is forget the glider and ottoman. The wooden back, even with pillows, is extremely uncomfortable. The narrow arm rests also so impractical, and non-functional. The ottoman was somewhat useful, until the little ones started to crawl and pull up – those things are sooo unstable and full of finger smash points. It was resigned to the basement fully taped and wrapped up.

Get a recliner. A rocking type that can also kick out to a semi- laying down. Big wide arms to lean on and that can accommodate pillows supporting your arms and babes. My foot rest is a cheap rounded-corner plastic step stool, from Rubbermaid, I think. Grips to the floor while I rock in the comfy chair. Ahhhhh! Comfy Mom