Buying the Right Rocking Chair
Essential Nursery Item
A rocking chair is often considered an essential piece of baby room furniture but it sure can be hard to find one you like. Sometimes a well-meaning relative buys a handsome chair, but Mommy finds the chair uncomfortable. A rocking chair is one thing that really can't be bought for someone else. A mother-to-be is well-advised to try chairs out and choose one on her own since her individual comfort is at stake.
The first consideration in buying any piece of furniture is quality. You want to buy a chair that is well built. That means no to squeaking parts, and yes to smooth motion. The chair should rock both back and forth, with no points of movement that seem to stick. Look at the spindles and glued joints to assess their ability to withstand shaking, rocking, and leaning. Keep an eagle eye out for potential weak spots and bypass any such chairs, even at bargain or reduced prices.
Also check out our great article on stenciling if you want to turn a plain old rocking chair into a work of art.
Squeak Squeak Waaaaaaaaaaah!
As for the aforementioned squeaking, you might be under the impression that that bit of squeaking won't be much of a problem. Once you have the baby, you might find that he is a light sleeper and the squeaking of the chair keeps him awake during rocking--the opposite effect of what you want to achieve. Sometimes a chair only makes noise when you're sitting down or getting up, so it's worth paying attention to such details--you may have rocked the baby sound asleep, but the groan the chair makes when you get up may wake him--canceling out all your hard rocking work.
Make sure your chair is both easy to sit down in as well as easy to get up from. Practice with a bundle in your arms, since things may be different when you are holding a baby. See if you can sit down in the chair while holding the bundle and without looking at the chair. This mimics sitting in the chair with your arms full of baby. Then practice getting up from the chair with the bundle, making sure you can do this in a smooth, easy motion without the chair moving out from under you.
If the chair comes with cushions, make sure they are included in the price, since this may effect your comparison shopping. Check if the cushions are permanent or detachable. You may want to consider the fact that permanent cushions will need to have professional cleanings or stain treatment, and you may want them to be a color or pattern that won't show stains. If the cushions come off, check to see that they or their covers are machine washable.