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Glider Smackdown

By Amalah


I am struggling with an earth-shatteringly important question as I start to plan a nursery for my first baby. (Ha.) All of my Mom-Friends insist that I have to get a Dutailier glider. They swear it is the most comfortable chair in the world, worth every penny, and will save me during long nursing sessions and late-night snoozes in the baby’s room. One of them even bought a second one when she had a second baby, so there would be one in the living room and one in the nursery (she lives in a house, which I don’t).

I care a lot about interiors and my living environment, and I’m a little terrified by the idea of handing over my style to the child so early in the game; I’d hoped to fight the good fight for at least a year or two before the toy explosion takes over. There are some decent modern styles available, but they still aren’t normally something I’d spend so much money on.


On the other hand, my best friend insists that all the moms *she* knows have nothing of the sort, and use armchairs or daybeds or couches for nursing. I’d obviously rather just buy a comfy chair, but I can see the logic in both the gliding motion and the higher back to provide a head rest late at night.

What do you/the readers think? Are gliders worth it?

Thank you so much!

Let me start off with my own story. We’ll call it Rocking Around the Crazy Clock with Amalah.

When I was pregnant with Noah, my mom offered me a glider/rocker from her house — a very old one, the very same old one she’d rocked me in as a baby and comforted me in as a child. Awww! And she was really excited about giving to me! She’d made new neutral-colored cushions and reupholstered it and my in-laws could fit it in their car and everything! The thought of me having this rocker made her so happy, she said!

So…point the first, there was no way I could justify buying a more modern-style glider when a free one was there and available. Point the second, what, did I seriously not care about breaking my poor mother’s heart?

I accepted the rocker. On one hand, it actually looked better than most of the standard glider options out there, and at one time was a very good, solid piece of furniture. On the other hand, it did not recline or have an ottoman or footstool, there was no where to rest your head and it creaked like. crazy. every. time. you. rocked. The un-upholstered arms made nursing kind of awkward, what with needing to cover them with blankets and pillows to shield Noah’s little head. Plus, it was kind of crazy uncomfortable, as the new cushions were not very sturdy.

You can probably guess how often I used it. Somehow, we all survived.

But if there was one thing I was determined to get a do-over on, it was the glider. Ezra’s nursery was far too small to accommodate any extra furniture, but I’d cleared a corner in our bedroom for it, since we were planning to co-sleep or room-share at first anyway. This meant that 1) we needed something that would not look hideous in our room, and 2) we were not making a long-term lifetime commitment to furniture here, having other plans for that corner once the baby days were over. Thus, I was not going to spend multiple hundreds of dollars on anything, ugly or otherwise.

Everybody’s experience is different, but seriously, any time ANYBODY (including me and my big mouth) tells you that you absolutely MUST HAVE CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT , don’t get too worked up right away. Neither of my boys would fall asleep in my arms while rocking. Noah liked rocking in his swing…but if I tried holding him in the rocker he assumed it was time to eat or play, not sleep. Same deal with Ezra, minus the swing part. He was all about the swaddling.  As long as I swaddled him up tight, I could have swung upside down from a flying trapeze and still gotten that boy to sleep.

For other babies — your friends’ babies, I’m guessing — a glider is a ticket to dreamland, and convenient to THEIR personal house/nursery setup and THEIR nighttime routine. The problem is that you just don’t know what kind of baby you’ll get, or what kind of nighttime routine will work for that baby. Yet during pregnancy we are all consumed with the need to BUY EVERYTHING to cover EVERY POSSIBLE BABY SCENARIO.

(I got particularly itchy about the glider because you had to ORDER THEM from the store and that could take WEEKS and what if the baby is born and we suddenly realize we need a glider more than anything in the WORLD and we go all those weeks without even ONE MINUTE of sleep all because of the GLIDER OMG OMG OMG PANT PANT PANT.)

So…look. If you find a chair that you think is super-comfortable and would look nice in your nursery, go for that. If you don’t find one or just plain don’t want one, skip it. If you change your mind later, that’s okay too. You must have…diapers.

Breastmilk or formula. Some clothes, blankets. A carseat. Everything else is just excess frippery. Convenient excess frippery, for sure, but you absolutely can survive babyhood without it.If you MUST know what to buy now and what you can hold off on, look through our Baby Registry Checklist (there’s a printable version in there).

We shopped. We compared. We spent ages searching the internet for that perfect combination of Not Totally Ugly and Not Obscenely Expensive. We hovered over Craigslist like hawks.

In the end, we bought a used one from a local reader of my blog. I think she originally got it at Target. It didn’t have all the bells and whistles I’d originally wanted, but it was the right wood and fabric color and was small enough to NOT be a giant frumpy monstrosity taking over the left half of our bedroom. Plus, we’d paid so little for it we could honestly just donate it to charity without a second thought of wanting to get some of our money back.

And you know? I used that rocker a lot…during the day. I never once found the need to nurse sitting upright at night. I never wanted to! When Ezra was super-brand-new I was recovering from my c-section, and getting out of bed was painful. So when Ezra needed to eat at night, Jason helped me prop myself up with pillows and I would stick one behind my bed and sort of…doze that way. Once I mastered nursing on my side, while lying down, I never ever did anything else at night. Or first thing in the morning. Even after Ezra moved to his crib, Jason and I kept our division of night labor deal going: I did all the nursing, he did all the retrieving and diaper changing. So why bother getting out of bed if I didn’t have to?

Side-nursing in bed was so darned convenient and comfortable, and I could actually SLEEP. I don’t know about you, but personally I cannot sleep upright. I’ve probably never gotten more than 10 minutes of sleep on a red-eye flight, I’ve rarely (if ever) actually slept in the passenger seat of a car, and I can’t even fall asleep on our couch without first moving into a more horizontal position. So I don’t know why I stressed out so much about having a glider I could sleep in. I am not sure such a thing really exists, for me, not even the almightly Dutailier.

The glider became our nighttime nursing routine spot, but…not really because it was anything other than a convenient, comfy chair. I could have climbed in our bed or sat in the old non-rocking decorative Ikea chair that the glider displaced. I used it to settle Ezra down before naps and whenever we had company and I was tired of popping my boob out in front of everybody. I nursed him for the last and final time there last August, and soon after that our bedroom’s clutter started gravitating there, and it currently sits under a spare quilt, some toys and a pile of towels I need to put away.

If you MUST know what to buy now and what you can hold off on, look through our Baby Registry Checklist (there’s a printable version in there).

Photo by ‚ÖØeagan

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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  • HereWeGoAJen

    February 17, 2010 at 11:42 am

    I didn’t get a glider until my baby was eleven months old. I just nursed her on our bed mostly (sometimes a chair). But then when I got the glider, it turned out she loved it. If I stop rocking her before she’s done, she either says “uuuuhhh” in a half asleep voice or frantically signs “help” for me to get going again.
    My advice would be to sit in a bunch and find one that fits you. I have this one: which I got on Black Friday for half price. It fits me nicely, some chairs are too large for me since I am a rather small person. But the “multi position” thing is worthless. I don’t think this chair is worth the $300 price, but I do think it was worth the $150 I paid for it. Oh, and I find that I don’t use the ottoman that much either. I think I would if the seat didn’t fit me so well, but it is more comfortable with my feet on the floor.

  • Elizabeth

    February 17, 2010 at 11:47 am

    I didn’t use the glider at all with my first. I’d had a c-section, so I was sticking to bed during my recovery. But even after the first couple weeks, getting in and out of a chair that angled like that was too painful on my incision area. With my second, I am using it a bit. I nurse in it during the day sometimes, but only with the boppy on my lap or a blanket draped over the arm, because I don’t have one with padded arms. I do use it when I’m walking the baby to sleep in the pouch. She needs movement sometime and I need to sit down, and it keeps both of us happy. But if I didn’t already have it, I don’t think I would miss it. I think a nice comfy arm chair would get more use, as it will be better for snuggling once you have a toddler. (That’s what I nursed in all the time with my first and she still refers to it as “the milk chair.”)

  • lisak

    February 17, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Was sure we needed expensive Dutailier Glider and Ottoman. Was somehow way, way uncomfortable. The height of the chair and the height of the ottoman just did not work well together and was always uncomfortable. 13 yrs later (yeah, really) that glider and ottoman is in my basement, in good shape, waiting for me to get my act together to post it on Craigslist. Don’t do it.

  • Stephanie

    February 17, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I’ve loved my glider, but only for nursing in the living room downstairs in front of the TV. Otherwise, I never used it at night, and just like Amy, I can’t sleep upright.
    I didn’t buy the Dutalier, but I got one at BRU. It’s an incredible ploy they have for pregnant women checking out the registry, their backs start hurting, and voila, a whole slew of gliders to choose from! My back was hurting so bad from walking all around that store that the gliders were a god send. I sat (collapsed) in several before deciding on the perfect one. I bought it way before the baby actually came and before I realized that you should never EVER buy anything full price at that store. Seriously. Coupons every week in the mail. I could have saved SO much money.
    I still use my glider every time I’m nursing at home and my baby is 8 months old now. But never in the nursery or in our room. In our bedroom, I do the whol side-nursing thing that Amy describes, although it took me way too long to figure out how awesome that was.

  • C

    February 17, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Good put. But I’m like your friends – put me squarely in the “best purchase ever” camp. We got our Dutalier off Craigslist, and it is awesome. To this day (my baby is 2 and change), I use it every single day. I weaned a while ago, but it was definitely our exclusive nursing spot once she got old enough that I didnt nurse her out around everywhere. Today, we read books and do bedtime routine in it. It is soft, comfy, the rocking is great, the footstool (i got the medela wood one) really does make nursing more ergonomic, and I haven’t regretted the purchase for a second.
    But, we did get ours on CL – so keep an eye out. I’d suggest that over new imposter, to be honest.

  • Sara

    February 17, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Just wanted to say that nursing while lying on your side in bed = the awesome. DO THIS.
    I got a glider and footstool off of craigslist on the cheap… glad I got it for rocking little one to sleep, but not for night nursing.

  • Someone Being Me

    February 17, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    I used a regular recliner for my nursing and rocking needs. Plus it doubled as a great place to sleep when I was in that horribly uncomfortable last month of pregnancy. My best friend followed my example and just bought a nice recliner (not old man looking at all) for rocking her new baby. Plus it looks nice in her living room and will serve them long after the baby no longer needs rocking.

  • Katie

    February 17, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    So here I am, pregnant with my second child, insisting to anyone who asks that no, I don’t need any Baby Stuff, we have the essentials and that’s all we need, hellbent on not spending money on junk that will clutter my house needlessly… and I will tell you that if I had to do it over again, I would totally splurge and buy my awesome glider. Which, by the way, cost twice as much as the Dutailier.
    We were in a leased townhome when I was pregnant with my first, and we knew we wouldn’t do much in the way of decorating a room for her. We also wanted to co-sleep, so we decided we’d get one piece of nice furniture, and that it would be the glider. We went to a local children’s furniture store ( and looked around, and quickly fainted at the price tags. We left, talked about it, and realized that many of those chairs were made to be upholstered, slipcovered, reupholstered, and so on for decades. Once our kids were older, we could reupholster that sucker for a super cozy living room chair. We bought one kind of like this Pottery Barn model, only not a recliner and nowhere near THIS expensive:
    We also got a matching ottoman and a small KidKraft nursing foot stool (ended up being really helpful when I was just learning to nurse). And I love that chair. I fell fast asleep in it many, many nights, and my mom and aunt have both fallen asleep in it while babysitting a napping kiddo. Both have declared it the most comfortable chair ever. I am elated I’ll have it again for this kiddo.
    So… I’m not at all disagreeing with the Amazing, Wonderful, and Talented Amalah! In fact, her last paragraph is spot on what I would say. I just think you need to determine your own priorities, budget, and lifestyle. Your friends, while lovely, shouldn’t do that for you. None of my friends spent a lot on gliders, nor would I ever suggest any of them should! But building your family is a very, very personal thing, and as Amalah has said a bajillion times, what works for one woman won’t work for another. And while you contemplate that, I’ll be asleep over here in my glider. 😉

  • Elisha

    February 17, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Nighttime and early am nursing lying down and even nap time so everyone sleeps the best thing ever! My baby is 14 months old(does that count as a baby still??) anyway we just moved out our 1 bedroom apt and into a house and we just got a chair for his room. I hated the look of the glider so we went with this recliner but got it at a wholesale liquidator. ( we use its for bed time nursing and story time. Love it but totally lived without it for a year. I do recommend a super comfy chair though and breastfeeding stool. good luck!

  • Kristen

    February 17, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    I feel you on the ugly. I don’t like the look of gliders because it screams BABY! NURSERY! so I got a Pottery Barn Kids Ecoglider. I got it in cream/natural so when its out of my daughters room it can slide right on into the family room without anyone knowing the wiser. It rocks and swivels and has a foot rest. Foot rest is KEY! I ended up with a great sleeper so didn’t spend the long nights in it that I thought I would have to but I have slept in it for an hour here and there and its comfy. A good option for you if you want something less baby – although it is a tad on the bigger side.

  • Nora

    February 17, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    My mother-in-law gave us a rocking chair before the baby was born, a sweet old chair with a high back that had been in her mother’s house. The problem, her mother was 5’2″, we are both over six feet, and the cushion had never been replaced. We quickly discovered the problem the first night home with baby. Lowering myself into it, and sitting with my tender lady parts, were about the most painful things I could do at that point.
    I had to sit up to nurse because baby would fall asleep nursing and was very underweight for his first few weeks so I had to keep waking him up to keep eating.
    After his 3-day appointment we were driving by a consignment store and saw a gilder out front. I sat in it and nearly cried with how comfortable it was. $90, we loaded it up and stowed the torture car in our guest room to sit there and be pretty.
    Since then we have been able to nurse in bed when needed but we still use it to calm him down. So far we have designated his room for sleeping and diaper changing, keeping it a calm room, playing happens elsewhere and that chair does knock him out when he’s cranky.
    I know we won’t be using it too much longer and it will go back to the consignment store from whence it came and bring joy to another new mother with a sore bottom.

  • LauraL

    February 17, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    I confess: I am squarely in the camp of Get Yo’self a Good Glider. That was our One Big Purchase with the first child because so many people swore by them and swore against using family heirlooms/regular rockers. We went to many a store and sat in many a glider during the elimination process. Very fortunately for us, there was a Dutalier outlet-type store in the area AND I was in a job that paid me a heck of a lot of money. So we bit the bullet and got one. That reclined. With a position lock. And the nursing footstool.
    Fast forward to getting it home. Husband wanted to test it out in living room, even though it CLEARLY was going in the nursery. He laid back, turned on the TV and … It is now a permanent part of our living room landscape, eight years and a second child later. Honest to God, that is the most comfortable chair I’ve ever been in, for nursing, for sitting, for sleeping, for rocking a cranky/sick/sleeping infant or child, … the list goes on. Everyone who comes over wants that chair.
    If I had to do it again with our current income, we couldn’t get a Dutalier but yeah, I’d get a comfortable glider. I guarantee we’ll keep that thing until they carry us out in pine boxes.
    However, as Amalah said, you have to figure out what’s right for you, your baby, your house and your budget. Maybe you get a kid that hates being rocked, you know? Waiting until after the baby is born really is a pretty smart move.
    Still… Camp Glider!!

  • Roberta

    February 17, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Meh on the glider. We skipped a glider or a rocker. They were just too big and too ugly. The only things I liked at all looked liked big stuffed armchairs and were too big for any of the bedrooms and expensive. I found that I was much more comfortable nursing on the sofa, the bed, or a regular stuffed chair. I found that the arms on chairs also got in the way, esp. as the baby gets bigger. A rocking chair of some kind might have been handy sometimes for some soothing to sleep, but I got very adept at gently rocking/swaying in place sitting on our bed or a chair. Plus, this nursing/rocking stage lasts for such a relatively short time, and then you’re stuck with a piece of furniture that you might not really like that cost you a lot of money. I guess you could always resell to some other poor pregnant lady who thinks she MUST HAVE the glider. 😉

  • Alissa

    February 17, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    I bought a glider and ottoman (which I wanted, instead of a recline option) at a local furniture store. Nice padded arms. Comfy chair. That stain-resistant suede-like stuff so all spit-up just comes right out, even months later (AWESOME – highly recommend this kind of fabric).
    But instead of for the nursery, I bought it for my living room. And I used it rarely to nurse. And never to rock the baby to sleep. For nursing I used the bed and the couch. And the baby gets put in his crib awake.
    That being said, I am not sad I got the glider. It’s a comfy chair, someone sits in it every day, and I expect it to hold up for at least a few years (which, I’m not sure I could say the same for those BRUS models).
    It’s certainly NOT something you need RIGHTNOW. Have a baby, see how nursing and rocking goes with furniture you currently own, and of you think you need something, have your hubby look on Craigslist for you.
    Good luck, by the way, with toy explosion containment! I recommend a good toy box, with some other boxes or baskets that can sit in said toy box.

  • Susan

    February 17, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    We bought a metal frame reclining/swiveling glider with padded arms and a high back at Big Lots for $170. It matches our living room furniture perfectly and is super comfy for all occupants (including the cats).
    In the nursery we have a small swivel rocker we bought years ago (it just happens to be blue and looks just right in the boy’s room) with the Medela nursing footstool – if you’re going to spend money on any nursing specific furniture, I vote for the footstool ($25 at BRU).

  • Cheryl S.

    February 17, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    If you want a glider, get one. IF you don’t want one, it’s certainly not required. I sat/laid on the couch or loveseat when feeding my daughter when she was small. Never had the space or desire for a glider. . .

  • Rachel

    February 17, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    My parents offered to buy a glider for me and I never took them up on it. We have a lil bitty house already crammed with furniture and other stuff. Baby and I survived.

  • Jessi

    February 17, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    I got a glider from my in-laws but we also bought a rocking recliner. Honestly, I could go for both. They both have their pros and cons: I’m short (5′) so the glider was easier to “glide” in but uncomfortable to nurse in. The fancy chair was soft, subby, easy on an aching body and it reclined, but my feet didn’t touch the ground so I have to sit in it funny to rock.
    It all depends on what you want. And sometimes, what you have planned goes out the window the second the baby is home anyway. (Baby was in our room for the first 2 months. And I second the side-nursing. Husband brought baby to me, I nursed, he burped and put back to bed. So the chair was only used during the day.)
    I’m still not sure which one I like more to give away the other, so I’ve got both chairs in his room. Excessive? Yes. But my husband sits in it while I’m nursing to keep me company, so it’s being used.

  • Butterfly

    February 17, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    I also have a glider – gotten on Craig’s List as well – and I love it too. Actually I think it has far more to do with what kind of person *you* are, almost more than what kind of baby you have. For example, I never got the hang of side-nursing in bed, but I am also *fantastic* at falling asleep upright in a chair. Baby and I would settle into our glider (cushioned arms are indeed a must) – she on a boppy pillow, me with my feet up on an ottoman, and we would both rock and snooze peacefully. Sure, rocking can calm a baby down, but it also calms *me* down, which is just as important! We use it when she’s awake for stories, feeding-by-husband, everything. And it is a heck of a lot easier to get out of the rocker when she’s asleep (without waking her, to transfer her back to a crib) than it is to get out of a big soft chair.
    But if that’s not you, fret not. It’s all good. One thing I will say, though, that an ottoman is *really* helpful getting good nursing position. If not a rocker, get some kind of chair with a good strong ottoman and good back support. That really does matter.

  • Amy

    February 17, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    I didn’t want a glider in the nursery because there were already multiple rockers in other locations around the house. Then, the baby showed up and lo-and-behold, I wanted to have somewhere to sit in the nursery whether it was for nap/bed routine, nursing while the house was full of company, or because I was sick of standing & jiggling the baby to sleep. I ordered this one ( from Babies-R-Us because I could order in store & save shipping, and it arrived within a week for us to pick up. The chair was cheap, sufficiently comfy, & I’m looking forward to having my butt parked in it for many many hours with baby #2 in a few months.
    I’m with Amalah – just wait & see if you need one and don’t feel like expensive is better.

  • Anonymous

    February 17, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    I received the Dutalier modern sleigh glider/rocker as a shower gift and it was a god send. I could never get the hang of nursing lying down and I loved nursing in the glider. Then as TC got older, like other commenters, we’ve used it for story time, first thing in the morning conversations about life, just quiet time. And now that he’s big enough, I find him in his room, in HIS chair, “reading” his books. He loves it so much that when I mentioned moving it to the new baby’s room and getting a big boy chair, he lost it. So we’ll look on Craigslist for a used one from one of the “glider…meh” folks. 🙂 I still comment to the friend who gave me mine that it’s the only thing I’ve used TC’s entire life (he’s almost 3), he’s outgrown toys, clothes, even his little dresser but still loves the glider. It’s the best gift I got. But also like everyone above has said, every baby and every situation is different. Me though? Fully the love it category.

  • Jen

    February 17, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    We did get a Dutailier reclining glider with the ottoman (with pull-out nursing stool!) and for me it was totally worth it. Didn’t get the hang of nursing while lying down with baby #1, plus she was a super-slow nurser, so I spent hours in the glider and it was a lifesaver. Yes, it is ugly. But I don’t care since it is really comfortable and we got it at BRU on clearance. For me, it was the most expensive and also useful item that we bought. I still use it daily- it is going on 4 years of daily use now. But go for comfort, rahter than looks with gliders- they are all ugly.

  • angie

    February 17, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    I have an armchair glider/rocker that I bought at Babies R Us when I was pregnant with my daughter five years ago. I loved it so much – it was great for nursing with a Boppy and falling asleep in. Then when I was pregnant with my son all my friends told me the wooden glider/rockers were so much better than the one I had. So I fell for it and bought one and regretted it every single time I had to sit in it to nurse him. I am back to using my first daughter’s chair for my third child and still really love it. So from someone who has both, I highly recommend the comfy armchair style glider/rocker with an ottoman. Here’s a link to the one I use all the time:

  • Crabby Apple Seed

    February 17, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    I never could nurse my daughter in bed during the newborn period- my colicky, pissed-off baby would never tolerate such insolence. In our situation, the glider was a godsend. my husband and I both wished we had a recliner instead, so we could at least lean back a little and try to sleep, but I’m not sure she would have allowed that, either. She’s 14 mos old now, and we still use the glider for storytime before bed. Definitely don’t regret it.
    I do remember the purchase of the glider being a ridiculously fraught decision, as my pregnant brain was convinced I would somehow buy a glider made out of spikes or baby poison or something, or that I would accidentally spend four thousand dollars on it. A friend emailed me, told me I was being ridiculous, and sent me to Voila. Found my glider, for far cheaper than Target or Babies R Us. Do not regret my decision for a second.

  • wallydraigle

    February 17, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    I cannot nurse lying down with a newborn. Everyone recommends this, but two babies in I still haven’t managed to figure it out. I also can’t lie on my side after a C-section. I have long babies with pointy feet, though. And it’s more about my hang-up over the creepy sloshy wrongness of my postpartum belly than it is about the pain. Though lying on my side does hurt a little at first. I know others who have had the same experiences/problems with side-lying, so I wouldn’t count on being able to do it.
    I don’t really use my rocker for nursing either; it’s mostly just for sitting while I snuggle or comfort one of my daughters. I do love it, though.
    I will say, DO NOT go out and spend lots of money on something specifically for nursing unless you’re reasonably sure you can nurse comfortably in it. We have a lot of comfortable chairs in this house, but most of them are worthless for nursing. You’ll want room in the chair for your nursing pillow if you use one (I don’t know how I managed without My Brest Friend with my first or how I managed with the Boppy without setting it on fire in a rage). You’ll want to be sure you can comfortably lean back a little in, too, with good lower back support. I foolishly spent the first weeks of night feedings hunched forward in a chair to nurse, not realizing that just one hour of hunching like that a day would do a number on my muscles and posture. The chair I used I thought would be ideal; it was a very comfortable office chair with arms and an adjustable seat and everything. But it just made me really, really angry. Thank goodness my champion sleeper was done with nighttime feedings within about 8 weeks (crossing my fingers for this one).
    I also wouldn’t count on co-sleeping. I really wanted to. Nothing is sweeter than curling up with your sleeping baby, I tell you what. But I found I could not sleep next to her. Heck, i have a really hard time sleeping in the same room with her, even after she started sleeping really well at night. Again, I know others who have had the same experience, so I know it’s not terribly unusual. Still makes me a little sad, though. 🙁

  • eva

    February 17, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    We have a dutalier that I found on craigslist for $150. Awesome deal right? Here’s what we use it for: a plce to pile all of Megan’s clean clothes beacuse we are generally too lazy to put them away. And the damn thing takes up half her bedroom. And when I was breastfeeding, I preferred to use a stationary chair that is less cumbersome and was just … better, even though it had wooden arms and looks like it’s been to hell and back what with the gouges taken out of its legs by the cat and now all the milk stains. Both chairs are still in her room. I wouldn’t bother with the glider for #2 and am planning to get rid of it, ottoman and all. If you’re in the Vancouver area and are interested let me know!!

  • Isabel

    February 17, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    I think you’ll just adapt to whichever way you are nursing. I never had a glider (never even thought about buying one…U-G-L-Y!), and I never missed it. But I’m sure if I would have had one I would have loved it. It’s just what you get used to.
    But yeah, once I figured out how to nurse in bed I never went back to any other way. (I was also upset that nobody had told me about this “you can still sleep while feeding your baby” method. So I’m glad you’re getting the word out!)

  • Erin

    February 17, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    We did not buy a glider right away. We had an old “hippy” rocking chair of my parents that we painted and put new fabric on for the baby’s room, but we never used it. Not comfortable at all. It’s still in the nursery for the new baby, does not take up too much space, looks cute, and is a convenient place to sit down for a few minutes, but not too rock to sleep, feed, or try to doze. I had a friend who had one of the giant upholstered recliner/gliders for her baby’s room. She LOVED it! So, when our first baby was about 4-6 months old, we started checking them out. We wanted a good, comfy rocker for OUR room — to read books, rock, feed bottles, etc. We got this one —
    Our is a plain red, micro suede material. It was super expensive, but we LOVE it. We use it constantly with the kids and just for us. We hang out, read books, feed bottles, play, become human jungle gyms, etc. I have a terrible time sleeping in a sitting position, but I have been known to doze during a middle of the night feeding. If I could afford it, I would buy a similar chair for the living room, and another one for the baby’s room — it is a fantastic and comfortable piece of furniture. That said, before we got it, we used the couch or big chair in the living room for holding, reading, feeding, etc (and still do) and that worked great as well! The good thing about the big rocker/recliner — it’s not too bad looking. Not perfect, but certainly not “babyish”.
    By the way, my in-laws have a dutieller glider and ottoman, and I have always liked it when I visit, but would never get it instead of the one we have!

  • Mouse

    February 17, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    With our first, we got the glider from my partner’s grandmother and the ottoman from a group of my students. I used it a lot, even when we were co-sleeping.
    Since then we’ve moved three times and finally settled into a place where we expect to stay for many years. One of our first purchases was two recliners. With our new baby, I’m nursing a lot in the recliner and in our bed. The glider is currently a repository for things that haven’t made it back into the closet when I was organizing.
    Now the difficult thing is how to get rid of the glider now that we live close to the grandmother who gave it to us. I would really like to have twin sleeper chair there instead.

  • Caitlyn

    February 17, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    we have a glider. someone gave it to us, along with a crib and changing table. I use it sometimes, but not often.
    I’ve tried the side-lying nursing, and I can’t seem to make it work right – it always leaves my nipples sore, and it’s a strain to keep her lined up right. I have small breasts, maybe that’s the problem?

  • Kathleen

    February 17, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    We got our glider for $25 when I saw a neighbor hauling it out to a yard sale. My MIL redid some of the cushions, which was great because they do take a hit and they’re hard to just wash. But your shouldn’t need to fork out the insane amounts for the new option -craigslist, whatever. We do use ours a lot, and the rocking was nice for my kiddo. And I have fallen asleep in it while nursing (I couldn’t in bed, because, eek, smothering – love how we all find different things to freak out about).
    However, if you have an IKEA, I’m eyeballing this for the next one. One of my friends uses it as a nursing chair with (slightly older) babies. I think you can buy covers for the armrests, and it has a nice easy bounce that seems perfect.

  • Marnie

    February 17, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    I loved the glider, and slept while nursing in it many, many times. The one I got was comfy and we continued to use it for a long time for bedtime stories.
    BUT – I also nursed in bed, on the couch, on the love seat and managed to be just as comfortable there. If we hadn’t had the glider, I’m certain we would have been just fine.
    It is in the living room now, mainly because I have no other furniture, and also because, without that chair, the grandmas have no place to sleep while watching TV when they visit. 😉

  • Amanda

    February 18, 2010 at 6:19 am

    We didn’t really like the wood framed gliders either. We managed to find a super comfy modern one at Walmart of all places. Not super expensive, but feels fantastic and looks good enough to keep in our living room. I was a bit leery as they’re only available online and couldn’t be tested, but I’ve been without it for 4 months while we moved overseas and am practically teary with joy at the thought of getting it back in a few days.

  • Olivia

    February 18, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Pretty much ditto what Amy said.
    My husband wanted a glider, but I said no because we really don’t have room. My favorite place to nurse during the day is the recliner we already had. It rocks, it’s comfy and it works. The only extra purchase I made was a nursing stool for $25. I’m short (5’4″) and can’t quite touch the floor when I’m sitting all the way back in the recliner. The stool put my legs at a better angle and allowed me to rock.
    At night it’s bedsharing and side-lying nursing all the way. I don’t know how anyone sleeps sitting up.

  • Therese

    February 18, 2010 at 9:28 am

    You’ll have to count me squarely in the camp of the “Dutailier glider is the best thing ever!” My son is 9 months old and not a day goes by that we don’t use it multiple times. My husband uses it as well and I even found it the most comfortable spot in the house while I was laboring at home prior to heading to the hospital for his birth. I should add that I went to the store multiple times and sat in multiple chairs (rockers, gliders, overstuffed arm chairs…) to make up my mind. I initially did not want a glider, but a more traditional armchair that could transistion to the living room at some point. However, after sitting in all of the choices multiple times, I kept going back to the Dutailier. I should also say that until I made the purchase I had never heard of Dutailier and so had no “brand bias” towards it. It truly was the most comfortable chair for me. All that to say, go sit in chairs and different stores and buy what feels most comfortable to you. Keep in mind things such as space for the chair, if you can sleep sitting up/semi-reclined (I can and have on multiple occassions with my son)… Also, check stock of the local stores closer to your birth. It makes sense to delay the purchase until after the baby arrives and you know what might be for comfortable for feeding, sleeping, soothing… Our local Babies R US has always had the Dutailier and other style rockers in stock so a last minute purchase is not an issue. Good Luck!

  • Simone

    February 18, 2010 at 10:15 am

    I’m all for side nursing in bed. But at the ripe old age of two months, my daughter let it be known that she WANTED HER OWN SPACE ALREADY, thank you very much, and we moved her to her crib. This meant getting up to nurse her at night, which was fine, but it made me love love love the soft, cushy Carters glider that my MIL got us at Babies R Us. Not even for the gliding aspect, which Margot was never really into, but for the fact that I could curl up in the chair and fall asleep while nursing and never once be afraid that the baby would topple out of my arms. Many were the nights that I’d get us into the chair, nurse, and wake up two hours later with a sleeping baby happily passed out in my arms. The chair is now where we sit and read before bed, and where I soothe her if she can’t sleep or wakes up randomly. So I’m a big fan of having a very comfortable chair in the nursery but don’t see the need for it to be anything other than what is most comfortable or necessary for you.

  • Sarah

    February 18, 2010 at 10:37 am

    I have used my Dutalier glider every day of my daughter’s life for 14 months. I bought it because it had the narrowest seat, which seemed to cradle me as I nursed my daughter. We use it for nursing, for bottles, for reading, everything. My husband loves it too. The only thing I don’t love about it is the material I chose – it’s off white and not washable. Apparently, if you wash the cover, it will never, ever fit on your chair again. So I have to sponge clean it every once in a while, which just isn’t fun or effective. I’ll probably buy a new cover in denim for the next baby.

  • Ashley

    February 18, 2010 at 10:57 am

    I was convinced we needed to get a glider but didn’t want to spend the big bucks at BRU. We got one at Wal-mart for about $140 and it was one of the best things we purchased!
    My daughter (10 months) refused to take her bottle or even settle for a nap or bedtime unless we were in the rocker. She still eats better if I am rocking her. Plus the few times she has been sick rocking her was the only thing that settled her down.
    Don’t know if anyone has mentioned but if breastfeeding doesn’t work out for you (like it did with me) the rocker is the perfect place to give the middle of the night bottle. Not everyone has the option of nursing in bed at night.
    Good luck with the new baby!

  • Ashley

    February 18, 2010 at 11:03 am

    The glider was one of the best things we purchased! Not being able to afford Dutalier we got one at Wal-Mart for $140.
    My daughter went for months where she would only take her bottle if she was being rocked in the glider. If you didn’t rock her before or a nap or bed, sleep wasn’t happening. When she is sick all she wants is to be rocked. Even now (10 1/2 months) she takes her bottle better if she is being rocked.
    That’s one thing I don’t think anyone has mentioned. If breastfeeding doesn’t work out for you (like me) the glider is a great spot for middle of the night feedings. Not everyone has the option of laying down to feed the baby at night!
    Good luck with your baby!

  • Nancy

    February 18, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    We have twins, so our needs/wants may differ from yours. We bought a comfy, puffy glider chair and ottoman from Baby Depot (Burlington Coat Factory) and I use it every single day. I was able to tandem nurse my babies until they self-weaned at about 7 months. The puffy arms let me tuck them in next to me for a dual-football-hold position without anyone getting poked, bonked or cold. The one thing this chair lacked was a headrest — I can’t tell you how many neck cricks I got dozing in the chair after our morning nursing session. But it was ok and we were all comfy, which to me was A#1.
    We still sit and rock and read stories in this chair every morning and every night, and my girls are 2.5 now. They love to climb up and rock it themselves too! But most importantly, mommy loves it — has loved it since I first sat in it.
    we almost never used the foot stool — we ended up using it as a nightstand and book rest. No biggie!
    Get what YOU like (and try out a lot of chairs). find something that’ll work for years if you can.

  • Nicole R.

    February 18, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    I also was tempted by a glider when I was pregnant, but in my opinion they are too expensive and too babyish to re-use. Plus I was afraid they’d make me motion sick!
    So I nursed baby #1 (for three years!) in a very affordable IKEA Poang armchair. In the early months I’d put my feet up on the matching footstool and sleep upright; a little later when I was better-rested I stuck my laptop on my knees. Important: small pillow behind my head, Boppy pillow on my lap, small side table to park my laptop when I was done with it.
    For baby #2 I still liked the Poang but I also wanted a chair that was big enough to snuggle with *both* children. So I got a huge overstuffed armchair off Craigslist; the back comes up high enough for me to lean back and doze. Still use the Boppy and the side table for the laptop. 🙂

  • Della

    February 18, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Gliders are good for one particular position. If you’re going to be in that position, the Cradle Hold ( – technically not safe for work due to full frontal breastfeeding photos), the glider will be perfect.
    I like to sit crosslegged while nursing.
    I also use the Cross-cradle hold with a Boppy.
    Gliders don’t work so well with that. We nurse on the couch.
    However, I am still SOOOOOOOO glad I got a glider I love, because I use it to rock my kids to sleep.

  • Kate

    February 18, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Wow, thanks everyone! This is the questioner, and you’ve certainly given me lots of food for thought (and links!). I have, like, 5.5 months to go so I am resisting actually doing anything nursery-related, but it’s impossible not to obsess, right?

  • Liz

    February 18, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    My parents and in-laws went in on a glider/rocker/recliner chair for us as a present. It’s this one from Pottery Barn:
    I have used it every day since my baby was born (she’s now almost 21 months) and it has been wonderful to have. I can sleep anywhere so I took a lot of naps in that chair and I also enjoyed the gentle rocking motion while my baby was nursing. That, coupled with soft music playing, was enough to lull me to sleep almost every time. Now that I’m expecting #2, I hope I will get as much use out of it with the newborn nursing stage.
    That being said, the chair is ridiculously expensive and I NEVER would have bought it for myself. But I feel that it is good to have some sort of comfy chair in the nursery so you at least have a place to sit if you need it. After I weaned my daughter, we still use it to read, take monthly photos, get her dressed while sitting on my lap, etc. Any kind of comfy chair will do, but consider making sure it’s wide enough to accommodate a nursing pillow. That is also another lifesaver (for me) that some people hated. To each his own!

  • Celeste

    February 19, 2010 at 12:46 am

    You don’t “need” any of it. After 2 late misscarriages and 2 faied-after-meeting-the-baby adoptions I purged our house of everything baby, except the car seat. 6 weeks later, with 36 hrs notice, our daughter was born. Her nursery never got decorated, her bedding didn’t match, her room was & is blue, although I did make curtains. And she’s a happy healthy six year old. Car seat is mandatory, we got diapers & formula & bottles & clothes on the way home— and scared all the clerks that she was 2 days old (not the answer they were expecting). And then although we had 40 weeks to prepare for her brother, I thought it would jinx it… And he’s four.
    Congratulations, good luck, and save your pennies, you’ll know what YOU need when baby is here.

  • Jennifer

    February 19, 2010 at 1:01 am

    We did the co-sleeping/roomsharing thing until our daughter was ~5 months old. When she moved to a crib in her own room (but was still eating at least once each night), we bought a chair for the room. Although I felt like a terribly inferior mother by not having my baby’s room complete before she was born- it paid off! She much prefers a bouncing motion to a rocking or swaying motion (case in point- the Graco SweetPeace swing, which many babies looooove, only led to massive amounts of screaming from my child). We got the aesthetically pleasing IKEA Poang chair and ottoman which has a nice bouncing motion to it and allows me to elevate my feet while nursing. Like most others- I don’t sleep (at least not well) in the chair, but now that my daughter is almost 9 months old, the chair is more about routing and nursing, not for my need to sleep at 2am. Good luck and my advice is to not fall prey to buying too much before you know the personality of your child. A friend of mine can only get her daughter to sleep by bouncing her on an exercise ball…you just never know what’s going to work!

  • Stacy

    February 19, 2010 at 7:04 am

    I didn’t buy any sort of glider or rocking chair. Primarily because they are 1. ugly and 2. expensive. Plus I don’t do a whole lot of rocking in my spare time, so it just seemed silly to buy something for a few months of my child’s life. I nursed my child on the living room sofa. or in my bed. If I had to hold her in the night, I just made a nest/fortress of pillows around myself and sort of nestled in.
    We have done just fine without it — since she was 6 months old I have been able to put her into her crib drowsy but awake and she just rolls around and scrunches herself into a comfy position. If I had to rock her to sleep each and every night? omg, shoot me!
    If you think you want one, get one. But you certainly don’t NEED one!!!

  • Erika

    February 19, 2010 at 7:34 am

    I remember scoffing at this glider thing while pregnant, and we got a Kmart glider that matched the nursery. I did not nurse (so sitting up while feeding was pretty mandatory, no matter the time of day) and my two babies did not sleep with us or in our room, so all nighttime feeding took place in the nursery. There were nights when I wished my glider WERE comfortable enough to sleep in because the baby was asleep and it wasn’t worth risking waking him to put him in the crib.
    Then my sister-in-law got a Dutailier and wow. The seat was higher so standing up (even with stitches, and holding an infant) was so much easier. The motion was smooth and the cushions were comfortable. I tell all my pregnant friends that this is one thing I wish I had invested in. If it reclines, even better!

  • aj

    February 19, 2010 at 8:49 am

    I know every mother’s experience is different (as our every baby’s preference), but I absolutely cannot imagine how we would have made it through the first several years of my 1st sons life without our rocking chair and rocking ottoman. It’s from Best Chairs and doesn’t look like the typical glider. It’s big and soft and comfy and we get so many compliments on how beautiful it is.
    Despite over 3 years of successful nursing (when I combine my 2 children), I’ve never once been able to nurse while lying down. And while I’ve done many feedings on the couch, in the bed, at the kitchen table, wherever, I’ve probably spent HUNDREDS of hours in that amazing chair. I’ve slept in it, my husband has slept in it, babysitters, grandparents, you name it…we’ve all slept in it at one point or another when rocking one of the babies. It’s just been an absolutely lifesaver and I can’t recommend them highly enough!

  • kakaty

    February 19, 2010 at 11:32 am

    I refused to buy an expensive item that was ugly, but I wanted a rocker. So I found an awesome teak rocking chair that could go out on our back porch after the baby years. I made some nice cushions for it, got a nursing stool ( and yes, the angle made a difference fr me) and with the Boppy it’s where we night nursed for over a year. All told we invested about $150 and it was perfect for us. I’ve used gliders elsewhere and while nice, I still prefer my wooden rocker and tilted stool.

  • Susan

    February 19, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    I forgot to mention that we actually use a fitness ball as nursery furniture more frequently than the glider or the swivel rocker – I sat on it a LOT in my last month of pregnancy, so when DS was born, he was pretty happy to be gently bounced on it if he was upset (it’s not the greatest for nursing, though – no back or arm support!). I still use it to settle him down for naps – you can bounce or roll back and forth on it, and get a great ab and thigh workout at the same time!

  • miriam

    February 19, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Cheap Ikea loveseat and giant spongebob pillow (the one that looks like a giant head and is sorta like a beanbag).

  • Audrey

    February 20, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Ugh. The great glider debate. I wanted one so badly, but was determined not to have an ugly chair and just thought the wooden arms – covered or not – seemed uncomfortable for baby and mom. So, I ended up with a chair very similar to this one: but when we were buying our’s (again, very similar, but not actually this chair or brand), it only came in a rocker. So, we got the rocker, and for the most part I have been satisfied. I went through a bit of a crazed MUST.HAVE.GLIDER. state between Thanksgiving and Christmas because we were home in NC and I used my mom’s glider and just thought it moved so well and smoothly…and blah, blah, blah. So, I was *this* close to buying a glider then somehow slapped myself into reality and realized – no chair is that comfortable. Really, you will not sleep in that chair, glider or not. The higher the back, the more uncomfortable, at least for me, because your neck is kinda permanently craned forward. And, at 1, 2, 3, and 4 am you’re only really semi-conscious and don’t realize where you are exactly except you know you have a child hanging from you and you are somehow feeding her. The moral of the story? It’s just really not that important. Get a cool chair that you like and enjoy sitting in and can use later (and in my opinion, avoid the very high back and get one you can lean your head back on). Good luck.

  • cassie

    February 21, 2010 at 11:11 am

    A little late to the party, but…
    I didn’t buy a glider, because I already had two high-backed rockers and thought the expense was ridiculous when I already had other chairs I could use. The problem I discovered was that the (unpadded, wooden) arms got in the way Every. Time. I. Nursed.
    So the rockers go mostly unused unless I’ve got the kiddo over my shoulder and I’m simply comforting him.
    You know what gets used a lot? My couch. My bed. The floor. A low-armed Ikea chair that has some give and some bounce and is PERFECT for nursing AND rocking the kid to sleep at night.
    Do I sometimes covet the gliders I’ve used at friends’ houses? Yeah. Do I really regret not having one? Absolutely not.

  • amber

    February 23, 2010 at 8:32 am

    We bought a dutailier glider/ottoman from Craigslist for $90. We reupholstered it to match the nursery colors (celery green with chocolate brown polka dots) and it looks great in there. It was especially useful for nursing right after baby was born when every chair in the house felt too firm for my poor bum.

  • Michele

    February 23, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    I bought a glider/rocking chair with ottoman. That is the one thing I really wanted in the baby’s room. My MIL told me I’d never use it. However, I used it EVERYDAY. I nursed my daughter everyday/everynight in the rocker. I had a c-section, but just didn’t want to nurse in bed. I STILL rock my daughter everynight and she’s 2 now. I LOVE THAT CHAIR! I got mine at Babies R Us. It’s not the expensive Dautilier, but it still is the best thing ever.

  • Brandi

    February 11, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Thank you for this post. 
    I have a dutailer knock off from Babys R Us, that I got in excellent used condition. I have heard people raving about fancy dutailer recliners as their main priority, but I dont want to spend $1200 on a nursery specific chair. 
    I do however, plan to buy a lazyboy chair for our living room for rocking in, feedings and storytime.