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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

Published February 17, 2010. Last updated March 27, 2018.
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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