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Rockers and baby swings are a great way to keep babies safe and happy away from the crib or a larger playpen. You can sit them in their comfortable seat, set the chair in motion, and give them some entertainment or relaxation while you get on with other important things. The problem with a lot of baby swings is that they can feel quite cumbersome or a little uninspiring due to their size and lack of features. Babies deserve the best experience possible when in one of these devices. That is what 4Moms aim to provide with their series of mechanical gliders, most notably the RockaRoo and MamaRoo.
In this guide, I want to talk about the different features and benefits of the 4Moms RockaRoo glider and why it has the potential for soothing and entertaining children with ease. I also want to look at some of the potential limitations to the design and offer a comparison with the interesting, but more expensive MamaRoo rocker. Is one better than the other or are they for different audiences?
What Is The 4Moms RockaRoo?
Simply put, the RockaRoo is a compact glider that can help rock your child and soothe them when you are busy in the room. It should provide a nice motion that kids enjoy, although responses do vary, while also offering other sensory stimuli to keep them happy. The portable device can be set up with ease in any room and there are no concerns about keeping it clean and comfortable thanks to the design of the seat cover. Many parents find this to be a beneficial device for their child’s comfort and for better peace of mind. But, there are some flaws to keep in mind.
With that said, let’s look at the different features, benefits, and disadvantages of the RockaRoo glider in more detail.
What Do you Get With A RockaRoo Glider?
The Helpful Motion And Speed
The 4Moms RockaRoo has a simple motion with different speed settings to help soothe fussy babies. The mechanism of this rocker gently moves the seat back and forth from front to back in a swaying motion. This repetition and gentle movement should be enough to help most babies stay calm when on their own. This allows parents to take a little time away while still being around to supervise and watch out for any problems, crying accidents, or anything else.
An important part of this glider motion is the adjustable speed. There are five settings here and from what I can tell, the change in intensity is well received. The highest doesn’t seem to be dangerously fast not the lower ineffective. You can use the dial to switch between the settings to suit the needs of the child.
There may be some days where they feel in need of a faster motion to soothe their worries and others where they don’t need much at all. Of course, the comfort of the seat and the other benefits mean that they should be just as fine sitting here without the motion if they need to.
The Sensory Experience For Babies
What I really like about this 4Moms product and others in their range, is the focus on different senses. There is much more to this product than just the motion from the glider. A big deal here is the use of sound. You can plug your phone into the device to take advantage of the Aux port and play sound files or music through the speaker. The design isn’t ideal, as I will discuss further below, but it is nice to have the option to give babies something to listen to that isn’t a distant voice across the room or television.
Then there is visual stimulation provided from the reversible toys hanging above the rocker. I think that these are much better than the sounds as they are so simple but effective. Three fabric balls are hanging over the rocker that babies can enjoy looking at. The prettier side has some nice patterns and colors that parents will appreciate.
But, you can also reverse the balls to offer a more high-contrast black and white design. This is an aspect of designing for newborns that a lot of brands overlook. Color is less important at this stage but they do respond well to high contrast black and white patterns.
The Practical Features Of The Different Seat Covers.
Another feature that may go unnoticed with this product is that you can get the seat cover in a choice of styles. This means more than just having a different color on the material. There is a classic seat cover that you can put over the chair to provide a nice smooth surface. This one is medium grey and made of strong woven polyester.
The material should be able to withstand wear and spills pretty well, but is also machine washable and easy to remove whenever you need to. The alternative version is the dark grey cool mesh fabric. As the name suggests, this one is more breathable so that the seat doesn’t overheat and get uncomfortable. This could make a difference in the summer.
Why Is This 4Moms RockaRoo Baby Rocker So Beneficial For Parents?
There is a lot about this device that parents should find advantageous. One of the most important benefits here compared to other brands is the footprint of the product. A lot of baby swings have sizable frames where you have a large swing system and space for the motor and other mechanisms.
This can make it difficult to make space for in a small living area and more difficult to carry between rooms. That is why the design of the RockaRoo is so great The placement of the motor and mechanisms below the seat frees up a lot of space and makes the product around a third of the size of a typical baby swing. You still have room for the toys above, but the overall footprint and look of the device are a lot better.
For the most part, this RockaRoo also seems to be pretty easy to use. There are aspects to the product where the ease of use could be improved, as I will discuss below. But, there are also some nice touches here for new parents that don’t want to mess around with too much tech. The five-speed settings are easily controlled via a dial on the front of the device.
You should be able to bring it down as needed and bring the rocker to a gradual stop. It also seems to be pretty easy to set up from the start with minimal parts to deal with. You will have to remove and reattach the cover whenever it needs a clean, but that isn’t too difficult.
It also helps that this is an electric-powered device rather than a battery-operated one. This is something that you might not think about when choosing one of these products. But I guarantee that it will make a big difference to go for a mains-powered one instead of a battery-powered one. Mains-powered options do require a long cord to an outlet, but it means a reliable source of power unless there is a blackout. Batteries can die and leave you without a working rocker.
Of course, we can’t forget that this glider can be just as beneficial for babies as parents. We tend to focus on the conveniences with the features and the safety of the product, but there are also the basic needs of the child. The majority of kids seem to enjoy being in this glider when parents find the right speed setting. They can sway with the rhythm of the rocker and enjoy the extra features with ease. Still, this isn’t the case for all babies, as you will see below.
What Disadvantages Have Parents Noted In This 4Moms RockaRoo?
Unfortunately, the response from parents and babies isn’t always 100% positive. The biggest issue for both is that the motion isn’t always what they hoped for. There are reports from parents that wish that the product did a little more than just went back and forth. Others say that the movement is a little more jerky than they would have liked – like a fairground ride more than a rocker.
There is the possibility that these rare views came from those experiencing faults rather than this being a design flaw. However, some also say that their babies were less than impressed with the motion too. As they are unable to give details as to why this led to their parents giving up.
Another problem here is the lack of connectivity for the settings and technical features. We have an expectation now that all the available tech is either built into a device or controllable via an app or remote. The idea of plugging in a cable to an Aux port to get to hear music seems a bit like hard work. One reviewer states that they would have much preferred to have some basic songs built into the machine rather than messing around with their phone. I completely understand and wouldn’t want to leave my smart device next to the rocker anyway.
Then there is the issue of the newborn insert. This is a great little feature that makes the product suitable for kids from birth. The structure and padding on this additional element make the seat more secure so you can start using it almost right away. However, it doesn’t come in the box with the glider. Instead, you need to purchase it separately from the manufacturer as an add-on. This is easy to do as the website assumes you will want it, but it shouldn’t add so much to the cost of this product.
Here is a video from Devonnie B about 4moms RockaRoo, if you prefer to watch it!
Common 4Moms RockaRoo FAQs.
I appreciate that some of you will be here for some basic facts about the RockaRoo and come here to the FAQs before going through my review. That’s fine, so I want to cover some basic concerns and queries that are covered in more detail in this guide.
Can Babies Sleep In The RockaRoo Baby Rocker?
No. This product is not designed for sleeping. The company has alternative bassinet products that have the supportive surface and security needed for a safe place to sleep. This is instead a place to keep babies calm and entertained between feeds and naps.
What Is The Age Limit On The Rocka Roo Glider?
The official guidance from 4Moms is as follows. This product is for use “from birth until child reaches maximum weight limit of 20 pounds or can sit up unassisted or attempts to climb out, whichever comes first”. So, you can use this straight away as long as you have the newborn insert sold separately. From there, you can use it until it is no longer suitable. Don’t go by the weight limit alone if your child has reached those developmental milestones mentioned.
Is The 4Moms RockaRoo Safe?
There are some understandable concerns about the safety of this sort of device because it is a moving product with electronic elements. As long as you use it as directed and aren’t reckless with the controls, there shouldn’t be an issue here. The device is made to be secure enough for regular use with a comfortable seat and nothing that could pose a risk from entrapment, choking, or strangulation. Still, it is best never to leave babies unsupervised while in the glider.
Does The 4Moms RockaRoo Vibrate?
No, some other rockers and bassinets have a vibration mode as an extra way of soothing kids, but this isn’t one of them. The vibration mode is better on devices where kids need to get back to sleep rather than something with a natural movement like a glider.
Are There 4Moms Bluetooth Capabilities?
This is a contentious issue that is highlighted in more detail across this review. Some models have Bluetooth for wireless controls and ease of use and others don’t. The RockaRoo is one of those that don’t and this creates some issues when setting up the sounds.
Does The 4Moms RockaRoo Play Music?
This is where the issue with Bluetooth is a bigger problem. There is the option to use an Aux port on the device to connect up a phone or other compatible music player and enjoy music that way. There isn’t a more simplistic built-in sound system with nursery rhymes or other sounds.
Is The 4Moms RockaRoo Easy To Take Care Off?
A concern with any product like this is that it will end up covered in some form of bodily fluid expelled by our children. That could ruin some other cheaper products. But, the designers here were smart enough to include a removable cover that is machine washable. You should be able to remove it, launder it, and reattach it without any problems.
The company recommends that you wash the covers in cold water on the gentle cycle and not use any bleach. You can tumble dry them separately on low heat or air dry them. Presumably, you can do the same with the fabric toys. The rest of the body of the glider should wipe clean fairly well.
Does The 4Moms RockaRoo Come With A Warranty?
There is a 1-year warranty on this product to cover any faults created by manufacturing defaults or issues the company is responsible for. You will struggle to claim if you damage the product through misuse or accidents. Also, remember that claims are easier to handle when dealing with the company directly.
The Pros And Cons Of The 4Moms RockaRoo Glider.
Comparing The RockaRoo Baby Rocker With The MamaRoo Model.
As you can see, there are some benefits in choosing this RockaRoo model but also some limitations in what it can do. That is why I also want to take some time to talk about the MamaRoo as well. The MamaRoo is the more expensive cousin to the RockaRoo, so it is easy to see why many parents would opt for this cheaper model thinking they are getting a good deal. However, once we go into the details of what the MamaRoo rocker can do and compare the functions with those of the RockaRoo, this begins to look like a better deal.
Before we start with the features and more direct comparison, I need to point out that there are two products with the MamaRoo name attached. The one I am highlighting here is the MamaRoo rocker that is similar in style and function to the gliding RockaRoo rocker. The other MamaRoo is a rocking bassinet. The bassinet actually shares a lot of the same technological features of the rocker, just in a more substantial device that you can use for sleeping.
As with the RockaRoo, this MamaRoo glider is not meant for sleeping in and is more of a way of keeping kids calm and entertained while you are doing chores or other tasks. With this out of the way, let’s look at some of the different features that you can take advantage of with this product.
The Multi-Motion Swing Vs The Glider.
The MamaRoo is a multi-motion swing, which means that it does not just sway back and forth like the other glider. This range of motion is meant to provide a more natural movement and greater variety so kids are soothed more easily. The natural movements should mimic motions they are used to rather than feeling like a strange mechanical sensation.
Those motions are a car ride, kangaroo, tree swing, Rockabye, and wave. I also want to point out here that these motions are the same as those offered in the MamaRoo rocking bassinet. This means that the two products are compatible to a higher degree than expected. You can use one in the nursery and one in the living room and know that you get the same sensations from both.
25 Settings Vs 5 Settings.
On top of this, the MamaRoo model has the benefit of providing 25 settings for parents to make use of rather than the 5 seen on the RockaRoo. This is because there are 5 motion types and 5-speed settings. When you combine them together that’s a lot of options and a much higher chance that your child will find a setting that they love.
You could try the same motion at a lower speed as they get used to the product, and increase the intensity with time. Or you could stick with the same speed but change the motion. I encourage parents to take the time to test out the different options before giving up on them.
The Adjustable Seat Recliner.
The next difference is one that buyers of the MamaRoo could take for granted if they aren’t aware of the RockaRoo and its features. This model has a recliner for the seat to change the angle. You can have it in more of an upright position so that babies can look out over the room and interact with you, or tilt it back for a better view of the toys overhead. This is something that parents would like to see in these products as standard. But, the omission from the RockaRoo shows that this isn’t always the case.
The Bluetooth Connection Vs The Aux Port.
Another big difference here is that you have a Bluetooth connection for the settings and audio features rather than a cable to physically link up your phone. This is a more convenient option because it allows for more remote control over the device and means you can keep your phone on you. The app should be easy enough to use to pick the motion and speed setting as well as one of the built-in sounds. Many parents appreciate this upgrade and it makes a lot more sense in a world where we expect everything to be wireless.
An Improved Sensory Experience With The Sounds And Toys.
The sounds offered are nice natural sounds that, like the motions mentioned before, are in line with the other MamaRoo product. This should help to provide a calmer environment and greater interest for babies. On top of that, there are small changes to the toys hanging overhead. The RockaRoo ones are great with their reversible contrasting patterns and soft feel.
But, these go further with the visual interest, additional sounds, and new textures. One ball has a mirror for kids to engage with, another rattle for a fun sound, and the other crinkles for a great combination of sound and texture.
3 Materials and 5 Colours Vs 2 Materials And 2 Colours.
Finally, there is a wider range of materials for the seat cover. The options for the RockaRoo are fine but limited compared to this one. There you get the two grey tones and standard materials. Here, there is an additional option that could provide more comfort. There is the same classic fabric in either grey with the woven polyester and the same cool mesh for breathability in the dark grey.
But, you can also now have the classic in black. Alternatively, you could choose the plush fabric that has a softer feel that is nicer on the skin. This comes in silver or a multicolored pattern.
This Doesn’t Mean That The MamaRoo Rocker Is Perfect.
There is a lot here that sets this machine apart from the RockaRoo, But, we can’t ignore the fact that it is also a lot more expensive. You might find that the cost here is not justifiable for the features received. It all depends on how many you are likely to use. If you don’t use the sounds, stick to a basic motion, and use your own toys, a lot of the functionality becomes a bit redundant. There is some appeal in the simplicity of the RockaRoo as long as babies are happy sitting in it for as long as they need to.
This leads to another important point about this machine. There is no guarantee that kids will love the motion and general vibe of this MamaRoo rocker any more than they will the RockaRoo model. There are plenty of kids that just can’t get comfortable in this sort of machine and that won’t appreciate the extra motions or speed settings.
There is always the risk of buying something like this and never using it because kids just won’t settle. That feels like a bigger defeat when you have spent all that money to find something a little smarter and more interesting.
I also want to point out that just because you are paying more for this model, that doesn’t mean you get absolutely everything in the box. The complaints about the lack of a newborn insert for the RockaRoo are applicable here too. You can add it as an extra and this will increase the cost further.
The Pros And Cons Of The MamaRoo Rocker.
Which Is Better: The 4Moms RockaRoo Baby Rocker Vs The 4Moms MamaRoo Baby Rocker.
Personally, I would go for the MamaRoo over the RockaRoo as long as you have the budget to cover it. There is a higher cost and there is that greater risk of wasted money if your child hates the motion of the seat or any other factor. However, there is also a greater chance of them being soothed and enjoying their experience thanks to the extra features on offer.
There is still a lot of value here because of the improved specification. The range of motions won’t suit everyone but it is nice to have a choice. The little details in the toys and sounds help too. But, it is the connectivity and ease of use of this MamaRoo model that gives it the edge. It makes such a difference to have a wireless connection rather than plugging in your phone and the settings are great. Additional considerations like the extra material choice and recline function tip the balance further in favor of this model.
This doesn’t mean that the RockaRoo is a bad design or doesn’t offer a good value experience. There is still plenty here for parents that want that simple gliding motion and you still get the removable cover and reversible toys. It is just more simplistic in its movements and complicated when setting it up.
Should You Get A 4Moms RockaRoo Baby Rocker?
In the end, you need to go with the model you think will offer the best long-term value as well as consider the short-term costs. It is a good idea to add on the newborn insert from the start and to pay attention to the cover choices. Choose which design sounds like it will be easy to use, effective for your kid’s needs, and worth any short-term expense.