The 4moms mamaRoo made a splash when it debuted a few years ago, and it's easy to see why -- the sleek, small-footprint bouncer looks like something out of the space age. While parents appreciate the mp3 plug-in and range of motions, some say the fastest setting is too slow for some fussy babies. The mamaRoo also lacks a five-point harness, meaning this pricey seat may be gathering dust when your baby can sit up unassisted.
Not suitable for older babies. The 4moms mamaRoo has a deep seat and feels stable, reviewers say. It also has an infinite recline, meaning the seat can be positioned at any point on its track, from almost upright to nearly flat. This flexibility is popular, but some owners question the safety of the most upright position, especially because the seat has only a three-point harness. The manufacturer says the three-point harness is adequate because owners are supposed to quit using the seat as soon as their babies can sit up unassisted, but it's likely that some parents will try to get a little more use out of such a pricey product. A couple of users report concerns that a curious toddler could pinch a finger in the seat's base. Though the mamaRoo is suitable for use from birth, 4moms also offers a plush insert (*Est. $30) for newborns. The seat can accommodate a maximum of 25 pounds.
Versatile, but too slow for some. The 4moms mamaRoo has five motion settings that are based on how parents move and sway when they soothe their babies. It also has five speeds, but some reviewers complain that even the highest speed is still too slow to soothe some fussy or colicky babies. Some parents like the built-in nature sounds, but most are more impressed with the ability to hook up an MP3 player for customized lullabies. Speaker quality receives mixed reviews. The mamaRoo has a small footprint, but some say it's still too bulky to travel with. Most users say the seat seems quite comfortable and that it's easy to put babies in the mamaRoo. The mamaRoo comes with three reversible toy balls that are suspended above the seat. They do not dangle or spin, something that some parents would prefer.
Easily washable fabric. Owners say it's easy to remove and machine-wash the padding on the 4moms mamaRoo. The seat does not convert to any other type, and reviewers say the seat height and lack of five-point harness make it a no-go for older babies. The mamaRoo plugs into the wall, which owners appreciate, but it does not take batteries, making it less versatile. A handful of people report issues with the base malfunctioning, but say 4moms was willing to fix problems within the one-year warranty period.
1. Baby Bargains
Review Credibility: Excellent "Baby Bargains," a comprehensive book by Denise and Alan Fields, reviews baby gear and common baby brands. The authors recommend a handful of swings based on expert testing and parents' reviews, as well as information from manufacturers and retailers. Their website offers up-to-date information, additional reviews, recall information and forums for parents to discuss baby products.
Review: Around the House: Monitors, Diaper Pails, Safety, Denise and Alan Fields, Ninth Edition, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good In a thorough review, the editors of BabyCenter.com praise the 4moms mamaRoo's high-tech, unique motions and five speed settings. They also praise the ability to use built-in nature sounds or your own music, and like that the mamaRoo runs on electrical power instead of batteries. The mamaRoo also "looks great" and comes in a range of color choices. However, editors say the seat is bulky and not ideal for traveling, and that it can pose a pinch risk for toddlers. They do not compare the mamaRoo to other bouncers.
Review: The Best Baby Swings and Bouncers, Editors of BabyCenter.com, Not dated
Review Credibility: Very Good The mamaRoo places third in SheKnows.com's Swings and Bouncers Parenting Awards category. Editors picked four products in each category after testing, and parents voted for their favorites among them. A short review praises the mamaRoo's "natural movements," nature sounds, MP3 compatibility and range of speeds. It does not note any cons or compare the mamaRoo to other products.
Review: SheKnows Parenting Awards 2012, Editors of SheKnows.com, Not dated
Review Credibility: Very Good Vengrow's roundup features 10 high-end bouncers, including the mamaRoo. She praises the mamaRoo's five speeds and motions, "patterned after the ways you actually move." She also likes the seat's full recline, which is ideal for naps, and the ability to plug in an MP3 player. The short review does not note any cons or compare the mamaRoo to other models.
Review: The 10 Best Bouncy Seats for Your Baby (So You Can Have Lunch!), Bonnie Vengrow, Jan. 29, 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good The mamaRoo receives 4.3 out of 5 stars in nearly 60 reviews on Amazon.com. Reviewers like the range of motions and speeds, small footprint, easy-to-wash fabric, infinite recline and modern look. However, a few say even the fastest setting is too slow to soothe their babies, and some find the sound quality lacking. A couple of other reviews note safety issues: The three-point harness may pose a risk for larger babies, and a toddler could easily pinch a finger in the track. There are also a couple of reports of the seat's base malfunctioning.
Review: 4Moms 2012 Classic MamaRoo, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good This detailed review praises the mamaRoo's unique motions, comfort for baby, MP3 hookup, modern look, quiet operation, speed options, noise machine, hanging toys and small footprint. However, the seat is pricey, the motions could go faster and battery power would also be a good option, the reviewer notes.
Review: Baby Swing Reviews, Editors of HomegrownBabies.com, Not dated
Review Credibility: Very Good In a thorough review of the mamaRoo, Corley praises the seat's unique motions, range of speeds, ease of operation, deep seat and easily removable cover. She also likes the infinite recline and the ability to plug the seat into the wall instead of eating up batteries. However, she notes that the fastest setting still might not be fast enough to soothe some fussy babies, and says the lack of vibration may be a downside for others. Also, the mobile doesn't move on its own and the speakers could sound better, she says.
Review: 4Moms mamaRoo Review, Heather Corley, Not dated
Review Credibility: Good In this swing roundup, reviewer Sarah Yang praises the mamaRoo for its five unique motions, which make the seat "more comforting for baby." She also praises the comfortable fabric, which is easy to pop out and machine wash. The blurb does not note any cons or compare the mamaRoo to other products.
Review: 10 Best Baby Swings, Sarah Yang, Oct. 23, 2012
Review Credibility: Good This roundup features six high-end bouncers, including the mamaRoo. Editors praise the mamaRoo as a "technological wonder" that mimics a parent's motions, and also laud the included toy balls, white noise and MP3 compatibility. The short review does not note any cons or compare the mamaRoo to other models.
Review: "Bouncer Most Likely to Chill Your Baby" 2012 Cribsie Awards Finalists, Editors of BuyModernBaby.com, Not dated