From reading forums on the web, and talking to parents it seems that which piece of gear will be best for baby really depends on the baby. That is both useful, and frustrating information because to me it seems like a piece of gear I would want to have on hand before the baby is born.
I initially liked the idea of a bouncer because it is compact, affordable, and generally less expensive then a swing. But after reading The Happiest Baby on the Block I began to reconsider the swing. This book recommends a swinging motion to help soothe a crying baby and suggests opting for one with a fast speed setting.
I decided to see if I could find a product that was a swing and a bouncer to simplify the shopping process. The first one I discovered was the Graco Duo 2 in 1 Swing running from $119.99 to $159.99 depending on the pattern on Amazon at the time of writing this post. Each version has slightly different features for speed, music, and toys. There are also differing weight limits for each version. There is even a bouncer that has a plug you can use in addition to batteries which I think is a nice feature. This is one of those instances where paying a little bit more can add usage time as well as convenience.
So far I haven't found much else in the arena of multi-use products. Fisher Price does make a combination swing and rocker at a lower price point, but I do like the idea of the bounce feature so I am still on the look out to see if there are any other options to compare. Otherwise this is the one that will make the final list!
* This post contains affiliate links, but I was not paid by the manufacturer to review this product - I just like it! I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255. Images courtesy of Amazon.