10 Adorable Toy Rockers for Babies and Toddlers

published Feb 6, 2022
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Credit: Crate + Barrel

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Anyone else fall down a baby-photo black hole every once in a while? And when I say once in a while, I actually mean a few times a month. I ask because during my last nostalgic spiral, I was looking back at photos from my daughter’s first birthday, when it dawned on me how completely one of her presents had stolen her heart. It was a plush unicorn rocker from my sister and brother-in-law, and even now at 2 years old, she has no problem telling her big brother to shoo when he tries to go for a ride on her “favorite.”

While it’s true that not many infants and just-turned toddlers can articulate — in words — just how much thrill a toy rocker can bring into their lives, we feel confident saying that it’s one of the best additions to any nursery (even older kids can’t deny the charm of an alternative rocking horse). Be it a classic design made out of wood, an undeniably cute plush creature, or a whimsical ride-on that can make any little one feel like they’re up in the clouds, these toy rockers are as adorable as they are imaginative. 

Take a peek at 10 baby and toddler rocker picks bound to bring your kiddos ALL the smiles. Some are a bit more expensive but, if this is any consolation, rockers and ride-ons make great pass-down gifts. They’re just so well-loved!

1 / 10

This plywood-crafted gender-neutral aircraft has a vintage form that would make The Wright Brothers, Bessie Coleman, and Amelia Earhart all thrill. The cool part about this one (apart from it’s usable steering wheel and spinning propeller) is that it converts from a simple rocker to a ride-on that your little aviator can power all on their own. If you have a “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” theme happening in their nursery already, then this toy will just take the whole vibe to new heights!

2 / 10
Pottery Barn Kids

Sure, it’s not a horse, but we might like the spotted giraffe version of this nursery classic even more. Designed with solid wood handles and precision-shaped runners, the supremely soft and huggable rocker ensures a smooth, secure, and extra-gentle ride. You can personalize the wooden glider rails up to 9 characters for a totally tailor-made look that your rockers will love (and want to give to their own children in a few decades!).

P.S. As we’ve been talking about the gift-worthiness of these toy rockers, that long neck looks like the perfect place to put a bow for their birthday… Just sayin’!

3 / 10
West Elm

Covered in child-safe finishes, this stunning pegasus rocker is a legend in its own right. The clean lines and modern bentwood frame makes the sleek silhouette a perfect touch for any little one’s bedroom (especially if it’s done in a simple neutral palette). And our favorite inclusions are the safety bar that joins the horse’s wings and the simple footholds at the sides. Not a single detail overlooked!

4 / 10

Nope, you’re not imagining it, kids LOVE clouds (especially when they come as Valentine’s Day gifts). So, of course a cumulus cuddler like this would be a welcomed addition to any nursery or playroom design. The soft texture and plush, quilted saddle are irresistible, as are those sleepy eyes. Just be sure your child is able to sit and balance on their own before you send them cloud surfing. Since there isn’t a back or a seat strap, the rocker is recommended only for littles 3 years and up.

5 / 10

For parents whose babies are just getting the hang of sitting upright and balancing with weeble wobbly surroundings, this tugboat-style rocker is a perfect fit. Baby can sit securely inside, with their hands grasping the handles and their feet comfortably at their sides. If you have ocean-dwelling stuffed animals on hand, too, you can create a bunch of different worlds for your little seafarer to navigate! Anchors away!

6 / 10
MoMA Design Store

Let’s be honest, riding atop a fluffy white polar bear will most likely never be a reality for your animal lover (they’re cute, but oh so dangerous) — so, this might be the next best thing. Taking inspiration from a 1922 sculpture by François Pompon — who assisted Auguste Rodin (the father of modern sculpture) — this plywood polar bear has a streamlined beechwood seat to support hours of rocking to be had by your arctic adventurer.

7 / 10
The Tot

Rocking is fun, but walking (yes, walking) is better! The handsome wooden elephant comes with an internal mechanism that showcases the realistic walking style of elephants (HOW COOL, RIGHT?). Not only will your wildlife enthusiast be excited during their ride, they’ll also be boosting their coordination, body balance, and fine motor skills. Like all PlanToys, this beauty is ethically made from renewable, non-chemically treated organic rubberwood and non-toxic vegetable dyes, so not only is it sustainable, it’s safe for tiny riders. And the best part? A portion of sales are donated to an elephant foundation in Thailand!

8 / 10

This take on the classic rocking horse is sweet and simple, which is exactly what we loved about the rocking horses from our own youth. It’s also not too heavy for recently turned toddlers — a great feature to foster milestones like core muscle development, arm strength-building, and balance finetuning. The red and black detailed steed, with soft rounded wooden edges for safety and comfort, comes equipped with a safety bar on the seat that can easily be removed as your child grows. Plus, for added protection, the bow rockers are specially designed with rubber stoppers to curb any overzealous riding (tipping can happen, believe me!).

9 / 10
Crate & Barrel

Rattan has a way of making anything look 100 times more chic, and that’s exactly what it does to this rocker. Toddlers and little kids alike will be racing to try out this simple, heirloom-quality rocking horse — and since it’s constructed from natural rattan and cane, featuring an intricate weave, the made-to-last design will be a family fixture for generations. When it’s not in use, the toy stands on its own as decor in any kids room or play area, and don’t even get us started on its photogeneity.

It can hold up to 70 lbs, too, so even older kids can have a turn!

10 / 10
Burke Decor

Is it a horse? Is it a llama? Is it a snail? All we know is that it checks all the boxes for a comfy, cozy ride in our book. The immediate appeal of this design is its cushioning, sturdiness, and body-contouring shape. So, if your little one is a hugger (like mine), with a soft spot for soft things they can cling to: This cleverly crafted rocker will be right up their alley.