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What is a Nursing Chair?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 16, 2024
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A nursing chair is a partially upholstered seating piece made to sit in when nursing a baby. Nursing chairs are mostly popular in the United Kingdom and they date back to the Victorian period between 1837 and 1901 during the rule of Queen Victoria. A nursing chair has a glider rocker motion built into the chair and doesn't have large rocker feet like all-wood, non-upholstered rocking chairs. Typically, the bases of baby nursing chairs are bare wood or metal and the seat, sides and back are covered in soft, neutral-colored fabric.

Since a chair for nursing often has solid fabric that’s neutral in color, it's versatile and may even be used in a family room as a lounging or easy chair. A nursing chair can also stay in a child's room to use when reading bedtime stories. An accent pillow to coordinate with the colors and theme of the room can help the chair fit in with the nursery's decor. The potential versatility of nursing chairs can help people decide to purchase them, since some people don’t want to spend a few hundred dollars on a piece of furniture to use just for nursing an infant.

Most nursing chairs are sold with a matching footstool. The footstool has a plain metal or wood base to coordinate with the chair, plus a matching padded fabric top. A nursing chair may have extra fabric pieces that hang down from the seat that contain handy pockets. Baby nursing chairs are usually fairly low to the ground to allow easy access for a parent holding an infant. While a nursing rocking chair usually fits people of all heights, some brands and styles have wider seating space than others and this may affect the comfort level of different chairs.

A metal framed nursing chair is often black, while a wood based baby nursing rocking chair may be in a light or dark finish. Some nursing chairs have a white finish and this allows it to suit any nursery decor or mix with any wood tone already in the room. The padded sections of an infant nursing chair may be able to be removed for washing on some styles of chairs.

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