I was initially attracted to the bouncer's stunningly good looks. It offers just enough—but not too much—cutesy for my taste. I love the bold colors paired with the subtly heathered grey background. And the stripes are brilliant. Even the minimalist animals that hang from the removable toy bar are just right. I feel completely at-ease housing the Apollo in my already colorful (yet tasteful, of course) living room, and I don't even feel the need to hide it when we have company over. It's not so modern and sleek that it's not reconizably baby gear, but it's not so babyish and pastel that I find it nauseating. (I became all too familiar with that feeling in my first trimester and would prefer to never revisit it given the choice.) To me, the bouncer exudes a cheerful sense of fun that says, “We may be parents, but we're still cool! Yes, we have a baby, but no, we have not gone completely bananas buying ugly plastic baby things.” Plus, I like that it's really and truly gender-neutral.
Although the design of the Apollo is simple, the function of the bouncer is impressive. It bounces and vibrates at three different speeds. (The bounce function certainly won't spring your babe's seat as if he were jumping on a trampoline, but it will move him gently, which I've found to be very agreeable to my newborn). The seat also comes with a “music book” that can be flipped to the various pages and inserted into the front control panel to play two soothing lullabies and two chipper tunes for a total of more than five minutes of music. (Not quite the amount of music I have on my iPod, but a generous dose of jam-time nonetheless.) The volume is adjustable and has a range from peacefully quiet to playfully loud—I was totally impressed. (Is it just me or does the lowest volume never seem to be quite quiet enough when it comes to baby's playthings?)
The spacious oval seat is more than big enough for my tiny guy, and it seems like he should fit just fine until the time he reaches the 6-month age limit. The seat and safety harness are nicely padded, and we've been using the included head support as well. Removing the fabric for washing is certainly doable, though I wouldn't describe it as easy-breezy. As long as you're only needing to clean up the seat every week or so, the task shouldn't be too consuming.
I'm beyond pleased with the Apollo and continue to smile every time I look at it. (I think it's the stripes.) It's a bit pricer than many bouncers on the market, but considering how often you'll have to walk by the thing, I think it's probably worth every penny.
To buy: babiesrus.com
Note: The Apollo requires three C batteries.