You’d love to hold your baby every moment of the day, but that just isn’t practical.
You have to put them down sometimes for many reasons — work, your aching muscles, sleep and to grab a quick shower when you can.
But for some babies, the screaming starts the second you put them down. But having a baby swing can make that screaming a thing of the past.
You’ll be able to get a few things done while your baby is content hanging out in his new swing.
|1. 4moms MamaRoo||Newborns|
|2. Fisher-Price Snugabear||Colic|
|3. Graco DuetConnect||Bouncer Combo|
|4. Graco Glider||Big Babies|
|5. Little Tikes Snug ‘n Secure||Outdoors|
|6. Fisher-Price Take-Along||Portability|
|7. Comfort & Harmony||Twins|
|8. Graco Slim Spaces||Small Spaces|
|9. Graco Glider Lite||Value for Money|
|10. Fisher-Price Papasan||Big Baby|
Is a Baby Swing a Necessity?
You don’t have to have a baby swing. It’s not a necessity like a crib, car seat and diapers are.
But while a swing isn’t a baby necessity, if your baby does like the motion of it, it sure does make parenting easier — both mentally and physically.
My first baby hated sleeping unless she was in my arms. It didn’t matter if it was night time or during the day when she was napping, she wasn’t content if I put her down in her crib. A few minutes after I would put her down and tiptoe out of the room, I’d hear her angry or fussy cries.
I couldn’t get anything done. The kitchen sink would be overflowing, the floors would desperately need vacuuming, and I would be so exhausted, all I wanted to do was nap.
Not knowing what to do, I ordered a baby swing. I wanted a recumbent one that she would be able to nap in. My theory was that she just liked the movements she would feel when I was holding her. A swing could do that and give my arms a much-needed break.
The first day when the swing arrived was like my emancipation day. My baby happily settled into the swing for a nap, and I was able to fold some laundry. It felt like I had recovered just enough of my independence that I could have a small sliver of my life back. I was able to get some sleep and get some basic housecleaning done.
I admit I didn’t always do this. When you have a fussy baby, you’ll do anything to let them get some sleep.
So while the baby swing wasn’t a necessary purchase, it was one of the best buys I have ever made.
When Should I Start Using a Baby Swing?
Some swings will vary, but many of them can be used as soon as you bring your baby home from the hospital. I used the swing for my second baby in the first day or two after we returned home.
Obviously, you aren’t going to use a swing that requires a sitting motion for a newborn. They won’t have the strength for that. But if you have a swing that reclines way back, as I did, it’s fine for newborns.
What Should I Look For in a Swing?
These are a few things you should consider before buying a baby swing:
- Seatbelt: Any swing you buy should have a seat belt — either a three-point or a five-point harness (source). That helps your baby stay safe and secure in their seat. You should always use it, even in a reclining swing.
- How tall you want the swing to be: Swings come in varying degrees of height. I always felt more comfortable with a recumbent swing that was close to the ground. I wanted to minimize any risk of falling.
- How many swinging speeds you want: Some swings will have more speeds than other ones will. If the speed options matter to you, look for models that have more.
- How portable you need it to be: If you want a swing for when you’re traveling or to bring to a grandmother’s house, you’ll want to find one that isn’t much trouble to take with you. Some will fold up well, while others will be a nightmare to try to get out the door once they are put together.
- How you want it powered: Swings can run on battery power or by using an AC adapter, while some swings have both options. That’s nice if you’re at home and you don’t want to run down the battery. But if you don’t have an outlet near where you want the swing, battery power comes in handy.
- How well it cleans up: Whether your baby has a spit up incident or an explosive poopy diaper, they’ll get that swing filthy at some point. Babies are messy — they can’t help it. Ideally, you’ll find a swing that has a cover that you can take off easily and throw in the washing machine.
- Comfort: Because your baby may be sitting in this swing a couple of times a day, you want it to feel comfortable. You’ll want the material they sit on to be thick enough that they won’t object every time you put them in the swing.
- The position of the seat: While my children and I loved the reclining swing we had for them for the first several months of their lives, they didn’t love it as much when they got a bit older. The seat wasn’t adjustable on that swing — it was always recumbent. Once they got big enough to sit up on their own, that swing was given to another family.
- Whether you want a timer: Some swings have a timer. When the time runs outs, the device stops swinging.
- What the frame is made out of: You can get plastic or metal frames, but you should always keep in mind that metal is much sturdier. If you go with a plastic frame, you should make sure you feel comfortable that the swing will hold the weight. You should look for a frame with a wide stance, so it doesn’t tip.
- The extras: Swings do more than just offer motion — some have vibrating seats, toys attached and play songs.
Should I Get a Full-Size Swing or a Portable One?
This will be one of the biggest decisions you have to make.
Let’s look at each type of swing.
1. Full-Sized Swings
If you have a specific room already in mind for your swing and you don’t have any plans to move it, you may want to consider buying a full-size swing. But first, you should make sure you have the room to keep it there. They do require a fair amount of space, and they won’t be easy to move.
Typically, full-size swings have the best swinging movement because the motors are placed at the top of the swing, and the swings are taller. They tend to be durable and difficult to tip over.
But you should be prepared to pay more for these swings than you will with portable swings.
2. Portable Swings
If you don’t have much room in your house or your budget, you’ll want to consider a portable swing. They cost less, and they don’t take up as much space. But since many portable swings only offer battery power, they can cost more in the long run since you’ll be paying for battery replacements. With full-size swings, you’ll have the option of using the power cord.
If you plan to be on the road a lot, you’ll be able to bring these kinds of swings to hotels with you.
Because I had a full-size swing for my babies, we never brought it with us on our vacations. I really missed the swing when we were away. My kids both always found it so soothing.
How to Use a Baby Swing
Using a baby swing isn’t difficult at all, but there are some things you need to know and precautions you should follow.
The first thing to know if you aren’t a handy type of person is that you’ll have to do some assembly when your baby swing arrives.
I asked my husband to do it because my baby was a newborn when we got ours. On a typical day, I get frustrated by putting things together. The thought of doing it was overwhelming at that point because I was tired and was still fighting pregnancy hormones. Anything could have sent me over the edge.
The assembly had my husband saying a few choice words, but it wasn’t as bad as some other baby gear assemblies that he has done.
Before you use it, there are a few things you should note about baby swing safety:
- You need to pay close attention to the weight and age guidelines for that particular product. Don’t go by how long you think it should last. The manufacturer guidelines are there for your baby’s safety, so use them.
- Even if your baby falls within the weight limit and age limit on the manufacturer’s guidelines, you should still keep an eye on them to make sure they are safe. If you notice your child starting to wiggle free, it’s time to get rid of the swing.
- While this next safety tip should be common sense, it’s definitely worth mentioning. You should never set the swing up on an incline or a table. The threat of falls is real, so you want to follow all the safety instructions that come with them.
- Finally, it’s fine for your baby to take naps in her swing occasionally — mine certainly did, and it was blissful for me. But you shouldn’t use it as a crib or bassinet replacement (source). It’s not designed for safe overnight sleeping for your baby.
The Best Baby Swings of 2018
Now that you know why you might want a swing for your baby, when to start using it, and exactly what to look for —
Here are our top 10 picks in 2018:
This cute swing has a fun rainforest animal design that kids will love to look at. This swing is portable — it folds well and has a handle you can use to cart it around.
It has six different speeds to soothe your baby. It can also convert to a stationary seat that gives vibrations instead of swinging.
Your baby should be enthralled by all the extras this swing offers. It has two attached animal toys that will hang down in your baby’s line of sight. Plus, it also includes two nature sounds and 10 songs to keep your baby entertained. You’ll be thankful there are so many different songs so you don’t lose your mind after hearing the same one repeatedly.
The seat is padded so your baby will feel comfortable and it has shoulder harnesses to keep your baby safe.
- It holds up to 25 pounds and is suitable up to 6 months of age.
- The swing is in a reclining position, so your baby won’t have to be able to hold up his head to use it.
- The padded seat can go in the washing machine and dryer.
- It only runs on battery power.
- Some moms have had issues with the swinging motion stopping while the music still works.
If this swing doesn’t help a colicky baby, you might be out of luck. This swing has two different rocking motions to settle your baby — it can rock side to side or front to back.
It can recline into two different positions and has three adjustable seat positions — it can go to the center, facing the left or facing the right.
In addition, it has six different speeds, nature sounds that may soothe your baby and 16 songs. Moms who want their finicky babies distracted should also like that it has a mobile that’s run by a motor. The mobile has a mirrored globe where your baby can look at himself and three soft toys attached to it.
Moms who don’t want the noise of a loud motor should be pleased with how quiet this one is — you can still hear it, but it shouldn’t be overwhelming for you or the baby.
- It’s simple to put together.
- It comes with an AC adapter, but can use batteries.
- The seat is comfy and deep.
- This swing only holds up to 15 pounds.
- Bigger newborns won’t have much room to spare in this swing.
This swing gives you the option of having your baby move from side to side or from head to toe. That way, if you have a light sleeper on your hands, you’ll always be able to find the type of movement they prefer.
This swing is beautiful and has a canopy over the top. It can do six different swinging speeds. Plus, if you have a music-loving baby, it offers 16 songs and nature sounds. You can convert this swing into different positions with a simple press of a button.
If your baby likes to stay busy when they’re awake, this swing also has a removable tray that offers two bead bars. It also has soft toy butterflies for your baby to watch over their head.
This swing can hold up to 25 pounds and is safe for babies up to 6 months of age.
- It’s easy to put together.
- It can run on battery power or a wall plug-in.
- This swing will turn off automatically after four hours, which is nice for moms who forget to turn the swing off sometimes.
- Babies can grab and pull on the canopy.
- The star lights shine whenever the music does, which can wake a baby up.
This outdoor swing scores high marks for its safety with a hinged t-bar that lets you easily put your baby in the swing and take them out just as quickly. To keep your baby safe, it also comes with shoulder straps.
The ages that can safely use this product range from a low of 9 months all the way up to 4 years old. When they get old enough that they don’t need the t-bar and the straps, they are both removable, which greatly extends the lifespan of this swing.
The swing can hold children up to 50 pounds. If buying American-made products is important to you, you’ll be happy to know this swing is made in the U.S.
If you don’t have much outdoor room, this swing can also be used inside. If you plan to use it outside, you can hook it up to a swing set or a tree — whatever you have available to you will work.
- It will be affordable, long-lasting fun for your child.
- This swing will hold up well outside, even through rain and snow.
- It’s easy to install.
- It doesn’t include any anchors.
- The straps are hard to adjust.
This Graco gliding swing can hold up to 30 pounds, so even if your newborn ends up weighing over 10 pounds at birth, you’ll still get plenty of usage out of this swing.
It uses the same movement as a gliding chair does — it’s smooth and gentle on your baby without the jerking motions more traditional swings might have.
The compact design means that you’ll give up less of your space so it can fit even in small rooms.
It comes with both battery power and a power cord, so you use it even if you don’t have access to an outlet. This seat also has two different speeds of vibration and three reclining positions so as your baby gets older and stronger, they’ll be able to sit up more.
The understated colors on the swing won’t be hard to incorporate into the colors of your apartment.
- It has a five-point harness.
- It has six gliding speeds and a timer.
- This swing can hold up to 30 pounds, which is great for bigger babies.
- The vibration feature doesn’t have a timer, so if you forget to turn it off your batteries will die.
- The battery compartment is hard to get to.
This seat looks more like a work of art than a baby swing. It also has five specific motions that mimic what babies are used to — a ride in the car, kangaroo, rockabye, wave and tree swing.
This swing goes high-tech — it’s Bluetooth compatible so you can control the motion and the sound. You can choose from the four sounds that are built into the swing. But if you want to be in control of the playlist, you can also plug in your MP3 player to it.
The seat adjusts into a full reclining position if you want it to and the mobile has reversible toys to keep your baby working on their motor skills as they reach for them.
The cover on the seat can be removed and put in the washing machine. It holds up to 25 pounds. It comes with a power cord so you won’t burn through a lot of money in batteries.
- You can play whatever music you want.
- It’s Bluetooth enabled.
- The swinging motions are natural ones your baby will be familiar with.
- It’s expensive.
- The swinging motions are gentler than some other brands, so it may not be enough to soothe really fussy babies.
This machine has a swing seat you can remove to turn it into a bouncer. The bouncer can hold babies from 5.5 pounds up to 18 pounds. The swing can hold up to 30 pounds.
It has two speeds of vibration to keep your baby quiet and happy, plus it has six swinging speeds too.
With a big seat to stretch out in, this swing has enough head support to keep them comfortable. It also can play 10 songs and five different nature sounds. They’ll also be entertained by the three toys that hang from the mobile on this swing.
You can choose from three different colors for this swing and they are all muted colors that should blend into your decor. To power it up, you can use either battery power or a plug-in cord.
- The five-point harness will keep your baby safe.
- You’ll get both a bouncy seat and a swing.
- It has two reclining positions.
- The swing makes a clicking noise.
- The vibration function only runs on batteries.
This swing uses true speed technology that will keep the six-speeds of this swing going as fast as they ever did, even as your baby begins gaining weight.
It has six songs and a volume control so you can turn it up if your baby can’t hear the music over their cries. It also has an automatic shut off, which moms who have accidentally left things on in the past will appreciate.
The toy bar is wrapped in foam which is nice in case you accidentally bump your baby’s head on it while you’re putting them in or taking them out of the swing. Plus, it pivots so you can get it closer to your baby’s reach so they can play with the two soft toys that are attached.
The seat reclines into two different positions and it comes with removable head support. If the seat pad gets dirty you can put it in the washing machine.
- It’s super affordable.
- The pivoting toy bar is nice because your baby won’t get as frustrated if they can reach them.
- It’s highly portable.
- It only runs on batteries.
- The knob that changes the swing speed is loud.
This glider swing may be affordable, but it still has a number of great features you and your baby will love. It uses a gliding motion that many babies love because it’s the same as the motion they’ll feel when someone holds them in a glider.
It has six different gliding speeds so you’ll be sure to find one that your baby will love.
This swing also offers music to keep your baby happy when you can’t be singing to them. It has 10 songs and 5 nature sounds.
It’s so lightweight that you’ll easily be able to carry it to any room in your house with very little effort.
The seat is roomy enough that your baby will have plenty of space to grow into. The plush head area on the swing will give your baby extra warmth and comfort.
- The swing only weighs 12 pounds, which makes it easy to relocate in your house.
- It does have a timer.
- The head support is removable.
- It only holds up to 20 pounds.
- Some moms have had issues with their babies sliding around on this swing.
The nice thing about this compact baby swing is that it’s a real space saver, which moms who live in small apartments or houses will appreciate. The height of the legs can be adjusted too to transition this from a smaller size to full size.
When you don’t need it, it easily folds up so you can stick it in a closet. So when your baby is done with the swing, you can store it between uses so you aren’t tripping over it. It has a carrying handle to make it easier to move around.
This swing has adjustable speeds to keep your baby moving along at the speed they like. The overhead bar has two soft toys that dangle down a little.
It also has a five-point harness for safety and a head support that can be removed once your baby gets older and no longer needs it.
- It’s easy to put together.
- It doesn’t take much space when folded up.
- The removable head support is nice to have.
- You can’t plug it in.
- The swing is pretty noisy.
My Favorite Is…
The 4moms MamaRoo swing is a great pick if you love having the latest technology in your baby swing. That’s not a big deal for me, so my favorite pick is the Fisher-Price My Little Snugabear swing.
If you have a baby that is tough to soothe, this is one of the best baby swings you can find. It can rock from side to side or front to back. That may seem like a small distinction but it could mean the difference between a crying baby or a happy one.
It has 16 different songs so you won’t be stuck with the same ones running through your head all the time.
If you find your baby is finicky, you may find that your swing becomes your new best friend, just like I did.