A swing can be a lifesaver for moms with newborn babies. The gentle rocking simulates the motion of the womb, so it soothes many fussy babies. Best of all, a swing provides a safe place to put baby temporarily while mom does household chores or takes a much-needed break.
Swings are the most useful during baby’s first few months. Most manufacturers recommend you stop using the swing when the baby’s weight is between 15 and 25 pounds. If baby is starting to turn over or push up, you should also stop using the swing so the baby doesn’t tip it over.
Baby swings generally cost from $50 to $200. There are many models on the market from which to choose. This guide can help you shop for a baby swing.
Baby swings range from the basic, no-frills models to fully loaded entertainment centers. Some swings are small, fold up and can be easily transported. Full-sized swings offer more options, but can take up a lot of space in your house.
Some swings come with plug-in power sources while others have battery-operated motors. Expect to change batteries weekly if you choose this type of swing. Battery-operated motors emit a humming noise which will either sooth or startle your baby.
Full-size swings are required to have a three-point harness that will prevent baby from falling out of the seat. Swings with a five-point harness, which includes over-the-shoulder straps, are even safer options.
Speed and motion
Many swings move back and forth, but some cradle swings offer a side-to-side rocking motion that may soothe your baby more. Swing models feature various speed settings, with some offering two speeds and others up to eight speeds.
A baby swing should have a wide, sturdy frame. If it’s low to the ground, it’s not as likely to tip over if baby leans to the side.
Be sure the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) seal of approval is on the swing or packaging.
Easy to clean
Baby is likely to drool, spit-up and have dirty or wet diapers while in the swing. Look for a swing with a removable, washable cover.
Make sure the swing is nicely padded and comfortable for baby. Cradle-style swings have seats that recline which many newborns enjoy.
Some swings feature trays, mirrors, toy bars, mobiles or light displays and music. Make sure the extra features are easily removed so you can get baby in and out of the swing.
While swings are convenient, they should not be used as a substitute for human contact. Experts recommend limiting swing time to an hour a day.
Assemble the swing properly so it won’t tip over. Never leave your baby unsupervised while in the swing and keep the safety harness buckled.
Ensure that any toys or small parts are secured to prevent choking hazards.