Comfort Your Baby For Hours With The Best Baby Swing (2018 Guide)

Comfort Your Baby For Hours With The Best Baby Swing (2018 Guide)

A baby swing can provide your little one with with hours of entertainment and even help transition them into their bedtime routine.

As a new mom, I often felt overwhelmed and couldn’t hold my son all the time, so it was nice to know I could place him in something safe, stimulating, and soothing when I had to get some things done around the house.

If you’re ready to register for a baby swing or make a purchase on your own, read on to learn all about baby swings, their features, the different kinds, and some of the best baby swings to check out!

What Is a Baby Swing?

A baby swing is a stationary device that rocks your baby back and forth.

It harnesses your child in and you can control the speed and tempo of each swing. Often times, the swing will play soothing sounds or songs as your child is swaying.

Swings are powered either by the use of batteries or by plugging them in with an adaptor.

Some are travel friendly, and some remain stationary in a corner of your home.

Swings boast many features, settings, and seat positions for optimal comfort of your child. 

Do You Need a Baby Swing?

A baby swing isn’t really classified as a “need” item and ranks as more of a “want.”

But, I’m so glad I received it as a gift because it helped my son have some space, relax, reboot, and explore and enjoy his world when I wasn’t able to hold him!

For many mothers who have multiple children, a swing is a great way to go hands free for a bit while tending to their other children.

When Do You Need a Baby Swing?

Even an infant can use a baby swing, so you should probably have a swing set up prior to delivery.

It’s just one less thing you have to worry about when you bring baby home.

While many swings come in frustration-free packaging, some do not and require extensive installation.

So again, having a swing set up and ready to go is just ideal before you bring a baby into your home.

How Does a Swing Differ From a Bouncer?

A swing differs from a bouncer because of their motions.

A swing glides gently back and forth, and a bouncer does just that—bounces! 

Bouncers are also often used by older babies who are able to support their own head and neck, push off the floor to jump, and who have lots of energy to burn.

Swings are generally used to contain an immobile baby, to serve as a calming nap spot, or just provide them with stimulation that doesn’t involve any physical effort.

A bouncer is quite the opposite! 

There are some infant bouncers on the market. And, they still differ from a baby swing.

The infant bouncers strap a baby in on their back, and simply cradle their bodies and offer a vibrating, calming space that babies are able to be “bounced” in.

Parents press down on the base of the bouncer in order to provide soothing movements.

A swing does all the work for you, so no bouncing or moving is required on your end. 

Portable Swings vs Full Size Swings

There are two main kinds of baby swings—portable and full size swings. 

Portable Swings

Portable swings can be used anywhere. They sit very low to the ground and have some pros and cons which include:

Pros

  • Compact. You can place a newborn in a portable swing and place it on your island, table, floor, or countertop (supervised of course). So, you don’t need a special area of your home to accommodate the swing.
  • Lightweight. The whole point of a portable swing is to move it where you want and bring it with you as you travel place to place. So, it shouldn’t be overly heavy to the point you can’t pick it up without assistance.
  • Easy to set up. Compact swings come in one piece (or two), so there’s really no set up required. 
  • Soothing. A portable swing doesn’t move as high, but it does off vibrating features, songs, sounds, and a subtle sway.
  • Affordable. These swings are on the affordable side for a variety of budgets. 

Cons

  • Runs on batteries. Most portable swings run off battery power. And, it you’re using it a lot, those batteries can really add up. Plus, if you run out at home, you’re out of luck, leaving you with one unhappy baby!

Full Size Swings

Full size swings a more permanent part of your home. They have a full range of motion and swing side to side. Some of their pros and cons include:

Pros

  • Loaded with features. Full sized swings feature all kinds of bells and whistles. They have plush, padded seats, tons of swing settings, songs, sounds, lights, auto features—it’s great!
  • Comfortable. Many full sized swings boast infant inserts for added support and comfort at first. This gets removed and you can use the regular padded seat, which is also as luxurious and comfortable.
  • Safe and sturdy. A full size swing boasts a 5 point harness (which is adjustable), is super sturdy, heavy, durable, and strong as it swings side to side at even the strongest gust.
  • Can be plugged in. Parents love that the swing runs off electricity, rather than battery power. 

Cons

  • Expensive. Because a full sized swing is so loaded and large, it does cost a pretty penny!
  • Large. Your baby can use a full size swing longer, but this makes it much larger than a portable style. So, if you’re pressed for space, this isn’t a great option.
  • Time intensive to set up. There are many parts and legs to put together. Some even come with a built in mobile, which has to be assembled by hand. Sometimes you can get frustration free packaging, but even so, some assembly is still required (with tools).
  • Doesn’t travel well. This kind of swing is meant to stay put. It doesn’t fit through doorways or hallways well, and it certainly won’t fit in any standard sized cars. Plus, it’s very heavy to lift and maneuver.
  • Have to place it near a plug. Because it runs off electricity, you have to station it near an outlet. This could result in a less than ideal placement in a room. Or, you’ll have to depend on the use of extension cords to put it where you want it. 

Baby Swing Benefits

Placing your baby in a swing can have the following benefits:

  • More time for Mom. You get your hands free and are granted small bouts of freedom, to cook dinner, exercise, do laundry, etc. 
  • Change of scenery. Babies love to be moved around throughout their day since they are immobile. 
  • Tires out your baby. The constant rocking can really tire a wide awake baby out.
  • Signals sleepy time. Because a swing tires a baby out, it’s great to place them in one before every nap and going down for the night as a signal that it’s time to sleep.
  • Entertaining and educational. Swings are fun to be in. They boast songs, sounds, and sights to take in.
  • Keeps baby off the floor. Swings are a great alternative to tummy time mats. This way, you child is off the floor and away from animals and other young children when you need a moment away.

Things to Consider Before Buying

There are a few things you can to keep in mind before purchasing a baby swing. Among them, the most important include:

  • Space. Do you have a corner you can designate for a full size swing? Or, do you live in a smaller space that could benefit from something portable and more compact?
  • How you'll use it. Will your baby go in it anytime? If so, place it in your family room. Will they only go in it to signal sleep time and get them into a routine? If so, place it in your nursery. 
  • Length of use. Do you want a swing that can be used short term or long term? What are the weight and height specifications of each swing you are looking at?
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    Features. Do you want something that has an automatic shut off? What about something the plays sounds or vibrates? How long or how high do you want the swing to move?
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    Easy to clean. Your infant will spit up quite a bit—especially if they are being placed in the swing after eating. So, you want something that isn’t difficult to clean and that has inserts that can be removed and placed into the washer.
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    Budget. There is a swing for every budget. So, decide how much you want to spend and shop for the best swing in that price range. Most online baby websites will allow you to select a budget to browse.
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    Who will set it up. If you’re on your own, a portable swing is easier for you to manage. If you have a lot of help, a full sized swing can be set up with others’ help.

Features to Look For

Before venturing out to a baby store or adding an item to your car online, look for the following features in a swing:

  • Comfort. Babies want to be placed in something snuggly, secure, warm, and soft.
  • Safety. Swings should boast a harness that not only keeps them contained, but supported for those who need it initially. Eventually, you can use less restraints when your baby is able to hold their position, but still need to be strapped in.
  • Ease of cleaning. Your swing shouldn’t be difficult to wipe down. It should also boast removable fabric that can easily be placed in a washing machine to combat tough stains and spills. 
  • Ease of set up. Setting up your swing shouldn’t require a Doctorate Degree. Look for something that has a user-friendly manual and that comes in frustration free packaging!
  • Ease of use. You should only have to push a few buttons to use your swing. That’s it!
  • Length of use. Since swings can be costly, why not purchase one that you can use all throughout your baby’s first year, rather than first few months?

In addition to features to look out for, consider some helpful shopping tips.

I received my swing as a gift because I placed it on my registry. Although it was on the pricey side, a few of my friends were able to chip in to make my purchase happen. 

If you’re the one making the purchase, be sure to browse around on various websites to read reviews from parents who have purchased and used the swing. Their perspectives are important and will help you make the best decision.

REMEMBER

If browsing for a swing in the store, many models will be set up for you to test out. Check for safety, construction, durability, and ease of operation—you don’t want to fiddle with any difficult straps or multiple buttons.

If you didn’t receive a swing off of your registry, or just didn’t register for one, many baby retailers will offer reward bucks.

This means, you can spend your “points” that you accumulated on your registry on other items, later on.

Some registries will also offer you a percentage off of the items that still remain on your registry, so you can save money by picking up a swing that way!

How to Use a Baby Swing

Using a baby swing is simple. You place your baby in the seat and attach the harness.

Make sure it fits snug so it’s super secure. Then, choose your settings.

Do you want music? There’s a button to push.

Do you want a low, medium, or high speed? Push the button.

The days of cranking a swing are long gone. Everything is motorized and smooth.

You can choose to swing your baby on a continuous mode, or choose an auto setting so that it stops on its own. 

Many moms use it when they need a moment to breathe, use the bathroom, etc.

Some moms only use it to wind their child down in the evening before bed. Other moms choose to use it only before naps.

Some incorporate it into a part of their baby’s daily play time routine and rock them on a high, fast setting.

It’s really up to you and your baby’s preferences! 

Baby Swing Safety Tips

The most obvious safety tip to abide by when you place your baby in a swing is to never leave them unattended.

You should also utilize whatever harnesses are available, even if you are placing a baby in the swing that isn’t able to move.

They are there for a reason and need to be used at all times!

Here are some other important tips to follow:

  • Make sure straps fit properly. There should be no gaping when they are around your child.
  • Watch for signs. Some swings can trigger terror in a baby. They do not like to be stimulated and can result in a meltdown. Watch your baby closely and take note of the settings you use that work for them so they have a safe, happy, and healthy response to all the rocking and movement.
  • Don't place baby in swing right after feeding. New babies spit up a lot—especially after a feeding. To cut down on laundry and to enhance their safety, wait at least 15 minutes before setting them down in their swing after breast or bottle.
  • Don't let siblings near the swing. A moving swing can injure other little ones in your house. They also may want to “help” push the baby in the swing, which can result in too high of a movement and causing harm to your child. Always use the swing in isolation, with zero help from anyone.
  • Make sure it's level. Some parents bring their swing outdoors. Just make sure the ground is flat and level to avoid any kind of tipping.

Best Swing for Colic

Fisher-Price My Little Snugabear Cradle 'N Swing

The My Little Snugabear Cradle and Swing (click here to check the price on Amazon) is listed by many moms as the best in its class.

It has all the specs that high-end baby swings treasure, from multiple seat positions, multiple swing speeds, and 16 songs to choose.

It even has a feature not seen in other baby swings: the weight sensor. This addition means that the baby swing will sense your baby's weight as he or she grows so that the speed will not slow down with the increased weight.

We like

Weight sensor. It goes without saying that this aspect of the swing adds convenience and can promote a longer lifespan for the swing, as it adapts to your baby.

16 songs. These songs are divided into eight entertaining and eight relaxing, which may keep your baby endlessly engaged—or fast asleep.

Facing and swinging motions. There are three facing options: right, left, or center. These are paired with the two swinging motions: head-to-toe and side-to-side. The option gives great variety for the baby and you as the parent.

Keep in mind

Space. At 14 x 12 x 30 inches, this swing has a large footprint. It will take up some space in your home.

Eats up batteries. This swing uses a lot of power and goes through batteries quickly. Fortunately, the swing also comes with an adaptor, making batteries more of a fail-safe option.


Best Swing for Sleeping

Graco Simple Sway Baby Swing

The Graco Simple Sway Baby Swing (click here to check the price on Amazon) has a certain fashion and style about it. It is mostly gray and white, with gray featured predominantly.

The seat has concentric circles, with gray being the color of the outer circle and white being the color of the inner.

We like

Plug-in option. While many baby swings require the use of batteries, the Simple Sway Baby Swing has a plug-in option that allows parents to save money.

Spacious seat. The Simple Sway Baby Swing has a bucket seat, that is perfect for babies that are larger and heavier.

15 songs. With each song comes a different tempo, which adds variety for a baby and less repetitiveness for a parent.

Keep in mind

No mobile movement. The mobile is not motorized on this swing; the toys just hang, which can lead to less visual stimulation.

No incline positions. This can be an issue for those parents who want their babies in a different inclined plane than the one that comes with the manufacturer.


Best Swing for Newborns

4moms mamaRoo Baby Swing

The 4Mmoms mamaRoo Baby Swing (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a technology-integrated baby swing and a unique addition to the baby swing market.

It comes with an MP3 adaptor, Bluetooth connection, and five unique motions rather than the staple head-to-toe or side-to-side. 

We like

Five unique motions. They are the “car ride,” “kangaroo,” “tree swing,” “rock a bye,” and “wave.” They are more specialized than the traditional swinging style, adding more variety.

Smart technology. The Bluetooth connection makes it easy to control the swing from another part of the house and the MP3 player makes this swing double as a music player.

Entirely made of polyester. This means you'll be avoiding many of the hazardous materials mentioned at the beginning of this guide.

Small footprint. At 26 x 9 x 23 inches, the mamaRoo Baby Swing is small enough to fit conveniently in many rooms of the house.

Keep in mind

Lack of pre-programmed music. With that MP3 player comes the downside: no pre-programmed music. Other baby swings may have 15 to 16 songs available.

Stationary mobile. The mobile does not light up or spin. This can be boring for an infant and detracts from the technological nature of the product.


Best Swing and Rocker Combo

Graco Duetsoothe Swing + Rocker

The Graco DuetSoothe Swing and Rocker (click here to check the price on Amazon) has all the major points of a high-end swing.

It has three seating positions: facing front, facing left, and facing right. This allows the baby to swing head-to-toe or side-to-side. It has a mobile on which toys can hang. And it has ten songs, which can keep your baby entertained and amused.

The real key addition to the DuetSoothe Swing and Rocker is the seat, which can be detached and held in your arms. 

We like

Portability. Having the swing rocker combo enables you to relax your baby to sleep in the swing, and then transport him or her with the rocker.

Gentle vibration. The DuetSoothe Swing and Rocker, comes with two vibration settings that can soothe your baby to sleep.

Six swing speeds, 10 songs, five nature sounds, and more. This baby swing does not skimp on features with the addition of the rocker.

Keep in mind

Installation. Some moms have noted that this is a more complex baby swing and installation can be more difficult than the others.

Immobile mobile. While toys can hang from the mobile, the mobile is stationary. It does not spin or make noises, which can lead to boredom for your baby.


Best Lightweight Swing

Ingenuity ConvertMe Ridgedale Swing-2-Seat

The Ingenuity ConvertMe Ridgedale Swing-2-Seat (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a nice, portable option.

It's made of six different materials, including steel and polyester, and it's also the smallest and lightest of the bunch.

We like

Portability. The ConvertMe Ridgedale Swing-2-Seat is light at nine pounds and small (5 x 22 x 22 inches). It is easy to move and small enough to not be intrusive.

Hybrid Rive Technology. While this does not make up for the lack of a power connection, this technology allows batteries to last much longer, which will save you money.

Seat vibration. There are two vibration settings for the seat, which in addition to the five-speed settings, gives this swing enough features to compete with the top dogs.

Keep in mind

Weight limit. Many of the other baby swings have weight limits as high as 30 pounds. The ConvertMe Ridgedale Swing-2-Seat only supports 20 pounds, which may limit its lifespan.

Lack of swinging options. For this baby swing, you are limited to the head-to-toe motion, rather than having the additional side-to-side or more specialized motions.


Best Portable Swing

Ingenuity Cozy Kingdom Portable Swing

Ingenuity Cozy Kingdom Portable Swing (click here to check the price on Amazon) is small but mighty. 

It resembles a stationary infant bouncer but it swings instead. Low to the ground, the swing has 2 recline comfort positions and it plays six songs with an auto shut off.

In addition, you can set the swing on six speeds to accommodate your baby’s preferences. It also folds flat, so it fits in closets, cars, and even on planes if traveling.

We like

Volume adjustment. Many swings have one volume setting. This swing’s sounds can be customized based on your baby’s mood or need.

Strong base. Although the swing is compact and portable, it has a very strong, steel frame that parents feel safe putting their baby in.

Ease of cleaning. This swing doesn’t have a lot of nooks and crannies to wipe down, and its padding can be removed and placed in the washer and dryer, so this means your baby doesn’t have to wait long to use the swing, as they would if it air dried.

Keep in mind

Doesn't come with adaptor. This swing runs off battery power, so you can’t plug it in and will need to either stock up on a ton of batteries or use a battery charger each night.

Too low to the ground. Some parents feel that it is too low to the ground. They felt the whole point of using a swing was to keep their baby off the floor, but they tend to elevate it on solid, sturdy surfaces instead (supervised of course). 


Best Swing Glider

Graco Glider LX Gliding Swing

Graco’s Glider Gliding Swing is a combination of a portable swing and a full sized swing. 

It has a unique frame design that uses nearly half the space of other full sized baby swings. So, you don’t have to fret about where to put it, or losing precious space in your home.

It plugs in, so you can save money on batteries and it swings gently, mimicking the cuddling and comforting motion parents use. 

We like

Comfort. Babies have plush support and the swing can recline into three positions, based on your baby’s personal preference.

Toy bar. The swing boasts a built in toy bar, so your baby can enjoy their favorite trinkets in addition to the sounds of the swing.

Vibration feature. Parents love how they can use the vibrate option to get their little one off the sleep.

Keep in mind

Weight capacity. Babies can only use this up to 30 pounds. So, it’s not ideal for long term use due to safety. So, if you want to use a swing into your child’s first year, you will need to make an additional purchase.

Doesn't fold up. Once it’s assembled, it’s assembled. So, it’s not ideal for traveling, despite it’s more compact features. 


Best Swing for Big Babies

Fisher-Price Papasan Cradle Swing

Fisher Price’s Cradle Swing (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a full sized swing. 

It runs off a motor that can be plugged in and boasts traditional swing features like a variety of swinging motions, speeds (sixteen!), and sounds.

It also has a mobile with soft, hanging toys, and all pads are removable for washing.

We like

Swinging motions. Not all babies love to be moved from side to side. Some prefer front to back. So, this swing offers plenty of choices.

Starlight show. This swing is great to be used at night to settle a restless baby because it has soft star projections, perfect for getting babies ready for bed. The stars project off a canopy, for easy viewing.

Sturdy frame. Parents who have used this swing remark that it doesn’t sway or budge, but stay perfectly put!

Keep in mind

Motor. Many parents who have used this swing have remarked that the motors burn out quickly. Luckily, the company has great customer service and replaces any parts that malfunction or are unsatisfactory.

Flat headrest. The headrest on this seat isn’t overly plush or padded, but flat.


Best Outdoor Swing

Little Tikes 2-in-1 Snug 'n Secure Swing

Little Tikes Snug and Secure Swing (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a great outdoor option. 

The plastic swing supports babies and toddlers and has a harness and safety bar to hold on to while swinging.

Your child can enjoy the swing until they hit 50 pounds, and all straps hold the littlest of babies in place perfectly.

We like

Durable. Parents love this swing because it holds up to all kinds of elements when kept outdoors.

T-bar. The T-bar rotates down for easy loading and unloading, so even grandparents have an easy time getting kids in and out of the swing.

Frustration-free packaging. Parents love that the swing literally comes right out of the box, ready to use. The only thing they have to do is hang it from their desired location.

Keep in mind

Hardware. Additional hardware is required to hang the swing. It’s not safe to put just the ropes over a tree branch, as they can fray and rip from friction. So, hooks and hardware is required to install the swing where you want it (indoors or outdoors).

T-bar moves. Some parents noticed that the T-bar doesn’t remain still while in use since it can be removed eventually. So, if your child isn’t holding onto it as they swing, it could shift up and down.


Best Swing for Twins

Fisher-Price Deluxe Take Along Swing and Seat

Fisher-Price’s Take Along Swing and Seat is a portable swing that is compact, space saving, but soothing and satisfactory to babies.

It boasts six speeds and can also vibrate, while it’s feet are non-skid, so it stays put on flat surfaces, and is low to the ground.

We like

Lots of sounds. The portable swing boasts ten tunes and soothing nature sounds, so there’s lots of entertaining and calming options. 

Ease of cleaning. They also love that the padding is machine washable and dryer-safe, so no shrinking, fraying, or tearing! 

Great for traveling and storing. It also has an overhead handle that makes moving it and traveling with it a breeze. It also lays flat for easy storage. So, it’s small space friendly!

Keep in mind

Can accommodate up to 25 pounds. Some parents were disappointed at the short amount of time they were able to use the swing. Babies grow at all different paces, and some reach 25 pounds way sooner than others (6 months or less!)

Rechargeable batteries a must. Because the swing runs on batteries, you’ll be going through a lot of them. So, you’ll need to invest in a battery charger, which is an added expense. 

Wrapping Up

A baby swing was a must have in my household.

My son learned to enjoy his surroundings without me all the time and I was given a hands free break throughout my day.

I knew he was placed in something safe and secure, and I also took comfort in knowing that he enjoyed being soothed and swung.

Use your swing to develop a healthy, day to day routine and be sure to consider the swing that will work best in your home.

Don’t forget to shop for all the awesome features some swings boast, and be sure to check out some of the best baby swings above to get a great buy and a great overall baby item! 

Kate Trout
 

Hi there, I'm Kate! I started Maternity Glow to be a place for new and expecting moms to come to for practical pregnancy advice, parenting tips, and baby care tricks.

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