Benefits of baby swings
To quickly soothe a crying baby, parents have to learn the 5 Ss – swaddling, shushing, swinging, sucking, and side/stomach position. As you could have guessed, baby swings are designed to help you with the swinging.
For soothing via swinging, your arms are going to be the choice of your baby all the time. However, you may sometimes need to do other things at home and take a break occasionally. A baby swing is the best replacement for your arms out there. Plus, baby swings can also keep babies entertained with music or toys.
Baby swings not only allow hands-free swing soothing but also have several health advantages for the baby. Most importantly, the reclined seat position may help with relieving gas, constipation, and reflux. In addition, baby swings may help with baby colic when the baby cries for hours long. A baby sleeping in swing when sick will also rest and rejuvenate quicker.
How to choose a baby swing in 2019?
Choosing a proper baby swing is exceptionally important not only for the comfort but also for the health and safety of your baby. And to help you with buying the very best baby swing, we have prepared a list of things that you should consider when looking for a baby swing.
Types of soothing devices:-
A baby swing features a cushioned seat that moves head-to-toe or side-to-side. Some baby swings feature an all-directional movement of the seat.
Aside from a seat, baby swings have a motor that brings the seat in motion, as well as some sort of a base that keeps the swing stable and secure while on the floor.
Baby swings are intended for younger babies aged from 0 to 6 months. So if you have been wondering “can a newborn use a swing?”, then the answer is yes.
Bouncers & rockers
Bouncers and rockers basically are simpler and more compact variants of a baby swing. These soothing devices tend to cost less than baby swings, but they lack many of the features that baby swings have. Namely, bouncers & rockers don’t have speed, direction, and sound adjustment, unlike baby swings.
Bouncers and rockers may be a better option for you if you are on a budget or if you don’t want to have a bulky baby swing at home. However, since baby swings are much more functional and tend to better soothe babies, we’d advise you to skip bouncers & rockers and go straight for a baby swing.
Baby carriers are wearable devices that support a baby from the wearer’s body. The purpose of baby carriers is completely different, and we can’t say that baby swings and carriers are interchangeable. On the contrary, we think that you should have both.
Baby carriers are, first of all, designed to support the baby’s natural posture for healthy joint development. Aside from that, a big benefit of baby carriers is that they allow parents to keep the baby close even when they are busy. This allows for the strengthening of the bond between the baby and the parent, as well as reduces infant crying.
Types of baby swings:-
Electric vs manual
Baby swings can be electric or manual.
In electric baby swings, the seat is moved around by a motor that relies on either AC or battery power. Motor-operated baby swings often feature adjustable swinging speed, direction, as well as can play music or white noise to soothe the baby.
Manual swings, as you could guess, rely on a push from an adult. These swings swing for a few minutes after a push and thus require reapplication of force when the swinging stops. Needless to say, electric swings continuously swing the seat as long as the motor is powered.
Electric swings should be good if:
- Your baby requires soothing frequently.
- You need to be hands-free in order to get things done.
- You want the best baby swing on the market.
In contrast, go for a manual swing if:
- You are on a tight budget.
- Your baby hasn’t been too demanding for soothing.
- You don’t want to deal with any mechanical parts that have the risk of breakdown.
Full-size vs portable
Baby swings can also be categorized as full-size and portable.
Full-size baby swings are the more functional swings among the two. Not limited in footprint and size, these swings are suitable for parents who have plenty of floor room at home, as well as those who want functionality.
Portable swings are lighter and smaller than their full-size counterparts. They tend to be less functional, but they can be folded for more convenient storage and transport, and they can be easily used in small spaces. Plus, they tend to be cheaper.
There also are glider swings. These swings are designed to deliver a more fluid-like motion by mimicking a glider chair or rocking in a parent’s arms. Glider swings have nice soothing performance, but the not so good thing about them is that their controls tend to be placed on the base of the frame, which will force you to bend to control the swing.
Things to consider when looking for a baby swing:-
The seat is perhaps the most important part of a baby swing. After all, it is the place where your baby will spend a lot of time!
You should pay attention to these three things when assessing a swing’s seat:
- The padding is crucial in any baby swing seat. It needs to not only provide a cozy resting place for your baby but also needs to protect the baby from the rigid elements of the carrier. While the padding needs to be soft, it shouldn’t be excessively soft since a thick layer of padding won’t provide good support for the baby’s body.
- Some swings’ seats are fixed at some angle, while others allow you to adjust its recline. Newborns tend to feel more comfortable in a fully reclined position, but their preferences will change as they age. And besides, an older baby may want to get out of the swing to explore the world, which would be easier to do from a lesser recline.
With that being said, a baby swing with a reclining seat is going to be the best and the most flexible option out there.
- Easiness of cleaning. It would be better if the swing had a removable and washable seat cover. It’s likely that you will often find all kinds of baby bodily fluids in the seat, so the baby swing should allow you to easily clean up such messes.
A seat is important, but it is of no use if it has no motion. Motion thus is another important thing to consider in a baby swing.
Any kind of baby swing is going to feature some seat movement pattern. But in some swings, the seat movement isn’t adjustable, while others allow quite a wide range of motion adjustment.
Among the things that could be adjusted in baby swings are:
- The needs of every baby are different. Furthermore, the swinging rate that the baby is comfortable with may change as the baby ages. Due to this, we highly recommend you get a baby swing with adjustable swinging speed
- Most baby swings feature only back-and-forth seat swinging. However, some allow for swinging from side to side and in round motions. Again, the needs of babies are unique and may change over time, so to be on a safer side, consider getting a baby swing with adjustable swing direction.
- Some baby swings come with a timer feature that allows you to keep the swing rocking the baby for a set period of time. Some experts that say an hour of rocking a day is optimal, but there are no conclusive studies on the benefit or harm of prolonged swinging.
Nonetheless, you may want to limit the length of time during which your baby is rocked, which is very easy to do with a timer setting.
Safety is also key in baby swings. There are many things that determine the safety level of a baby swing, and you should carefully consider all of them. Below is a list of the features that you should pay special attention to.
- The most secure baby swings come with 5-point harnesses which can firmly support the upper and lower body of the baby. 5-point harnesses are excellent for younger babies who aren’t moving around much yet.
On the other hand, baby swings with 3-point harnesses are better for older babies since such harnesses allow for more freedom of movement.
The harness should be made from durable material and its locks should be sturdy to ensure safety for your child. Aside from that, the harness should be comfortable for your baby and not have rough edges that could irritate the baby’s skin in exposed areas.
- Fully-reclined position. If your baby is under 4 months of age, then the swing should have a fully-reclined position since younger babies have little to no control of their necks.
- Recommended age, weight, and height guides. Swings usually have minimum and maximum limits for these criteria, and you should make sure that your baby is within the required figures.
- Seat depth. Infants usually prefer deep seats that firmly cradle them and help them maintain proper hip flexion. While a deeper seat is a preferable option, you should make sure that there is no extra fabric near the child’s mouth or nose. These could easily obstruct their airway.
- Many baby swings come with toys to keep the baby entertained while rocking. These toys need to be environmentally safe, as well as must be securely connected to their spots.
- It is crucial that the baby swing stay stable and its base have full contact with the floor while swinging. This is especially important in baby swings with speed settings – such a swing should stay stable at full speed with the baby inside. Otherwise, the whole swing may just tip over. Heavier and wider bases tend to be more stable than lighter and narrower ones.
The frame is the main thing that ensures the stability of the swing while its seat is rocking, as well as keeps the whole construction rigid. In order to ensure maximum safety and durability, consider these two things – the frame’s material and the build of the frame’s base and legs.
The baby swing’s frame should be made from a sturdy material. The best baby swings out there are mostly using metal in their frame, which is a strong and heavy material. Avoid cheap swings with a plastic frame that is brittle and isn’t heavy enough to ensure good stability.
As we mentioned above, a wider base means better stability. On the other hand, a baby swing with a wider base has a larger footprint and occupies more floor room. Thus, look for a baby swing whose base is as wide as you can accommodate at home.
You may also want your baby swing’s frame to be foldable to allow for more convenient carrying and storage. There are plenty of foldable swings out there, fortunately. However, since the place where the frame folds is a weak spot, you need to make sure that the frame can be solidly secured in its position when unfolded.
When it comes to the power source in electric swings, baby swings can be battery-powered or corded.
Battery-powered baby swings are good when it comes to mobility – they can be used basically anywhere. However, they require occasional charging. Aside from that, some cheaper units have non-rechargeable batteries, and buying battery replacements can be quite costly. So if you go for a battery-operated swing, make sure that it is rechargeable.
Corded baby swings tend to cost more than battery-operated swings, but they don’t require you to recharge any batteries. These swings aren’t as portable and are susceptible to power outages, but they are going to be more convenient for most people.
Aside from the above features, baby swings can have a plentitude of other stuff like vibration, toy bars, music, and lights. These extras aren’t crucial to the function of baby swings, but they can make their swinging experience more relaxing. It’s nice to have them in a baby swing, but you shouldn’t overpay for things that you don’t need.