Best Baby Swing Buying Guide
As much as we would like to keep our baby in our arms 100% of the time, our earthly bodies simply just can’t function for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We parents need a break, and it’s for a good reason, too. We need to rest ourselves so that we would always be in a perfect condition to care for our children. Let us not feel weary then, for wanting to put the baby down for a few minutes.
For when we need our arms to perform our other roles in life, we have baby swings to assist us. Baby swings can become an extra set of hands by providing a cozy cradle, which is similar to a womb, and complete with motion and sounds. Here we may place our babies for a few minutes while we attend to our other needs.
We here at ParentsNeeds HQ are here to help you buy the best baby swing for your precious one by providing you with a buying guideline.
What features should you consider in buying a baby swing?
● Motion Settings
The purpose of a baby swing is to soothe your baby by mimicking the motions they have been accustomed to from the months that they have spent in your womb up to the time you are cradling them in your arms, using different rocking motions to calm or put them to sleep. In purchasing a baby swing, you must consider the types of motion the swing can provide. The best baby swing can offer several types of motions. These may include swinging back and forth and swinging from side to side. Other models may even break away from these usual motions and may even try to mimic motions that parents make when they try to calm their babies down, such as wave motions or car ride motions. Try to look for a product that can offer more than one motion so that you can be able to change it up. This way, baby will enjoy the different motions and will not tire of it easily. Also, more than one option can help you figure out which type can soothe your baby the most.
● Speed Settings
Look for a baby swing that has variable speed settings. A minimum of 4 settings should be safe and will give you enough options to determine which speed your baby is most comfortable with. Some babies enjoy faster speeds, some don’t and simply get annoyed rather than relaxed. If you’re looking for a baby swing that you could use for even when the baby gets a little older, be sure to check out baby swings with more speed settings. The older your baby gets, the heavier he or she will be, thus the baby swing will move at a lower speed. This is especially true when the baby swing is battery operated. You will need higher speed settings to maintain the speed your baby has been accustomed to.
● Recline Positions
Your baby swing needs to have an angled back or to be in a reclined position because your baby still has a fragile neck and will not be able to hold his or her own head up. An adjustable recline can be very useful for when you want your baby to find the position he or she is most comfortable in. Reclining the baby swing back can aid you if you are aiming to let the baby snooze. When the baby is awake and you just want to put her or him down for a few minutes, a baby swing that can be adjusted to a sitting position would be helpful. Having an adjustable recline will come in handy as your baby grows since you will need to find the position that will work best. A good baby swing has at least three recline settings.
● Sound Options
Sounds are very helpful where calming our babies is concerned. It is quite interesting to note, however, that the sounds that we find soothing might be altogether annoying to our babies. They appreciate sounds that differ from our liking. Even among babies, though, sounds are appreciated at different levels. Some do not like any sound at all. For most babies, a humming, almost buzzing sound is welcome. Look for a baby swing that offers a number of musical sounds which will help calm your baby. It is important that you look for one that has an adjustable volume, so that you may adjust according to your baby’s comfort.
● Visual Entertainment
Almost all baby swings come with a colorful mobile, toy bar or tray. These serve to visually stimulate the baby. They are useful in keeping them calm and busy, while you try to go about your business for a few minutes. Before buying a baby swing with an elaborate entertainment system, though, please do check for its safety features. Make sure parts are securely attached. Once your baby is able to reach for these toys, they might be choking hazards if they get detached too easily. If the baby swing you are eyeing comes with toys you’d rather not it did, there are models that offer the option of the toys being removable. Again, we want you to take note of how secure these toys are, in case your baby gets his or her hands on them.
● Power Source
Consider where you are going to place the baby swing and how often you think you will use it. Some models are battery-operated while some could be directly plugged into a wall outlet. Should your baby enjoy sitting on his or her swing more often, you might want to buy a baby swing that is electricity powered rather than battery-operated. This will save you your time, energy and money in having to frequently replace the batteries. It would be best to look for a baby swing that can be both plugged in and battery operated. This will give you more freedom in where to place the baby swing. You may move it around from room to room without having to worry if there is a nearby electrical outlet for you to plug the swing in.
All full-sized swings have a form of restraint system. A good baby swing should have a good set of harness. After all we are talking about putting our precious little one in a moving contraption. We don’t want them falling out accidentally or them climbing or wriggling out of their seats. Most baby swings have an over the shoulder five-point harness which can definitely prevent your baby from climbing out. Three-point harnesses that use waist and crotch belts together can prevent your baby from slipping out, but for a safer bet, five-point harnesses prove to be the best choice.
● Buttons and Knobs
With all the features that your baby swing may come with, naturally it will have some buttons and knobs for configuration. It is best to choose a baby swing with easy to push buttons instead of knobs. You will find this quite helpful, and we are sure you will thank us for reminding you with this simple yet awesome information, when your baby is asleep and you find the need to make some adjustments with the swing. Adjusting the swing’s motion, speed or sound while your baby is asleep with buttons is easy peazy unlike with knobs, which may even disturb your baby from sleeping with its unnecessary noise and movement from having to turn it. Another plus is if you get a baby swing with backlit push buttons. This feature will come extremely helpful when you are in a dimly lit room, trying to get your baby to snooze. A good baby swing is one that has all its power and option buttons strategically placed, on top of the bar perhaps, so that you may easily manipulate them without having to kneel or bend.
● Sturdy Frame
This is not so much a feature as it is a definite must. Before you even think about placing your baby in a swing, consider first the sturdiness of the frame. Check if it has a stable base and structure. It must never pose the risk of toppling over. Remember that the baby swing is going to be in motion. Do you think the frame will hold? Look for a baby swing with strong posts and a wide enough stance for a base to ensure stability even when it is in full swing and even when your baby should lean one way or another.
● Ease of Access
Choose a baby swing that has no top crossbar so that you will have an open access to the swing. Top crossbars often interfere with moving the baby in and out of the swing. If your baby swing has a top cross bar, you would have to crouch and wriggle in your baby very carefully so as not to accidentally bump his or her head.
● Seat Linings
You want a baby swing that has washable seat covers, of course. This is an important feature as this will involve your baby’s hygiene and health. You would not want your baby sitting on a week’s worth of accumulated dirt. Definitely not.
We here at ParentsNeed HQ are all for making the most of our purchases. Though not a priority, you might want to consider a baby swing that is convertible. Some baby swings may be converted to a rocker for toddlers. You may find this feature interesting once your baby outgrows the swing.
Remember that your purpose of buying a baby swing is for you to have somewhere to place your baby while you give your arms a break or two. What do your arms give that your baby will definitely look for once you put them down? Comfort. A feeling of being embraced. A feeling of safety. Your baby swing should be able to provide soothing comfort, though it will definitely never be at par with what your warm touch could give. Some baby swings offer deep, padded,womb-like cradles that offer maximum comfort to babies. We here at ParentsNeed HQ, however, do not recommend this kind of swing since it may pose some risks of smothering the baby. We suggest looking for a padded chair with a wider clearance. Look for a baby swing that has an adjustable headrest for when your baby grows.
● Age and Weight Specification
Carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions and specifications on the appropriate age and weight of the user. These specifications have been validated to be safe for babies conforming to their given age and weight.
- When trying out the speed settings, always start out with the slowest speed before moving on to the next speed. Observe your baby and see which speed he is comfortable with.
- Never, and we mean never, leave your baby unattended in his or her swing. The recommended length of swing time is 30 minutes. Continuous motion for a prolonged time can make your babies dizzy. Be sure to transfer you baby into his or her crib before you yourself get some sleep. You would not want waking up hours after and realize your baby had been in motion for long while, unattended.
- Get the most comfortable padding for your baby but make sure that it is not too soft that your baby will sink in it. Padding that is too soft may pose as a suffocation hazard.
- Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when assembling the baby swing. Do not use baby swings with missing or broken parts.
- Place the baby swing in a safe, level area, and away from any heat source and strangulation hazards such as curtain cords.
- Know when to retire your baby swing. Use the manufacturer’s specification for age and weight limit.
If you still can't decide which one to buy, don't worry. We here at ParentsNeeds HQ have put together a list of our very own Top 5 Best Baby Swings to help you narrow down your choices. Read here and see how our number one choice, Fisher-Price Snugabunny Cradle ‘N Swing, made it to the top.