The marketplace is flooded with baby swings. More seem to be appearing in stores daily. So it’s understandable if parents are confused by all the choices and competing brands and features as they search for best baby swing.
- Brand name: The manufacturer should be one that you trust. Its products should have a good reputation, and the manufacturer should stand behind what it makes.
- Construction: The swing should seem solid and substantial. It should have a quality “feel” right out of the box.
- Adjustable speed: The rate at which the swing moves should be simple to change, and there should be a sufficient number of speed choices.
- Assembly: How easy is the swing to put together? It should come with simple yet effective instructions.
- Cleaning: Babies are messy, and the swing will invariably get dirty. Cleanup should be a simple task. Main fabrics should be machine washable.
- Comfort: The child should be comfortable in the swing. The seat should be adequately padded, and if it reclines, there should be several possible positions.
- Power: Does the swing use only batteries, or does it come with an AC adaptor? High-quality batteries are not cheap.
- Weight: Babies grow very fast. The swing should safely accommodate a wide variety of weights.
- Restraint: The three- or five-point restraint should keep the baby firmly (but comfortably) in place.
- Ease of use: It should be fairly effortless to get the baby in and out of the swing.
- Portability: The handiest portable swings easily fold.
- Extra features: Most swings come with built-in toys and play a variety of sounds and music.
- Feedback: What’s the reaction of people who’ve already purchased these products? Read best baby swing reviews to get an idea of the experiences of real parents.
Top 10 Baby Swing Choices
The following 10 products meet or exceed minimum quality and value standards and are worthy choices for parents seeking a safe and attractive way to keep their babies occupied and content. Much of the choice is personal and subjective; what features are must-haves for you? And, by the same token, which can easily be lived without to save a few precious dollars?
Baby products are wildly competitive, both in price and features, and that’s a very good thing for consumers. So peruse the following list, knowing that you really can’t make a bad decision:
Fisher-Price Papasan Cradle Swing, Starlight
When it comes to baby swings, look shouldn’t be everything – safety, durability, and features are always more important. But looks do count. After all, the swing is going to become a fixture in your house or apartment, essentially a newly added facet of the décor.
In that department, this swing from the venerable maker Fisher-Price is one of the nicest-looking we’ve seen, with its gorgeous, sheer canopy. But it’s more than merely pretty – the canopy actually sways along with the gentle motion of the swing, and a starry lightshow is projected onto the canopy.
Beyond the beauty and “special effects” is a solid and feature-packed swing that should please and soothe even the crankiest babe. There are six selectable swing speeds, and the seat itself easily reclines into a pair of positions. There’s a removable headrest that’s perfect for the comfort and safety of newborns, and the swing mechanism moves both back and forth and side to side.
The Papasan also plays a total of 16 songs and sounds, with half designed for the daytime and the rest best utilized at night. There’s also a very welcome auto-shutoff feature for the melodies and sounds.
As a bonus, this swing operates on both AC power directly from the wall or from four “D” cell batteries, providing welcome flexibility. The swing weighs 15 pounds and is on the large side, measuring 44 x 28 x 41 inches. It will safely accommodate babies and infants weighing up to 25 pounds. Moms will like the fact that the seat itself is washer-safe.
Some will see thing swing as pricey, and it does cost more than most. But, if appearance is an important consideration along with the kind of features that you’ll use, it could be well worth the investment.
Fisher-Price My Little Snugapuppy Cradle and Swing
Fisher-Price is pretty much the granddaddy when it comes to baby products, and the Snugapuppy is the winner in this derby. The swing includes all the basic as well as most desirable features, boasting no less than six swing speeds. It is both battery- and AC-powered.
It has the most admirable price-to-feature ratio, offering more than others and at a quite attractive price. It makes no pretention of being super high-tech. Rather, it’s an intelligently designed and solidly built product that – going by Fisher-Price’s history – is likely to be highly dependable and long-lived.
Easy to assemble, the swing accommodates babies up to 20 pounds. There’s a two-position recline function with three adjustable seat positions: right-facing, center, or left-facing
The swing features stuffed animals on a mobile that seem to “dance” above the baby’s head, and the baby can see him or herself in a mirrored globe. The swing can be adjusted to move either side-to-side or head-to-toe and is easily adjustable. It is also foldable, and it features a selection of 16 tunes and a pair of “nature sounds” that can be turned on or off.
Fisher-Price’s “SmartSwing Technology” senses the baby’s weight so the swing won’t slow down as the baby grows and gets heavier. The seat reclines, and the frame is made of steel. It is easy to assemble, and the instructions are written in plain English and unusually easy to understand. A removable teething toy is an added bonus.
Another plus feature is that the plush part of the swing can be easily taken out for washing.
This unit’s strong points far outnumber the weaknesses. It soothes well, has a deep, comfy seat, and it extremely simple to operate.
Fisher-Price Deluxe Take Along Swing and Seat
A bit of a step down (in price and features), this compact and extremely lightweight swing nonetheless packs plenty of features and value. It’s unusual in that it offers parent and baby the convenience of both a swing and infant seat, and manages to do it all in a sensible and compact size.
Like the Snugapuppy, this space-saving swing also features the company’s weight-sensing SmartSwing Technology along with six swing speeds, 10 tunes and nature sounds and a pair of attractive and colorful overhead bird toys. (The music and sounds can be turned off, and there’s a volume control.)
Included is a soft, removable insert for newborns. It runs on “C” batteries only; no AC adaptor is provided. A sturdy handle allows the swing – along with baby – to be easily carried from place to place. Safety-conscious parents will undoubtedly appreciate the swing’s non-skid feet.
The swing is rated safe for babies up to 25 pounds although, as with any baby seat or swing, if the infant starts trying to climb out, it’s time to stop using it. Despite its bantam weight, the unit feels sturdy and well-crafted.
The swing easily folds quite flat (it can fit into most suitcases or be easily tucked into a small closet) and has a machine-washable seat pad that is also safe to pop into the dryer.
What really sets this swing apart, though, is that it’s easily convertible into a gently vibrating, stationary baby seat in which the child can rest or sleep.
The instructions are clear, and setup should be a breeze.
This is obviously an all-around wise buy because there’ll be no need to purchase a separate seat. Not only that, having the swing and seat in one unit can’t help but mean less clutter around the house. What mom wouldn’t appreciate that?
Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Rock ‘n Glide Soother
Maybe your baby is fussy because swinging isn’t his or her preference. So this versatile unit from Fisher-Price instead rocks and glides – either from head-to-toe or side-to-side. It features three speeds, a pair of reclining positions, and four motions. It can also be set to gently vibrate. (Note that batteries are required for vibration; other movements use AC power).
Additionally, baby can be calmed and entertained by a dozen tunes and three nature sound effects.
The unit features a large on/off button that’s easy to see and get to. It operates in a very smooth way and works great at feeding time as well as for snoozing or just relaxing. The glider base is quickly and easily removable and can be carried from room to room. Just lift the vibrating rocker seat from the base of the glider.
The portable seat itself, which has a removable newborn head- and body-support insert, has two adjustable positions. This means that it essentially “grows” along with the baby. For newborns or napping, the reclined position is recommended; it’s advisable to try the inclined setting for older or larger infants. The seat pivots a full 360 degrees, so you can always keep tabs on the baby. The seat handles make it simple to transport.
A removable toy bar features two soft overhead toys, and for physical play, there’s even a turtle toy.
The unit comes with clear instructions and is easy to assemble.
Obviously, the 4-in-1 is an attractively economical buy because a single unit accomplishes so many different, necessary functions – and does it all via a single handy unit. And, like the Fisher-Price above, it’s undeniably a space-saver – definitely something to think about for occupants of small apartments or anyone without an excess of storage space.
Graco Simple Sway Swing
The name tells you that simplicity is the goal of this swing, but space-saving is one of the main selling points of this entry from Graco, another big name in the baby sweepstakes. Measuring just 31 x 38 x 30 inches, the product’s frame is designed in an unusually compact way. That means that the swing can be placed just about anywhere. Thus, since it will fit in any room, there’ll never be a need or reason not to keep the baby near.
There was no scrimping here – despite the unit’s compactness and light weight (just 17 pounds), a lot of must-have features are cleverly packed into the diminutive product. The side-to-side sway is easily adjustable in six speeds. 6 swing speeds accommodate your baby’s moods, and there are two vibration speeds.
An attractive and festive three-toy mobile is also included, and the unit plays a robust 15 melodies and sounds, a higher number than just about all the competition.
The unusually plush seat also gently vibrates in two speeds (a separate battery is needed for the vibration effect).
For parents who might have safety concerns, the baby is secured by a five-point harness.
Other strong points? The frame easily wipes clean, and the seat pad is machine-washable.
The unit runs on AC power as well as four “D” cell batteries. Graco rates battery life at a fairly impressive four hours.
The swing is rated safe for babies weighing from 5 ½ to 30 pounds. The minor assembly is easy and painless.
In short, all parents (particularly new ones) know how quickly baby gear mounts up in the home, and it’s easy to get lost amid it all. This unique product will be constantly useful without adding a thing to the clutter.
Graco DuetSoothe Swing and Rocker
The “DuetSoothe” moniker here is a reference to the fact that the swing seat does double duty as a rocker, so it’s effectively two products for the price of just one. The rocker has a carry handle that conveniently allows the baby to be easily moved from room to room so he or she will always be nearby. It is a truly multifunctional product that manages to be quite serviceable and stylish at the same time.
Many parents have discovered that despite that they might believe (and how they were raised as babies themselves, the traditional back-and-forth rocking motion isn’t going to soothe and quiet all infants. In fact, some have been shown to refuse to go to sleep with that motion. This swing accommodates those varying preferences by offering both side-to-side and back-and-forth rocking motions.
In addition, the usual features that most parents expect in a swing these days are here: a selection of hanging toys, musical and “nature sound” entertainment, a half-dozen speeds for the swing, and adjustable seat vibration. When baby gets big, the plush insert can be removed, effectively increasing the useful lifespan of the swing.
The item is designed for infants weighing 5 ½ to 30 pounds. Note that this is five pounds heavier than the competition, meaning that baby can safety and comfortably use it longer.
It operates on 4 “D” cell batteries as well as AC power. At 33 x 34 x 43 inches, the swing is larger than most, a fact that potential buyers might want to take into consideration if they don’t have the most abundant of space to work with.
Safety-wise, the swing has a sturdy five-point harness, and Graco says the product is free of phthalate, latex, lead, and BPA.
Graco Glider LX Gliding Swing
Graco claims that despite the quite very modern-looking appearance of this swing, and that it definitely does, in a gentle, nursery-style manner. It’s also notable for its compactness, taking up 40 percent less space than many competitors. Despite its small footprint, the frame seems sturdy enough, and there’s plenty of room to insert and remove baby. At no time does it appear that space for baby was scrimped on. But be aware that the unit does not fold up.
A couple of features are especially worth noting: First, this Graco includes a timer that only keeps the glider on when it’s being used. This is a highly useful and practical feature that can definitely save batteries (four “D” cells) or AC power. Second, all fabric parts are detachable and washable. This should leave a much better result than mere spot cleaning.
Otherwise, the features on this product should be fairly familiar to parents who already own or have been shopping for a baby swing. The seat is plush and vibrates (two different vibration speeds). There are six speeds for gliding, and the extra-cushioned seat boasts three positions for reclining. (A separate battery is used for the vibration function.)
The usual removable toy bar is also present, as are 10 classical melodies and five nature sounds. A toy bar with two soft toys can be placed within reach of the baby or removed and left off altogether.
An infant head and body support is built in to keep the infant calm and comfy. The good news is that it can be removed as baby’s size increases over time. The five-point harness was clearly designed with safety in mind.
The swing measures 30.8 x 24.5 x 36 inches.
Parents report no trouble putting this swing together.
4Moms Rockaroo Swing
Here’s an interesting candidate from a perhaps less-familiar brand. This compact swing (70 percent smaller than the competition, according to 4Moms) is pretty much a basic, no-frills unit, but it does boast one quite special feature – a plug-in and pouch for MP3 players so that baby can ”rock out to his own songs.” Also, the bright, busy pattern of the seat is quite eye-catching and distinctive.
The sturdy, contemporary-looking swing measures 16.5 x 29.6 x 27.5 inches, considerably smaller than most full-size baby swings. It has a single front-to-back rocking motion – think of a hobby horse. Essentially, this movement serves to heighten motion at the baby’s head instead of the feet as with a traditional swing, and many infants seem to prefer it that way. The rocking movement is gentle, soothing, and quiet.
Some users have compared the way the seat is attached to the frame to an old-fashioned hammock.
The motor can be turned on with the push of a toe, and the speed is easily adjusted to any of five levels. No batteries are involved here – it is AC-powered only. There virtually no assembly to be concerned about.
Other appealing features include a removable and machine-washable seat fabric. Speaking of removable, so are the toy balls above the baby’s head and an insert designed for newborns. In addition, the seat is deeper than on other such products.
The cover can be removed easily and tossed safely into the washer, and the attached toy bar easily swings out of the way when inserting or removing the baby.
Babies up to 25 pounds should be able to fit comfortably and securely. The straps on the three-point (we’d prefer five) safety harness are made out of a soft material, enhancing baby’s comfort even if they’re wearing bulky togs.
Comfort & Harmony Cozy Kingdom Portable Swing
This little budget-conscious swing, the runner-up in our little sweepstakes, offers a surprising amount of features for the price, and still manages to it with a dash of style and flair.
Decidedly gender-neutral, the jungle-themed swing is extremely portable, easily folding for travel or storage.
It includes a timer with an automatic-shutoff feature, which many parents can’t help but appreciate (it’s not mandatory to use the timer. The unit plays six tunes and has a volume control (there’s an auto shutoff for this feature as well). There are two levels of volume.
The seat reclines in two positions, and there are six swing speeds, easily changed by a simple dial on the side of the swing. Like Fisher-Price’s technology, this product’s TrueSpeed feature maintains the rate of speed as the baby’s weight increases.
The headrest isn’t adjustable. However, it can be removed when the baby outgrows it, and both the seat pad and head support are machine-washable. There’s also a foam toy bar (with two plush toys) that pivots for handy insertion and removal of the infant.
The materials that comprise the seat itself are unusually soft. Even the plastic buckle on the five-point harness is swathed in an ultra-soft fabric. Having a five-point harness on a product at this price point is quite impressive, another indication of the level of the swing’s value.
The quick-folding, whisper-quiet, easy-to-assemble swing runs exclusively on four “C” style batteries. Battery life is said to be three hours. It is recommended for babies up to 20 pounds. It measures 34 x 28 x 24 inches.
Ingenuity Convertme Swing-2-Seat
This extremely attractive and value-packed product will be hard to resist for budget-conscious parents. It basically offers two seats for the price of one, quickly and easily changing from portable swing to standalone, vibrating seat. But the low price alone doesn’t nearly tell the story – it is laden with features normally found only on more expensive swings.
It offers five different speeds with a timer for 30, 45 and 60 minutes. Features also include weight-sensing to keep speeds consistent as the baby grows in size. The swing conveniently folds completely flat.
The task of switching the unit from a swing to a smooth and gentle vibrating seat is a simple one. And it quickly and simply folds flat for storage and transportation.
While on board, baby can be soothed by eight melodies and three nature sounds. He or she can play with a pivoting toy bar with a pair of plushy toys (there are also loops to attach more).
The swing operates on four “D” size batteries, and the vibrating seat requires one “C” battery. Ingenuity claims that its “hybridrive” technology permits batteries to last three times longer than usual. In fact, the company claims that the batteries will last an impressive 24 hours.
The unit assembles fairly easily and has a safety-conscious, five-point harness with non-slip feet, important safety features to look for on baby gear regardless of price.
The seat pad and head support can be safely washed in the machine.
The swing measures 22 x 23.5 x 23 inches and is recommended for infants weighing up to 20 pounds.
As stated at the outset, the Fisher-Price My Little Snugapuppy Cradle and Swing comes out at the top of the heap, but just barely. Its strongest point is its ratio of price to features and quality – it simply does more than several others, and at a price affordable to most. And it doesn’t pretend to be particularly exotic or cutting-edge. Rather, it is a very well-made, solid, and most likely highly dependable product. It could very well still be swinging after being enjoyed by several new babies in a family. Its fit and feel tell you all you need to know.
If you’re wedded to brand names, Fisher-Price is high up among the most trusted. And you’ll pay for that, which is perhaps how it should be. But a close second in our review was the lesser-known Comfort & Harmony Cozy Kingdom Portable Swing, the perfect and obvious choice for buyers who strongly desire certain features – but at a considerably lower price point.
How to Choose the Best Baby Swing
Baby swings and related products are undeniably terrific tools to soothe a fussy baby or keep one content while necessary household chores are completed. And they can be a lifeline when the baby just doesn’t seem to want to call asleep.
But all are not created equal. Some indeed swing, but others rock. Some bounce and some vibrate. Others do a combination of things.
They are made by many different manufacturers in a number of countries. They look different. Some are safer and better-made than others. Some are big brand names, and others come from makers you’ve barely heard of. And, to make your choice even more befuddling, prices are all over the map.
Below are some hints and tips for baby-swing shoppers:
First, be aware of what the product actually does. A swing will rock the baby from to back or side to side. A vibrating bouncer will gently and steadily soothe. Some “convertible” products offer an array of movements. This gives you alternatives, allowing you to find the motion that best satisfied the needs of your child.
As you shop, here are some things to look for:
- The wider and more durable the base, the better. A wide base cuts down on the chance of the product tipping over with baby in it.
- Think about restraints. A five-point type restraint is generally considered to be safer than the three-point variety because it does a better job of securing the upper torso.
- This will not come as news to parents, but babies are inherently messy. Look for a product whose cushions and coverings are easy to remove and can be safely tossed into the family washing machine.
- Some swings operate on AC power (with or without an adaptor), and others use four or more “C” or “D” cell batteries. Yet others utilize a combination of batteries and AC. Battery power is more convenient, of course, but it’s usually more costly. Pick the power setup that fits your needs and pocketbook the best. If you’re going the battery route, consider opting for rechargeable if the product permits this.
- Beyond the basics, many products offer a selection of fun-time tunes and “nature” or animal sounds to amuse the baby. The presence or absence of these isn’t a deal-breaker, but many babies love them. Make sure they can be turned on or off and that there’s a volume control. A timer for the sounds and music is another nice feature.
- Many, if not most, swings, rockers, etc., feature toy bars and mobiles that allow for interactivity. These should be removable, and they should pivot easily when getting the baby in or out.
- Adjustments are important. The better swings offer a nice menu of speed modes for rocking, swinging, and vibrating. One speed can’t possibly fit all, and you’ll quickly learn that babies have their preferences.
- Parents who are short on space at home might opt for a unit that easily folds up, preferably as flat as possible. This also is ideal for transporting the unit from place to place.
- Check here http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls to see if the product that you’re considering has been recalled. Just because it’s for sale online or available on a store shelf DOES NOT MEAN that it hasn’t been recalled!
- Ask friends and family. Many parents just head out to the store and don’t avail themselves of personal recommendations.
- Buy new, not used. Second-hand merchandise can be a bargain on many fronts, but it should be avoided when it comes to baby products. There is nothing more important than the safety of your baby, and buying brand new gives you the peace of mind of knowing that the product is safe.
- Check the warranty, and go the extra mile and actually read the fine print. Most major manufacturers warrant these products for one year. But check out the terms and limitations for making a claim. With the big names, you can be confident that they’ll be around to stand by their product if something goes wrong.
- Lastly, read consumer reviews. Parents and kids magazines are fine, but when they review products, they often give favorable reports in exchange for advertising. Websites like Amazon and those of department stores and other retailers give actual buyers the chance to rate products. Also, look online for blogger moms who specialize in in-depth reviews of baby goods.
Let the swinging begin!