Baby swings have become an integral part of parents’ lives and there is a wide variety to choose from out there.
They’re all aimed at occupying and soothing baby but they do it in different ways, with different motions and boast different features. They also come at quite different price points.
Besides the various functionality, size does matter and this swing from 4Moms, a company that has picked up a good deal of traction in the baby-products market, offers a unit that is 70 percent smaller than traditional swings. This can be a major selling point for parents who don’t have huge amounts of real estate to accommodate the baby and the ever-expanding amount of his or her trappings.
What This Product Is and Does
The 4moms rockaRoo is a very modern, high-tech-looking swing that offers a unique treat: instead of the typical canned music and sound effects, the swing includes an input for an iPhone, iPod or other device that plays recorded MP3 files so that the baby can rock out to his favorite songs. There’s even a pouch to safely hold the player.
Rather than actually swing, this unit rocks with a front-to-back “gliding” motion that can be adjusted to five different speeds. The movement isn’t unlike that of a rocking horse.
Adjustable (and also removable) plush toys are mounted over the baby’s head.
(Note that this product should not be confused with another 4Moms offering, the mamaRoo, which swings and bounces).
Structure and Build
The swing is constructed of durable, hard plastic.
The version reviewed here, Multi Plush, has an extremely soft, plush seat and a bright, busy, eye-catching design on the seat fabric.
Technical Specs and Dimensions
The product is made in China and weighs 18 pounds. It measures 16.5 x 29.6 x 27.5 inches.
The swing is designed to accommodate babies and infants weighing up to 25 pounds.
It operates strictly on AC power; it does not use batteries.
It carries a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
The cover is easily removable and machine-washable. The plastic can be cleaned with a damp cloth.
The baby is secured with a three-point harness. While that system isn’t necessarily unsafe, we’d prefer a five-point harness for more upper-torso support.
Usage and Conclusion
We unpacked the unit and easily put it together – there are just four simple steps to the installation process.
The proof, as they say, is in the pudding, so it was time to subject the unit to a hands-on test.
It was fortuitous that we had the opportunity to try the unit out with a baby who is extremely difficult to get to sleep. The rocking speed adjusted easily, and even at the highest setting, it still seemed soothing and gentle. The unit, even at high speed, hardly put out a sound – certainly not enough to disturb the baby – and the MP3s melodies easily covered the minor mechanical sounds.
As we hoped for, with the rocking dialed in at the middle setting and music quietly playing, our test tot closed his eyes and, within a few minutes, was in dreamland. Most important, he stayed asleep. Individual situations and habits will dictate use, but we left the music playing for a short time after the baby began to sleep, just to be sure. Then it went off.
At the end of the day, a good infant seat, swing, or rocker should keep your baby safe and secure as well as soothed.
It doesn’t necessarily have to fold up (this one doesn’t), but it should be small and lightweight enough so that it can be moved from place to place in the house (or back yard) or tossed into the trunk of the car without a great deal of effort. And, for most people at least, it should be attractive to look at.
This unit matches up perfectly to all those criteria. The rocking motion is sufficiently gentle, as advertised, which is the most important thing to consider. But, beyond that, the swing is solidly made and exudes quality every step of the way.
Moms and dads probably feel that they’re being inundated every day with advertising for infant products, and each new one seems to offer something special and different. It can be overwhelming to know which offerings are truly the best, especially when it comes to something as fragile and precious as a baby.
Others may offer a different menu of frills but this little machine has a whole lot going for it.