Parents (especially second- or third-timers) well know that all babies do not grow at the same rate. Babies with very low birth weights can suddenly “spurt,” seemingly getting larger and stronger by the day.
This isn’t a bad thing, except, perhaps, when it comes to outgrowing clothes, cribs and swings. We want to get the most “bang for our buck” and plan ahead as much as possible so if it looks like we have a fast-growing, plus-size boy or girl on our hands, we should look for a swing with the highest-recommended weight limit.
Most of the popular swings have set limits of 20 or 25 pounds, but we’ve found several excellent units that are durable and well-designed enough to safely accommodate babies and infants weighing in at up to 30 pounds:
Graco Duet Connect LX Swing and Bouncer
[image altimg=”Graco Duet Connect LX Swing and Bouncer” imgid=”61KwwtAbECL”]
This entry from big-name maker Graco is in the upper end of the baby swing price range but it’s one of the sturdiest and most solidly constructed swings we’ve ever run across. More metal than plastic (a must for heavier babies), it measures 33 x 23 x 25 inches, and it sits quite firmly anchored on the floor. Its quality is evident right out of the box – the swing itself weighs a hefty 22 pounds.
It’s also loaded with a shower of popular features. The removable seat does double duty as a bouncer and it plugs directly into the wall or uses five “D” cell batteries. There are a half-dozen swinging speeds, two vibration speeds and a selection of 10 pleasing melodies and five of those “nature sounds” that so many babies seem to love. It also reclines in several positions and has plenty of head support for smaller babies.
Summer Infant Sweet Sleep Musical Swing
[image altimg=”Summer Infant Sweet Sleep Musical Swing” imgid=”81pSBqeN8yL”]
This cleverly designed swing weighs less than 20 pounds out of the box but it is safety-rated for babies tipping the scales at up to 30 pounds. Its metal frame is reassuringly sturdy and its seat is extra-large. There are five swing speeds and a two-position recline. A five-point safety harness provides solid support and security.
Elsewhere, there are four melodies along with a pair of nature and “womb sounds” to calm and sooth your baby. At just 19 pounds, this product should be fairly easy to move from room to room. It requires four “D” cell batteries. (Battery life is estimated at 10 hours.) There’s a removable newborn head support and a handy snack tray.
Graco DuetSoothe Swing and Rocker
[image altimg=”Graco DuetSoothe Swing + Rocker” imgid=”71s4HBYIYfL”]
Graco chimes in here with another worthy entry. It’s also hefty at 21 pounds and dimensions of 33 x 34 x 43 inches and it provides a reassuringly solid look and feel that should please parents. It’s also packed with features – for instance, the removable seat can also be conveniently used as a rocker (it even has a carry handle for this purpose).
There are three seating positions, six multidirectional (side to side or front to back) swings speeds, a mobile with three soft toys, and an impressive 15 songs and nature sounds.
The swing operates on AC power right from the wall or accepts four “D” cell batteries (one additional battery is needed for the two-level vibration feature).
It has a five-point safety harness. Note that the swing is rated to be safe for occupants weighing up to 30 pounds, and the rocker for 25 pounds.
A few notes:
- When you’re out there shopping, you’ll find that “big babies” and swing portability just don’t go together in the marketplace. The convenience of a lightweight swing that folds easily for storage and/or road trips simply doesn’t usually mesh with a swing that accepts occupants in the upper weight limits. In other words, you probably can’t both attributes in one unit
- As always, be careful. Regardless of what the swing’s literature says about appropriate weights, any baby of any size who’s strong enough to try to climb out of the swing simply shouldn’t be in it
- The heavier the baby, the more restraint he will need. Three-point harnesses are acceptable but, for heavier babies in particular, look for a five-point harness design. Five-point harnesses provide additional and all-important upper-body support