In a perfect world, raising a baby would be a 100 percent hands-on endeavor. Except when the baby was asleep, mom or dad would be in constant attendance, holding and cuddling, coddling and soothing, singing and cooing.
Unfortunately, we don’t inhabit that world. Parents are busier than ever with a variety of activities, not to mention problems associated with one-parent households and situations that arise because both parents have to work.
In short, we need help keeping baby quiet, occupied, and happy, and that’s when we call on various aids to lend a hand.
That’s where baby swings, rockers, gliders, vibrators and similar products come in handy.
But what to buy shouldn’t be a spur-of-the-moment decision. After all, we’re dealing with something that our precious baby will be spending an awful lot of time in.
We want to choose the product is not only perfectly safe and suitable for the baby, but one that also melds well with our living space.
The good news is that the market is exploding with high-quality products in this segment of the baby and infant care industry. The Graco Glider LX Gliding Swing is more than worthy of your consideration.
Size Really Does Matter
The LX is touted for its ability to soothe, and that it definitely does, in a gentle, nursery-style manner. Even better, the gliding motion is conveniently adjustable in six different ways. It’s designed to softly vibrate as well, adding to the overall calming experience.
That’s all well and good but what really sets this entry apart from the competition is its size. No, it’s not a portable; it doesn’t fold up, and it will basically stay put in one place most of the time. But its clever design allows it to have a full-size seat but with a frame that’s a whopping 40 percent smaller in dimensions than gliders/swings of competing brands.
This feature could very well be a deal-maker for parents who simply don’t have all that much real estate to spare at home. Despite its comparatively diminutive size, there is no sense whatever that baby space has been scrimped on. It’s just as easy to get a baby in and out of this one as a unit that’s substantially larger.
You’ve Got the Power
A big plus is that the unit runs on either AC power or five “D” cell batteries (four for the glider, one for the vibrator). Using batteries affords tremendous flexibility in placement within the home. However, it’s costly. Graco estimates that based on usage of two hours per day, going with power straight from the wall can save a family up to $130 a year. Cost considerations aside, having such a choice is an extremely valuable feature.
This Graco has two things going for it in the safety department.
First, it’s made of metal instead of the less-than-robust plastic found on too many models. This should give parents a sense of security; this thing isn’t like to fall apart or tip over.
Second, it features a five-point safety harness. That design provides additional support for the baby’s upper torso and is generally considered to be safer than a three-point setup.
Another positive safety feature here is removable head support, very important for the littlest ones.
The Sound of Music
Music and sounds constitute a feature that parents have come to expect (and often rely on, for that matter). It plays 10 classical music melodies and reproduces five “nature sounds” – running water, waves, heartbeat, birds, and “white noise.” The volume is adjustable but there’s no timer for the music and sounds.
Like most other products of this nature, this one also includes an adjustable and removable toy bar that sports a pair of attractive, soft toys for baby’s entertainment.
By the Numbers
The unit weighs 17.9 pounds. Its measurements are 30.8 x 24.5 x 36 inches.
It is recommended for babies weighing from 5.5 to 30 pounds. (This is a bit higher than average; many competitors are rated only up to 25 pounds.)
Graco certifies that the unit is free of phthalate, latex, lead, and BPA.
The fabric material is machine-washable.
The Bottom Line
If you’ve been shopping for products like this, you know that just glancing at a typical baby outlet’s web page can feel quite daunting.
The choices are seemingly endless, but our look at this Graco entry should narrow the options down for you.
Our test babies simply loved this quite modern-looking glider.
Getting it out of the box and working was a snap, the fabrics are unusually plush, all features worked as advertised and the thing has the look and feel of a product that was built to last.
If big performance in a small space is what you need, look no further.