Once mom and dad have decided that a baby swing fits the needs of their offspring, it’s time to go shopping.
And that’s when things can get awfully confusing…
Swings – along with bouncers, vibrators, rockers, and other similar products – are seemingly available everywhere and that can make for a tough choice.
It’s tempting to be swayed by a product’s looks, price and easy availability. Responsible, thoughtful parents, however, will want to delve deeper.
No, this isn’t on the same level as buying a house or a car, but it’s an important purchase nonetheless. You want to be certain that you’re getting a well-made product that’s going to be easy to use, safe and durable.
With that in mind, here are some things to consider:
A guarantee is only as good as the company that’s providing it. Reputable makers will warrant their products (with the usual exclusions) for one year in most cases. Anything less, and it’s best to walk away. These items tend to provide years of trouble-free service but defective ones do occasionally come out of the factory. Your warranty provides peace of mind and it’s hard to put a price tag on that.
It goes without saying that a mother’s work is never done. Doing regular household chores plus taking care of a baby can be a daunting, exhausting task. That’s why your swing should be as simple a process to take care of as possible. That begins with cleaning: Can the fabric parts be easily removed and safely placed in the washer? Are they machine-dryable? All swings aren’t created alike in this regard so keep maintenance in mind as you shop. You can rest assured that you’ll be doing plenty of it!
The highest quality swings are intelligently designed, and that begins with the out-of-the-box experience. The best swings will be easy to put together and get up and running. The instructions will be simple to follow and all the parts will be in the box and clearly labeled (and they’ll all be there in the first place!) Once put together, is the product easy to operate? Is it quiet, and does it basically do what it’s supposed to do? Does the baby seem to be snug and secure when seated? Hopefully, you’ve picked a product with a five-point safety harness. This is generally considered a better bet than the three-point type.
When it comes to baby swings, plastic isn’t necessarily fantastic! Yes, it’s lightweight and easy to clean but you don’t want your baby in a swing whose frame is all or mostly plastic. The more metal – aluminum or otherwise – the better. The product might be harder to carry around, but it’s undeniably safer and is very unlikely to tip over. Swings that can be “lifted with one finger” aren’t doing anybody any favors.
Finally, quality is most often dictated by the company that makes the swing. The big names like Fisher-Price and Graco have tons of money invested in their operations but the issue goes far beyond finances. They have worked hard to garner the trust of parents, and their names have become synonymous with quality. The best companies work hard to live up to their reputations. That isn’t to say that lesser-known manufacturers are cranking out inferior wares; quite the contrary, competition is a healthy thing for consumers and smaller companies are giving the big guys a run for their money. But, unless you’re prepared to do considerable research into the matter, you’ll be best off trusting a swing from a major name brand that’s been in the business for decades.
The Bottom Line
In the end, baby swings aren’t really much different from any other consumer item.
In a highly competitive environment, it’s tempting to cut corners in important areas in order to offer extra features and miscellaneous goodies as well as keep the price down.
The best companies have found a way to make their products cost-effective and of impressive quality. The right swing for you is out there. Just do a bit of homework, use some common sense and you’ll make the perfect purchase.