Types of Baby Swings
There are two main types of baby swings available, including:
- Full-sized swings
- Portable swings
Full-Sized Baby Swings
These swings are loaded with tons of features. They tend to offer more swinging options, such as forward and back and side to side; they offer visually stimulating and interactive toys for babies to enjoy, such as mobiles with plush toys and detachable trays with toys attached to them; they play soothing melodies and white noise, which add to their soothing power; they also can be powered by batteries or by a cord that can be plugged into a wall, which is very convenient if the batteries run out of juice and you don’t have any on hand. The downside of full-sized sings, however, is that they tend to take up a lot of space.
Portable Baby Swings
If you are short on space or you want to be able to use your baby swing in different locations, a portable baby swing is an excellent option for you. Portable baby swings are smaller, lighter and can be folded down, making them easy to take with you and use anywhere (like when you’re making a trip to the grandparent’s house, or when you want to have a safe space for your baby in the living room or in the kitchen.) They are also cost less than full-sized swings. The downside to portable swings is that they usually don’t offer as many features as full-sized options; however, they do the most important job – comforting the baby.
Baby Swing Considerations
When purchasing a baby swing, there are certain factors that you are going to want to take into consideration before you decide whether the full-size or the portable option is better for you. These factors include:
One of the most important factors that you need to consider before choosing a swing is the size. How much space do you have to devote to a swing? While full-size swings offer a lot of features, they do take up a lot of space. Do you have an area that can accommodate the swing and where it won’t be obstructed by anything? If you are limited on space, a portable swing is likely the better option for you.
Both portable and full-size swings will sway your baby, offering soothing comfort and (hopefully) lulling him to sleep. However, do you want the swing to do more than just rock the baby? As previously mentioned, full-size swings tend to offer more features than the portable variety (find more detailed information about the features below,) so if you want it to do more than just rock the baby, a full-sized swing will likely be a better choice for you.
How It’s Powered
Portable swings can be powered by batteries, or they can be powered by a hand crank. Full-sized swings can be powered by both batteries and electricity. If you don’t mind having to always have a spare set of batteries on hand or having to continuously wind the crank up, then a portable swing will work for you; however, if you don’t want to worry about replacing batteries or cranking up the swing, a full-sized model will work better for you because it can be plugged into the wall, which means it will always be powered up.
How Will Be Using It?
If you plan on using your swing in one space, such as a living room or a bedroom, a full-sized swing will work for you; however, if you want to have the freedom of using your swing anywhere, the portable variety will definitely better suit your needs.
Cost is another important factor that should be taken into consideration when purchasing a swing. Less expensive models can cost around $30, while top-of-the-line models can cost a few hundred dollars. Do note, as we mentioned before, that portable swings tend to be less expensive than full-sized swings. Also note that the more features that the swing offers, the more it is going to cost.
Of course, you want your little one to be as safe as possible while rocking in his swing, which means that safety is going to be an important consideration. All baby swings offer safety belts that secure the baby; however, some offer three-point harnesses and some offer five-point harnesses. Three-point harnesses feature three straps – two at the hips and one at the crotch – that are connected to a buckle. A five-point harness features five straps – two at the shoulders, two at the hips and one at the crotch – that are connected buckle. If you are concerned that your baby will wriggle out of a three-point harness, a five-point harness is a safer bet. You should also consider the weight limits when choosing a swing. The weight limit indicates how much weight the swing can safely hold and can range from under 20 pounds to over 20 pounds. If you plan on using your swing for longer than a few months, choose one that can accommodate a higher weight limit.
Baby Swing Features
The most basic baby swings do nothing more than rock the baby back and forth; however, there are tons of features available that can make a swing the ultimate soothing tool. Some of the features that are available include:
Multiple Swinging Options
Basic swings rock back and forth; however, swings that offer multiple options can also swing from side to side. Multiple swinging options mean that you can vary the way that the swing rocks your baby based on his personal preference.
Some baby swings features seats that vibrate, which can make them doubly soothing, as many babies enjoy being rocked and feeling a vibration underneath them.
Some swings offer multiple swinging speed settings, including slow, medium and fast. This feature allows you to find the perfect rocking speed for your little one.
A swing that features a mobile will provide your baby with visual stimulation while he is rocking, which will keep your little one entertained when he needs to be soothed, or when you need to have the use of both of your arms. A mobile will feature plush toys that dance above the baby’s head while he is rocking.
If you want your swing to provide even more entertainment than just a mobile, you will love one that offers interactive toys. Several swings are outfitted with removable trays that have plush and teething toys attached to them, which will give your baby even more soothing entertainment.
Music and White Noise
A swing that plays music and white noise can up the soothing factor even more! Put on a lullaby or white noise to provide your baby with melodic rocking.
Some swings offer adjustable seats, too. The seat can be adjusted to that it can either sit upright or recline. This is an ideal feature for little ones who suffer from reflux.
Swings that offer detachable seats do double duty. Because the seats can be removed, they can be used as a safe space for your little one to sit anywhere! Detachable seats often bounce or glide, which allows them to soothe your little one, even when they aren’t attached to the swing.
Want to make your own playlist for your baby? If so, then you will love a swing that offers MP3 compatibility! Just load up your MP3 player and your little one will be rocked to the music of your liking.
Best Baby Swing Brands
There are several companies that manufacture baby swings. We found that the following manufacturers are the best of the best because they offer a wide range of options to suit every need.
Fisher Price has been creating baby products for generations, making them one of the most trusted names in this industry. They offer the most basic portable swings to the most advanced full-sized swings that boast an array of features. They also make swings to suit any budget.
Graco is another manufacturer that has been producing baby products for generations. Their baby swings offer some of the most innovative features and you will certainly be able to find one that best meets your specific needs.
These is a relatively new manufacturer in the baby product industry; however, though they may not have a long history, they do create some of the most advanced baby swings that do everything from rocking and gliding the baby to playing a playlist from your MP3 player.
Comfort and Harmony
This company is also highly regarded for creating excellent baby swings. Their swings range from portable to full-sized and the boast some incredible features. Plus, they also offer an excellent range of prices.