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Best Baby Swings

Updated June 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 27 Models Considered
  • 25 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 168 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best baby swings

    Last Updated June 2018

    Anyone who's parented an infant understands how hard it can be to get anything done that requires more than one free hand – especially with a fussy baby.

    A baby swing shouldn't be a replacement for holding your baby, and you should avoid using it for long periods of time. But it can be a godsend when all else has failed, and it can provide a safe place for your child while you make yourself a snack, enjoy a hot drink, or catch up on a few chores.

    Which baby swing is right for your little one? At BestReviews, we can help answer that question. To get the lowdown on baby swings, we spoke with Aimee, BestReviews consultant and pediatric occupational therapist. Using the information she gave us, as well as own extensive research, we created this in-depth guide to baby swings.

    Read on to find out more!

    Some baby swings have a timer that stops the machine after a set number of minutes. This helps you remember not to leave your baby in her swing for too long. Once the swing stops, you know it's time for her to come out.

    Types of baby swings

    Full-size baby swings

    Baby swings move back and forth, and sometimes side to side, on an axis. Full-size models are designed to be set in one place and kept there.

    Pros:

    • Full-size baby swings feature a large swinging arc.

    • Due to their large size, they can usually hold babies of a higher weight than portable models, so they take longer to outgrow.

    • Most full-size baby swings have a wider range of features than their portable counterparts.

    • Many full-size baby swings run on electricity, so there's no need to break out the batteries.
       

    Cons:

    • The swinging motion of a full-size baby swing isn't as smooth as the motion of a baby glider.

    • Full-size baby swings require a lot of floor space and aren't easily portable.

    Aimee
    EXPERT CONSULTANT

    Aimee is a pediatric occupational therapist practicing in the neonatal intensive care unit and pediatric out-patient at Central Pennsylvania Rehab Services at the Heart of Lancaster Hospital. She has been working in pediatrics for 18 years and is also the owner/operator of Aimee’s Babies LLC, a child development company. Aimee has published 3 DVDs and 9 apps which have been featured on the Rachael Ray Show and iPhone Essentials Magazine. Also certified in newborn massage and instructing yoga to children with special needs, Aimee Ketchum lives in Lititz, PA with her husband and two daughters.


    Aimee  |  Pediatric Occupational Therapist

    Portable Baby Swings

    Portable baby swings are similar to full-size models, except they're smaller, lighter, and foldable.

    Pros:

    • A portable baby swing can be stowed in a closet or other small space when not in use. This is helpful if you live in a compact home.

    • Portable baby swings can easily be packed in the trunk of a car for day trips or overnight vacations.

    • Portable baby swings generally cost less than full-size models.
       

    Cons:

    • Your little one will outgrow her portable baby swing sooner, as these swings have lower weight capacities.

    • Expect to find fewer features on a portable baby swing.

    • Portable baby swings generally aren't as stable as full-size models.

    Baby Gliders

    Baby gliders are alternative types of baby swings that don’t actually swing from the top. Instead, they replicate the gliding motion of glider chairs.

    Pros:

    • Baby gliders have a completely smooth motion. Unlike baby swings, there is no slight jerk at the start and end points.

    • For soothing and calming purposes, many parents find baby gliders to be the most effective type of baby swing.

    • You can find baby gliders with a wide range of features, from built-in sounds and lights to removable bouncer options.
       

    Cons:

    • Most baby gliders are fairly large and heavy.

    • Baby gliders can be expensive.

    Variety and versatility

    This gliding baby swing from Graco gives you more than you might expect from just one seat. Not only does it offer a gentle gliding motion and two vibration settings, but you can also remove the top half and use it as a portable baby bouncer.

    Considerations for selecting a baby swing

    • Swinging modes

    Most baby swings feature a number of swinging modes. Some basic models have just a few modes, whereas others have as many as six or eight. The swinging modes offered may include faster and slower speeds, side-to-side motion, vibration settings, and more.

    We recommend opting for a model that has at least a few different swing settings, as individual babies have their own ideas about what they find soothing.

    • Entertainment options

    In addition to basic swinging, almost all baby swings offer some kind of entertainment option. This ranges from a simple hanging mobile to a full-on entertainment center with a wide range of lights and sounds. Some high-end models even allow you to plug and MP3 player into them to play your own songs to your baby.

    The question to ask yourself is whether you want a baby swing to relax or stimulate your little one. If you want to help your baby wind down, a swing with too many entertaining features is likely to have the opposite effect.

    • Sturdiness

    Look for a baby swing that's sturdy and stable. The base should be made of quality metal and/or heavy-duty plastic. Larger bases tend to be more stable and less likely to tip over if your baby starts to move around.

    • Harness

    All baby swings should come with some kind of harness to keep your infant securely in place. High-end models tend to feature five-point harnesses, whereas more basic models use three-point harnesses. The ideal harness is adjustable so it fits your little one as he grows.

    • Color and pattern

    Some baby swings come in neutral colors; others are much brighter. Some feature plain material; others offer a range of patterns. Jungle and wild animal prints are extremely popular, but you can find everything from florals to night sky patterns.

    EXPERT TIP

    Babies always need to be supervised in their activities, especially in things like swings. They should have a good secure belt or harness to keep them from falling out.


    Aimee  | Pediatric Occupational Therapist
    EXPERT TIP

    Non-portable swings can be very heavy. If your baby goes to Grandma’s house a few times per week, consider a portable baby swing so it can travel with you.


    Aimee  | Pediatric Occupational Therapist
    EXPERT TIP

    Swings and gliders that mimic how the parent holds and moves the baby are most effective for soothing and comforting your little one.


    Aimee  | Pediatric Occupational Therapist

    Baby swing prices

    • Basic baby swings

    Simple baby swings with few “extra” functions start around $50. Many of these are portable models that don’t have many, if any, bells and whistles. There may be just a simple toy bar, for example, or the fabric and padding may not be as plush as that of a pricier model.

    • Mid-priced baby swings

    Baby swings from $60 to $100 may feature more swinging modes, melody choices, and entertainment options. They may also have more padding than low-cost swings. Many of them are portable, and some are on the small side.

    • Full-size baby swings and gliders

    If you’re looking for a full-size baby swing or glider, expect to pay a minimum of $100. Full-size baby swings and gliders can cost up to $350, and sometimes more, depending on what features are included. For example, a baby swing with an MP3 plug-in, multiple reclining options, numerous settings and entertainment options, and plush padding is likely to cost you more.

    Swinging on the go

    Thanks to its compact folded size and weight of just seven pounds, the Cozy Kingdom Portable Swing from Ingenuity is easy to take on trips or to the homes of family and friends. Since it's fully powered by battery, there's no need for power outlet access, either.

    Tips

    • Check that your chosen baby swing is easy to clean. The seat should wipe clean or have the capacity to be removed and laundered.

    • Decide whether you want battery or AC power. Some baby swings are powered by either battery or AC power, whereas others give you both options to choose from.

    • Look for a baby swing with seat recline options. Younger babies will be more comfortable lying further back, whereas older babies may prefer to sit up and look around.

    • Notice the amount of padding in your chosen baby swing. Too little padding makes for an uncomfortable seat. Too much padding could actually cause overheating or make the seat feel cramped.
    Some baby swings feature seats that can be removed from the frame and used as stationary seats.

    FAQ

    Q. How old is too old for a baby to use a baby swing?

    A. This depends on your baby and how quickly he reaches milestones. While many baby swings can hold up to 30 pounds, your little one will likely outgrow his long before he reaches this weight. Check the instructions carefully to see if there's a maximum age limit for the swing. Some models are unsafe once your baby is able to sit up on his own, as sitting up in the swing could throw it dangerously off balance.

    Q. How do baby swings differ from jumpers and bouncers?

    A. Baby swings are powered by a motor that runs on battery power or electricity. Baby jumpers and baby bouncers don’t have motors.

    • Baby bouncers move around as your baby wriggles around, but her feet don’t touch the floor.

    • Baby jumpers allow your little one's feet to touch the floor so she can "jump" up and down as she pushes against it.
       

    Q. How long can a baby safely spend in a swing?

    A. Our expert Aimee advises that babies should not swing for more than 20 minutes at a time. Similarly, a baby should not sit in a swing excessively throughout the day, as he could develop a flat head from the excessive pressure on his skull.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Lauren
      Lauren
      Writer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor