Updated November 2017
Ahhh, the wondrous world of baby swings. A baby swing is something that many parents (I’m not allowed to say “moms” anymore, apparently… god forbid!) will say is their #1 must-have item.
We chose not to get a baby swing because we had a small apartment and they require a lot of space, but many (many, many) moms and dads are completely nuts over baby swings.
Most swings not only swing back and forth (like a pendulum), but also play sounds and have other visual goodies. You can also use a swing like a bouncy seat to stash your baby away while you GSD (get stuff/sh*t done) around the house. **Warning: These can be VERY overstimulating, especially for newborns. Use them sparingly in the first two months!
Fisher-Price has the market cornered on swings, the most popular one being the Cradle ‘n Swing (above^^). Click here to see all Fisher-Price baby swings. This is a great item to buy used on Craigslist, etc.
** Note that baby swings are big and heavy and are not portable like a bouncer or Rock ‘n Play, so you will not be moving it around your house.
There are also some mixey-matchey seats and swings ~
$$ – Graco Glider Swing ~ $139
This bouncer seat also swings, but takes up less space than a traditional swing. Unlike other hybrids, the seat portion is a stand-alone bouncer than can pop off the swing and can be carried anywhere; hence, a really versatile 2-in-1 product. It has a soothing vibration setting that babies love. Can be plugged in or run on batteries.
Another popular combo item, but more of a space-hog is…
$$ – Graco DuetSoothe Swing + Rocker ~ $169 / Amazon: $125
This one is much bigger than the previous two, but if space is not at a premium, check it out. This is similar to a traditional swing (i.e. it doesn’t bounce, and has three swinging positions), but what sets it apart is that the seat is detachable so you can carry baby from room to room (super helpful if she happens to fall asleep while swinging, and you want to take a shower!). It’s important to note, however, that some users complain of a loud clicking sound when the swing is in motion, as well as a motor that dies after only a short time.
$$$ – 4moms mamaRoo ~ $225
This could have landed in the “bouncer” category, but I felt it was more of a swingy thing.
If you’ve got some Benjamins in your wallet, the mamaRoo is cool. It’s ideal for people who don’t have the floor space for a regular swing and dig the modern design. What’s different about the mamaRoo is that it is designed to move just like parents do when comforting their baby — it emulates motions like a car ride, swaying side to side, an up and down bounce, and more.
The newer ones are blue-tooth enabled, so you can control the sound/volume and motion/speed from your smart device. While many users absolutely love the mamaRoo, some reviewers complain that its movements aren’t smooth enough for baby, the blue-tooth doesn’t always work, and that the speakers sound like static. Eesh. For this price, you definitely want a product that works well (and that your baby loves)!
4moms also came out with the rockaRoo for a little less (~$159), which swings in a gentle, back and forth, gliding/rocking motion, creating more motion at the baby’s head. If you get one that actually works (there are many quality complaints!), it’s a nice little gizmo to have.
Give Yourself a Break
Sometimes you hear new moms complain that they don’t have enough time to get dressed in the morning or take a shower. My goodness, it doesn’t have to be this way! You must take care of yourself — this includes eating well, showering every day, and getting out of your PJs (okay, the first two weeks, you get a pass)…use these bouncers/swings to help you stay sane.
Essentially, you’ll need one of these “baby holders” on each floor/separate area of your house. For example, get a bouncer for upstairs and a Rock ‘n Play for downstairs, or a swing for the nursery and a bouncer for the kitchen. You definitely won’t want to be carrying equipment up and down the stairs each time you need to put your baby down. Trust me on this one!
You can take the bouncer into the bathroom with you so you can shower. Yes, it’s fine! Pull it into the kitchen so you can cook, eat, do the dishes, or fold some laundry. Put your Rock ‘n Play next to the dinner table, so you can actually eat your food. You get the picture. 😉
Deal? Okay good.
Take my hand, it’s time to take a bath…
4. Bath Time!