Baby Swing Comparison
My Little Snugapuppy
Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo
Graco Bumper Jumper
Graco Glider LX
|No of Swing
|No of Cradle
|No of Songs||16||15||16||15||0||0||0||12||12||10|
|< 25||< 30||< 25||< 25||< 25||< 50||< 50||< 25||< 40||< 30|
|44 x 28 x 41||33 x 34 x 43||14 x 12 x 30||37 x 32 x 32||17.5 x 17 x 80.5||16.3 x 16 x 17||24.1 x 16.1 x 10.4||22.8 x 32.3 x 24.4||24 x 24 x 17||30.8 x 24.5 x 36|
|Battery||4 D||5 D||4 D||3 AA||NA||NA||NA||1 D||NA||5 D|
/ Mocha Butterfly
/ Floral Confetti
|Warranty||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year|
Baby Swing Buying Guide
What is a Baby Swing?
One of the most popular baby products on the market today is the baby swing. This valuable “parent saver” helps moms and dads keep the baby safely entertained and soothed so they can make dinner, take care of other children, answer the phone or get some other kind of work done where they need both their hands free. While it’s not meant to replace holding and carrying in any way, it can be a very useful piece of equipment that most babies love.
There are tons of baby products available and to a new parent, these choices can be daunting. There are even dozens of different styles of baby swings too, so knowing what to look for in a baby swing before you go searching for one can be really helpful and take the stress right out of getting one. This baby swing buyer’s guide will help you learn all about these popular baby items and make choosing the best one for your baby much easier.
The Basics of a Baby Swing
There are a few standards that all baby swings have regardless of the style or model. These are the basics that you can count on every swing you look at having. These include:
- A harness/belt system of some kind
- A swinging motion (either forward and back, side to side, or both)
- Removable seat cover
- Different seating positions (some have only two, others offer many more but all of them have it in some form)
There are many features that have been added to the traditional baby swing that only swings. We’ll go over all these features in detail farther down in the guide.
What are Your Needs?
Knowing which baby swing is better than another can be a real challenge if you don’t know what to look at and compare. In many ways what it comes down to is personal preference combined with specific needs. What may work great for one family may not be right at all for another. There are several things to consider and ask yourself before you purchase your baby swing. The answers to these questions will help you narrow down the choices from the many that are available.
- Are you looking for a swing for your home or a grandparents’ or sitters’ home? – If you are going to be using the swing on a daily basis, this can determine what type of swing you purchase. If you are going to be taking one to the sitter’s or grandparent’s house, It won’t be getting as much use and therefore, you may be able to get one that costs less than you would spend on one that is going to get regular daily use.
- How much space do you have for a baby swing? – Even though baby swings aren’t as big as a crib, they still take up room and there has to be enough room for the baby to swing safely without bumping into furniture or the wall. Decide ahead of time where the swing will be and make sure there is plenty of room for it.
- What is your budget? – Budget is one of those things that can be really easy to disregard. Baby equipment can be expensive, so be sure that you know ahead of time what you have to spend. This will also help you narrow down the choices and decide which special features and extras you can afford to get or not. You can always decide to up your budget, or if you find that perfect swing that costs less than you figured, that’s great. But try to give yourself a range at least on what you would like to spend and look at the choices that fall into that range.
There are three basic “types” of baby swings on the market: Full size, compact/portable and what is known as a hybrid swing. Each one has its great points and drawbacks. Some parents choose to get both, especially if they do a lot of visiting at other people’s homes.
Full-size – This is the most commonly purchased type of baby swing. A baby can be put in a full-size baby swing from birth to about 30 pounds or so but that will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. A full-size baby swing will have legs that may or may not fold up and the swing itself is usually fairly large.
These are the best choice for parents who know exactly where they are putting the swing and that it’ll be left there. They’re also a good choice for families that have plenty of room for the larger space this type of swing takes up. Kitchens and living rooms or dens tend to be the most popular places to put a swing and these rooms can usually accommodate a baby swing easily.
Compact/Portable – A compact or portable baby swing will be much shorter to the ground and much smaller and lighter than a full-size swing. While they can’t typically hold a heavier toddler, they can be used from newborn to usually about 20-25 pounds. The manufacturer will have this information on the box or on their description.
Compact/Portable baby swings can be moved easily from room to room or home to home in the event you’re visiting friends or family or traveling in some way. They also make great choices if you are looking for a swing to leave at the baby’s grandparent’s house or a regular sitter’s house. Most day care centers have baby swings already, so bringing one there would not be necessary.
Compact/Portable baby swings do not usually have the some array of features and extras that a full-size swing has but many have a lot of nice features that babies love. A potential problem with a compact/portable baby swing is that because it is closer to the ground, siblings and pets can disturb the baby a lot easier.
Hybrid – Hybrid baby swings are a combination of swing, bouncer, and glider. They replace having to get three different items and are quite popular although they can be costly. Even though they are smaller, due to the triple use, they can be heavier than portable/compact swings. Even though a hybrid can save space, what it tends not to do is save money. They can sometimes cost as much as twice the price of a full-size swing. These hybrids are fantastic and usually offer a lot of features and extras, but whether this will be the right swing for you or not will rely largely on what you want to spend on your baby swing.
There are many features that different styles of baby swings offer. Some have all the bells and whistles you could want, while others are much more basic. The features that manufacturers have added to baby swings are all designed to make the swing much more appealing to both the parent AND the baby. Some of the features are offered on all types of swings, and others are only available on specific models. Below we’ve outlined all of the most common and popular features that baby swings can have and what they do.
- Power Source – The first baby swings were wind up models that had a crank on one end. Wind it up and then the swing would run until the crank would wind down which was usually about 10-15 minutes or so. After a time, swing manufacturers began offering battery operated swings and parents felt like they had been given extra free time since they didn’t have to stop and rewind the swing every 15 minutes, risking waking a sleeping baby up with it’s usually loud sound.
- Even though there are still wind-up swings around, they are not easily found and in light of the newest advances in swings, they are not the practical way to go. With the rising costs of batteries, manufacturers have done it again and brought the option of using an AC adapter to plug in the swing rather than having to repeatedly spend money on batteries. Battery operated models are less expensive than the plug in varieties, but when you factor in the cost of buying batteries repeatedly, It may be well worth the extra money to get a swing with the option to have both.
- Seat Position Choices – Most baby swings, both battery operated and plug in, as well full-size or compact, offer several choices for the baby’s seat position. In most cases the baby swings will offer two or three different positions from full upright to full reclining. When a newborn is first using the swing, it will be safer and better for the baby to use the full reclining position due to their lack of head control. As they get older and develop more strength in their neck to safely control their head movements, the seat can be moved up until they are able to sit upright fully.
- Speed Settings – Baby swings will usually have several speed options available to parents from faster, repetitive motion to a slower almost rocking chair like motion. Again, this is where the baby’s age comes into play, as well as what their mood is. A baby that is wide awake is not going to enjoy being strapped into a swing and put on a slow speed unless they are getting ready for a nap. They will enjoy the faster, almost swing set style speed. A young baby will not be able to handle the fast swinging movements so the younger they are, the more they will like the swing when it is swinging gently. Most swings offer anywhere from 3 to 6 speeds or more.
- Music Options – Music is something that most babies really love, so it stands to reason that swing manufacturers would offer musical features of some kind. The goal is to find the swing that has music options that the baby will love and the parents too, rather than annoying them. If the swing comes with pre-programmed songs, be sure to listen to them if possible BEFORE buying the swing so you can hear the tone, pitch, speed and tune.
- A cool feature that many of the high end swings offer is the ability to plug in an MP3. This way the parents can attach their own iPod or other music device to the swing and play any music they have in their library to the baby through the swing speakers.
- Swinging Movements – The early swings had one direction they would swing, forwards and backwards. After studies were done that showed that a large majority of babies were more comfortable and better soothed with a side to side motion, swing manufacturers began designing swings that had both directional abilities.
- The way it is usually used is that in the early days from newborn up to about 3-4 months, the side to side swinging motion is most often used and once the baby is older, they enjoy the front to back motion. Parents may find that their babies sometimes prefer the front to back motion even at a very young age. The best way to cover your bases is to opt for the swings that offer both directions.
- Comfort and Safety- Comfort features can range anywhere from head supports that keep a young baby’s head secure to the seat pad that the baby sits on. Comfort is an important feature to consider because you want your baby to like being in the swing. All swings come with the safety feature of a harness that keeps the baby safely in the swing, especially when they start becoming more mobile and can lean forward while the swing is in motion.
- The seat coverings and pads that swings have are almost always removable to be cleaned. If the swing you are looking at doesn’t have a removable seat cover or pad, you may want to reconsider because babies inevitably have accidents and it WILL need to be cleaned.
- Easy Storage – Making sure your swing is easily folded up for storage is important in case you ever need to move it for any reason. Traveling, vacations, visiting the relatives at holidays are all times that your baby’s swing may need to be folded up and moved. Having stationary legs that don’t fold can be a real hassle if you want to bring it with you. Most swings do offer the folding leg options, so just make sure it is one of the features you choose; you’ll be glad you included this when you go to take the swing to the grandparent’s house for Christmas.
- Toys and Activities – When a baby gets a little more aware of their surroundings, having something for them to look at or interact with in some way is a big plus in keeping them interested in being in the swing. Many swings have special toy bars that attach to the tray or even mini light shows that can be projected on the canopy of the swing. There are many options when it comes to activities and toys and chances are you’re baby will become very interested in them as they get older.
- Colors and Designs – Baby swings come in a huge array of designs and colors that will fit virtually any nursery you can think of. Even though the swing is rarely put in the baby’s room, many parents love to stick with a “theme” for their little one and with the choices available this is easy to do. From cute little animals, to geometric shapes, there is a design and color scheme for every taste. Not every manufacturer will have every design, but it is rare that you will not have SOME choices available when it comes to color or design.
- Sturdiness – A sturdy swing is a safer swing, especially when there are other children and pets around the swing. Look for wide bases and solid construction. You don’t want something that feels flimsy when it is assembled. One with shorter legs will be more stable and sturdy than one with tall legs.
As with all baby products, safety needs to be a main focus. There are many safety tips that need to be considered when having your baby in the swing. We’ve outlined those below.
- Make sure the baby swing doesn’t tip easily. Security and stability is a must for anything you have a young baby in so they are not injured.
- Babies that are younger than 4 months need to be in the most reclined position the swing offers so they do not risk suffocation if they slump over which can easily happen when they are super young.
- Any toys that are attached to the swing so not be able to be pulled off easily. In addition, if the swing has the capability to plug in an iPod, the cord shouldn’t be anywhere near the baby.
- Don’t let children above the weight limit swing in the baby swing no matter how much they may ask to. It is dangerous and the swing could collapse with them in it.
- Never leave a baby unattended in the swing even for a few minutes. Either have an older sibling keep an eye on them or bring the swing with you if you have a portable variety. If the baby is sleeping and you must leave the room, leave someone old enough to take care of the baby on lookout while you do what you need to. (This would not be with a child any younger than 8 or 9. They are old enough to “watch” the baby while you run to the kitchen or bathroom) this may seem like an inconvenience, but accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. Don’t take any chances.
- Unless the swing is designed for it, don’t move the swing with the baby in it. There are swings that have handles and they are made for moving while the baby is still in the seat, but regular full size swings are not and the swing could collapse during movement.
With the information in this buyer’s guide, you have all you need to be able to make an informed choice on which swing is the best for your family’s needs. Whether it’s special features or portability that is the most important thing to you, make a list of your needs and do your searches with that list in the forefront. This will ensure that you truly get a swing that your baby can enjoy for a long time.