How to use a baby swing
As you’ll likely know, or be soon to find out, babies can be a handful and anything that can help you gain a minute to yourself or two free hands to do something important is a godsend. Knowing how to use a baby swing is important.
You’ll find that some babies will find it hard to just chill in their cot whilst you are getting stuff done, others will want to be able to see a parent, as well as a parent, might want to be able to see baby instead of running back and forth and checking on them every 30 seconds.
And some babies just won’t go to sleep without being rocked, walked, and driven in a car. When they crave more attention, it can be impossible to actually get anything done and this can play a huge part in a parent’s mental health.
Don’t stress, this is completely normal behaviour for a baby and there isn’t anything wrong, also its completely natural for you to want to soothe your baby by holding them or rocking them, but sadly, you can’t hold your baby all the time and that’s why baby swings were invented.
A baby swing or baby rocker will give you and your arms a much-needed break. They do the job of holding your baby when you can’t or its inconvenient too. Some baby bouncers such as the 4Moms MamaRoo are specifically designed to mimic the natural movements of a parent.
There still might some worrying concerns for you are a parent in regard to whether you should get a baby swing, can they be overused? Are they safe? How long can you use them? All of these worries are completely natural, especially when you are likely to have to part with a fair bit of money.
Benefits of baby swings
When a baby is firstborn, they are precious and you can’t stop looking at them, but you soon realise that you aren’t nearly as strong as you thought you were, and arm and back pain soon set in.
Babies love to be swaddled, rocked, and shushed as this gives them the comfort that they received in the womb. Baby swings give them this feeling, usually, they are sunken into the seat giving them the feeling of warms and cuddled, they usually rock, swing or bounce and a lot of them have sounds included such as white noise, waves, or the sound of a fan to calm and soothe your baby to sleep.
Baby swings can also help babies deal with acid reflux. The upright position in most swings mimics the rocking and position of a mother winding their baby and can help relieve any symptoms related to acid reflux.
What can be improved
Despite being one of the best products for new parents, a baby swing can also have its shortfalls.
In some cases, albeit rare, you’ll find that some babies just won’t take to a baby swing. They might be fussier, unsettled and find them uncomfortable. You can also find that when the toys and sounds are added, it overstimulates them and they can’t relax.
It’s also very easy to become overly dependent on a baby swing much like when at the first sign of boredom the tablet will come out. This can cause problems with them sleeping in their cot so be sure to not rely too heavily on it.
Try to mix up time in their baby seat with tummy time, feeding and lying flat on the floor, this will keep baby entertained and stop them becoming too reliant on one singular activity.
Although baby swings are a great place for your baby to sleep, you should avoid leaving them in there for long periods of time. Once they go off you should aim to move them to their cot or an area where they are able to sleep lying flat on their back.
What to look for in a Baby Swing
Once you have decided to buy a baby swing, you’ll need to pick one and there are a few things you should keep in mind for when you are ready to buy.
1. A baby swing has been around for years and years, new technology might make it look fancy and sell you with Bluetooth or a new way of working or even fancy designs but remember, they were designed simple to bounce or swing, anything else is just added comfort and not necessarily needed.
Of course, these extra bells and whistles do make your like easier and if its within budget then defiantly take advantage.
2. Consider the size of your home and where you are likely to be spending the most amount of time with your baby. If you think it would be the living room then makes sure there’s plenty of room.
Also, baby swings are usually very easy to move from room to room so make sure they even the second choice, maybe baby’s nursery, also has enough room to put the bouncer, they can be handy to put in the room whilst you are being clothes away, changing the bed or tidying up.
3. If possible try to try out whatever one you are thinking of buying in a shop before you buy, you could end up listening to sounds or having it swing for hours each day so make sure it’s not to annoying before you buy it!
When can babies use Swings or Bouncers
Each baby swing is going to have a slightly different age or weight recommendation and they are generally rather accurate. Generally, youll find that baby swings or bouncers have a weight limit of around 15kg, sometimes slightly lower. This is usually around 12 months, by which point baby will be standing and moving themselves around anyway.
You do get baby bouncers that will turn into a toddler chair after they have finished using it as a swing. Products such as the Nuna LEAF Grow do actually covert to a chair for your toddler and have a weight limit of 60kg which is actually suitable for some adults!
Once your baby is pulling themselves up, rolling over and crawling you should avoid using a baby swing as they can become dangerous and your baby could easily get themselves out of the swing. Being safe it’s the most important part of owning a swing so be sure to upgrade to a playpen once they are up and about.
You might find that once they outgrow the swing, they still aren’t quite at the stage of moving around by themselves or they are larger at a younger age then you can invest into a baby door bouncer over a chair bouncer from around 6 months. They are usually suitable up to when a baby is 24 months old and great exercise if your little one is struggling with walking.
Safety Tips for Baby Swings
It’s safe to say that baby swings aren’t the safest of baby related items and paying attention whilst your baby is using them is paramount. There have been over 350 reported incidents in a 3-year period, and even 2 deaths.
The AAP, an American academy for paediatrics and put forward some guidelines for using baby swings:
• For babies 4 months and younger, the most reclined position is the safest.
• Make sure the ground under the swing is level and sturdy and at no risk of tipping over.
• Always take advantage of the safety straps, however incontinent, even if you think that you don’t need them
• Don’t use it if your baby doesn’t fit in it properly.
• Don’t let you baby have toys whilst they are inside the swing
• When the swing is in motion, ensure that it stays flat so your baby can’t fall out.
It’s also wise not to even have your swing in an elevated position, i.e. on the kitchen worktop or a coffee table. Never place a blanket underneath your baby in the swing, and always be in the same room. Suffocation in babies is silent and you won’t be alerted like you possible would with an adult.
Sleeping in Baby Swings
You’ll be shocked to realise that you are advised to not actually let your baby sleep in a baby swing. You might think that that’s ridiculous considering all of the added extras that are included to help baby sleep such as sounds and naturally rocking motions.
So, what do you do if you baby does fall asleep?
Naturally, your little one will fall asleep as that’s kinda the aim for a baby swing, but you shouldn’t leave them in there once they have gone off.
Once they have gone to sleep you should move them to their cot, this is the safest place for them to sleep and where you want them to become associated with bedtime/sleeping.