Before You Buy a Baby Swing, Read This

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A baby swing is a lifesaver for parents with colicky babies. It’s also a terrific device for soothing babies during fussy periods or just giving parents a place to put the baby while they wash the dishes or throw in a load of laundry.

You can pay anywhere from $60 to $150 for a baby swing, with the major differences being the bells and whistles the swing has.

For example, higher-priced swings may have five or six different speed settings to choose from, a toy bar, music, lights, cushier fabrics, etc. It’s mostly a matter of preference, but I do have a few guidelines:

1. Always go with a battery-powered swing.

Before You Buy a Baby Swing, Read This

Just about all the swings made nowadays are battery-operated, but a few of the cheaper models are wind-up. The moms I’ve surveyed for my books absolutely hate the wind-up swings, because inevitably, just as their babies would calm down, the swing would stop. Then baby would start crying, and mom or dad would have to wind it up again. The batteries eliminate all that hassle.

2. If you’re buying for a newborn, choose a swing that reclines far enough to support the baby’s head and neck.

Two of my favourite swings, the Nature’s Touch Baby Papasan Cradle Swing and the Ocean Wonders Aquarium Cradle Swing, recline just far enough to perfectly cradle a newborn baby’s head. Plus, they can accommodate older babies up to 25 pounds.

3. If you choose one with a toy bar, mobile, lights or sounds, make sure they can be turned off.

Babies can easily get overstimulated by these amusements. So you want to have the option of using them when the baby wants them and removing them or turning them off, when she doesn’t.

My Top Picks

Before You Buy a Baby Swing, Read This

My absolute favourite baby swing is the Nature’s Touch Baby Papasan Cradle Swing ($129.99).


  • It has enough head and neck support for a newborn baby, yet it can still accommodate older babies (up to 25 pounds).
  • It swings in two different directions: front-to-back and side-to-side, making it ideal for babies who like being rocked, but prefer the side-to-side motion.
  • It has a cushy fabric lining, that is removable and machine washable.
  • It has a very quiet motor.
  • It comes with a detachable toy tray, a motorised mobile and music (with volume control).


  • The price. It’s costly, but if it’s something that’ll be used often, especially with a colicky baby or a baby with reflux, it’s well worth it.

    My second choice is the Ocean Wonders Aquarium Cradle Swing ($99.99). It has almost everything the Baby Papasan Cradle Swing has, including:

  • Two reclining positions
  • The ability to swing in two different directions (front-to-back and side-to-side)
  • A removable, washable seat
  • Lights, sounds, an aquarium water globe with swimming characters, a mobile and a removable tray with a toy bar

    In addition, the Ocean Wonders Aquarium Cradle Swing has six different swing speeds.

    The biggest difference between these baby swings is the seat itself. The Baby Papasan swing seat is a bit cushier and wider. I like it better, because it seems like the baby will be able to use it longer.

  • Before You Buy a Baby Swing, Read This

    However, the Ocean Wonders baby swing is a bit cheaper, so if want to save some money, go with the Ocean Wonders swing.

    It has:

  • Six different speeds
  • A four-position reclining seat
  • A detachable mobile with three soft toys
  • 15 different soothing tunes
    A removable tray that flips open with one hand, making it easy to get baby out of the swing

Yes, this Graco baby swing lacks some of the bells and whistles of the Ocean Wonders and the Baby Papasan swings, but in some ways, it’s better. The open top design is really the easiest way to get baby out. Also, the upright design is better suited to older babies, so this swing will probably last longer than the other two.