Babies come with a lot of stuff. There are so many things on the market that mom can splurge on in preparation for the arrival of a little one. The choices can be momentous at times. Not to worry- there will be a lot of other experienced moms out there who are just waiting to tell new mamas about the must-haves for taking care of a new baby.
One of the things that will be highly recommended is a swing. A lot of moms out there will recommend that mom purchase, or at least put on her registry, an infant swing. They swear by them and state that they can calm any fussy newborn. This may be true, and a swing is one of the more purchased items from baby stores, but are they worth it?
There are pros and cons to every baby item out there and it really is up to each individual parent on what they think will be beneficial to them. A lot of parents decide to do a lot of research before making any big purchases. They want to make sure they get the right one, and that it is worth it. That is why there are lists like this.
We are going to go through 20 very valid and important points. 10 of those points will be why a swing is definitely a must-have, and 10 reasons why mom and dad should just save their money for something else.
20 Mimic The Womb
The fourth trimester is something you hear a lot about in the parenting world, and it describes the first three months that the baby is out of the womb. This is the hardest time for a little one as they are still trying to adjust to life outside of their mother’s womb. A swing can be an awesome way to help them through this time.
The reason why is because it helps to mimic the womb. The rocking and swinging motion will remind the baby of the movement they felt when they were in the womb and how mom would walk, moving her hips. Swings, swaddling, and white noise are all great ways to mimic the womb and calm a baby down.
19 May Help Colic
Any mom who has ever had a baby who was colic knows that they are willing to try any and everything they can to help a baby settle down.
Colic is an acid reflux problem that usually leads to hours of crying with little to be down to calm the baby down. It can be exhausting, stressful and heartbreaking for any parent to go through. Not being able to calm their baby down is very frustrating.
Swings may be a great way to help relieve some of the colic symptoms. This is because they usually keep the baby in an upright position which can help keep the acid reflux down. The swinging movement can also help settle the baby’s stomach.
18 Nap Time
Newborns are great sleepers, it is one of the only things they really do, and sleep is important for them to grow.
As the baby gets older, their sleep pattern starts to change, and it can be very hard to get them to settle down. If mom does get them down for a nap, they can be just short cat-naps, which are frustrating to a mom who needs to get things done and a baby who really needs to sleep.
Babies are known to sleep really well in swings, and this can go back to how they mimic the womb environment. Mom may be able to get longer naps out of a baby who sleeps in their swing. This one does come with a huge downside, which we will discuss later.
17 Hands-Free Mommy!
Life doesn’t stop when a woman becomes a mom, as there are still things that need to be done around the house. And if mom has older children at home, she may find herself stressed. Her baby may constantly want to be held, which can make it hard for a mom to get anything done. A swing is sometimes a great solution to this problem.
If mom puts the baby in the swing, and they love it or fall asleep, she has just bought herself some time. Mom can now get a little break to take care of some things around the house, tend to other children, or even get herself a bite to eat in peace.
16 Entertainment For Hours
Swings have come really far in recent years. If we look back at older versions of swings, then we can see that they were quite simple. They were just a seat hanging between two bars, and that was pretty much it. Now, swings have all kinds of bells and whistles to entertain a little baby.
Most swings will have a mobile of some kind with animals or objects hanging down. This mobile may move, thus capturing the baby’s attention. A lot of swings also play music and have mirrors attached so that the baby can look at their reflection. There is no lacking entertainment on the baby swings you can find today.
15 Educational Overload
Newborns and young babies may not seem like they are learning a lot, but they are learning every single day. Everything they hear and see is being absorbed and turned into learning experiences. Swings may be a very beneficial tool when it comes to education and most parents don’t even realize it.
Swings are great when it comes to physical and mental development because it is all about placing a baby in a new environment. Every time a baby is placed in a new environment, they are learning about the world around them. Music and toys hanging can also help baby develop their skill of trying to reach for objects and grab them.
14 Learn About Gravity
We don’t often think that there are situations out there where people need to learn about gravity, as it is something we take for granted. However, new babies have no idea what gravity is. When they were in the womb, they didn’t have to experience gravity because they were just always in water, floating around and feeling weightless and free.
Swings are a great way to introduce them to gravity. They will learn about it by swinging in the swing and feeling the movement of going back and forth repeatedly. It is just another thing that will help in their development and awareness of the world around them.
13 Stimulates The System
A swing can also stimulate their system with the motion that it puts on a baby’s system. Everyone has a vestibular system and this system is responsible for normal movement. It is a sensory system, just as touch and taste are. Babies are getting used to the world around them, and their sense can go into overdrive.
A swing is a great way to give their vestibular system a work out while keeping them calm and comfortable. They are going to get used to the way different movements feel and how they feel about them. Some babies do not like the swing, but it may just be that they need more time for this system to warm up.
12 Teaching Them To Sleep
There are a lot of people out there who believe that sleep is developmental and that a baby will sleep when they are ready to. That may be true to an extent, newborns need to wake often to eat and there is very little mom can do about that.
However, a swing may be a key part in teaching a baby to sleep. Sleeping is no different a skill than crawling and eating, and we are fine to teach these things to our babies.
Placing a baby in the swing when they are tired but awake can help teach them to drift off into dreamland on their own. User beware though, as this can create a bad habit that we will talk about later.
11 Mom’s Arms Are Not Tired
It is no secret that most babies do love to be rocked. They love the movement and it calms them down. If mom does not have a swing, then she is left to use her arms and rock her baby for what will seem like hours, and it very well could be. Swings can save the day.
A swing is a great tool for mom to use when she has a baby that is particularly fond of being swung and rocked. It saves mom from having to swing her arms with a heavy baby in it for most of the day. She can place the baby in the swing and let the swing do the work for her. Now, she will no longer have sore arms at the end of the day.
10 Not Worth It: Expensive
We are now going to talk about the negative effects of having a swing and why mom and dad may want to skip this item. Probably the biggest reason to skip a swing is due to the cost of them. Having a baby is expensive enough and, unless you get a swing gifted to you at your baby shower, they can be hundreds of dollars.
There is always the option of finding one second-hand, but that comes with its own risk. Buying a used swing could be dangerous, as the history of it is unknown. The machine could be faulty or there could have been a recall on it that you are not aware of.
9 Not Worth It: Association Problem
We mentioned earlier that one of the benefits of a swing is that it can lead to better and longer naps for your baby. This seems like a great thing in the moment, but it may lead to bigger sleep problems later on. It could lead to a sleep association problem.
This means that your baby will only be able to sleep if they are swinging. They will get used to sleeping this way and mom will have a hard time getting her little one to sleep on their own without being rocked. Mom will need to decide if that is the price they are willing to pay.
8 Not Worth It: Large And Bulky
It really is amazing how much stuff you accumulate when you become a parent. There will be baby gear all over the house and it will no longer seem like your space. A baby swing is only going to add to that. It is true that swings have become very modern, and modern means that it is small.
While the majority of baby swings are smaller in size, a lot of them are still quite large. They also can be heavy, which means that mom and dad may not feel like carting it around from room-to-room. This is an item that is going to take up a lot of space in an already crowded home.
7 Not Worth It: Possible Recalls
At the end of the day, a swing is a manufactured product, which means that there is always the possibility that there will be a recall. Most infant products, like swings, should be registered when they are purchased, and that way mom and dad will know right away if there is a recall on the item.
However, if for some reason mom and dad forget to do this step, or they don’t get the information in time, it could cause harm. Manufactured items can break or malfunction at any time, and there is always the chance that something could happen while your little one is in the swing.
6 Not Worth It: Incorrect Posture
It is really important that mom and dad pay attention to when they are putting their little one in the swing. It is important that they are making sure that their little one is in there properly and is using proper posture while swinging away.
Improper posture in a baby could lead them to be in some discomfort and it may even hinder their development. It is important to make sure that the baby is within the weight/height restrictions and is able to be buckled in correctly. This is one of the reasons it is always important to read the owner’s manual that comes with the product.
5 Not Worth It: Can Become A Crutch
One of the biggest benefits of a swing is that it can buy mom some free time. It is one of the main reasons a lot of people decide to get a swing. The ability to place your baby down, have them be happy, and get some things down is amazing. Since this feeling is so great, it can lead to mom using the swing as a crutch.
This feeling of being free can lead mom to use the swing more often than she should and have the baby hang out in there more than they really should do. While a swing is useful and handy, it can never replace a mother’s arm and mom should still focus on holding her baby when she can.
4 Not Worth It: A Lot Of Power
This one may not be important to everyone, but it is important to some people and that is how much power these things use. A lot of them do come with batteries now, but if the swing is getting used enough mom will run out of batteries often, which can lead to spending a lot of money.
Mom may like the option of plugging it into the wall, but that comes with its own negatives. This could mean that mom’s electricity bills could increase. This may not matter to a lot of people, but every dollar adds up when raising a baby.
3 Not Worth It: Babies Grow Fast
This one kind of goes in line with how expensive these things are. All baby products come with weight and height restrictions and once a baby is a certain size then they can not use the product anymore. Babies grow fast, and some (like my son) grow very fast. This means that they may not actually use the swing as much as parents may hope.
It would be a waste of a lot of money to buy something that your little one is not going to use for very long. It is such a fleeting moment and some babies are too big before they even go in the swing for the first time.
2 Not Worth It: Injuries Reported
At the end of the day, there have been injuries because of baby swings. In 2005, there were 1,800 babies who were injured as a result of the use of an infant swing. This could be due to product malfunction or error in use, but a hurt baby is a hurt baby.
These things can be dangerous, and if the baby is not strapped in properly there is always a chance that they could fall out. All it takes is a second for something to happen to your babies and since a lot of moms put their babies in the swing and walk away, the chance something may happen increases. It may be a good idea to think if this is worth it.
1 Not Worth It: Can Cause A Bad Back (In Mom Not Baby)
Carrying a baby and bringing them into the world comes with a lot of pain and discomfort. Recovering from childbirth is hard and can take a long time, and mom should not be doing anything that prolongs her healing or causes injury.
There is a chance that mom can get a sore back from an infant swing. This is not because mom is using it, but the constant movement of bending down and up to put the baby in and out can cause some stress on mom’s back.
If mom already has a bad back, this may not be something she wishes to risk. Taking care of a baby is hard enough, but taking care of a baby while mom is in pain seems even worse.
References: gracosa.co.za, activebabiessmartkids.com.au, firstcry.com, healthfully.com