Weaning Baby Off the Swing

Weaning Baby Off the Swing

For most babies, the swing is a handy tool to help ease the occasional disruption of teething, growth spurts, and days when naps just aren’t happening. For about 15% of babies, according to Dr. Karp, the baby swing will be a crucial newborn survival tool.

You will know you are the parent of one of these babies because the thought of your baby outgrowing the swing will cause you to break out in flop sweat.

Baby Outgrowing the Swing?

This comes up a lot, so lets pause briefly to consider the reality that your child will NOT outgrow the swing.

The average US baby weighs 7.5 lbs at birth and will hit 21+ lbs by their 1st birthday. Modern Fisher Price swings have a weight limit of up to 25 lbs and Graco swings can handle babies up to 30 lbs. This means that your baby will have outgrown their need to swing far before they need to physically vacate the swing. So you can stop Googling toddler swings because I promise, you won’t need one. Honest.

When Should Baby be Out of the Swing?

Most babies will only need the swing for a short time and will be happily sleeping without motion by the time they are 3-4 months old. Some babies need extra soothing and might be in the swing for as long as 6 months. A very small group of babies (those who have reflux or who are just extra sensitive) may need to stay in the swing until they are 8-10 months old.

baby in swing taking a napThere is no obvious litmus test to know that your baby is ready to move into their crib. You simply try to dial down the speed now and then and see where that gets you. If your baby takes a 2 hour nap when the swing is on speed #4 and a 20 minute nap when the swing is on speed #2, then you know it’s not time yet. One day soon you’ll put your baby in a non-moving swing, the door will ring, and while you’re signing for a FedEx package, your baby will fall asleep sans-swinging. And voila!

But just in case FedEx doesn’t come to your house at naptime, you can also wean your little motion-junkie out of the swing the old fashioned way.

The 8 Step Process to Successfully Weaning Your Baby Out of the Swing

1

Put your baby into the swing AWAKE.

The swing is a powerful tool to help your baby learn to fall asleep without you (bouncing, rocking, feeding, etc.) them to sleep. However if you’re still (bouncing, rocking, feeding, etc.) your baby to sleep and THEN putting them into the swing, you’re not taking advantage of this capability. Yes you’ll be able to slip your already sleeping baby into the crib and feel like a huge success. But that leaves you navigating the treacherous waters of “putting baby down awake” on your own. While this can be done, it’s generally a lot easier with the swing. So take this opportunity to work on “put baby down awake” IN the swing, BEFORE you start weaning OFF the swing.

2

Give baby lots of great sleep cues.

Ideally your baby is sleeping in the swing with a great wind-down routine, tight swaddle, loud white noise, and possibly a pacifier. Thus when you remove the swing from the equation, you still have 3 other wonderfully soothing sleep cues to work with. If you’re just plunking your sleepy baby in a swing without additional sleep cues, removing the swing leaves you…nothing! Even if your baby is sleeping just fine in the swing without any additional sleep-aids, the swaddle and white noise will be your friends when it’s time to transition to the crib.

3

Start weaning with bedtime.

Almost all babies transition to the crib more easily at bedtime than they do for naps. Once you’ve mastered crib sleeping at bedtime, move on to the first nap of the day.

4

Move the swing NEXT to the crib.

For most of you, the swing has been next to your bed. Now it’s time to move it so that it’s next to baby’s bed.

5

Progressively decrease the speed of the swing.

Continue to put baby in the swing awake. Start decreasing the speed. Note: Despite my love of Fisher Price Baby Swings the only issue is that the difference between the highest and lowest speed is, well, negligible. The bottom line is that you want your baby swinging on the lowest speed possible, with a swaddle and white noise, NEXT to their crib.

6

Put your awake baby in a non-moving swing.

If it helps, you can manually swing the swing a little bit to help them fall asleep. But you want to do this as little as possible (or minimally decrease the amount of swinging each day). The goal is for your baby to sleep in a motionless swing. Once your baby is falling asleep in a motionless swing…

7

Put baby in the crib.

I can’t promise you a tear-free transition. Sometimes there is some mild complaints about the change of scenery. But generally it IS mild (<20 minutes on night #1).

8

Repeat the process for naps.

Note: sometimes swing-loving babies are sleeping happily in their crib LONG before they make the transition to naptime. It’s not at all uncommon to have a 4 month old night-sleeping in the crib but napping in the swing until they are 6 months old. So if the nap transition isn’t happening for you today, take a break. Try again in a week or two. There’s no rush.

Start With Step #1 – put baby in swing awake is the most important step in the process! If you aren’t putting baby in the swing awake you’ll likely find yourself with a baby who takes short naps and wakes frequently at night once you transition to the crib. AND you’ll have to climb Mt. Put-Baby Down-Awake later. Only now you will have removed the swing from your arsenal of powerful soothing tools.

Anybody have any experiences they would like to share? Stories from the trenches?

{Photo Credits: Mike Liu and Mpisti}


197 Comments


  1. I’m glad to know my child won’t be messed up permanently for using his swing. :) But he is over 8 months old and takes EVERY nap in his swing. I am ashamed to admit it has been far too easy to nurse him to drowsiness, pop him in the swing (awake) and he falls asleep within 5 minutes every time.

    Today he has been protesting even being put in the swing, which should be a great sign if I want to wean him of it. The problem is during the day he seems to go from rested and happy to overtired and hyper without showing any sleep signals. I have him on a schedule so I know his naps are at approximately 9 and 2, but I can’t seem to get him to settle–at ALL–without the swing! If we rock in a chair he claws, bites, and arches. If we walk around the house he’s okay at first and then starts acting like a rabid raccoon as well.

    He does settle well at night in the dark. But we have a very open floor plan with a skylight, so there’s no way to get our house dark unless it’s dark outside.

    HELP!

  2. Hi! Thank you for all the wonderful info. My first child had a nurse to sleep association that backfired on me around 4.5 months. I read the book Bed Timing, realized I needed to just survive and wait till the clingy phase passed. We transitioned to crib with PUPDs at 6m relatively easy. Timing really is everything.

    Anyway I have a 13 week old now and I’ve been super paranoid about NOT nursing to sleep :) and I hate the paci for the same reason. Actually I’ve been worried about any sleep associations. But she’s is so little and is a motion baby for sure. She got slightly addicted to paci around the drama of wonder week 12. So over the past 2 weeks I’ve been very good at writing down all sleep times and I’ve gotten her waketimes perfected although sometimes I’m still a few minutes off with bedtime (toddler running free and husband works nightshirt =hard!) For several weeks I’ve been doing all naps and nights in swing. Nap routine is diaper, white noise, lay in crib while swaddling watching crib aquarium, sway vertical 1 min, lay in swing awake about 5-7 min before asleep time. Uses paci some to unwind but I’ve been decreasing use and at least for the first few naps I get it out when eyes get really heavy. Sometimes she spits it out before she is asleep YAY. Swing is staying on full nap right now because she is taking mostly 5 a day, 45 min naps. Wakes happy, I think it’s age related and I expect them to lengthen soon. She has had longer naps before back when her sleep cycles were 30 min and I would turn swing off for some of those and she would stay asleep an extra hour or two so I know she can do it. Plan is to completely lose paci, decrease speed, unswaddle, move to crib at 6m or Kanoe baby hammock if younger and needed

    At night, bath, PJ, white noise, Swaddle in crib, nurse…..here’s my problem. So she tries to fall asleep nursing so I pop her off after couple min of comfort nursing, burp her, put in swing, fuss for 5-10 min thats improves w jiggling (stopped night paci a few nights ago cause she will keep waking up looking for it at night) and she’s asleep. I see her on video monitor stir after sleep cycle and she goes on back to sleep as long as swing is still on. BT around 630-715 based off Waketime since last nap. But if I turn swing off before 9-10 she wakes up which I think means I’m getting in swing a few min too late causing a little OT. She sleeps with swing off till 1st NF, if I put straight down I sometimes turn it on for 20 min and then off, and after 2nd NF about half time leave swing on till AM wakeup. So for BT when would you suggest nursing to disconnect it further from nursing to sleep? I like it cause its unwinding but I don’t like it so close that she is still rooting around. After ST my first I would nurse till comfort sucking, stand up and sway vertical, lay in crib drowsy. But he sucked his thumb at that point. So I’m confused about when to nurse… After bath, before Swaddle? Worried i’ll get her riled back up after she’s calm and drowsy. Or maybe just nurse a few minutes earlier to not risk getting too sleepy. I will mention she hates hp being swaddled while nursing but she also hates me swaddling her when she wants the boob back lol.

    This swing thing is really new for me. We have the fisher price little lamb and I HATE that speed 1 is still fast and I can’t wean speed like I want to. Shes on a 3 now down from 6 a week ago. Although pp mentioned hanging blanket. Great idea. Does this work for people?

    I am worried because at 13 weeks swaddled, as soon as she wakes and is ready to get up, she lifts her head and tries to lean forward. Not a big deal during the day cause I watch video monitor close but worries me at night even with her next to my bed. I buckle her in the 3 point harness but I’m paranoid she will fall out especially as time goes on. So 4 nights ago I moved her to baby hammock. Went ok but involved a lot of PUPD, fussing, missing sleep at BT, couldn’t get down easily at bedtime without paci so that really was just going backwards to use paci. So back to swing tonight.

    The leaning is my biggest concern with sleeping in swing at night

    I have been researching the Graco swings. Noticed they have the slower speed and the five point harness. Willing to risk the motor blowout if she would be safer in this although I hate to buy more baby gear! I prefer a deeper seat with a good recline to keep neck alignment good (mamaroo threw her neck out and had a lot of trips to chiropractor to fix it) The Graco Lovin Hug looks like a good option. I also saw the Bright Starts Ingenuity Smart and Quite swing. Just wondering which you would suggest? She is 13.5 lb at 3m and I don’t plan on using past 6m and her swing speed is a 3 on the fisher price lamb. Easygoing baby overall. I even saw her put herself to sleep in the still swing around 8-11 weeks every night after her first sleep cycle, but wonder week 12 and the new awareness has got us swinging to sleep again :)

    Sorry so long! Thanks

  3. I have a 5 month old who’s always mapped in his swing, but has been sleeping in his crib since 2 weeks for bedtime.

    He’s slept through the night @ 3 months so were fine there.

    Now I want to transition from swing to crib for naps (and for my sitters) but he’s hating it.

    We have no sleep cues for nap time (never have, hasn’t really been an issue) and always put him down awake since day 1.

    I can’t imagine swaddling him, we stopped that @ 3 months and he didn’t enjoy being swaddle then either.

    Any suggestions on how to make the transition smoother, he is not liking the crib @ all.

    • Hi Katie,

      I am going through the same exact situation! He would nap 3 times a day, 3 hour total without the swing on. Now that we have moved him to the crib for his naps he naps for 1.5 hour total and is more cranky. Night time he’s fine in the crib.

      I would love suggestions ..

      • i am doing one nap at a time…right now just the am nap. that way she can make up for a crappy nap with the others in the swing.
        tried to do the afternoon nap and it was only 1/2 hr.

  4. Hi, my six month old takes all her naps in her swing but has been known to sleep in other places. I weaned her from swaddling at five months and she has been fine. At night, she sleeps I her crib from around 9:30 or 10 until about 8 the next morning! If she wakes, she usually puts herself back to sleep. However, all of this wonderful sleep only happens if I let her rock in the swing for round half an hour before moving her to her crib. I don’t know the best plan for getting rid of the swing part and putting her right in er crib to sleep. I have only tried one time to just lay her down, but she immediately cried. A few times, she has fallen asleep while eating and I have put her down fine too. Lots of my friends tell me I ave nothing to worry about and to just appreciate how we’ll she sleeps in the crib. But I see an issue on the horizon! Help!

  5. Hi Alexis or anyone else
    We were using the swing for all sleeping and have been moving into the crib gradually starting with night time (not too bad) then morning nap. Her am nap used to be super long in the swing (had to wake her after 2 hrs) but is still pretty good in the crib. usually at least 1 hr but sometimes a little longer. Tried to do the afternoon nap a few days ago and she only napped for 1/2 hr and she def did not seem very well rested! I tried leaving her for a little, soothing (butt pat) and finally transferring into crib but no dice! got her out at norm time and then put her down a little earlier for nap 3 which is usually 45 min but she slept for almost 2 hrs that day…i let her go until 5 so i could still put her down by 7 for bedtime.
    so my question is is this going to get better with time? i am wondering if that nap will lengthen on its own and i jsut have to suck it up for a little while OR is she just not ready to do 2 naps in the crib yet?? she seemed to be fidgety in the swing for a little while and that’s why i thought it might be time to try the nap in the crib.
    any advice would be much appreciated:)

  6. Hi ladies / Alexis

    My 14 week old has been swinging for all naps and sleeping well at nightin his cot. I tried putting him in his cot for naps this week – he goes to sleep ok, but wakes after 30-45 min and.won’t go back to sleep. I tried getting him back to sleep up there for 4 naps yesterday and 4 naps the day before – all to no avail! Also he has taken to waking at 2am again – hasn’t done this for weeks. Is this due to poor day sleep? I think there is a growth spurt in there somewhere as well. He’s back in the swing today- I am an emotional wreck after the last two days!

    Just posting to say I feel everyone’s pain! Maybe my LO is just too young to give up the swing yet? Also where do people have their swings? Mine is in the living room cos I want to keep an eye on him – swaddled so not strapped in. Means I am constantly with him all day though – any suggestions? Thanks!

  7. We have been using the fisher price swing with our now 11 week old son for about a week and a half now, and are loving it! It is next to our bed currently and we are working on lowering speed slowly. We started on level 5 and just went to level 4 yesterday (he slept a bit less but not a huge difference). We use it every night and for his long nap during the day, and both times we put him in awake and he can fall asleep on his own. Since starting the swing we are usually down to only 1 night feeding. So..here’s the question.. He typically wakes for the day around 730 or 8 am and then takes a short nap in his bouncy seat or while being held at around 930 or 10. This nap rarely lasts longer than half hour. He takes his long nap somewhere between 130 and 230 and sleeps for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Occasionally he takes another quick nap in the evening. Should we be putting him in the swing for these quick naps as well to be consistent? We are hoping to wean odd the swing and transition to crib by around 4 months, but we will see how it goes of course! Thank you SO much for this site!

  8. *wean off (not odd)

  9. Lucy…we do an arm swaddle so he can be strapped in the swing. The swing is upstairs in our bedroom, and I use the monitor wherever I am and check on him periodically.

  10. My (almost) 5 month old has been sleeping in the swing since 1 month old, and I have been trying for a while to wean her off of it. She goes to sleep fine without it moving at the beginning of the night (bedtime about 6:30 pm and goes in swing drowsy but awake, with white noise, and a paci), and sleeps until sometime between 1-4 am usually. When she woke up, I would go in and give her her paci (or sometimes feed her a bottle – she used to always need a feeding at this time, but i always tried the paci first and it was working more and more often) and turn on the swing and she would go back to sleep until 5:30-6 am. Well…..yesterday the swing motor broke!! So, I decided to just go for it and commit to sleeping with no motion. Last night, the hours from 2-6 am were pretty rough for me. About every 45-60 min, I had to go back in and give her the paci again and manually swing the swing for a few minutes to get her to sleep again. After that, she would be good for an hour or so, but then wake crying again. I don’t want to get another swing, but I am just not sure if this will get better or not. I think I will commit to a week of trying it and hope that she gets more used to sleeping without motion, since she can do it for her first stretch of 6-8 hrs of sleep. Anyone have experience with something similar or have any advice or suggestions? I initially thought that once she could GO to sleep without motion we were in the clear, but that is not proving to be the case.

    • I am in a similar boat! Hopefully someone has some suggestions!

    • Reading your post is identical to my son. Identical. Except hes 12 weeks old. I registered my fisher price swing when I got it. So when the motor broke, I called them and got a replacement motor sent to me because it was under warranty. The motor was on “back order”, I’m sure it’s a common problem. Took about 2 weeks. While broken my son was sleeping in it not moving at night from like 10pm-7am (with either a feedin or pacifier at 4am), but wouldn’t nap during the day with it broken. The motor arrived today! I put my son in it for a nap at 5pm…. And he never woke up! Haha. I kept checking on him. I just woke up at 12:30am shocked…. I had to wake him up and feed him. I’m sure he would have slept 12 hours. I read to take advantage of sleep aids now. There’s no reason to wean until we have to. Do it when you have to. They’ll eventually grow out of it. Also I read that babies don’t really grow out of the swing physically in most cases, so use the harness obviously. But in my opinion, my son needs good deep long periods of sleep for essential growth. If this is how he needs it, fine. His body is doing so much work creating hormones needed for growth only during sleep. We’ll cross the crib-bridge when we get there.

      • Meridith and Mik,
        Just wanted to update you on our situation. We had a couple of rough nights but it did get better and I never got a new motor. I still usually have to get up typically one or two times a night and give her the paci, but it is a lot less than it was the first few nights. She has also been taking naps there pretty well. Most of her naps are only about 45 min, but that was all we got with a moving swing, so it’s no different. Now I just need to get up the courage to move her to the crib! I think she is probably ready since she can sleep all night in the non-moving swing now, but I am scared since she is sleeping so well right now!

        • Hi Betsy,
          Just thought I’d share a little to maybe give you some confidence to try the crib! We also use the swing for all sleep with our 4.5mo old. He used to take 1.5-3hr naps regularly but woke to eat several times to eat at night. After the 4mo regression he dropped all but 1 night feed (so awesome!!) But his naps dropped to 45-50 mins. So I decided to just try him in the crib at nap times….and it was no big deal. I used to put him in the swing practically wide awake so for the crib I let him get extra drowsy, almost all the way asleep. Then laid him down (he would wake up) then hopefully at that point he was so super tired he’d drift off. I do still use the swing at night (too tired in the middle of the night to even mess with crib now) and sometimes for naps if he really, really needs to sleep. Anyway, give it a try! You never know :)

  11. I have a 14 month old who has never ever fallen asleep anywhere BUT in her carseat, snuggabunny rock n sleep (fisher price), or the snuggabunny swing (also fisher price). She slept in the rock n sleep next to our bed until she was about 7 months, then she could climb out of it, so we transitioned her (almost effortlessly!) to the swing in her own room. She sleeps 12 hours every night waking up to nurse 1-2 per night, and she also takes 2 1-2 hour naps each day. We swaddled her until she physically outgrew the swaddle blankets. She only weighs 18 lbs (she eats ALL the time, though!), so she can physically fit in the swing until she’s 25 pounds…but my pediatrician (and friends and family) are all urging me to get her sleeping in her crib. We have attempted this on several occasions (both the pack and play in our room and then her crib in her own room), and every time we have gone 5+ nights with her not sleeping at ALL. She would literally fall asleep standing or sitting up, fall over, immediately wake up, then stand up and start yelling all over again. Finally my husband and I caved and put her back in the swing, where she immediately fell asleep. I’m thinking it has to do with the smaller space and/or her being strapped in and that feeling of security (this was a baby that LOVED her swaddle!). She currently sleeps in a non-moving swing with a pacifier and white noise…as soon as she is strapped I to the swing she smiles and coos and falls asleep within a few mins with no issues whatsoever. We have tried the crib a few times since just to see if she was ready and it always leads to a huge freak out even if everything else remains the same (routine,white noise,pacifier, etc) and she will not even lay down in the crib and we already know she can literally last days. Any suggestions on how to transition her to her crib when it’s not the motion part of the swing she loves but the feeling of confined space and being strapped down? Please please help…and for the people that are just going to say “let her cry it out” WE HAVE tried this, and it did not work! Not to mention that if someone took your pillow and blankets and told you to sleep in some random spot that you weren’t comfortable in YOU probably wouldn’t be able to sleep either!

    • My 4.5 month old is exactly the same! She’s even small for her age but eats all the time! I’ve tried and tried to get her to sleep in her crib and she won’t have any part of it. I read if some babies sleeping in their swing up to 10 months! We just make sure to strap her in every time. I’ve given up on the crib for now. But I’ve been trying to find something similar to the swing seat to put in the crib, but so far no luck.

    • I am in the exact same boat with my 11 month old. What did you end up doing to get yours to sleep in the crib?

    • I am dying to know what you did! I am having almost the exact same problem. My son is 14m, barely 17lbs, and will only sleep jn his swing or our arms. Crying it out doesn’t work, he never calms down. I think its the movement and the snuggled secure feeling of the swing. I don’t know what to do!

      • We ended ordering the Safe-T sleep crib swaddle from amazon. Kinda pricey (over $100), but the best money I’ve ever spent! It secures to the mattress and then velcroes around the child’s torso, like a swaddle. It allows free movement in the crib, the only thing she can’t do is stand up or completely roll over on her stomach. She fell asleep immediately the first time we used it and started sleeping through the night FINALLY around 17 months! Now she is over 2 years old, and even though she knows how to undo the velcro, she still asks for her “night night” every night and happily helps me to wrap her up. I got the travel Safe-T sleep bc it has an attachment so when we travel it will work with literally any bed. I have no idea when she will decide just to go to sleep normally, but the Safe-T sleep is designed until kids are at least 3 years old…so I’m not in a rush! Good luck…figuring out this sleeping thing can be tough, but once you find something that works life is SO much better :)

  12. We currently use the swing and swaddle at night with our 5 month old. We also give her the passie when we put her down at bedtime. She also wakes up once during the middle of the night to be fed.

    My question is which should we wean her off of first? Swing, swaddle, or night feeding?

    Also, even though we only give her the passie when we put her down the first time, and we don’t have to go back in an put it back in throughout the night, will this come back to haunt us? Should we be weaning her off the passie too?

    • I worry about the paci too as we are in almost the identical situation as you (although she recently gave up the night feeding on her own – yay!) I am not going to worry about the paci unless it becomes a problem. Many babies do fine and never need you to put it back in all night, so I would just wait and see what happens. If she starts being up demanding that you put it back in her mouth, you can get rid of it then. Until then, I wouldn’t worry about it.

      I don’t know whether it is better to wean off the swing or the swaddle first. We are dealing with this right now also. I have tried swaddling with one arm out in the swing several times and it was a total disaster, so I don’t think we are ready to wean off the swaddle at all (at 5 months!). I haven’t tried the crib in a while, but she is sleeping all night in a non-moving swing now, so I am going to soon (when I feel brave and well rested ;)

  13. Same position as everyone else–we were beginning to think about weaning our little guy off the swing (he’s five months old, 22lbs, and his feet dangle off the end), when the motor on the snugabunny died. Moving to a still swing was easy, but moving out of the swing into his crib is turning into a disaster. He just doesn’t nap at all!

    So, SOME babies do outgrow the swing way before they’re ready, I guess. Sigh.

    • I am in the same situation, although my girl is only 16 lbs. She sleeps great in a non-moving swing (with broken motor…), but not good anywhere else. I actually haven’t tried night sleeping in the crib, but naps have not gone well, so I have been scared to attempt a whole night

  14. For those attempting a swing to crib transfer, I wanted to share our success story. As I posted here, our swing broke a month ago so I was forced to go to a non-moving swing at 4.5 months. She still slept well (after a few semi-bad nights, anyway), so I started trying to put her in the crib. Several times, I tried and she just ended up crying. I wasn’t able to let her CIO when I knew she would sleep great in the non-moving swing, so I gave in and moved her. Then, 3 days ago, I put her in the crib and she fell asleep with NO crying. She slept all night and again the next night. Now, she is asleep again in the crib for the 3rd night. She is now 5.5 months old. When she was ready, it happened without CIO or even any crying at all. If the transition is going poorly for you, just try again in a few days and things may change. We’re still having issues with naps, but I am following the same technique. I try the crib occasionally, but move to the swing if crying starts. I hope eventually she will nap in the crib as well.

  15. Our four month old is sleeping in still swing with one arm swaddled successfully at night and at most naps. He wakes for one night feeding and after that he sleeps with both arms unswaddled. We would like to move him to his crib but he has been rolling over from back to front easily for a few weeks now. We don’t want to put him in crib swaddled since he rolls so often… Should we just keep him in the swing until he can sleep totally unswaddled? Thanks for any advice!

  16. Thanks to your site our night times are finally peaceful! At 6 months we finally resorted to CIO and now our 8 month old happily falls asleep on her own in her crib at night and will usually sleep 8 to 10 hours without waking (or with minimal waking that she soothes herself back to sleep after). My only problem is swing weaning for naps and for the occasional 4am wake up. We just can NOT seem to get beyond swing sleep for these times and it’s kind of got us held hostage. We would love to visit family abroad but can’t exactly pack up the swing for travel. We have followed the steps outlined here and 80% of the time she will eventually settle in the non-moving swing but there are still times where she will require movement and GOD FORBID we put her in her crib for a nap! You would think we were torturing her. Do you have any suggestions or do we just have one of those rare kiddos that will need the swing for longer than most?

  17. So I have a just turned eight month old who we are trying to transition from swing to crib. He has had bad reflux but it seems to be controlled so we are thinking we need to get him in the crib. He sleeps in the swing for both naps and night-time. He sleeps two two hour naps and goes to bed at 6:30pm sleeps until about 2 am wakes up we change him, feed him a bottle and he goes right back to sleep. We don’t even turn on the swing so I no longer think it is the motion he needs but maybe the feeling of being cuddled? We do feed him a bottle right before bed but our thought was that if it was a sleep association wouldn’t he wake up after every sleep cycle needing it to go back to sleep? We have a white noise machine that he has been used to since birth. And he absolutely refuses any pacifier. So this past weekend we thought we would try to transfer him to the crib. After it taking 3 hours to get him asleep he would wake every 30 minutes, it would take 30 minutes to get him back asleep and then that routine lasted all night until 4am when my husband and I were exhausted and stuck him in the swing and within minutes he was asleep. Any suggestions? How did your 13 month old transfer from being cuddled to the big open crib. We are at a loss and since he is a big boy (pretty much 25 lbs. which is the limit of the swing) we feel like we have to do it soon. But this past weekend was just stressful for all involved (including my two year old who he kept up all night also). Any help would be much appreciated!

  18. I have a similar situation to “April” above, am also wondering about just the feeling of being “cuddled”.

    This website has been so helpful for us, thank you! We have a 4.5 month old who is now sleeping in a motionless swing in his room with white noise. (No swaddle, no paci) He goes down at 7, up by 6 or 7, and wakes once or twice for feedings. Sounds like we are ready for the crib, right?? Wrong! We have tried the crib every 2 weeks since he turned 3 months old…He cries and whimpers for an hour initially and then cries and whimpers after night wakings which occur every 2 hours through the night. He has a bit of a spit-up/reflux issue and so you can imagine, this website/post has really put my mind at ease.

    One question (from my husband): Is sleeping in the swing at his age/size (4.5 months/13 lbs) bad for his back/spine development? He seems so curled up in there, it can’t be good for his posture, right???

    Any reassurance would be great!

    • Hi Breezy,
      Just thought I’d tell you a little about our transition to crib since it sounds similar to your situation. Our LO slept in the swing from 2-5months. He also had reflux issues and was either in the swing or rock’n’play for all sleep, swaddled, with paci and white noise. The transition to motionless swing was very easy and baby didn’t seem to notice. At 5 mos the motor died anyway and we were going on vacation so we used the rock’n’play for a couple weeks. It seemed like LO was trying to sit up/move more at night and the incline was bothering him instead of the cuddly feeling he used to crave. At 5.5mos we were back from vacation and we knew we’d have a few rough nights of sleep anyway so we moved to the crib. Yes, there were extra wakeups and I nursed him back to sleep 3-4 times/night for several days. From there we worked out of the swaddle and now at 6.5mos he’s swaddle free and in the crib full time with 1 night feed.

      Also, I started the crib transition during naps (4.5mos) and prepared myself to go in and console as many times as were needed until he got used to it. Some naps were super easy and others took extra soothing but this lasted maybe a week. Around 3mos I was anxious to get him in the crib and the experience sounds like what you describe – he wasn’t ready.

      Your plan to try every couple weeks sounds really reasonable. Maybe aim for 6months for the full transition. It was probably in our favor that he was still swaddled in the crib so it wasn’t just a wide open space. Maybe you could try a sleep sack in the crib? I doubt he’ll make the change with zero fussing but for me it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I was expecting (and I have a pretty spirited baby :))

      Good luck!!

  19. I also wanted to share my success story. I discovered this blog when my son was 2.5 months old, when I was looking for an option to get him out of sleeping in the carseat every night and during most naps. I didn’t know that he should be taking 4 naps per day at that point because I had such trouble getting him to nap during the day. It felt like I was spending all day trying to put him to sleep, to have him immediately wake up as soon as I put him on his back in the crib (swaddled). I drive my husband to work in the morning, so he would fall asleep during the drive and nap for 1-2 hours, then in the afternoon I would put him in the carrier and he would nap for another 1-2 hours. I could tell he was sleep-deprived when, on three of the first four days after I bought the swing (a Fisher Price Snug-a-Monkey), he took a 3-4 hour nap each day in addition to three shorter naps.

    I started weaning him off of the swing at night within a couple of weeks of buying it and, after being mightily derailed for several weeks during both the 4- and 6-month sleep regressions, had him sleeping at night in the crib at 6.5 months. This was something that I was stressed about and it went much more smoothly than I had expected! He was never much of a pacifier user so I think he last used it at around 4 months, and he hasn’t been swaddled since about 5 months, so it was just the white noise and wind-down routine that we still have as sleep cues.

    A few days after putting him in the crib at night, I also tried putting him in the crib for a nap and it worked! He hasn’t slept in the swing since and his naps in the crib are longer than they had been for the last several weeks in the swing! He’s consolidated his naps down to 3 a day now. It hasn’t been completely cry-free but there has been much less crying than I had worried that there had been.

  20. Thanks for this post, it made me feel so much better about my son napping in his swing! My mother has been insisting that he nap in his crib for months and its such a struggle…now I don’t feel like I’m going to scar him for life!

    He’s 4 months old & sleeps wonderfully in his crib at night (8-9 hours) thanks to the magic sleep suit (google that if your baby needs to be swaddled but fights it or is too big but their crazy movements keep them up, it is magic).

    Naps are our struggle now! I put him in the swing, awake and he generally fusses 5-10 mins and then falls asleep. Only problem is, he only sleeps 20-40 mins. He then wakes up & has a total screaming meltdown, and it takes me an hour to get him calm & back in the swing for another brief nap. I keep trying to put him in his crib thinking he might be over the swing, but he can’t put himself to nap in there, AT ALL. He can put himself to sleep at night (I put him down awake), but not for a nap in his crib…what’s the deal?

    Anyone have thoughts on what to do about this?

  21. Until reading articles from your site today, I never knew that anyone put their babies in the swing to sleep at night. I feel silly for it, but that’s the truth.

    My daughter is 13 weeks and we’ve always had her sleep in a bassinet next to our bed at night, and mostly out in the living room area during the day for naps-in a swing, a rocker, on the couch, and occasionally in her crib (in her room).

    For the last couple of weeks, she’s started being really difficult to (a) put to sleep at night and (b) keep asleep during the night. Naps have become shorter, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been thinking of naps incorrectly after reading some on this website. I believe that, once we have the nighttime routine on track, the daytime naps will flow better, as long as I’m alert and don’t let her stay awake too long.

    My question is this: Are you really saying to move that big swing deal into our bedroom and have her sleep there? To date, she’s never slept there during the night.

    A followup: Would it be okay to try swaddling (I had tried her without and it was obviously not the right time yet!) again and putting her in the bassinet while awake…do you think she’ll go for that again/yet?

    One more thing: In a short while, she’ll outgrow the bassinet altogether, so I’d love to begin transitioning her into her own room, in her crib. Do you have an article about this…that doesn’t include the swing?

    Thanks so much!
    Jesse

    • Start with swaddling and white noise IN the bassinet. See if that helps with the “stay asleep” issue. If after 3+ days that gets you NOWHERE then try the swing. And yes I am saying to move the swing into the bedroom. But I’m guessing that the swaddle will be the game-changer for you.

      Once she’s sleeping better THEN you move to “more awake” in the bassinet.

      And if you can get to putting her awake in the bassinet the crib transition is easy peasy lemon squeezy.
      Alexis Dubief recently posted..Who Else Wants to Know the Best Time for CIO?My Profile

  22. Hi,

    Our son is 10 months old and still in the Fisher-Price snug-a-bunny swing. He generally sleeps from 8:30pm to 7:00a.m. but wakes up 1-3 times nightly. We’ve made efforts to get him to sleep in the crib at night and he only lasts about 30 minutes. Then he wakes up unhappy and we wind up putting him back in the swing. I even tried CIO the other night and he threw a major fit; this went on for 50 minutes before he stopped crying but wouldn’t calm down or go to sleep. Instead, he was hot, sweaty and majorly pissed at us. I dried him off, changed his pajamas and he was asleep in four minutes in the swing.

    He self-soothes just fine and our only “problems” are that he’s still on the paci and can’t sleep in the crib. Any suggestions?

    Christopher

  23. Similar situation to others on this chain. Our 5 month old (today!) sleeps in a rock n’ play in her own room. All attempts at getting her to sleep in the crib have not gone well. It’s not that she cries, she just coughs and chokes and one time even threw up (at which point mom declared crib transition over!)

    We put her down awake, swaddled with legs loose and she recently weaned herself off her pacifier, so she literally puts herself to sleep. She goes to bed at 8pm and sleeps through until 6/7am. Hasn’t needed a night feeding since 12 weeks(so you can see why I’m not so keen to force the crib and backtrack).

    Despite all of this, pediatrician said she has to sleep in a crib (which I think is her speaking the party-line of the APA, but nevertheless..). And says “if she cries, let her cry, don’t pick her up.” Doesn’t feel right, especially since she’s sleeping so well, she just doesn’t seem to take to the crib. So I’ve been stressing about it for months now because I feel like I’m up against a 6 month deadline of object permanence, after which, forget it. Even been reduced to try to think of ways I can creatively make the crib feel more like the rock n’ play (fuzzy sheets and a crib wedge?!?).

    Does anyone have any encouraging stories to share? Helpful tips?

    • I have a good news update. My wife and I tried CIO starting on 8/12/13 and it has worked well. By that I mean we were able to get our son sleeping in the crib through the night. Yes, he has woken up just about every night but no more than once – it happens at odd times – it could be 12:30a.m., 2:15a.m. or 4:45a.m. On one of the nights he actually did sleep all the way from 8:30a.m. to 6:45a.m. and we were delighted! But then last night he woke us right after 2:00a.m. The bottom line is that the CIO suggestions actually worked. The first night he cried for 50 minutes and it wasn’t pleasant but he stopped and conked out. The next 2-3 nights it was about 20 minutes and then it started to become less and less. After one week he actually wasn’t protesting when I put him in the crib at all. What a relief. While I thought in theory that Weissbluth’s CIO might be superior, I was wrong and going in after 15-20 minutes, when necessary, has been working nicely. Mind you, I didn’t do this at first and I’d let him CIO. Not pleasant, not fun, but we’ve finally transitioned to the crib every night and we’re not looking back.

      Naps are a different story completely. I disassembled the snug-a-bunny swing and kept only the cradle and he is still using it for naps. Soon we will also try the crib only for naps. For now he’s still relying on the pacifier but if you haven’t tried the white noise, there’s a great free app for your iPad or other device.

      Thanks to the lovely and intelligent leader of the band for all her work on this site!!!
      Christopher recently posted..I Dare You Not to SmileMy Profile

  24. Please please please HELP me! I’m desperate! Here’s the situation:
    I discovered this site and started sleep training with the swing a bit late – just shy of 6 months – but it worked incredibly well for us. Over 5 weeks, she learned to no longer associate nursing with sleep and to happily fall asleep on her own in a still swing (sometimes with a paci) for all naps and bedtime and throughout the night; we were getting 12 hours at night with just one short night feeding at 5 am. I was so excited and proud!

    And then I started transitioning to the crib about 3 weeks ago and all hell broke loose. I introduced the crib gradually and it was going well until she discovered that she’s no longer restrained (as she was in the swing) and could move all around. Now that she is nearly 8 months she is constantly go-go-go and so she rolls all around and babbles and crawls in her crib, unable to settle to sleep. Eventually she’d start whining and then full-blown crying. This is when I felt like all our amazing sleep training progress was unraveling as my husband or I would go back in to settle her. Here are the things we did to cope, which have probably somehow ruined what she learned:
    – I pat her and speak soothingly until she calms down, and then put her in her crib awake. I’d then hold her softly on her back as that’s how she’s used to sleeping in the swing, then slowly let go and hide in the room or walk out quietly. She was still usually awake.
    – If she would not soothe, I’d give in and pick her up and rock until she calms down, then put her down and pat / shush / hold as above.
    – She gives my husband a much harder time, so on a few occasions he has rocked her to sleep and then put down in crib.
    – Last week, we were out of town so I had to sleep in the same room as her, and feeling bad for the rest of the people in the house as she was screaming throughout the night, I responded to her more immediately and rocked her more than usual. And one night was so bad, that I co-slept with her for half of it.
    – And I do reinforce the paci because it helps her stop crying, but when she falls asleep on her own she doesn’t always use it.

    Where we are now at 33 weeks is that she does fall asleep on her own SOMETIMES for naps and at bedtime. So I know she can do it. But other times she just can’t settle and cries non-stop. Last night she woke up every single hour crying and I just can’t understand how we have come to this, nor what to do to fix it!
    (By the way, I don’t think it’s teething, and it’s lasting too long to be a sleep regression.)
    Please, any suggestions for what to do going forward would be much appreciated! I’m going out of my mind from exhaustion and frustration and I’m feeling like at this point she’s crying more than if I just used CIO – which I really don’t want to resort to. Help me please!

  25. Hi Alexis,

    Your site is amazing :) I’m so relieved to know that how my 4month old sleeps is normal for his age.

    So I just bought a swing today after reading a ton of your posts about sleep training (I’m trying to transition the baby from co-sleeping to crib). Technically it’s a bouncer (4moms mamaroo bouncer) but it has 5 different “swing” modes and the speeds are noticeably different unlike the Fisher Price swing.

    Anyway, I put him down awake in it and he fell asleep for the first time on his own. yay!

    But now my question is…should the white noise stay on all night? Or is it only something to use to make the baby fall asleep (as opposed to stay asleep)?

    • Hi Yoko,

      Yes Alexis would say use it all night. No surprises for baby in the night so if they hear it when they go to sleep they should hear it when they transition through sleep cycles.

      We are 14 months in and still use it! I love it as it covers up a lot of outside noise. We are gradually turning it down to wean off. Easy!

      Cheers
      Lisa

  26. Hi Alexis or anyone else that can help,

    My baby will be 5 months on Monday and is currently sleeping in the swing, swaddled, and with white noise. I really want to get her out of the swing and into her PNP because she is now rolling over and way too mobile.
    My question is, do I just stop swaddling and the wing cold turkey and start putting her down in her PNP?
    I could leave her in the swing unsaddled that way I could still strap her in but I’m just not sure if it would be best to do everything at once.
    Thank you !

  27. Two questions for Alexis.

    One, are there any solutions to the FP swing speed setting differential issue? I have gotten my 3.5 month old down to setting #2 (highest we ever used was 4) but it seems like there’s no difference between 2 and 1. I was thinking of securing a weight to the bottom of the seat but I don’t want to overheat the motor.

    Two, what goes first, the swaddle or the swing? It seems like the standard swing weaning time (3-4 months) is also when many babies start rolling and therefore have to lose the swaddle. I got a Magic Sleepsuit for this reason but we haven’t used it yet as my baby’s feet and hands get cold in it (just ordered a mitten/booties set).

    Thanks!

    • There are no awesome answers to the swing speed issue but you can weigh down the swing and lower the motion by hanging a light swaddling blanket (or something similar) off the end near baby’s feet. There is some potential risk to the motor but they seem to hold up well with this treatment and it does gently slow the movement.

      Unless you HAVE to (baby flipping) I would encourage you to get to where you are putting an awake baby in a non moving swing, THEN move to crib, THEN move to swaddle weaning. Plenty of babies aren’t flipping in the swaddle for a long long time. Yes some CAN flip at 4 months but flipping in a swaddle is an “advanced maneuver.” Plenty of babies who can flip themselves regularly won’t or can’t in a swaddle.

      Good luck!
      Alexis Dubief recently posted..Why Sleep Training Didn’t WorkMy Profile

  28. I have a 4 month old who sleeps 12 hours at night in her swing, but takes her naps in her crib. She has been sleeping exclusively in her swing at night since 2 months. She is only in her swing for bedtime, never during he day. We have tried transitioning her to crib at night, but she woke up several times crying, and finally we ended up putting her back in the swing, just so we all could get to sleep. It seemed that she would roll over onto her stomach, and would wake herself up. When she naps during the day, sometimes rolling over wakes her up, and sometimes not. I like the idea of the extra step of not turning on the swing, before moving on to the crib, but was wandering if anyone has any other suggestions for me?

  29. I have a 5.5 mt old son. Mostly great temperament, but sleep has been a struggle. We found he sleeps better in a swing about a month ago. Every night he sleeps 5-8 hours in a row an then wakes 2-3 total the rest of the night after that. He currently has danced around an 8:30-9:30 bedtime. This is all in a non moving swing for the past week and a half. We transitioned to crib tonight and his sleep time cut right in half (woke up 3 hours after being put down at 9:30). Although I would be happy to stay with the swing a little longer, he was 20 pounds at his last doc visit and his head his touching the plastic part if the graco swing due to his height. Do I keep him in the swing until he is literally spilling out of it? I feel like we’re doing a couple things right (white noise, paci, comfort stuffed animal, never gets put down asleep, he always go in swing and crib either drowsy or even awake completely). At this point being such a big baby I feel like he could make it through night. He does spit up a lot but the doctor calls him a happy spitter and I very much agree with that unless this sleeping flat bothers him and that’s why he likes the swing. But we put his crib on an incline tonight and that made no difference. Would love any ideas that you have!

  30. Hi everyone. This blog is fantastic and it’s wonderful to know that I’m not alone. Our son has been sleeping well in his crib since he was 6 weeks. We have an excellent bedtime routine. He’s asleep around 8 and up around 6 with an occasional nighttime feeding. We put him down awake and he drifts off to sleep…no paci or swaddle. Now naps are a totally different story!!!! They have become the bane of my existence. LO will only nap well in his swing. We use white noise, same as at night and it’s on the lowest speed, but we just can’t make that transition to the crib. If he goes into the crib, he’s up screaming after 30-40 mins and nap ruined. Now if I had an easy going munchkin I wouldn’t mind, but put a few of these naps together in one day and we’ve got hell in the making. So here’s my question…do I move the swing into his room for naps or will this upset the routine we have for nightime and the crib…I don’t want to go backwards there???? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

  31. BS your baby wont outgrow the swing. My baby is 6 months and 25 pounds. Way to make moms with big babies feels shitty.

    • Oh no. You’ve caught me in my secret agenda. All of this – the expensive hosting, the hours of effort, research, writing, etc. It’s all part of my dastardly plan to subtly pick on parents of large babies. Yep. I’ve managed to sneak it by everybody so far but you caught me, so I figure there is nothing left to do but fess up!

      Well if you’re baby is still loving the swing and is outgrowing it at 25 lbs maybe it’s time to invest in a Graco that goes up to 30 lbs? Should buy you another month or two to gently wean off the swing!
      Alexis Dubief recently posted..The Secret to Baby Sleeping 12 Hours at NightMy Profile

  32. I have a 13 week old who I can put in the swing awake because he hates being rocked to sleep (which I find strange) sometimes I feel he will never grow out of the swing because that’s the only way I can get him to nap.. but will only nap for 30 minutes (if I’m lucky). He goes to bed at 830 in his swing and wakes up at 430 to eat and will fall back to sleep for another 3-4 hours. I have tried moving him from swing to crib and he woke up constantly, is that a sign he isn’t ready for the transition? Or should keep trying? I don’t expect this to be easy..

    • Justine,

      He’s 13 weeks old. He’s still itty bitty! He’ll outgrow the swing – I promise. Don’t rush it, you’ve got time. Wait until he’s sleeping happily in a non-moving swing at night before making the change. If he’s not ready – OK, wait a few weeks, try again. His body is changing so rapidly at this age, what doesn’t work today will work next week. Promise!

      Alexis
      Alexis recently posted..The Secret to Baby Sleeping 12 Hours at NightMy Profile

  33. I have an 11 month old who only sleeps in the swing. He had reflux but that hasn’t been a problem as of late. Our issue with him is even when we do somehow get him to sleep in the crib he sits up every 30-45 minutes with his head shrugged and cries. He also will stand at the rail yelling mama and dada, its pitiful. Are we being too soft? The swing is off, he goes to bed awake, and we use white noise. His swing seems to be uncomfortable now too. I feel bad for the little guy but I think it may be time for COI and I’m not sure that’s a battle we can win. Thanks

  34. Great post! My 3 month old is sleeping in her crib at night & the swing for naps. We rock to sleep at night but she goes in her swing awake for naptime. The swing is already by her bed so we are mostly there – just need to decrease the speed / get her to sleep in it without it moving. My question is, since you don’t promote CIO for babies this age, if she absolutely refuses to sleep in the non-moving swing, or to take a nap in her crib, what then? (I should mention that my little one is on the “high needs” side so overtired crying can really escalate.)

  35. I nurse my eight-month-old son to sleep then put him in the mamaroo swing asleep. he’s approaching the weight limit and the swing says that babies who can sit up unsupported well shouldn’t be in it anymore. I’m skeptical about his ability to fall asleep in it if i put him down awake. he seems to “wake right up” if i ever attempt to put him down awake. usually he just starts crying within a few minutes.

    • 8 months is generally not a great time to make changes – babies are well and truly “locked” into their way of doing things. Plus it’s often peak separation anxiety time so anytime they see you walking away they’re all like, “NO MOM!!!!”

      But you are right – he’s heading to the weight limit. So soon even the swing won’t be there to help you make this transition happen. And it really needs to happen.

      At this age you can:
      – put him down the same time every day
      – have a pre-nap routine (prior to the nursing/swing part) that is consistent
      – start chipping away at it

      Experiment with nursing till he’s drowsy. Test the waters by putting him in there. Even if he starts crying, set a timer, wait and see what develops. Even if he cries for 15 minutes and then falls asleep. Even if he takes a short nap. Your goal is to have him fall asleep IN the swing. It’s hard but totally do-able.

      The alternative is that you keep nursing and put him in the swing fully asleep until he’s out grown the swing. That’s likely to make the whole thing much harder. So you’ve got probably 3-4 weeks of runway left – time to dig in.

      Good luck!
      Alexis recently posted..The Best Christmas Book of 2013My Profile

  36. Alexis,
    I. Need. Help.
    My son has just recently turned 5 months old on the 5th. We have been working on the “putting baby down awake” since he was 3 months and one day old. It went surprisingly well. Our swing has 5 speeds, we went down to 4, then to 3, still no problems. We got rid of the paci (he started sucking his thumb)and no issue. He had consistently been having a 30 minute morning nap, 2 hr late morning/early afternoon nap and then 2 30 minute naps. The last usually ending by 6 and he was down for bed at 8.
    However, the past 3-4 weeks, without any obvious cause that I can find, his afternoon nap has cut to 30 minutes. I’m putting him down awake, he falls asleep on his own, I make sure there is at least 20 minutes between nursing and going down for his nap, I have not turned the swing down anymore and he is half swaddled (has to have that left arm out to get to his thumb). We do kind of struggle on his sleeping cues. Sometimes he goes down at 1 1/2 hrs, other days it’s 2 hrs. I truly don’t understand the fluctuation in times. But I’m trying so hard to put him down when he is not over tired. Many days after this half hour nap, he is still obviously tired but just won’t go back down. I usually let him fuss for at least 5-10 minutes just to see if he’ll go back to sleep, but he rarely does. Now for the last week he seems like he is trying to drop his last nap and after he goes down for the night he has started to wake up after 2 hours and he is up and down all night long, like 6 times a night. Before this he was sleeping 4-6 hour stretches and then getting up one other time to nurse. How could he stop his 2 hr nap and drop his last nap all within 3 weeks? And also be having night problems? He is not teething, he does not have an ear infection, and in the last 3 weeks has not been in a wonder weeks phase. I have NO IDEA what I am doing. I have no idea what I am doing WRONG, more specifically.
    My husband occasionally has him during the day and tells me he’ll sometimes just put him down on the floor play mat and walk away to do something and when he comes back, the baby is asleep and sleeps for over an hour! This has never EVER happened for me. I get the baby that has a break down if I don’t have him napping quickly enough. I feel like I am failing as a mother. I feel like I am doing everything right and I still suck. I am terrified that I will not have him out of the swing by the time he turns 6 months old and I will never have a baby that sleeps through the night.
    Please tell me what I am doing wrong. I am all for criticism if it’ll get him to sleep again. I’m so exhausted. PLEASE. HELP!

    • Tasha, i have no real advice for you but i want you to know you are not alone. Im in a similiar boat. My son is 5 months on thursday. He sleeps in the swing, swaddled with one arm out and white noise for all sleeps (naps and bedtime). His naps are all over the place, sometimes the longer one is in the morning with 2 shorter ones in the afternoon but usually at daycare it is the opposite. Some nights he can go down awake on the slower speed with a blanket hanging to slow it more with no problem some nights he screams his head off until he is gagging and i have to go nurse him. I am so stressed about getting him in the crib. He does have reflux so im cutting myself some slack on this one (my dd was in swing until 5 months then went into the crib with no problems, but she would cry and then fall asleep, this kid just gets more & more upset and doesnt fall asleep)…our wake time is generally 2 hours-ish but if he has a short nap its shorter, like an hour and a half. Sometimes if he has a couple of really short naps in a row, when he wont go back to sleep in the swing, ill put him in the car seat and rock him and he’ll go back to sleep…so you can maybe try that? IDK..im sorry im no help but sometimes it helps knowing someone else out there is in the same boat :)

  37. Hi, my baby boy is four months old and has always slept in the swing at night because we thought it would be easy to transition into the crib. I think we were wrong… For the past 8 nights we tried extinction in the crib (lots of naps during the day, also swing only), tried early or late bed time with a consistent sleep routine. He cries anywhere from 10 min to an hour, then sleeps for 30-45 min, then cries another session of 10 to 30 min before down for good for most of the night. The crying is very very loud protest / screaming type of cry… Is he too young to self soothe? We gave him the merlin suit so he can kinda suck on his fingers…
    I put him in the swing last night after two hours because frankly I felt like giving up. So confused and depressed…

  38. Hi Alexis,

    In your steps to wean off the swing, you have put swing by crib before trying to dial down the speed. What is the reason? Would it not work to keep the swing in its current location till baby can sleep in it non-moving, then put the non-moving swing by the crib, then transition to crib?

    I only ask because my son is just 2 months but when I am ready to wean him off of the swing, I don’t know if I’ll be ready for him to leave outlet bedroom for his own. I was thinking to try weaning at 4 months and have him in his crib in his own room by 6, but at 4 mo I still want him in our room I think.

    Thanks, and your site is overall very helpful; thank you!

  39. PS I spelled my own name wrong last post!! Should be HALLIE haha

  40. I’ve done most of these steps for nap time and now my 4-month-old will fall asleep in a motionless swing unswaddled (yay!). But bedtime is going backwards…I could lay him in his crib swaddled after a nursing session and he would sleep for hours at night…until a week ago. Now, I lay him in there and he panics! I’ve tried putting him to sleep unswaddled since he is starting to roll around, but that is worse. Is there anything I can do for bedtime? I figure I will just give up and start over with the swing. Strange thing is that he never needed the swing at night before. Is this just a sleep regression? Will it pass?

  41. Alexis, are we headed for disaster? Our daughter will be 10 wks old when she starts daycare next week as I go back to work. She sleeps all naps and night in the swing. She’s a motion junkie. The daycare has a swing, but they’ll put her to nap in a crib. Should we be trying to wean her off the swing now (only have 1 week to attempt it)? Should we switch her to the crib at night starting on day 1 at daycare? What do we do for naps at home?

    Feeling Very Anxious about this Transition,
    JoAnna

    • I have the same question! No swing at daycare… and baby is a motion junkie. And daycare isn’t allowed to swaddle. Needless to say baby is an overtired hot mess when he gets home. :(

  42. My 8 month old has been sleeping in her swing for every nap since we brought her home from the hospital. She now sleeps in the swing every night, she is to heavy and it no longer moves. She likes the light and sounds on it, because when they are turned off she wakes up within 5 minutes. We have to get her moved to the crib, for reasons I do not want to talk about. So what is the best way to get her to go to the crib NOW?
    I have tried the playpen, that don’t work. She just screams and throws herself. We have tried to move her to the crib before and after about 2 hours of reinforcement we gave in and put her back in the swing. ((No JUDGING)) I do believe in CIO, but I don’t let her cry for hours. I will let her cry for 5 minutes and then go soothe her and lay her back down. We need to do something quick, Please, any advise?

  43. I wanted to thank you for all of the wonderful information you provide. I’m so lucky to have found your site when my little peanut was only a week old. She’s now 5 months and just spent her first full night in her crib. She’s been a swing baby and we’ve been slowly weaning her from the swing. My baby is happy, my husband and I are well rested and I am so grateful! Please keep up the wonderful posts.

  44. Same situation as many others here. My baby is now 10 months old and will only sleep in swing. It is in her room right beside her crib and she has not had any motion in months. I have tried moving her to crib for naps several times and for bedtime and both lead to her screaming until I cave and put her in the swing. I think it is a snuggle comfort issue. When we travel and she is at sitters she sleeps in a car seat. I would eventually like her to sleep in her bed but have tried all the steps and nothing seems to work. Any advice for a baby this old in a nonmoving swing next to bed? She also has white noise and room darkening curtains in her room. I also have a 2 year old in the room right next to her so I can’t let her scream and cause everyone in the house to not get any sleep.

  45. My 3month old began sleeping in his bouncy seat at about 2 months and will sleep between 7-9 hours at night with one feed in the early morning. Then he will normally go back to sleep for about 1-2 hours. He goes to sleep with little to no bouncing from us. Naps only last about 30-45 minutes and I can sometimes extend the naps if I go in and reswaddle/bounce him to sleep again. He takes several naps during the day because the naps are short and he is only happy for about an hour to an hour and half. He is swaddled for every nap and bedtime with white noise for all sleep times. We tried to transition to the cradle a few nights ago and it didn’t go very well. I am wondering when and how I should transition to the crib. I am pretty sure he likes the bouncy seat because it keeps him inclined (he has reflux). We tried inclining the cradle but it didn’t help. Should I wait a few weeks and try the cradle or crib again? I also would like to know if I should try to unswaddle at the same time or do one at a time? My concern with the swaddle and bouncy seat is that he will be going to a home day care when he is about 4 1/2 months old and I would like for him not to be swaddled(it scares me for someone else to swaddle him). I also would like for him to be able to sleep somewhere other than a bouncy seat at daycare! Please help with any suggestions. Thanks
    Lauren recently posted..7 Sleep Lessons from a Stanford Pediatric Sleep SpecialistMy Profile

  46. They do outgrow the swing! My son spent his nights in the bed/crib but would only nap in his Fisher Price swing with motion. It was so critical that I bought a second swing for his 2-3 days a week at daycare…they respected his need cause they tried without and it did not work. I worried that he would never transition out, but he did. He was in the small group of babies you mentioned that needed it till about 10 months of age and then poof, just tried him one day when he was particularly pooped and he had a lovely 1 hour or longer nap in his crib….then again the next day and the next day. I still had to use the swing a couple more times until he was totally out but it did happen. My advice, stop trying to rush these kids…follow their lead and use it if it works and they are happy and rested. That’s what matters. It was inconvenient and I felt like I was tethered to the swing but he was happy and rested and now at 14 months his sleep issues are a thing of the past. The poor kid could not fall asleep without wailing and stay asleep longer than 15 min without the motion! Thank God for that swing!

  47. Should an 8 week old baby nap in the dark?

  48. Hi Alexis,

    I’m so glad I came across your blog, what a great resource! I’ve been reading your sleep guide and love your advice!

    So I have a few questions related to your article on using the swing. First, a little background info. My LO is 7 weeks old and, at night, she’s been sleeping in her room, in her crib, since she’s 4 weeks old. I nurse her to sleep and put her down around 8:30 pm and she wakes because she’s hungry around 12:30 am and 3:30 am. But then she has a hard time staying asleep/starts waking up for reasons other than hunger usually starting around 4:30 am. At this point I’m getting up to help her back to sleep. Sometimes just laying a hand on her works if I get there in time, otherwise I pick her up and rock/jiggle her to sleep. If I put her back in her crib she’s awake again after what I assume is just one sleep cycle at which point she’s either hungry or needs help back to sleep again. I have put her in her swing at this point a few times which seems to help her sleep longer. A few more notes about sleep aids. I haven’t been swaddling her because she would always get her arms loose (I suck at swaddling lol) and since she was fine most of the night I assumed she would eventually be fine the whole night. But now I got some swaddling sacks with velcrow so I’m going to try those out. Also, I started trying to give her the paci but she won’t keep it in her mouth unless I’m holding it which is very inconvenient lol. Also I have white noise playing in the room, and I keep it as dark as possible during the night but the blinds don’t fully block sunlight after sunrise.

    During the day, she mostly naps in her swing but sometimes she falls asleep in her sling or car seat (during a car ride) and I don’t bother transferring her to the swing. She naps where there is sunlight and noise from us doing things around the house.

    Ok so here are my questions.

    1) In your article, you list a bunch of problems and say that if you have even one of those, baby should be in a swing 24/7. I’m wondering, is this really necessary since she’s fine most of the night. Could I just put her in the swing after her 3:30 am feed?

    2) You suggest baby should nap in the swing in a dark room with white noise. I’m worried this will result in my LO getting her days and nights confused again. Is this a legit concern? I’ve read so many articles saying babies should sleep in daylight around normal daytime noises. If she already naps fine in her swing in the daylight with normal noises, is the dark room/white noise still necessary/preferable at this point?

    3) As of now, I still have to rock/jiggle/wear/nurse my LO to sleep before putting her in her swing maybe 90% of the time and in her crib 100% of the time. At what point should I expect her to be able to fall asleep on her own from being awake but drowsy?

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Again, I love your blog!

    Sincerely,
    Amélie

    • Amelie–Not Alexis but I will tell you my experience! If your little girl doesn’t have her nights and days mixed up, I think you are in the clear! At 7/8 weeks my son was still in the phase where he’d sleep in the light, dark, with or without noise, but that definitely changed somewhere around 3-4 months. I think you are doing fine just using the swing after 3am. If she’s fine in the crib before that, awesome! If she begins to have trouble in the crib, you could try the swing for the whole night.

      However, the swing is a really great tool for teaching her how to put herself to sleep–go down drowsy, as they say. Alexis has said nursing to sleep can be the hardest association to change, so if I were you I would experiment with putting her in the swing at the beginning of the night to see if she can put herself to sleep. You can use Alexis’s “varsity technique.” I also began by rocking my son until he was barely asleep, and then putting him in the swing. Then I slowly backed off on the rocking.

  49. My little girl, a week shy of 5 months, is sleeping PERFECTLY in the swing. She goes down awake and sleeps right through the night, from about 7-7. We’ve been following your suggestions and slowly bringing down the swing speed, and at this point we don’t have it moving. We have so appreciated your information on this site!

    This is all great and we’re ready to move her to the crib. The problem is that when she’s in the crib she rolls over on to her stomach and wakes up. We haven’t tried this at night for a couple months (she sleeping through the night in the crib swaddled, but started rolling and wouldn’t sleep in the crib without the swaddle), but when she’s at daycare in a pack n play she wakes herself up. I’ve done some google-ing on this issue, but mostly I’m reading to just let them cry until they can handle it or to get some bumpers so they can’t roll. She’s very strong, and I’m not convinced the bumpers or rolled blankets would even hold her. Do you have any other suggestions? I would rather avoid her CIO and having other stuff in the crib with her. Is this just something we have to tough out?

  50. Hi Alexis!

    My baby just turned 11 weeks old. He sleeps in the swing for ALL sleep. He will not sleep in a bassinet or crib. I like to call him a real motion junkie. The swing has been my entire family’s friend during the newborn phase. I am not ready to wean the swing yet, as I know that when my son is in the rock n play (pretty stationary), he does not fall asleep on his own. He was born big (8lbs 6 oz) and now is probably a solid 14 lbs. He wakes for two feedings, but occasionally has slept from 730 pm to 3 am without a feeding (probably done a total of 3 times).

    I have a strategy, and that’s to keep him sleeping in swing for all sleep til he makes it past the 4 month sleep regression. Do you think this is do-able, or am I setting myself up for failure of him not being able to wean from the swing? I just dont want to get to crib success (hopefully), only for it to all run a muck do to that regression. Should I try to start weaning the swing now, or wait for another 1.5 months?

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