What Everybody Ought to Know About Baby Swings

What Everybody Ought to Know About Baby Swings

Why isn't he sleeping yet?

Baby swings. Some are great. Some are ineffective. And some break easily. Sure you could drop $160 on a baby swing that doesn’t help your baby sleep and breaks 3 weeks after you bought it.

But let’s face it – you just had a baby. You’re going to need that money for Starbucks and takeout.

What You Care About

A safe, reliable swing with enough motion to help your baby sleep.

What You Don’t Care About

Toys and music. We’re using the swing as a sleep-aid which means we’re NOT going to use it as a baby amusement park. Also we know that white noise helps babies sleep better so we don’t care which swing plays better music. And finally most baby swings produce music/white noise on a timer which means your baby swing will likely NOT be your source for white noise (unless your baby takes 7 minute naps in which case you’ve got bigger problems than picking out the best baby swing).

Travel Baby Swings

Pros

  • They’re small. If you’re living in a 500 sq ft apartment in lower Manhattan then a full-sized swing may simply not be an option for you.
  • They’re cheap (about 50% less than a full-sized swing).

Cons

  • They don’t tend to help babies sleep as well as full-sized swings. Bigger swings result in more swinging motion which tends to be more effective for helping babies sleep.
  • Swing timer = FAIL. Travel swings often only swing for a set amount of time which means both you and your baby will be waking up every 45 minutes all night long when the timer shuts off.
  • They’re very low to the ground. While the weight limit is 25 lbs (roughly the same as that of a full-sized swing) if you have a tall baby you may find their heels dragging on the ground within a month or two.

Bottom Line: In general I don’t recommend travel swings for baby sleep. If money is really tight you would probably be better off finding a lightly used recent-model full-sized swing on Craigslist.

Full-Sized Swings

Pros

  • They have good full-range swinging motion which is most effective to help babies sleep.
  • No timer on swinging. Yay!
  • Some models are available with electrical plugs which spares you and the environment the pile of batteries you’ll be producing otherwise.
  • They can safely and comfortably hold a baby from birth to 8+ months of age.

Cons

  • They’re pricey. Expect to pay anywhere from $99 – $160 online and $140+ in local stores.
  • They’re big. While technically they fold up a) folding them only makes them about 20% smaller and b) you’ll be using it so often it won’t get folded up until baby is sleeping in her crib and you store it away in the basement.
  • They’re loud(ish). Having a baby swing swinging full-bore inches from your bed will take some getting used to. Using loud-white noise will help.
  • They eat batteries (if using batteries). If you’re the swing full-time, expect to replace 4 D-cells every 7-10 days. Rechargeable batteries won’t work.
  • They’re heavy-ish. If you just had a C-section you won’t appreciate having to move this around.

Which Brand is Right for You?

Graco

Graco baby swings have the advantage of a 5 point harness and the highest weight limit (30 lbs) of any swing on the market. However they also have notoriously underpowered motors which are prone to burn out. I have found that Graco customer service will send you a replacement motor (they’re surprisingly easy to swap out) for free. However if your little one needs a swing to sleep, waiting for your replacement motor to show up in the mail can make for a rough couple of days.

Fisher Price

Cute Baby Playing in Fisher Price Papasan Swing

Please Mommy - I want a swing too!

I love the Fisher Price Papasan swing. They are cute, effective, and reliable. It can be adjusted to swing in two directions (although front to back is generally best). The only downside is that the 3 pt harness is slightly less desirable than the 5 pt harness. Although I have never personally worked with a baby that has managed to get out of the swing (and if you snap the tray in place it would be VERY difficult to do so). Some of the models have a mesh decoration that hangs around the swing. Although I’ve never had an issue with this, for sleep safety, I don’t recommend having loose fabric anywhere near babies. You can avoid this by choosing a model without this decoration or cutting it off the one you have.

But let me be clear – this is my favorite baby swing, bar none.

Bright Starts

To be honest I have no personal experience with this brand of swing. They make a variety of travel swings available for ~$60 and full-size swings for ~$120. Do you have one? How’s it working out?

The Car Nap Extender Swing

Special Circumstances

Problem: Your little one habitually falls asleep seconds before you pull into the driveway. If you pick him up to bring him inside he won’t quietly fall back asleep in his bed/swing but will tell you in no uncertain terms that he is DONE napping now thankyouverymuch. If you sit in the car he’ll happily take a solid nap in there but for various reasons (it’s bad for the environment, it’s boring, YOU can’t nap in the car, you have to go to the bathroom, etc.) this is not a desirable option.

Solution: Graco doesn’t make a traditional travel swing but they do have this nifty invention which holds a SnugRide car seat enabling you to make a swing out of your infant car seat. Most people don’t really need one of these as your baby will primarily be sleeping in their swing. However if your baby falls asleep in the car and you can’t avoid driving near nap time (when baby is prone to fall asleep in the car) the SnugGlider MAY be the answer for you.

When your baby falls asleep in the car simply remove baby and carseat from the car and snap into your SnugGlider (best located somewhere near-ish to the car). Turn on the white noise, vibration, and swing and let the car nap continue inside. At $50-$60 a pop, the SnugGlider is not a “must-have” item for people who aren’t frequently driving their newborn baby around. But if you find yourself camped out in your car while baby sleeps, it maybe a worthy investment.

This article represents my honest opinion based on my experience with various baby swings over many years, babies, and swings. I am not sponsored by nor do I have any vested interest in any baby swing manufacturer.

{photo credits: Rhea Ball and Lisa Stout}


114 Comments


  1. I really liked the baby swing for my daughter but my son, sooo didn’t respond to it.

  2. Not every baby loves the swing at first. If they’re sleeping fine elsewhere then it’s not an issue. If they’re NOT sleeping fine then it’s time to whip out the no-fail swing master shuffle (OK still working on a clever name for it) method of helping babies sleep in the swing. I’ll be writing more about how to do that (and hopefully posting a video or two).

    Thanks for stopping by! And please let me know if you have a clever name for my swing method as I definitely need help with that…

  3. My son has always preferred being in motion to go to sleep. When he was a newborn, we would literally swing him in the Moses basket (a rocking stand just wasn’t vigorous enough lol), but this was impractical as he got older and also meant we couldn’t get on with doing other things.

    We ended up buying the Fisher Price Rainforest swing (similar to the papoose version you mentioned) when he was about 2 months old. This was the only place he would take his naps until he was 9 months old. Initially, we didn’t think it would work as we’d tried several swings, but the key was that the FP swing went sideways, something he much preferred.

    As he slept overnight in his cot, it wasn’t terribly difficult to wean him from the swing at nap times. Had we left it any later though, I think we might have had a problem. Of course, now I have to figure out how to get him to sleep without nursing, but that’s another story…..

    Had to chuckle at your reference to falling asleep in the car. This is so very typical of my son – he has a knack for nodding off five minutes before we get home and also refuses to go down when back in the house, even if the car nap lasted just 10 minutes! Cue a tired, whiny baby for the next couple of hours……
    Becky recently posted..Still Toothless……My Profile

    • My oldest was in the swing for 13 months. I’m not bragging nor am I suggesting that this is a desirable thing. And he didn’t need to be swinging for 13 months, he just needed to be upright to help manage the reflux.

      But invariably they all find their way OUT of the swing. And frankly I’ve never known a kid to be in there longer than mine so as far as I know I’m the benchmark for “way to long” in a swing.

      Am assuming that cot=crib in British lingo? I’ve learned something new today! Thanks for visiting Becky!
      Alexis recently posted..Baby Swings Work and I Can Prove ItMy Profile

      • That’s good to hear they wean out of the swing easily. I only weaned when I did because I was worried he’d get too used to it.

        Yes, it seems what we refer to as a cot in the UK is a crib in the US. And when we say crib, I think the equivalent would be a wooden bassinet to you. It’s a small cot anyway lol.

        We also have cotbeds, which are slightly larger cots that can be converted to toddler beds.

        Confusing, eh?

        I found your blog via a comment you left on momitforward btw. As soon as I noticed it was about sleep issues, I had to have a browse. :D
        Becky recently posted..Still Toothless……My Profile

        • Have been meaning to write a post about how to use the swing and when/how to get out of it. But generally it’s easy and stress-free to do.

          So funny how all this baby gear stuff varies by country. I went to a conference on baby sleep and this group of Norwegian pediatricians were asking all sorts of questions about baby swings because they don’t exist in Norway (or they didn’t in 2008 anyway).

          Thanks for visiting! Although I’m not moving as quickly as I would like I plan to hit topics relevant to parents of toddlers/preschoolers so hopefully will have more to help you with as your baby becomes a toddler a few weeks from now :)
          Alexis recently posted..Why Babies Love White NoiseMy Profile

  4. Love it that Graco usually gives you a couple of color combinations for the same product

    • True Graco swings are more fashionable in terms of colors and patterns. Fisher Price swings tend to look more like baby toys. I’ve just had too many mechanical problems with Graco swings (although in all fairness Graco has always been cool about replacing burned out motors).
      Alexis recently posted..Are You Keeping Baby Awake Too Long?My Profile

  5. Great info, Thanks!

  6. Love love love your website- with a 4week old its nice to be reminded that what I go through is NORMAL! I live in South Africa abd could only get my hands on a Graco. It really is not ideal for a newborn, since the bucket type seat positions the baby in a seating position ( even fully reclined), putting a lot of pressure on the baby’s rear. With my crampy gassy baby, I think he struggles to pass wind in that position, and therefore sleeps listlessly and wakes often. Do you think i should rather go back to the crib, or stick it out in the swing?

    • Hmmm…I doubt that the swing position has anything to do with his ability (or not) to pass wind. And I’ve had great success with the Graco. Newborns DO sleep listlessly and wake often so its hard to know if the issue is the swing or just the newborn.

      You can try the crib and see if it’s any better or worse for you? My gut says it’ll probably be slightly worse but you never know. If you’re going to try, commit to 2-3 days so you can really see if it’s making a difference. If you DO try to test the crib vs. swing, let me know what happens OK?
      Alexis recently posted..30 Practical Parenting Tips You Will Never Learn from the MoviesMy Profile

      • Hi Alexis,
        Sorry I am only getting back with my “findings” now! I did away with all the extra Graco padding which made quite a difference (no longer looked so cramped and upright).
        Baby also quickly debunked my theory by happily producing the most splendid nappies whilst in the swing;).
        We are now at 4 months and still making a success of the swing thanks to you!

  7. Hi there, love the blog :o) I’m a first time mum to a beautiful 5 week old girl, Isabel. The reason I have been googling the hell out of “sleep for newborns” is that my beautiful girl who had been sleeping so soundly all of a sudden two nights ago shocked the hell out of us by turning into “daemon baby” come 19:00. To be fair to her she settled by 22:30 and then slept through with only 2 feeds (02:00 and 07:30) but after being so easy to settle up until there I was worried the status quo was changing. It is after finding your blog that I have learnt my new favorate term “witching hour!” lol. It has helped me relax into going with the flow so rather than fighting against this normal phase in a newborns sleep pattern, we are embracing it especially as she is such a great sleeper once she is down. My question is that because she is such a great sleeper in her mosses basket should I introduce a swing or could it ruin the work she has already done in settling in the mosses basket? The times I’m looking for motion assistance is mostly during her naps as unless she is sleeping on someone they rarely last more than 20 mins. The witching hour has skipped a few nights with her falling asleep quite easily last night by 20:00 after a feed. However at this point if we put her in her cot she wakes up fussing and crying. I usually hold her till about 21:00 and then put her in MB and she sleeps till 2:00 then settles quickly for the night waking again at 06:30. Fine at the moment but of course I would like to move away from this eventually. Thing is i know im lucky with so much of her sleep routine and she is only 5 weeks old that i dont know if i should be messing about with any of it. Any advice is appreciated.

    • Katie,
      Somehow I missed your comment (sorry!) and now weeks have passed so most of my advice is probably no longer on point :(

      Anyhoo….
      1) Babies will have bad nights and figuring out what happened will often be the bane of your existence (developmental milestone? teething? shots? growth spurt? something else?). The bad night could have been a witching hour although generally that sort of thing is consistent – happens ALL the time. So I’m wondering if your question came at the beginning of the 6 week sleep regression (6 weeks and 4 months are often doozies!).

      2) If she’s sleeping great wherever (moses basket et al) then leave well enough alone. However if she’s only napping ON you or napping for 20 minutes then I would definitely work the swing angle for naps. It’s totally OK for her to sleep in one place during the day (swing) and another at night (MB). Won’t mess anything up.

      Anyway so sorry for the late response which may or may not help at this point:P Best of luck!
      Alexis
      Alexis recently posted..Bedtime What Time?My Profile

  8. My 16 week old sleeps fantastic in her swing (like 12 straight hours–doesn’t even wake up to eat!!!!!). She is showing no interest in moving to the crib yet, which is fine by me (for now). My issue is that my husband has time off at the end of June, and we are planning on taking a vacation away from home with the baby. I am not sure if the baby will be sleeping stationary by then yet. I don’t want to screw her sleeping up, but this is the only time during the summer we have for vacation, so we really want to get away. Should we invest in a travel swing or car nap extender swing (she sleeps decently in her car seat)? Or should I really start to push the stationary sleep so she’s ready for her pack and play on the road?

    • If it’s possible and you have the $$$ I would invest in a travel swing or car nap extender (they’re smaller and lighter to carry). Basically 99.99% of babies sleep like crap when you take a trip. Most parents suck it up because it’s good for your emotional health to, you know, LEAVE. But you pay the penalty of poor sleep, tired baby, and generally a bad case of PTSD (Post Travel Sleep Disruption) when you return.

      So if you can bring a swing with you that might alleviate these issues then I would TOTALLY do it!
      Alexis recently posted..30 Practical Parenting Tips You Will Never Learn from the MoviesMy Profile

  9. I have a Bright Starts portable swing and so far we love it. At this point our 7wk peanut actually does sleep in her crib, so we don’t need a full swing (again I say “yet”), but the portable is great to take to Grandma’s house. It swings surprisingly fast and has a great hammock-like position that hubby and I have enviously remarked looks really comfy.

  10. I was searching for swings with the highest weight limit in hopes to find a swing with a bigger seat. My son, 35 mths, loves the swing and is only 20 lbs so well within weight limit. He is 32″and though and his head is getting close to the top of the swing :/I am trying to locate one with the largest seat possible for height reasons….

    • I did the same search and apparently the graco lovin’ hug is the biggest one. It worked really well for our tall baby, although I’m not sure he’s as tall as yours, and he won’t tolerate the swing anymore at 8 months. Is your kiddo really still swinging at almost 3 years old? He really must love it! :-)

      • He will be 3yrs old in July. Yes, he still loves his swing. He had a lot of health problems and on days when he feels bad or has no energy that is his favorite thing to do…. hang out in the swing. The swing solves many meltdowns as well. I swaddle him up and out the swing high speed :) thanks for your blog post on swings!

        • So glad to hear that you have swings to fall back on for rough days! I have also heard that there are medical swings (literally baby swings but made for bigger kids) so if he’s still getting benefit from swinging and DOES outgrow the Graco, you could always ask your doctors about it.

          But it sounds like you have 10 more lbs to go before that becomes an issue. Graco swings are great, big, hefty, extra safe 5-pt harness swings. BUT their motors are prone to burning out so:
          a) Always push the swing to start the swinging motion BEFORE you turn on the motor. And if yours does stop working…
          b) Call customer service and complain. They’ll almost always send you a new motor and it’s super easy to swap them out.

          Good luck!
          Alexis recently posted..30 Practical Parenting Tips You Will Never Learn from the MoviesMy Profile

          • How do you replace the motor!? I can’t figure
            Out how to get the old one off! Thank you!

            • Well the new one should come with instructions no? On the top of the swing there are places where the metal “legs” connect into the plastic component that houses the motor. You’ll also see a few (not sure of #) silver bumps protruding from the plastic. If you gently press these in with a screwdriver it’ll pop the legs OUT. This is effectively reversing what you did when you assembled the swing in the first place. Hope that helps!
              Alexis Dubief recently posted..Why Sleep Training Didn’t WorkMy Profile

      • Yep Graco is the BIG DOG of baby swings. None of them have a height requirement – I think they’re pretty solid so the real issue for them is that with heavier babies the weight burns out motors. Anyhoo that is my assumption as to why they only have weight (not height) restrictions.
        Alexis recently posted..30 Practical Parenting Tips You Will Never Learn from the MoviesMy Profile

  11. We realised the white noise only lasts for 12 minutes and the motion for less than 2 hours which is super annoying…. but I still love the swing!

  12. Ooh me! We have a full sized bright starts cradle/swing and I love it! Takes 4 batteries and its been going steady for over 2 weeks now. Motion shuts down at 90 minutes and white noise around 15 ( which is annoying ) apart from that we are now a happy little family!

  13. I used rechargeable batteries and they worked great for about 2 years and then they were dead. I just had to remember to charge them once a week or I found myself sitting behind the swing swinging it while my son fell asleep for naptime.

    • That’s awesome as rechargeable is way more environmentally friendly! I’ve found that they aren’t powerful to propel the motors but perhaps there are different grades of rechargeable?

  14. Our 3 month baby has had trouble sleeping since birth, it’s impossible to settle him and if you can get him asleep, when you put him in the cot he wakes up straight away!
    Anyway, we went out and bought a swing and he slept within five minutes for all his naps! We were so happy! But 3 days later and he is back to fighting sleep again, we have got him to sleep in the swing a couple of times but it’s taken about 30 minutes of sitting with him and having him complain.
    Any ideas?

    • My default answer for babies 3 months and under is – more soothing. Add the swaddle, loud white noise, etc. Also he may be over/under tired so you may need to adjust the amount of time between naps? He also may need a longer wind-down routine (some babies aren’t keen to change activities) so you may need 20 minutes of books or songs in a dark room to get him ready to be soothed to sleep in the swing. Good luck!
      Alexis recently posted..The Ultimate Baby Swing Sleep Guide For Swing Hating BabiesMy Profile

  15. hey there Alex! great website.. im going through a rough time and very stressed out about it!! i have an almost 8 months old who used to sleep very well before (but always rocked to sleep and then throughout the night nursing) but now to get her to sleep it takes maybe an hour of hardcore rocking :( plus i have to nurse her throughout the night so she can let us sleep..!! she is so sensitive to sound which sucks because i also have a 2yr and a half son which tends to be loud!! please help me advice me.. should i get her a swing and try to put her to sleep there? isnt she too big for it now? she is almost 20lbs.. i even tried to give her a pacifier at night instead of me (i know thats horrible but i was desperate) but it still didnt work she hates pacifiers..

    please help me!

    • Amira,
      The fundamental problem you are having is this:
      http://www.troublesometots.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-sleeping-through-the-night-part-i/

      She’s not learned to fall asleep on her own and now is hyper-vigillant (read the post, it’s long I know but it’s really key!) which is why getting her to fall asleep at bedtime has become such an exhausting slog.

      At 8 months most babies are OUT of swings so I hesitate to suggest you invest $100 to buy one unless you have lots of money? If you have a friend who would loan you one it’s worth a try. But I don’t have a lot of confidence that it will solve your problem.

      If noise is working against you (I don’t believe it’s the root problem but noisy older sibs can work against you!) then definitely use LOUD white noise whenever she sleeps.

      But basically you have a “put down awake problem” and also probably a “sucking=sleep” problem. And my heart goes out to you because you must be EXHAUSTED.

      The key to making any headway is to help her learn to fall asleep without you there and to sleep without your boob in her mouth. You could try using the techniques I discuss here (for the paci but the same issue applies – see the paci post linked below).

      It’s not easy but getting over this hump will make your nights a LOT easier. And also get you out of the 1 hour rocking slog.
      Alexis recently posted..How and Why to Use and Lose the PacifierMy Profile

      • Alexis.. thank you so much for your reply. I am so addicted to your website i cant believe i never knew about it until now..its the best and most helpful website ever!!! You are an amazing person for doing what you are doing and creating this website and being so involved and helpful :D cant thank u enough!!!!

        i will try the white noise i cant believe we never heard about it before!! although it will be weird to sleep with that noise on all night!! but hey if it will keep the baby asleep then its definetly worth a try..will just try to convince my husband to sleep through that cuz when he heard it now he said its very annoying!

        thanks a lot!!

  16. Hi, I have a 20 week old who for the last 4 weeks has been sleeping TERRIBLE at night, waking every hour to every hour and a half. I have cranked back his bed time to 6pm from 7-7:30pm to see if perhaps he has been overtired (well he must be with as little sleep as he has been getting). However, if this doesn’t produce results in a week or so, I was wondering if you think I should try the swing at night? We don’t have one, but he loves motion….could it be the key to getting to sleep at least one four stretch? Or is he too old to bother now?

    • 5 months is right on the line so it’s probably worth a go. Is there any way to borrow one from a friend for a week or so? Or find a good newer one on craigslist? I say this because it may not work and I hate to have you spend $100 on something that he’s a little old for. My best guess is that there is a 45% chance it will help.

      Not sure if that answers your question but…
      Alexis recently posted..Weaning Baby Off the SwingMy Profile

      • We belatedly tried the swing at 5 months, with the swaddle and the jiggle and the whole shebang, and it was VERY helpful. Craigslist to the rescue. Spent $50, used it for 2 months, sold it for $50. And it was pink and purple for our boy. He didn’t mind. :-)

  17. Hi,
    I have a few questions about letting my 3 month old son sleep in a swing.
    Firstly, we were given a Mamaroo instead of a swing and love it because we live in a tiny appartment and it doesn’t take up too much space. Do you have any experience with the Mamaroo. When he was a new born he really loved it and would often sleep much longer in it than every where else but I never let him sleep for the night in it because from what I’ve read the way a babies head and spine are placed in a swing is not good for two many hours plus their airway is not as open as it is sleeping flat on their backs. Is this true or all swings? The Mamaroo also has pretty lousy straps but it reclines almost completely horizontal so my son would have trouble escaping if he was swaddled. Basically I’m just wondering if you’ve heard of the Mamaroo and if its safe for sleeping long hours in.
    My son has been in his own room for a month already because he is so noisy I wasn’t sleeping at all and has been sleeping 8 hours at a time since he was 6 weeks. The problem now is not that he wakes up during the night but that he simply will not go to sleep before midnight but is exhausted and crabby after 8 or 9. Sometimes it feels like my husband and I spend our entire night taking turns rocking him to sleep only to have him wake up 10 minutes after being transferred to the crib. Finally once he gives in and falls asleep he is out for 8 to 10 hours but often has trouble napping during the day unless I am holding him. The problems at night do tend to be an issue regardless of whether he has napped well or not during the day. We swaddle him, have started using white noise and he will not take a pacifier.

    Thanks for the advice! I just discovered this blog and have found it very useful so far!

    • I’m no expert but I say USE THE SWING! Both of my children needed extensive bouncing and rocking in order to sleep. I wish that I had used a swing with my son. Alas. (He’s now 2 and a champion sleeper – we decided to do CIO at 6 months…). My daughter, who is 3.5 months, now takes all of her naps in the swing. Without it, I would be a bouncing mess with enormous biceps. For fussy times, for no sleep moments, I say swing it out.

  18. Hello! Love your blog – thanks! I have a six week old – I am paying very close attention to the clock and putting her in her swing for a nap before it gets to be an hour of being awake, with white noise, and more often then not she takes a nice long nap. Sometimes if I dared to take her out to lunch or something she doesn’t nap well and we have a rough afternoon, but if we follow the wakefulness rules she naps well. She is also sleeping well at night (I am sure directly related to the good napping) – she goes down with lots of soothing and noise and swaddling at about 7:30 (in her crib actually, from day one) and stays down initially for about 8-10 hours, then wakes up once or twice to eat, then back down til 6 or 7, then up for the day. So overall we are pretty happy :) – what is stressing me out is when she is about 15 weeks I go back to work. We are doing a nanny share arrangement with my neighbor who at the moment does not have a swing. Do you think I should try to wean her off the swing for naps by the time I go back to work or would it be worth it to get a swing to keep at my neighbors (might be too much to ask as we are in San Francisco, they are big etc). Realistic/wise to get her napping in her crib before then? I love the swing so much because i can put her in it awake and she will go to sleep vs having to rock her etc to get her to sleep before putting her in her crib…assuming lots will change between now and then…what are your thoughts? Concerned separately about a potential Europe trip in the next 6-8 weeks too but that is a whole other question!!

    • It’s hard for me to say where things will be at at 15 weeks because that really is a LONG way away. You can try to wean her off it (she’s sleeping like a CHAMP for 6 weeks) and see how it goes. If it goes well – YAY! If not? Buy an extra swing.

      Sure they’re big and clunky but for a month or two, people can deal, right? I mean I used to live in Palo Alto so I know what housing is like in SF and it’s not THAT bad ;)

      Europe is probably more of an issue because they don’t even really have swings there (outside of England) so you’ll be crib sleeping regardless. You are a brave lady to take a baby to Europe at 2 months. And you know what? You can handle it. Seriously. No point in getting worked up about what may happen. Because whatever DOES happen, you’ll handle it. Plus you’ll hopefully have family there to help :)
      Alexis recently posted..Great Holiday Books for KidsMy Profile

  19. I have enjoyed the posts, which is helping me a little. I have 13 week old twin girls.. For the last 2 months we have them sleeping in their swings for naps and bed time. Which over the nights it has increased from 3 hours to 8 hours. Which is awesome for mom and dad. Last week l tried to weaning them into their beds. Now first Ashlee would wake Rylee then the next night it would be opposite. Then 3rd night we tried seperate beds, which one liked the other did not so she fussed. 4th night my husband took Ashlee the one that likes to cuddle back to the swing and l kept Rylee, well that was aweful it was 4 hours of her wiggling and grunting while Ashlee slept 8 hours (as well as my husband- l was a bit jealous). So tonight we r putting them back in the swings so we can get back to functioning. My problem is l don’t want to get in a postion where l cannot get them to sleep in their own beds.. So basically l would like help figuring out a time line..

    • I should add that l have another little girl, who just turned 2. She didn’t sleep throught night till she was 15 months old and now she does not take naps. She goes to bed at 730 sleeps till 830-9amwhich is great. With that l have very crazy days and cannot afford to not sleep, so l do whatever it take to make sure l have patience and strength to get through the day.

    • Michelle,
      Have you seen the post linked below?

      My only thought is that at 13 weeks they’re super young. And most twins come a tad early so I’m wondering if they’re even 13 weeks yet on an adjusted basis? So maybe they just aren’t ready yet, right?

      Your steps to successfully transition OUT of the swing are in the post below. Make sure you use the swing to teach them to fall asleep solo first. This will help a TON on many many levels.

      Wait a few weeks, use the swing to “put down awake”, try my suggestion for successful weaning. Sound like a plan?
      Alexis recently posted..Weaning Baby Off the SwingMy Profile

  20. I’m hoping for some much needed advice…we LOVE the swing. LOVE. IT. She is 3.5 months old and has been napping in it since she was about 7 weeks (prior to that she needed to be held…all…the…time). So the swing really saved me from losing my *#&!. However, she is now 3.5 months old and only naps in her moving swing. When we first started using it, it didn’t need to be moving. But then I got it swinging one day and now that’s what she needs. Fine, no problem. Except that we are traveling in three weeks. WHAT DO I DO? At night she sleeps in an inclined cradle and during the day she sleeps in a swing. The hotel will have NEITHER of these lovely sleep aids. Do I ship ours down to the hotel? Do I do a quick wean in the next couple of weeks? I’m also wondering if I should wean her from the swaddle – during the day we leave one arm out so that she can suck her thumb if she needs to. Strangely, at night, if her arm is out it just bothers her so…

    I guess I should add that while I love the swing because it generally allows her to sleep for at least 1.5 hours (and sometimes 3?!!!!), she almost always wakes up after 45 minutes or so. She can’t quite get herself back to sleep – which is where the swing comes in handy. However, it doesn’t always rock her back to sleep. So it’s not exactly a fail proof solution (obviously there isn’t one, I know). But I’m just adding that because maybe we just take her out of the swing and cradle, stick her in a crib and know that she’ll get used to it?

    I’m rambling. I hope that you can help untangle some of my questions.

    • She’s young – lots of babies are swing napping till 4-6 months so I’m not concerned, except for this trip. How long are you going to be at the hotel?

      Your options are to TRY to wean (see post below) and see how that goes. If naps start to suck (this is a common issue – your long swing napper turns into a short crib napper) you could consider car naps while at the hotel. Sure driving around a strange city multiple times a day but that would literally be your alternative.

      Or you wean off the swing and voila – she’s ready! It’s one of those things – you never know until you try, right?

      Worst case scenario – she’s NOT ready, and you fall back on car naps for the trip? Best case – she’s done and the trip is a breeze ;)
      Alexis recently posted..Weaning Baby Off the SwingMy Profile

  21. Oh, I also just want to say THANK YOU for this blog. Much needed tips and the perfect dose of humor. I thoroughly enjoy it.

  22. My 3.5 month old baby has finally accepted the swing as an alternative to being bounced while heldI on a yoga ball to sleep. Yay! It took a few weeks for her to accept it but at last my back can take a break once in a while. It doesn’t work 100% of the times but it works with increasing consistency.

    The interesting thing is that it seems to work only for naps. It hasn’t made a difference in decreasing night time feeding, and she can’t seem to resettle herself to sleep at night. There were a few weeks where her first sleep would last 6 – 8 hours (hooray!) but now it’s down to 3 – 4 hour stretches. She wants to nurse every time she wakes up at night even though I don’t think she needs to eat every 3 hour at night anymore and she doesn’t really fall asleep while nursing anymore….so it’s back to the yoga ball…the 12:30 am, 3 am and 5:30 am bouncing is very tiring and quite dangerous as I have lost balance and nearly fell a few times in my sleepy state. I wonder if she sleeps not as well at night as she used to because she’s napping better during the day? Do you think I need to keep the baby awake longer during the day? I go back to work in a few weeks and I am seriously concerned about getting enough sleep at night for me to function at work……

    I also have the same challenge as Lee. We are traveling for the holidays…I am not sure what to do as the swing isn’t portable…

    I know you have an article on how to wean off of the swing…do you have a guideline on when I should do this? I guess before she hits the weight limit for sure but I am concerned that the longer she sleeps in the swing the harder it will be to transition to the crib…Like Lee, I am also wondering if we try the crib now for night time since it doesn’t seem to make a difference and let her nap in the swing during the day. Would that be too confusing for the baby?

    • Sue,
      There are many possible reasons why she is sleeping so crappy at night, but I don’t believe it’s because she’s napping decently. My best guess is that you’re facing the 4 month sleep regression. There are other things it could be but given the timing, it’s the most likely. It’s also quite possible she is currently legitimately hungry at night (growth spurt). So while you’re tired and frustrated, some of this may just be normal. Sorry :(

      Are you using the varsity swing techniques? If she loves motion and you’re risking life and limb to bounce at 3:00 AM (I shudder just to think about that) I’m wondering if you can’t modify the swing (add MORE soothing) to remove the 3:00 AM bouncing from your to-do list. She may need to eat a lot but you have automated bouncing a la the swing. Add in MORE soothing and see if you can’t make that work for her.

      My advice on weaning off the swing is to teach her to fall asleep WITHOUT you (put her in the swing awake) before weaning off. Seriously this is a HUGE step and many people miss it only to run into other issues later. Also it helps the transition immensely.
      Alexis recently posted..The Ultimate Baby Swing Sleep Guide For Swing Hating BabiesMy Profile

  23. Thank you for compiling all this great information! We would like to try the swing strategy for helping our baby self-sooth himself to sleep (he’s almost 4 months). Three questions:
    1) He doesn’t fall asleep in the swing. He will only fall asleep if we bounce and shush him while running the hair dryer. With your approach, if he’s never slept in a moving swing before, do you start out by putting him in the swing while he’s asleep and then ease into putting him in the swing during the drowsy phase? Any tips for that?
    2) Why is front to back rocking the best? We have the Fisher Price My Little Snugabunny ( http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Cradle-Swing-Little-Snugabunny/dp/B0042D69WY/ref=dp_ob_title_baby ). It has the three position options. Is there a certain view he should have? (The crib, the wall, the same view as if he was in the crib, etc)
    3) What do you recommend dressing the baby in? We have sleep sacks (he’s out of the swaddle because he loves to suck on his hands) but they make the harness and sack very tight.

    Thank you!!

    Emily

    • Hey Emily,
      I feel that if you’re worried about what view the baby has from bed (window? famous Monet? is Picasso too alarming?) that you’re probably over thinking things. Take a step back. Breathe. Have faith in yourself. It’s OK.

      If he has NEVER slept in a swing then yeah – it’ll take a few days to get him used to sleeping IN a swing. But at 4 months your goal is to definitely start putting him in the swing awake as soon as is reasonable. Give him ~1 week to get used to it and then work on putting him down awake.

      It’s not that front to back rocking is the best per-se. It’s just that I’ve found most babies do best with that. But babies are like a grand experiment so feel free to play around with your swing – maybe your baby likes side to side?

      Sleep sacks don’t work so well in the swing straps. If you’re out of the swaddle then I would stick with jammies. If you’re worried about him being cold (I live in VT and it was -15 when we got up this morning) then double bag with the jammies. Often it works best to go up 1 size for the outside set of jammies. Or put socks on over the jammies. Or whatever alternative for warmth works bet for you.

      Good luck!
      Alexis recently posted..Great Holiday Books for KidsMy Profile

  24. Hi Alexis, thanx for your blog! I’ve been going through all the newborn section since I landed here (searching for ideas to get my 2mo crappy napper to sleep longer.) but i want to ask, what do you think about non motorised swings like these? http://www.naturessway.co.nz/product+support++faqs/Baby+Hammocks.html
    Friends loaned one to us, and we love it! Takes very little space, hangs from a doorframe. The spring makes it easy to bounce the baby until she falls asleep, and its working great for us. We have a small appartment and we’d rather not buy a big swing. But of course the hammock stops moving when you’re not there pushing it. But she’s been sleeping 5 hours straight in it since 2 weeks old ( at night and swaddled).

  25. Hi Alexis,

    I amlookingat purchasing as wing as my 9wkold has bad reflux and colic,and while most of the time she sleeps great at night, during the she won’t go down in her bassinet at all. She will only be held.my question is if I geta swing should I only use it for her daytime naps or should I use it for all. As I live in a small place the swing won’t be able to be in the same room she goes to bed in, will this cause a in terms of her getting older and needing consistency and routine by being in the same bed and room? Or can I just have two different beds and rooms?

    Cheers

    • Sorry for the spelling I am doing all this one handed while she sleeps on me haha.

    • Hey Gillian,

      If she’s sleeping great at night I would stick with the crib for night sleep and use the swing during the day. It’s totally OK to have her sleep in 1 place at night and another during the day. You can have a consistent wind-down for both night and day sleep so the routine (whatever it is – change diaper, read books, sing songs, etc.) can be the same.

      Ideally you can make wherever she sleeps (if the swing is in the living room or whatever) really dark and use white noise. Even if this means taping aluminum foil to the windows for a few months. Newborns don’t really care about darkness but in the next month or so you might see that it helps for her to sleep in a dark space.

      Good luck with everything!
      Alexis recently posted..Her Story, Your Story, A Study in Sleep Training Part IMy Profile

  26. Hi! I love your blog! I have a 3 month old who loves the swing (we have the fisher price papasan style that you love so much!!) and she has no problems sleeping in it. She only takes her naps in the swing and at the most that is 3 hrs at a time maybe twice a day. But here is my concern…

    Both my children were born with large heads. My son started having a flattening of his head after about 2-3 months that concerned me. So we took him to a specialist and they said he was fine because it wasn’t severe enough to cause any structural damage to the front of his face (everything was still symmetrical). So now I have my daughter who also is starting to get a flattening of her head from sleeping on her back and the weight of her head. I know that many people say that car seats and swings also play a significant role in shaping the head especially if you leave your baby in there for long periods of time. I try to turn her head from side to side and have even tried using a rolled up towel…but inevitably she just pushes harder and ends up straight on the back of her head.

    So what is your opinion on this and what advice if any do you have on possibly helping alleviate flattening the head?

    • Hey Kim,

      I think whatever your pediatrician says ;)

      Babies have to sleep on their backs and anything your baby sleeps on is going to be firm-ish. The Fisher Price swing is curved somewhat so I would guess that might help things not get flattened but if you’re concerned (clearly you are!) I would see what your pediatrician thinks the best approach to avoid flattening is. And if you think about it – I would be curious to know what they recommend!
      Alexis recently posted..Her Story, Your Story, A Study in Sleep Training Part IMy Profile

  27. My daughter 3.5 myths old has been using the fisher price precious planet bouncer and she is outgrowing it. Am planning to buy a swing, maybe the fisher price little lamb or the bright starts I genuine smart and portable swing. Will it be worth it and till how many months can the baby use it. She loves the bouncer and so I need an alternative :-)

    • Tenu,
      She might be napping in there till 6-7 months so is $100 worth 3 months of good naps? On a per-nap basis it’s a pretty good investment.

      I would lean towards Fisher Price little lamb – travel swings aren’t always the best (less motion) and I’ve seen some Bright Start reviews that suggest they turn off afte1 hour although I can’t CONFIRM that (please let me know if you find out for sure OK)?

      As a general rule I hate stuff that auto-turns off. Let ME worry about batter consumption, you just keep swinging till I turn you off. (Note: many swings have a timer function which is fine as long as not using the timer is also an option).
      Alexis recently posted..Her Story, Your Story, A Study in Sleep Training Part IMy Profile

  28. My own two cents about swings: we have both the Fisher Price Ocean Wonders swing (the big one, not the travel version) and a Graco swing – both second-hand. I think the Graco was at least third-hand. In our experience, the Fisher Price went through batteries MUCH faster, and finally gave up the ghost when our kiddo hit 21 lbs at 5 mos. It still swung, but only half-heartedly. He is now 6 mos. (still swinging for naps) and the Graco is going strong. Yay, Graco! The FP one was probably a nicer, cozier fit when he was a little baby, for what it’s worth. Not that he was ever a particularly little baby. :)

  29. Hi Alexis!

    Thought I’d use this space since my email might’ve got lost in your massive inbox :)

    I think my baby girl has been going through the 4 month regression-was waking up every hr, hr and a half and getting up everytime we put her down even on our bed so for a few nights she slept ON me! Sigh… I’m PRAYING its over coz I got some decent sleep last night even though she got up twice to feed (which I really don’t mind I mean, compared to every hr and half).
    Questions:
    1. She’s a tummy sleeper: Is it possible to get her to sleep on her own on her tummy or is the back the only way? The other day I let her CIO (for 10mins) on her tummy after she woke up after a 25min nap and she slept for 3hrs! The past few days I’ve been doing it for both naps and bedtime and she cries for about 10-15mins and sleeps for over an hour or two. I hate having to make her cry everytime coz sometimes she just naps for 30mins and I feel like its not worth it but are working on separating the association of sleep and breast. I cringe at the CIO method but is that where I’m headed?

    2. Do I really need to buy the sleep swing for her to learn to sleep on her own? We don’t need to rock her that much except when she’s CIO’d and it’s failed and her dad has to go pick her up and comfort her or if she wakes up after being put down.

    Before the regression she’d sleep a total of 12-14 (if we’re really lucky 15) hrs in total in a 24hr period (which is good right?)
    Daytime naps are not that big of a problem. They range from 30, 45, 1h-3hrs with the long one being usually after 3p or if on not a great day after 5p. She naps about every 2 hrs till bedtime 11/11.30p- I know, terrible! I’m working on gradually reducing it so going to bed now at 10p but it backfires at times and she wakes up in an hour or so SIGH…Bedtime hour sucks I know but I’ve tried earlier and she usually just acts like it’s a cat nap (20, 30, 40 mins tops). Tonight I put her down after 8p (CIO FAILED miserably and I had to give in and nurse to sleep) and she’s up after an hour. Deep sigh…

    Which leads to my last question:
    3. How the HELL do you get a baby to sleep through the night?
    Ok, last night she got up twice at 1am and at 4am to feed (which I don’t mind at all) and slept from 4 to 8.30! It was amazing!

    Sorry for the rambling! Love your blog!
    Please help! Thanks!

    • 1. I know some pediatricians who have Okd tummy sleep so if you and your pediatrician are OK with it, then that’s between you and your pediatrician. But I’m not going to recommend it. Listen MOST babies sleep better on their tummies. But I would rather be a miserable mess than suggest anything that increases the risk of SIDS. And the RISK of SIDS PEAKS at 4 months. So not trying to freak anybody out but that’s my “official” stance (insofar as I really have anything official to say).

      Also 10 minutes is not CIO!!! If she cries for 10 minutes and then falls asleep solo and occasionally naps for HOURS then I would stick with it. So sometimes you need to go in and nurse her to sleep – you’re still practicing. So what! Honestly 10 minutes is nothing. Some babies need to blow off a little steam whenever they fall asleep, it’s their way of telling you they aren’t keen to do this.

      But honestly – things sound like they’re going on a great path and I wouldn’t sweat 10 minutes at naptime.

      2. No the swing isn’t the ONLY way, it’s A way. Sounds like you’re making great progress without it so I would continue doing what you’re doing.

      3) To get baby to sleep through the night you start with a few glasses of whisky before you nurse. I KID!

      You separate nursing from bedtime, work on put down awake, and then read the post below. And probably wait a few months (she’s only 4 months right)? Hopefully you’re over the regression hump and 2X a night will be the norm for a few weeks then you can gently work on 1X. Hopefully by 8 months you’re a proud no-longer-getting-up-at-night parent :)
      Alexis recently posted..Why Night Weaning Isn’t WorkingMy Profile

  30. I found your blog after googling something along the lines of ‘husband like CIO and I don’t.’ We have a six week old son who goes down for naps and bed fairly well, but is usually nursed or walked/rocked to sleep. It’s no big deal now but I worry that we’re digging a hole that we’ll need CIO to climb out of later.

    I want to work on helping him to not need nursing or some other form of assistance with sleep (although I know at six weeks we can probably continue on the current course for a few more weeks without harm). I love the theory behind using the swing method for teaching babies to fall asleep while awake.

    After reading through some of your posts, we ordered a Fisher Price papasan swing two days ago and it arrived today. My son slept well in it for his last nap, but now I’m beginning to worry about putting him down in it to sleep for naps and bed everyday – isn’t there a strong chance of the baby developing a flat spot from sleeping in a swing? I’m wondering if this is something you or your readers have experienced (or deliberately done something to avoid) with using the swing method. Any pointers?

    I would love to give the swing method a solid try, but I’m worried that we’ll end up trading one problem (baby not able to sleep without nursing/rocking) for another (flat spot from sleeping in a swing). Please help!

    • Jay,
      You might also try Googling “how to convince spouse to do what I want” because that’s also a useful parenting trick to master ;)

      Listen at 6 weeks your WHOLE focus should be on feeding baby and soothing baby to sleep. It’s extremely rare for a 6 week old baby to fall asleep without considerable help. At this age you aren’t worried if all this great soothing stuff leads to cryitoutsville, you’re just worried about making it happen.

      All soothing baby stuff (with the exception of white noise) will need to be weaned off of. EVENTUALLY. But the swing isn’t really a big deal. And it’s FAR easier to gently wean off than nursing. And also generally a great way to help babies learn to fall asleep without any tears. If you’re worried about getting OUT of the swing check the post below for more details (success stories can be found in the comments too FYI)
      Alexis recently posted..Weaning Baby Off the SwingMy Profile

    • hey jay,

      i know u posted awhile ago so not sure u are still using the swing but…i was also paranoid about my daughter getting flat head…i bought the boppy noggin nest and would use that in there to ease my mind a bit!

      • Sara, great minds think alike – that is exactly what I did! We’ve been using the swing for several weeks now and I love it. And I don’t worry about his head shape since we have use the noggin best with it!

  31. Hey-o! First of all, I’m loving that I found this site – thank you!! I have a 4 week old that is currently starting her first stretch of sleep tonight on her swing. She naps in the swing daily and will often fall asleep on her own in it… Even with her crrrrrraaaaaazy big brothers running through the house. Just a quick question. We have the fisher price papasan and I see that above you suggest that front to back is generally better than side to side swinging. I’ve really only ever used the side to side. Can you elaborate on why front to back might be better? Thanks!

  32. Hi I have a 9 week old that needs lots of soothing to sleep. At night she sleeps in Rock n play and she does pretty well there in our room. She cannot be put down awake. Did the same for naps until a couple of weeks ago and transitioned to elevated crib. She sleeps for only 20-30 minutes at a time for naps in crib so we are now taking about 6 naps a day. By chance she fell asleep on her own in swing the other day. She didn’t sleep that much longer this way but since she fell asleep on her own I wondered if I should move her to nap in swing as an interim step to crib. I want her sleeping in crib for naps and night by 4 months as this in our room business is driving me crazy and I get no sleep. Plus I have a 15 month old who doesn’t understand why being quiet is important for babies naps. The problem I have is the fisher price swing I have the lowest setting is still ridiculously fast. I need a swing that actually has speeds I can use to wean her to lower speeds each week. All the reviews of fisher price swings say the same thing that the lowest settings are still fast. Complicating matters is I go back to work next week and this training will be done by my mother who right now only has a pack and play for naps. Do you know of any swings which have slow swings settings?

    • Cindy,

      i used a blanket to slow the swing down…put it under their bum and let it hang down onto the floor…depending on how much u let touch the floor u can kind of adjust the speed…its not scientific but it definitely works…i’m pretty sure the manual of the fisher price swing suggested to do this and thats where i got the idea from…but i dont think u need to worry about burning out the motor, ours worked fine doing that and still works..and she napped in it like that until about 8 months.

  33. Thank you thank you for suggesting swing sleeping! It has saved my husband an I! The first two weeks home from the hospital our baby girl slept “like a baby”- a term I will never use again because after these first two weeks there was no sleeping longer than an hour or so…
    Anyway, someone had given us an old graco swing,plug in, looked a little dingy…I had wrinkled my nose at it and placed her in it…at the time she was so tiny she looked like she’d slide right out,plus the thing was huge and ugly, taking over my livingroom, so I told hubby to get rid of it! Thankfully no second hand store would take it, so it sat in his truck….
    And then she started not sleeping…the only way she would sleep was on one of us…which meant neither of us got sleep if she was on us…we were tired and snapping at everyone and each other…
    And then I read your website and literally right after ran to the truck and started tugging the swing out and back into the house. I placed her in it and within minutes her eyes closed and she passed out. She slept for three straight hours right then and there!
    She is now 2 1/2 months and sleeps all night long in that swing, waking up twice to breast feed. She naps in it also.
    Now that beautiful beige beast of a swing sits proudly in our livingroom, our bedroom and wherever else we need it to be (yes we will be taking it to the cabin for our ski weekend)
    Fingers crossed the motor doesn’t go. And wondering what to do when we go on holiday-in about a month we fly somewhere warm and surely can’t check the swing with our luggage-can we?-cuz I will…
    Anyway, thank you, I owe my sanity to you!
    -Maia

    • “no second hand store would take it” – now there’s an image. Then you leave it in the truck for a few weeks. Then in desperation one night you go out in the rain, oust the family of opossum that had taken up residence in your “not even Goodwill will take it” swing, and plunk baby in it.

      OK I’m TOTALLY kidding, and totally making myself laugh in the process. I’m entirely sure your baby does not have a raging case of opossum lice. But it’s still a really funny image ;)

      So glad you got things turned around! Also in a month she’ll be 3.5 months and will probably be all done with it :P See post below for more on that. Enjoy your vacation!
      Alexis recently posted..Weaning Baby Off the SwingMy Profile

  34. Hi……I have learned so much from your website today. I feel like finding it is an answer to my prayers. I have a 10 week old baby who won’t sleel unless I’m holding him. I try to put him in his crib and he is up after 30 minutes. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even want tk fall asleep because I know I’ll be up again. He will sleep great in a swing….even when it’s not moving so I suspect some reflux issues. My question is on swing safety. I was told that a baby’s chin shouldn’t touch their chest when they are sleeping. His does when he sleeps in his swing. We have a Graco. Please advise on swing positioning or sleeping. He was giving me 3 hour stretches in his swing which is ok with me!!
    Thank you!!!

  35. My son is 4 months old and will only sleep in his Lovin’ Hug swing for naps. (An upgrade from only being able to sleep on us.) Yesterday I happened to be blow-drying my hair at the same time and our 70-year-old home’s electrical system blew a fuse, shutting off the swing and, of course, waking baby up. Not a huge issue, except IT WOULDN’T TURN BACK ON!! I tried plugging and unplugging multiple times and trying to run it on battery power, but no dice. After nearly an hour’s worth of (my) tearful rending of garments, convinced LO would never nap again until he was 30 years old, my husband discovered the Lovin’ Hug motor has a shutoff switch for electrical surges, so after letting it sit for an hour or so, he plugged it back in and it worked fine. So, if you’re as dependent on the swing as we are and it suddenly shuts off during a power surge/fuse blowup, don’t have a code-red meltdown like I did. It still works!!! Just wait it out.

  36. Hi,

    Do you recommend starting adventures in swing training at the late age of 12 weeks? Nothing is working to alter our existence of 32 minute naps (nights aren’t bad, co-sleeps with me).

    Also, what is “protocol” for how to handle a wake up at our beloved time limit of 32 minutes even in the swing? Pick up and soothe and put back in swing?

    Thanks ever so much!
    Caroline

    • If you HAVE one or can GET one inexpensively I would definitely try it for naps. It’s also a great way/age to teach her how to fall asleep without you.

      At 32 minutes I would give her 5 minutes before rushing in and see what happens. Swaddle, white noise, swing, it may take care of the 32 minute issue all on its own. Good luck!
      Alexis recently posted..5 Things I Learned from Doing Sleep ConsultsMy Profile

      • Thanks Alexis!

        But what if despite it all the babe is still crying after 10 minutes…repeatedly. Do you pick up, soothe and pit back in swing? Tracy Hogg meets Alexis style?

        C

        • You are welcome to TRY. I would give it no more than 15-20 minutes tops. If it’s not working (she’s frustrated, you’re frustrated) then accept the short nap, move on, try again some other time. Some babies can work back to sleep. Others have gotten enough to take the edge off and they’re ready to go about their business. Which generally involves poop.

          You can’t fight the poop. Good tip on babies right there.
          Alexis recently posted..5 Things I Learned from Doing Sleep ConsultsMy Profile

  37. Hi I just came upon ur website tonight, and had a question I was really hoping u could help me with. I have an 11 month old baby who is almost 30 lbs and loves to swing. here lately he started bouncing while swinging in his swing and I was very afraid he was going to tobble his swing down on himself (it does not have a five point harness system it only latches across the waist). So I opted to take his swing and rid of it and try to break him from the whole swinging to sleep thing (been swinging and rocking to sleep since a week old). That seemed to create quite the problem, my son has done nothing but cry and cry to the point hes making himself ill. He wont sleep, he wont eat, and all he does if fuss non stop. We have got him other seats to sit in, a bouncy seat, a walker, a playpen, lots of toys, but nothing is soothing him at all. I don’t know what to do because he was at the max weight limit of the infant swings which is why I choose to take it away from him. could u tell me is there any place at all that would sell a swing for a bigger child, he is tall for his age, hes tad over 3 ft at 11 months of age. Please help me so I can help my little boy I really don’t know what to do his father and I have looked at every baby swing we could find in the stores nothing is big enough, and it has to be one he can lay back in and nap, where as he is a very hyper baby he can literally go 24 hrs on about 3 hrs of sleep on a regular basis, when we used his swing he would at least take a nap during the day and now he wont sleep. My baby is so miserable I don’t know what to do, I belived taking the swing was for his own safety, his need to swing was outweighed by my need to keep him safe. Now he is becoming ill because I took it away. Im so unsure as to what to do at this point to find a swing that would be safe for him.

  38. Hi Alexis- I love your website! We have a 2 month old, and just started using the swing for naps (he’s had swaddling and white noise since birth). Nights in the crib are great right now (knock on wood!) A couple weeks ago he was getting some nice chunky naps in his crib, but after his 2-month shots naps became a nightmare, so we broke out the older swing given to us by relatives. Sometimes it works pretty well, but other times he will cry after 10 minutes or so, and the times he doesn’t cry it can take him 30 minutes to fall asleep in there. I feel kinda bad about leaving him in the pitch-dark nursery for that long if he’s not sleeping. Also, the 45-minute transition is now all but impossible. Watching him on the video monitor, he seems to have a hard time settling in because the plastic safety bar keeps him from pulling his feet up into “froggy” position. So I’m wondering, could that be contributing to both problems?

    I try to pay really close attention to his sleep cues, but those are tricky too since often he will start yawning almost immediately after eating (feeds take 20-25 min right after he wakes up).

    So my two questions are: At this age, would it be worth investing in a newer swing that might make him more comfortable? And should I keep trying to put him down when I see those yawns, even if it’s only been 30-40 minutes since he woke up? His “good” wake time (when he’s getting nice long naps, such as when we’re out and about in the car) seems to be about 90 minutes. Would the 45-minute naps really cut it down that much?

    • Oh man, your little one sounds just like mine! She is four months, but sometimes it takes her a long time to fall asleep in the swing. I feel guilty leaving her in it that long. Her sleepy cues are hard for me to catch sometimes as well… Like when she yawns 15 minutes after getting up. Just wanted to let you know you are not alone!

      • It is crazy how much they change sleeping habits at this age! Mine is now 4.5 months and more predictable. We did end up getting a newer swing that made him much more comfortable and helped him go to sleep faster. As did just getting older I think. I wonder if some of the sleepy behavior after waking was because he woke up hungry and wanted to just eat and go back to sleep? Who knows. Alexis is right about growing out of the swing around this age, though. I thought it would be a long transition process, but he started wiggling and fussing when going in the swing so one day I just put him in the crib and he fell asleep in less than 10. I never did figure out how to deal with the ‘leaving my baby alone’ guilt, and would sometimes just sit in there till he fell asleep even if it ended up taking longer that way. Hope it is helpful!

  39. My 2 month old baby loves sleeping in his swing, but I’m worried about him getting a flat head. Any suggestions?

    • Boppy makes a special pillow called the Noggin Nest that is specifically designed for preventing flat head. You can get it at Target for like $15 and use it in the swing, bouncy seat or stroller. I would love to hear Alexis’ thoughts on the whole flat head thing– maybe even a full post?

  40. Hi Alexis,
    I was wondering if it was possible for the swing to kind of lose effectiveness. I started using the swing with my 3.5 month old when her naps started getting short (30-45 min. I think she started going through the four month regression). The swing worked well for about two weeks, but it takes her forever to fall asleep ( like 40 min. But she isnt crying, and sometimes her nap is 2 hours) so she ends up with a long awake time. I really think she is tired when I start our nap routine (after being an hour and 20/25 min). I’ve tried increasing awake time, but that leads to fussiness. I realize now there may be more than one question there, but I appreciate the help.
    Danielle

    • Hey Danielle,

      Could be a few things:
      1) She’s older (most babies are inching out of the swing by ~4 months).
      2) Could be the 4 month sleep regression (very likely I think!). If so naps will be hard to come by regardless and likely would be worse not in the swing.
      3) Could be that she’s learning how to fall asleep. If you used to rock/nurse to sleep and the whole “I’m falling asleep on my own in the swing” thing is new to her, then I would stick with it. 40 minutes IS a long time but if this is a new thing then it may just be the transition.

      Hope that helps!
      Alexis Dubief recently posted..Is Your Crib as Safe as You Think?My Profile

      • Alexis,
        Thanks so much for a quick response! I will try sticking with the swing. I love your website and how informative it is. Also how it always makes me laugh (when I want to pull my hair out). Thanks!

        Danielle

  41. I used this instructable to add a switch and an old Nokia phone charger to our swing. We haven’t used any batteries yet!

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Convert-a-Baby-Swing-from-Batteries-to-AC-wall-P/

  42. How do you safely sleep a child in a swing while they are swaddled? My son loves to be swaddled and will sleep in his rock n play, but I can’t harness him in with the swaddle on. He startles himself awake without the swaddle.

  43. Hi there,

    We are trying like crazy to get our little one (4 weeks) to sleep in the Fisher Price Ocean Wonders swing and it is not working. We typically get him to sleep or almost asleep using swaddle, soother and slight head jiggle and then put him in swing but he typically wakes up after 20 minutes in swing!

    I am wondering if anyone has had success with this swing or should we buy the one that Alexis recommends?

    As I am sure all of you are, we are willing to dig deep in our pocketbooks to buy a second swing if it means we will all get a little more sleep around here!!!

    • Hmmm I think if it a cradle swing (which it looks like it is from google) the difference will be minimal. I would save your buck for other hopeful sleep aids!

      Are you doing dark room and loud (approx 50/60db) white noise?

      Is he waking up after 20 mins all day and all night?

      L

      • Hi Lisa,

        I am doing a semi dark room during the day but based on your note I will make it super dark (close blinds and curtains). We do have a white noise machine but I am not sure how many dbs it is. I will look into that.

        His 20 minutes naps tend to happen during the day and then in the early morning hours (3:00-6:00am). However I did just get him after an 1 hour and 15 minute nap in the swing this morning and I should not the blinds and curtains were closed!

        Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy life to write me back :)

        • Really hope the longer naps continue for you Bonnie. Sounds like you are doing all you can (and hopefully will get some help now with the reflux…Alexis has some great articles on that). We used the swing for naps and early mornings. It worked great for a while and then when motion wasn’t such a big deal for him we moved to the cot.

          I think the white noise is approx the level of a shower. Which is quite loud, but I watched a video I made the other day and not as insanely loud as I used to have it!

          Hope it goes well. If u get stuck come over to the Google group (link on right) as u will always get help there.

          Lisa

    • Hey Bonnie,
      Not all babies are motion junkies. So I’m thinking if you get super short naps in the Ocean Wonders swings, maybe it’s not “his thing.” Make sure he’s not awake too long and use loud white noise. But I wouldn’t invest $$$ in a new swing if you’re not seeing him respond to the one you have :(
      Alexis Dubief recently posted..I Dare You Not to SmileMy Profile

      • So what might be an alternative to the swing in this case? If your baby is not motion loving, what are your available tools?

        • You still have loud white noise, swaddling, and depending on age, a soother/pacifier. Some babies (particularly newborns) seem to do better in a smaller space such as a non-moving swing and/or rock and play type scenario. I’m not suggesting this is a MUST but if you have one handy it’s worth experimenting with.
          Alexis Dubief recently posted..I Dare You Not to SmileMy Profile

      • Hi Alexis,

        Thanks so much for taking the time to write me back.

        I think we will continue to try with the Ocean Wonders swing as well as the Rock and Play. We need to at least as he just got diagnosised yesterday with severe acid reflux due to him choking in his sleep and his throat has gone hoarse, and both the swing and Rock n Play have the incline.

        Once again, thanks for your time and advice. I simply love this website and wish I found it before with our first. You keep things informative but light. I find myself constantly laughing as I read your writing!

    • My son didn’t sleep well in it at first but he improved quickly. Since you already have the swing, you might set it aside for now but try again in a week or so.

  44. I have a Bright Starts up up & away model swing and it is great, swings side to side and front to back, music and different speeds ONLY DRAWBACK is that after 3 months one of the clasps on the strap broke and they do not sell replacement parts and the limited warranty is not great.

  45. I have the Bright Starts signature edition. Its a good swing with some extra features such as the vibration in the seat. The biggest draw back is it auto shuts off after 90 minutes and the white noise shuts off after 25 minutes. If you use it for sleeping this isn’t ideal.

  46. Do you have any opinion on the new Graco “glide” type swings vs. a regular large swing – for example the Graco 2-in-1 Glider Premiere Swing (that came out in 2013) VS. the Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny Cradle Swing. They both seem to be popular but people seem to complain about the motor in the “Snugabunny” more than the one for the Glider (which contradicts what your article says). I just wonder if the “Glider” is as effective in getting a baby to sleep as a swing?

  47. Thanks so much for all your insight! My baby slept 6.5 hours the other night and napped really well the next day. She’s 2 months tomorrow and I have an oversupply issue which means lots of spit up. The swing helps with that! Also the white noise helps too! I have been using a fan until I can find a cheap old radio. I do have one question about missing the sleepy cues…what do I do if I miss that golden moment to put her down? No one really touches on that. I’m still trying to learn the sleepy cues…anyway a little insight on missing that nap time moment?

    Oh and my graco swings motor went out and they are sending me one free! I wouldn’t have known that without your post! Now I just have to figure something out for the next two weeks!

    • Update:
      My friends gave me a couple of swings that they used when their baby was smallish. Anyway one is the fisher price cradle n swing and it doesnt swing hard enough…shes not a fan of it. plus you cant plug it in which we would go through batteries like crazy. The other is another graco swing and it works great. Im half tempted to have her order a replacement motor just in case it goes out too…lol.

      I have started figuring out her sleepy cues but im not sure of what to do about the short naps and feeding. I know shes not hungry when she wakes up from a 20 minute nap…do I feed her again and start the process all over or do I try and put her back to sleep?

      I would hate to put her back on the breast after only 20 minutes as I have this oversupply issue and I’m trying not to let her comfort nurse as often. She will be 9 weeks on wednesday and were starting to get to a point where she’s not spitting up alllllll the time. Any suggestions on the nap/feeding schedule? I know its supposed to be wake/feed/change/feed (offer dessert) play/nap… ????

  48. Hello!!! Wonderful tips!!! I am a second time mom in WAY different territory, as my first was a fabulous sleeper from the get go. My youngest is now 12 days old and only has issues falling asleep at night. He’s great all day and then gets pissed and almost unsootheable all night. We swaddle, white noise, motion, etc. we will get him to drift off, put him in the crib, then 15/30 mins later, he’s screaming again. All night!!! Do you think it would be a good idea to have him sleep in the swing only at night and leave his day naps in the crib/pack n play alone? Also… My fear is that he has his days and nights confused, so I have been keeping daytime naps fairly bright and normal home volume. Is that bad? Should he still be napping in his cavelike bedroom instead? Any insight you have is sooooo appreciated.

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