New parent guide: Do you need a baby swing?

Consumer Reports News: March 15, 2012 12:08 PM

At one point or another, you'll probably find yourself pacing the floor with your baby, rocking her in your arms to calm her or get her to sleep. A swing can get that job done while giving you a break. Accustomed to months in the womb, your newborn or young infant may like the gentle, rhythmic motion of a swing. The bonus for you is that it can be a safe place to put her down. It may also help calm a colicky newborn. Swings usually have a partially reclined setting for snoozing and sometimes another one for sitting up.

Full-sized baby swings are designed for indoor use, for babies from birth to 25 or 30 pounds, although a few newer models can be used for babies over 30 pounds. Many offer a variety of speeds, music, and toy bars.

Most swings on the market today are battery-operated, providing up to 200 hours of swinging time. They emit a low churning noise that can be soothing for some babies, but irritate others. Most swings move from front to back, though several also swing from side to side, cradle style. Using a harness is a must no matter which type of swing baby uses.

Learn more about baby swing types, features, and shopping and safety tips in our complete baby swing buying guide.

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