Some babies can be difficult to put to sleep, especially if they are colicky. A baby swing helps with the task of rocking a baby to sleep. Some are to be used manually and others have built-in motors that can rock a child on their own. Even coming with different settings at times, depending on what the baby responds well to the speed can be changed.
Baby swings can be helpful to put a baby to sleep. Especially colicky babies who are more easily agitated, reducing the caregiver's work by a substantial margin. With manual ones or motorized ones, they imitate the rocking motion of the womb something a baby is used to; making the baby feel more at ease. Baby swings come with trays, toy bars, lights and even music. If it does have a tray make sure it is easy to remove so you can slip your baby in and out of the seat conveniently. If the baby responds well to the swinging it can provide a caregiver with some much-needed silence and hands-free time, especially in the newborn phase that is very difficult. A swing cannot substitute for the comfort of human contact, experts recommend roughly an hour a day in the swing. The baby also needs to develop motor skills such as crawling, pulling up and sitting, spending too much time in a swing would slow down this process. A baby needs time on the floor to work all this development out. The importance of holding and interacting cannot be emphasised enough as it helps the baby mature emotionally as well.
A baby swing should be sturdy and well built, wide at the base for better balance and stability. Babies lean to one side at times and if it isn't stable it could trip over. Swings that recline far back work well for newborns, providing support for their still wobbly neck. Given a baby will spend a decent amount of time in one it has to be comfortable and well padded. Most rock head to toe, but some also rock sideways and newer ones also add in a bouncy kind of motion to it. Circular movement is also a more recent feature. There may be multiple speeds and this is a good feature to have as each baby has a different preference. In case one is travelling or visiting grandparents/relatives it is convenient to have something that is easy to fold up. Straps are a must, 3-point or 5-point to keep the baby secure and contained. Weight limits are usually around 30 pounds, but most manufacturers suggest you stop using a swing by the time a baby is between 15 to 25 pounds depending on the swing. If you feel the baby is able to climb out of one before that weight limit, that is also reason to stop using it.
A baby should always be monitored, even if you are moving about the baby should be easily visible and audible as well. Make sure the swing is properly assembled so there are lesser chances of accidents. The harness should always be used when a baby is placed inside a baby swing, if the baby moves about too much she or he could fall out and get injured. In 2012 new standards were issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to prevent injuries, they recommend the 5-point harness. Any toys that are around the baby should be securely connected so loose parts are not a cause for choking. Padding the swing with loose pillows or blankets is not suggested as they could be a risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Look for the seal of the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association on the packaging, the seal means the baby swing conforms to independent safety standards.
Available in many designs and at just as many different price points. The price depends on the brand, quality and features.