When To Stop Using Baby Swing
The comforting baby swing can provide a helping hand during the busy months of early parenthood. But when is it time to stop using the baby swing?
The use of baby swings has grown rapidly in recent years as more parents are looking for ways to soothe and entertain their babies.
While there are benefits associated with the use of these products, such as providing comfort and soothing movement, there also comes a point at which its usage should be reduced or stopped altogether.
Parents should be aware of the potential risks that come from extended use, including decreased motor development and flat head syndrome (positional plagiocephaly).
In order to gain insight into when it may be time to put away the baby swing and move onto other activities for your infant, this article will provide information about key indicators that suggest a change is necessary.
Additionally, ideas on alternative forms of entertainment that could replace the baby swing will be discussed along with tips on making transitions between activities easier for both parent and child alike.
From developmental milestones to safety concerns, get ready to learn everything there is to know about when to stop using a baby swing.
What Is A Baby Swing?
Baby swings are quite different from the kind of swings we’re used to seeing at the play ground! A baby swing is traditionally a reclined and padded seat that swings back and forth in a frame.
Of course, like most things baby, the swing has undergone a smart revolution in recent years. Many swings now vibrate, play music, and can cycle through different kinds of movements.
Some swings can even respond to cries and fuss, to help soothe your little one before a tantrum starts!
Baby swings are incredibly useful for busy parents, as they provide a safe space for your baby to rest when you have things to do.
When it’s time to move on from the baby swing, it can be hard to say goodbye! But, eventually, all babies outgrow their swing.
You might also like our guide on a bouncer vs swing!
Benefits Of A Baby Swing
The use of a baby swing offers several benefits for both parents and babies including:
- Soothes and calms the baby
- Provides gentle rocking motion
- Helps the baby sleep
- Frees up the parent’s hands
- Can be used as a stationary seat
- Portable and easy to move.
The repetitive swinging movement helps soothe and relax babies who are fussy, overstimulated or anxious due to colic or other reasons. If you’re looking for a swing to help sooth your colicky baby, then check out our handy guide on the best baby swing for colic!
The swinging, calming effect has been proven beneficial in reducing stress levels as well as helping to promote better sleep patterns among infants.
Additionally, the steady rocking motion can help develop motor skills while providing sensory stimulation—an important component of early childhood development.
Furthermore, infant swings provide convenience for busy parents when they need to attend to work around the house without having their hands full looking after the baby at all times.
Baby swings offer some respite from incessant crying episodes and serve as a great tool for distraction during diaper changes, feeding time and other tasks related to child care.
The advantages offered by baby swings make it an ideal choice for many families; however, as with any product intended for children’s use, safety should always come first.
Therefore, it is essential that parents familiarize themselves with the manufacturer’s instructions on how best to maximize these benefits while using it safely according to age recommendations before making use of one.
When Can You Start Using A Baby Swing?
Most baby swings are suitable for use from birth until the baby reaches the maximum weight limit, typically around 20-30 pounds. However, it’s recommended to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for the specific model you have or plan to purchase.
A baby swing for a newborn must have ample support at the head and neck, and should be used in the most reclined position. You should keep the swing in the reclined position until your baby is at least four months old.
Some baby swings will require an insert before they’re safe to use for a newborn. These inserts offer extra padding in key areas, to support developing bodies.
If your baby was born premature, speak with your pediatrician before placing them in a swing. Most baby swings will come with a lower weight limit, and this can be as little as 5 lbs.
However, these weight limits are only a guideline, and they can’t advise on the safety of a preemie using a swing!
When Should You Stop Using A Baby Swing?
Baby swings won’t provide an age limit for when to stop using the swing. Instead, they’ll give a weight limit.
The weight limit on a baby swing typically ranges from 20-30 pounds, which babies reach at around 9 months old. However, it can vary depending on the specific model and brand. It is important to check the manufacturer’s guidelines for the weight limit of the swing you have or plan to purchase.
As babies grow larger and become more active, it is also necessary to consider discontinuing use of the baby swing before they even reach the limits or boundaries of the baby swing.
Generally speaking, once babies can sit up with support while still in the swing, it may be time to phase out use of the device. Additionally, if a baby has already begun attempting to climb out on their own, that could also be another sign that they should no longer remain in the swing.
As your little one starts to move about on their own, you should start limiting time in the swing, so your baby is encouraged to explore, and put those new skills to use.
Finally, many babies simply grow out of liking the swing. What once bought them so much joy now causes nothing but (mild) distress!
You’ll notice if your baby has grown bored with the swing because they’ll fuss when you try and put them in it.
And if you do get them safely secured, it won’t be long before they start grabbing at things that catch their eye, and trying to get out of the seat.
Alternatives To A Baby Swing
If you’re child has out grown their baby swing, but you are still looking for a suitable way to calm them or keep them occupied then you may want to consider one of these options:
A baby carrier is a device that allows a parent to carry their baby close to their body, freeing up their hands.
There are several types of baby carriers, including front carriers, back carriers, and sling carriers which can be used from newborns all the way through to toddlers and beyond. Baby carriers provide the baby with comfort and security while allowing the parent to be hands-free.
You can learn more in our guides:
- Best Baby Carrier For Newborn
- Best Carriers For Toddlers
- Best Baby Carriers For Bad Backs
- Best Plus Size Baby Carriers
- Best Baby Carriers For Petite Moms
Nursery Glider / Rocking Chair
A nursery glider or rocking chair is a chair that glider or rocks back and forth, providing a gentle motion to soothe the baby.
Nursery gliders are often upholstered in soft, comfortable fabrics and can come with additional features such as built-in pockets, a reclining feature, or a footrest. They are a popular choice for parents looking for a comfortable and convenient seating option in the baby’s room.
A baby wrap is a long piece of cloth that is wrapped around the baby and the parent to hold the baby close. You can read more on how it differs to a baby carrier in our baby carriers vs wraps guide.
Playard / Pack N Play
A Pack ‘n Play (also known as a playard) is a portable, collapsible playpen for babies. It provides a safe and enclosed area for the baby to play or sleep in while allowing parents to keep an eye on their child. Pack ‘n Plays often come with additional features such as a bassinet, changing table, or mobile to entertain the baby. They are convenient for travel, as they can be easily packed up and taken on the go.
A baby walker is a device that allows a baby who is not yet able to walk on their own to move around freely. It consists of a seat suspended in a frame with wheels, allowing the baby to move and explore their surroundings. Baby walkers can also have additional features such as toys, trays, and adjustable heights.
You may want to check out our following guides on baby walkers:
- Best Baby Walkers
- Best Baby Walker For Small Spaces
- Best Baby Walker For Carpet
- Best Baby Walkers For Tall Babies
How To Transition Out Of The Baby Swing
The best way to stop using a baby swing is to gradually reduce the length of time your baby spends sitting in it.
If they’re a big fan of the baby swing, you might find it hard to soothe or relax them in other settings.
But with a little patience, you can get your baby out of the swing, and into something more suitable for their growing weight!
It might help to start the transition process early, especially if you know your baby loves spending time in the swing. This will make it easier when you eventually have to stop using the swing altogether.
If you normally use the baby swing when you need your hands free for essential chores, it can be frustrating to say goodbye to the convenience. Look for other pieces of play equipment that can fill the same need.
A pack and play is a good choice for younger infants, as it gives them space to stretch out without unlimited freedom.
Baby swings often come with more than just a swinging bed to keep the baby amused. In fact, some of them are packed with gadgets!
Just because the baby has grown out of the swing, it doesn’t mean you have to leave all the features behind.
Detach any toys from the frame, and hand them to your baby when they’d normally be playing in the swing. If the swing plays lights and music, you can still add these to play time!
Hopefully, you’ll see results quickly. At this stage, your little explorer should be mastering the art of crawling. As they start to move more, the baby swing should start to get a lot less interesting.
How Much Time Can A Baby Spend In A Swing Per Day?
It’s recommended that your baby spends no more than 30 minutes in the swing at any one time, and no more than one hour in the swing each day.
Too long in the swing can cause babies to develop flat spots on the back of their head. If you use a baby swing, make sure to dedicate parts of the day to cuddling and tummy time.
Babies should never sleep in the swing. The padded and reclined swing doesn’t offer the firm support they need.
If your little one does start dosing in the swing, gently lift them out, and transfer them to a firm, flat sleeping surface.
Final Thoughts On When To Stop Using Infant Swing
The use of a baby swing can be an invaluable tool when it comes to calming and soothing babies. When used correctly, they provide comfort and relaxation for both the parent and child. However, there are certain guidelines that should be followed in order to ensure the safety of your little one.
Parents must take precautionary measures such as properly securing the straps and regularly inspecting the swing for any signs of wear or tear to guarantee their infant’s safety. Additionally, age restrictions exist on many swings so it is important to consider these before making a decision about which type will work best for you and your family.
Knowing when to stop using a baby swing is essential in ensuring your child’s well-being.
We hope you’ve found this guide helpful in learning the limits of the baby swing!
Allison Banfield an experience mom of two, wife, writer, editor, and passionate parenting advocate! Backed with a Masters Degree in Public Health, a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion, a long career in health and safety, and 10 years of hands on experience using, researching, and testing baby products, Allison loves to use her parenting experience to support and encourage other parents.