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Baby Swing - Everything You Need to Know

The easy part about having babies is dressing them up in cute dinosaur onesie outfits and other fun clothing. But as we all know, the hardest part of taking care of a baby is how constant their needs are. These tiny humans are completely dependent on us to meet the majority of their needs, and sometimes the result is the sacrifice of our own. When my son was a baby, he wanted to be held 24/7. If I wasn’t holding him, he wanted me laying with him to breastfeed. It was a beautiful experience. But also intense and exhausting. It felt hard to take a shower, to get food into my body, to do anything at all.

Eventually, I would hit a wall where I would just have to let him cry in his dad’s arms because I needed to eat something besides nuts and chocolate out of a bag and not be touched for a minute. So what is there to do in this scenario? Especially when you don’t have a partner to hold your baby, and you want to minimize their distress? 

Enter: the baby swing

The baby swing saved us. Not all of the time. But enough of the time that I could feel somewhat human again, where my cup was a little more full so that I could keep on giving. The options out there can be overwhelming. There are dozens upon dozens of choices and in all kinds of price ranges. Which ones do their job? That’s all I wanted to know. I didn’t want to fork out a ton of money for a baby swing, but I was pretty much willing to do anything to give me a little bit of freedom to take care of myself and breathe while also ensuring my baby was content and peaceful. 

What are the benefits of a baby swing?

Let me tell you, baby swings have so many different benefits. Some work for some people and others work for others. It’s all about figuring out what your baby needs, and then finding a swing to match those needs. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of using a baby swing.

It mimics the movement of being in the womb.

If you have a newborn, you probably know all too well that moment where you stop rocking or bouncing them because they’re asleep. You finally get to sit down. And suddenly, baby wakes up crying because you’ve stopped moving. When babies are in the womb, they are constantly feeling motion. This can feel different to what they are used to when suddenly everything is stationary. A baby swing is a great tool here because it provides the movement without the parents having to provide that movement and stimulation constantly. 

It gives you your body back for a moment.

It’s completely normal to feel touched out after hours and hours and hours of nursing and rocking and crying and changing. A baby swing allows you a moment to have your body back, and your hands back. It can provide a few moments of peace to sit down and eat a meal, to take a hot bath, or even to take a nap yourself! 

It stimulates the baby’s body.

A baby swing can provide stimulation for your baby, as well as putting them to sleep. Some babies don’t love a swing at first, and sometimes that’s because their bodies haven’t adjusted to the sensation. You can use the swing in smaller increments to help your baby adjust, as well as to wake up their vestibular “sensory” system in the body. 

It can help with sleep.

For everyone. Swings probably aren’t the best to use for every nap time and every sleep, as they will come to associate sleep with that motion and it’s not always possible. But using a swing to get in some much-needed rest for both parent and baby is completely acceptable and wonderful. 

Types of Baby Swings

I’m not sure if it was good luck or bad luck, but I had one kid who loved the swing, and one kid who hated it. I didn’t push it with the swing-hater because I had other tools like using a baby carrier that I wore on my body, and mostly just waiting for him to grow out of needing to be against my body every second of the day. 

With the one who enjoyed it, we tried a few different ones. The first one we purchased was one of the big ones that plug into the wall. My home was not huge, so that swing took up half of any room it was placed in. It worked pretty well, but it wasn’t worth the space it took up. The second swing we tried was a much smaller, portable swing that ran on batteries. It could fold up and tuck behind the furniture when we weren’t using it. For our lifestyle, this one suited us much better. 

There are plenty of varieties of baby swings out there to meet a baby’s (and parent’s) needs. Some swings are built just for the first few months of life. The downside of this swing style is that your little one will outgrow it quickly, but people swear by them so it really is a subjective experience. And then there is a wide range of options that might include toys connected to the swing, which could provide more stimulation and entertaining experiences for your babe as they grow with the swing. As baby naps less, the swing might be your opportunity to get some things done hands-free while trusting that your baby is safe and happy playing in a confined space for a little bit. 

Baby swings aren’t necessarily a must-have when bringing home a baby, but they are useful depending on what you want to use them for. The good thing about baby swing purchases is that it is relatively easy to resell them to new homes and recoup some of what you spent on them. It makes it much more risk-free as far as trying one out. The baby swing was a mom-sanity saver for one of my kids, and mostly useless for the other. It’s up to you to decide what is right for your family! 

Baby swings have many awesome uses, but what about when you're baby has hiccups? Be sure to check out other informative article on how to stop baby hiccups after feeding and many more fun blog articles here on Bitsy Bug Boutique.

Sam Milam, author

Sam Milam is a freelance writer, photographer, and yoga teacher. She is passionate about educating herself and others about attachment parenting, social justice, and living an authentic, empowered life. When she isn't working, she can be found exploring the Pacific Northwest with her two kids. Sam is a regular contributor for The Washington Post, The Week, POPSUGAR, Ravishly, and Grok Nation.

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