It’s impossible to deny the multitude of benefits that come with using a baby swing. You get a moment of peace, your baby is lulled to sleep, and all is good in the world, so long as you know how to use a baby swing safely.
Just like anything else, baby swings are only as safe as we make and use them. If you use something, including a swing, wrong, then they’re inherently unsafe, so understanding the proper way to use it is a responsibility parents need to take.
To help you understand how to do so safely, I put together some essential tips and suggestions for you. Let’s check them out.
7 Tips to Safely Use a Baby Swing
Make Sure The Angle is Appropriate
You can use a baby swing as soon as you bring your newborn home from the hospital if the swing reclines as far back as possible. Newborns have no head control, which can cause their head to slump over. Head slump can compromise airways, leading to problems breathing.
This is important:
If your baby is four months old and under, then you need to use the most reclined position that the swing offers. While in motion, be sure that the seat stays flat. If not, your baby could take a fall out of the seat.
Always Strap Your Baby In
Even if you have a newborn, strap him into the swing. All it takes is for your dog to bump the swing, an interested toddler, or you tripping and crashing into the swing for your baby to go flying out of the seat.
Straps are meant to keep your baby safe, so use them. Also, loose, unhooked straps pose a danger as well. Entanglement could lead to strangulation if the straps are loose. So, be sure to tighten them and keep your baby strapped into position.
Don’t Let Your Baby Sleep in a Swing
If you put me into a swing, I would probably fall asleep, so your baby is going to do so as well. The rocking back and forth motion is meant to calm your child, but the elevated position isn’t the safest place for your child to sleep.
There is no way to deny the fact that:
Sleeping in a baby swing increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). When a baby dies while sleeping in a swing, it’s typically due to positional asphyxiation. You might not notice, but if your baby’s chin is touching his chest, then he is at risk. This position cuts off or reduces the airway, essentially leading to suffocation.
So, when your baby falls asleep in the swing, remove your child and place him in his crib on his back. You also could take the time to let your infant snooze in your arms, so long as you are awake as well.
Limit Your Baby’s Time in a Swing
You got things to do, right? Absolutely, but you still need to limit how long your baby is in the swing. The recommendation is that your child stays in the swing for no more than 30 minutes at a time.
Why is that the recommendation?
Sitting in a swing can cause the back of their head to flatten, which is called plagiocephaly. That’s why you need to do tummy time with your child throughout the day as well.
Also, if you keep your baby in a swing, bouncer, or other baby equipment, it limits the time that they have to work on skills. When your baby lays on the floor, all of the wiggling and kicking are helping your child develop much-needed skills. It’s building strength and coordination.
This is a problem called container baby syndrome, and it can lead to a multitude of problems. So, be sure to limit his time in the swing.
Monitor Your Baby in the Swing
A baby swing does give your arms a break, but that doesn’t mean you should stop paying attention to your baby.
Yes, you probably know a friend who let her child sleep all night in a swing, obviously not paying attention. That doesn’t mean it’s a safe thing to do with your child.
I always kept an eye on my baby. If you’re cleaning, take a peek at your baby every few minutes. If you’re eating, eat near your baby. You might be tempted to take a shower while your baby is in the swing, but that’s not a safe idea. A better choice would be to let your baby lay in a pack and play or crib while showering.
Don’t Exceed the Weight Limit
Never exceed the weight limit of the swing, even by one pound. I recommend that you stop using the swing a few pounds before you exceed the weight limit.
Manufacturers only test their products up to the specified weight limit. So, not only could you damage the motor of the swing, making it useless for future kids, but you also risk the swing collapsing or working improperly.
Stop Using When It’s Time
You have to use your best judgment to determine when it’s time to stop using a baby swing. There is no hard real about when to stop, so you have to look at your child’s weight, size, and behavior.
As mentioned above, you should never exceed the weight limit, so that’s a clear sign it’s time to put the swing away. Another sign is when your child tries to climb out of the swing. That’s dangerous, and your child will continue to try to get out repeatedly.
When your child learns how to sit up independently, that’s also a sign that it’s time to stop using the swing.
Swings Are Still a Good Thing
Even with these safety recommendations, baby swings are a great piece of baby equipment that you need to have. Your baby will love spending time in the swing, and you can have time to drink your hot coffee without a child in arms.
Just remember how to safely use a baby swing, and never let your baby sleep in their swing. Keep a close eye on your baby, and things will be okay.
Hey, this is Linda. My biggest accomplishment in life is being a mother of four children. Their current ages range from almost ten years old down to 20 months old.
I’m passionate about writing parenting articles because I understand so well all of the problems and trials you face as a parent. From breastfeeding woes to budgeting problems and behavior problems, along with everything in between, chances are I’ve faced it over the last ten years. Read more about Linda here.