What Are The Best Baby Swings for 2016?

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Best Full Size Swing

Best Baby Swings for 2016

Fisher-Price Sungapuppy Cradle 'n Swing

  • Front to back or side to side swing
  • 36" x 39" / 91 x 99cm footprint
  • 25 lbs / 11.3 kg weight rating

Best Swing for Big Babies

Best Baby Swings for 2016

Graco Glider LX Gliding Swing

  • Front to back gliding motion
  • 30.75" x 24.5" / 78 x 62cm footprint
  • 30 lbs / 13.6 kg weight rating

Best Portable Swing

Best Baby Swings for 2016

Fisher-Price Deluxe Take Along Swing

  • Front to back swing - push to start
  • 21.2" x 20.1" / 53.8 x 51cm footprint
  • 25 lbs / 11.3 kg weight rating

Why You Need a Baby Swing

Had one of those days where you couldn’t even find 5 minutes for a shower because your little one won’t settle?

With our first it was a struggle to get things done if my spouse wasn’t home as our daughter only wanted to be cuddled and rocked and being first time parents we really didn’t know what we were doing! We didn’t know for quite some time that a motorized baby swing was an option – but what a welcome relief!

For some babies, laying flat after feeding doesn’t end well, so a swing can still have them reclined, but with enough head elevation that there’s a better chance of keeping everything down. Even for just a fidgety bub, a few minutes in a swing with some white noise and a mobile to look at can do wonders (for both of you).

While our own children are now past this stage, we’ll soon have a new niece which has reignited the question of what’s the best baby swing for 2016? The number of options available are huge and to a new parent this can be daunting.

Jump to:

Best Full Size – Fisher-Price Snugapuppy Cradle ‘n Swing

fisher price snugapuppy

Specifications

Fisher-Price Snugapuppy Cradle 'n Swing
MotionFront to back or side to side swing
PowerIncludes AC adapter for batteryfree operation or 4 x D alkaline batteries
Footprint36" x 39" / 91 x 99cm
Safety5-point harness
Weight21.4 lbs / 9.7kg
Baby weightup to 25 lbs / 11.3 kg
Speeds6, with smart swing technology
Sounds16 songs, soothing nature sounds
MobileYes (active)
VibrateNo
Seat recline2 positions
JPMA certifiedYes
Product ManualDownload

Speed and Motion

This is the current model from Fisher Price which features 6 speeds and Smart Swing technology that varies the swinging power based on your baby’s weight. This ensures the swing speed doesn’t slow down as your baby gets heavier. Unlike most which have a single swing motion, the Fisher Price Snugapuppy Cradle ‘n Swing can be set up to swing front to back, or side to side by turning the cradle assembly. In fact it can rotate a full 180 degrees to face left or all the way around to face right which is great to keep baby’s face away from lights without turning the whole frame.

snugapuppy side swingsnugapuppy front swing

Comfort, Safety and Size

Newborns will be very comfortable with the body insert and head support – many comment on how soft and cushioned it is. The deep seat cradles the baby nicely to aid with calming. The swing is rated to hold babies up to 25 lbs / 11.3kg which is common for most. This is also a great swing for colic – just put the cradle in the more upright position and set it to swing side to side to keep your baby’s head elevated.

Safety is of paramount importance for your baby which is covered in a number of ways. Fisher Price infant swings are certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association which adds to peace of mind as do the 5 point harness and wide frame footing. The downside of the large footprint (36″ x 39″ / 91 x 99cm) is simply the space it takes up in a room, however the legs do fold in to make storage a little less of a hassle.

Setup and Power

Setup of the swing is easy and well documented – something Fisher Price have down to a tee (see the product manual here). It has the choice of power via AC adapter (included) or 4 x D batteries, which is really only suitable as a short term solution if you need to use the swing away from a wall outlet.

Entertainment

Entertainment in a swing has it’s pros and cons depending on if you need to distract or settle your little one. For our children white noise or waves were better for soothing which we played through an MP3 player and thankfully the water sound is one of the options on this swing. Note that the sound will turn off after about 20 minutes though. The mobile (which is active) would be good for daytime amusement and something babies always seem mesmerized with is a mirror, and that’s exactly what’s in the middle of the mobile as you can see here.

snugapuppy mirror

Other Considerations

It needs to be noted that when reviewing all brands and models of baby swings, some motor faults were cited in customer reviews and is a small but universal complaint. Some small percentage of motors will fail, however with a 1 year warranty the motor would be replaced should there be any issues.

As noted in the buying guide, extended sleeping in swings isn’t recommended and this swing will auto stop after 4 hours of continuous use.

Conclusion

  • Most options of all
  • Choice of back to front or side to side swing
  • Reclining cradle
  • Active mobile with mirror
  • Very comfortable with high quality materials
  • AC or battery powered
  • Easy assembly and operation, plus machine washable cover
  • Current #1 Best Seller at Amazon (Sept 2016)

Fisher Price Snugabunny Cradle ‘n Swing

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Best Swing For Big Babies – Graco Glider LX Gliding Swing

Specifications

Graco Glider LX Gliding Swing
MotionFront to back gliding
PowerIncludes AC adapter for or 4 x D batteries for gliding + 1 x D battery for vibration
Footprint30.75" x 24.5" / 78 x 62cm
Safety5-point harness
Weight17.9 lbs / 8.1kg
Baby weightup to 30 lbs / 13.6 kg
Speeds6
Sounds15 songs and nature sounds
MobileToy bar
VibrateYes
Seat recline2 positions
JPMA certifiedYes
Product manualDownload

Speed and Motion

As the name implies, the Graco Glider LX has a gliding motion the same as a nursery glider chair, which is quite different to that of a traditional swing. The motion is a straight forwards-and-back glide which you can see in the Graco video below. Same as the larger swings it has 6 speeds with the controls on the right leg when looking at baby, and also features 2 vibration settings which are selected on the front edge of the cradle.

Comfort, Safety and Size

This is a fantastic swing for big babies as it supports up to 30 lbs / 13.6kg whereas most swings have a limit of 25 lbs. The cradle has 2 reclining positions, is deep and well padded (machine washable) and includes an infant insert with head support.  Safety features include a 5 point harness and a stable frame and footing with JMPA certification for all Graco swings.

One of the benefits of the glider design is a smaller overall footprint (30.75″ x 24.5″ / 78 x 62cm) compared to a full size swing – Graco claims this is up to 40% smaller so is a perfect swing for smaller spaces. We should note that in our search for mid size swings, most others of this footprint were portables so not really a fair comparison.

Setup and Power

Power is either via AC adapter (included) or 4 x D batteries for the gliding motion. The vibration unit is powered by a single D battery and is best installed at the time the swing is set up as it’s a bit awkward to reach later on.

Setup is a relatively straight forward, however care needs to be taken due to similar looking parts which are actually slightly different. Some owners have noted that if the cradle frame and stand frame are out of alignment it may only move a small amount, or not at all. This issue occurs if the frame for the cradle is rubbing on the plastic sides. This only seems to be a problem on models which have screws through the base to the uprights, whereas some models have uprights which click into the base. If you experience this issue the screws from the base into the uprights just need to be loosened a touch to relax the uprights, so easily resolved.

The product manual (available here) is not as clear as Fisher Price manuals, so here’s an assembly video of a very similar Graco Glider swing.

Entertainment

For entertainment the Graco Glider features 10 songs and 5 nature sounds plus a toy bar with 2 hanging toys.

Other Considerations

Just as with practically all other baby swings, the Graco Glider LX suffers its share of motor issues. Again, if this occurs it’s simply a warranty replacement for the motor unit.

While many babies are well soothed by the singular gliding action, there are no other options unlike the above swings. If your baby prefers a traditional swing action, then the Fisher Price Snugapuppy above might be a better option if space permits.

Unlike the Sungabunny swing, the Graco Glider does not have an auto-off function – it will keep going (motion and sounds) until it’s turned off. It also has a timer which can set be set to 10, 20 or 30 minutes.

The vibration is a nice feature, but as you can see in the above video accessing the unit to replace batteries is a bit cumbersome.

Conclusion

  • Back & forth gliding motion like a nursery chair
  • Small footprint for a fully featured swing
  • High weight limit (up to 30 lbs)
  • Comfortable with high quality materials
  • Vibration feature
  • AC or battery powered

Graco Glider LX Gliding Swing

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Best Portable – Fisher-Price Deluxe Take Along Swing and Seat

Specifications

Fisher-Price Deluxe Take Along Swing and Seat
MotionFront to back swing - push to start, or manual swing
Power4 x C batteries
Footprint21.2" x 20.1" / 53.8 x 51cm
Safety5-point harness, head support
Weight7 lbs / 3.2kg
Baby weightup to 25 lbs / 11.3 kg
Speeds6, with smart swing technology
Sounds10 tunes & soothing nature sounds
MobileOverheard soft birds
VibrateYes
Seat reclineFixed position
JPMA certifiedYes
Product manualDownload

Speed and Motion

Even though this is a portable baby swing it features Fisher Price’s Smart Swing technology to sense your baby’s weight and increase power as your little one gets heavier – this ensures that the swing speed is the same for a newborn right through to 25 lbs / 11.3kg. 6 speeds are selectable from the control panel on the side, as well as a vibration feature which can also be used when the swing is stationary. Note that a small push is required to start the swing which is common with portable swings as it reduces power requirements.

Comfort and Safety

The posture is well reclined to reduce the chance of slumpover for newborns, and the non-slip feet, locking base and 5 point harness will keep your baby secure. The soft infant insert and seat pad are both machine washable.

Setup and Power

Setup is very easy with clear and concise directions in the product manual (available here) – a common theme for Fisher Price products. The portability and ease of use of this swing are highlighted with a few well thought out features:

  • Lightweight – only 7 lbs / 3.2kg
  • Overhead handle makes it very easy to carry, either folded up or when ready to use
  • Doubles as a fixed seat by locking the seat to the base
  • Can fit into a regular suitcase when fully disassembled

Being a portable swing, batteries are the only power source – requiring 4 x C size batteries.

Other Considerations

Giving the seat a push to start is actually a good idea to reduce the power required and wear & tear on the gear mechanism. It’s much less effort to keep a swing going which is already moving so hopefully this will extend the life of the motor.

The music and sounds will turn off after about 20 minutes but can be restarted by pressing the button.

Conclusion

  • High quality materials for a portable swing
  • Secure and stable
  • Easy to fold & carry
  • Perfect for infants with a reclined seat & soft insert
  • 25 lbs weight limit ensures it can be used for larger babies as well

Fisher Price Deluxe Take Along Swing & Seat

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One comment

  1. So many choices these days. A swing was a lifesaver when our kids were younger.

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