How to use your baby swing properly | Parents Safety Guide & Tips

Parents may feel overwhelmed by all the equipment that babies might use. So I’ve put together this straightforward guide to using a baby swing properly. 

You’ll find all your questions about how to safely use a baby swing here! 

Safety tips for using a baby swing

  • Always supervise your child while they are in the baby swing 
  • Recline the swing to keep your baby’s head from slumping 
  • Fasten your child using the shoulder straps
  • Do not let your child sleep in the swing 
  • Check the manual to find out when your child is too big for the swing 
  • Do not put the swing on an elevated surface like a table
  • Do not place blankets or toys in the swing
  • Stay up to date on recalls for your swing

What age can a baby go in a baby swing? 

A baby can go in a baby swing at any age as long as they meet the weight requirements. This means most babies can go in a baby swing between the day they come home from the hospital until they can climb out of the swing.

Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics says

Infants under age 4 months should be seated in the most reclined swing position to avoid slumping over and suffocating.

Source: AAP website

How long can a newborn be in a baby swing? 

Using a swing for long periods can potentially form a flat spot on the baby’s head.

Parents also should limit the amount of waking time that their baby spends in a seat such as an infant swing, bouncy seat, car seat or carrier to prevent the baby’s still-soft head from becoming flat as a result of being in the same position for too long.

Source: AAP website

Some doctors recommend using the swing for no more than 30 minutes at a time [Source].

Can babies sleep in a swing?

If a baby falls asleep in a swing, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends you move them to a sleep surface such as a crib or bassinet. 

If the baby falls asleep in a swing, car seat or bouncy seat, the AAP advises caregivers to move the child to a firm sleep surface as soon as possible.

Source: AAP website

If you choose to let your baby sleep in a swing:

Graco DuoGlider, Rascal
The Graco Duoglider fully reclines for safe sleep. Click the image to see more details on Amazon

  • Consider a swing that fully reclines like the Graco DuoGlider for safe sleep
  • Be certain that they are strapped in with lap and shoulder straps
  • Recline the seat as much as possible for children under 4 months. 
  • Remain near your baby while they sleep
  • If your baby is unable to support their head and it slumps to the side, prop it up. Some swings come with head supports. Or you can use a rolled towel.

Related post: Are baby swings safe?

What age do you stop using a baby swing? 

Stop using a baby swing when your child exceeds the weight limit or when they are old enough to start trying to climb out of the swing, whichever comes first. 

Babies may start to climb out of their swings by about age 4-6 months. By this time, they may be able to sit up and move around too much. Or they might lunge for the toys on the swing. 

The typical baby swing can hold babies up to 20 pounds. The average child reaches 20 pounds by about 15 months.

However, it’s important to check your baby’s weight as well as the instruction manual for your particular swing. A child may be too tall for a swing before they are too heavy!

Related post: Have a tall or heavy baby? Find my top recommendations for swings for big babies here

What is the weight limit for a baby swing? 

Many baby swings have a maximum weight of 20 pounds. Some have a max weight of 25 pounds. And a handful go up to 30 pounds. 

Check the manual for your swing or reference the table below.

Where to put a baby swing

Choose a place where you’ll be able to see your baby while they swing. 

It’s important to make sure your baby’s head doesn’t slump forward and potentially disrupt their breathing. And you’ll be close by if your baby needs you. 

Some swings, like the Fisher Price Small Spaces Swing (click to view on Amazon) are very portable and easy to move around your home. Find more small and easy to move swings here!

Fisher-Price Small Spaces Swing - Pacific Pebble
Click the image to see more details on Amazon

Where to store a baby swing

Where should you store your baby swing while you aren’t using it? 

If you use the baby swing every day, I recommend keeping it wherever you typically use it.

And if you only use the swing occasionally, you could store it in a closet or in the nursery. If you choose a portable swing or travel swing, it will have a smaller size and be easier to put away and store.

Related post: Find more on how to choose a baby swing here!

Wrap up 

how to use your baby swing properly

Now you know how to use a baby swing properly! With these tips, your baby will be safe. And you’ll have peace of mind. And your arms will get a rest from rocking your little one! 

Related Post: What are the different types of baby swings?

Related post: Are baby swings necessary? Do I have to buy one for my infant? Find out here!

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