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Expectant Mom's Resource Center Manufacturers' Websites SHOPPING MALL Product Features

Product Features

Baby Swing

New parents find the baby swing a convenience they can't live without.

Since we all know babies don't come with instruction booklets, many new parents question which baby products are "must haves" for their new little one, and which are just nice extras. Of course, there are the obvious necessity products—crib, car seat, portable play yards. But what about a baby swing? Is it one of those "must haves"? If so, what are the characteristics of a good swing? And what benefits do the various features for each model provide to the consumer?

The primary benefit a baby swing provides is to entertain and comfort baby. We often hear that a swing is the only answer to soothe and quiet a colicky baby. A swing can also amuse a baby while parents do housework nearby or just enjoy a few precious minutes of relaxation.

Baby swings are as varied as babies. Basic models offer a seat with a fixed tray and wind up motor while higher end models feature combination products that include carrier and cradle. It's possible to spend as little as $30 or as much as $119.

Here's what to look for in a quality baby swing:

Swing legs should remain on the floor when the unit is in operation. Leg tubes should be of high quality and have a nice finish. The child's center of gravity should be low. The new "open top" swing has a wide, sturdy base and a low-slung seat which is easy both to put baby in and take baby out.

Both wind up and battery swings will serve new parents well. The reason for selecting a battery swing is of course, convenience. Battery models will run about 100 hours on one set of alkaline batteries. Since most parents use a swing several hours per day, a battery swing is a great time saver.

Seat Choices
The swing seat should make it easy for the baby to be placed in the unit and taken out. Flip open trays are preferred to non-opening trays.

Whichever type is chosen, the seat should provide firm support for the baby's back. Many parents want a padded cover that is removable and machine washable for convenient clean up.

For those who want a multiple use product, combinations include swings that feature carriers that double as swing seats. Some also add a separate cradle that can be used when the child is very small.

Remember, unless a swing seat is certified as a car seat, it should not be used in a motor vehicle. All car seats must meet NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) standards. This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.

The swing should have a seat belt to retain the child. Some swings have this belt as well as a flip open tray with a between-the-leg horn to help keep baby in place. Of course, parents should never leave baby unattended in any juvenile product.

Multiple Positions
Many times, swings are used for napping as well as swinging. Look for a swing that provides multiple seat recline positions. If baby goes to sleep while swinging, it is possible to gently recline the seat for a continued nap.

The swing should fold easily for storage or transportation. Most swings will be used for multiple children in the same family and stored between births.

We don't recommend the use of older swings or yard sale units since they may not be state-of-the-art or have all parts in good working order. A quality built swing should last for one family's use.

A baby swing can be a great help and provide convenience to new parents. Many of our satisfied customers believe a baby swing is one product they can't do without.

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