Baby swings provide comfort to a fussy baby by mimicking the rhythmic motion he felt in the womb. They can be a lifesaver if you have a colicky or cranky baby. The swings come in stationary and portable models that rock your baby, usually in a front-to-back motion, although according to ConsumerReports.org, some manufacturers provide models that move from side to side. Whichever you choose, most baby swings power their motors with batteries. Despite the advantages a baby swing can provide, corresponding disadvantages deserve consideration before deciding to use one.
The biggest disadvantage of a baby swing involves infant safety. According to a report published by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 1,800 babies received injuries related to baby swings in 2005, and although this number may seem low when compared to injury statistics associated with other nursery items, it is still significant. ConsumerWatch.com reports that faulty or incorrectly assembled baby swings can cause injuries ranging from bumps or bruises to entanglement in the shoulder straps as well as strangulation. If you choose to use a baby swing, check the CPSC website for a list of baby swing recalls to ensure the model you are considering is not on the list.
Putting In -- Getting Out
According to ConsumerReports.org, many portable baby swings require you to crouch down to put your baby in or take her out of the swing. This can be uncomfortable if you are recovering from a C-section and nearly impossible if you have a bad back. In addition, safety issues can arise when trying to accomplish this task with a baby who's not in the mood to cooperate.
Time vs. Cost
Baby swings are suitable for only a short time. Once your baby reaches 15 to 25 lb., you cannot use a baby swing with any degree of safety. Putting your baby in a swing after he reaches the manufacturer's recommended weight limitation could cause the swing to tip over with your baby in it. When you compare the short time you can safely use a baby swing against the substantial cost to purchase, as well as the cost for the batteries to power the motor, the time versus cost disadvantage may cause you to reconsider.