The short answer is: Yes, a baby swing is perfectly safe for newborns but it has to be under your direct supervision.
Workaholic moms who have to deal with so many household chores badly need a baby swing. I know there are lots of new mommies who become restless deciding what to buy and what will be best for the upcoming baby.
Yes, it’s exciting to even think about your baby, but your foremost priority should be the safety of your baby.
Right after a crib or bassinet for safe sleep, a baby swing can be a smart decision from your end if you know how to deal with it correctly. I will talk about this point later in this article.
Let’s now talk about the risks associated with it for now. If you belong to a mommy forum like BabyCenter or other prominent blogs, you already know that baby swings are a highly controversial topic out there.
You will find a lot of parents in favor of it and definitely, there are many parents who are skeptical about it. I will try to clear the air for you!
Are Baby Swings Safe For Newborns?
Statistics never lie. Between 2009 to 2012, there were at least 350 baby swing related incidents recorded. Most of these incidents were related to injuries and only a few were related to infant death. As you can see, skeptical parents got their reasons for being skeptical about swings.
But like everybody, you definitely love hands-free shopping. Who doesn’t like to travel abroad as freely as possible, right? Well, with a newborn baby – your independence will be limited. Only a safe baby swing can be your savior. But why the question of safety arises when it comes to a baby swing?
There is no doubt the rocking motion of the swing is so rhythmic and it really helps the baby to fall asleep fast. Yet here are some safety concerns that you should at least be aware of:
- Sleeping in the swing for a prolonged time will induce breathing problems. Thus, as per AAP – it may increase the risk of SIDS. The increased risk of SIDS is real when you pad the swing with loose pillows or blankets.
- Using the swing too many will leave an impact on the development of certain habits like sleeping. If the baby becomes a swing napper, you will find it more difficult to adjust her sleeping habits in the crib.
- Babies need to develop certain motor skills like crawling, cruising, and pulling up. Sitting in the swing for a long time won’t help to develop such skills.
- The attached mobile on the swing may have small toys. If the baby can pull these toys easily (which she will definitely try!), the safety of your infant will be in serious question.
So far, you might be wondering whether I am discouraging you to use the swing. Please don’t get me wrong. I am not against it. Everything that makes the baby happy and comfortable – I certainly recommend such gears. But they have to be safe! Now, let’s talk about how to make the swing safe.
How To Use The Baby Swing Safely?
To me, having a baby swing was a surefire. It helped me to calm my fussy and crying baby a lot. So many parents consider it as indispensable baby gear, so you must have it too. But you have to ensure the safety of your baby too.
Read these following points carefully to understand how you use the swing and keep your newborn safe as well:
- Ensuring constant check on the swing is something you have to do all the time. Replace the swing ASAP if you notice the rings are broken or hanging by a thread. In fact, you should replace the swing if you notice any damage to it. Never allow any unsupervised sleep there.
- There is a real chance your baby will feel too hot while riding in it. So check your baby and make sure she gets plenty of air to breathe.
- Never allow your little one to sleep in the swing for too long. It is never meant for long sleep. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) doesn’t recommend it as a sleeping aid. For the most thrilling experience, the maximum recommended time is 30 minutes. This is NOT a hard and fast rule; just most experienced parents recommend that.
- Not just the babies, even toddlers form habit rapidly. Don’t let them form the habit of sleeping in the swing. If they become addicted to sleeping there, they may not want to sleep in the crib again.
- You should always try to avoid using it at night time. Under your direct supervision, you can let the baby use it for nap time only.
- All the baby gears have to meet some stringent safety standards. Does your swing meet all those standards? Avoid swings that tip over or fold up very easily.
- If the age of the infant is less than 4 months, she should be seated in a reclined swing position. That way, there will be less chance of suffocating and it will be easy to avoid slumping over.
- Even if there is a single possibility that you can move your baby into the crib as soon as she falls asleep in the swing, please do so! If not possible due to various situations, at least turn off the swing while the baby is sleeping.
- Each swing has a specific weight limit for the baby. Never let that weight limit exceeded.
- As per the CPSC recommendation, there should be 5 points harness to hold the baby securely in the swing. Make sure to frequently check the recall list of CPSC for such baby gears.
Baby swing has multiple benefits to offer but only when it is used carefully. It gives extra independence to parents and a little excitement for the newborns. Despite having some issues, it’s still recommended for your baby. But make sure you put the safety of your baby first. Make sure you can always see and hear your baby while she is in it.