You may think you don’t want some awkward plastic baby contraption messing up the vibe of your living room, but if you’d like to have the option of eating a meal or using the toilet without holding a newborn or maybe (just maybe) taking the World’s Shortest Shower, you’ll find a way to deal with an ugly swing for a few months. Even if the soothing motion doesn’t lull your newborn into a deep sleep, it’s sometimes enough to calm — or at least entertain — a fussy baby. For a while anyway.
KEY FEATURES: At its most basic, a baby swing has some sort of mechanized function to keep a back-and-forth motion going until you turn it off. But swings are anything but basic these days. Many have variable speeds, different kinds of vibration, and multiple options for sounds or music. What it really comes down to is what your baby likes best — and what you can handle looking at for a few months.
This swing is our budget pick, but still has enough features that it can get the job done. Basic though it may be, it’s got a five-point harness, six speeds, vibration, 15 songs and nature sounds, and a mobile. The cover is removable and machine-washable. The footprint is smaller than some other swings, so this will appeal to folks strapped for space. It’s not so heavy that it can’t be moved from room-to-room on occasion, but note that it’s not really meant for that, and it’s not foldable, so cannot be easily transported for a trip to Grandma’s. Can use with power outlet or five D batteries. Note: the LX model is an upgrade that allows the swing to change direction (can go side-to-side OR back and forth).
Cons: Not collapsible or portable, so this is really not the pick you want if you will be moving room to room; Recline is not adjustable; no auto-off.
This swing has it all! No, really it does: Two recline positions, a wall plug, 6 speeds, 16 sounds and songs — and it can swing from front-to-back or side-to-side. The seat pad, infant insert, and head support are all machine washable.
Cons: It’s pretty big — like your living room will feel like a room with a baby swing in it — but if space isn’t an issue, go for it.
Design-savvy moms love this motorized infant seat that’s sleek, modern, and fairly unobtrusive as far as baby gear is concerned. It has five different movements, adjustable speed and volume, built-in white noise, and you can Bluetooth it to your phone to control everything from the comfort of the couch. Bonus: It plugs into the wall so you don’t have to replace the batteries all the darn time.
Cons: It’s pricey, and it’s really missing that simple back-and-forth movement that babies seem to love so much. Definitely try this one before you buy!