So, How Long Can Baby Use Swing? You Are In for a Surprise!
An infant swing is like a gift from heaven. I remembered when my baby was just two months old. We bought her a cute swing with cradle, complete with motorized mobile and adjustable speed. It comes with different songs that you can turn on to rock your baby to sleep.
For several weeks, it took our baby away from us, but not in a bad way. We soon had more time in our hands, and we can do other work while our child is using her swing.
We had the time in our lives until one day when I read about the drawbacks of regularly using a swing for infants. I wondered how long can Baby use swing and to my surprise, I end up gradually weaning her off it.
What You Need to Know About Baby Swing
Infant swings have lived in many households through the years. The trend of using this mechanism has won the hearts of many parents especially when they can free their hands up even for a short while. That is why it has become one of the most popular tools parents used for their babies.
Let us know more about infant swing through the facts below:
- There are different kinds of swings: the standard swing, cradle swings, and the travel swings. The standard swing is a padded seat hanging from a frame that swings front-to-back while cradle swings can rock the baby from side-to-side. If you want a swing that you can quickly bring, try travel swings. These things can be folded up.
- Most swings these days have an adjustable speed to accommodate babies’ preference for the day. When they want to sleep, you can set it to a slow and gentle rock. If you want to soothe them, a faster pace would be ideal.
- The earliest types of infant swings do not guarantee a safe procedure for the baby since there is no control on the swing’s motion. It is simply a suspended seat and levers on the side.
- The first battery-operated electric baby swing was made to entertain the baby. Harold Kosoff, the inventor, worked on his inventions while his son is playing on the swing.
The Drawbacks of Using an Infant Swing for a Long Time
While baby swings provide entertainment to our children, these tools may also have some risks, especially if not used well.
- Safety - There are cases where babies acquired injuries while using baby swings. A report in 2005 indicates that injuries include bumps, bruises and even strangulations and entanglement on the straps. These incidences are due to a faulty assembly of the swing, poor quality of material and improper use.
- Improper Sleep - You may have heard of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and improper sleeping position may lead to such a case. Sleeping in the swing can risk reducing oxygen intake of your baby thus leading to suffocation. They can also have a poor quality of sleep due to the constant motion they feel from the swing.
- Deprived Development - While we know that babies cannot do things on their own, they continually learn and develop. Giving them space and time to develop their mind and body naturally can help them keep up to the regular milestones they need to achieve. However, keeping them always inside the swing can limit their movement and their tendency to practice other actions. Without the extra floor space, they would not be able to practice crawling, moving their hands and feet, rolling and eventually walking around.
How Long Must You Let Him Stay
We understand the comfort of having an infant swing around especially when he needs to be soothed. But, prolonged use can do our babies bad than good.
Ideally, babies need to give up the swing at the age of 6 months. It may seem too early, but at this age, they will start to explore more activities that will require them on the floor.
Babies who have reflux or may have sensitive health issues can extend their stay up to 8 to 10 months. Also, here are some signs that he can still use the swing once in a while:
- Your child has a hard time sleeping.
- He still needs to be bounced or rocked to soothe.
- If he still feels at ease on the swing for a long time without any sign of discomfort or danger, he can still stay.
How to Wean Your Baby from the Swing
One way to help your child avoid the swing as he grows up is to wean him out of it. Here are some tips on how to stop your baby from using the swing:
- Gradually remove the swing from the bedtime routine. If you regularly include the swing whenever he prepares for bed, the habit will make him look for it. Instead, skip the swing for a day then bring it back the next day. You can then increase the number of days skipped until your baby is no longer using the swing.
- Lower the speed. Your child knows that he is in the swing if he is rocked faster. However, setting the speed to its lowest will create only a slight difference with the crib or your arms.
- Move the swing next to the crib. It will make the transition easier. Once your baby is asleep, transfer him to the crib immediately.
- Swaddle your baby. The swaddling effect can calm your child and make him sleep longer. It produces a close and secure environment that infants are used to when they are in the womb. Swaddle your baby tight and rub his back until he sleeps.
- Practice napping in the crib. It may be a tough time, and you will hear a lot of cries. But, the more your baby practices getting in the crib and sleeping there, the more he will get used to it and start ignoring the swing.
- Create a calming bedroom environment. It will be easier for your baby to sleep in the crib when the atmosphere is relaxing. Play some white noise music to help soothe him to sleep. Set the right room temperature and keep the room dark.
It is All for the Best!
We all want what is best for our babies. We want them to enjoy the good things life has to offer, even the benefit of enjoying the swing. But, too much of a good thing may not be ideal at all especially if it can already hinder their growth.
After knowing the right time to stop my baby from using the swing, I see to it that I am aware of the signs and gradually weaned her. It was a difficult time at first, but in the end, she was having a great time embracing the freedom she gained on the floor.
Up to what age did your baby used his swing? Share your story with us!