A baby swing can be one of the most valuable pieces of baby equipment you buy according to the parents who have one. Most babies like the calming effect that the back and forth movement of a swing brings. But there are a few things that you will want to be aware of to make sure that your baby has a relaxing and safe experience in the swing. I’ve put together a list here of baby swing safety recommendations.
Make Sure Your Baby Is Ready For The Swing
When it comes to the use of a swing, it’s important to make sure that your baby is ready for it. Being ready is usually less about age and more about your baby’s physical readiness. For example, if your baby is a preemie, he or she will have different needs than a full term large baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants under four months of age are seated in the most reclined position.
Make sure to also follow the guidelines as outlined in the manufacturer’s guide. Each swing is constructed differently and will have its own set of recommendations.
Make Sure Your Baby’s Head is Supported
Keeping your baby’s head supported in a swing is important. Because swings are usually made for young babies, built-in head support should be provided with your swing. The head support is there for safety and stability. Head supports should be soft, and most can be removed for washing. You will want to watch and make sure that your baby’s head is in a normal position and not hanging or drooping from side to side, or that their heads can’t fall forward and rest on their chests. Your baby’s head should be centered right between the shoulders perfectly.
Always Use the Safety Harness
I’m sure you always buckle up when putting your baby in his or her car seat. Well, it’s also important to buckle up when putting your baby in a swing. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure that you are putting the harness on correctly. Some swings come with a 3 point harness while others have 5 point harnesses. The harnesses are made to keep your baby as secure and safe as possible. Consumer Reports states that 5 point harnesses are safer than 3 point harnesses. The main thing is to make sure that you use the harness provided. Every. Single. Time. The harness will keep your baby from climbing out of the seat and falling to the ground. A fall to a young baby could mean severe consequences for your little one. So always buckle your baby up.
Use the Swing on The Floor
Never use a swing on a table or chair. A swing should always be placed on a solid and secure surface such as the floor. As tempting as it may seem to set a swing somewhere that you are pretty sure is safe, don’t do it. Always go for where you know it is secure. The floor is the best place. Or outside on the level ground.
Keep The Swing Away From The Main Runway of Your House
Most of us have runways in our houses. If you keep the same flooring for many years, you will most likely see wear and tear paths through your house. It’s a good idea to not keep the baby swing right in the pathway were young kids, and pets may forget and go full speed ahead into the swing. Use common sense and place the swing in a safe area such as a corner. Also, make sure it is away from where objects from above may fall on the swing and baby.
Do Not Use Swing Unattended
Make sure that you are always with your baby while he or she is in the swing. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. While it may be ok to wash some dishes while keeping your swinging baby in another room, always keep them in eyesight. It’s not safe to run outside to get the mail while your baby swings in an upstairs bedroom. Just use common sense and always keep an eye on your baby while he or she is in the swing.
Cease Use When Your Baby Has Outgrown The Swing
Just as you follow the directions not to use a baby swing until your baby is ready, it’s just as important to stop using the swing when they have outgrown it. Each swing should give a weight limit. Some may give an age limit too. Make sure to read the directions in detail and to stop using the swing when your baby has exceeded the swing limits. While each swing is different, expect around 25-30 pounds or 3 to 4 months of age to stop using your swing. Again, please follow the manufacturers directions since each swing is built differently.
A swing can be a great tool to use in parenting. Most babies will love their swing time. In this article, I’ve covered some basic safety guidelines to follow while using a baby swing. First, make sure your baby is ready for the swing. If they are developmentally ready, then make sure to use the harness everytime he or she is in the swing. Use the provided head support and keep an eye on your baby’s head position. Only use the baby swing in a safe place on the floor away from places where it could get bumped or tipped over. Keep an eye on your baby while he or she is in the swing. Finally, cease use when your baby has outgrown the swing. I hope these guidelines of swing safety helps you and your baby to have many enjoyable hours of swing use.
For more information, check out our Top 10 Baby Swing Reviews of 2018.