Advertiser Disclosure
X

Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card and banking offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies and banks from which MoneyCrashers.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they appear on category pages. MoneyCrashers.com does not include all banks, credit card companies or all available credit card offers, although best efforts are made to include a comprehensive list of offers regardless of compensation. Advertiser partners include American Express, Chase, U.S. Bank, and Barclaycard, among others.

By

Dig Deeper

24,408FansLike
24,305FollowersFollow
42,116FollowersFollow

Become a Money Crasher!
Join our community.

10 Best Baby Swings & Gliders – Types, Features & How to Choose

Anyone who’s ever cared for a baby knows how hard it is to get anything done when you only have one free hand. The fourth trimester is real, and you’re hardly alone if your baby screams and cries every time you put them down. I had to hold my son 24/7, and I’m not sure I got a single shower in those first few months.

That’s why a baby swing is a lifesaver for many new and frazzled parents. They provide babies a place to play or rest while comforting them with swinging or rocking motions – just how Mom or Dad soothes them. In fact, Dr. Harvey Karp’s best-selling baby book, “The Happiest Baby on the Block,” lists swinging as one of the five S’s of soothing a fussy baby.

But with so many options, it can be tough to figure out which baby swing is the right one for your baby. And if you’re spending $100 to $200 or more on a swing, you want to make the best decision the first time.

But how do you know whether you need a full-size or portable swing? What on earth is a baby glider? What are the best swings on the market? Take a deep breath, Mom and Dad. You’ve come to the right place.

Types of Baby Swings

Baby swings come in three basic types: full-size, portable, and glider. Before you look at any particular model, know which type of swing is best for your lifestyle.

Full-Size Baby Swings

Full-size models often come with more features and swing options, so it’s easier to find the movement and speed your baby prefers. Sturdier and more stable than portable swings, they often have higher weight limits.

But because they’re generally big and heavy, if baby travels a lot, a portable swing is probably a better option.

Portable Baby Swings

Smaller, lighter, and foldable, portable baby swings are great for travel. They also generally cost less than full-size models.

On the other hand, they typically have lower weight capacities. So some little ones will eventually outgrow them. Other potential disadvantages include less stability and fewer swing modes.

Baby Gliders

Baby gliders aren’t like traditional swings because they don’t swing in an arc from the top. Instead, they replicate the back-and-forth movement of a glider chair.

They’re equally capable of soothing babies, though. And unlike a swing, which has a slight jerk at each end of the swing arc, gliders offer a perfectly smooth motion. As such, gliders are more effective than traditional swings at soothing some babies.

But like full-size baby swings, gliders are large, hard to move, and pricey.


How to Choose the Right Swing for You

A baby swing is nice to have for those moments you need a free hand. But the primary purpose is to soothe a fussy baby. So first and foremost, the right baby swing is the one that soothes your baby best.

But every baby is different, and it’s hard to know what they’ll like until they’ve tried it. If possible, ask other parents if your baby can test out their swings before you buy.

Otherwise, consider your family’s living space and budget. Do you need something that fits into a small space? Something easy to move from room to room or to Grandma’s? Do you want something with all the bells and whistles or something with fewer features that’s more budget-friendly? What features are must-haves, and which ones can you live without?

Baby Swing Features

Different baby swings come with different sets of features. The more features you opt for, the more expensive the swing.

Ease of Use & Assembly

Taking care of a baby is work enough. A complicated swing just makes it harder. Before investing in one, research how easy it is to assemble, operate, and to get baby in and out.

Comfort

Your baby needs to be comfortable in their swing. It means they’ll be happy to stay in it for more than a few seconds. For maximum comfort, look for a seat that’s deep and well padded. Soft, plush fabric is most comfortable against your baby’s skin. You also want a removable and machine-washable cover, as messes tend to happen whenever babies are involved.

Multiple options for reclining ensure you’ll find the position that offers the most comfort. Infants who can’t yet hold up their heads need some degree of incline. Older babies tend to prefer sitting upright so they can watch everything that’s going on.

Swinging Modes

Most baby swings feature a variety of swinging modes, including different swing motions and speeds. Some basic models have only a few modes and sometimes only one motion, such as a back-and-forth glide. But many higher-end models feature as many as eight or more swinging motions, vibrations, and several speeds.

Because babies have their own ideas about what they find soothing, opt for the greatest range of modes and speeds your budget allows.

Entertainment Features

Swings often come with a variety of features for babies’ mental stimulation, eye-tracking, and entertainment. Most swings feature some type of toy bar or mobile, which gives them something to look at and encourages certain developmental milestones. For example, my son made his first successful grab with a toy hanging from the toy bar of his bouncy seat.

Most swings also come programmed with a variety of nature sounds and melodies, which can help soothe your baby to sleep or keep them entertained while awake. Some even have the option to plug in a smartphone or other device to play your baby’s favorite tunes.

While entertainment features are a draw, make sure the features aren’t overstimulating for your baby if they’ll primarily relax there.

Frame

Look for a sturdy frame. It should be made of high-quality materials that will withstand the test of time and constant use. Metal and durable plastics are the best materials.

Larger bases are less likely to tip over. But you also don’t want legs that stick out too much, as they could present a tripping hazard for grown-ups.

Power Source

Though some swings are still manual, many on the market are powered. A swing that runs on batteries is convenient when you aren’t close to a power source. But most swings burn through batteries quickly. So one that runs on batteries and plugs into the wall is ideal.

Safety

Never compromise when it comes to your baby’s safety. The seat should have a harness. The safest is a five-point harness, which restrains your baby’s entire body – both upper and lower. A three-point harness is less desirable for younger babies, but will still keep them in the seat and often works better for older babies. Regardless, the ideal harness is adjustable to continue to fit your baby as they grow.

Every swing has a recommended weight limit, and some have a height limit. Check these before purchasing a swing to make sure your baby fits the requirements.

And don’t leave babies in swings for prolonged periods. Some swings come with a built-in timer that automatically shuts the swing off to remind distracted parents swing time is over.


Safety Notes

Speaking of safety, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) establishes the standards for safe consumer use that all manufacturers must print on their products, in addition to the standards manufacturers must follow in construction. The manual for your baby swing will outline the swing’s safety features and operating instructions. Carefully read these before operating your swing with your precious little one inside.

All swings come with a manual that gives instructions for proper assembly. Because some swings generate strong momentum, it’s crucial for your baby’s safety that the swing is properly assembled and maintains contact with the floor at all times. Before using the swing with your little one, test it on its highest setting with something weighted inside the seat to ensure it’s stable.

One other note on safety: Always make sure to check the latest list of recalls through the CPSC website before purchasing a swing or any other baby equipment. Unfortunately, recalls happen fairly often.


Top 10 Baby Swings

Now that you know how to pick out the best baby swing for you, it’s time to pick one. But which ones are the best?

1. Fisher-Price Cradle ‘n Swing Series

Fisher-Price’s Cradle ‘n Swing models are the most consistently popular and high-rated baby swings. They’re affordable, flexible, and have a deep, comfy seat. Cradle ‘n Swings are available in several different themes, including the Sweet Snugapuppy, Sweet Snugabunny, Rainforest Friends, and Sweet Snugabear.

Key Features

  • Mirror and mobile
  • Six speed settings
  • Two seating positions: flat and inclined
  • Side-to-side or front-to-back rocking
  • 16 songs and nature sounds, including white noise
  • SmartSwing technology to sense the baby’s weight and start rocking automatically

Advantages

  • Foldable legs for easy portability and storage
  • SmartSwing technology adjusts motor torque and compensates for a growing baby, keeping speeds consistent
  • Multiple options to soothe a baby into a peaceful sleep
  • Choice of power: AC or batteries
  • Five-point harness

Disadvantages

  • Wide base – takes up a lot of room
  • Heavy and not designed for portability
  • Some reports of a loud motor that makes subtle clicking noises
  • Burns through batteries quickly

To view and purchase this swing, visit Amazon.


2. Graco DuetSoothe Swing + Rocker

The Graco DuetSoothe is versatile compared to a traditional baby swing. You can remove the seat and place it on the ground as a rocker, which has a handle for easy carrying.

Key Features

  • Two-speed vibration mode works in either swing or rocker mode
  • Side-to-side or front-to-back rocking
  • Six swing speeds
  • Two recline positions
  • 15 songs and nature sounds
  • Hanging mobile

Advantages

  • Removable seat
  • Strong rocking motion for babies who are difficult to soothe
  • Choice of power: AC or batteries
  • Five-point harness

Disadvantages

  • Difficult to assemble
  • Burns through batteries quickly
  • Some reports of a loud motor
  • Mobile doesn’t rotate
  • Complicated controls

To view and purchase this swing, visit Amazon.


3. Graco Soothing System Glider

Get four products for the price of one with this model: a swing with a glider motion, bassinet with a glider motion, portable bouncer seat, and portable bassinet. That’s a lot of bang for your buck, although it’s also one of the more expensive models on this list.

Key Features

  • Four functions: glider, bouncy seat, glider-bassinet, and bassinet
  • Six speed settings
  • Two vibration levels
  • 15 song and sound options
  • Timer mode for automatic shut-off

Advantages

  • Innovative frame design takes up less room than other swings
  • Choice of power: AC or batteries
  • Converts to a portable bouncer
  • Five-point harness

Disadvantages

  • Glider frame isn’t as portable as the glider seat
  • Some reports of poor music sound quality
  • Glider speeds may be too fast for some

To view and purchase this glider, visit Amazon.


4. Graco EveryWay Soother Swing With Removable Rocker

This swing is Graco’s answer to the popular-but-pricey mamaRoo from 4moms. A comparable swing, it costs significantly less than the mamaRoo – thus its higher ranking on the list. The EveryWay soothes even the fussiest baby with a wide variety of swing options, including swinging, arch, bouncing, figure eight, circle, zig-zag, sway, and wave.

Key Features

  • Eight different swing patterns adjustable to six different speeds
  • Side-to-side or front-to-back rocking
  • Removable seat doubles as a rocker
  • Three recline positions
  • 15 songs and sounds
  • Adjustable mobile with soft toys

Advantages

  • Less expensive and takes up less space than the comparable mamaRoo
  • Relatively light – easier to move from room to room
  • More swing motions than any other model
  • Intuitive controls
  • Choice of power: AC or batteries
  • Five-point harness

Disadvantages

  • Some reports of motor strain with babies over 20 pounds
  • Vibration mode requires a battery
  • Rocker is rated for smaller babies than the swing
  • Some reports that the frame looks and feels lower-quality than the mamaRoo

To view and purchase this swing, visit Target.


5. 4moms mamaRoo 4

The mamaRoo is unquestionably the coolest-looking on this list. It’s also the most expensive, but some parents say it’s worth the price. The mamaRoo offers all the bells and whistles, with movement modes designed to mimic the way moms and dads typically soothe their babies. These include car ride, kangaroo, wave, tree swing, and rockabye. Plus, you can control it all from your Bluetooth-enabled devices.

Key Features

  • Five unique movements plus five speed settings
  • Bluetooth-enabled
  • Four sounds plus the ability to plug in a smartphone or MP3 player
  • Three overhead toys featuring a black-and-white pattern on one side and a colored pattern on the other to help with baby’s eye development

Advantages

  • Motions designed to mimic how a parent would soothe a baby
  • Seat reclines to any angle
  • More compact than traditional swings – no protruding legs to trip over

Disadvantages

  • Movements are too mild for some babies
  • Three-point harness
  • Expensive

To view and purchase this swing, visit Amazon.


6. Graco Simple Sway Baby Swing

Graco’s Simple Sway baby swing is a good option for people who are short on space. It has a narrow frame, so it fits easily into almost any available corner. It’s also a good budget pick, priced at the lower end of high-quality baby swings. But it still offers a wide variety of features.

Key Features

  • 15 different songs and nature sounds
  • Mobile with hanging toys
  • Side-to-side swinging
  • Six swing speeds
  • Two vibration settings

Advantages

  • Compact size
  • Deep and roomy seat
  • Quiet motor
  • Choice of power: AC or batteries
  • Five-point harness

 Disadvantages

  • Limited swing options and vibration settings
  • No recline settings
  • Legs don’t fold
  • Less cushioning and support in the seat

To view and purchase this swing, visit Amazon.


7. Graco DreamGlider Swing

The Graco DreamGlider combines a bassinet with a baby swing. To transform it, you simply grab the lower rear seat handle and pull up or push down. When you pull up, it raises the front wall, transforming it into a bassinet. When you push down, it lowers the wall and positions the seat into a swing.

Key Features

  • Dual-function
  • Six-speed gliding motion
  • Two-speed vibration
  • Three recline positions
  • 15 songs and nature sounds
  • Mobile with toys
  • Timer for automatic shut-off

Advantages

  • Choice of power: AC or batteries
  • Hanging mobile is easily moveable
  • Single-part swing and bassinet – no need to swap parts

 Disadvantages

  • Bassinet works for naps but not overnight
  • Only one motion option
  • Recline adjustment is a little finicky
  • Vibration mode requires a battery
  • Three-point harness

To view and purchase this glider, visit Amazon.


8. Ingenuity ConvertMe Swing-2-Seat Portable Swing

This is another versatile swing with multifunction capability at a budget price. It easily converts from a swing to a vibrating bouncer. It also folds flat with a single motion for portability.

Key Features

  • Converts to a bouncy seat
  • Five swinging speeds plus vibrations
  • 11 songs and sounds
  • Toy bar with one toy and three extra loops to hang your baby’s favorite toys

 Advantages

  • HybriDrive technology for batteries that last up to three times longer
  • Virtually soundless WhisperQuiet system motor
  • Pivoting toy bar moves toys out of the way
  • Folds completely flat
  • Nonslip legs
  • Five-point harness

 Disadvantages

  • Runs on batteries only
  • No recline options
  • Push-start – no start button
  • Some reports of too-soft vibrations
  • Some reports of too-strong swinging motions

To purchase this swing, visit Amazon.


9. Graco Glider LX

This glider is compact compared to others, making it ideal for small spaces. Relatively lightweight with a sturdy frame, it comes in a variety of styles to match your nursery decor.

Key Features

  • Six-speed gliding motion
  • Vibration
  • Reclines to three angles
  • 15 songs and sounds
  • Toy bar with two soft toys
  • Timer for automatic shut-off

 Advantages

  • 30-pound weight limit
  • Roomy and well-padded seat
  • Compact
  • Quiet motor
  • Adjustable toy bar
  • Choice of power: AC or batteries
  • Five-point harness

 Disadvantages

  • One motion option
  • Vibration only runs on batteries

To view and purchase this glider, visit Target.


10. Comfort & Harmony Cozy Kingdom Portable Swing

The Comfort & Harmony Cozy Kingdom swing is a great budget pick that retains many of the features of more expensive models. It’s also super-portable and compact, making it great for travel and space-constrained homes. It folds so compactly it can even fit into a suitcase.

Key Features

  • Six speeds that automatically adjust to the baby’s weight
  • Toy bar with soft toys
  • Six songs
  • Two seat positions

 Advantages

  • Pivoting toy bar
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Reports of quiet swing settings, even at high speeds

 Disadvantages

  • Runs on batteries only – burns through batteries quickly
  • Popping sounds when speed is adjusted could wake light sleepers
  • Only two seat positions: laying down or sitting with a recline
  • Limited weight range

To purchase this swing, visit Amazon.


Final Word

A baby swing isn’t a must-have baby item. But many parents like the convenience of having a place to put their little ones while they make dinner or do the laundry.

And while a baby swing isn’t a replacement for holding and interacting with your baby, it’s a lifesaver when dealing with a fussy or colicky kid.

Are you considering purchasing a baby swing? Which ones look good to you?

Sarah Graves
Sarah Graves, Ph.D. is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance, parenting, education, and creative entrepreneurship. She's also a college instructor of English and humanities. When not busy writing or teaching her students the proper use of a semicolon, you can find her hanging out with her awesome husband and adorable son watching way too many superhero movies.

Next Up on
Money Crashers

Couple Holding Sports Tickets

13 Places to Buy Cheap Discount Sports Tickets Online & Off

More than 1 in 10 millennials have fallen victim to ticket counterfeiting, according to a study by anti-counterfeiting outfit Aventus. You probably know someone...
Where To Invest Gold Coins Chalk Notepad

7 Best Stock Screeners of 2020 (Free & Paid Apps or Software)

How do you choose which stocks to buy? While many investors choose to simply buy index funds as an easy way to “invest in the market,” others aim to beat the market by picking individual stocks. That’s where stock screeners come in handy.

Latest on
Money Crashers

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

See why 218,388 people subscribe to our newsletter.

What Do You Want To Do
With Your Money?

Make
Money

Explore

Manage
Money

Explore

Save
Money

Explore

Borrow
Money

Explore

Protect
Money

Explore

Invest
Money

Explore