In today’s fast-paced life, parents have busy schedules, making it more and more challenging to lead a professional and a parenting life simultaneously. Every parent’s wish is to have some quality sleep at night to keep up with the demanding tasks throughout the day.
Baby swings come in handy by soothing crying babies to help the sleep-deprived parents get some rest. In this article, we will provide you with some evidence-based insights on how you can safely use baby swings and when to consider weaning your baby out of them.
Factors to Consider While Using Baby Swings
1. Weight Limit
Every baby swing has a specific weight limit provided by the manufacturer based on its build quality and materials. Generally speaking, it’s recommended to stop using it when your baby exceeds 25 pounds.
The baby’s weight and age are closely related. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 50% of boys will exceed 25 pounds by the age of 16 months, and 50% of girls will exceed the same weight by the age of 20 months.
Now you have a rough idea about the weight at which your baby becomes too heavy for the swing, which is quite a straightforward indicator on when to stop using the swing.
2. Baby’s Age
There is no definitive way to know the perfect age to wean your baby out of the swing. Most babies won’t need it by the age of 3-4 months and become ready to move to their cribs.
However, some babies are more sensitive to the discomfort that comes with teething and growth spurts, so they can continue using the swings for 8-10 months.
You can start testing how your baby reacts to dialing down the swing’s speed or stopping motion altogether. Based on that, you will notice that your baby sleeps peacefully at a certain age and is ready to move out of the swing.
3. Time Spent in the Swing
Understanding how the swing is meant to be used will help you judge the benefits versus the risks of its usage. A baby swing can help keep your baby occupied while you’re focusing on an important task at hand, or put your baby to sleep at night.
They are not meant to be sleeping mattresses for your baby. Based on that, your baby shouldn’t spend the night in the swing. After the baby is put to sleep, you have to get them out to their crib.
It’s not recommended to use the swing for more than 30 minutes at a time, as swinging for more than that can make the baby dizzy.
Even if the swing is perfectly still, it can still have negative impacts if used for extended periods. For instance, it can affect the baby’s bonding with their parents, in addition to serious risks of deformities. The delicate bone development at the back of the baby’s head might be affected by keeping the baby in a prone position in the swing without attending to them for a long time.
4. Baby’s Range of Motion
Once your baby’s range of motion expands enough to the point where they start to climb out of the swing, you should stop using it, regardless of the baby’s age or weight. The baby might fall out of the swing and get serious head injuries during their attempts to climb out.
Even if your swing comes with straps, you shouldn’t restrain the baby’s movement. Some babies are energetic and can find their way around the straps. They can get tangled and subjected to more severe injuries.
Steps to Successfully Weaning Your Baby out of the Swing
1. Put Your Baby in the Swing While Still Awake
If you’re still rocking your baby and once they fall to sleep, you put them in the swing, you’re nowhere near close to weaning your child out of it. So, the first step is to let your baby sleep on their own in the swing without your intervention.
2. Use Additional Sleep-Aids
If the baby solely depends on the swing to sleep, the weaning process will be a bit of a challenge.
Add additional sleeping-aids like pacifiers and swaddles while the baby is still sleeping in the swing. That way, when the time comes to move to the crib, your baby will have what they need to fall asleep.
3. Start Weaning at Bedtime
You don’t want to overwhelm your baby all of a sudden. Start by weaning them out of the swing at bedtime. You can move on to the first nap of the day once the baby finds it comfortable to spend the night in the crib.
4. Move the Swing Next to the Baby’s Crib
The transition will be easier if the swing is close to where the baby is sleeping. You don’t want a sudden change of scenery for your baby that can make the process of accommodating the crib much harder.
5. Progressively Decrease the Speed of the Swing Until You Stop it
When picking a swing, we recommend choosing one with a large difference between the fastest and slowest speeds. This will make a huge difference in easing your baby’s dependence on the crib.
You will find that some swings on the market have comparable speeds that parents may require for different purposes. Therefore, in your case, make sure to choose a swing with sharp distinctions between speed levels.
6. Put the Baby to Sleep in the Crib
Even after going through all of the steps mentioned above, you might have to put up with some crying at first. You have to be patient and understand that it’s a learning process for your baby until it’s able to make the transition, and it’s your job to ease such a process.
Baby swings are beneficial, but they shouldn’t overstay their welcome. Your child’s safety comes first, so whenever there are any risks of injuries, you should consider stopping using them.
We hope this article has given you all the facts you need to make a better judgment on how to wean your baby out of the swing correctly.