Parenting is hard.
But there’s nothing more horrifying for a parent than an infant that’s crying non-stop.
And for many moms, that miracle is as simple as using a baby swing that helps rock your fussy infant back and forth until they’re ready to sleep!
But remember: From a miracle, it can easily become a curse if done wrongly!
To answer your question, “how long can a baby use baby swings?”
Not very long.
If this confuses you, or if you’re unsure whether or not you’re doing it right, keep reading!
So, How Long Can a Baby Use Baby Swings?
We hope the dramatic intro emphasized enough that, yes, there’s a safe limit to the usage of baby swings.
The question “how long can baby use a baby swing” actually captures two similarly different but equally important discussions:
- How long can your baby use it at a time?
- How long can your baby use it in terms of age?
How Long Can Your Baby Use The Swing At a Time?
Experts say that the maximum duration is only 30 minutes at a time.
You, along with many parents, might think: “that’s not even enough time to make my baby sleep!”
Your baby swing isn’t meant to cradle your baby to sleep the entire night — it only helps you make them sleepy.
You should then transfer your baby to a crib where they can sleep properly.
Using the swing for 30 minutes should be more than enough to stop them from crying, keeping them entertained for a moment, or relaxing your tired arms.
NEVER use a baby swing as a caretaker or nanny. It’s NOT A REPLACEMENT for the attention of a mom!
Yes, we’re making a tl;dr of this heading because it’s that important.
What Your Baby Swing Is For:
- Keeping your baby calm
- Entertaining them momentarily
- Letting you rest for a while
What Your Baby Swing Is NOT:
- A bed replacement
- A crib
- A stand-in nanny/caretaker
How Long Can Your Baby Use The Swing Age-Wise?
Well, to be precise, it’s not exactly the specific age.
It has more to do with the development and behavior of your child. The approximate duration for babies is until 6 months because this is the time when:
- Your baby is developing motor skills, and it’s best to let them move freely.
- Your child doesn’t want to be constrained anymore, and keeping them on a baby swing is dangerous. They may accidentally fall to the floor from breaking free or get suffocated.
- Your little one’s weight is getting heavier, which could exceed what your baby swing can handle.
It’s best to follow the baby swing manufacturer’s instructions because they know the maximum baby swing weight limit of their design best.
But don’t fully rely on the baby swing age limits too. Use it only as a basis because all children develop differently.
Some of your little ones might start developments and movements earlier than the prescribed age limits, or some naturally grow heavier than others.
Then as your baby becomes a toddler, using the swing should be stopped altogether. They shouldn’t rely on them, as it will become a habit that affects their sleep quality and motor development.
If you find this to be the case for your child, it’s a big help to break this habit and wean your child away from the infant swing.
When Can a Baby Start Using a Swing?
They can start at any time, even from birth, as long as you’re using the correct kind of infant swing and you’re using it right.
For a newborn swing or baby swings (for infants below 4 months):
- Make sure it’s in the most reclined swing position for more head control and to prevent your little one from getting suffocated.
- Remember that newborns should lay flat on their backs. They aren’t supposed to be in an upright sitting position, as an infant can’t hold its head up yet.
The Basics of Baby Swing Safety (N.E.W.B.O.R.N)
Here’s a quick and easy-to-remember run-down of the basics of using a baby swing. We’re all about keeping your baby secure and happy! Remember the acronym: N.E.W.B.O.R.N.
Never Place Your Baby Swings on an Elevated Surface
To state the obvious (but it’s worth mentioning), putting them at a higher point from the floor increases the risk of falling as the swing will rock back and forth.
Ensure the Swing Is Secured and Locked in Place
Always check if you’ve fastened your baby securely on the swing with the harness and everything. The best baby gear options are those with a five-point harness for extra security!
WEIGHT Limit Is More Important Than the Age Limit
As we’ve discussed, babies develop at different paces. It’s better to rely on weight and assess if the capacity of the swing can hold your little one.
And not only for baby swings, but the same rule should also be applied in baby bouncers, bouncer seat, walkers, and all kinds of baby gear out there.
Weight limits will depend on a particular model or the safety standards recommendations of different manufacturers.
It isn’t ideal for a toddler to be on a swing anymore.
You can also read up on our more detailed guide about baby swing weight limits if you’re interested.
BETTER to Buy Non-Toxic Options
If you’re choosing baby swings, then better go for ones that are made with non-toxic fabric and parts.
Since your kids will be directly staying in this swing, it’s safer to have them in contact with non-toxic materials.
Check out our buying guide on the Safest Non-Toxic Baby Swings and Bouncers to get you started!
OVERSEE Everything, ALL THE TIME
No matter how many safety features your baby swing has, NEVER leave your infants unattended on the swing. If you need to do something, stay as close to the baby swing as possible.
Be near enough that you can see, hear, and rush to them as quickly as possible.
You also HIGHLY avoid the risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) upon closely monitoring them.
REMOVE Safety Hazards Like Blankets, Toys, and All the Unnecessary Stuff
Your baby moves, A LOT, even when they are restless. Can you imagine if something falls on their faces and suffocate or hurt them without you knowing because you were away for a few seconds?
Keep the baby swing clear of any obstructions and toys!
NO SLEEPING on the Swing
Using a swing is NOT equal to using a bed. Do NOT put your baby to sleep in a swing.
Please don’t put your child on a swing for bedtime and leave them there the entire night. Repeat after us: it’s not a crib, it’s not a crib, it’s not a crib.
If you see your baby sleeping already, move them to a crib immediately.
Besides, too much time on the swing isn’t recommended as well. Your babies need to move.
Should You Buy a Baby Swing? (Pros and Cons)
If you want to ensure the absolute safety of your newborns, of course, it’s still best to consult your pediatrician if infant swings are recommended for your child.
But these baby swings aren’t that complicated, really. As long as you are aware of the correct baby swing weight limit and baby swing age limit (and as long as you’re attentive), there shouldn’t be a big problem.
If it helps, here are the general pros and cons of baby swings and bouncers for parents:
- Helps with napping and putting babies to sleep
- Relieves your tired arms (let’s face it, this is a real problem for parents!)
- Allows you to do other house chores or tasks for a while
- Keeps your little one entertained and calm during tantrums/restlessness
- You still need to be attentive to your little one. A common new parent mistake is getting too reliant on baby swings, placing them at more risk
- Remember the weight limit & age limit of the swing, and be alert for changes
- Constrains natural movement and development
- Sleep quality is not the best (IF baby falls asleep here)
Using a baby swing IS advantageous not just for babies and kids but also for you, the parent!
There’s a good reason why using the swing can be a mom and dad favorite!
But always remember, as good as it is, there’s a right way to do it, and there are safety precautions to observe for your babies.
Always remember that many babies end up in accidents because of irresponsible usage. The baby swing itself is not the devil.
Beyond convenience, your babies’ safety and security should always be the topmost priority!
FINAL TIP: For more information about baby stuff, you can breeze through our Ultimate List of Baby Furniture to help you out.
July 31, 2022 – minor content edits
August 5, 2021 – added 1 new article link
July 22, 2021 – reviewed and updated article links