How Long Can A Baby Use A Swing Safely?
If you’re a new parent, you’ve probably wondered how long a baby can use a swing. It is hard to understate how much relief and convenience a parent can get with the help of a swing to calm a crying infant. Some parents even report that placing their crying baby on the swing is the only thing that calms the baby down!
The great thing about baby swings is that they can be suitable for all babies; there are even swings that can be used safely for newborns. You only need to make sure that the swing is rated for your baby’s size and weight, and that there is a three-point harness (similar to seatbelts) in cars to keep your baby securely in place.
Benefits of Using a Baby Swing
There is no denying that having a baby swing is beneficial to both parents and babies. Any parent can attest that taking care of babies -especially newborn ones – is a handful. Having a baby swing around gives parents a much-needed respite from bouncing their baby to get some chores done, cook, or even have some downtime.
For babies, the motion of a swing closely mimics the sensation of being inside the womb, which helps calm down babies quickly. Some babies even prefer the continuous and rhythmic rocking of a baby swing over in their parents' arms because the motion of the baby swing is constant. But how long can a baby use a swing without it being detrimental?
Can It Be Too Much of a Good Thing?
Both parents and their babies benefit from having a baby swing on hand, but is there such a thing as "too much" to use a baby swing? How long can a baby use a baby swing before it becomes bad for them?
While there is no strict rule regarding how long a baby can use a baby swing, there are some drawbacks to being too dependent on the swing to calm your baby down, such as:
Your Baby’s Movement is Restricted
When your baby is strapped in their swing, they are secured firmly in place to ensure that your baby does not fall out. However, this also means that they are immobile for relatively long periods. This restriction of movement can lead to motor development delays later on in your baby’s life.
Lack of Personal Touch
If you leave your baby in their baby swing for a long time, this also means that your baby is going without personal interaction! They won’t be able to hear your voice, see you, feel your touch, or familiarize themselves with your scent. According to pediatricians, making a personal connection with your baby helps cement the bond that you have. Remember, how long does a baby use a swing? It is as long as you are not having a personal connection with your baby.
Early Motion Sickness
While most babies love being on a swing, there are rare instances where a baby can develop motion sickness and get dizzy.
When to Stop Using a Baby Swing
So, how long can a baby use a swing? While there is no set time limit, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that you only allow your baby to spend 30 minutes on the swing at one time. What’s more, you should only use your baby swing twice a day. The AAP further notes that allowing your baby to swing in a prone position for extended periods can lead your baby to develop a flat spot on the back of their head.
Always make sure that your baby is within the weight limit of a certain baby swing. Many parents neglect to take their baby's growth into account and make the mistake of using the same baby swing for years. If your baby is too heavy for the swing, the arms might bend or break, or the whole swing might topple over and injure your baby.
Finally, you should never leave your baby to sleep in their baby swing unattended. Once they have fallen asleep, you should take them out and place them in a safer sleeping area, such as their crib. Your baby’s prone position while on a baby swing can lead your baby to slump forward or slouch down and cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Tips to Keep Your Baby Safe in a Swing
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when putting your baby in a baby swing:
- Always ensure that the swing is rated for your baby’s weight.
- Recline your baby as far back as possible.
- Never place the swing on an elevated surface.
- Secure the harness firmly before using the swing.
- Do not place other items such as toys or blankets inside the swing with your baby.
- Always keep an eye on your baby while they are using the baby swing.
- Set a timer for 30 minutes to ensure that you do not exceed the recommended time limit.
- Be on the lookout for recalls on your baby swing.
So, let’s go back to the original question: how long can a baby use a swing? As recommended by experts, you should only allow your baby to enjoy their swing time for around 30 minutes. Of course, there might be the occasional slipup now and again when you might leave your baby for a bit longer than 30 minutes. That’s okay, as long as you remove your baby from the swing as soon as possible! The most important rule is to make sure that you never leave your baby in their swing unattended to prevent any accidents.
January 6, 2021
By: Rachel Welsh
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