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If you are a mom, you have first-hand experience on how fussy a baby can be mostly just before a nap. Catastrophic! How can such a little and adorable human cause such trouble? You must have also discovered the savior: A baby swing. In less than a minute of swinging the little troublemaker becomes drowsy. At last! You can have the much-needed rest. But is it right? Should Your Baby Sleep in The Baby Swing? That’s what we want to talk about today. We’ll also discuss the safety tips for using a baby swing.
Should You Let Your Baby Sleep in The Swing?
Most parents lay their babies, especially poor sleepers, to sleep on a baby swing. However, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises against parents using baby swings as sleep aids. According to their guideline, prolonged upright sitting posture on the swing poses several risks to your baby, including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
We don’t mean to scare you or leave you with a wrong impression about baby swings-not at all! The swing can still be used for short supervised naps and calming a fussy baby as long as you observe the safety guidelines.
Why Is Sleeping on the Swing So Risky For Babies?
Simply put, your baby’s neck muscles aren’t fully developed yet. So, when he sleeps at a semi-upright position, its heads weight puts a lot of pressure to the neck, causing him to slump over—sometimes slumping leads to suffocation.
Studies by the AAP have also revealed that sitting devices such as baby swings, car seats and strollers have caused 3% of the 12000 infant deaths. Shockingly 62% of the 3% of deaths was caused by sitting devices.
The other risk is that your baby could turn his head and suffocate against the swings soft padding. The baby could also get entangled in the straps or worse roll over the swing if he is not securely strapped.
How do You Break the Baby Sleep in the Baby Swing Habit?
We understand: you are exhausted and need a little time to rest. Therefore, you need the baby to nap a bit longer, and the baby swing is your only option.
By now, you know the dangers that come with the swing and its time you broke the habit. Experts recommend that a baby should sleep on a firm sleeping surface. Here are a few tips on how to transition from the swing to the crib.
- If your baby is below 6 months, transfer him to the bassinet or crib as soon as he falls asleep in the swing. This will help him to get used to sleeping in the crib gradually.
- If your little one is above 4 months old, consider sleep training him. You risk creating onset association by transferring the kid from the swing to the crib at this age. (trust me! You never want to get there)
- Set the baby swing in a busy/noisy and well-lit area of your home during the day. Make it appear like the place where all the fun and play happens. The baby will acclimate to the swing as a play station and not sleeping area.
- Always put the baby to sleep when they are drowsy and awake. Also, make the room sleep-friendly by darkening it and putting on a white noise machine.
If none of the above strategies works, reach a sleep consultant or your pediatrician for further assistance.
Safety Tips for Baby Swings
Here are some safety precautions you should follow when using a swing:
1. Never Leave Your Baby Unsupervised.
Although a baby swing is a hands-free baby care method, it should not replace parental supervision. In fact, you should always be in the room when the baby is on the swing. If you are attending to other chores, make sure you keep on turning around to check on the baby.
2. Always Secure the Baby with The Provided Harness.
All baby swings come with a safety harness. The harness helps the baby to stay in place while the swing is on the motion.
Even when the motion feature is not on, you should still use the harness. This will keep the baby safe in case he moves. Also, you should keep on adjusting the saddle to the baby’s size as he grows.
3. Avoid Elevated Surfaces
Some parents place the swing on the tabletop or kitchen counter for convenient supervision of the baby as they do some chores. Don’t do that!
If the swing falls off or tips over while on an elevated surface, it could be fatal. It’s advisable to put the baby swing on the floor. The floor reduces the chances of the swing toppling over when the bay moves.
4. Reduce Swing Time for Your Baby
You shouldn’t leave your baby in the swing for too long. According to consumer reports, you should limit the baby’s stay in the swing for not more than 30 minutes. They also recommend that you limit the use to two 30 minutes sessions per day.
Why should you limit the time?
Though a baby swing is soothing, it cannot be compared to a parents face and touch. You should deprive your baby of your interaction with a baby swing.
In addition, the straps and harnesses of a baby swing, though secure, makes the baby immobile. This can cause a delay in the baby’s motor development if the swing is used for a long time.
5. Check on the Weight Limit.
Every baby swing has a weight limit. The limit is usually indicated on the products manual.
Always weigh your baby to make sure he doesn’t exceed the recommended weight. (you’ll be surprised how fast they add weight). Also, using a baby swing when the baby is less than the recommended is risky as it is likely to slide.
6. Mind the Toys
Despite entertaining the baby, the toys also pose a risk. Always check to make sure that the toys are fastened securely. Loose toys are likely to fall off and cause a choking hazard. Additionally, toys can lead to your little one forming some sleeping associations whereby they will fuss if they don’t see them when they wake up.
Wrapping It Up
Don’t dele a baby swing from to-buy-list or get rid of it due to this article. It’s still a valuable resource to calm a fussy baby and a great activity device. The only restriction is using it as a sleeping device.
Thank you for stopping by. We hope you found this an interesting read.