Like many babies, my newborn son Steven likes to be swaddled tightly and rocked to sleep. Although he is only two months old now, he has asserted which activity he prefers. If he cannot be held and rocked he insists on being put in an activity swing. He even has a preference as to which swing he should be placed in.
We have two activity swings in our home. The first activity swing is the Graco Lovin’ Hug Swing in the Safari Sun theme which we received as a baby shower gift for the birth of our first son William. The second swing is the Fisher Price Baby Papasan Cradle Swing in the Nature's Touch theme I picked up off of craigslist for $30. To view full product reviews on each swing you can visit my product review page. Here is my simplified product review of each product:
· The Graco swing can swing in one direction and has six speed options for swinging. The seat can be placed in an upright position or a reclined position. There is an animal mobile that can twist, although it must be done manually. There is also a toy tray that can be opened with one hand (think stroller toy tray that lifts on one side) with removable toys. It can play music or nature sounds and allows the user to adjust the volume or mute the sound all together. The fabric seat can be taken off and washed easily, which I have done several times. My two year old son still likes to crawl into it and he is 35 pounds. I know the seat says it is only supposed to hold 30 pounds, but William looks incredibly funny sitting in the little swing. I don’t turn on the swing when William sits in it, I just let him sit in the swing until he gets bored and moves on. This swing was purchased in 2008 and is still working quite well.
· Then there is the Fisher Price Papasan Cradle swing which was essentially a garage sale purchase. The previous own was a nice lady who lives in Naperville Illinois whose children had outgrown it. The swing was purchased in 2006 and survived two children before making its way into my home. This swing has the ability to swing in two different directions with the simple touch of a button and twist of the seat. The swing has six speed options and a spinning motorized mobile with a mirror. It plays music or nature sounds and has adjustable volume as well. There is a completely removable toy tray with developmentally appropriate toys already attached. The fabric seat can be easily removed for washing as well. One of the best features of this swing is the fact that it folds for easy storage.
Both swings are used quite frequently in our home and reside on different levels. The Fisher Price swing is on the first story of our home, while the Graco swing lives in the basement. I have found this to be incredibly convenient when doing activities on different floors throughout the day. Although lately my newborn son has decided that he favors one swing over another.
Steven is at the stage right now where he sleeps most of the day and wakes for an hour or two sporadically throughout the day. He is not on a defined schedule yet, but I am praying that this next step is right around the corner for us. If Steven has been fed and changed and he is still super fussy it usually means he is ready to sleep but is having trouble falling asleep. When Steven is tired and cannot sleep his sweet natured temperament turns into something that could rival the hormonal changes of a teenager. Very scary! Nothing seems to calm him except the Fisher Price swing.
It is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. Steven will spend an hour screaming and crying. We will try feeding him, burping him, changing his diaper, swaddling him, putting him in the Graco swing, rocking him in our arms, placing him in the bouncer seat, and bouncing him in our arms all to no avail. Then as a last resort last night before pulling out our hair, my husband took Steven upstairs and placed him in the Fisher Price swing. He was asleep in under a minute. Let me tell you, I have never been more thankful for a baby gadget. What did people do before all this baby gear was available?
I would love to hear your tips and tricks for soothing babies. What worked for you?