The best baby swing

Adam Reeder

Those with infants know that a good baby swing is more valuable than a diamond mine when you want to rock your baby to sleep. Sometimes, the soothing comfort of a baby swing is the only thing that will get your little one to relax. That's why having the best possible baby swing is of the utmost importance.

If you want to know how to choose the right baby swing for your needs, read the following buying guide. We touch on some of our favorite models, including our Best of the Best pick, the Graco Glider Abbington. We love the gentle gliding motion of this baby swing from one of the best makers of baby equipment, and we think you will, too.

Considerations when choosing baby swings

Swing type

The three most popular types of baby swings are portable swings, full-size swings, and baby gliders. A portable baby swing is designed to be taken easily from place to place; often, they fold for easy transport. A full-size swing is more of a semi-permanent fixture; it's too bulky to move around much, but you could move it if you really needed to.

The third swing type, the baby glider, doesn't swing from a pole mounted above it. Rather, it glides back and forth on a frame beneath it. Gliders offer a smoother ride for baby, and some infants seem to find them more soothing than a regular swing.

Manual vs. automatic

While baby swings were traditionally mechanical items that worked on a winding mechanism, times have changed. Many baby swings and gliders are now electric or battery powered. One benefit of automatic baby swings is that the movements tend to be less drastic than those of the purely mechanical swings of the past.


When choosing a baby swing, you'll need to consider whether you plan to take your swing on the road to Grandma's house -- or elsewhere -- regularly. While most portable swings are easy to throw into a car and transport, full-size ones are not always so portable. If you only plan to use your baby swing at home, you don't need to worry about portability. Otherwise, you may wish to consider a swing that easily folds for quick transport.

Swinging modes

Most baby swings have a number of different swinging modes to address individual preferences and needs. Some have as many as six or eight modes, ranging from a slight swing to a quick rock. The more swinging modes a baby swing has, the more opportunity you'll have to find one that your baby loves.

Entertainment options

Many baby swings have songs and games attached to them. Some have tactile toys to keep your baby busy, and some incorporate lights and sounds to create a fulfilling sensory experience.


All baby swings come with a harness for your baby. Study the specs of any model you're considering to see what kind of harness it has. The ideal baby swing harness keeps the child snug, safe, and comfortable.


Any item that your baby will spend a decent amount of time in must be sturdy. The base of your baby swing should be made of heavy-duty metal or plastic. The frame should be well-constructed and stable. 


Most baby swings cost between $50 and $250. A handful of lower-end swings are basic mechanical models that have a hand crank. However, you can find options for as little as $50 that are powered by an electrical cord and/or a battery. Under $100, many of the options are portable with just a few swing modes. Over $100, you'll have a lot more choice, including deluxe baby swings that are full-size and offer a large menu of swinging modes and sensory stimuli.


Q. Are swings the same as jumpers?

A. No. The two are completely different. A baby swing gently rocks your baby back and forth or side to side; it's a passive activity for baby. Jumpers, on the other hand, have rubber straps that encourage baby to actively bounce up and down. You cannot substitute one for the other.

Q. Is there a recommended time limit for swing time?

A. Yes. Babies should not swing more than 20 minutes at a time. Furthermore, if a baby spends too much time throughout the day in the swing, they could develop a flat spot on the back of the head.

Baby swings we recommend

Best of the best: Graco Glider Abbington

Our take: This is one of the only models that works as both a swing and a jumper.

What we like: The two levels of vibration and 15 songs help soothe baby.

What we dislike: Frame is not very portable.

Best bang for your buck: Comfort & Harmony Cozy Kingdom Portable Swing

Our take: An ultra-portable model at a great price.

What we like: Lightweight design is easy to carry.

What we dislike: Battery power only. No plug-in power.

Choice 3: 4moms mamaRoo

Our take: Expensive, but it looks great and keeps baby happy.

What we like: Bluetooth-controlled, technologically advanced seat.

What we dislike: Some babies seem to want more extreme motion.

Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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