UNLIKE A pram or a Moses basket, a baby swing is something parents like to wait to buy to see if they’ll need it.
But once they realise swings will entertain and soothe baby (plus give parents a chance to take a shower or prepare dinner) the best baby swing seats quickly move from the 'optional' to the 'essential' category.
Below we've rounded up our pick of the best baby swings of 2020 to suit a range of budgets and styles, selected using our own expertise as well as chosen based on top reviews.
The best baby swings are most useful in the first few months of a baby's life, but some can accommodate babies for up to a year.
Baby swings are for soothing and entertainment rather than sleep, so even if you're using one to calm a newborn, move them into their cot or Moses basket once they've fallen asleep.
If you're after some baby bouncers, here are the best cheap baby bouncers on the market.
1. Best convertible baby swing: Ingenuity Candler ConvertMe Swing-2-Seat
- Ingenuity Candler ConvertMe Swing-2-Seat, £79.99 at Amazon – buy here
This portable baby swing has five speeds, plays eight melodies and three soothing nature sounds and converts from classic swing to vibrating bouncer for play or sleep.
A toy bar will help with entertaining your little one. Parents like how quiet it is (it runs on magnets rather than motors) as well as the compact shape and that it folds down easily, making it suitable for small spaces.
2. Best multi-directional baby swing: Joie Serina 2 in 1 swing
- Joie Serina 2 in 1 swing rocker, £169 at Online 4 Baby – buy here
The Joie Serine has six speed settings, three different seat positions – including a recline position, two-way seat swings (front to back or side to side) and lights to get your baby's attention.
Your baby is secured using a five-point harness and its head support keeps your baby's head safe.
It also plays five lullabies and five nature sounds. The best bit? The baby swing also converts into a baby rocker so you can take it with you even when space is limited.
3. Best smart baby swing: 4moms MamaRoo 4.0 Rocker
- 4moms MamaRoo 4.0 Rocker/Bouncer, £279 at Amazon – buy here
The 4moms mamaRoo baby swing is absolutely gorgeous in terms of design and its innovative approach: the vibrational settings mimic the motions that parents use to comfort their babies (car ride, kangaroo, tree swing, etc.).
It allows you to choose from five different speeds.
It's also Bluetooth-enabled so you can control everything from your phone.
If you get tired of the four built-in sounds, connect it to your MP3 player and blast Hamilton instead.
4. Best baby swing for older babies: The Original Jolly Jumper Baby Exerciser
The Original Jolly Jumper baby exerciser is secured by a harness
- The Original Jolly Jumper with door clamp, £57.75 at Amazon – buy here
Slightly older babes who like to move will LOVE this doorway swing.
Secured in the harness, they can jump to their heart’s delight.
Meanwhile, you can sip a cup of tea on the sofa and pat yourself on the back for your superior parenting skills.
And if all that bouncing causes a bit of spit up, the cover is machine washable.
5. Best value-for-money baby swing: Bright Starts Playful Parade
Bright Starts Playful Parade, £42.97 at Amazon – buy here
Safety harness? Tick. A choice between playful toys? Tick. Soothing musical lullabies? Oh yeah.
This baby swing packs away easily, making it perfect for small spaces, and comes with a toy bar which your baby will love.
Fans insist it's 'lovely', 'brilliant' and that they're 'more than pleased'.
6. Best portable baby swing: Fisher-Price Rainforest Take Along Swing
- Fisher-Price Rainforest Take Along Swing, £79.20 at Amazon – buy here
A portable six-speed swing, this colourful, animal-themed Fisher-Price option has 10 songs, a couple of nature melodies, and can convert to a baby seat with a soothing vibration setting.
Parents like how chilled their babies are in it but warn that it drains batteries quickly.
7. Best baby swing for sleep: SNOO Smart Sleeper Baby Cot
- SNOO Smart Sleeper Baby Cot, £1145 at Happiest Baby – buy here
While baby swings can be useful for calming babies down, they're not ideal for babies to sleep in – you should always transfer them to a cot or bassinet where they can sleep safely.
Which makes SNOO the best of both worlds: it's a smart bassinet that rocks and moves to help babies fall asleep.
It also plays calming white noise while rocking them so they feel as though they're back in the womb.
This award-winning design from Dr. Harvey Karp also includes a sleep sack/swaddle to help keep babies on their backs through the night, and the accompanying app means you can keep a log of baby's sleeping patterns.
Parents insist it's helped their babies sleep way better, calling it a 'lifesaver' and 'magic… with an app'.
8. Best grow-with-baby swing: Nuna Leaf Grow
- Nuna Leaf Grow, Biscotti, £240 at John Lewis – buy here
While most baby swings are only suitable for a few months, the Nuna Leaf Grow is a baby rocker that grows with your child, supporting up to 60kg (it becomes a stylish chair for their room as they get older).
It doesn't require any batteries – just a push – and gives babies and toddlers a side-to-side ride (it also locks into a stationary position, so babies can be fed in the chair). The gliding motion is meant to be even more relaxing than a battery-assisted bouncing or rocking one.
Parents think it's absolutely gorgeous and love the quality and the amount of time you can use it for.
9. Best Natural Baby Rocker: Scandiborn
- Levo rocker, £204.95 from Scandiborn – buy here
If natural is your thing then you will love the LEVO rocker by Scandiborn. Coming with an aesthetically pleasing beech wood base, a wide cushion and padded harness it will keep baby safe and comfortable while providing a relaxing haven that they will enjoy time and time again.
The 100% cotton cover and cushion is machine washable which is perfect for all those dribbles or milk spills that often occus with babies, and it is suitable from birth up to seven months. So comfy you'll wish they did an adult version!
10. Best for Summer: Costway Electric Rocker
- Electric rocker, £129.95, from Costway – buy here
If you want some relaxing time in the garden with baby then it can be hazardous if there are a lot of flies, bugs or mosquitos about. But with this Costway electric rocker you can keep them safely at bay with its built-in pull-down net that stops any little creature invasions.
Not only that but it is an electric rocker (taking four AAA batteries) and its portable structure means it will soon lull baby into relaxation.
It comes complete with five-point safety harness to prevent baby from slipping, five swaying movements and a selection of soft toys to comfort and amuse your baby easily.
11. Best for Toys: Fisher Price Animal Wonders
- Fisher-Price animal wonders rocker, £90, from Argos – buy here
For an absolute toy bonanza, it has to be this Fisher-Price rocker. It rocks and gently allows baby to jump with a rotating 360-degree seat so they can access and play with lots of toys, activities, and animal pals.
The set includes great sensory items including a roller ball, bead bar, teether and mirror that will joy and delight babies imagination while its three different heights adjust as your baby grows.
12. Best for Day Naps: Tiny Love 3-in-1
- Tiny Love 3-in-1 rocker, £79 from Amazon – buy here
This baby rocker was made for naps! With its reclining different positions and padded seat inlay it is super soft for your little one.
It can even turn 90° vertical and features some twinkling lights, gentle music and two hooks for removable toy panels. Its electric movements mean it will do all the hard work for you!
Are baby swings good for babies?
Baby swings offer a number of benefits for your little one from keeping them calm, stimulating their senses and mimicking the womb to make the transition to the real world a little less scary.
Be aware that young babies, require only a small amount of stimulation before they get tired so baby bouncers or infant swings on lower settings are best when your child is tiny.
Don't forget to use the lowest recline position for newborns, too.
As they get older, the faster vibration settings or multiple lullabies will keep them entertained.
Once your baby can roll or pull themselves up, they should no longer be put in a baby swing or bouncer for their own safety.
What baby swing has the highest weight limit?
Most baby swings can support babies weighing up to 20lbs or 9kg but there are a handful of swing seats and bouncers that can be used for longer. Be aware that they don't come cheap.
The 4moms mamaroo, for example, is suitable for babies up to 25lbs, or 11kg. This is thanks to its sturdy base.
There are swings available that can support children up to 40lbs or 18kg; namely the Fisher-Price Infant-to-Toddler rocker.
Our top pick, the Nuna Leaf Grow, can hold kids up to 60kg so you can use it for years.
However, as swing seats aren't suitable once your child is rolling or sitting up, it's unlikely you'll need or be able to use a baby swing for that long.
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Enjoyed our roundup of the best baby swings? Then you might like our selection of the best advent calanders too.
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