How Long Do Babies Use Swings? – Baby Swing Safety

By Maria Wilcox •  Updated: 06/14/22 •  8 min read
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Baby swings can be a true lifesaver when it comes to soothing babies. But how long do babies use swings? That’s a question with a fairly easy answer. If you’re interested in learning more about baby swings and their duration, then keep reading. We’ve got all of the details you need right here! 

When Do Babies Outgrow Swings?

Baby Swing Weight Limit

To know when your baby will outgrow a baby swing, it is important that you read the manufacturer’s specifications ahead of time. When it comes to weight limit for baby swing, know that different baby swings will have different weight requirements.

And if you plan on utilizing your swing for a longer period of time, you’ll want to buy a swing that can hold a heavier baby. 

Thankfully, most baby swings don’t have a minimum weight requirement. Meaning, you can put your newborn in the swing from the time of birth. Still, you will want to check the manufacturer’s specifications to be sure. 

When it comes to weight limit maximums, however, most baby swings will house babies that are anywhere from up to 20-40 pounds. This means that, depending on how fast your baby grows, you may or may not be able to utilize your baby swing past a certain point in your baby’s life.

At exactly what age that will be is difficult to determine because all babies grow at different rates. 

how long do babies use swings

When Should a Baby Stop Using a Swing?

Besides the recommendations we’ve already mentioned above, you should also note that even if your baby hasn’t reached the weight limit for a baby swing, there are some tell-tale signs that you may need to retire the swing for your little one. 

One of those signs is if your baby starts wiggling his or her way out of the swing. If you notice that your baby is actively trying to get out of the swing, it means that your baby has outgrown it. You won’t want to wait for the day that they actually figure out how to get out of the swing to remove them. We know this could be very dangerous. 

In addition, you’ll want to pay attention to your baby’s height. Although most swings won’t have a height limit (though some may), you will still want to retire the swing if your baby fills up the entirety of the swing. If your baby is too big it is possible for your baby to slide out. Especially if you don’t have them secured properly.

To avoid the risk it is best to retire the baby swing if it looks as though your baby is growing too tall for it. Chances are that at that point, they’re likely too heavy for it too!

Ingenuity SimpleComfort Lightweight Multi-Direction Compact Baby Swing - 6 Speeds, Nature Sounds & Vibrations - Cassidy (Pink)

How Long Can an Infant Be in a Swing?

It is recommended that you leave your baby in a swing no longer than one hour a day…total.

While that may seem like only a little bit of time for an entire day, the truth of the matter is that allowing your baby to lounge in a swing for long periods of time can impair breathing. The slouched position of your baby may make it difficult for him or her to inhale and exhale.

In addition, by placing your baby in a motorized swing for long periods of time, you are restricting your baby’s freedom of movement. This does not allow your baby to build muscle strength the way he or she should.

The result is that your baby may experience a delay in walking, crawling, or other gross motor movements. These are because of his or her physical confinement having been placed in a baby swing for too long.

Are Baby Swings Bad For Development?

It is possible that a baby swing could become bad for development, especially if the baby is left there too long. 

Ideally, your baby will be on his or her stomach on a soft clean blanket or mat placed on the floor for tummy time. This is the optimum position for your baby to learn to build neck and back strength.

Though many babies balk at tummy time, it is important to note that you can help make tummy time a better experience for your child. Do so by placing a rolled-up towel or blanket under your baby’s chest and tucked under the underarm area. These will support them as they learn to support themselves.

You can also surround your baby with age-appropriate toys. Or even a shatter-proof mirror designed for babies that are doing tummy time. These will distract your baby if he or she typically cries during tummy time. 

beetoy Tummy Time Baby Floor Mirror Toys with Black and White Pattern, Double High Contrast Play Activity Mat Crinkle Toys Foldable Baby Mirror Development Toys for Newborn Infants

Note: It is important to know that allowing your baby to sleep in a baby swing, especially for the duration of the night, is extremely dangerous. It should be avoided. Allowing your baby to sleep in his or her swing puts them at risk for blocked airways which can cause them to stop breathing. As always, the best place for your baby to sleep when they are infants is on their back, in their crib, without anything in the crib with them.  

How Long Can a Newborn Be in a Swing?

Remember, a baby swing is best utilized for only 1 hour a day total. And this is preferably split into 15-30 minute chunks at a time.

Instead of relying on a baby swing, car seat, bouncer, or walker for the majority of the day, your best bet is to put your baby in a safe and clean spot on the floor. They’ll have the freedom to move and explore. This builds back, head, and neck strength and aids in building your child’s coordination skills as well.

When to Stop Using Baby Swing

  • Always read the manufacturer’s specifications before buying your baby swing so you’ll know when to stop using the baby swing. Every swing is different, and some will accommodate heavier babies than others.
  • If your baby is too tall for the swing, it is time to retire the swing.
  • If your baby is actively trying to climb out of the swing, it is time to retire the swing. 
  • If your baby seems disinterested in the swing or is visibly upset every time you place him or her in the swing, you may wish to discontinue its use.
  • If you are tempted to use the swing for your baby to sleep in, especially at night, you may wish to retire the swing. Safe sleep is of the utmost importance for infants. Especially when considering the ongoing threat that SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome poses to children around the world. 
baby sleeping in baby swing

How Long Do Babies Use Swings? Depends on the Brand!

How long babies can use a baby swing will depend on the manufacturer’s specifications. But even before the weight limit indicated by the manufacturer is reached, it is possible that your baby may need to be removed from the baby swing.

If your baby is actively trying to get out of his or her swing or if your baby seems to be too tall for the swing, it may be time to move on.

Don’t forget to give your baby plenty of time on the floor for tummy time as well to build muscle strength and coordination. 

Until next time! 

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Maria Wilcox

Former instructor with an M.A. in Education turned grateful stay-at-home mama to one, I look to share helpful insights related to babies, toddlers, kids, and families for the benefit of real people just like you.

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