How long should my baby spend in a swing?
An infant swing can be the answer to a tired parent’s prayer. When your irritated baby refuses to be soothed by you or anything else, the slow rhythmic rocking of a motorized infant swing may be the ticket to peace and quiet.
Child development specialists, however, caution parents about overuse of the restrictive equipment. In fact, many experts recommend an hour or less each day in a motorized swing.
Why an hour or less? Too much time in a swing steals time that your baby could be building critical movement skills. Mastering the motor skills that lead to crawling, pulling up, and cruising can’t happen if a child is sitting passively in a swing. Nonrestrictive environments are crucial to building early skills and allow adequate blood flow to all of the baby’s arms and legs, fingers and toes.
If your baby loves spending time in the swing, do so in moderation and in a swing that meets modern safety standards. The Consumer Product Safety Commission advises use of a swing with a five-point harness to secure your baby. They also recommend checking cpsc.org for any product recalls before you purchase a swing.
Learn more about child safety and development at abcquality.org.
ABC Quality is a parent-focused resource on child care and child development. Visit ABC Quality for child care and development information, search for a child care provider or learn about the state’s voluntary quality rating system. ABC Quality is administered by the Division of Early Care and Education of the SC Department of Social Services.
By ABC Quality Team on February 14, 2017