10 Tips to Get Your Baby to Like the Swing

It seems as though there’s an endless number of products designed to help soothe babies and give them a better rest time. But as a mother with a young baby who absolutely refuses to hop into the notable ‘baby swing,’ it might seem like a challenge to get three seconds away from babe.

Struggling with settling the baby into the swing? We have the top 10 tips for how to get your baby to like the swing:

  1. Swaddle your baby
  2. Place something that smells like Mommy in the swing
  3. Try a pacifier
  4. Nurse/Bottle feed before laying the baby down
  5. Add white noise
  6. Try ‘shushing’
  7. Start off without using the motor
  8. Rock baby to sleep before placing them in the swing
  9. Establish a routine
  10. Don’t wait until the baby is overtired

How to Get Your Baby to Like the Swing

We’re going to break down why you might want a baby swing and how to get the most use out of it. We’ll also give you some quick and easy tips and tricks for the first-time swing-buying mom, and more solutions for the stubborn baby who hates the swing.

What is a Baby Swing?

A baby swing is exactly as the name suggests: it is a padded suspended chair that swings back and forth (although some also have the option to swing side to side as well). A lot of these swings come with special features and designs like vibration and added noises/music too.

The baby swings major goal is to allow a cozy resting place for baby whether he’s away or asleep (or trying to fall asleep). This gives the baby a chance to learn a little bit of independence while mom gets some much-needed laundry done, and will also help the child learn to fall asleep on his own.

Baby swings will come with a cozy, padded area for the baby to lay down in. It won’t be overly padded to be potentially dangerous but will provide a soft spot with a buckle to keep the baby safe. There is also a motor on the swing that will adjust the speed of the rocking.

While the baby swings rocks the baby back and forth, it mimics the motion of mommy rocking the baby on a rocking chair. This is why most babies love the baby swing, but for some moms, the swing isn’t so easily received by the baby!

Simple Steps for Baby Swing Success:

Thinking about buying a baby swing for your little one? These are the simple starting steps to take:

  • Choose a baby swing

The first step is to choose a baby swing. Remember that you don’t necessarily need all of the bells and whistles that come with a lot of overly expensive modern-day baby swings. As long as it’s a comfortable area with a motor that swings back and forth, that is enough to keep any baby calm and comfy while they rock.

  • Place it where your baby currently sleeps

Most newborn and young babies are still in their parent’s room, and that’s okay. You will want to place the baby swing in an area that is familiar to your baby, so they do not become scared or upset. Move some things out of the way and place them where your baby knows the surroundings, and it is close to you.

  • Make the room dark

Many moms use the baby swing for naptime and bedtime, and it can be very successful. However, most babies won’t fall asleep with too much light. Consider purchasing blackout curtains to hide the daytime sun from the room, and at nighttime, make sure the lights are all turned off. (A small nightlight is okay).

  • Ensure it’s a safe environment

Just like in the crib, you want to make sure that the baby swing is a safe area for your child to rest in. This means there shouldn’t be any heavy blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals in the baby swing. A small, lightweight blanket kept away from the face is okay.

  • Check on baby often

This may go without saying, but a lot of parents notice their baby sleeps for longer periods of time while in the swing- and that’s great. But don’t forget to check on your baby often! If he’s sleeping there throughout the night, try and wake up a few times to make sure everything is going smoothly for the baby.

  • Turn on to the highest speed – or baby’s favorite speed

Most baby swings on the market will have a motor (that is either plugged into an outlet or ran on batteries) that can run at different speeds. Most babies will find the highest speed to be the most relaxing and should put them to sleep rather quickly and keep them asleep for longer periods of time. But trial-and-error will prevail here!

That’s it! If you follow these simple steps and your baby falls in love with the baby swing instantly, then you are in luck. However, some moms aren’t so lucky and find their baby struggling to enjoy the benefits of the baby swing. So, what can you do?

Baby Swing Techniques for the Stubborn Baby

If you have a stubborn baby that really doesn’t care for the swing and cries the second they come into contact with it, don’t worry – you aren’t alone. The good news is there are a lot of steps you can take to allow your baby to adjust and fall in love with the baby swing.

  1. Swaddle your baby

From the very first minutes after having your baby, nurses are advising you to swaddle your baby. This keeps them feeling secure, and their limbs won’t ‘jerk’ as they become used to their bodies outside of the womb. This jerking tends to wake babies up and scare them.

Many babies love to be swaddled as they feel cozy as if they were in the womb, and that is why it’s recommended to swaddle for naps and bedtime. You should also swaddle your baby when putting them in the baby swing, but it should be done a little differently.

Remember that the main goal with swaddling is to keep the arms down. When you’re swaddling in preparation for the baby swing, keep it tight around the arms and leave it a little loose and roomy around the legs. This will still allow you to buckle the baby into the baby swing, providing utmost safety.

  1. Place something that smells like Mommy in the swing

Ever heard that a baby can smell their mom the second they walk into the room? This smell alerts the baby, and they want to be right in mom’s arms, of course, and it’s all too true. That being said, you might want to consider placing something in the baby swing that smells like mom or her milk.

One easy thing to do is find a piece of cloth and stick it in your bra throughout the day. Your natural scent as well as milk (if you breastfeeding) will get on the cloth, and you can place it next to your baby’s head in the baby swing.

Remember that the item should not be thick or bulky or placed on top of the baby’s face, as this can be dangerous. The cloth or items should be lightweight and thin enough to not cause a potential problem.

  1. Try a pacifier

Not every baby is a fan of pacifiers, but a lot of them are. They are incredibly soothing, easing that ‘suckling’ motion that every baby does throughout the day and night. In fact, even when a baby is sleeping, they will continue to suckle throughout their dreams.

This is where pacifiers come into play. If a baby is truly wanting comfort and isn’t hungry, then the pacifier will be soothing enough and can play a big role when you’re trying to get your baby to love the baby swing.

It doesn’t really matter whether you’re giving your baby his pacifier before or after he’s in the swing, but make sure he’s got it nearby for when he’s laying down in the swing. This can soothe him into loving the baby swing in no time.

  1. Nurse/bottle feed before laying baby down

Whether you are placing your baby in the crib, bassinet, stroller, or even exersaucer, he is never going to be happy unless his belly is full.

Always make sure your baby is nursed or bottle-fed before attempting to put him into the baby swing. Make sure he has had enough to drink; don’t take him off of the nipple before it’s too soon and give him a few minutes after he’s done to make sure he isn’t needed anymore.

A happy belly will not only keep your baby happy but will also help him to sleep longer periods of time. Just make sure you also burp baby before putting him into the swing, as a baby with a tummy ache and a burp that won’t come out will not be happy anywhere, he’s at, either.

  1. Add white noise

If there is one thing you have heard as a new parent, it is the importance of white noise. White noise has a soothing temperate to it, which actually does end up helping babies fall asleep and stay asleep longer.

White noise can be found in a variety of ways, from specialty toys and products made just for babies to apps you can play right off of your phone. Simply doing an app search for ‘white noise’ or finding a ‘white noise’ video on YouTube and playing it near your baby can work wonders.

Try and find white noise that is specifically designed for babies. A lot of these white noises will include heartbeats and other noises a baby might hear in the womb. This will comfort the baby and allow them to feel secure as if they were back in mom’s tummy.

  1. Try ‘Shushing’

White noise always works wonders, but if it still isn’t quite doing the trick, there’s one more thing that can help: good old-fashioned ‘shushing.’

It might be that this particular noise is stuck in our brains for centuries ago, but the soothing sound of a gentle ‘shushing’ by mom is still something that will bring any baby at ease.

Once your baby is placed in the baby swing, sit beside him and gentle rock his swing back and forth. At this point, you can begin ‘shushing’ your baby in a calm and appropriate manner. Try and keep it the same pace and tone until he eventually calms down and goes to sleep.

  1. Start off without using the motor

In a lot of these baby swings, the motor can be downright loud. This can be startling for some babies who prefer a more peaceful sound. So how can you make sure that the baby enjoys the swing, even if it seems like you aren’t able to turn it on?

Well, you will have to do this in steps. First and foremost, start with the motor completely off. You will use your hand, along with a shushing sound or white noise, to gently push the swing back and forth.

As the baby drifts off to sleep, you can try placing the motor on the lowest setting possible. This will keep the swing moving at a gentle rate without causing too much of a stir or loudness.

As the baby begins to get used to the baby swing you can begin kicking it up a notch. Try and start the baby swing on the lowest setting sooner and sooner until he is comfortable with the noise and movement.

  1. Rock baby to sleep before placing them in the swing

One problem a lot of moms face is that they rock their baby to sleep, and when they try to place them down in the crib they wake up instantly.

This is due to two reasons:

  • They are no longer in movement, rocking side to side or back and forth
  • They’re not in a curled up, comfy location any longer.

When it comes to a baby swing, it’s far different than a crib. The baby swing has a slightly curved, comfy area that the baby can ‘sink’ into and feel a little more secure, rather than being on a flat surface with no comfort.

The baby swing also provides movement, which is crucial for newborn and very young babies. They get used to moving inside of the womb, which is why it’s hard for them to deal with no movement and sleeping suddenly.

Ever noticed how your baby falls asleep in seconds in the car? This happens for the exact same reason: movement.

If your baby falls asleep in your arms, have the baby swing ready. Make sure that the area is safe, you have a piece of cloth with your smell on it, and the motor is on the low setting ready to go.

Gently place your baby down into the swing and let it begin rocking back and forth. You may then want to place a lightweight blanket over your child, so they are nice and warm and comfortable while they rest.

  1. Establish a routine

You have heard it before, and you will hear it again: routine is the key to success for a baby (and older children for that matter, too). Establishing a routine while they are very young is a very smart thing to do.

A sample of a great routine that happens before ‘baby swing naptime’ would be:

  • Feed baby for as long he needs, which is usually around 10 to 20 minutes
  • Burp baby
  • Swaddle him uptight
  • Rock him in the rocker for around 10 minutes
  • Lay him down into the baby swing
  • Turn on white noise and swing

For a nighttime routine, you may want to add in bath time and a special song that mom sings to him every night. Eventually, your baby will remember these things and note that every time he hears the song, he knows it’s about to be bedtime.

The great thing about routines is that they can be carried on into your child’s next year as well, especially naptime and bedtime routines. Keep the routine going for many years, and you will notice a very happy child!

Have a slightly older baby? No worries- you can start a routine at any time. The sooner you start the routine, the easier it will be to handle your baby and child.

  1. Don’t wait until the baby is overtired

Have you ever tried to do anything with a baby that is overtired? They don’t want to eat, they don’t want to play, they refuse to sleep- all they want to do is scream and cry. If you think that you can put your overtired baby who doesn’t like the swing into a baby swing and expect a miracle, you have another thing coming.

Never try and place your overtired baby into a baby swing if they don’t like it, period. You will hear nothing but crying and screaming for quite some time before they finally tire themselves out.

Instead, always make sure that you’re getting your baby into the baby swing before the overtiredness sets in. You will have far more success dealing with a somewhat tired baby than a baby who is beyond his limit in terms of sleepiness.

Why Use the Baby Swing?

A lot of new parents will walk up and down the never-ending baby aisles, only to be swarmed with so many products. So, what’s a must? Why even consider getting a baby swing in the first place, when there are so many choices on the market?

While it’s true that there is a seemingly endless supply of products and goodies that are designed to help baby sleep, one of the most popular and common devices is none other than the baby swing. It’s highly recommended by moms and dads and has been a must-have in the home for newborn babies. Here’s why:

  • Increase Sleep Time for Baby

Whether this is your first go-around with a baby or not, one thing that we all know about babies is that they don’t sleep for very long periods of time. Their tiny tummies need food, and they want cuddles – who wouldn’t, being that small and helpless?

However, your baby also needs sleep to develop, and the mom needs to be able to set the baby down so she can get things done around the house. (FYI: laundry, dinner, and simply taking a shower won’t get done by itself, right?)

Moms and dads need a safe place where they can lay their newborn baby down and feel comfortable while they get a few things done, even if it just 20 minutes of some much-needed rest.

But let’s face it! Newborns and young babies rarely enjoy their cribs: there is too much open space and not enough comfort and security for a small baby. And that is where the baby swing comes into play.

The baby swing provides a comfortable, secure, gently coddling area for a baby to sink into, where they will feel like they are in the womb again. Aside from this wonderful, comforting area, they will also get the must-needed motion in order to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Using a baby swing can have a positive impact on your child as the motion and security keeps them asleep for longer periods of time right off the bat.

  • Help Baby Learn to Fall Asleep on Their Own

Another common mistake new parents may make is thinking their baby should be able to fall asleep completely on their own; it is a natural instinct, right?

However, falling asleep is actually a skill- much like walking and talking- that a baby has to learn. And this can be an incredibly hard challenge as young babies truly enjoy being cuddled by their mom and nursed/bottle fed to sleep.

Using a baby swing can help your baby fall asleep on its own- it’s as simple as that. The security of the swing paired with the rocking side to side or front to back will help them be able to find some independence from mom as they fall asleep, with the combination lulling them off into a dream.

This is especially important for the baby who likes being fed to sleep. It is even a bigger challenge for them to fall asleep on their own, but being placed in the swing when they’re tired and drowsy will allow them to try and get the action of falling asleep without needing a nipple easier.

  • Easier Transition to Crib

As we mentioned earlier, babies don’t tend to like their cribs. This is due to the fact that it is not secure or comfortable. However, at some point, your baby will outgrow the baby swing and need to transfer to his crib. How is this done?

While there are many different ways to get a baby used to his crib, one of the best ways is to use the baby swing.

  • Start off by changing the setting from the highest setting to medium, if the baby swing has this setting.
  • Next, switch it down to the lowest setting and allow the baby to get used to less motion. As there will not be any motion inside of the crib, it is important to take these steps slowly and gradually get baby familiar with it.

If you find that your baby is struggling to fall asleep and stay asleep on the lowest setting, you may need to wait until he is a bit older. Remember that this process should be slow, and won’t be completed in a single day. In fact, you should try and take a week, if not longer, to make a gentle transition.

Finally, you will want to start laying the baby down in the baby swing without any motion. This will get him used to sleep in an area where there are no movements, otherwise known as the crib.

Once your baby is used to falling asleep on his own with no motion, you can begin placing him in his crib. It should be easier for him to fall asleep and stay asleep at this time. However, try and keep the crib around the same area as the baby swing, so it looks familiar to him, and continue using shushing and white noise if needed.

Baby Swing Recommendations

Fisher-Price Sweet Snugapuppy Dreams Cradle ‘n Swing

This baby swing is guaranteed to suit any baby’s needs. From two different ways to swing: side to side or front to back and 2 comfy reclining positions, baby stays comfortable all through the night. With 6 different swing speeds and 16 soothing songs and nature sounds, it’s never been easier to soothe your baby into a good night’s sleep.

Ingenuity Cozy Kingdom Portable Swing

This lovely musical swing comes with 6 different swinging speeds in a front-to-back motion that’s sure to lull your baby off to sleep. It’s compact and portable, which means it can go wherever mom goes with ease. For under $50, this baby swing is a steal!


Getting your stubborn baby to fall in love with his baby swing can be a challenge, but as long as you follow these simple steps and give it a little bit of time and effort, he will be enjoying it in no time.

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