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Cheap Baby Swings Buying Guide

The big name manufacturers in the baby swings market include Fisher-Price, Graco, Bright Starts, Safety 1st, and Cosco, which produce infant swings across the price spectrum. MamaRoo, a decidedly upmarket brand, sells a $200 baby swing that features space-age design and multi-directional swinging and jostling that simulate real motions, like a jumping kangaroo or a moving car.

Low-cost baby swings contain the necessary elements but present with less pizzazz.

A baby swing is useful only for the first half year or so of a child's life, or until the baby weighs about 25 pounds, so there's no need to spend big bucks. In fact, for less than $60 you can get a good cheap portable infant swing, like the Bright Starts Comfort & Harmony Portable Swing (starting at $50) or Fisher-Price SpaceSaver Swing & Seat (starting at $56), which sit near the ground, work well for on-the-go babies, and offer many of the same features as cheap full-height baby swings. The standard-sized models aren't as easy to move around but require less bending over to move the baby in and out and carry price tags close to our $100 limit. Our picks for full-size swings include the Graco Swing 'n Bounce (starting at $90) and the Graco Lovin' Hug Barcelona (starting at $92), the former because of its versatile swing/vibrate/bounce functionality and the latter for its all-around value. Two cheap baby swings we'd steer clear of are the Fisher-Price 2-in-1 Cradle Swing (starting at $90) because it seems underpowered and tends to run through batteries at a rapid clip and the Cosco Juvenile Beginnings Gentle Motion Swing (starting at $50) due to concerns about build quality and the absence of entertaining distractions.

The features to look for in the best baby swings start with safety. Experts suggest opting for a model with a wide base to prevent tip-overs and a three- or five-point harness to keep the baby secure. Experts also urge you to send in the registration card that comes with every new baby swing so you can be notified in the event of a recall.

Other features found on the cheapest good baby swings include a design that affords easy access to the baby, multiple speed settings and recline positions, and entertainment options. A few feature two-way swinging (front-to-back and side-to-side) and a seat that vibrates. Our top picks for the best baby swings provide at least two recline positions, three speeds, five songs, and an open top design. As we read through reviews of budget baby swings, we did note, however, that even these models are not immune to the problem of motors that die too soon or struggle as the baby gets heavier.

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