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Cheap Portable Baby Swings, Baby Swings Weight Requirements
Baby Swings Features
Baby Swings Design.When you start looking at the cheapest baby swings, one of the first differences you'll notice is if its a portable baby swing or full-size.
The cheapest baby swings pickings are slimmer in the full-size category because larger models tend to cost more than our Cheapism maximum. But choose we must, so we nominated the Graco Swing 'n Bounce (starting at $90, Amazon) and Graco Lovin' Hug (starting at $92, Amazon) as best and good cheap full-size baby swings, respectively. One money-saving feature of the Graco Swing 'n Bounce is its dual functionality -- a standard swing with a removable seat that serves as a carrier or a bouncer, which also vibrates. According to our research, some parents perceive full-size swings as sturdier than the portable baby swings and easier on your back because there's less reaching and bending.
Nearly all of the best baby swings, regardless of price, have an open-access design. This is a big improvement over earlier models, which sported a top swing bar that made moving the baby in or out a feat of nimble maneuvering. On modern infant swings the seat pivots from the two points at which the unit's spreadable legs connect. Don't panic if you see a toy bar or arm with soft dangling playthings positioned over the seat. These features either come off or rotate out of your way, although parents occasionally grumble about the interference anyway and say the toys are boring or not placed in the baby's line of sight.
Baby Swings Fundamentals.Baby swings are designed for infants. The usefulness of a baby swing begins when a child weighs about 5.5 pounds and ends once a child weighs 25 pounds. The specs for some of the cheapest baby swings, like the Bright Starts Comfort & Harmony Portable Swing (starting at $50, Amazon), say the child should be at least a month old, and a few, like the Graco Lovin' Hug Barcelona (starting at $92, Amazon) can handle babies up to 30 pounds. Regardless, don't start the baby too early if the seat doesn't recline enough to keep the child from slumping over, which could block vital air passages. Also, using a swing when the child exceeds the weight limit runs the risk of causing a tip-over and/or burning out the motor. And remember, never leave a baby unattended in a swing.
Baby Swings Batteries.Most of the cheapest baby swings run on batteries. Portable baby swings typically need four C batteries and full-size swings usually require four D batteries; the Graco Lovin' Hug Barcelona uses three batteries for the swing and one to vibrate the seat. Battery-operated baby swings are often cheaper than models that draw power from a wall socket but may be more expensive in the long-run. We found numerous complaints from parents about needing to replace batteries frequently -- sometimes as often as weekly -- and some conclude that you're better off springing for a plug-in baby swing at the start. You can get a version of the Graco Lovin' Hug that includes an optional AC plug and costs about $10 more than the battery-only model. Some low-cost baby swings, like the Bright Starts Comfort & Harmony and Graco Lovin' Hug Barcelona, come with a shut-off timer that's meant to conserve battery power.
Don't Bother Cheap Baby Swings
Cosco Juvenile Beginnings Gentle Motion Swing
For what appears to be an excellent price, this swing offers the basics -- three-point harness, five speeds, three reclines, and a fold-up design, but no music. Parents complain about motors that are loud or conk out, and grouse about its build quality.
Fisher-Price 2-in-1 Cradle Swing
The dual functionality of the Fisher-Price 2-in-1 (front-to-back swing and side-to-side cradle) is rare in the cheap price range, but its gusto for eating batteries is a real turn off for many parents. It includes a three-point harness, six speeds, 12 tunes and three nature sounds, and it folds for storage.
Fisher-Price 2-in-1 Cradle Swing Review
Fisher-Price SpaceSaver Swing & Seat Review
Graco Lovin' Hug Swing Barcelona Review
Bright Starts Comfort & Harmony Portable Swing Review
Graco Swing 'n Bounce Review
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