How Long Can A New Born Be In A Swing?
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Let’s face it, these cradle swings truly are a godsend when it comes to fussy babies and sleep deprived parents. The swing handles all of the back breaking swinging motions and keeps baby entertained giving you a few hand free moments. But how safe are these swings exactly and what precautions should be taken when using them?
What age can a Baby be in a Swing?
Swings and bouncers give fussy babies the soothing motion they crave to be calmed while giving Mom a few hands-free minutes. The most important thing to consider when shopping for a swing or bouncer is whether your infant is ready for a swing. Smaller babies have different need to bigger babies so age is not necessarily as big a factor as size is.
Any infant under the age of four months should be in the most reclining position possible when in the swing. Since your newborn infant does not yet have control over its neck it can easily loll forward and end up suffocating due to a closed airway or clothing item in front of the face. As soon as your baby is able to sit upright unaided then you should avoid using the swing altogether.
The swings are designed to keep younger and smaller babies secure and therefore bigger, older babies will find them restricting. These swings are designed to be lightweight and portable and not to hold wiggly children. If your child is able to climb out of the swing then it should be avoided. The same goes for a child that is very active inside the swing as this can cause the swing to tip over.
Is it safe for Baby to Sleep in a Swing Overnight?
Experts recommend limiting your infant’s time in a swing to an hour a day but there are no real hard and fast rules regarding them. Desperate parents will consider letting their infants sleep in the cat box if it means a good night rest for everyone. Certain motor skills need to develop and eventually lead to crawling, pulling up and sitting up straight. Some argue that extended periods in swing will restrict your infant and not allow any of these movements to develop naturally.
A swing or bouncer should not take the place of physical contact either. Your baby needs emotional stimulation just as much as she needs physical stimulation. There are exceptions to the rule though; if your baby is in the swing and decides to take a power nap then it is not entirely necessary to remove her from the swing.
Just make sure you can see her at all times and remove any puffy or padded items from the swing while she is asleep. The best idea is to get a swing with a five point harness. This will ensure that your infant cannot slump forward if they are still very young and also guards against tipping hazards by stopping your child from rolling to the side.
Baby Sleeping in Swing bad for Back?
According to The American Academy of Paediatrics, parents are advised against using baby swings as sleep aids. New parents crave convenience but maybe it’s a case of rather safe than sorry here. Sitting upright for extended periods of time such as in a baby swing or car seat can make it hard for babies to breathe properly which can possibly lead to an increase in SIDS.
Experts agree that propping baby up in a sitting position (such as in a swing) before he is able to sit up on his own, is detrimental to spinal development in the long run. This interferes with the natural development of the spine, muscles and even the head. If the spine and its surrounding muscles are not strong enough to support all of the weight placed on it, deterioration can occur and surrounding organs can potentially be affected.
A swing is very restrictive and babies need to move their arms and legs around as much as possible so if you really have to use the swing, make sure there is plenty of room from those little legs and arms to stretch out. The best position for babies to be in is actually on their stomachs so as to lessen the amount of pressure placed on the spine before it is ready to support the infant independently.
The general consensus is that baby swings are safe, provided you take the correct safety precautions and never leave your infant unattended in a swing especially for an extended length of time. Limit swing time to an hour a day to prevent baby from forming bad habits which will be difficult to break.