Is a swing bad for your baby? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 03-05-2010, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I often wonder....the constant motion and what it must do to your LO's eyes must be bad for them right? I wonder if I am doing some damage by letting my DD sleep in a swing (although I do that every once in a great while).

Any thoughts?

ETA: a motorized swing that swings constantly.
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#2 of 18 Old 03-05-2010, 04:12 PM
 
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No, I don't think swings damage babies' eyes. Or much of anything else.

When we talk about attachment parenting, we often talk about how important it is for babies to be held. I don't think a swing is a substitute for being held or cuddled by another human being. But the motion of being carried around in someone's arms is just as much motion (if less regular and predictable) as the motion of swinging back and forth. And if your baby is *asleep*, she's not even looking at anything, there is no possibility of eye strain.

I think you can safely take this one off your worry list.
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#3 of 18 Old 03-05-2010, 06:39 PM
 
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I don't think it does any harm used in moderation. My babe would never sleep in his unfortunately (we had to go on lots of car rides to get him to sleep those first few months and still do every now and then), but he would enjoy being in it for about 20 minutes. That was just the right amount of time to eat dinner

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#4 of 18 Old 03-05-2010, 06:51 PM
 
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The only thing I've ever really read that is a concern is developing a flat spot.

Mom to: Honey (6/04) and Bunny (9/09)
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#5 of 18 Old 03-05-2010, 07:54 PM
 
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oh sweet sweet baby swing...it was the only piece of baby gear (except a stroller and a sling) i really used with my dd. she was textbook high needs, and absolutely refused to be put down or sleep if she was not on my body *except* for in her swing. she loved it, and it saved my sanity, and provided me some desperately needed time to shower, clean house, be with my DH, and just have my body to myself.
i have never heard of anything about them being bad...here's an interesting thing i was just reading about swinging...sort of on topic
swinging is good for the vestibular system

Erin, 33, salty southern mama, sitting by the sea with my DH35, DD10, DS4, &DD2!
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#6 of 18 Old 03-05-2010, 08:16 PM
 
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Not if it's the only place he'll sleep! It was like that for a few months with DS1 when he was little. That being said, I haven't even gotten it out for DS2, but he's only 10 weeks...there may come a time soon when I desperately need it.
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#7 of 18 Old 03-05-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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I've read that swings (and car seats and bouncers) reduce blood oxygen levels because of how their chins can rest on their chests, and that this is aggravated when they're sleeping. I let my LO nap in his swing sometimes, but I always freaked out about it!
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#8 of 18 Old 03-07-2010, 05:32 AM
 
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Yes, it's called positional asphyxiation and it can happen in carseats as well, though it never happened with ds who used to only be able to nap in the car for awhile there.

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#9 of 18 Old 03-09-2010, 02:36 PM
 
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I have swing guilt also. When I was pregnant I wanted to avoid buying 'baby containers' once my baby was here, my instinct just told me to avoid them. Later I learned what came natually, babywearing (carrying), breast feeding, co-sleeping actually had a name 'Attachment Parenting'. I carried my baby everywhere. Then about six weeks into a new baby, I was begging for a swing. I was exhausted by constant swaying, bouncing and rocking! My neighbor, very conveniently, was getting rid of a swing and my husband gladly accepted it for us.

I called my Le Leche Leader and asked her opinion. She said it's not as if you are going to be using it constantly, you wear your baby everywhere! Just use it when you really need to and try to minimize the time he spends in it.

So I did.

It was a life saver! Even now at four months of age he spends a few minutes in it here and there, he naps in it occasionally also.
I worry about his eyes also, as do you.

I have been reading quite a bit about vestibular stimulation and how it effects the baby's developing systems. There are three vestibular bones and they are intertwined, actually an amazing sight. I recall viewing these at the 'Bodies' exhibit a while back (it toured major cities).... I digress.

The motions that help develop our babies through vestibular apparatus stimulation are up/down, side to side and front to back. All of these are needed for proper development. A baby experiences these movements naturally when worn on mother's body (or carried). The book I am reading explains how American babies (I am American, not sure if you are) usually do not get enough of these and tend to meet milestones later than babies who develop faster in other parts of the world due to being carried much more than American babies. Whereas American babies tend to go in strollers, bouncy seats, cradles, Pack and Plays instead of on mother's body.

I also read this last night in The Vital Touch :
(talking about a wide of variety of movements when carrying a baby leads into this next paragraph)
Quote:
But when kept in an infant swing for long stretches, babies experience ongoing repetitive and monotonous motion. This can overwhelm some infants and force them into a stress sleep as their only means to shut down unrelenting stimulation.
So I suppose it depends upon the infant. As I recall in the "Happiest Baby on the Block" a swing can be a very helpful tool for some babies (like yours and mine!). Yet, my instincts tell me to minimize it's use and apparently, the old fashioned way of wearing our babies, is still considered the best.

I suppose we just need to balance it's then. Use the swing when we really need to.
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#10 of 18 Old 03-09-2010, 03:12 PM
 
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I dont think it's bad for babies. Panda LOVES being in her swing, i put her in it after she falls alseep and she sleeps so much better and longer.

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#11 of 18 Old 03-09-2010, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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But when kept in an infant swing for long stretches, babies experience ongoing repetitive and monotonous motion. This can overwhelm some infants and force them into a stress sleep as their only means to shut down unrelenting stimulation.


This. This is what my gut told me - it always tells me a motorized swing is no good (versus a hand driven one which we can swing gently and soradically). I hate that I have to use it sometimes- else I shall go crazy with the constant holding and rocking. My DD just doesn't let go of me. Sometimes I need a wee break and I don't know how else to get it.
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#12 of 18 Old 03-09-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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Like most things in life, I think it's a "fine in moderation" issue. There are a few problems that can happen if they're used a ton, mainly the flat spot issue but others as people have talked about. But to just use it sometimes is no big deal. Please moms, be gentle with yourselves and dont' feel bad if you've found a solution where your baby is happy and you get a shower or whatever.
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#13 of 18 Old 03-09-2010, 05:55 PM
 
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I wish my ds2 would use our swing! Ds1 loved it and it allowed me to do things like shower and go to the bathroom.
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#14 of 18 Old 03-09-2010, 06:31 PM
 
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The swing was a life saver when our little reflux baby couldn't tolerate being laid down. It had a reclining back and we used one of those baby positioner inserts so there was no risk. Lots of times we used it with no motion.

I think we as AP parents get too caught up in the right way to do AP. Yes, a baby needs lots and lots of contact, however, sometimes these "baby containers" are a neccessity. If you use one and your little one is happy in it, then get over the mommy guilt. It might help if we dropped the negative talk (such as calling them "baby containers") about swings, high chairs, bouncy seats, etc. All it does is perpetuate the guilt we are suppose to feel by not being AP enough.

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#15 of 18 Old 03-09-2010, 06:34 PM
 
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It's a total life saver, IMO. For my kids, at least. All 4 had colic and it was the only way I got enough time to do adult things or even pee. They weren't in it much, but some things just are much more difficult holding a baby who can not stop being moved.

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#16 of 18 Old 03-09-2010, 08:47 PM
 
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I admit I have a lot of "swing guilt" but it's been a lifesaver with DS. He had fairly noticeable reflux up until about 3 months and refused to lay flat to nap. We have a Snuggle Nest cosleeper with an incline but he always squirmed downward in that thing. But he loves the swing. LOVES it. He naps really well in it, better than in his bed or carseat or in the moby or mei tai. He'll nap for 3 hours in the swing, but rarely more than 45 minutes anywhere else. I can't imagine it'll hurt his eyes or jiggle his brain around more than a baby worn in a sling, so I figure it's probably no less healthy swinging at naptime than some tribal baby hanging out on mama all day, right?

Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
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#17 of 18 Old 03-10-2010, 01:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pauletoy View Post
If you use one and your little one is happy in it, then get over the mommy guilt. It might help if we dropped the negative talk (such as calling them "baby containers") about swings, high chairs, bouncy seats, etc. All it does is perpetuate the guilt we are suppose to feel by not being AP enough.
That's probably true in my case! I do feel guilt if he in it too long. I hadn't heard the word baby containers until I started researching it a bit. My grandmother, in her 80's, raised her kids on thinking that carrying them around was 'spoiling' them. She believes babies belong in bassinets, my mother thought babies belong in playpens, I think I ended up going in the opposite direction entirely with AP. Still I do use the swing occasionally, as someone said, moderation is key. I even sip my coffee in the morning with the little one in a bouncy seat (yep, if he's in it too long I do feel guilt, as I chug my coffee).
So good point Pauletoy
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#18 of 18 Old 03-10-2010, 04:46 PM
 
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I personally dont think swings or anything that confines the baby to be good for them. Not because you are not AP enough, I am sure that is not true, but simply because of the need for babies to move there bodies and have control over there motion.
Has anyone ever checked into the RIE philosophy. As an early childhood educator, this along with AP rings true for me.
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