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Can baby sleep in swing supervised? | Amy Baby Review

By Amy A. Vincent | Fact checked by Dr. Leah Alexander, MD, FAAP | Updated on August 27, 2022

You have come to this page because you’ve heard that babies shouldn’t sleep on swings. However, your curious mind wants to know whether a baby can sleep in a swing supervised because you discovered that the little one sleeps well in the swing.    

If that’s the situation, you are in the right place. Here, we’ve covered everything related to babies sleeping in swings. So, keep reading to get your questions answered.

Can baby sleep in swing supervised?

Can baby sleep in swing supervised?

It’s alright if your baby falls asleep while you’re watching them, but it is not advisable to let them sleep overnight in the swing. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), parents should move their children from swings to a safe sleeping area if they fall asleep in the swing.

The AAP also recommends that a sleeping baby is on their back on a firm surface to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). If you’re worried about your baby’s sleep habits, talk to your child’s healthcare provider.

The swinging motion may frequently induce sleep in infants. Babies might appear calm when resting in a swing, but experts caution against allowing them to remain asleep in this posture.

Also read: Is it safe for baby to sleep in mamaroo swing

How long can you leave a baby sleeping in a swing?

There are different types of swings on the market, so it’s best to consult your swing manual for specific instructions. In general, however, you should avoid letting your baby sleep in their swing for prolonged periods.

You should also avoid using the swing as a regular sleep surface, as this can increase the risk of SIDS and create a dependency, making it harder for your baby to learn to self-soothe and fall asleep on their own.

If your child is under four months old, move them to a crib or bassinet after they’ve fallen asleep in the swing. This might assist them in acclimating to their crib for sleep gradually. If your baby is over four months old and isn’t sleeping well in their crib, you may need to consider sleep training.

However, if you need to leave your sleeping baby in their swing for longer periods, check on them regularly and move them to a crib or bassinet as soon as possible. It’s also important to make sure the swing is in a safe place, away from sharp edges or suffocation hazards.

Why can’t babies sleep in a swing?

Unlike cribs or bassinets, swings aren’t intended for sleep. Unfortunately, infants don’t have the muscle strength to hold their heads up yet. If they fall asleep in a semi-upright position (like in a car seat, swing, or bouncer) with their head slumped over, it can cause suffocation.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep on their backs on a firm surface to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). So, unless your baby is supervised while sleeping in a swing, it’s best to put them down for naps and nighttime safe sleep in a safe crib or bassinet.

Can Baby Nap in the Infant Swing?

A supervised nap is okay for a short period. But your baby shouldn’t sleep in a swing. “Infants haven’t developed their muscles enough to support their heads. Basically, babies can easily fall asleep in any position, so they may seek to rest in the swing. If they’re not reclined, they might drop their head forward and block their oxygen supply,” said Dr. Steph Lee, MD, MPH, FAAP.

If your baby falls asleep in the swing and you cannot transfer her to a crib or bassinet, make sure she’s in a reclined position. “The AAP recommends that babies be placed on their backs to sleep, but if your child falls asleep in the swing, it is best to put her in a reclined position to reduce the risk of SIDS,” said Dr. Lee.

“However, putting your baby down for a nap in a bassinet, crib, or play yard is best. All of these are safer sleep options for young babies”, she added.

Also read: How long can baby use swing

Where should a baby nap in the day?

Where should a baby nap in the day

A baby can take a catnap (not for a longer time) in a swing in a reclined position while the parents are watching them. However, a crib, bassinet or any firm, flat sleeping surface is the safest place for a baby to nap.

Baby can also take a nap or sleep in-

  • a crib
  • a bedside crib or side-sleeper
  • a Moses basket
  • a travel crib
  • a sling
  • parent’s bed
  • Bassinet

For the best results during daytime naps, you should put your baby to sleep on their back at the same time each day for a similar length of time. Ensure the crib or bassinet is clear of any blankets or other soft toys. A baby should never sleep on their stomach or side.

If your baby falls asleep in a car seat, stroller, swing, infant carrier, or other sitting devices, transfer them to a crib or bassinet as soon as possible.

Babies usually need two to four naps each day. The total amount of daytime sleep should be about 7-8 hours. During the day, when the baby takes a nap, the place should be a safe and quiet environment so that the baby can nap in a safe and sound mood.

Also read: My 3 month old fell out of his swing

Where should baby sleep the first few months?

Where should baby sleep the first few months?

For the first 6 months, it’s beneficial for your baby to sleep in the same room as you. This can decrease the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

You may find that during the early weeks, your child only falls asleep when held by you or your partner or when you’re standing close to their crib. This is called the “cuddle cure” and is perfectly normal.

It is also a safe sleep for babies. As your baby grows, they’ll start sleeping for longer periods of time and won’t need to be held as much.

The ideal sleeping arrangement for newborns is to have them sleep in a bassinet or crib that’s placed right next to your bed. This way, you can easily feed and comfort your baby during the night.

If you don’t have a bassinet or crib, you can put your baby in a travel cot or Moses basket. These are temporary beds that are specifically designed for newborns and young infants.

You can also use a pillow or folded blanket to create a makeshift bed for your baby on your own bed, but follow safe sleep guidelines that there is no risk of your baby rolling off and no risk of SIDS.

Once your baby reaches around 4 months old, they can start sleeping in their own room if you feel comfortable with it. Most parents choose to do this gradually by moving the crib or bassinet closer to the door of their room over a period of weeks or even months.

Others find their sleeping baby is better when they’re in their own space from the beginning. 

If you have any concerns about your baby’s sleep, talk to your pediatrician. They can offer guidance and support to help ensure that your baby is getting the best possible sleep and following safe sleep rules.

Also read: Can swings cause shaken baby syndrome

Why will my baby only sleep in the swing?

Any product that can calm a fussy baby is highly coveted by new parents, and swings are one such product. Most likely, a baby swing was on your registry because they’re an effective way to comfort restless infants.

Infants will sleep in a swing easily because its soothing motions provide the feel of being in the womb, which can be very calming to a baby. The rhythmic back and forth movement can also help induce sleep and keep the baby asleep for longer periods of time.

 Another reason your baby might prefer the swing is that it can provide white noise and a gentle vibration, which can help soothe them to sleep.

If you find that your baby only wants to sleep in the swing, try putting them down for naps in the swing first and then gradually moving them to their crib for nighttime sleep.

With a little patience, you should be able to get your baby sleeping comfortably in their crib in no time!

If they’re not in a reclined position, they might slump their head forward and block their oxygen flow and it might be the reason for the risk of suffocation. The solution is to use the most recline position of the swing.

How do I transition my baby from swing to crib?

After a time, parents should move their beloved baby from the swing to a crib. There are several ways to move a baby from a swing to a crib.

  • Ideally, your infant is sleeping in the swing with a wonderful wind-down routine, tight swaddling, loud white noise, and possibly a pacifier. As a result, even if the swing is removed from the equation, you still have three other wonderfully soothing sleep signals to utilize. If you just plunk your sleepy baby into a swing without any additional sleep cues, removing the swing will leave you… nothing! Even if your child is fine sleeping in the swing without extra sleep aids on their own, the swaddling and white noise will be your friends when it’s time to go to bed.
  • Most babies have an easier time transitioning to the crib for bedtime sleep than they do for naps. So, once you feel confident that your baby can comfortably fall asleep in their crib at night, start trying for daytime naps next.
  • For those of you with swings next to your bed, it’s time to move them closer to the baby’s bed.
  • If it benefits you, manually swing the swing a bit to help them fall asleep. But you want to do this as little as possible (or preferably decrease the amount of swinging each day). The goal is for your baby to sleep soundly in a swing that isn’t moving. 
  • Place your baby in the swing while they are still awake.
  • You may progressively slow down the swing by practicing it at a slower rate.

Although some babies may be sleeping soundly in their safe crib for hours before they make the transition to naptime, swing-loving babies are frequently snoozing comfortably in their crib well ahead of schedule.

It’s not unusual to see a four-month-old infant asleep in their crib but swinging till they’re six months old. So if you’re having trouble with the nap shift, take a step back. Try again next week or two. There is no need to hurry.

Risks of sitting devices like swings

Every year, hundreds of infants die from sleep-related causes while in sitting devices such as car seats, bouncy chairs or swings. A study of 11,779 infant sleep-related deaths over 10 years showed that 3% of babies (348) died while using a sitting device; the vast majority were in car seats.

Parents may inappropriately use sitting devices, such as a crib or bassinet, instead of following the designated usage. When not used correctly, infants can fall and seriously hurt themselves. They also can be injured by car seat straps that are not tightened properly.

AAP policy explained that babies should sleep on their backs under the constant supervision of a caregiver until they are one year old. Loose bedding and soft objects must be removed from the crib or bassinet, and sitting devices (e.g., car seats, swings and strollers) should not be used for routine sleep outside of a monitored setting.

More than 4 million Rock ‘n Play Sleepers from Fisher-Price have been recalled after at least 32 infant deaths were reported by Consumer Reports. The CPSC received extensive media coverage and pressure from the AAP to immediately recall the sleepers, and four days later, they relented.

How to use a baby swing safely?

AAP Guidelines for the Safe Use of Swing:

  1. To prevent your baby from falling out, use the safety straps provided.
  2. Make sure the swing isn’t flimsy or liable to tip over or collapse.
  3. Use the most reclined position for infants four months and younger.
  4. It’s important to keep your baby away from toys and mobiles.
  5. When your baby is swinging in the swing, make sure the cradle doesn’t fall flat so he can’t fall out.
  6. Check your child’s weight against the manufacturer’s limits to ensure they can still properly and safely use the product.
  7. Never, under any circumstances, put your baby’s swing on an uneven surface, such as a kitchen counter or coffee table.
  8. Instead of putting blankets in the swing with your baby since they are a strangulation hazard, dress them in additional clothes.
  9. Always stay in the same location while your infant is using the swing and keep an eye on them at all times.
  10. Follow the baby swing safety tips provided with all the manufacturer’s guidelines for baby swing models.

FAQ Baby Swing

Wrap up: 

It is not advisable to let your baby sleep overnight in the swing as it might pose a threat to their health. However, you can allow them to take power naps during the day as long as you are supervising them. It is always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your child’s safety. Thanks for reading!

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