What if your child is used to sleeping in the swing? And you know that it is not a good practice for the little one. You want to break the habit of your baby sleeping in the swing. But you don’t know where to start. If that’s the situation, you’re in the right place!
Some parents use infant swings to help their babies sleep, but they may not be aware of the development issues that can arise from overusing swings. Additionally, sleeping in a swing is not a natural way to fall asleep.
While many infants fall asleep in an infant swing quickly, establishing this behavior isn’t a good idea. It’s okay on occasion, but it shouldn’t be a habit.
However, we have shared several strategies to use when transitioning your child from a swing to a bassinet, a crib or a safe sleeping surface that will help you break the habit. So, let’s get started!
- How to break the habit of a baby sleeping in a swing?
- Why is it not safe for babies to sleep in the swing?
- Can a baby get SIDS from sleeping in a swing?
- How to use a baby swing safely?
- FAQs Baby Swing
- Wrapping up
How to break the habit of a baby sleeping in a swing?
There are a few things you can do to break the habit of your baby sleeping in a swing:
Transition to the Crib as Soon As the Baby Goes to Sleep:
When your baby falls asleep in the swing, carry them to their crib or bassinet if they are younger than 4 months old.
This will help them get used to sleeping in their crib gradually. If your baby is over 4 months old and you can start sleep training, consider moving your infant from the swing to the crib during nap time. This could create a sleep onset association.
Make a sleeping atmosphere:
If your baby is tired but awake, help them fall asleep by putting them in their crib, not in the swing. You can use a white noise machine or fan to create a soothing environment, and room-darkening curtains will block out any light that could keep them awake.
Keep your baby awake:
Keep your baby’s swing in an area of the house that is usually busy, well-lit, and/or noisy during the day. By doing this, your infant will realize that the swing is meant for playing instead of sleeping.
Slowly reduce the speed of your swings each day:
Day by day, you can gradually reduce the speed of the swing. Reducing the rhythmic motion will keep your baby awake in the swing.
When babies are awake, they may protest being put in a still swing by wanting you to rock it back and forth more than before. You can accommodate his/her wishes but try swinging less vigorously each time until he/she becomes accustomed to sleeping without any movement.
Attach the Swing to Baby’s Crib:
By keeping the swing close to their bed, mothers can rock the baby with ease and create a mental connection between the crib and the child. Doing so will help shorten the distance, making it easier to transition them from sleeping in the swing to their crib.
Limit Swing Time:
You can help your baby break the habit of sleeping in the swing by limiting the amount of time they spend in it during the day. Try putting them in the swing for no more than 30 minutes at a time.
Use a pacifier:
If your baby is used to falling asleep with a pacifier, giving him/her one while they are in the swing may help transition them to sleeping in their crib. Once they are asleep, you can remove the pacifier and put them in their crib.
Change Up Your Routine:
Another thing you can do is change up your routine a bit. If you usually put your baby in the swing right before bed, try putting them in there for a nap instead. Or, try putting them down in the crib earlier than usual. Sometimes all it takes is a little change to break a habit.
If none of these techniques works or you’re tired, consult your baby’s doctor. If your child has difficulty sleeping in the crib due to a medical condition like reflux, there may be an underlying medical reason.
Why is it not safe for babies to sleep in the swing?
It is dangerous for babies to sleep in swings because they are typically seated upright. There are a few reasons why this sleeping position could be harmful to your baby.
– Children’s neck muscles aren’t fully developed, so sleeping at a semi-upright angle can cause the weight of their heads to put pressure on their necks and cause them to slump over. If this slumping continues, it could lead to suffocation.
– Swings are often placed on uneven surfaces, like a table or countertop. This puts them at an increased risk of falling and injuring babies.
– Some swings don’t have safety harnesses, so keeping your baby secure in the seat is nothing. They could easily slip out of the swing and fall to the ground.
For these reasons, it is not safe for babies to sleep in swings. If you need to have your baby sleep while you take a break, it’s best to put them down in a safe bassinet or crib.
According to a study done by the AAP over 10 years, sitting devices such as car seats, strollers, swings, and bouncers were proven to have caused 348 out of 12000 infant deaths. Sixty-two percent of these cases happened with babies seated in car safety seats. The majority of infants affected were between 1-4 months old.
More than 50 percent of infant deaths occur at home, often because seats are not used correctly or babies are left with non-parent caregivers.
The safest place for your baby to sleep is on their back in a crib or bassinet. If you must use a seat for your baby, make sure you are using it correctly and never leave them unattended.
Also read: Can baby sleep in swing if supervised
Can a baby get SIDS from sleeping in a swing?
Experts believe that sleeping in a swing may increase the risk of SIDS, as it may create a situation where the baby is not able to move freely and therefore cannot shift position to avoid becoming trapped in a position that could obstruct their breathing.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the safest place for newborns to sleep is on their back in their own space. Any time you place a baby in a bouncy seat, baby swing, or carrier to sleep during his or her first year of life, they are in danger.
The American Academy of Pediatrics released a policy statement in October 2016 on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related infant deaths. The recommendations are based on the latest scientific research on SIDS risk factors and safe sleep practices.
Bouncy seats, infant swings, and carriers are not appropriate for unsupervised sleep because a baby can easily roll into an unsafe position. For example, a baby can roll from his stomach to his back or from his back to his stomach and become stuck in a face-down position. This is a serious safety hazard because it can lead to the risk of suffocation.
If you must use a bouncy seat, swing, or carrier for your baby’s sleep, make sure to:
- Never leave your baby unsupervised
- Always put your baby to sleep on his or her back
- Use the product only for short periods of time (no more than 30 minutes)
- Keep the product close by so you can check on your baby often.
SIDS is a rare but potentially fatal condition that can affect any infant. It is most common in babies between the ages of two and four months old.
While the exact cause of SIDS is still unknown, there are certain factors that can put a baby at risk, including sleeping on his or her stomach, sleeping in an unsafe sleep environment, and exposure to tobacco smoke.
The best way to protect your baby from SIDS is to create a sound sleep environment and follow the AAP’s recommendations for safe sleep practices.
How to use a baby swing safely?
For new parents, baby swings can provide some much-needed relief. Most baby swings are designed to be snuggly and rock your swing-loving baby gently, and some even come with additional features like music, shushing sounds, lights or mobiles.
All parents want to provide their infants with the best care possible, but holding and rock them for 24 hours a day is difficult. Some babies don’t need this type of stimulation, while others—particularly those that develop colic or are fussy—require constant attention. Baby swings are a blessing for those parents especially.
Paying attention to safety precautions is important when using a baby swing. Though not common, babies have been hurt before while playing on swings, and some cases have even resulted in death.
Some safety guidelines for your swing loving baby:
- Parents should never leave their baby unattended in a swing.
- When your child is four months old and under, swing them in the most reclined position.
- It is important to keep the cradle of the swing on a flat surface while it is in motion so your baby cannot fall out.
- Always use the safety harness.
- Don’t place the swing near stairs, windows, or other hazards.
- Inspect the swing regularly for loose screws or other damage.
- Stop using the swing when your baby outgrows it or reaches the weight limit.
- Never hang anything else from the swing, such as toys or pacifiers.
- Don’t place the swing too close to a wall or other surface, as this could cause entrapment.
- Keep your baby’s swing away from uneven surfaces like kitchen countertops or coffee tables.
- Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
When your baby is in a swing, always keep an eye on them and stay in the same room with them. If you are using an infant swing outdoors, always anchor it securely to avoid tipping. Be sure to bring the swing inside during bad weather.
Also read: What to do if baby falls out of swing
FAQs Baby Swing
We understand that breaking the habit of your baby sleeping in the swing can be tough. But we hope our strategies will help you make the transition. Just remember to be patient and consistent with your efforts. Good luck!
If you have any questions or would like to share your experience, please leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you!