“ A great option to take out with you, the Fisher Price Aquarium Swing can provide some welcome entertainment for your child. Whilst it is slightly expensive and a little noisy at times, it is durable and well designed. „
Now that baby number two is on the way I have been unpacking baby number one's things and the Fisher Price Aquarium Take Along Swing is in the 'decide whether to keep' pile. I have heard great things about this product and also read the theory behind it, which is why we invested in the swing in the first place. We bought it from an NCT second hand 'nearly new' sale for only £25 and that seemed like a bargain at the time, as Fisher Price is a trusted brand and a swing was on our list of things to get.
The idea behind the swing is that your baby has somewhere safe to lie that is stimulating and comfortable for sitting up in, unlike for example a moses basket where baby is more likely to sleep. The Fisher Price swing is certainly stimulating in principle; it has toys dangling from it, a colourful cover of sealife, lights, music, the opportunity to make noise and of course the ability to swing. Unfortunately though my daughter hated being put in it. I never quite worked out why this was - whether she was overwhelmed by the swing, uncomfortable in it, or perhaps simply unaccustomed to being so close to the ground, as the swing has to sit on the floor which means that you have to bend down to properly interact with baby in it. Either way, this was a real disappointment for me as I was so sure baby would like the swing, and I had read so many reviews about babies liking swings in general. The rocking motion is motorised and that did make a difference to keeping baby calm for 5-10 minutes at a time, as it was obviously soothing to her, but in the end it would still make her cross and I could do nothing to keep her happy in the swing. I did wonder whether it offered an overload of stimulation- bright colours, lights, sounds and rocking motion, plus sitting in an unusual position so close to the floor- so perhaps these combined to upset my little girl. But I couldn't see why this would be when she many babies supposedly love this very swing, and I did persist with it in her early months of life.
This swing has nothing lacking. It is not a cheap product, it is well designed and made to last. The seat hangs from a metal frame and it is very safe and sturdy. It looks a bit precarious at first glance but there is no chance that baby will come to harm in it. It is important of course to make sure baby is strapped into it properly as otherwise there is a danger of sliding down the swing and falling out of it. There is a harness for this purpose and it is easy to use. The lights, rocker and music require 4 batteries to keep the swing going and these have not yet run down due to not been used much with baby number one.
Ironically when my baby started crawling and could reach the rocker by herself she decided that she loved it. Not the rocking motion, and she didn't need any of the functions to be on either - she just loved the blue colour and sealife design of the swing, and being able to rock it herself. This is when we had to pack it away however as then it did become a hazard, as it is not safe for a small child to swing herself and once she tried to crawl under the swing beneath the metal frame and got a little stuck beneath it.
The thing that most attracted my daughter when she was out of the swing and keen to play with it was the dangling fish toy which is also a teether. She never actually chewed on it but she enjoyed bopping it and watching it move around, I suppose since she was already used to her mobile toys by then. There was also the reward aspect of music playing and lights flashing when the dangling toys were pulled, although she wasn't able to do this much in the beginning, only later when she was crawling and saw the swing as a toy to explore rather than something she was made to sit in.
A couple of times my daughter managed to switch the swing on and have the sound and the lights going, I started to find it a little overwhelming myself. We don't have too many noisy or loud toys in our house, as I find that my toddler makes ample noise without them. At this time baby number one was of course my first child so it took some getting used to the noise of the swing. This is why I suspect that it was a little overwhelming for little one. If your baby is used to bright lights and noises from a very young age however, you will likely not have this problem. In fact, I suspect baby number two will not, as she can already hear toddler making a lot of noise already, and should already be used to it.
The swing is easy to clean and this is a major plus for the product since babies can be very messy and I don't want to expose baby number two to unnecessary germs. The metal frame is easy to spray clean and wipe, as are the four plastic corners that the swing balances on. The cover of the swing seat is easily removed and washed in the machine on a high wash, and easy to put back afterwards. It stays in place with velcro strips. The only tricky bit is the harness, as this doesn't detach and has to be wiped down thoroughly, but with a bit of effort I managed to keep it clean between uses.
The reason the swing is called the 'Take Along' is of course because it is easy to lift and move around the house. This is true, and it isn't too heavy either. I never attempted it with baby in there though as she was generally so unsettled by being strapped into the swing. She was fine in the car seat when we went in and out the house so again I can't tell you why this was. Being able to lift it when empty though did have its used when I needed to vaccum the carpet and put it out the way, or pack it away, etc.
On the other hand, I really disliked the swing being on the floor all the time. It was just so low down. Post birth, I didn't feel like crouching and bending down over the swing all the time when baby was in it. Also, lifting baby in and out of it was a pain. Perhaps baby sensed this and this is what put her off the swing, I don't know, but I'm not looking forward to that part of using it with baby number two.
We have decided to keep this swing and reuse it with baby number two to see if she likes it better. It might work well as I imagine toddler will love playing with baby in there and also probably like exploring the swing herself. I don't have high hopes for it but I am keeping my fingers crossed. Otherwise we will have to pass the swing on, although we may be able to sell it as it is still in good shape since we bought it, being a sturdy and well made item.
The swing is available to buy from Fisher Price directly for £65 and it has been updated since we bought our version. I would recommend getting one second hand however as that is a lot of money to spend when you don't know whether baby will like it or not, and actually it is durable enough to be great for second or even third hand use. The only thing to watch out for is that the teethers haven't been chewed, as these can't be removed from the swing and you don't want dirty/chewed toys dangling in baby's face.
Clearly despite my first child's lack of interest in this swing I still think it is worth enough to trial it with baby number two, so I will give it 4 stars here simply for being such a durable and well designed product.
Babies do need entertaining and busy parents have so much to do it is great to have something to entertain baby so you can iron, menu plan, do accounts or just put your feet up.
I was very lucky that my parents bought me this swing when I went to visit them with their grandchild. My son was just 4 months at the time and this was ideal. He was securely fasten into the harness and enjoyed the rocking motiojn. I was very surprised that he fell asleep in it. This allowed my parents and I to enjoy our lunch uninterrupted. Quite a result!
As my baby has developed his grasping skills he has quickly discovered how pulling on the overhead toys at the side of the swing start the music and lights. He giggles with excitement when he does this. The music is however a little grating for his mother after a while. Thankfully there is a volume control so the music can be turned down. My baby also enjoys playing and chewing on the little toy that is attached to the harness.
The swing folds flat and has a carrying handle on the top. We took it by train to visit my grandmother and it was fairly easy to travel with however you would need two people if you were taking a buggy as well. The swing was easy to fold up and set up again.
The swing is great if you don't have a lot of room for baby things as you can just fold it when not using it. Our living room therefore becomes a bit less crowded in the evenings.
The major drawback is how quickly the batteries need replacing. It is also easy to put the baby into but you have to take care not to bump their head when getting them out of the swing.
Overall I would recommend the swing but you should be aware that it will only probably last until the baby is 6 months. My parents were fortunate to be able to pick my one up second hand and found it easy to take off and clean the covers which I confess I haven't yet had to do. It is very handy if you are visiting people as it provides entertainment and some familiarity as well so baby is more likely to settle well in a new environment. I have seen another one advertised for sale for £20 which is good value in my opinion.
Being a new mum i found that i was always looking for something to entertain my baby boy throughout the day sometimes the night! I rushed out to buy this swing after having been recommended it by a friend. I think to be honest i was more excited than our son. I think this product is great but not for all babies as they vary on what they like from one to another. Some just like the bouncers or a play mat. Unfortunately my son did not like the swinging motion or the sounds which was a shame as it did cost quite a lot of money. If i were to buy a product like this i would perhaps recommend testing my baby in a friends first to see if they enjoy it. I think the only negative thing about the product is it does not have a lock, so when you put your baby in it swings and is a little tricky at first.
I run a local toddler group in a small village which has anywhere between 4 - 20 children attending. I bought this item in order to enable mums to put there babies down somewhere safe whilst still allowimg the baby to be entertained.
I cannot praise this baby swing enough. It is well made from excellent quailty materials and has just the right amount of activities to keep the little babies amused. As well as the rocking motion (which can be set to several different speeds to suit any little un's), it plays soothing music (its sent several babes off to sleep whilst they gently swing listening to the music - not to mention a few mums!!!). The swing also has hanging fish toys for the babies to grab and move and little fish in water at the sides of the swing.
The chair has withstood a lot of use not just from babies but also from some fairly large toddlers who have managed to squeeze themselves into it and rock using their feet!
The only negatives about this swing that I have found is that it eats the batteries and it does not fold up quite flat enough to store away in my toddler cupboard but having said that if this swing chair was being used in a normal household environment I'm sure these factors would nit be quite so noticeable.
Ever since our daughter was a newborn, we have found that she loves to swing, so much so, that we've just purchased another one for the grandparents house.
As our other swing is quite bulky, we decided to look for something more compact to keep at the grandparents that could be easily packed away between visits. After a lot of research we settled on the Fisher Price Aquarium take along swing. The advantage of this swing is that it combines all the usual features in a portable, fold flat design, meaning happy baby, happy parents.
The swing has 8 different speeds, although to be honest, all of these look pretty similar, and 4 different modes: silent swinging, swinging with music, swinging with music and lights, and baby activated music and lights.
The music has several different volumes, and several melodies- all quite soothing, mixed with aquarium sounds. The lights however are a bit busier, and they flash alternatly blue, yellow, green and red, above the baby's head. My daughter loves watching these.
Also hanging fro mthe lights arch are 2 plastic fish, these can be pulled by the baby to activate the music and lights in baby activated mode. This helps baby develop their cause and effect, and encourages them to develop.
The seat itself is soft padded fabric, quite wide, and machine washable- perfect for any spills, and the plastic unit is easy to wipe over. The folding mechanism is very simple, meaning that the swing doesn't have to become a feature of the room.
The only real disadvantage with this swing is how low down it is, and thus may not be suitable for people with back problems, or if you're heavily pregnant.
It is suitable from birth up until 20lbs (around 6 months), and contains a harness to keep the baby strapped in. The seat unit is also moulded so that there is padding around the head, particularly useful for a newborn, and comes in a sky blue colour, with a fish print- so unisex, ideal if you want to reuse for future children
New this swing retails at around £60, although I believe it has now been discontinued, and a newer model brought out. However, there are plenty available second hand from around £20.
All in all this is a good swing, it does everything a bigger model does, but folds nicely away for easy transportation, or storage.
The amount of baby paraphernalia you can unwittingly accumulate as an enthusiastic parent can be quite astonishing - some of it more useful than others. The holy grail of infant kit however, is something that is useful and durable enough to endure to the next new arrival (should there be one) or, at the very least, can be passed on to someone else who can appreciate it.
Throughout the first months of their life - until they can sit up unaided, babies either need to be held or put down somewhere. Even the most dedicated parent will soon discover that a constant stream of baby talk and facial gurning - just to keep the little bundle amused - will eventually have their brains seeping out of their ears.
As such, having an infant version of an entertainment centre is a good half-way house between cuddles and cot, and, of the many kid-orientated products we have tried and tested, the Fisher Price Aquarium Take Along Swing does the job perfectly and stands out for its excellent value.
WHAT IS IT?
The Swing is a collapsible, portable and motorised baby rocker that is embellished with various dangly bits, lights and sounds and is kitted out in an aquatic theme. It has a deep bucket seat with a safety harness to secure the baby in place and offers a number of types of sensory stimulation for keeping him or her entertained.
The product is engineered with a simple angled L-frame (think of a triangle with one side missing) from which the swing seat hangs, making an A-shape, with the main controls and the battery compartment located at the apex of the "A" for ease of access. The control section also has lights (one red and one blue) and a speaker built into the underside.
Battery life is good - the product uses four C batteries, which seem to last for a fair while (you'll know when they start to weaken as the music starts to distort) but longevity will ultimately depend on the quality of batteries you use and how often you use the electronic functions (more on these below). The batteries are housed in a casing that is screwed shut (with two small Phillips or cross-headed screws) and can be a bit tricky to put in and take out because of the way the compartment is engineered.
We often use the swing without turning it on as somewhere to deposit Baby H when we need our hands free, as the colourful get-up is usually enough to keep him occupied for a good five or ten minutes. The product is already assembled and folded when you take it out of the box - unfolding it and setting it up is intuitive and very quick to do.
The Swing offers a number of functions that can be used separately or together.
> Motorised Swing
The motor has eight speeds, ranging from a gentle rocking motion to a slightly more vigorous swing, but to be frank, there seems little appreciable difference (to an adult) between low speed and top speed and, as such, the eight settings seem a little over-engineered. You can use the motorised swing without engaging any of the other functions.
The red and blue lights on the underside of the control section above baby's head, when engaged, blink on and off in time to music.
The music can be put on separately, or in conjunction with the lights and consists of soothing, well-known lullabies. A separate knob allows you to adjust the volume to a level comfortable for baby (or as I prefer to phrase it, at the minimum level of annoyance I can tolerate). Keep in mind that the sound projects downwards because of the location of the speaker, so it will be louder for baby than for you.
There are three main interactive "toys". Two, which are fish shaped and double as teethers with different textures, hang down from the underside of the control section adjacent to the lights. There is a control setting that is intended to reward baby for exploration, as when either of these two toys are pulled, the lights and music are activated for a short time and then stop.
There is a brightly decorated small stuffed fish with tactile fins attached securely by a tether to the main part of the safety harness. Also, built into the sides of the swing arms are two small "fishbowls" filled with an aqueous blue liquid, in which two more brightly coloured fish "swim" when the swing rocks back and forth.
SAFETY & BUILD QUALITY
The product is solidly build and well put together. I was pleasantly surprised by how robust it actually is. The main frame is made of tubular metal finished in a glossy aqua colour, with the joints and swing supports made from a cream-coloured hard moulded plastic. The "feet" on each corner provide a great deal of stability and come with rubber discs to prevent the unit from slipping on wood floors or other smooth surfaces.
It is advertised as suitable from birth to a maximum weight of around twenty pounds (20lbs) or nine kilos (9kg) which, for most babies, is probably around the four to six month mark. That seems about right, as after that age, they will be trying to sit up and eventually crawl, so keeping them confined in this product would not be suitable or advisable.
The instructions recommend that baby is never put in the Swing without the harness, and given the mischief that babies can get up to - even at such a tender age - I would heartily concur with that advice. The harness - essentially a glorified lap belt that - is fully adjustable and is easily engaged and disengaged by adult hands.
CARE & CLEANING
The plastic and metal surfaces are easy enough to wipe down, but the main area that will need a regular clean is the bucket seat. It is made of a combination of polyester (65%) and cotton (35%) with a 100& polyester filler. The good news is that: (a) its wipe-able, and (b) removable and machine washable and dryable - both on low heat. The cover slips easily off its frame (after the strong Velcro straps are undone) and is equally as easy to put back on after washing.
Fisher Price also do a much larger swing, but the advertised portability of this unit was what attracted us to it. The back legs of the Swing (think of the corner of the "L" I referred to earlier) are hinged and have a catch mechanism, which, when released (which is pleasingly simple enough to do two-handed) allow you to fold the Swing relatively flat. The bucket seat is also hinged in the middle and conveniently folds in two. I say "relatively flat" because the swing arms (which house the fish bowls) are moulded in a sweeping curved, shape and prevent the unit from being too compact.
The idea here is to make it portable rather than storage friendly, although, to be fair, the folding mechanism means that it takes up about half the space it occupies when folded out. I would estimate the product's footprint at around one and a half by two feet. The Swing easily fits into the boot of our car, even when we have the Bugaboo stroller frame in the back and has made several trips to the in-laws and my parents on our regular visits to the grandparents. It's simplicity of design and ability to fold down are a real plus.
The Swing does have one main flaw that otherwise detracts from an otherwise excellently designed product. The Control section at the top of the frame makes it awkward to get the baby easily in and out without fully crouching down or kneeling - otherwise you end up either contorting yourself or the bambino - neither of which is a good idea. Other than this one issue, the Swing is a cracker of a baby product.
COST & AVAILABILITY
The Swing is now quite hard to find new, as it has been discontinued and replaced by a newer product in the Fisher Price catalogue (priced at around £60) which now addresses the tricky access issue. However, it is still well worth seeking this out and it is currently available new (for around £50) and second-hand on auction sites (for anywhere between £15 and £30). Considering it was around £60 when we bought it new, that represents outstanding value (depending on condition, cleanliness etc.).
Fisher Price have designed an fun, entertaining, interactive and motorised baby swing that is fully portable, well built and excellent value at the price point (if you can find it new). Our two children have loved it and it has given us, as parents, priceless hands-free time. The only bad points - and these are relative - are the ease of getting baby in and out, and its now limited availability. However, even if you can only find it second hand, its durability and build quality will give you an excellent nearly-new product that should give you many years of use.
© Hishyeness 2010
My parents have this for when we come to visit, and it's lovely. RRP of £70 is rather a lot, but comparable to other swings. I've found that many are available on ebay or freecycle at a fraction of that cost, so it's worth checking them first!
The swing itself folds down nice and compact. We had no problems taking it with us on 2 mini holidays. It has a deep padded bucket seat that's meant to be suitable from birth to 25lbs. My son was 4 months and over 15lbs before we tried it and he fit perfectly, and my nearly 2 year old daughter at 27lbs enjoyed sitting in it too..... and it didn't break!
There's no head support for newborns, but a rolled up towel or blanket would do for a few weeks.
There are 8 different swing settings, and 8 songs to keep your little one entertained. Best yet is that you can control the volume, which in my mind is always a plus! You also have the option of turning on the light display, which my son was fascinated with, along with the little fish in the side bars that moved back and forth when it was swinging.
The hanging toys are nice, but my son found them just that little bit too short to shove in his mouth. Ok for newborns, but annoying for a teething 4 month old! We added some extra links and hung his own toys from them instead.
Overall a great product, I think I prefer it to my Rainforest Swing!
I got this swing second hand before my baby was born and was quite pleased as it saved me trying to decide whether to go for a swing or bouncer and which one to choose. Our son remained fairly unimpressed with it until he grew out of it, apart from a couple of weeks when it was nicknamed the 'magic swing' and sent him into a trance and then to sleep as soon as he went into it. He didn't get upset or dislike it, he just wasn't impressed as I don't think there was much for him to have any control over - no kickpad or buttons.
It was still a useful item to have. It was somewhere safe to put him and a change from just lying on the floor. It also folds up really well and just fit behind our sofa. On the whole it was OK and I've saved it in case there's another baby but I'm definitely glad I didn't play full price for it!
this was bought for our son for at my parents. Its a good looking swing that plays music and has lights on it. The lights and sounds can be activated by baby by pulling on the attachments that hang down. There is a swing control dial that lets you choose how much to 'swing' the seat and on the other side it allows you to choose, lights, sound, light and sound or off. our son liked in this swing and it happily kept him entertained during his younger months, its a bit different from a boucy chair aswell. It has a 3 point harness which is more than enough to hold a non wriggling child in. The downside to this swing in my opinion is batteries. It takes 4 D batteries (the large ones) and they dont last too long, rechargeable batteries are essential if this is to be used everyday. The option of being able to plug a power adapter into the swing unit would have made it more idea. This was just used at grannies though so not too much of a problem. The swing folds flat for storage so doesnt take up much room when not in use
My sister also bought this swing for my son (as well as the big aqua swing). I didnt use this as much as the bigger one, purely because the big one was permanently out and my son preferred the bigger one.
This is much easier to store that the big one, and fold completley flat.
*The parent can change the light theme, or baby can, as the swing has two sea creatures either side that baby can reach to change the lights and the music.
*Eight speed settings
This product is probaly more suitable for babies 3-4 months onwards, even though it does say suitable from birth, I say this purley because they will
get more out if it (ie the pull cords).
The swing requires 4 x C batteries, and like the large aqua swing, does not have a socket out put.
I used to use this to put my son in while i had a bath, as it was samll enough to fit in the bathroom and I could keep an eye on him.
Because it is easily folded and stored away, it is ideal if you dont have the room, or it can be kept at grandparents house.
I had already bought one of the full-size Fisher Price cradle swings for my baby, but I decided to buy one of the smaller, take-along swings to keep a the grandparents house. I picked up one of the Aquarium swings second-hand on ebay since I didn't want to spend a lot on something that wouldn't get used that often (RRP is usually about £70, I paid £20 on ebay including the shipping).
My parents were very excited to have their own swing (I'm not sure who's had the most enjoyment out of it - them or my son!). It's perfect for their small apartment - it folds up easily & neatly & can be easily stored away in a cupboard.
The swing has a soft, deep bucket seat which I think looks comfier than the cradle swings. There isn't a seperate head support for small babies (as with the cradle swings), so I wouldn't recommend it for newborns (even though Fisher Price recommend the swing from newborn to 25lbs). There is a 3-point harness for safety which has a fish toy attached which my son is now able to grab hold of at 3 months. The overhead bar/handle features 4 coloured lights which light up alternately....my son loves these & follows them side to side, & has had great enjoyment out of them from a very early age. You can also play music whilst the lights are in action, but it is really awful (we always keep the volume turned down as low as possible!).
For baby's cause & effect development, the lights & music can also be switched to baby-activated mode. In this mode baby can activate lights & sound by pulling at one of 2 plastic dangling fish at either side of the swing. My son hasn't managed this yet, but enjoys batting at the fish.
There are 8 swing speeds, but personally i can't tell much difference. I find the swinging speed too fast anyway so always leave it set on number 1. (The speed obviously slows as baby gets bigger, but I thought it was too fast even at number one for a small/newborn baby).
It's easy to get baby in & out of the swing, but the swing is very low & if you have a bad back like me you may struggle to reach that far down.
Overall, the swing has been a good buy to keep at the grandparents. Not sure I would have paid the full price though...
(Also published on ciao under the same name).
This swing has been used for both my children and they both liked it. It says it is suitable from birth to 25lbs but there is no proper head support and I wasn't comfortable putting my newborn there until he was older. Bare in mind it does have a deep cradle seat but I still felt and saw that a newborn head can easily fall to the side. It requires 4 CC batteries and plays music and colourful lights appear, also it contains 8 speeds to choose from to swing your baby to sleep or settle them which is useful.
What I like about this product is the fact that you can choose to put the lights on and music with a variable volume control continuiously or if the baby pulls the toys on the side also the lights and music comes on. It does keep a child busy and a mother can get on with other things or sometimes when my baby was not settling at all I would put him in the swing put the lights and music on and swing quite fast on and soon he would be off to sleep. Also even if he was in a playful mood he would just play with the two colourful toys that are at the side and even on the seat belt there is a lovely soft toy that he put in his mouth. Therefore it was great entertainment and I especially enjoyed seeing his amazment when he pulled the toys and the lights/music switched on. It is brilliantly designed.
It comes in a colourful blue and yellow shade and is a take along swing meaning that you can fold it and carry it along with you around the house. It is easy to clean too as the cover just comes off and can go in the washing machine. You can choose and adjust the songs and there are soothing themes as well as playful ones.
We bought it from mothercare and I can't remember the exact price at that time but I can see the price varies from £50 to £70.
It doesn't have many negative points apart from that they should design the seat better so a newborn baby can have more head support and also I noticed the batteries run out very quickly, which can be annoying. But then again I still use the swing without batteries too and can push the baby manually to sleep at times.
Of course I don't feel it should be used to keep the baby in all the time as that's not healthy for the baby but at times when a mother needs a break or a place where the baby can have occasional daytime naps.
We bought the Aquarium swing for our son from John Lewis in the January sale for £35, which was half price.
We bought it purely on the price and had read no reviews or had any reccomendations for it.
Fisher Price say its suitable from birth to 25lb
but my opinion is maybe 3+ weeks as baby looked lost in it he was so tiny!
The swing plays 8 soothing tunes to baby, which you can control the volume of, and it has 8 swing 'speed' settings to. Our son found the motion very soothing as he had a bit of colic.
The swinging motion makes the fishies in the tanks on each side look like they're swimming.
You can choose from music only, lights & music, or baby activation.
The baby activation is by the two fishes at each side which baby will eventually get into the habit of grabbing on to.
It has a padded seat which must be comfy as my son always nods off after a while. The seat is removeable and washable at 30 degrees.
The only downside is that the batteries (4 x 'C' alkaline) dont last very long, especially if you dont buy Duracell.
So much soothing in a portable, compact size! Not only does a swing like this let you take baby's favourite soother wherever you go, it also lets you take an aquarium along! The swinging motion makes the fishies in the colourful tanks look like they're swimming. So baby is soothed by watching fishy friends in an aquarium plus eight different swing speeds.