Product Type: Fisher Price baby products
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Rock you Baby!
Fisher Price Flutterbyes Swing
Member Name: jo1976
Fisher Price Flutterbyes Swing
Date: 29/08/08, updated on 27/06/13 (185 review reads)
Advantages: Soothes and distracts baby. Pleasant music and lights. Entertaining activities.
Disadvantages: Bulky. Difficult to store. Expensive to buy new.
When our oldest child was born almost seven years ago, we were really unprepared for just how much attention a newborn baby needs! We expected disturbed sleep and lots of crying but our oldest must have been reading different baby manuals to us and, basically, never slept day or night! We didn't get to eat meals together anymore as he always needed to be held by one or the other of us, so we just ate meals on a rota system. He didn't stop crying much either and was basically a pretty miserable young baby. (Sorry to anybody who might be reading this whilst still pregnant. He was very much the exception to the rule and not all babies are that bad, honestly!)
You might be expecting me to say that we bought the Fisher Price Flutterbye Dream Swing and all was resolved. Actually - no. At the time, these swings were few and far between and we didn't really have the space or the money to get one.
When I was pregnant with baby number two (fours years later. Do you need to ask why?!) both me and my husband were adamant that we were going to buy one of these baby swings. We had a look at the Fisherprice Flutterbyes Swing in Mothercare and, yes, it's quite big and bulky, but we were prepared to accept that in return for something that would soothe an irritable baby and give us five minutes' peace. We would have gladly paid the full price for this, even though £79.99 is a lot of money for a single baby item. (December 2009: This is on offer for £47.49 at Mothercare.) Every sleep-deprived parent wil agree that you can't actually put a price on sleep! Luckily, I picked one up as a 'collection only' item from eBay for a tenner so we were over the moon! It's well worth looking on eBay if you're willing to buy second-hand as it could save you a fortune!
So - what was the verdict once baby number two arrived? Our baby, bless him, was the most relaxed placid and contented baby you could imagine. Yes, okay, I know you're asking about the swing, not the baby. We used the swing pretty much from bringing him home from hospital (as the swing is recommended as being suitable from birth) although we didn't use it for long periods at a time, as newborns should really be laid flat. I can't say that the swing was wholly responsible for making him such a relaxed baby but it certainly helped us to be more relaxed as parents. In the evenings, particularly, we wanted to eat together and be able to put our baby somewhere where he would be settled and content whilst we ate, even if he was wide awake. Ben wouldn't settle in his moses basket whilst he was awake but would sit quite contentedly in the swing - even if he wasn't particularly tired. It just provided a gentle swinging motion and enough to look at to keep him settled and gave us both a bit of a break.
So, I'd better give you some details about the swing itself. It has a number of different speed settings so you can adjust the speed. We only needed to use the lowest setting for a newborn and that was plenty fast enough. It also has an activity bar featuring a cute blue bird that flaps its wings in the rythmn of the swing. It also has two swinging toy attachments that can be pulled by an older baby to activate the music and lights. From as soon as he could focus, our baby used to fixate on the flapping bird above him and his eyes would glaze over until his eyelids started to drop! He used to drop off to sleep really gradually and peacefully in this swing. He would go into the swing wide awake and didn't even cry when he was placed in it. The plastic tray that fits over the swing seat just clips off really easily and there's a simple harness that clips around the baby's waist. It's straightforward with no hassle and no screaming baby.
The swing can operate without lights or music but the music itself was quite pleasant. There are two volume setting but neither was overly loud and I found the music and bird noises that it plays quite relaxing myself - never mind the baby! The lights alternate and are different shapes but don't go too fast or too bright. We're talking soothing babies here - not going for the baby disco experience! The fabric seat bit where the baby sits is fully removable and washable which is obviously practical if your baby is a sicky child!
The only drawbacks to the swing are that it is very expensive if you buy it new at the full RRP of £79.99. Having said that, it is well worth the price for a contented baby and having the opportunity to have your hands free and have a meal in peace, if your baby needs constant cuddles! As I've said, it's possible to pick them up very cheaply on eBay or, althernatively, there are other makes of similar swings that would do the same job for less.
The swing is also very very bulky! We didn't really have the room for this but made room as we felt that it was essential for those first few months when babies tend to be unsettled at evening times. It does fold up slightly, in so far as the legs can be pushed together, but it still takes up a lot of room. We weren't able to fit the swing in our loft for storage so we ended up giving ours away to a friend. The storage aspect might be something to consider if you were planning on keeping this for a second baby.
The only other negative would be that it needs lots of batteries. It actually takes 4 AA batteries as well as 4 D batteries (as one set powers the swing motion whilst the other powers the music and lights.) Despite this, the batteries seem to last a long time even if the swing is in regular use.
Overall, I would advise any mums or dads to be to invest in a swing for their baby. It wouldn't necessarily need to be this one but as a general baby product I'd say that it's more of an essential rather than a luxury.
Summary: Sleep is priceless!