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~~~ Background ~~~
Regular readers of my reviews will be aware that our daughter is now three years old, toilet trained and finally sleeping through the night on a regular basis, and that I am now in a better position reflect on which baby-related products I recommend as near necessities, those that would be "nice to have", and those that one could really do without.
I've mentioned about our bumpy start to breastfeeding, but what I haven't disclosed is that for the first eight to ten weeks of her life that Millie regularly screamed like a banchee unless she was being held. These two factors meant that my husband and I sought solace in many kinds of activities in an attempt to calm Millie at various times of the day and night.
We were very fortunate to have a friend lend us this rainforest "cradle swing" which was already assembled. A different friend confided that during one three week period in her daughter's life, the only place the child would sleep was in this swing so her husband had slept in the lounge room for the duration to keep half an eye on their little one.
With all this in mind, we had high hopes!
~~~ The product and my thoughts ~~~
This product was released in 2006. It is an open top comfortable cradle-style swing with rainforest theme that can be set to move from side to side or from front to back. The seat can be reclined. The unit has a little rotating canopy styled like leaves, beneath which there are several soft toy animals. The swing can "travel" at six speeds (lower is better for a smaller child and higher setting for an older one), and there is the option to play music, sound or neither.
The music and mobile have an automatic shut off after a short time (approximately eight or ten minutes from memory) when you then need to restart it should you wish for the sound and mobile to continue. The swing continues to rock and doesn't need resetting. Millie didn't seem to notice the difference if the music or sound was on or off.
This unit really is quite a large contraption, even when it is folded for storage. We used it from when Millie was about three or four weeks old, until she suddenly went off it at approximately 10 weeks of age. There is advice available about the maximum time a child should spend continuously and daily in this type of swing. As a first-time Mum I was paranoid about this, and irrationally felt that should I exceed the guidelines (which I can neither remember nor locate) then I would be sure to place our child on a path of becoming physically and mentally disabled! However I was also mentally balanced enough to know that without the sleep this swing cradle permitted, Millie might not reach six months of age.
This swing really was a lifesaver for us, enabling me to regain a little control over my daily activities such as taking a much-needed relaxing bath or to eat together as a couple. Of course the official advice is to never leave the child unattended in the swing.
It was always easy to place Millie in the swing, harness her in, and get her out again.
The technical aspects:
It is quite heavy at 10kg. The dimensions from the website are 78.5 x 46.5 x 24.5 cm. Our US model came with an AC adapter so we never used the battery mode. I understand that the UK model does not have this option. The seat pad and toys are machine washable at a low temperature.
Definitely. Do your best to borrow one first or buy pre-loved if you can. If you can't, it would be still worth the financial outlay if this is what it takes to help your infant become calmer or to sleep.
Being a new mum, I thought I was really organised and from the 1st scan, more or less had everything purchased, I didnt think I needed anything else when she was finally born but then I found this and realised how wrong I was!
I ahd all the normal stuff like moses basket, playmat and bounder but found she was too small for the bouncer, as she was born in December, I didnt like putting her on the playmat on the floor and thought to myself she spends all night in the moses basket so I wanted something different for the day. This is when I spotted the Fisher Price Rainforest Cradle Swing in Toys R Us.
I managed to buy a second hand one from EBay for around £50 which was local to me so I could collect, this was a great buy considering the RRP is in the region of £120.
After cleaning it up, I sat my daughter in it for the first time when she was aged about 6 weeks old and she was instantly soothed! It has two different swaying motions, either back to front or side to side and 6 different speeds in which you can set it.
It is a cream and metal frame, with a brighy green set with a rainforest pattern which gives it a unisex feel. I think Fisher Price do a similar one in pink and one in blue.
Above the main cradle is a brightly coloured mobile which has different animals and leafs which open and close to give a peek-a-boo effect.
You can also choose the different sounds, either soothing rainforest noises or nursery rhymes, we personally liked the nursery rhymes the better.
4 x D batteries are required which are not included however I used the product more or less from birth until she was no longer happy just to sit and relax (about 9months old) and only changed them once.
The product is advertised as folds easy, which it is however its still really quite bulky when folded so we never took as down.
I found Lauren spent most of her time in this and it was also great when she started weaning as the seat can be tilted forward slightly and due to the height of the swing, I found is easier to feed her in this rather than the bouncer. As she got a little bigger, is also has a detachable snack tray so I was able to pop her some raisins or rusks on this and she could feed herself.
Its great also that as most of the product is plastic or metal, when we did start weaning, it was easy to wipe down and also the seat cover can be removed and put in the washer.
This is a must have in my opinion, if I was to have any more children, I wouldn't bother with some of the other gimmicky items I purchased or a bouncer and just buy one of these.
If you do buy one from new and are thinking of selling it on afterwards, keep the box, on EBay they seem to sell for about £10-£15 more if you have the original box. I managed to sell mine for more than I paid for it so a great item, Lauren loved it and I made a profit!
This swing is very sturdy and secure - this does mean that it is very bulky and heavy. Expect to clear out space in a cupboard to store this as it takes up lots of room even when folded down.
The choice of songs and melodies is fantastic - choose from rainforest noises, soothing "rainfall" (wind chimes) and also nursery rhymes and songs. This combined with the six different swing speeds and two different swing directions allow different moods to be created from soothing baby to sleep or engaging baby in playtime.
As a very young baby my little girl found the combination of the swinging, mobile and music a bit too overwhelming and would only happily play in the swing for 5 minutes or so before crying to come out! As she has grown older she has started to spend longer and longer and will happily spend 30 minutes playing before falling fast asleep. Be prepared to persevere with getting a very young baby to enjoy this swing.
The swing is battery operated and can be quite heavy on battery usage (its takes 4 X D Batteries) if you don't want to be spending a fortune on batteries I strongly recommend that you also buy rechargeable batteries at the same time as purchasing this!
Whilst my little girl enjoys this, she also enjoys her bouncer, which was a third of the price of this swing, just as much.
I was looking for a cradle swing after discovering I was pregnant. There were quite a few to choose from but this one caught my eye.
The cradle swing itself comes in several pieces which are all easily recognisable and just click into each other. Once you have connected all the pieces to produce a frame the seat cover slides over and securely into place.
At the top of the frame is the large mechanical unit that house the batteries. You need 4 'D' size batteries. There is a plastic cover that you just open with a star headed screwdriver and then insert the batteries and away you go.
Cradle Swing Features
Also on the larger mechanical piece of the unit are the controls. You can play music- 12 tunes in total and you have the option to choose between the 6 speeds in which the cradle swings. There are small little slide buttons that you move to make your selection.
The seat itself has a multi position strap to hold baby in tight and the seat can be rotated so that it can swing side to side or front to back. There is also a mobile attached onto a moveable arm that can be lifted up when not in operation or you can just pull it down back over baby and again you just slide a button and the mobile rotates while either playing a song or playing jungle noises. You can just have the mobile rotating without any sound and vice versa.
When folded: L-115cm , W-70cm, D46cm
Age & Weight
The cradle swing is suitable from birth. The seat doesn't lie flat but can be reclined slightly from a full sitting position.
The weight limit for the cradle is 9KG
You can buy them for around £110-120. I bought mine brand new from Ebay for £100.00
The cradle swings is currently holding its value.
Babies R Us
Gorgeous looking cradle swing with lots of different settings to help sooth baby and aid a peaceful rest.
The cradle swing is quite large so not good if you don't have alot of space. However on the plus you can fold it flat to store.
I love this cradle swing and would recommend it to anyone. If baby is a little unsettled it soothes them to sleep, and if I need to put the little one somewhere safe whilst I catch up on the housework its ideal!!!
I bought one of the Fisher Price Rainforest Swings after hearing great things about them - the only thing no-one mentioned was the space it takes up!! If you live in a small house or flat please look at getting something smaller!
As a swing though it's fantastic - slightly cumbersome to get out but it IS possibly to do it one handed :) My daughter often falls asleep in it when I am trying to do washing or a little bit of housework. The tunes are ok and the rainforest sounds won't send you off to the looney bin after a few days, unlike a lot of other musical gadgets for babies, there is a great range of things you can adjust and the music will turn it self off after about 5 minutes, but the seat keeps swinging which I think is great.
The seat covers come off for easy washing which with a 5 week old has proven very handy! :)
I would definitely recomment this swing, but only if you have plenty of space for it :)
We purchased the Fisher Price Rainforest Swing when our daughter was one month old. We used it from that point onwards and now our daughter is 7 months she is still using it although this would be dependent on babies weight as the maximum for the chair is 9Kgs.
At first we watched our daughter focusing on the colour's of the turning mobile which features three brightly coloured animals. The rocking motion of the chair has different speed settings and the chair itself can be set to recline and also can be set to a frontwards or sidewards facing position.
The music has several short well known tunes, you can also choose the sounds of the rainforest mode or silent.
The swing is fairly large however it can be folded in slightly to save on space, as we use it so often it is hardly ever folded though. It has a small tray on the front where things can be held infront of the baby such as a small toy. The swing does take the large type battery however we have only had to change them twice in the time we have had this and it has been used several times each day. This swing may be larger and slightly more expensive however it is totally worth it.
I bought this while I was pregnant as I had heard how useful swings were to entertain young babies & give mum some free time! The swing was easy to set up, but I was surprised at how much room it took up (it didn't look nearly as big in the shop!). There is a handy folding mechanism, but I have never used it as the stand seems to unlock itself when i fold it, causing more work by having to re-lock it for safety purposes. Even folded, the swing still takes up a fair amount of room. The seat can be turned 90 degrees, giving baby a different view, & can be reclined for naps. The swing has been a godsend - I'd never brush my teeth or get cleared up without it! It's a great safe haven to leave baby for 5 mins while you get something done. On the downside, there isn't much entertainment - just a mobile which is out of babys reach anyway. Overall, it's expensive for such a short time of use, but is invaluable to us new mums.
While watching plush rainforest friends, and listening to nature sounds accompanied by one of the 12 different songs, baby is sure to be comforted when swinging side-to-side or front-to-back.