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When Hope was a baby we had a bouncer but she never enjoyed sitting in it so when I was pregnant with Baby number 2 we didn't know whether to buy one or not. I knew that I wouldn't be able to just hold the baby as much as I could with Hope as I would have my hands full with having two children so we did need somewhere safe to put him whilst I was busy. It had to be somewhere very substantial too incase Hope ran into the chair with her dolly's pram or something so when we saw this swing in Babies R Us we decided to give it a go. We thought it would be better than a bouncer because it could be angled, it did a bit more and it was sturdier so would be more robust if baby's holder sister tried to mess with it!
The swing cost us £50 which was part of an offer, I think it actually retails at about £60 which seems like a lot of money especially as you can buy a bouncer for much less but like I say this is so much more than a bouncer.
We bought it in blue but it was available in pink too. It has a comfortable chair part to it which is shaped so that your baby can sit in this and be comfortable. It is quite large too so that it will grow with your child and is rounded at the sides so that your baby feels as though they are safe and secure. It has quite a large white frame which makes it very secure and stable and this is what helps it to have a good swing on it. There is an activity bar which you can connect to the front too which is padded in the same colour as the seat itself and has three toys hanging down off it that are like rattles. These are a bit like planets and a sun and a rocket these toys are ideal for when your baby is more interactive so they can play whilst sitting in here.
Now when you put your baby in you can make the seat either lying flat or facing forward. This is easy to do and you can even do it whilst your baby is in too. There is a harness which straps under your baby's legs and secures around their waist and I do advise that you use this at all times. When we put our baby in, if he kicks around a lot he can slump right down so we always make sure that we have him strapped in properly and this always ensures that he doesn't slump down which could be dangerous. Once your baby is in it does look very comfortable, unlike with the bouncer we had which wasn't very padded, this is and it goes up at the sides so it's a bit like a cocoon so very snuggly.
Now this plays music and swings but you can choose whether it does just one or both. The music that it plays is very repetitive and a bit like chimes but it is not a recognisable tune which I think is better as it's less stimulating than if it was a nursery rhyme. It is definitely a slow spaced and relaxing tune which will help to send a baby off to sleep. It has two volume settings too- loud and quiet although there is not really a vast difference between the two, I think the quiet one should be more quiet than it is because it is still quite loud which may be too stimulating for some. This is easy to put on- you just press the music button once for quiet, twice for loud and three times to go back off. To get the swing to work you twist a dial and select one of 8 settings, these settings are basically speeds and it will swing as fast as you would like. We tend to usually have it on about the third one which is a good pace to help lull our baby to sleep. To turn it off you just turn it back to the beginning and it will stop. The swing takes your little one backwards and forwards in a steady rocking motion, the fastest setting I think is a bit too fast but when my baby is in and it's that fast he doesn't seem to mind!
There is a button you can press which will set the amount of time that this swing functions for- 15, 30 and 45 minutes which is a great idea as you can have it just turn itself off when your baby is asleep. It is good to see that it goes up to 45 minutes, so many toys which have a timer tend to go off much faster than this. When it does stop it doesn't just suddenly stop instead it just gradually slows down so it won't disturb your baby. Likewise if you bumped into the swing it would just gradually slow down until it stopped rocking which again makes it very good as it means your baby is less likely to be jerked awake.
Whilst the swing is moving backwards and forwards it doesn't make a noise at all. It stays quiet, there is no creaking, just the noise of the music if you have it on so it isn't irritating for you if you're sitting in the room too.
What we like about it is that it definitely works. When our baby is in this he will sit quite happily and kick around watching what we are doing. If we put him in this to sleep we will turn the swing mechanism on and he will gradually close his eyes and doze off. Sometimes when he refuses to sleep in his own bed we have resorted to putting him in here in the early hours of the morning and he has always given in to sleep here and I can't really blame him as it looks very, very comfortable and relaxing indeed, if only they did it in adult size!
We haven't yet used the activity bar as he isn't old enough to reach for them yet and we find it gets in the way of his sight so instead we have removed it for now and will put it back on in a month or so when he will appreciate it more.
So has it survived the Hope test? It kind of has! It is robust enough that she can't move it if she tries or if she runs into it with her pram. The frame around it means that if she did bump into it that it would be the frame that got hit and not the actual chair itself unlike with a bouncer. It hasn't survived the Hope test insofar as she is able to press the buttons and move the dial so she has been known to set this to it's fastest swing or to just randomly turn off but that isn't a concern to me, I was more worried about her being able to move a light weight chair around with a baby in it.
This swing is not light weight enough to be able to just be pushed along the floor, you have to lift it but it's not excessively heavy, I think it's more of the shape of it that makes it hard to move it but obviously the fact that it's not light weight makes it safe.
The swing takes 4 D batteries and these do not last long, we have rechargeable ones and they tend to last about a week then need charging again so this swing does eat batteries.
This is a fantastic swing which I am very happy with, I am very glad that we bought it and although it's retail price of around £60 is quite expensive it is definitely worth it. Already we have got our money's worth out of it that's for sure. It's robust, comfortable and very practical.
Before I had my son and I was buying baby equipment, I decided against a swing. They were pricey and I thought we'd see how we got on with the bouncy chair before we forked out for something like this that we would possibly not need. However, after we had had him a couple of weeks, I really thought that we should try one as we were having trouble settling him for naps and I thought that a swing may relax him (and me) and help him to get the sleep he needed.
After looking around online at various reviews, picture and prices I opted for this Safari swing from Bright Starts. This was for a number of reasons. It was priced somewhere in the middle of the range for swing (it was on offer at the time for £45 - it now prices at around £59.99). I had also purchased things from Bright Starts previously and been impressed with the design and quality of them. Finally, I felt the design of this was very attractive. It was largely an aqua blue colour - ideal as I had a boy - with brightly coloured animals on and a toy bar featuring a rattle and a lion. The swing is suitable for babies up to 11kgs.
The swing is easy to make up, with white metal legs that support the swing. The seat has a wire frame with a cushioned, washable seat cover. There are buttons on the side to push to start the swing up and control the volume of the melodies it plays and a timer so that you can select how long the swing goes for. There are 6 speed settings for the swing. There is also a strap for keeping baby in place - a cushioned one for between the legs as well as shoulder straps that all click together. It requires 4 x C batteries to operate (which are not included). The dimensions are H63cm x W23cm x D23cm. It also folds flat for storage.
My son fitted nicely in the swing. By the time we had bought this he was a decent sized baby though - I am not sure if a newborn would fit in quite so comfortably as the seat is quite deep and rounded and there is no head support provided either. He instantly took to the swing though and loved the motion of it - the higher speeds seemed pretty fast though so we stuck to the lower settings. These were soothing to him and some of the melodies were too, although I found these to be a little too loud and stimulating when trying to relax him or get him to sleep so I often used the swing without these. My son really wasn't too fussed with the toy bar either - there isn't much to it - and I would usually remove it as it was really just in his way.
As to whether it did the trick with regards to the napping - this was hit and miss. Sometimes it would rock him gently to sleep but other times we would have less success. However, he would always spend the time in the swing happy and enjoy the motion of the to-ing and fro-ing. It also meant that I could have 20 minutes or so without having to hold him, knowing he was safe and happy - it was invaluable in this way.
Overall, a very good swing that was easy to pack up and take with us if we were visiting others too. It also has a higher weight limit than a lot of baby swings so I probably got a bit more use from it. I would definitely recommend this and I will be using it again should we have any further additions to the family.
I actually have the girly version of this swing, it is the same as pictured but very pink. My daughter suffered badly with reflux when she was tiny and we were looking for a solution to stop us having to constantly hold her upright. We went to toysrus and this seemed to be the perfect solution.
This swing has 2 positions one is very reclined and the other is very upright. There is no in between but as we wanted her to be upright this was not a problem for us. We bought this particular model as we were very impressed at how comfortable it looked while checking it out in Store. It has a pillow and the material is very soft.
The swing is a portable version and it is quite compact. Compared to the swing my mother had for her this one is tiny. It says it is a travel swing, in that you can take it round other peoples houses. Sounds great in theory but in practice I doubt lugging this swing around would be very practical. While it is smaller than traditional swings it is still quite bulky. Personally I wouldn't want to move it around too much.
The swing is an open top design which is great for getting baby in and out. It also has 6 speed settings going from a very gentle rocking to baby being flung around quite high. It also plays lullaby's and has 3 toys dangling, which my daughter loved. The swing is very easy to put together, I managed to do it by myself. Which trust me is nothing short of a miracle! It is also very easy to clean, the whole seat comes off and it is fully machine washable.
The swing is supposed to last until untill 11 kg but I didn't feel it was safe for my daughter to use after about 8 months as she was trying to get it out of it. She was around 7kg at the time. It does have a 5 point safety harness but I personally didn't feel comfortable with her in it so I choose to get rid of it.
All in all my baby didn't particularly like being in the swing so I feel for us it was a waste of money. It looked gorgeous and was well made but that's pointless if the baby wont go in it. She used it less than 10 times. Some babies absolutely love them though and unfortunately the only way to tell if you baby will like it is to buy one to try. I would buy a cheaper one next time I have seen them in supermarkets for as little as £25 during 'baby events' I feel this would have given us better value, rather than being swayed by the pinkness
In November 2010 I had a lovely baby girl.
Unfortunately motherhood wasn't as easy as I'd planned and I struggled tremendously. I had one of those babies who would sleep unless being held, rocked and shushed and I couldn't put her down without her screaming.
When she was 3 weeks old my mother went out and bought me this swing and my life with my baby turned around. I finally had somewhere she was content to sleep or just sit without me so for the first time in weeks I was able to shower and eat without trying to awkwardly hold a baby at the same time. 10 months on and we are still using it. She no longer needs it to sleep and will happily go into her cot but I find that if she is upset, frustrated or wound up then popping her into the swing for 10 minutes "quiet time" instantly calms her down and turns her back into my happy smiley baby.
It's nothing fancy but it's the features that make it special for me. The fact that it folds nice and compactly was important to me as we live in a very small flat. When folded it fits just nicely in the slot between the sofa and the wall. The choice of speeds is amazing as there are 6 different levels - one to suit every baby. It starts at a very gentle rocking and as you go up the levels ends up at quite a vigourous (but safe) swinging. It also has 2 different music choices with 2 volume levels. One song is very relaxing and slow for sleep while the other is more upbeat and stimulating.
It also has a timer. It can go on for 15, 30 or 45minutes or unlimited. My daughter tended to wake as soon as the swinging stopped so I haven't ever really used the timer but I guess it could be useful if you didn't want your baby being rocked throughout the whole time while sleeping.
At the moment, with my daughter being older my favourite part of it has to be the 5point safety harness. My daughter can escape anything including her carseat, highchair and pushchair. But this little swing has a 5 point harness with a velcro cover over it so that babies can't fiddle with the catch. It's a very simple but clever idea!
It also has a very simple toy bar with a lion and a little rattley toy. My little one did get bored of these toys once she got to 5 or 6 months old and I had to tie others on if I wanted to leave her in it awake. The toy bar is removeable to put baby in or if your baby is too young to take any interest in the toys.
It runs on "C" batteries. Even using it everyday for up to several hours I have only had to replace the batteries 3 times so they are lasting me 2-3 months which I think is fantastic.
The swing lasts up to 11kg which could be any point between 9 and 18months for the average baby. Although my daughter is only small at 8kg I don't think we will get longer than another 3months as her head is almost at the top of the swing now as she is very tall, I still consider it excellent value for money at under £60 for a product that will be used daily over several months. My Mum bought this as it was the cheapest swing in the book but I would like to think it's the best!
I will be very sad when my daughter is too big to use it.