If you are someone who has a colicky baby, the Graco Duetconnect LX baby swing and bouncer could be the answer to your prayers. I know from personal experience that having a baby who wants to be constantly rocked and bounced can take a toll on you physically and mentally–especially if your baby prefers one parent over the other! Making sure your baby is always on the move becomes your life. This is why I have a special place in my heart for products that move your baby for you, like this swing and bouncer combination.
There are a lot of swings and bouncers on the market, and I have done the research to find out which ones have the best prices and the best features. In fact, I recently wrote another review of a very similar product, the Graco Duetsoothe swing and rocker that you can find here! Below is a detailed description of the features–good and bad–of the Graco Duetconnect LX baby swing and bouncer.
Set Up/ Take Down
This swing and bouncer is probably about a 7 on a scale from 1 to 10 rating the difficulty to put together. It isn’t as complicated as a crib, but more complicated than a carseat. In fact, there are many users who say that the instruction manual was hardly helpful at all when putting this product together. There are a lot of odd shaped metal legs and tubes that need to go in at different angles. It seems like it should be straightforward, but it can end up taking much longer than anticipated to figure it out. Pair that with a crying baby, and you are in for a real treat.
So instead of even bothering with the instruction manual, I will tell you right now to skip it and look up a set up instructional video online. Below is an easy set up video to follow that comes straight from the manufacturer, but there are others on YouTube that you can find as well.
Even with the video, you may need to start and stop it several times before you get it right. Just don’t try to be a hero and figure it out all by yourself, is all I’m saying.
As far as taking it down goes, you won’t want to unless you absolutely have to. Storing it broken down once your baby has outgrown it might be a good idea if you are tight on space, but if you have a good sized storage area and want to hang on to it, it might not even be worth the trouble of taking it apart and having to put it all back together again later.
It’s not a portable unit by any means, but you know once you put it together it’s sturdy and it’s not going anywhere.
5 Point Harness
One of the most important features of a swing and bouncer alike is the safety harness. There are some bouncers that will just have a three point harness, which may be fine for a smaller baby, but it can start to get a little dangerous if the baby is old enough to try and escape. This can be especially problematic in the swing, since it is higher off the ground.
A 5 point baby harness will ensure that the baby stays safely in the swing or bouncer when it is old enough to lift up and out. When it is a newborn and cannot lift its head or back up, the 5 point harness is still the best safety option because the baby can slump down easily at that age, which can cause SIDS. Another safety feature you don’t want to be without because of the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the reclining option.
When babies are newborns, they tend to move around like they’re made of Jello. They fold over themselves and slump over. They’re a real mess. So the best way to keep them safe from slumping over and asphyxiating themselves is to have them reclined back as far as possible.
The Graco Duetconnect LX baby swing and bouncer has two different reclining options. One is nearly flat, which is most suitable for newborns. They won’t be able to slide around as much and they will be safer to fall asleep. The more inclined position is good for when they are a bit older, at least 4 months old, where they can lift themselves a bit better. The inclined position is also a great option for babies who are in the swing more for entertainment than for sleeping, so they can look around.
There are some baby products that are spot clean only, and to those products, you just need to slowly back away. Babies are so messy. They are constantly exploding out one end or another, there is no way to keep them or the area around them clean without constant washing and wiping.
Luckily the Graco Duetconnect LX is machine washable, but do not–under any circumstances–put the cover in the dryer. It will shrink and you will never be able to get it back on the seat.
Getting the cover on and off is similar to getting the cover off of a carseat. It’s not super easy, but it is manageable and the more practice you have taking it on and off, the more easy it will become. It is a good idea to clean the seat every couple weeks, or as the occasion of a mess presents itself.
In all honesty, there are other swings and bouncers on the market that are more portable than this unit, but the Graco Duetconnect LX does have other qualities that may make the lack of portability worth dealing with.
The unit itself is fairly light under 20 pounds with both the swing and the bouncer connected. So it shouldn’t be an issue to lift. However, it does not collapse at all and it can be awkward going through doorways with that. Though the swing unit cannot go from room to room with you easily, you can take the bouncer with you wherever you go, and that is the benefit of the unit. You can move the baby from swing to bouncer without waking him or her up. Baby can go where you go.
And though the baby won’t have the swinging motion anymore when you move him or her off the swinging motor, the bouncer still gives the baby motion, which will only get better and more soothing as it gets older and the baby starts to bounce itself. The bouncer also has battery powered, two level vibrations that will soothe the baby to sleep and will slightly mimic a car ride.
So even though you can’t really move the swing easily from room to room, you still can move it if it is worth it to you, it’s just more awkward than most collapsible swing units.
The swing has the ability to move forward and backward and side to side, so there is a movement that will work for most babies. Some babies are particular about which direction they swing in, so it is great to have a unit that will move in all kinds of different ways.
There are six different speeds, which can move the baby from just a gentle push to a more exciting sway for older babies or babies that need some extra movement.
You also have the ability to choose to use an outlet or to opt for battery power, which makes this unit able to go virtually anywhere.
There are a lot of people who are disappointed that the bouncer doesn’t automatically bounce the baby, but here’s a little secret–none of the bouncers on the market are automatic. The swing does work automatically, but you will either need to bounce the baby in the bouncer with your foot or babies can start to bounce themselves when they get a little older and start having more significant movements.
As a bouncer goes, it’s pretty standard. It bounces well and offers the same amount of comfort that it did in the swing.
The Duetconnect, like the similar Duetsoothe swing and rocker comes with the same list of 10 classical songs and 5 different nature sounds and white noise. This is the list of classical songs that made the cut:
- Für Elise by Ludwig van Beethoven
- Hungarian Rhapsody #2 by Franz Liszt
- Pachelbel’s Canon by Johann Pachelbel
- Simple Gifts by Joseph Brackett
- Brahms Lullaby by Johannes Brahms
- Vivaldi Spring by Antonio Vivaldi
- Sugar Plum by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
- Gymnopedie by Erik Satie
- Happy Farmer by Robert Schumann
- Mozart Sonata 11 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
These songs are not great recordings, but they are about what you would expect from a baby device. It’s just like listening to Baby Einstein on repeat, which if you don’t already do that, you probably will, so it’s good practice.
You can control the volume from the buttons on the swing above. The music is attached to the swing, so if you are planning on moving the baby after he or she falls asleep in the swing, you won’t be able to take the music with you.
If you don’t happen to like the music, you can of course set up a white noise maker that you prefer or your own music because it does have a mute button as well.
The Graco Duetconnect LX baby swing and bouncer is actually priced very well for all of the features that it includes. It has multi direction swinging motions and a detachable bouncer. Many swings are not dual functioning but still cost more than this 2 in 1 unit. If you’re looking for something affordable, that fulfills all your basic needs for a swing and bouncer, this is the product for you.
As with everything, there are always some downsides. Here are some of the most common complaints about the Graco Duetconnect LX.
The most common complaint by far is that the swing makes a loud clicking sound. Though it is common, it is not something that every customer experiences. The motor does whir softly, as motors do, but the swing makes a loud clicking sound that isn’t as pleasant. Many babies can sleep right through it, but some babies cannot settle down at all. Of course, that would be a pretty big downside if you have a more sensitive baby.
A lot of the customers actually mentioned that it didn’t seem to bother their baby but it bothered everyone else. So if it’s something you personally can’t live with, then that’s something you’ll have to consider too, because you’ll always be there with your baby and listening to the same clicking sound.
Others complained that the vibrations were too loud while the swing was in motion. While the swing is in motion, I think the vibrations might be a bit superfluous. I believe that the vibrations are primarily meant to be used when the bouncer is disconnected and on the ground. When it is on the ground it is much less noisy, though you can still hear it.
The straps are an excellent feature for safety, and really cannot be done without, but they are not very comfortable. If a baby has nothing between his or her skin and the strap that goes between the thighs, there could be some chafing, which you of course don’t want. Though it’s not a great feature, it can be worked around by putting a piece of cloth in between that area. Or if you want something a little more secure, you can cut the toes off of a small sock and put it over the strap.
Overall, the Graco Duetconnect LX baby swing and bouncer is an affordable swing that many people really love. The noise can be a little annoying, but you could have a defective unit if you have a problem with squeaking. It is safe, comfortable, with several different functions that most babies seem to love. Again, most of the complaints about noise have been made from parents who don’t like it, but whose babies seemed to sleep through it.