Anything that doesn’t require me to constantly rock my baby is a winner in my book, and the Graco Simple Sway Swing is just that. It may not be a fancy two in one model, but it gets the job done. And, if you have the baby in a central location, you won’t need to take him or her out to follow you around. Most users agree that the Simple Sway Swing has been a lifesaver in their home. Here are some reasons why–along with some areas of improvement.
When it comes to safety, there’s really nothing more important in a swing. The two must haves in my book, is that the swing is in a reclined position and that there is a five point harness. Here is why these are such important aspects to a swing.
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Though you cannot change the position of your baby in the Graco Simple Sway, you can be rest assured that the position is as far back as is possible, so that infants can be as safe as possible. Newborns who cannot hold their heads up, are constantly slumping over. Gravity is a real beast to newborns. The best way to keep them from slumping to the side or forwards is to have them reclined back as flat as possible.
Some parents assume that if the baby is breathing, then they are fine, even if they are slumped to the side. However, a baby may still be breathing without getting the amount of oxygen that he or she needs. It can still be damaging. Furthermore, bad posture as a baby can have effects long into life that may take physical therapy to correct. So the reclined position that the Graco Simple Sway provides is the perfect position for keeping your baby safe and healthy.
There are some swings on the market that actually have different reclining positions that you can change as the baby gets older. This model does not have changeable positions, so you may find that your baby loses interest in it a little earlier than if there was a seat that could prop him or her up to see out. However, if this swing is used for soothing and your baby has a toy or finds the mobile interesting, this swing could be a device that your baby loves for as long as his or her weight allows.
5 Point Harness
A five point harness is on my list of absolute musts when it comes to a swing. There are just too many accidents that can happen and have happened over the years. You just need to spend a night watching America’s Funniest Home Videos to be a firm believer in a 5 point harness. If they had a 20 point harness, I’d probably be all over that as well. There is no way to be too safe with a newborn baby.
Keeps Baby In
The 5 point harness is an exceptional feature because when babies learn to arch their backs or try to get out of the swing, it will keep them from falling out, and equally importantly, it will keep them from leaning too far forward and causing the swing to tip over.
Even when babies are not old enough to have that kind of control over their bodies, the 5 point harness has its value. Newborns have a tendency to slump over whenever they are at any kind of an incline, so this harness helps to hold their shoulders in place–though having an additional headrest would also be helpful.
Keeps Baby Safe
The 5 point harness is also very important for when siblings come by and want to love on the baby or swing him or her a little too hard. These moments happen, no matter how careful you warn your other children to be, and it is nice to know that the 5 point harness will hold the baby securely in place.
For Use At Every Age
There are many people who don’t use the harness because they are afraid of waking the baby if they are close to falling asleep or they feel it will interfere with the blanket or swaddler that they have on the baby. Make sure you don’t skip the harness! Even though the bucket of the seat is deep, there is still a chance that even just the momentum of a newborn baby swinging could eventually slide the babe toward the edge and risk the baby falling out. Any device that has the baby in motion should have a harness.
Now for the question on all seasoned parents’ minds: is the Graco Simple Sway swing washable? The answer is most definitely, yes! The seat has a removable cover that you can throw in the washer at your convenience. It is about the same difficulty level as removing a carseat cover and taking it off, so it’s not super easy with the harness, but you can definitely figure it out quickly.
Whatever you do, do not put the cover in the dryer. It may shrink, and it already fits snugly with no stretch on the swing frame. Just remember to hang to dry and it will be as good as new to put back on.
The price of the Graco Simple Sway Swing is very affordable compared to many swings on the market. Graco is a well known baby brand, so you can feel at ease that it has been fully vetted by the FDA for infant regulations and that it is a quality product.
In fact, if you compare this swing to the Fisher Price Snugapuppy, you’ll find that they are a very similar product but the Graco Simple Sway Swing is much cheaper. If you are looking for the most affordable, decent swing on the market, this is probably it.
Honestly, most swings are very similar, so if you are in the market for a basic one, the price of the Graco line is probably what will sell you.
Basic Model vs. LX Model
If you have been doing your research about baby swings online trying to find the perfect one, you may have run across the Graco Simple Sway Swing LX. They seem very similar, but there is a pretty significant cost difference. So what is the difference and why is the LX more expensive?
The LX model is virtually the same as the Graco Simple Sway swing basic model with one unique feature: you can switch the direction of the swing. The Simple Sway swing can only swing from side to side while the LX version can either go side to side or back and forth. This may not seem like a big deal to parents who have relatively easy to please babies, however, if you have had a particular child, you might see the benefit in the multidirectional swing.
Some babies, especially those who have acid reflux or are colichy, have a certain movement that soothes them, and anything else can just be difficult for them to deal with. Unfortunately, the only way to really know what your baby prefers is to try them out. Many buyers start with the Graco Simple Sway swing and return it if their baby can’t stand it. However, if you have a friend with a swing, going for a test run might be the most convenient option.
Many parents look for portability in a swing because they like to move the baby from room to room. However, if your home is a bit more open or if you are planning on having the swing in a centralized location, then portability may not be as important to you.
It is worth noting that the Graco Simple Sway Swing is not a portable swing. The swing does not collapse or fold down to make it easy to carry. It is also not convenient to get through doors. So this swing will work best for parents who are only planning on using it in certain rooms. This might seem like a big deal to some, but in all honesty, it’s not a game changer for me. If the baby is going down for a nap in his or her room then they will use the crib. For the most part, I and many other parents would use a swing in a room like the living room when you are trying to get stuff done around the house like laundry or dishes.
In fact, I appreciate a swing that is not portable because the seat seems to be made more durably and you never have to worry about the very rare and slight chance of the swing collapsing while the baby is using it.
You can see how to put the swing together in this video:
The swing is also less than 20 pounds, so even though it doesn’t collapse and it is awkward to carry around, it is by no means impossible to move. It is lightweight and you can move it through doorways as long as you angle it correctly. If you want to move it from room to room, it might not be something that you constantly want to switch up, but it is definitely doable. Most people probably keep their portable swings in the same spot for the most part as well, because although they are meant for moving around on a whim, they aren’t exactly easy to move about either.
The one downside about not having a portable swing, in my opinion is that you cannot collapse it to go on vacation somewhere. If your baby is absolutely married to your Graco Simple Sway Swing, then this aspect can definitely be frustrating. Though you do have the possibility of taking it completely apart and rebuilding it at a vacation spot. Not a great option, but there is an option.
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Going along with portability, the Graco Simple Sway swing has the option of using batteries as well as a power source, which makes this a great option for literally any space. You could put it in any corner of your home that is big enough to have a chair sitting in. You could even take this outside with you. New parents sometimes feel like they are completely tied to their baby and their normal routine. But this swing can really free up your hands and allows you to take part in activities that you might otherwise not be able to do, like play with your other kids or work.
The batteries are size D and it takes 5 to run the Simple Sway swing. If you are using batteries exclusively, it will take about a month of regular usage to run them down, though it does depend entirely on how often you use it and what settings you use. This can get costly after a while, so you may want to invest in some rechargeable ones or use an extension cord when possible if an outlet is not within reach.
The Graco Simple Sway swing, as most of the Graco swing line, comes with a variation of 10 classical songs and 5 nature sounds. You have the option to control the volume and you can mute it if you wish. Here is a list of the songs:
- 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
How To Make Baby Like The Swing
There are some babies that take to swinging right away, but others have a more difficult time being away from their parent’s perfect nurturing sway. For the parents who have sensitive or colichy babies, you know how desperate you can get for some kind of relief. So how do you make your baby like the swing if they seem to hate it at first?
Now, I’m not saying you should torture your baby. The swing should be a good break for the parent, but also a pleasant experience for the baby as well. I would say though, that you shouldn’t give up on your first try with the swing.
Here are a few tips for the swing:
You know the first two weeks of your baby’s life where all they ever want to do is sleep and everything seems magical? They seem like the easiest baby in the whole world? Those two weeks are great, but then it starts getting real, real fast. Baby starts forgetting how to sleep and then can’t figure out the difference between day and night and everyone is tired and cranky. Even though you might be tempted to hold your baby non stop those first couple weeks when they are so sweet and content and sleepy–don’t. Get them in the swing.
I cannot stress enough how important it is for your baby to get used to the swing from the get go. I’m not saying to have your newborn in the swing for the majority of the day or anything, but put your baby in there for a nap. Or when they are wide awake, use the swing as an opportunity for your baby to swing and listen to music. It will be a nice relaxing break for everyone.
Try A Little Each Day
If your baby doesn’t like the swing even if you have them in it early on, you still don’t need to give up hope. An hour or two of free time each day is worth working for!
Most babies don’t enjoy tummy time either, but your pediatrician will be the first to tell you to start them on tummy time from day one for a couple minutes at a time. Use the same thought process with the swing. Give them a few minutes. If they start to be fussy, don’t pick them up immediately, just talk softly to them and let them hear your voice. They might just not like that they feel like you are far away. Increase the amount of time they are in there each day and they will start to enjoy it.
Put Them In Sleepy
You know when your baby is all milk drunk? They are drinking but their eyes are starting to roll back in their heads and they are slowing down. This is the perfect time to get them in the swing and to really enjoy it. If they are awake, but so sleepy that they don’t care about 90% of what is happening around them, this is a great time to get them in the swing. They will learn to love it if they go in with a full tummy, a clean diaper, and a tired head.
I have one pro tip to share, if you are going to try this method. Make sure that you undo the harness and spread it out so you can easily place the baby in and clip him or her in without waking. There is absolutely nothing worse than having your baby nearly to sleep and having it all ruined because you have to fumble with the harness.
Give Them A Bottle
If you are exclusively breastfeeding, this may not be a very helpful tip for you, but if you are bottle feeding, this can be a great opportunity for your baby to relax and enjoy a good feeding. This really only works with older babies who can hold their own bottle, but if you are trying to get a slightly older baby into their swing, this just might be the ticket.
If your baby is hungry and looking for their bottle, they might be so involved in their bottle that they don’t realize they are in the swing until they are finding themselves soothed and full.
The Graco Simple Sway swing comes with a fun little mobile that most parents say their children love. Many of these parents have even stated that their child still had the plush mobile pieces to play with long after they grew out of the swing. The mobile is nothing fancy, but it serves the purpose of distracting the baby while it is in the swing.
If your baby isn’t thrilled by the sight of three plush stars hanging overhead, and they aren’t a fan of sleeping in the swing, try putting your baby in with a toy or two. If your baby has a hard time wanting to go in the swing, you could set aside a new toy that is reserved for swinging time. You can give it to them when they get in the swing and take it as you take your baby out. Babies are very bright and they will catch on pretty quickly that the swing is associated with the fun toy.
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Though most parents are very happy with their Graco Simple Sway swing and the few hours of freedom that it gives them, there are some complaints that have bothered more than one person.
One common complaint that I have found for most swings across the board is a loud clicking sound. The clicking sound seems to be just a part of the swing that will probably not change no matter what you do about it. It is just how the swing functions. In all honesty, the clicking doesn’t seem to be too loud and can be drowned out by the music provided or white noise.
Some other users complain of a squeaking sound. The squeaking may be a different story than the clicking. This doesn’t seem to be a problem with all people who have bought this swing. If your swing is squeaking, it may be a defect that you could contact Graco directly about. Also, it is just a theory, but most of the models I have seen that squeak are on a wood surface. It could be that the wood just doesn’t have the same shock absorption that carpeting could provide. So before you contact a manufacturer about it, Try putting it on a carpeted surface or even set it on top of a thick blanket and see if it continues.
How Bad Is It?
The clicking sound is typically pretty light and you can easily ignore it, if you have the music, white noise, or even the TV on. If it is louder than that, it may be a manufacturer error.
Having a noisy swing is not something that most people would like to deal with. Many users claimed that the baby was able to sleep through the clicking, but that the rest of the family was going crazy. If the clicking is so bothersome that you cannot function without fixating on it, there may not be a swing on the market that will work well for you. Everyone has different sensitivity to sound, so maybe a bouncer may be more up your alley.
You are going to be spending your time with or near your baby when he or she is in the swing so your happiness is important too!
The other most common complaint is that the headrest is not significant enough to even be a headrest. It is mostly just a comfortable flat surface with cozy fabric, but as far as keeping a head upright–it does not do the job. It can definitely be disappointing to have to go out and buy an additional headrest to go with the swing, but that is the best way to make sure your infant stays safe in the swing.
Babies who slump over because they are unable to hold up their own heads risk death from asphyxiation. It is important as a caregiver that you stay vigilant and make sure your baby is as safe as possible in the Simple Sway Swing. This swing does come with a 5 point harness, which is a great safety feature, but without the headrest, your baby can still manage to slump to the side.
If you don’t want to go out and get a headrest, or you are desperate to use it before you have a chance to go out to the store again, you can easily fashion your own from a diaper cloth or a thin blanket. Just make sure that your baby can breathe at all times and that you are not obstructing their airways.
It seems as though most Graco products have the 5 point harness that does not have any kind of soft covering over it. This can be annoying to parents who are worrying about their baby’s skin, but it is a relatively easy fix.
You can either make sure that your baby is wearing clothes that cover their skiing between their thighs, some kind of swaddler or Wombie with legs, or you can cover the straps yourself.
I have found that an easy fix is to cut the toes off of a sock and put it over the strap, especially the strap in the middle of the thighs. The ones going around the shoulders might chafe as well, but they don’t seem tight enough to rub regularly against the baby’s neck.
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All in all, the Graco Simple Sway Swing is one of the most affordable basic swing models on the market. It soothes and entertains, and most babies absolutely love it. Even though there are some complaints, none of them are complaints that cannot be remedied with some simple solutions.