A few weeks ago, I posted a list of what I consider must-haves for a new baby. But, I think it’s important to go a little more in-depth so you don’t find yourself in Babies ‘R’ Us or some other megastore staring at an aisle full of exersaucers like a deer caught in headlights.
I consider swings a necessity since Eli’s swing has given me many hours of peaceful quiet. Earlier this week, I was able to steal almost a full hour of peaceful work time while he slept in his swing…priceless!
Well, almost priceless. $25 to be exact. That’s how much this swing cost us at a garage sale last summer. And, as thrifty as I am, there have been times when that swing was worth hundreds to me!
Here’s some advice for you first-time moms about buying a swing.
- Research available features and prices. Do some looking around before you start shopping in earnest. My favorite stores for researching baby gear are Target and Babies ‘R’ Us because they seem to have a decent selection on the floor. Decide whether certain features like portability might be worth paying more or whether they’re even something you want.
- Buy a recliner. My favorite feature on Eli’s swing is the three-position recline because it allows him to sit up when he wants to play but lay almost flat when it’s naptime. Some older swings don’t have a good reclining angle, which makes it more difficult for a baby to fall asleep and limits the usefulness of the swing when the baby is too young to easily stabilize his head.
- Look for battery sales. Newer swings rarely come with a wind-up handle, so your swing will probably require batteries. Stock up on your size when they go on sale. You probably won’t have to replace them often, but when you do, you’ll be glad you pre-purchased.
- Buy used. Most swings are quite washable so you probably don’t need to buy a new one. Our swing’s cover comes off for washing and everything else is easily cleaned with a rag, so I didn’t hesitate to buy used. Like other used items, you can check craigslist, garage sales, thrift shops, etc. Around here, most folks list their used items on Nex-Tech classifieds. Some towns also have a consignment store for baby items, such as Once Upon a Child.
- Check it out before buying. Baby products are recalled fairly frequently, so make sure yours has not been recalled and otherwise looks safe and operable.
There are so many swings it may seem overwhelming, but many manufacturers seem to release the exact same swing in different fabric patterns, so your choices may not be as varied as you think. Take your time and see what’s available. You may end up thanking the swing for many hours of peace and quiet!