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Whether you have swings designed for older children or want to go to the playground with your baby on their swings you want to know if your baby can safely use them. After all, swings are some of the easiest ways to give babies a genuine thrill without putting them in harms way.
Can babies go on playground swings?
The bare minimum the babies needs to be able to do to safely go into a playground swing seat is to be able to sit up unaided and hold their own head. This is typically around 6 months of age.
If they aren’t able to do this then the motion of the swing can serious hurt their neck as it gets thrown about and is totally unsafe. If they can’t sit up unaided then the motion of the swing can make them go backwards or slump to either side, again quite unsafe.
Even so, a 6 month old baby will still be small relative to the side of the bucket seat, so they can still be thrown around if there is too much force applied to the playground swing. Therefore, the advice for parents of 6 month old babies who can hold their head up and sit up unaided is gentle swings only and with some kind of support like a small cushion behind them to keep them in place but not to raise their height as this could cause a risk they can fall out of it.
Do babies enjoy swings?
Most do but some don’t, as is the case with a lot of things. This is why it’s important to ensure their first experiences are positive ones by preparing in advance, keeping it nice and gentle and ensure they are secured as much as possible.
Going on the swings with a baby can break up a pram park walk (check out our best prams for newborns) to give you the chance to rest a little and for them to see something different.
The gentle motion of swinging can often give them a little bit of a thrill which can turn into loud laughter, which is fantastic. This can release happy hormones and eventually make them want to get out more and more with you, which can only be a good thing.
What to look out for when your baby is on the swings
- Hot weather – Hot weather can make some swing seats hot which can burn and make them extremely upset. Test the temperature before putting them on. In rare cases the rubber can get so hot it can melt onto the clothes ruining them. The same can be said for the metal chains.
- Make sure the ground is soft underneath – Accidents can happen even with the best intentions so make sure that the floor underneath the swing is soft and not concrete.
- Don’t leave them unattended
- Don’t let a sibling push them – They can and often will push them too hard or pull down the bucket leading to a drop.
- Watch for surrounding children – Busy playgrounds can be dangerous for young children, especially babies. Be aware of your surrounding in case someone runs in front or behind your moving swing causing a collision.
- Check the condition of the swing – Make sure it’s well maintained, with no cracks or visible tears on the bucket seats. Make sure the chains are not wrapped somewhere which can unfurl while in use causing a sudden drop.
How to introduce a swing to a baby?
There are two ways – buy an indoor or garden baby swing set – these have smaller bucket seats and straps specifically for them. This may not be viable for everyone for budget reasons or you just don’t simply have the space.
Or, hold them on your lap and swing yourself on the bigger swings. Have your feet planted on the floor and rock forward and backwards rather than actually swinging.