The Effects of Baby Swings
Like any other baby gears, baby swings are designed to provide comfort to babies and toddlers. Soothing a cranky and colicky baby is easier with the help of baby swings. Despite these advantages, there are also disadvantages and health concerns surrounding the use of baby swings so it is better to consider these issues before you purchase one.
Experts still support the fact the these are powerful aids to get babies to relax and sleep, but not all babies need them since most newborns can do well without it and older babies prefer to nap in their cribs. The questions regarding safety still come up. Dr. Krap, a USC professor and a fellow with AAP or American Academy of Pediatrics and the bestselling author of the Happiest Baby Guide has been a proponent of using baby swings as an efficient tool in soothing babies to sleep.
The Bad Effects
In his DVD, Dr. Krap talks about the swinging motion’s power to soothe the baby. Clearly, AAP recommends that babies should sleep on a flat surface such as cribs at all times. Parents need a decent sleep, however, using the swing without supervision is a bad idea. Improper use of baby swing can result in the following;
- Suffocation – AAP stated that babies and infants who sleep in baby swings are at high risk of suffocation since they tend to slump. Young babies under four months of age have poor head and neck support which can cause blocking of air flow to their lungs.
It is best not to keep them in an upright position to avoid blocking of the airway. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported 15 swings-related accidents from Jan 2002 to May 2011.
- Choking – some swings have small toys attached to it where babies can reach them. These toys can be a choking hazard once the baby can grab them. Remove the toys that are too small enough to fit in their mouth. Regularly check for loose pieces or damaged toys.
- Falls – another common mishap when using baby swings, especially if the safety straps are not properly used. CPSC recommends buying swings with five-point restraint and harness system for added safety. Without these safety features, your baby can fall out of the swing when it is moving.
- Tipping– again, improper use of baby swing can result in tipping or collapsing of the gear itself. Always use it according to weight and age guidelines to prevent injuries. Look for baby products with Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association approval seal as these products passed the latest safety standards.
Other Impacts to Child’s Development
Sure enough, baby swings are great aids different ways. It helps parents to free their hands for a while and get other things done. They can also take short naps during the day. Baby swings can also help lessen the burden of colic in babies. Contrary to what most of us believe, experts suggest that babies should be carried most of the time since they need to be touched during their first year because of various reasons;
- They do not become overly dependent and clingy
- They cry less and grow happier, more independent, more social, move loving and more intelligently.
- Using baby swings frequently to soothe them, get them to sleep or to keep them entertained means the shorter the time that you will carry them.
- Likewise babies who used to spend more time in their swings have lesser human contact which also lessen their opportunity to get close to their parents or caregiver.
Health experts also warn the parents about the unknown effects of prolonging used of baby swings on your baby’s brain development and comfort. In a research conducted by James Prescott, a cross-cultural psychologist, and developmental neuropsychologist, when we carry our babies, we are promoting vestibular-cerebella stimulation, which is a crucial sensory system which is responsible for developing “basic trust”.
It affects the bonding between the child and the mother and establishes the psychological and biological foundations of all human relationships. Whilst baby swings are sometimes helpful to us, carrying your child and playing with them frequently strengthens your bond as a family. Keeping your child in constant contact with you is one of the biological design for physical, emotional and mental development. Research also confirms that human interaction and touch helps develop your child’s capacity for affection, happiness, intimacy, trust and love.
Baby swings along with other products are designed to help both parents and their child, however, these products are not designed to be used without adult supervision. The American Academy of Pediatrics still recommends ccribs and other flat surfaces to put your infant to sleep. Letting them sleep in their swings will only impose harm and increase their risk of SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome.
Also, use the most recline position available in your baby swing for newborns and younger babies. Basically, they should be lying down on their backs. Wait until your baby is able to control her neck and head before gradually transitioning to other reclining position. Do not allow older kids to operate the swing to prevent injuries.
Restraints are maybe helpful in keeping your baby from falling, however, these are also accounted for several injuries such as strangulation. Fortunately, CPSP is establishing new safety rules for baby swing manufacturers.
Nonetheless, your supervision and attention are highly required to keep your precious baby safe at all times. Better keep an eye on him whether he sleeps in his crib or is inside the swing. Make sure he is able to breathe and always follow safety guidelines.
With many families, a baby swing is a must-have device however, it can also set danger if not use accordingly. Filling your gap of knowledge about how to properly use the baby swing and other baby products is a good way to protect your baby. By taking these factors into consideration, you are reducing unexpected issues and helps make their life safer and happier.