When my baby’s sleep routine (or lack-there-of) hit rock bottom, a friend lent me her Love N Care Rock My Baby Swing to help with settling my boy. For anyone considering whether to invest in an automated swing this is what I found:
The Love N Care swing is a classic style in a neutral pastel beige and aqua blue colour called ‘Earth’. This colour is perfect for both boys and girls and it doesn’t compete with your baby for the center of attention in all of your baby photos as I found with the brighter patterned bouncer I bought.
Yes, you’ll be truly amazed at how many photos you take of your baby in their bouncer chair!
The fabric is a super soft suede-like material which is gorgeous to touch but perhaps a little impractical as far as stain resistance goes. However the outer fabric is easily removed for washing which was a great feature.
The swing comes with two accessories: a clip-on hanging toys bar and a head rest cushion.
The clip-on hanging toys bar is in the same pastel coloured fabric as the rest of the chair which I think is a real mistake because research shows that newborns are highly attracted to bright colours.
The toys on the hanging bar don’t rattle or make noise which is another oversight. My baby showed a general lack of interest in the toy bar so I think a much more engaging design would really improve this product.
On the up-side, the toys are only attached to the seat by Velcro tabs so the bar can be easily removed. The bar itself is quite flimsy as it is made of a flexible plastic but I suspect this is to prevent the swing from being picked up by the bar. The bar also pops out of the fastenings quite easily.
As for the head rest cushion, it is fine but it does put your baby’s head into a strange overly-upright position so I prefer to remove it all together (again, it is attached to the chair with Velcro).
DIMENSIONS AND MECHANICS
The approximate dimensions of the Love N Care swing are: 70cm tall with a 64cm wide base and an 80cm long seat. As show in the photo below, the seat and legs easily fold up for storage.
The swing has an AC adapter point (which needs to be purchased separately) and it is battery operated using a D battery which is really practical.
The seat is anchored by two sidebars and two round mechanism casings which generate a smooth and stable rocking motion with no jolting, side-to-side action or wobbling. You can also lock the swing if you want no motion at all.
There are five settings for increasing the speed of the swing, it can play music and there’s a timer which can be programmed for 10, 15 or 30 minute intervals. All of these features are very handy for settling baby.
VALUE FOR MONEY
The Love N Care swing is priced at $139 AUD when not on sale, placing it in the mid-range market of electric swings.
Despite a few design imperfections, I think the swing is good value for money and is an ideal device for settling a newborn baby. However, once baby is beyond the newborn stage the swing offers little to keep baby engaged and there eventually comes a point in which baby tries to bounce themselves so then there is no need for an automated swinger anymore.
An automated bouncer swing will really serve you best during the first four months (arguably the hardest months!) of the newborn stage. During this time baby is less physically active and needs more settling time than play time.
For short-term comfort for you and a newborn baby, an automated swing really is a great idea. So if you think you’d like to get one, get it early and make the most of it when your baby is still a newborn because after that they may not need or want it anymore.
AT A GLANCE: The real world issues
|Is it easy to use?||Yes. The plug or battery option means you can use it anywhere. Just turn it on.|
|The biggest pro?||The automated swing does the work for you and for a newborn baby giving you more time to do other things.|
|The biggest con?||The hanging toys bar is not particularly interesting or useful and fails to engage baby’s attention for very long.|
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