How Long Can a Newborn Stay in a Swing?

Jul 10, 2024

How Long Can a Newborn Stay in a Swing?

Welcoming a newborn into the family brings joy and a flurry of new experiences. Among these, choosing the right baby gear, such as swings, becomes crucial for both convenience and safety. While swings can soothe infants and provide caregivers with much-needed hands-free moments, understanding the limits and guidelines for their use is essential. 

How Long Can a Newborn Stay in a Swing? 

The answer is  - “Pediatric guidelines recommend limiting the time a newborn spends in a swing to no more than 30 minutes to an hour at a time.” Excessive use of swings can potentially lead to issues such as overstimulation or positional plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome). It's important to supervise your baby while in the swing and provide adequate time for other activities like tummy time and holding. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations for safe usage of the swing. 

In this blog, we'll explore how long a newborn can safely stay in a swing, along with important safety tips and considerations.

Safety Guidelines for Using Swings with Newborns

When it comes to using swings with newborns, safety should always be the top priority. Here are some essential guidelines to follow:

1. Manufacturer Guidelines

Manufacturers provide specific guidelines for the use of their swings, including weight limits and age recommendations. It's crucial to carefully read and follow these instructions to ensure the swing is suitable for your newborn. These guidelines typically specify the maximum weight capacity and age range for safe use.

2. Positioning and Support

Newborns have delicate necks and developing muscles, so proper positioning is crucial when using a swing:

  • Reclined Position: Choose a swing that allows the baby to recline comfortably. This position helps keep their airways clear and supports their back.

  • Head and Neck Support: Ensure the swing provides adequate support for the baby's head and neck. Newborns lack neck control, so they need extra support to keep their heads stable and prevent any strain.

3. Time Limits

While swings can be a soothing environment for infants, it's important not to exceed recommended time limits:

  • General Recommendations: Pediatric experts generally suggest limiting newborns' time in swings to no more than 30 minutes at a time. This duration helps prevent overstimulation and allows for varied positions throughout the day.

  • Factors Influencing Duration: The specific age and developmental stage of the newborn can also influence how long they can comfortably stay in a swing. As babies grow and develop stronger muscles, they may tolerate longer periods in the swing, but regular breaks are still advisable.

Risks Associated with Prolonged Use

Extended periods in a swing can pose risks to a newborn's health and development:

  • Muscle Development: Prolonged confinement in a swing may restrict a baby's natural movements, potentially affecting their muscle development, particularly in the neck and back.

  • Flat Head Syndrome: Continuous pressure on the baby's head from lying in one position can increase the risk of developing flat head syndrome (plagiocephaly).

  • Overstimulation: Too much time in a swing can overstimulate a newborn, leading to fussiness or difficulty settling down.

Signs It's Time to Take the Baby Out of the Swing

To ensure your baby's comfort and safety, watch for signs that indicate it's time to take them out of the swing:

  • Restlessness or Irritability: If your baby becomes fussy or restless, it may be a sign that they've spent too much time in the swing.

  • Physical Discomfort: Watch for any signs of discomfort, such as arching their back or crying, which may indicate they need a change of position.

Tips for Safe Use of Swings with Newborns

Follow these additional tips to ensure safe use of swings with your newborn:

1. Supervision

Always supervise your baby while they're in the swing. This allows you to respond quickly to any signs of discomfort or distress.

2. Alternatives to Swinging

Provide your baby with a variety of positions and activities throughout the day. Alternating between holding, tummy time, and other safe environments helps promote healthy development.

3. Cleaning and Maintenance

Regularly clean the swing according to the manufacturer's instructions to prevent the buildup of dirt or germs. Ensure all parts are in good working condition to avoid any safety hazards.


Choosing the right swing and using it safely can enhance your newborn's comfort and provide you with valuable moments of respite. By following manufacturer guidelines, monitoring your baby's cues, and prioritizing their safety and comfort, you can create a soothing environment that supports their development.