Trying to calm a fussy baby is one of the most challenging tasks for a new parent – or any parent, really. What works today may not work tomorrow.
A glider swing is one more tool in your arsenal. The calming effects of gliding or swinging gently back and forth may be just what your baby needs.
Until tomorrow, anyway.
Of course, a baby glider swing is good for a lot more than soothing an unhappy infant. Glider swings are perfect for keeping your baby safe and secure while you’re running errands through the house, especially when your child is too young to crawl.
Many glider swings have different features to keep your baby happy and engaged while they’re sitting, such as lights, sounds or mobile toys. These are good because they help stimulate your child’s mental development and keeps them entertained while you cook, clean or take a well-earned nap.
Like every other baby product in existence, there are more baby glider swings on the market than you could ever imagine. We’ve rounded up and reviewed the best ones here, so you can spend less time shopping around and more time doing the things that really matter.
What You Should Know
You might have a lot of questions to ask about a baby glider swing. What do you actually need in a glider swing? Which features are mandatory, and which ones optional? These are good questions to consider. You can’t keep your baby in her crib 24/7 and you may not be able to carry her in a baby carrier while you’re making dinner.
Here are five things you should keep in mind before, including safety harnesses, frames, power system and special features. Knowing what features you do and don’t want will help guide you towards a glider swing that fits your budget.
1. Safety Harness
Your baby’s safety takes priority, and any glider swing that doesn’t have one should be ruled out immediately. The best are five-point harnesses, as these secure your child’s body in an even way, keeping your child more secure and more comfortable.
2. Control Bar
A glider swing doesn’t swing on its own momentum. Most of them work on battery power, and the best models have a simple control bar on the side that allows you activate the swing on and off. Depending on the particular model, the controls may activate lights and sounds as well. Some glider swings are battery-powered while others come with an AC adapter.
3. Weight Limit
A glider swing is carrying precious cargo; you want to make sure it’s up to the task. Some frames just aren’t very trustworthy, and others are only stable if your baby is under a certain weight. Babies don’t weigh the same, so always check the recommended weight limit and don’t exceed it.
Some gliders come with felt or plush toys to keep your child entertained. These toys may have lights and they can often be removed, so if your boy is particularly enamored with a particular toy. Of course, you can always give your baby a toy you already own as well.
One of the good things about baby glider swings is that there isn’t a huge variation in cost. Cheaper models tend to run between $60 and $70, and even the most expensive are only around $200. That means if you want to save money by buying a cheaper model, you don’t have to worry too much about sub-par quality.
The Best Baby Glider Swings
Best Baby Glider Swings Under $75
Graco Glider Lite Baby Swing, Finch
I don’t know why, but there aren’t a lot of companies that make baby glider swings. There are a handful of models by Fisher-Price and other companies, but the lion’s share of glider swings are made by Graco. One of their most affordable models is their Finch Glider Lite Baby Swing.
The Finch glider swing works by mimicking the gentle cradling motions of a parent rocking a baby in their arms. The glider swing is lined with a soft, thick, plush filling that’s both comfortable and relaxing. The Finch glider swing has six different cradling motions, making it easier for you to find the right setting for your baby’s mood, whether you’re playing with her, trying to calm her down or just want to lull her to sleep.
In addition to its different glide settings, the Finch glider swing also comes with a variety of sounds to sooth and entertain your baby. Ten classical melodies are programmed into the glider, as well as five different nature sounds. In addition, a couple of plush stars hang from the handle of the glider for your baby to play with.
The glider weighs just eight pounds, so it’s easy to move it from one room to another. The glider can run on batteries or be plugged into an outlet or off of an AC adapter, and it is recommended for babies from five to 25 pounds. The only real problem with the glider is that the bar with the stars has to be removed before you can take your baby in or out of it.
Ingenuity ConvertMe Ridgedale Swing-2-Seat
The Ingenuity ConvertMe glider swing is one of only two models here that isn’t from Graco. There are a lot of things I like about this glider swing, and a few I don’t. It’s bright and happy, and the little lion that hangs from the bar at the top is really cute. The polka dots that cover the lining are cheerful as well.
The ConvertMe gets its name from the way it collapses down for storage and travel, and also because that same design lets you switch between a swing to a vibrating seat. In addition to five different gliding settings, the swing glider features eight built-in melodies and three different nature sounds.
Your baby’s safety is important, which is why this glider swing has an five-point safety harness. The glider has three swing timers, at 30, 45 and 60 minutes. The glider weighs nine pounds and folds flat, and is appropriate for babies form 5 to 25 pounds. It runs on 4 D batteries.
As I mentioned in the beginning, there are a few things I don’t like about this glider swing. It’s mostly made out of plastic and it honestly feels a little flimsy. I don’t know how long it would last, but since your baby is likely to grow out of it in a year or so, that may be all the time you need.
Graco Simple Sway Baby Swing, Abbington
The design of the Graco Abbington Simple Sway baby swing is a marked departure from the last two glider swings. True to its name, this glider swing puts more emphasis on the swinging motion than on a gentle glide. Like the others, it’s also designed to be compact enough for any size of room.
One of the things I like about the Abbington Simple Sway is how easy it is to get your baby in and out. Unlike the other two models, where the mobile dangled from a bar that always seemed to be in the way, the Abbington is designed so that you don’t have to partially disassemble it just to put your child in. It has six swinging speeds and two vibration settings, as well as ten different songs and five nature sounds.
Like the Graco Finch, the Abbington can run off of batteries or be plugged in to save money. It has a supportive lumbar headrest to keep baby’s head elevated in a safe and comfortable position. Unfortunately, some people reported that it doesn’t always keep their baby’s head in the right position, but you can always add additional cushioning to support them.
The glider swing is a little heavier, weighing 19 pounds, and is recommended for infants from 5 to 30 pounds. If not plugged into the wall, it requires five D-cell batteries.
Best Baby Glider Swings Under $100
Graco Glider LX Gliding Swing, Affinia
The Graco LX Affinia gliding swing shares a lot of features in common with their other models, such as pre-programmed music and nature sounds. However, there are a couple of ways where the Affinia model differs distinctively from the other gliders listed on this review.
The most significant and notable difference is how well the glider swing supports your baby’s neck and body. It’s designed to really hold your baby in place, which is very important for small children that can’t support their own neck yet. The soft padded material is ideal for cradling your infant and making them feel comfortable. As an added bonus, it has a really cute mini mobile with two adorable, plush bears for your child to play with.
Like other Graco models, this glider swing has two vibrating settings, six different swinging speeds and a combination of 15 songs and nature sounds. It’s suitable for an infant from 5.5 to 30 pounds and works with D-cell batteries or an AC adapter. This is a little more expensive than other glider swings, but the added comfort and support are worth it, even if most of the other features are the same.
Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Rock ‘n Glide Soother
The Fisher-Price 4-in1 Rock ‘n Glide is the only other swing glider on this list that isn’t Graco. The most distinctive feature on this glide swinger is its over-sized base stand. This helps with the balance, keeping the glider more secure and less likely to tip over.
One of the things I liked about this glider swing was its padding. The seat is generously cushioned, including a special headrest to keep your baby’s neck propped up until they’re old enough to support it themselves. It has a secure five-point strap and a cute miniature mobile as well.
It seems to me that 12 tunes and 3 nature sounds come standard with glider swings, regardless of brand. I expected there to be a big difference between this and the Graco models, but there really wasn’t. The tunes themselves are different, of course, but this glider has the same number of sounds as all of the others so far.
While this was one of the coziest and most supportive glider swings, it doesn’t function as well mechanically as the Graco models, so it’s a trade-off. The Graco gliders glide better, but the Fisher-Price model is more secure.
Best Baby Glider Swings Under $125
Graco Glider Elite Baby Swing, Pierce
The Graco Pierce Glider Swing is one of my absolute favorite Graco gliders. It offers a compact, modern, stylish design that is hard to beat. Its economical design takes up 40% less space than a standard swing glider, making it small enough for you to use it in almost any room.
Another highlight of the Graco Pierce is that it is two different products in one. It functions as a glider for babies weighing 5 to 30 pounds, and it also works as a bouncer for younger babies under 20 pounds. When the glider is converted to the bouncer mode, it also has a simple carry handle to make it easier to transport your child with you from room to room without having to remove them from the comfort of their seat.
The glider is designed to run on battery power, or it can be plugged into the wall to save money. It has a cozy seating area and a secure five-point harness. It also has a removable canopy with two adorable, dangling polar bears. The glider plays ten classical melodies, 5 different nature sounds, has six glider speeds and a timer to help you save power. I wasn’t a big fan of the nature sounds, as they are very brief loops, but otherwise this is a solid product.
Graco DuetSoothe Swing and Rocker, Winslet
Like most products, the Graco DuetSoothe Swinger and Rocker has a number of good qualities, coupled with a few that are less than desirable. On the whole, I think the DuetSoothe is a fine glider, but it’s not for everyone.
Let’s start with the positives. Nobody makes glider swings the way Graco does. There are other brands out there, but Graco has the market cornered in terms of diversity and, arguably, quality. Like the Graco Pierce, the DuetSoothe doubles up as a swing and a rocker, with the swing suitable for babies up to 30 pounds and the rocker for babies up to 25 pounds. The glider has three seating positions, three soft mobile toys, comfortable padding and a five-point safety harness.
Having said that, there are a couple points that turned me off of this model a little bit. The first is the base. Because of its dual functions, it has a somewhat different base than a standard glider. However, I don’t think its as effective as a standard glider swing. The second problem is the mobile. The attachment is very bulky and awkward looking. I know that this is really a non-issue, but for some reason I couldn’t get past it.
Neither of those faults are reasons not to recommend this swing rocker, however. This isn’t my favorite Graco swing, but it’s a quality product, overall.
Graco Glider Elite, Sylvia
Like the Graco Pierce glider swing, the Graco Sylvia Glider Elite doubles as a bouncer, making this an effective purchase for your baby. It also shares the efficient and economical design of the Graco Pierce, which means you can fit this glider into almost any room.
In fact, as near as I can tell, the Graco Sylvia and the Graco Pierce are almost identical to one another. The two gliders have a different color scheme, and the cute polar bears of the Graco Pierce are replaced with pretty pink flowers in the Sylvia. Like the previous slider, it has three reclining positions, six glider speeds and 15 melodies and nature sounds.
Since this glider and the Pierce glider are so similar, the only real reason to choose one or the other is the color and the mobile toys. The Pierce is aimed at boys and the Sylvia at girls, but whichever you choose, you’re getting a quality product, although the sounds are definitely repetitive.
Best Baby Glider Swings Under $150
Graco Glider LX Gliding Swing, Peyton
The Graco Peyton Glider Swing is another solid entry for Graco. Its compact, modern, stylish design is on par with the best Graco gliders. It takes up 40% less room than a standard glider swing, and it can be used both as a glider and as a portable bouncer for babies less than 19 pounds.
The glider mode has a removable canopy that features two cute plush bears on an adjustable mobile. The glider has a five-point safety harness, six glide settings and comes programmed with 15 different nature sounds and melodies. It can be run off of batteries or plugged into the wall where it’s convenient. The glider is rated for infants up to 30 pounds.
The bouncer is for smaller babies, and it comes complete with an easy-carry handle to make it easier to keep your precious child with you wherever you go. Like a lot of Graco glider swings, the sounds could be improved, but there’s an easy way around that: just don’t use them. All in all, this is a solid glider swing.
Best Baby Glider Swings Under $200
Graco DreamGlider Gliding Swing and Sleeper, Pery
Like most of Graco’s high-end gliders, the DreamGlider is more than just a gliding swing – it’s a sleeper as well. While this is in no way a substitute for a crib, it does offer parents a place to put their little ones to rest for a while.
Because this is a sleeper, the seating area is not stationary, but can be positioned either as a seat with a three-point harness or as a sleeper that lies horizontally and has deeper walls. This combination is a great fit for anyone who lives in an apartment or has otherwise limited room, as it reduces the number of baby products you need to buy.
Like other Graco gliders, this gliding swing has six glide settings, 15 melodies and nature sounds and a charming mobile with three small plush owls. Adjusting the glider is easy and can be done with the simple touch of a lever. This isn’t the cheapest glider swing on the market, but its dual-mode function helps it to stand out from all the rest.
After a while, all of these different glider swings start to look the same, which can make it a challenge for discerning parents to know what to look for and what to stay away form.
Hopefully these reviews have helped you find the right glider swing for your child. Good luck!