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The Bump Editors

Top 10 Baby Swings

A: Of course, there's nothing like Mommy's arms, but let’s face it: A lady needs her limbs for other things now and then. Where will your baby hang while you do the dishes and trim your nails? For swings, your options range from fully loaded models packed with tunes, vibrations, multipositions, and toys galore to a simple frame that swings your car seat. There are even a few that pop apart so you can tote baby around the house.

One of my favorite new features in baby swings is the bidirectional swing. With these, you can rotate the seat 90 degrees, making for a side-to-side rocking motion, like a cradle. This function works wonders to keep babies soothed, and you'll see this feature in most of our top picks.

But, as you're probably finding with most baby gear, no one swing works best for all babies. Our best advice is to take a good, hard look at the features that matter most to you. Living in a small space? Look for options that are more compact. Can't stand the music from most baby toys? Look for volume control (and an “off” switch!) and try to listen to the sounds before making a purchase. Above all, be sure the harness will keep your baby from sliding or slumping, and check that the seat feels comfy and sturdy. With an informed purchase and a little bit of luck, your biceps will get a much-needed break.

Fisher-Price Starlight Papasan Swing

Fisher-Price's papasan swing has earned a ton of fans for its plush, machine-washable seat and head support, which keep an infant secure and comfy. You can switch between front-to-back and side-to-side swinging, and the six speeds and eight lullabies keep things interesting. When baby wants to play, there’s a mobile and mirror ball above, plus a removable toy tray with a few basics. Even better, while some swings are known for a bit of clunking and clinking, the papasan's motor is super-quiet._ $160, Fisher Price.
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Boppy Rock in Comfort

The Boppy Rock in Comfort is a simple, easy swing that doesn’t take up too much space. As you'd expect from Boppy, the seat is super-cushy, and the three color combos are soothing and understated. The removable toy bar may not be too exciting, but you'll be grateful for the advanced speed control that automatically maintains the swing's six speeds as baby grows. It also comes equipped with the other basics: five songs, a timer, removable head support, and volume control. $70, Target.

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Fisher Price Zen Collection Cradle Swing

The Zen Collection Cradle Swing is a bit pricey (around $200), but the cute, nonflashy design and useful features make it worth the splurge. The seat is well designed and made of uniquely patterned, soft fabrics, with a pillow and blanket attached — all machine-washable. Even better, the whole seat lifts up and out of the swing frame for easy baby-transport. It boasts 14 “Zen-like” songs (lullaby classics with a less annoying edge), which are so nice you might not even need the volume control. $185, Amazon.

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Graco Lovin' Hug

The Lovin' Hug is about as good as it gets for one-direction swings. The padding is nice; there are a whopping 24 cute patterns to choose from, and 19 of those options will hold a baby who weighs up to 30 pounds, which is great for the quick-growing lot. There’s a four-position recline to keep baby comfy, a rotating mobile, and a great open-top design and flip-up tray that make it simple to get baby in and out. There are six speeds, 10 songs, five nature sounds, and a couple of fun toys on the tray — what more could you ask for, really?_ $150, Graco.

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Rainforest Open-Top Cradle Swing

Besides all the bright colors and fun nature theme, the Rainforest Swing wins fans with its cute animal mobile that plays peekaboo, keeping babies happy and engaged. (It swings away when the stimulation is too much and baby just wants to chill.) The rainforest sound effects and songs (there are 12) are actually pretty nice, and the open-top design makes it easy to get the little one in and out._ $120, BabyUniverse
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Graco Silhouette

Like the Lovin' Hug, the Graco Silhouette can hold bigger babies (up to 30 pounds) and has a great open-top design, but at about $100, it’ll cost you a bit more. The splurge seems to be for the attractive, contemporary design. The stand has smooth, curving lines and the seat comes in four stylish patterns (mostly in blues and browns) that work nicely with modern decor. $110, WalMart.

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Fisher-Price My Little Lamb Cradle 'n Swing

The Little Lamb is one of Fisher-Price's newest products, and so far it seems like a dream. Again, we're seeing the two-way swinging that babies love, along with an extra-plush, squishy seat to keep baby cradled and lounging comfortably. The sweet, moving mobile includes a mirror for extra stimulation, and there's a removable tray with two toys attached. Even better, the seat can be adjusted in three different positions, so baby can always face you. This swing really has all the bells and whistles and still manages to give off an understated vibe. And, hey, it has little lamb ears — who can resist? $150, Fisher Price.

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Smart Stages Swing

Like the Graco Swing 'n Bounce, here's another multitasker. The Smart Stages Swing converts to an infant seat for those early days and later works as a toddler rocker. This one has a convenient but simple design and no tray — but honestly, trays can sometimes be just a hassle, anyway. Instead, there's a basic arched toy bar with a couple of removable toys. The open top keeps baby accessible, but it's the easy adjustments that are the real kicker. This product can last for years! $93, Target.

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Graco SnugGlider

Talk about multitasking! If you have a Graco SnugRide Infant Car Seat or Infant SafeSeat, you can pop it right onto the SnugGlider frame for an instant on-the-go swing. The motor isn't quite as powerful as bigger, fancier swings, but it does its job, and the convenience factor makes this cool baby tool a must-have. There are vibrations and music, and the whole concept really works wonders for babies that fall asleep in the car and need that bit of motion to stay snoozing after the ride._ $50, Babies 'R Us.
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Graco Swing 'n Bounce 2-in-1

If you're short on space, the Swing 'n Bounce is a great piece of multipurpose gear. It only has front-back swinging, but the seat pops out to become a (vibrating!) bouncer seat, killing two birds with one stone (and making room for more fun items on your registry). This swing also has a five-point restraint to keep squirmy babies snug, and the removable head support helps it grow along with baby. $170, Toys 'R Us._
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*All prices are subject to change.