It is not considered safe for a baby to sleep or nap in a MamaRoo swing because it does not provide a flat, firm surface.
However, the MamaRoo Sleep Bassinet, the MamaRoo Breeze Go, and the MamaRoo Breeze Plus are designed for overnight sleep and naps and are considered safe.
Safe sleep guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advise that babies are moved to a firm sleep surface as soon as possible if they fall asleep in a swing or rocker.
According to Dr. Ben Hoffman, chair of the AAP’s council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention:
“Using a swing when the baby is awake and supervised is OK, but once a baby falls asleep in the swing, it becomes dangerous.”
Many moms online have echoed the convenience of letting their baby sleep in MamaRoo swings, especially during the sleep-deprived newborn period.
However, babies shouldn’t be encouraged to sleep in swing products, even when supervised, as they need to become accustomed to falling asleep on a firm, stable surface without the aid of a rocking motion.
Table of Contents
The MamaRoo Multi-Motion Baby Swing is a highly upgraded version of a baby swing that offers multiple motions and speeds.
It is a swing, bouncer, and rocker all in one that is designed to mimic the way mom or dad would hold and rock their baby.
It mimics rocking motions through five different pattern settings: car ride, kangaroo, tree swing, rock-a-bye, and wave.
Each setting can be set to different speeds as well depending on the needs of your little one.
Sometimes mama’s arms need a break, and she needs a safe space to place her baby while she tends to other things.
The MamaRoo is designed to be that safe space while also offering the utmost comfort and natural soothing techniques to keep little ones happy when they are put down.
After a voluntary recall in August 2022, the newly redesigned MamaRoo Swing is now considered one of the safest products on the market when used correctly (with your baby awake and supervised) and is listed by Forbes as one of the best baby swings of 2023.
The company made several safety updates to the swing, including a redesigned harness that removed the earlier version’s dangling straps.
The seat is also plusher and easier to remove and wash.
It is safe to use the MamaRoo swing as long as your baby is under 25 pounds and does not try to crawl out of it.
Once your baby reaches either of these milestones, it is no longer safe to use the swing.
Most babies will get about 9 months of use out of the MamaRoo swing.
If Your Baby Falls Asleep in a MamaRoo Swing
If your baby has accidentally drifted off in their swing, observe their head position. Has it flopped forward? Are there any signs of breathing distress or difficulties?
Watch especially for:
- Rapid breathing
- Noisy breathing
- Wheezing or grunting sounds
- A change in their face color
If you spot any of the above signs, dial 911 immediately and remove any objects that could be interfering with their breathing.
If your baby is breathing normally, remove her from the swing and move her to a safe sleep location to finish her nap.
Potential Risks Explained
MamaRoo swing and rocker products are not appropriate for naps or overnight sleep since they do not provide a firm, flat surface.
However, the swings are perfectly fine as soothing, comforting mechanisms for your baby as long as he or she is awake and supervised.
The swings are designed with an adjustable incline/recline function that, if set at too high an angle, could put babies at risk of sleeping in a chin-to-chest position, leading to a potential risk of SIDS or positional asphyxiation.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has previously stressed that infant products with inclined backs of more than 10 degrees should NOT be used for sleep.
For context, a MamaRoo swing has an adjustable recline up to 45 degrees.
Extended and prolonged use of a baby swing like MamaRoo, particularly if used for long periods without breaks, could potentially pose some risks to a baby’s development. These risks may include:
Flat Head Syndrome (Plagiocephaly)
Spending excessive time in one position, especially when their heads are constantly resting against a flat surface like the back of a swing, may develop a flattened area on a baby’s skull.
This condition, known as positional or deformational plagiocephaly, can alter the shape of an infant’s head.
Poor Muscle Development and Posture
Lying in a swing for long periods may limit a baby’s opportunity to develop and strengthen their muscles adequately.
This could potentially impact their motor skill development and posture if they’re not given opportunities for varied movements and positions.
Delayed Motor Skills
Without enough opportunities for free movement and exploration, this may delay the development of certain motor skills, such as rolling over, crawling, and sitting unassisted.
Poor Spinal Development
Constantly sitting in a reclined position for extended periods might impact a baby’s spinal development or lead to poor posture if they don’t have opportunities for varied positions, tummy time, or upright activities.
How To Avoid Risks
- Use the baby swing in moderation and for short periods.
- Ensure that your baby gets plenty of supervised tummy time, playtime on the floor, and interaction outside of the swing to encourage movement and muscle development.
- Alternate between different positions and activities throughout the day.
- Monitor your baby’s head shape and position while in the swing to prevent prolonged pressure on one area of the skull.
It’s important to strike a balance between using MamaRoo or any swing/rocking product for short-term comfort and providing opportunities for varied movement and development.
Benefits of the MamaRoo Swing for Your Baby
As well as mimicking the gentle rocking motion within the womb, the MamaRoo swing is also believed to provide the following advantages for your little one:
- Sensory Stimulation: Some models of the MamaRoo come with built-in sounds, white noise options, or the ability to connect to devices to play music. Additionally, the swing may have attached mobiles or toys that provide visual stimulation, aiding in the development of the baby’s senses.
- Developmental Benefits: The movements and positions provided by the swing can assist in promoting the development of a baby’s motor skills and balance. The different motions help engage the baby’s muscles and sensory system, potentially contributing to their overall physical development.
- Respite from Colic Symptoms: The upright seat position and gentle swinging motion are thought to help calm babies suffering from colic and ease inconsolable crying by aiding in their digestion and limiting their build-up of painful trapped gas.
MamaRoo Position for Newborns
MamaRoo does offer a newborn insert that provides more support for newborns in the swing, but it is not required.
Newborns should be strapped into the swing using the 3-point harness, and the speed of the swing should not be on a very high setting.
Do not place a swaddled infant in the swing.
How Baby Swings Might Help With Infant Acid Reflux
A baby swing might help with reflux by positioning the baby at an incline, which can potentially reduce discomfort associated with reflux.
However, it’s important to be cautious and consult your pediatrician before using a baby swing or making any significant changes in positioning or routine to address infant reflux.
Here’s how a baby swing might help with reflux:
- Inclined Positioning – Keeping the baby at an upright or slightly inclined position during and after feeding might reduce the chances of stomach contents refluxing into the esophagus.
- Gentle Motion – The gentle rocking or swaying motion of a baby swing might aid in soothing a baby with reflux, potentially minimizing discomfort after feeding.
The main methods of helping your little one cope with infant reflux include:
- Feeding in an upright position and keeping baby upright for at least 30 minutes after feeding.
- Burping them frequently during feedings.
- Using specialized anti-reflux formulas or vented bottles or modifying the feeding technique as advised by a pediatrician.
- Elevating the head of the crib mattress to create a slight incline during sleep (always done under medical guidance and using safe methods).
- Ensuring appropriate baby positioning and avoiding tight clothing around the abdomen.
MamaRoo Swing Age Limit
There is no set age limit for the swing; it depends on your child’s mobility. Once your baby tries to crawl out of the swing, it is no longer safe to use.
MamaRoo Swing Weight Limit
The swing has a weight limit of 25 pounds.
Other MamaRoo Products
Although the Multi-Motion Baby Swing is MamaRoo’s most popular infant accessory, there are several other fantastic products for your little one.
The bassinets and playards are designed for safe sleep, but the rockers are not.
MamaRoo Sleep Bassinet
The MamaRoo Sleep Bassinet is designed to help your baby fall asleep and stay asleep longer with its natural bounce and soothing sway motions.
Typically, you will use the bassinet until your little one grows out of it and/or is able to push up on their hands or knees. This is generally around 6 months or so.
- MamaRoo Bassinet Weight Limit: The bassinet has a weight limit of 25 pounds.
- MamaRoo Bassinet Age Limit: There is no age limit for the bassinet, but it should not be used once your baby reaches 25 pounds or begins to push up on her hands or knees.
MamaRoo Breeze Go
The Breeze Go is a playard, or pack-n-play, that you can take with you when you travel or even move around in different rooms of your home as a safe space for your little one.
Unlike other playards that are chunky, cumbersome, and difficult to assemble, the Breeze Go is effortless.
It is easy to set up and take down, making it more convenient for busy parents.
MamaRoo Breeze Plus
The Breeze Plus is a playard, just like the Breeze Go, but it has a bassinet and a changing table built in as well, making it an all-in-one care station.
RockaRoo Baby Rocker
This is one of MamaRoo’s more simple rockers, but it works like a charm.
The RockaRoo Rocker glides from front to back and has five speed settings to choose from.
6 Tips for Breaking the Habit of Baby Sleeping in MamaRoo
If your little one loves sleeping in their MamaRoo and you need to transition them out of it, try the following:
- Establish a Bedtime Routine: Create a consistent bedtime routine that signals to your baby that it’s time to sleep. This might include a warm bath, gentle massage, reading a book, or singing lullabies.
- Use the Crib or Bassinet: Encourage your baby to sleep in their crib or bassinet for naps and nighttime sleep. Place them in their sleeping area when they are drowsy but still awake, allowing them to learn to fall asleep in their designated sleep space.
- Provide Comfort: Offer comfort to your baby in their crib or bassinet using familiar sleep cues such as a favorite pacifier (if recommended by your pediatrician).
- Encourage Self-Soothing: Help your baby learn to self-soothe by giving them a few minutes to settle themselves if they fuss or cry when transitioning to the crib. You can reassure them with a gentle touch or your voice without immediately picking them up.
- Create a Calm Sleep Environment: Ensure the sleep environment in the crib or bassinet is conducive to sleep. Keep the room dimly lit, maintain a comfortable temperature, and minimize distractions.
- Be Patient and Consistent: Breaking a habit takes time, and it’s essential to be patient throughout this transition. Babies may resist changes initially, but with consistent efforts, they can adapt to new sleep arrangements.
Mom of three (including identical twin boys), wife, and owner of Parents Wonder. This is my place to share my journey as a mother and the helpful insights I learn along the way.