If you have just had or are about to have a baby, the idea that life is complicated is likely the biggest understatement imaginable. However, that does not change the fact that when caring for your child, you want to ensure you are doing everything that you can.
Unfortunately, with so much new information—information that could mean the difference between life or death, getting overwhelmed by analysis paralysis is an all too common problem. Just look at baby swings.
With every brand claiming to be the best, it can be difficult to determine whose claim is the most legitimate—especially when you have much bigger fish to fry. From the seat to the frame to the portability, it can be nearly impossible to figure out which baby swing is right for you. Add the necessity that is be a travel swing, and you are officially swimming in features to parse.
That is why we have put together a helpful buyer’s guide and a list of the top 10 best baby swings. We will show what is important when choosing a travel swing and present the best options we could find.
Navigate This Guide
- 1 Best Baby Swing for Travel — A Full Buyer’s Guide
- 2 How to Choose Baby Swing for Travel: The Top 10 Best Baby Swing for Travel
- 2.1 1. Graco Glider Lite LX Gliding Swing
- 2.2 2. Fisher-Price Deluxe Take Along Swing and Seat
- 2.3 3. Ingenuity ConvertMe Ridgedale Swing-2-Seat
- 2.4 4. Comfort & Harmony Cozy Kingdom Portable Swing
- 2.5 5. Ingenuity Inlighten 2-in-1 Cradling Swing
- 2.6 6. Graco DuetSoothe Swing and Rocker
- 2.7 7. Bright Starts Itsy Bitsy Jungle Portable Swing
- 2.8 8. Ingenuity Power Adapt
- 2.9 9. Graco Swing By Me 2-in-1 Portable Swing
- 2.10 10. Fisher-Price Spacesaver
- 2.11 Conclusion
Best Baby Swing for Travel — A Full Buyer’s Guide
Ultimately, this is the primary concern for any product you use with your baby. And while regulating agencies are continuously updating their requirements to prevent injury or death, a child’s endless curiosity is hard at work finding things the inspectors missed.
Thankfully, none of the products on this list present serious threat to your child, though you should take care regardless. For one, you do not want a baby swing your baby can activate by accident.
This is more likely to occur with more developed children when they are not in the swinger, but it is still something to be wary of.
A more general quality to determine is the harness that holds the seat. 5-point harnesses are the best as the can most effectively support both the upper and lower portions of the body.
It is also important to ensure that the straps are made out of a durable material and tamper-proof. All the safety measures in the world are moot if your child can undo the straps and fall out of the seat.
The reclining positions are actually a factor for both the safety and seat considerations. If your child is under 4 months old or a bit slow developing physically, you will want to make sure that the seat can fully recline. Otherwise, you risk injuring the baby’s neck as it cannot yet control the weight of its head and the momentum when in use can cause injury.
This is one of the two top concerns for one reason and one reason alone: the seat is the part of the product that your baby will be in contact with the most. As such, you will want to make sure that its construction is top-quality.
Considering your baby may be in the seat for hours at a time, especially if he or she is napping, the comfort level of the seat is important. Aside from the fact that a comfortable seat will aid your baby’s drift towards slumber, it will also help prevent the possible development of soreness, rashes, or fabric burns.
This means that the fabric the seat is made out of will also be important. Generally, natural fibers like cotton is preferred to man-made fabrics like nylon or polyester. Of course, that does not mean that man-made fabrics are unsafe for your child. Simply, natural fabrics present less risk for extended use.
Another important factor regarding the seat is the number of reclining positions. Much like how the fabric can help prevent issues related to extended use, the number of reclining positions can help prevent your baby’s muscles and joints from getting sore. This is especially important for the neck area which already has a more difficult task of trying to hold up the baby’s head.
Finally, the easy with which you can clean the seat is important for two reasons. First, the baby is still developing its immune system. Should food or waste get trapped in a crevice, it can grow bacteria which can then infect your baby.
Second, you already spend enough time and energy cleaning up after your baby. There is no reason to make that labor more arduous than it already is.
For travel swings, a smaller profile is generally preferred. However, there are plenty of products that can double as a swing for travel or one for stationary purposes.
One thing to watch for is the ability to fold. A frame that folds and its folding profile will heavily influence its portability. Also, the weight of the frame will play an important part of this equation as well.
The base and the frame’s material are safety issues. The wider the base, the more stable your baby. However, a wider base limits position options and can impact portability.
In terms of material, metal is always favorable to plastic. Whatever injury a baby could suffer from metal will apply to plastic too as its skin is so sensitive. However, metal will provide much more durability than the plastics used for some travel swings.
This factor is something only your baby can tell you. However, it can definitely be an important factor should your baby prefer one type of motion over the other.
The two primary motions are the standard swinging and rocking. However, the direction and speed settings will also play a role in this consideration.
Front-to-back is the most common direction, but some models offer side-to-side or up-and-down motions as well. It is advised to practice these motions with your baby before buying a travel swing to determine whether they are appreciated or not.
This refers to the size capacity of the product. The product will often present both a minimum and maximum size. This size will be both height and weight.
So long as you get a product that can accommodate your baby as it grows, you should not worry about it too much. That being said, it is often better to overestimate your potential needs than underestimate them.
There are only two options here and both have their advantages and disadvantages. Baby swings are either battery operated or plug in models.
Battery operated models can be used anywhere. If you take your baby to the lake with the family, you will not have to worry. Of course, the batteries will have to be replaced which is another expense added to the increasing list of expenses a baby incurs.
Plugin models are cheaper in the long run and generally more convenient. However, it can be more difficult to take the sing with you if there is not outlet unless you bring an inverter generator or something like also. Also, these models tend to be a bit more expensive upfront.
Ease of Use
This is more a convenience factor. Of course, considering all the other ways your life has become more inconvenient, it is always nice when something is made easier.
A large control pad with easy to push buttons and intuitive controls is obviously preferred. However, be careful that the controls are positioned in a way that the child is unable to accidentally manipulate them or else your baby could become injured.
These are nice but unnecessary. Toys can provide entertainment or distraction as can music. However, keep in mind that the music is unlikely to aid putting your baby to sleep. In this instance, you are better suited playing white noise.
Also, be careful about attached toys. Some models allow the toys to detach. While this can make transfer or cleaning easier, it can also present a health risk if your child is able to remove them him or herself.
Price will be a factor in every purchase you make. Unfortunately, baby products often take advantage of the fact that parents are willing to pay more for products designed for babies than they are for other demographics.
Do not feel that the most expensive swing for travel is necessarily the best or that a cheaper model reflects poorly on you as a parent. The point is to help your baby take a nap or give you a chance to take care of other things.
So long as the product is safe and effective, that is all that actually matters. Of course, if you wish to purchase a product with extra bells and whistles, there are plenty that will satisfy.
How to Choose Baby Swing for Travel: The Top 10 Best Baby Swing for Travel
1. Graco Glider Lite LX Gliding Swing
The Graco Glider Lite LX is our big winner because it checks off so many boxes at a reasonable price. While this is not the most feature laden entry on our list, it lacks for none of the basics and provides a solid quality for all the most important factors.
It is a sturdy product with the controls conveniently placed for easy use while still preventing the baby from accidentally turning it on. The fact that is can be both battery operated or plugged in increases its versatility.
Moreover, this product provides a headrest that is well positioned for infants–something that is not as common as you might think. An odd choice though is the lack of an upright position. This makes the Glider Lite more suited for younger babies rather than those who are experimenting with movement
- The seat is comfortable and well-padded to provide plenty of support
- While not a simple “pick up and go” design, it is easy enough to take the seat off and fold up the frame
- Can be powered by either batteries or by being plugin in–this versatility is awesome
- The seat pads can be taken off and washed to make clean up thorough and easy
- The headrest is ideal for infants who cannot hold up their head and can be removed once the baby gets stronger
- The product comes with a toy bar and plays a number of melodies or nature sounds
- A 5-point harness is what you would expect from the best
- Does not really grow with baby and may be too small after 6 months or so
- Graco’s customer service is not the easiest or quickest to deal with
- The speakers are not durable and may stop working after a while
- The lack of an upright position for the seat further limits the age range
This may not be the best product if you want to use it for a year or longer, but at this price, the quality is difficult to beat. Of course, as a baby gets stronger, more interactive products, like buckets, are probably better anyway.
With expert care paid to the seat and padding, comfort will not be an issue, even over extended use. Moreover, with removable pads and headrest, a thorough cleaning is easier to achieve. This is more of a Goldilocks product where every quality is designed to appeal to broad demographic. That is why we named it the best baby swing on our list.
2. Fisher-Price Deluxe Take Along Swing and Seat
Fisher-Price is a household name, even for those without children. This product may not be as flashy as others, but like the Graco, it does so many things right without any truly egregious flaws.
The frame and seat are a good size without taking up too much space. Moreover, the seat sports an overhead handle with makes traveling much easier. In fairness, this is actually the best option if you focus on the ability to travel with swing feature.
To further impress the portability point, the frame folds in half for one-handed travel. The vibration mode is popular, but not ubiquitous in the market, and a welcome addition.
- Just the right size for both maximum portability and stability
- A vibration mode provides different options for relaxation
- The 5-point harness ensures maximum support
- All the padding and covers are machine washable
- The frame folds flat to make transport even easier
- The motor can handle heavier babies without issue
- Portability continues to be the focus with an overhead handle
- Battery costs will become a concern as they drain quickly
- It does not allow you to plug it in
- More assembly required than some people prefer
- A lack of a toy bar seems like an odd omission
The Take Along is a no frills product that does everything you want at an exceptionally high level. However, the absence of additional features seems like an oversight that cannot be ignored.
While the functionality of the product is indisputable, your baby may not want to just sit there, so the Take Along is best served when you child is ready for a nap. However, in terms of portability, Fisher-Price pulled out all the stops and made a superb product. With every feature you would expect and couple you may not, portability is placed at a premium.
3. Ingenuity ConvertMe Ridgedale Swing-2-Seat
While not as much of a well-known brand to the general public, Ingenuity has garnered a sterling reputation for their children’s products. The ConvertMe continues this reputation by providing an excellent value without skimping on the quality or features.
For a product with such stability, the ConvertMe has a surprisingly small frame and profile. Unfortunately, the headrest is less than ideal for infants which limits its use.
This issue is actually compounded by the fact that the controls are placed at the floor. Aside from the inconvenience posed to full-grown adults, this also presents issues once the child begins to move on their own.
- It can also vibrate for different relaxation options
- The compact frame is low to the ground and exceptionally stable
- It has an incredibly small profile
- The whole thing folds up to make travel a breeze
- The swinging and general function battery life is decent
- The seat covers are machine washable
- The toy bar, music, and nature sounds will keep your baby entertained
- The swinging motion is not a quiet as one might hope
- Despite being secure and baby proof, the buckles present problems for parents too
- Head support does not adjust which may not be for comfortable for all babies
- The controls are at ground level which presents a safety risk they develop
- Does not provide a plugin option
- Assembly is required and not known for its ease
The first Ingenuity makes it to our third spot, because it provides most of the features and quality you expect from a far more expensive product. However, its age limitations do restrict some of its use. It may not be the best swing for everyone, but excels in it niche demographic.
Moreover, the product has various inconveniences placed on the parents from assembly, to control position, to harness difficulty. Still, if you can overlook those annoyances, the ConvertMe also has a number of great features. The vibration mode is great and the profile is surprisingly compact. A folding design allows easy travel, while numerous entertainment options distract a woken child.
4. Comfort & Harmony Cozy Kingdom Portable Swing
The Cozy Kingdom is another product that excels in portability. With one of the smallest profiles on the list, you can set this product up virtually anywhere in your home.
This small profile also translates to light weight that is easy to carry–even if otherwise occupied by a wriggling passenger. With a folding frame, the only thing preventing this product from usurping the Fisher-Price as the most portable is the absence of an overhead handle.
However, the Cozy Kingdom does come with a few caveats. First, the motor is a bit noisier than you would prefer, potentially waking the baby. Alsom this product is not ideal for newborns and cannot accommodate the strict positional requirements they need.
Finally, while generally stable, the Cozy Kingdom does not inspire the most confidence in this respect. The upright position can feel a bit wobbly, and the plastic frame feels cheap.
- All of the pads are machine washable making cleanup easier
- The assembly itself is not actually difficult–if you can figure out the instruction
- The small profile makes positioning a no-brainer
- The Cozy Kingdom is lightweight and easily carried
- The frame collapses to fold in half making transport a breeze
- The battery life is fairly good
- The headrest is not properly positioned for newborns
- The instructions are too simplistic making assembly difficult
- The motor is a bit loud while swinging
- The upright position feels more unstable than the reclined position
- The plastic frame does not inspire the greatest confidence
This product provides most of what you want, but at a slightly lower quality than some of its competitors. With a noisy motor, plastic frame, and wobbly upright position, this product is just as expensive as the other value options. You would think those flaws might bring the price down by 10-20 percent.
Still, the Cozy Kingdom is easy to set up and easy to use. Moreover, it is incredibly portable and will fit in even the smallest of spaces. Combine this with solid battery life and easy cleanup, and you have a decent option.
5. Ingenuity Inlighten 2-in-1 Cradling Swing
Our second Ingenuity product just barely passes the bar for portability. However, it goes above and beyond for other features and functions. If portability is a secondary concern but still required, this might be the best baby swing for you.
First, the swinging action is excellent. The motor is whisper quiet and the seat can rotate 180 degree, allowing different swinging motions altogether.
Moreover, the product can be powered either by batteries or an outlet making use anywhere easy. And speaking of easy, the controls are conveniently placed high on the frame which makes access worry-free while also keeping them out of reach from little wandering wingers.
One concern is that the frame has been known to buckle under the weight of heavier babies over the course of time from extended use. Also, while the controls are easy, assembly is not, so be prepared for some frustration.
- Connects with your smart device for limitless audio options
- The seat rotates 180 degrees allowing different swinging directions
- A toy mobile and mirror that is more effective entertaining than a bar
- Incredibly quiet motor will not disturb the baby
- The controls are easy to use and high out of reach
- Can be powered by either batteries or an outlet
- The seat can be converted into a rocker
- This product is not at all easy to assemble
- The speakers are fairly poor quality
- Long term frame durability is a concern–especially with heavier babies
- Is not the easiest to travel with swing
- Reclining and head support limitations
If you are less focused on price and portability, but still want a high-quality product that can technically be taken on the go, the Ingenuity Inlighten is a great option.
The motor and actual swinging motion are best on this list and provide a wealth of options. With 3 swinging motions, your baby is sure to love one of them and can even change its mind–which they often do.
As an added bonus, you can connect your smart device to this model for an unlimited number of audio option. Just beware that this product is not suited for extended sessions, especially for heavier babies.
6. Graco DuetSoothe Swing and Rocker
This is Graco’s answer to Ingenuity’s Inlighten, and they actually stack up pretty well. However, the DuetSoothe does not offer all that much more to justify the larger price and is not as easy to transport. Ultimately, this sits just on the cusp of the portable market and will heavily depend on the parents more than anything else.
Some of the advantages the DuetSoothe does provide is the largest weight capacity on our list. This means those of you with heavy babies or older ones that still want something which can technically be transported might want to give this model a closer look.
Also, the swinging motions are numerous, much like the Ingenuity, and include a vibrations mode. Unfortunately, the motor is not as quiet which can wake the baby.
- Has one of the higher maximum baby weight capacities
- The seat can be converted into a rocker
- The vibrations function turns this into a 3-in-1
- The frame and seat folds flat to aid in travel
- Can be powered by either batteries or an outlet
- Swings front to back or side to side
- The fabrics are machine washable
- A bit large and not the easiest to transport
- The seat is a bit shallow and exposes more of the baby
- More expensive than the average product
- Limited reclining positions and headrest options
- It is not the quietest product available
As one of the most expensive products on our list, the DuetSoothe does hit some of the ceilings in terms of feature capability. This model will handle the heaviest and largest babies while still allowing transport.
Also, the motion options are diverse as are the powering options which include both batteries and plugins. However, the motor is not as quiet as one might prefer and the shallow seat exposes some of the baby. Ultimately, this is the best swing for parents with large babies or who plan to use just this swing for the first year or two.
7. Bright Starts Itsy Bitsy Jungle Portable Swing
For those of you who have little to spare but still need a quality option, the Bright Starts is the product for you. However, that is not the only advantage the Bright Starts offers. Much like the Comfort & Harmony, the Bright Starts excels in portability to the extreme. Unfortunately, the Bright Starts does not offer quite as many features nor the highest levels of quality.
Still, the product’s profile is minute and placement is never a struggle. Moreover, this is an incredible light product at only 9 pounds. It also has a lower weight limit than is common, limiting its demographic. Finally, it sits low to the ground, the controls may be accessible to wandering hands, potentially posing a risk.
Unfortunately, there are some distinct limits to this product. The seat is a wireframe which provides less support or stability. This could be managed, but the padding is not as plush as other models, so your baby may not be comfortable in this product for extended periods of time.
- Incredibly small profile makes positioning easy
- One of the lighter products on the market
- The frame and seat fold in half for easy travel
- All the fabrics are machine washable
- The motor will not slow as the baby grows
- The batteries will last longer than many competitors
- Growing babies may be able to reach the controls
- The padding is not as robust as other products
- The seat sits exceptionally low to the ground
- A lower weight capacity limits its use
- The seat is a wireframe which is less reliable
The Bright Starts is far from ideal, however it is the cheapest option and still serves admirably all things considered. You will definitely need to make sure that your child fits this product though, as its seat is not nearly as comfortable or stable as its competitors.
The potential of injury due to the low height and accessible controls also raises some concerns. However, if the baby is appropriately sized–meaning small–the motor is quite reliable, and you should get a great return on your modest investment.
8. Ingenuity Power Adapt
The Ingenuity Power Adapt is remarkably similar to the first ingenuity on this list with one major difference: this model can be powered by either batteries or an outlet. Unfortunately, this single difference makes the product cost 50 percent more a decreases its overall value.
Still, with the same list of features, the Power Adapt is an excellent product that accomplishes much of what you want. However, this places the Power Adapt in an awkward situation. You are probably better off spending a bit more to get the Inlighten and its wider range of features. Conversely, the Ridgedale is another great option.
Essentially, this product is best suited for if you have decided that you prefer the Ridgedale’s mix of features and portability–which are solid–but absolutely must have the plugin option. If that is the case, then this may be the product for you.
- Can be powered with either batteries or plug in
- The swing folds up making travel easier
- The instructions are clear and assembly easy
- Has a vibrating functions for extra comfort
- A fairly quiet swinging motion compared to others
- All the fabrics are machine washable
- Can accommodate heavier babies than most
- The motor does not slow as the baby grows
- Controls are low to the ground and could be accidentally activated
- Does not feel as stable as other products
- The baby may be a bit exposed is he or she grows
- The headrest is not ideal for newborns
- The seat is large and not ideal for undersized babies
The same risks associated with Ridgedale apply to the Power Adapter. However, the same features also come standard. The short frame and grounded controls will always cause concern as the baby begins to move about on its own.
Still, the fairly easy assembly and ability to fold the product up for travel is convenient. Again, the motor is quiet and the vibration adds relaxation options. Ultimately, get this if you want the Ridgedale but require a plugin option.
9. Graco Swing By Me 2-in-1 Portable Swing
The last Graco on our list is not necessarily the least. It achieves high marks in a number of categories, but simply does not provide either the wealth of features as its competitors or the ease of use.
For instance, this is one of the few products that allows you to adjust the height. While this is a great feature we wish more competitors would copy, they would need to refine the design a bit. The catches on the frame for adjusting the height are simply not easy to manage and nearly impossible to do so with a baby in your arms.
That being said, the whole thing folds in half for easy transport while still accommodating a relatively high weight capacity. Moreover, for how difficult the height adjustment may be, the controls are simplicity itself.
- Frame and seat folds in half for easy transport
- Provides vibrations for other relaxation options
- Offers more reclining positions than most
- The frame provides different height settings
- Provides a solid 25 pound weight capacity
- Multiple layers of padding provide excellent comfort
- The controls could not be much easier if you tried
- The motor is a bit noisy
- Adjusting the seat position is a bit difficult
- The frame adjustments are not the easiest to use
- Does not provide a plugin options
- No audio and limited toy bar options
This product feels more like a solution in search of a problem. It does not do anything all that poorly, and even has a better than average weight capacity.
However, adjusting the height is not the only difficulty as adjusting the seat can be just as much of a pain. Though, this is in part due to the fact that it offers more positioning options for the seat, which is a nice addition.
While its banner feature seems to have few necessitated uses and causes as much a headache as it alleviates, should you have need for an adjustable height product, this is easily your best option.
10. Fisher-Price Spacesaver
Our final product is another Fisher-Price who provides a solid, if unspectacular product. There really is not much exceptional to say about this product in either light.
The padding and harness is not as plush or thick as other models, but neither is it as thin as even some of the entries on this list. It does sport a small profile, but if that is your primary concern, there are smaller products.
While it is not unique in this regard, the 25 pound maximum weight capacity is a bit surprising considering its size. The Spacesaver folds up to allow easy transport which is somewhat expected, but still nice to see considering its frame strength.
- Amazingly small profile lets this fit anywhere
- A light weight makes carrying it an afterthought
- All of the padding is machine washable
- A vibrate option provides additional relaxation
- Assembly is easy and instructions clear
- Surprisingly suitable for up to 25 pounds
- Toy bar is a bit underwhelming
- The seat is low to the ground
- The controls may be accessible to larger babies
- The padding is not a good as other products
- The harness straps are not as padded or thick
If you do not want to get too technical with your decision making process, this is an easy option to pick it and forget it. Nothing will blow you away, but you do not have to worry about anything either.
Unfortunately, the item is a bit overpriced when compared to similar products that do more. However, many of those products also sport one or two major flaws, while this one seems to have avoided that pitfall. Dependable, you can feel confident in your purchase, even if you do not necessarily get the best value.
Now that you have reached the end of this article, the next thing you need to do is to choose one of the swings that matches your preferences and criteria. It is also very important that you consider the preferences of your child and his/her profile. This will not only help you choose the best baby swing for travel, it will also enable you to choose the model that fulfill your need.
Sometimes it can be difficult to select the right product for your baby. However, you have everything on a silver plate now. You don’t need to exert extra effort other than to say “Hey, I think I like this model; it has all I’m looking for. I’m going to buy it right away.”