When you have a crying infant on your hands, a baby swing is the ultimate lifesaver for new parents. The baby product helps cradle and soothe your little one — all while keeping your hands free. But there are so many options out there, many of which are pricey pieces of baby gear. So how do you confidently choose a baby seat that strikes the right balance of affordability and function?
To help get your search started, our gear experts tested and reviewed three of the most popular models on the market: the Nuna Leaf vs. mamaRoo vs. Graco Baby Swing.
Nuna Leaf vs. mamaRoo vs. Graco Simple Sway: Main Differences
Nuna Leaf: Pros and Cons
- Retail Price Range: $290-$300
- Amazon Price: N/A
- Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price: $202
- Avg. Seller Payout: $112
- Age Range: Birth to 5 months (stage 1); walking to 130 pounds (stage 2)
- Weight Limit: 130 pounds
Best for: Parents who want a silent, non-motorized option
The Nuna Leaf Grow is a high-quality non-motorized baby seat that rocks your little one in a gentle side-to-side motion – like a falling leaf, as the name suggests. The rocking motion, which begins with a gentle push and lasts for approximately two minutes, is designed to mimic the way a parent might rock their child in their own arms.
This seat itself is designed to be incredibly comfortable, too — it has a comfy soft and breathable OEKO-TEX 100 percent cotton mesh construction that helps prevent your kiddo from overheating while they hopefully relax. It also has a three-position recline, plus a three-point removable harness to keep your precious bundle in a safe place.
One of the most enviable features of the Nuna Leaf Grow, however, is that the bouncer can be used well beyond the newborn phase, making the high price tag worth it to many parents. Once your kiddo is walking, you can take out the removable infant insert and restraint and use the whole thing as a toddler seat with an impressive weight capacity of 130 pounds.
- Is nearly silent, because it doesn’t have a motor
- Soft, breathable fabric that prevents overheating
- Has the most longevity, since it can be used as a toddler seat later
- Requires manual pushing every few minutes
- Doesn’t have different motions
- The most expensive seat
What Our Team Thinks:
4moms mamaRoo® multi-motion baby swing: Pros and Cons
- Retail Price Range: $270
- Amazon Price: $267
- Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price: $128 - $179
- Avg. Seller Payout: $50
- Age Range: Birth to approximately 9 months (once baby attempts to climb out)
- Weight Limit: Up to 25 pounds
Best for: Families who want a baby seat with all the bells and whistles
The NEW 4moms mamaRoo® multi-motion baby swing has an overhead toy bar and moves in five different directions: car ride, kangaroo, tree swing, rock-a-bye and wave. The highly popular baby seat has five speeds to choose from and reclines to four different positions. It also functions as a sound machine with four built-in sounds to choose from. Opt for nature sounds like rain and waves or go for soft music or white noise. The latest version of the mamaRoo even has a Wi-Fi smart home integration that can be voice controlled with Amazon Alexa or Google home. It’s also Bluetooth-enabled, so you can play your own music and control the movements and speeds from your device.
Finally, the harness is now convertible from a 5-point to a 3-point, so that your baby can enjoy it for even longer.
Parents love all of the different options the swing seat offers, because all babies are different — some respond to a swaying motion, while others respond to rocking. It’s worth noting, however, the swing is on the bulkier side and is rather heavy, making it harder to move from room to room.
- Multiple swinging motions and speeds
- Functions as a sound machine
- Four position seat recline
- Machine-washable fabrics
- Relatively bulky and heavy, limiting portability
- Lowest weight capacity
What Our Team Thinks:
“The NEW 4moms mamaRoo® multi-motion baby swing is a great option for parents looking for a swing-like option that has a small footprint compared to traditional swings on the market. A major plus is the variety of options to choose from including “sway” which is a naturally soothing motion that’s totally unique to mamaRoo. It also comes with white noise, the ability to pair with any MP3 device for a custom playlist just for you and it can even connect to Wi-Fi and be voice controlled. Overall, there are 25 motions to choose from and multiple recline positions, so finding what your baby needs and likes on any given day is limitless!” — Megan Larsen, In-House Gear Expert
Graco Simple Sway: Pros and Cons
- Retail Price Range: $110
- Amazon Price: N/A
- Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price: $64
- Avg. Seller Payout: $29
- Age Range: 5.5 to 30 pounds
- Weight Limit: 30 pounds
Best for: Families who want a more affordable baby swing
The Graco Simple Sway is one of the most affordable baby swings on the market. Still, it offers a fantastic overall value. The deep, plush seat offers plenty of cushion and has a 5-point harness to keep your newborn safe and secure. The rocker has a gentle side to side sway to soothe a fussy baby, plus moves at six swing speeds with two different vibration settings. And if your kiddo likes soothing sounds, the swing also offers 15 songs to choose from.
For maximum versatility, the seat takes batteries (four D batteries) or can be plugged into an outlet. If there’s any downside, it’s that the footprint is rather large and has a frame that’s easy to trip over if you’re not careful.
- Powered by batteries or plug-in
- Has six different speed settings, two levels of vibration and plays 15 songs and sounds
- Frame is large and easy to trip over
What Our Team Thinks:
Nuna Leaf vs. mamaRoo vs. Graco Simple Sway: Comparison Chart
Choosing the Best Baby Swing For Your Family
There are tons of great baby swings out there, and the Nuna Leaf, mamaRoo® multi-motion baby swing and Graco Simple Sway are all among the top choices for new parents. And if you’re well versed in the pros and cons of each one, it shouldn’t be too difficult to choose the right rocker for your little one. Albeit the most expensive, the Nuna Leaf is non-motorized and made of high-quality materials. The Graco Simple Sway is the most budget-friendly option, but still offers a variety of different motions, plus soothing sounds. It does, however, have a hefty footprint. The latest mamaRoo offers a happy medium between the two — it’s not the most or least expensive, and it has multiple speeds, built-in sounds and four comfy recline positions. Keep in mind you can purchase all three of these baby swings open box and save an average of 50% off traditional retail prices.
While these facts offer a good starting point for parents shopping for baby gear, it’s important to note that the seat you choose might not be the one your baby ends up loving the most. Your little one may take to one swing, but not another — and some babies don’t seem to like any swings. The good news: If your little one ends up hating the seat you selected, you can always sell it back to us to recoup some of your cash back.
What is the Best Baby Swing for Newborns?
The best baby swing for newborns is the one your child takes to the most — all babies are different, and some like rocking, while others like swaying. To increase the chances your little one will take to your baby swing, look for a rocker while multiple motions and sounds so you can better experiment.
And don’t despair if you have to try a few different baby seats. You can always borrow one from a friend before investing — or sell back your swing to recoup some cash and then shop secondhand to purchase another gently-used alternative.
How Long Can My Baby Use a Baby Swing?
Always check the owner’s manual on the infant swing you own for specifics. But, in general, your infant can use a baby swing for about five or six months. Most baby swings have weight capacities around 25 or 30 pounds, but it’s important to note that most also instruct you to stop using the product once your little one can sit upright or is attempting to roll or climb out of the bouncer.
Can My Baby Sleep in a Baby Swing?
A baby swing can be a lifesaver for new parents trying to soothe a fussy baby, but these products are not intended for sleep. You should only allow your baby to sleep in or with products that are intended for sleep and approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).