*Edited to add: The Fisher Price Aquarium Cradle Swing is no longer available for sale, however Fisher Price makes a wide variety of cradle swings with the same functionality as the Aquarium Swing. See below for a complete list of available cradle swings.
There are so many super-cool looking swings available right now. Swings with MP3 and IPod connectors, swings that move in different directions, swings that claim to replicate the feeling of being in mom’s arms.
But after my own experiences trying different swings, and after surveying the parents on our Facebook page, I’m realizing there are precious few that consistantly work to really soothe babies.
My Experience with the Fisher Price Aquarium Cradle Swing
If you’ve already looked around the site, you’ll know that my son, Sammy, was extremely fussy from the moment he was born. He had troubles feeding, sleeping, and basically just being alive. For at least his first 6 weeks, when he was awake, he was crying (actually screaming would be a better word).
I tried everything to get him to sleep — The crib, my lap, co-sleeping, the bouncy seat, the bassinet, the car, the stroller. For his first few weeks, we struggled with not only getting him to fall asleep, but to stay asleep. We’d finally manage to get him to sleep using elaborate soothing techniques, only to have him wake up screaming 45 minutes later. I seriously thought I was losing my mind.
I remember one particularly bad night trying for hours to get Sammy to fall asleep for the night. It was well after midnight, and I paced around the living room carrying him, nursing him, swaddling him, trying anything I could think of to get him to sleep. He was so obviously overtired, and yet he was fighting sleep so badly.
Finally I had had enough. It wasn’t an intellectual, ‘He should go to sleep now, I need to teach him‘ type of situation. It was a ‘I can’t take another second of this crying. I NEED to take a break or I don’t know what I’m going to do‘ type of situation.
So I wrapped him up, put him in the cradle swing, turned on the white noise as loud as it would go, set the swing speed to the highest setting, and said, ‘Good night, Sammy‘.
I went upstairs, fully expecting to take a 10 minute breather and then return to try again. But, after 5 minutes, I thought I heard an extremely strange and foreign sound — SILENCE.
I was sure I was imagining it, but I tiptoed to Sammy’s room to investigate. He was FAST ASLEEP.
I couldn’t believe it. I had tried for 3 hours that night to get him to fall asleep (never mind STAY asleep, just fall asleep!), and now, after leaving him in the swing for 5 minutes, he had fallen asleep on his own. I was in shock.
I snuck back quietly to my room to report the situation to my extremely-surprised husband (we did a lot of tag-teaming in those days). Not knowing how long this miracle would last, we turned off the lights and tried to get some sleep.
Guess how long Sammy slept that night?
12 HOURS STRAIGHT. Just swinging away.
He continued to sleep in his cradle swing for naps and nighttime sleep, always with the speed at the highest setting, until he outgrew it.
About the Fisher Price Aquarium Cradle Swing
Fisher Price has a huge selection of themed cradle swings, and it’s my understanding that all these swings are the same functionally. It can be confusing as they seem to go by different names, including: Cradle swing, Cradle ‘n Swing, 2-in-1 Cradle Swing, and Open-Top Cradle Swing.
From what I can tell, the Fisher Price Cradle Swings all have very similar features, as listed below. Differences may include more or less sound options, and different mobile functions. All the other features appear to be the same. (*I have asked Fisher Price if this is indeed the case, and will update this post when I hear back).
The various Cradle Swing themes are:
- Sugar Plum Starlight
- My Little Lamb
- Ocean Wonders
- Starlight Papasan Cradle Swing
- Zen Collection Cradle Swing
- Aquarium Swing
- Rainforest Open-Top Cradle Swing
- My Little Snuggabunny
- Precious Planet Blue Sky Cradle Swing
- Luv U Zoo
- How Now Brown Cow
- Mocha Butterfly
- Cradle-n-Swing Fun Park Swing
- Scatterbug Cradle Swing
- Tree Party, and
- My Little Sweetie.
- Can swing side-to-side or front-to-back
- 6 speeds (and the fast is NICE and FAST!)
- 6, 8. 12 or 16 sounds and songs (depending on model)
- Motorized mobile with lights for entertaining and distracting
- Seat reclines in 2 positions
- 3 point restraint
- Seat cover is removable for washing
- Option to plug-in or use batteries (mine was an older generation and only took batteries)
Demo of the Fisher Price Aquarium Cradle Swing
Pro’s of the Cradle Swing
- One of the few swings that actually swings fast enough for fussy or colicky babies
- 25 lb weight limit is one of the industry’s highest
- Fussy babies need variety – Love that with this swing they can swing in 2 directions
- Folds for easy storage
- Mobile is a nice distraction for baby as he/she falls asleep
Con’s of the Cradle Swing
- Have heard reports of the motor giving out (however have also heard Fisher Price is good about sending you a new motor if this happens)
- Would be nice if sounds lasted longer
- Motor for mobile is a little loud (but Sammy didn’t seem to mind)
What We Experienced When Using the Fisher Price Cradle Swing*
- Less frequent wakings
- Longer naps and longer stretches of sleep at night
- Increased ability to self-soothe (or I guess you could say the swing soothed him)
- Less sensitive to household noise when sleeping (in the crib he would wake at the drop of the hat)
*Every baby is different, however I have heard from other parents who also have had these same results.
Overall, I would most definitely recommend the Fisher Price Cradle Swing. If I had another baby (fussy or not), this is the swing I would get. I like that it’s available in a wide range of colours and designs, however the main reasons I recommend it are that the high swing speed, loud sound volume, and the ability to swing in 2 directions are unique features in this market.
Category: Product Reviews