Help! My Baby Won’t Sleep Without the Swing!

Baby Won’t Sleep Without Swing?

A baby who won’t sleep without his/her swing is accustomed to movement as a means of calming for him or her to fall asleep. While being carried in their mother’s womb for 9 months, an unborn child is used to being “rocked to sleep” because of all the movement they experienced as their mother drove and walked at work or home going about daily life.

Find what works best for your baby won’t sleep without swing and keep your overall strategy consistent for the best results!

If your baby won’t sleep anywhere but a swing, try these 5 tips:

Place the swing next to the crib

For a baby won’t sleep without swing, taking the swing away immediately from the baby’s routine is not advised. Instead of keeping the baby’s swing in your usual preferred location whether next to your bed or somewhere in your baby’s nursery, be sure to do the following when moving the swing next to the crib.

  • Move the baby swing to a safe place near the crib.
  • Do not put the swing too close to the crib, but put it close enough to it where the little one can get acclimated to their new sleep surroundings.
  • For a baby won’t sleep without a swing, start decreasing the swing speed over time as the swing stays stationed next to the crib.
  • Baby will rely less on swinging to fall asleep as he or she also gets to check out their crib and get used to the fact of its existence for when he or she transitions from the swing to sleeping in the crib.

Provide alternative sensory options

There are other alternative sensory options that you can provide for a baby won’t sleep without a swing to be able to eventually sleep without needing to use the swing. This is a great tip for babies that are outgrowing their swings, but they still desire sensory movement as a means of falling asleep. Try a few of these options below as alternative sensory movements to help baby sleep.

  • For a baby won’t sleep without a swing, why not try making your arms your baby’s own personal rocker? Lightly rock the baby in your arms while sitting on a couch or rocking chair. Do this within reason or baby will start to not fall asleep unless he or she is being held.
  • Use a handheld back massage vibration device to help baby sleep. Lay your baby in the crib while drowsy, place the device far from the baby where he or she cannot get to it in the crib, and remove the device when he or she falls asleep. The vibrations from the device will mimic the swing’s movement.
  • If your child is small enough to sleep in a bassinet, lightly rock the bassinet when he or she is laying down in it. You can also use the motion settings on a high tech bassinet of your choice if you are able. Just be sure it meets the quality standards set via the American Academy of Pediatrics for optimal sleep safety for your baby.

A baby won’t sleep without swing loves sensory movement and still needs an element of that incorporated into their sleep routine to still be comfortable while transitioning from sleeping in a swing to sleeping in a crib.

Always keep baby’s surroundings the same

We already informed you earlier that it is effective to move the swing next to the crib for a baby won’t sleep without swing to get used to sleeping without it. That in itself is already changing your baby’s surroundings slightly. However, you can keep the baby’s environment mostly familiar by:

  • Play the same white noise or soothing background music as when your baby slept exclusively in the swing.
  • Turning on the swing and letting it run can calm your baby to sleep in the crib. Hearing the familiar rocking of the swing will soothe the baby despite the change in their sleeping quarters.
  • Continue to read bedtime books where you and your baby usually read them.
  • For each activity on your baby’s bed routine checklist, perform every one in its familiar place so baby does not feel a super drastic change has happened during the sleeping location transition.

A baby won’t sleep without swing needs familiarity to calm them from what he or she believes to be a scary transition from sleep in the swing to sleeping in the crib.

Offer calming massages

As a reminder, a baby won’t sleep without swing craves sensory movement to help him or her sleep. Before baby goes down for bed in the crib, you can:

  • Give your baby’s back and shoulders a light massage after their bath.
  • Dry off and diaper your baby and then massage him or her before putting their nightie on.
  • You can incorporate bedtime lotion into the massage routine as a calming agent.
  • After your baby’s bath but before drying off, apply some baby oil gel to lock in the moisture on your baby’s skin. The scent of it can also be a calming agent to help baby fall asleep.

A baby won’t sleep without swing will appreciate soothing scents in conjunction with relaxing massages to help him or her sleep better during their transition.

Make transitions with patience

For parents, hearing other children that they know making “faster milestones” than their own child can make it feel like they are not good parents. Just know that every baby is different and every baby will go through their transitions challenges. When your baby won’t sleep without the swing, it’ll be a transition from sleeping in a swing to sleeping a crib.

Make transitions with patience by:

  • Keeping confident when part of your strategy does not work.
  • Reforming your strategy as needed to fit the needs of your baby.
  • Remembering that taking your time with your baby and yourself through the process is the best way to go about the transition.
  • If you ever feel frustrated through the process, read testimonials about baby sleep schedules online or search it on YouTube if you are more of a visual learner. There are always resources out there to help you in your parenting journey.

They say patience is a virtue, but it is very much a need in this case of helping a baby learn how to sleep more like a big kid.


With any transition for a baby, you must be consistent and firm with your strategy. Your baby may not like the change at first and cry and fuss about it, but as with any routine, he or she will get used to the idea of not sleeping in a swing.

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