Why Does My Baby Hate the Swing?

This is something I hear from parents all the time. The swing comes in handy for most parents because it helps to ease a baby’s frequent disruptions like growth spurts, teething, and when he or she is not falling into sleep. This makes the swinging such an important newborn survival exercise for any mom.

However, there are those babies that hate being in the swing or won’t fall into sleep when in the new rocking position. We understand the struggle you go through if your child doesn’t like staying in the swing or won’t nap while in the rocking position. If you are struggling with this kind of child, we are here to share some effective swaying sleep techniques and discuss how you could make your kid love being in the swing.

If your baby hates being in the swing, you can make him or her love it by starting with easy basic steps when you are introducing your baby to the new relaxing position.

Figure out your baby’s sleep style

We have an entire article about sleep styles in children. It is important to run the process by your pediatrician’s recommendations. We find that most pediatricians will support and guide you on how to make your kid like being in the new position.

Try the rocking position

We find that babies like being in the rocking position when it is in a familiar place. As such, put the swing in your room or in the room where the baby sleeps frequently. This is because he or she is most likely to move in with ease once he or she has grown to love and master the swing.

Listen with more than just your ears

If your baby hates being in the swing, try to listen with more than just your ears to help figure out why. You can tune into your child’s needs to make him feel secure. Try to be near to comfort him or her whenever in the swing and ensure his/her needs are catered for. This will make the baby gain confidence and feel free to be in the new resting position all alone. If the kid tries to refuse, try to devise an approach that is appropriate for his or her stage of development.

Music can help

Babies like continuous soothing music or white noise; as such, putting it near the swing will make your newborn feel entertained whenever he or she is in the new rocking position. If your baby likes music and hates the swing, you can entice him/her to be in the rocking position as long as you play the music.

Include comfort items

You can also make the rocking even more comfortable for the kid with what the newborn identifies with most like swaddling blankets, toys, pacifiers among other things. Babies love being close to what they trust and see frequently. With all these, the seat won’t be strange anymore.

Check the set-up

It is a common belief that babies love rocking when the seat is going fast. If your baby hates it, this might mean that the seat is not moving according to how he or she wants. Try to set a higher speed and see whether he/she likes it. While at it, make sure not to set a speed that is too high because it might bring discomfort instead of calming and soothing your newborn.

Getting Your Baby to Sleep in the Swing

If your baby hates being in the swing, then the idea of sleeping in the swing must seem impossible! However, just like the cliche says, anything is possible. Expect the unexpected when it comes to your child. Most newborns only take a nap when held in the arms and won’t shut their eyes when putting them in a dangling position. If you have tried to have your newborn take a nap in the swing but you are yet to succeed, here are some techniques that will make your child nap in the seat fast.

  • Swaddle

    The first thing you can do is to swaddle your newborn by the arms while allowing the legs to be free for safe strapping into the seat with the swaddled arms. This will ensure the baby is comfortable and secure the entire time he or she is rocking back and forth. A swaddle is the first course of action if your baby hates being the swing.

  • Limit distractions

    You can limit the distractions around the child. Just like adults, babies too need to wind down in order to nap faster. Start by dimming the light in the room and lowering the music or TV noise about 20 to 30 minutes before putting the kid in the seat. Babies hate being in the swing when there is an excessive amount of stimuli and distractions around.

  • Trick your baby

    You can also make the baby believe that you are right there. You can do this by putting something like your cloth near your baby’s face. The smell will make the baby believe he is lying close to you. When not in use, make sure it is tucked into your bra so that it always smells like you whenever you place it near the baby. Your perceived presence will give your baby false perception and confidence to nap.

  • Establish a routine

    Make sure you stick to the routine of putting your child in the dangling position at the same time and in the same room every night. In case you break off the routine, make sure you return to it as quickly as possible.

  • Move the baby swing

    You can also jiggle your toddler’s head while swaying in a poorly lit room with white noise. You can squat behind the seat where the baby can’t see you and push it with your arm, thus enabling it to move in a gentle motion. At this time, the motor should be off. We believe that this slow motion is great for the child to doze quickly. In case your baby doesn’t doze yet, you can jiggle the back of the swing left and right as it moves back and forth.

  • Nurse baby while in the swing

    If your baby hates being in the swing, try nursing. Even though it is optional, you can nurse your baby to nap while swaddled and then put them in the swing. This step is particularly great for newborn babies who are less than four months old. We advise that you device other great methods that can be helpful for your baby to fall asleep when swaying.

Your child might cry while you swaddle and strap him/her into the swing, which is ok if he or she is not hungry. It will only last a few minutes, and you will be ready to help him/her fall asleep.

Benefits of Sleeping in the Swing

We know some moms think that the swing is just a detour because you want the child to doze in the crib. However, the swings are great at solving important baby sleeping issues.

Some of the benefits of a swing include:

  • Increases the total amount of sleep

When babies doze in the swing, they get better and longer periods of sleep while moving in the swing. In fact, this is the reason why the baby falls asleep almost immediately you start driving your car. It is believed that babies who frequently wake up at night will reduce the number of times if put to sleep in a swinging position.

  • It helps the baby learn to fall asleep

Falling asleep is a skill that your kid must learn just like potty training. Initially, babies were helped to fall asleep by nursing and rocking. As the baby grows, however, these techniques don’t hold up. They fail. As a result, it becomes difficult to help the baby fall asleep or learn to fall asleep alone. When a kid is rocking back and forth, however, it becomes really easy for him or her to nap.

  • Gives the baby a chance to nap on his/her own

When the babies are put on the swing, they get the chance to start sleeping on their own. Simply put your baby inside when he/she is sleepy but still awake and let him or her get into sleep all on his/her own.

  • Makes it easy for the child sleep the crib alone

When the child is almost six months old, it is time to wean the child slowly of the swaying in order to doze in the crib. The swaying plays a great role when it comes to this stage. You can start off by reducing the speed of the rocking and finally no speed at all. Get near the crib to make the baby get used to sleeping in that position. Finally, you will transfer the child to the crib without much resistance.

My toddler hates the swing!

We all probably have memories of swinging so high that the whole swing set jumped. Do you remember swinging and jumping off the swing to see who landed the furthest? What fun we had as kids! We were truly gutsy back then, not afraid of too much. Now, all we want to do is teach our children all these fun things we did. There just happens to be one issue with this; your child is terrified of swings. Is it the swing that he or she is afraid of, or is it heights? Maybe just the motion of the swing? When your toddler was an infant, was there an issue when you used the baby swing?

  • It Is Not A Mandatory Activity

There are thousands of parents that can not figure this one out. Their toddler was just fine using the infant swing, yet when placed into the toddler swing at the playground, the hysterics begin. I am not talking about myself or daddy laughing hysterically either. Although the truth is known, we did chuckle hysterically when our toddler freaked. Of course, we took her out immediately and calmed her down. After all, there is no requirement in the proverbial baby book that states all babies must swing.

  • Work At It Slowly

If you have a good tree at home, go to the store and buy a swing that you can hang off a branch. When you’re outside playing with your toddler, let him or she see you on the swing having fun. You can let the toddler see you swing very slowly and gradually build up speed. When your little one watches you having fun, they may ask if you can give them a ride.

  • Lap Time

Many times a toddler will loosen up and become comfortable with the idea of swinging when on mom or dad’s lap. When mom and dad hold them while swinging, the motion is not so scary as long as you just swing very slow at first. The time will come when they feel a need for speed. Let’s not rush it.

  • Swing Low

The higher a swing is, the more fear there is likely to be. Honestly, I completely understand. I am terrified of heights. Swings can be lowered or raised whenever the toddler is ready. You can begin with the swing high enough where the toddler can still touch the ground with his or her feet.

  • Motion Notion

Maybe it is not the swing causing the issue. Maybe it is more so the motion. It is possible that your toddler feels funny or maybe dizzy when they move on a toy or playground equipment. The theory can easily be tested when at the supermarket or arcade. Those rides that you drop money into and it moves in circles or bounces up and down see if your little one will take a ride on one of them. This might give you the answers.

  • Sensory Processing Disorder

If your toddler seems overly responsive to swings, tags in their clothes, or loud noises and crowds, it may be due to a sensory processing disorder. Do Not Panic!!! This is not necessarily a bad thing. Children with sensory processing disorders most often grow up being organized, on task and on time. That is a bonus!!

  • Help With Sensory Disorder

There are many different options and ways of helping children with sensory disorders. Your child may find soothing music to ease the fears they express. However, most of those will not help when it comes to swings. Other sensory disorders do benefit from sensory rooms or weighted blankets.

  • In Control

Many toddlers feel the need to be in control. Sitting on a swing and being pushed does not give the feeling of being in control. The same as if your toddler is sitting on your lap to swing, it is not them in control. It is mom or dad protecting her or him. All they feel is the motion and as though their tummy is jumping down. This fear of the swing may go away as the child grows more.

  • Start At The Beginning

If at first, you don’t succeed, take your time, and try again later. Be sure to have a swing set that is adjustable in your yard. Set the swing close to the ground yet with enough room for the swing to move. If you have older children, they could be of help. They can show the toddler how easy it is to swing. Another option is to utilize an old tire by making a tire swing. The older kids will love it, and the toddler may feel safer being able to sit inside the tire to swing virtually.

  • Make An Offer

Regularly ask your toddler if they would like to ride the swing with you; if not, continue to swing for a while. Again, the toddler may just need time. They may just need to see others having fun.

  • Let It Go

Trust me, Mom and Dad, this could be just a phase your toddler is going through. It is also possible that your toddler will grow up to be an adult and still not like the swings. Again, every child doesn’t need to enjoy swings. There is no requirement from any famous doctor that states ALL children must swing and enjoy it. So please calm down and relax a bit! So what, the toddler hates the swings, I am positive there are tons of other things that your toddler loves to do, to try and likely enjoys. There are more than likely children who do not like some of your toddler’s favorite activities. Enjoy the idea that your toddler is cautious. That will probably save you lots of stress and gray hair. When your toddler is ready, if he becomes ready to venture onto the swing, do not make a big deal out of it. At the same time, do not ridicule you, toddler, for not trying to swing. No one can force you to partake in any of your fears, why put a toddler through it.


Babies nap better when in swings. We believe the information we shared here will help many swing-hating babies and non-napping babies to nap better in the swing. Getting a baby to nap in the rocking position is one of the best things that every mom would like to do. If you have other creative ways of getting a newborn to nap in the swing or to like being in the swing, feel free to share them with us. A baby who hates being in the swing can be challenging, but this issue can be resolved in time.