Weaning Baby Off the Swing

Weaning Baby Off the Swing

For most babies, the swing is a handy tool to help ease the occasional disruption of teething, growth spurts, and days when naps just aren’t happening. For about 15% of babies, according to Dr. Karp, the baby swing will be a crucial newborn survival tool.

You will know you are the parent of one of these babies because the thought of your baby outgrowing the swing will cause you to break out in flop sweat.

Baby Outgrowing the Swing?

This comes up a lot, so lets pause briefly to consider the reality that your child will NOT outgrow the swing.

The average US baby weighs 7.5 lbs at birth and will hit 21+ lbs by their 1st birthday. Modern Fisher Price swings have a weight limit of up to 25 lbs and Graco swings can handle babies up to 30 lbs. This means that your baby will have outgrown their need to swing far before they need to physically vacate the swing. So you can stop Googling toddler swings because I promise, you won’t need one. Honest.

When Should Baby be Out of the Swing?

Most babies will only need the swing for a short time and will be happily sleeping without motion by the time they are 3-4 months old. Some babies need extra soothing and might be in the swing for as long as 6 months. A very small group of babies (those who have reflux or who are just extra sensitive) may need to stay in the swing until they are 8-10 months old.

There is no obvious litmus test to know that your baby is ready to move into their crib. You simply try to dial down the speed now and then and see where that gets you. If your baby takes a 2 hour nap when the swing is on speed #4 and a 20 minute nap when the swing is on speed #2, then you know it’s not time yet. One day soon you’ll put your baby in a non-moving swing, the door will ring, and while you’re signing for a FedEx package, your baby will fall asleep sans-swinging. And voila!

But just in case FedEx doesn’t come to your house at naptime, you can also wean your little motion-junkie out of the swing the old fashioned way.

The 8 Step Process to Successfully Weaning Your Baby Out of the Swing


Put your baby into the swing AWAKE.

The swing is a powerful tool to help your baby learn to fall asleep without you (bouncing, rocking, feeding, etc.) them to sleep. However if you’re still (bouncing, rocking, feeding, etc.) your baby to sleep and THEN putting them into the swing, you’re not taking advantage of this capability. Yes you’ll be able to slip your already sleeping baby into the crib and feel like a huge success. But that leaves you navigating the treacherous waters of “putting baby down awake” on your own. While this can be done, it’s generally a lot easier with the swing. So take this opportunity to work on “put baby down awake” IN the swing, BEFORE you start weaning OFF the swing.


Give baby lots of great sleep cues.

Ideally your baby is sleeping in the swing with a great wind-down routine, tight swaddle, loud white noise, and possibly a pacifier. Thus when you remove the swing from the equation, you still have 3 other wonderfully soothing sleep cues to work with. If you’re just plunking your sleepy baby in a swing without additional sleep cues, removing the swing leaves you…nothing! Even if your baby is sleeping just fine in the swing without any additional sleep-aids, the swaddle and white noise will be your friends when it’s time to transition to the crib.


Start weaning with bedtime.

Almost all babies transition to the crib more easily at bedtime than they do for naps. Once you’ve mastered crib sleeping at bedtime, move on to the first nap of the day.


Move the swing NEXT to the crib.

For most of you, the swing has been next to your bed. Now it’s time to move it so that it’s next to baby’s bed.


Progressively decrease the speed of the swing.

Continue to put baby in the swing awake. Start decreasing the speed. Note: Despite my love of Fisher Price Baby Swings the only issue is that the difference between the highest and lowest speed is, well, negligible. The bottom line is that you want your baby swinging on the lowest speed possible, with a swaddle and white noise, NEXT to their crib.


Put your awake baby in a non-moving swing.

If it helps, you can manually swing the swing a little bit to help them fall asleep. But you want to do this as little as possible (or minimally decrease the amount of swinging each day). The goal is for your baby to sleep in a motionless swing. Once your baby is falling asleep in a motionless swing…


Put baby in the crib.

I can’t promise you a tear-free transition. Sometimes there is some mild complaints about the change of scenery. But generally it IS mild (<20 minutes on night #1).


Repeat the process for naps.

Note: sometimes swing-loving babies are sleeping happily in their crib LONG before they make the transition to naptime. It’s not at all uncommon to have a 4 month old night-sleeping in the crib but napping in the swing until they are 6 months old. So if the nap transition isn’t happening for you today, take a break. Try again in a week or two. There’s no rush.

Start With Step #1 – put baby in swing awake is the most important step in the process! If you aren’t putting baby in the swing awake you’ll likely find yourself with a baby who takes short naps and wakes frequently at night once you transition to the crib. AND you’ll have to climb Mt. Put-Baby Down-Awake later. Only now you will have removed the swing from your arsenal of powerful soothing tools.

Anybody have any experiences they would like to share? Stories from the trenches?

{Photo Credits: Mike Liu and Mpisti}

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  1. Thank you! I will desperately need this in the next couple of months. My baby (4.5 months) goes down awake in her swing occasionally but will usually have a frantic screaming attack if I put her in there awake… so my question; is step one meant to involve some amount of CIO? Or is my baby just very unusual? Thanks! :-)

    • Ella,
      You don’t have a swing problem. You have a “put down awake” problem. And EVERYBODY has to deal with this problem at some point or another. All the baby books say, “You need to put your baby down to sleep on her own.” Like it’s really simple and obvious.

      But it’s not.

      So I’m not necessarily saying CIO is the way. I DO think that the swing provides a TON of soothing so it’s a GREAT way to summit put-down-awake without a ton of crying.

      If you’re nursing her to sleep and THEN putting her down I would start swaddling her, nursing her with loud white noise until she is drowsy, then pop her off, put her in the swing, and do the varsity method I describe in the post below (manual swinging with head jiggle, etc.).

      Play around with that and see how things go. It may take a few trial runs to get things going.

      I would also try FIO – fuss it out means you let her freak out in there for some time to see what happens. Maybe she screams for 10 minutes and is asleep at 11. The difference between this and CIO is you aren’t waiting until she sleeps fullstop. You’re testing the waters a little. Give her 10-15 minutes. What happens? In a DARK room, with LOUD white noise, TIGHT swaddle, SOOTHING swing most babies will be unable to fight sleep that long.

      So those are two techniques to help you with your put-down-awake problem. Let me know how things go, OK?

      • Thank you! I will let you know how things go :-)

      • So I just put her in the swing (full speed) I nursed her to sleep, then she opened her yes when she went in the swing like she normally does. I didn’t know if that meant she was awake or not as they were closed in a couple of seconds… so I made some really loud noises to wake her up. She opened her eyes and smiled as if to say ‘what are you doing crazy woman?’ And closed them and went to sleep. Does this count as going down drowsy?

      • Is 4 months 14 lbs really ok to start? My pediatrician said it was fine and recommended Sleepy Planet for getting baby out of swing and into crib, sleeping on his own, etc, but I keep hearing 5-6 months is better cognitively. Does it really make a big difference? I feel like I’m over thinking this sleep training thing… Maybe we just need to do it and be done. The doctor said feed after a 6 hr stretch since his current average sleep length is 6 hrs. We haven’t officially started but we are letting cry in short intervals; tonight he went to sleep at 6:30, I fed him when we woke at 11, then didn’t feed him when he woke at 3:30 (husband soothed, maybe he DID need to eat?) and it took about 20 mins of crying/soothing/checking in for him to fall back asleep. It’s hard to know if he really is hungry… I do bedtime routine, white noise, transitional object, but I’m so nervous about getting him into his crib… It seems so uncozy.

  2. Forgot to add we have a good bedtime routine, she’s swaddled with loud white noise. She won’t take a pack.

  3. Yes, please write more on putting them down awake in the swing. Like Ella, sometimes putting him down awake works but most of the time he just cries after a few minutes and will not go down. We have had some luck with the crib but have recently gone back to the swing because he started sleeping less.

    • Every parent has to help baby fall asleep without them. The swing is a tool that helps, but it’s not a guarantee, right?

      If you’re rocking to sleep then I would definitely put the awake baby IN the swing and try to get them to fall asleep IN the swing using the varsity method (see link below).

      If you’re nursing to sleep then I would FIRST play around with a tight swaddle, LOUD white noise, DARK room. Then nurse baby until drowsy and pop in swing. THEN use varsity method to get your drowsy baby to fall asleep IN the swing without picking them up.

      Neither of these are guaranteed to work first time out so it may take a few days, some tweaking, practice, etc.

      But the swing will generally make this process go more easy than the crib will. So it’s great to really work on this while baby is still IN the swing, rather than wean baby OUT of the swing and THEN dealing with “put down awake.”

      Does that make sense?

      • So I’ve started the transition process from swing /cosleeping to the crib. Some nights are better than others. She wakes once or twice a night. My concern is that she slept through the night in her swing… Why is she waking up soo often now? When will this stop? Should I let her CIO or feed her like I normally do? Another question is I’m trying to get her to nap in her crib as well, but she will only sleep do 30-45 min in the crib. She will nap in her swing for 3 hours. She is 4 months Tomarrow. I need your help

        • I am trying to slowly learn how to put my baby down awake. I know that sounds silly that in trying to figure it out instead of just doing it but here is what I struggle with and I hope you can help me with it .
          My 3 and a half month old has bad acid reflux. Since she was little I unknowingly got in the habit of giving her a bottle and rocking her as the last part of ur bedtime routine. Because of her reflux she needs to be held upright for 30 minutes ( this is what the doctor suggested ). So usually this means she falls asleep in my arms and gets put down asleep.
          Every website on sleep talks about putting your baby down drowsy but I don’t know how to do that with my acid reflux baby. If I try putting her down without holding her upright it usually results in her waking up from having a huge spit up.
          I’m at a loss and feel I have become obsessed trying to figure out how I to do this important part of the slee process.
          I am hoping you can help me !! I’m lost.

          • I just want to suggest you talk to your doc about getting baby Zantac prescription. I could not believe it when our doc told is to start 2 month old on med but it was literally a life/sleep saver! It was night and day how he relaxed and slept and was suddenly happy all the time. He is 3 and a 1/2 months now and I cannot imagine him without the med. You do it 3x a day until 6 months when their acid starts going away. My first son I believe had the same issue but no doc ever mentioned this. And we suffered! I can’t believe every doc doesn’t know to suggest it! Other than catching spit up (it doesn’t stop that just reduces acidic content so it doesn’t burn) we din’t have to worry about him sitting up at all. It doesn’t hurt to try!

          • I survived 2 reflux kiddos so I totally feel your pain. My advice is to move that last bottle EARLIER in the process so that you CAN hold them upright and then still put them down awake. Meaning if bedtime is 7:00 PM, the last bottle of the day may night to come at 6:15. Also reflux kiddos need ALL THE SOOTHING so swaddle, swing, and white nose are key.

            We also pushed to fully nightwean by 6 months because the “holding upright” issue makes night feeds a huge mess. Generally I’m pretty relaxed about night feeding but with reflux, food and sleep are a bad combo. Good luck!

  4. I love your blog, Alexis! I was literally planning on posting this reply to your “Swing-Hating Babies” post tonight when I saw this latest entry. Serindipity! We have successfully weaned baby from the highest speed on his Fisher Price Zen Cradle swing to the lowest, but have been having an atrocious time transitioning to no motion at all. Baby is 14 weeks and our hope is to get him into his own room and crib (which he’s never slept in) ASAP. We started having him sleep in the swing at about two to three weeks when he would only sleep in the bed with us or on one of our chests. Your blog gave us the idea, and then I bought all of Karps books. Our plan is to master motionless swing, move the swing into his room, and then try the crib with a pick up put down/longer and longer approach to CIO. Right now, when we put baby awake in the motionless swing, he starts crying right away. We jiggle the back of the swing like you suggested in your other post, but end up crouched behind the stupid thing shaking it for 30 minutes plus for every wake up. It doesn’t really feel like were putting him down awake, since he’s dependent on so much jiggling to fall asleep. Eventually, he’ll fall asleep and stay asleep for 4 hours+ at night in the non moving swing but nap times are inconsistent and can be anywhere from 30 min to 3 hours. Of course, hes been sleeping like a champ for the day care lady, but she puts him on his back wedged between firm pillows on an adult bed (which gives me nightly SIDS nightmares). He’s swaddled and can’t yet wiggle to get his face near the pillows, but it still scares me. Can you help? Are we doing the right thing with the incessant jiggling or should we go back to slow motion swinging for a while? Thank you!

    • Hey Emily,
      Here’s what I’m hearing….

      – Baby is doing great without motion at night and is probably ready to move to his crib. AT NIGHT.

      – Baby is young and still needs motion during the day. I’m wondering if you don’t just go with that and revisit in a week or two? Often a short wait makes a huge difference.

      – You’re right, if you’re just manually moving the swing for 30 minutes you aren’t accomplishing anything (except probably cramping up and maybe exercising some arm muscles?) so at that point, you might as well just turn it back on :)

      – The SIDS statistics for daycare are pretty rough but the primary cause for daycare and SIDS is putting normally back-sleeping babies to sleep on their tummies. That being said I’m feeling a little uncomfortable with the adult bed, pillow propping. This is not a safe sleep environment and I think it’s something I would address with them.

  5. Funny you mention the weight limit because my 5.5 month old is 22 lbs (born at 8 lbs and exclusively breastfed!) and still napping in her Snugabunny swing. She LOVES it even though her feet hang off the end. She naps like a champ. Sometimes 2-3 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. She goes down awake no problem with some white noise but she’s out of the swaddle at this point. She’s on the lowest swing setting and it’s next to her crib in the nursery but to be honest, I haven’t even tried to wean her yet b/c she naps so well. 3 more lbs until d day!!

    She sleeps in her crib at night from about 7-7 and wakes up for 1-2 feedings. I’m trying to wean her off one of those feedings b/c I’m pretty sure it’s only for comfort at this point (hello, 22 lbs!). She can fall asleep on her own although in the past couple weeks it’s been taking her 30-40 minutes to fall asleep after I put her in her crib. She doesn’t cry or fuss, she just looks around and kicks her feet vigorously, often slamming them into the mattress. Normal?

    • Yep. Babies discover their crib is a giant drum and it’s SO VERY EXCITING! Who can sleep when there is an entire percussion instrument right there?!?!

      Well 3 more lbs gives you what – a few weeks? Good luck!

  6. We embraced the Snugabunny swing once we realized our daughter was a motion junkie after the first month. It was the only way to get her to nap for more than 30 minutes. Even the car and stroller wouldn’t work to get her to nap for more than 30 minutes. I wish I had gotten it the first month because that was an insane 4 weeks! She slept fine in her cosleeper at night and was fine when we transitioned her to her crib at 8 week for nights. Now at 16 pounds and just turned 5 months, she sleeps in her crib at night from 6:30-6:30(nursing until drowsy and put in crib after burping). with 2 night wakings but hates the crib for naps. She also slams her feet in the mattress! Hy husband and I laugh and say “Oh she’s doing her leg lifts again!” Between that and her trying to sit up whenever she is laying down now she has to have some strong abs!

    After reading this, I am glad that we put her in the swing awake next to her crib from the moment we got it. She would take 2-3 hour naps in it. But when she turned 3.5 months, she started to only take one long nap in it and the rest were 30 minutes. And because she was starting daycare soon and we weren’t sure they would put her in the swing for naps, we nap trained at 4 months (just fussing-not full out crying) to get her to nap in the crib (with white noise but no swaddle because she kept breaking free and we wanted her to suck her fingers). It only took 2 days to work, but her naps are only 30 minutes in the crib. The daycare has her napping in the pack n play (they shake it a little to get her to sleep) now but for only 30-45 minutes at a time. They put her in the swing for the last nap of the day 4-4:30 to make sure she takes that nap or bedtime becomes a mess. So until this past weekend when she turned 5 months, she was taking 5 naps because they were so short. We transitioned her to 4 naps and increased her waketime to 1.45-2 hours but the naps are still short. So should we keep her on 5 naps because they are so short? Am I doomed to have a 12 month old that still take 4-5 naps? Should we nap her in the pack n play and shake it like the daycare does? Or should we nap her in the swing on weekends and lower the speed? So hard to be consistent when daycare has a different environment.

    • Yep – babies often take better/longer naps in the swing. However….

      Your child won’t take 30 minute naps forever!

      I could argue either way so really, I would ask yourself what YOU want to do. I don’t think having her sleep one place at daycare and a different place at home will trip her up. And yes you’ll likely see longer swing naps on the weekend. However you’ve already worked hard to get her adjusted to the crib. And she is 5 months old so even if you go back to the swing for now, your probably going to only use it for another month or so. So if it’s weekend-use only, we’re talking about a handful of days left. That being said, having her take longer weekend naps might be really helpful to ALL of you. You and Dad get a break, she is more rested/fun to play with, etc. And hopefully as she IS crib sleeping at daycare, going BACK to crib-naps in the future for weekends won’t be a major hurdle.

      So there you go – I’ve just argued both sides. Which do you want to agree with?

  7. I just weaned my 5.5 month old son this weekend from the non moving swing into the crib (naps and bedtime), I wanted to share a tip that I think helped us! I was dreading this transition as he was sleeping great, waking usually once to nurse for 15 minutes. He was used to the loud white noise, swaddled with arms out (he weaned off of the arms being swaddled a few weeks ago) and being in his own dark room.

    First we tried putting him down “cold turkey” flat on his back in the crib (w/ the same soothers)… I felt like he woke up and cried with every sleep cycle.

    So the next night I propped him up on a boppy in the crib and he slept like a champ, only waking at his normal time to nurse! I had a friend tell me that she used the boppy to transition her son from the swing. She would let him fall asleep on boppy and then pull it out after he was sleeping. I let my son sleep all night on it and he eventually wiggles straight down off of it and is flat on his back (no crying). Hopefully in a couple weeks he will be done with the boppy but for now it is a good transition for us from the snug feeling of the swing to the wide open crib.

    • Hey Jamie,
      Congratulations on getting your swinger happy in the crib! Yep sometimes the crib feels like a flat lonely tundra compared to the swing.

      But I just want to throw out a small note of caution for anybody who might be reading this – the AAP has basically come out against the use of sleep positioners (the Boppy in the crib at night would count) for anytime babies are asleep and not being closely monitored. Because babies can wiggle themselves into all sorts of strange positions while they sleep and have, on occasion, ended up in a compromised position with these devices. Yes I’m talking about SIDS here.

      So if anybody is considering trying to use a Boppy or other sleep positioner in the crib at night, I would FIRST run it by your pediatrician, OK?

      Another option to consider is to use the swaddle (even more slightly older babies). It’s a temporary thing just to help them feel cuddled in the crib. In a week or two you gradually wean back OFF the swaddle and VOILA! Baby sleeps in crib :)

  8. It is serendipity that you posted this!

    We had a swaddle hating baby (3 months old yesterday) until we found the woombie three weeks ago. This allowed us to make the transition from cosleeping to crib sleeping and things were going great at night, with naps in the swing. Then one week into the woombie she repeatedly rolled from back to stomach, which meant ditch the swaddle or sleep elsewhere. After three nights of hell, we tried the swing+swaddle as she definitely was not ready to be unswaddled. It has been working great but I have serious transition anxiety, mostly because I know that she will have to be off the swaddle before we can even consider the transition. I tried the magic sleepsuit as an intermediary but she doesn’t fit I the swing with it! So what would you suggest? Trying to wean off the swaddle and then going right to the crib? Staying in the swaddle but replacing it with the sleep suit when we make the move? She definitely isn’t ready to be out of the swing as recent attempts have meant wake ups at the end of every sleep cycle. That being sai, we put her into a moving swing at night but it stays off the rest of the night after every feed. Please, if nothing else, some moral support in the face of my crazy early roller making life difficult!

    • I also meant to say that I come to your original swing post two or three times a day just to remind my self “it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay” that my baby has all her sleep in a swing. I hate it but it works!

    • Serendipity indeed!

      Why do you hate it? I think this is ALL awesome stuff. One of the big issues with co-sleeping is how to gently transition OUT of co-sleeping. Sure you can wait 9 months and have a big CIO session (and in my experience CIO related to co-sleeping is rougher than that for other sleep associations). Or you can use these soothing tools for a little while to help baby learn to sleep without you?

      I think the wean of swing then try magic sleep suit plan sounds good. I also wouldn’t try to OVER think what will be happening in a few weeks. With babies you sort of need to go with the flow. Wait till she’s ready to sleep in a motionless swing. If she’s already sleeping in a motionless swing at night you’re probably getting close (a few weeks maybe?).

      Hopefully the magic sleep suit will keep her from flipping over. I’m impressed, actually, that she’s rolling in the swaddle at 3 months (talented baby you have there!). The good news is that if she’s flipping over organically, she may soon be ready to ditch the swaddle and flip over to sleep on her tummy. While you can never PUT a baby down on their tummy, if they flip themselves over, most will sleep better that way.

  9. Hi Alexis,

    I just wanted to chime in with my story, after having written to you several months ago worried that I’d be jiggling the back of my baby’s swing and making loud shushing noises forever.

    At about 3/3.5 months old, we decided to start giving our daughter 5-10 minutes (in the swing, swaddled, with white noise) to try to work things out on her own before we intervened. It was a tough couple of days, waiting those 5-10, but we did it. If we needed to, we’d go in after those 5-10, jiggle the back of the swing just long enough to get her to stop crying, and then we’d leave her for another 5. Usually, that would do the trick, but there were a few times we’d have to go back in a re-jiggle once or twice. However, very very quickly, she began to put herself to sleep in the moving swing, swaddled and with white noise. (Note: we’d been using the swing for absolutely all her sleep, naps and nighttime since about 6-7 weeks. We even bought a Mamaroo, so that we could travel with it. I know, we’re crazy people.)

    Then, once we mastered that, we started to slow the swing. Frankly, we didn’t notice a difference in how well she slept even as the swing became slower (we used both a Snug-a-bunny and a Mamaroo). Her naps were still lousy, but I think that had more to do with her development and readiness for longer naps than with the slowing swing.

    At about 4 months and change, we saw the pediatrician, who told us to get her in the crib right away. I think her advice was a little one-size-fits-all, and based in the idea that you want to move away from sleep aids generally, but… she accelerated our path just a bit. We skipped the step where you put the baby in a non-moving swing, and we just went straight to the crib from the slowest speed.

    Amazingly… everything went absolutely terrifically. (Oh, and a note to Alexis above – our daughter also smacked her legs down in the crib so aggressively that we could hear her doing it from our bedroom downstairs, no monitor required.) We also realized, very quickly, that we needed to begin to de-swaddle her. After a day or two swaddled one arm out, and then a day or two with just her trunk swaddled, we did away with it entirely. Within days, she was flipping all around in her crib (giving us 4-5 days to freak out when she’d roll to her stomach and cry hysterically). Now, at five months-ish, she usually gets in her crib with very minimal fuss, rolls right over to her tummy, inserts thumb, and goes to sleep.

    Just wanted to chime in with the story of our transition from swing to crib… which, despite our trepidation, went a million times better than we ever could have hoped. Thank you, Alexis!

    • I love it when people share stories like this because it validates that I’m not completely making all this stuff up :)

      Congratulations on successfully navigating Mount Put Baby Down Awake! It’s a steep and scary slope but the view from the top are simply AMAZING!

  10. Hi Alexis,

    I’m not sure what to do. The problem with my baby girl is that she starts crying as soon as I swaddle her (so before she’s even in the swing)…but I think she still needs the swaddle to sleep well (plus I want to keep it as a sleep cue for when we do eventually transition from swing to crib!). Because she’s crying after I swaddle her, I bounce her to get her to stop since I don’t want to put her in the swing already crying– I tried that and she cannot calm herself down yet. But then while I’m bouncing her to get her to stop crying due to being swaddled she quickly closes her eyes and falls asleep in my arms. Then she goes down in the swing pretty well (might cry a little at the transition from arms to swing but nothing long or crazy). But then since I’m doing that, I feel like I’m not really putting her in the swing awake, you know? Any advice?
    Also, re: music vs white noise as a sleep cue. I have a lullaby CD I play for her before each naptime/bedtime. She’s really learned to associate it with going to sleep and starts closing her eyes (albeit closing her eyes and still crying) when she hears the music come on. But the problem is the CD ends and then there is no music…so when/how would I incorporate white noise? Should I switch from music to white noise once she’s down in the swing?

    • Inna,
      Lots of babies cry when swaddled even though the swaddle ultimately HELPS them stay calm. You don’t say how old she is but it could also be that she knows swaddle=sleep and babies almost unanimously don’t like to sleep even when they really really need it.

      I would continue to work on putting her in the swing awake. If she’s closing her eyes THAT quickly when you bounce I’m thinking that she might be ready to do the same thing in the swing. Because you’re right, you’re NOT really putting her down awake. But if she’s falling RIGHT asleep when bounced she’s clearly ready FOR sleep. So my only advice is to keep working with the swing. Put her in cranky, see what you can make happen. If it doesn’t work today, wait a few days, try again.

      Also I would switch to white noise entirely. All the research says there’s actual benefits TO white noise. Also it would persist the entire time she’s sleeping. Anything that stops or is on a timer can trip you up so the key is that her sleep environment needs to the be the same ALL night long. Turn the radio to an AM station and leave it on all night. If you want to transition a little maybe you do the CD + white noise, gradually turning down the CD over a few days until you’re only using the white noise?

      Good luck!

      • Thanks so much Alexis! Sorry I forgot to mention it in the first post–she is just over 10 weeks.
        I actually started doing what you suggest over the last 5 days…I put her in the swing straight away even though she’s crying. I tried turning the swing on to calm her right away but it didn’t work– she cried and cried. So then I use your varsity method and the jiggling eventually gets her to stop crying! Sometime it takes 5 minutes of jiggling, but she will eventually stop crying and go to sleep at which point I turn the swing motor on and she happily sleeps. But I’m concerned that this will always be the case if I keep on jiggling– she’ll need the jiggling always and won’t be happy just going down in the moving swing, so I’ll never be able to turn the speed down/ween her off. Am I just being paranoid? In your experience, how long do you have to jiggle for before they eventually can jsut go in the swing awake and be happy with just the rocking?

        • Yes if you continue to jiggle constantly you will end up with a jiggle=sleep problem. So you will have to gradually jiggle less. So jiggle to sleep, rock to sleep, nurse to sleep: these all fundamentally are things you need to gradually wean off of.

          So OK today you jiggle for 5 minutes. Not a big deal, right? Next week you jiggle for 3 minutes. It’s all a process!

  11. I also have a success story in swing to crib, that is pretty similar to the above poster’s.

    Amaya has been sleeping in the swing for naps for about 2.5 months (she is 4.5 months). We have been doing swaddling + dark room + white noise on speed 4 (out of 6 on the Graco swing).

    The last 3 weeks or so she has been stuck on 30-45 minute naps (sprinkled with very FEW hour + naps – like 2-3 in the last few weeks). A few times, she would also have days where she would completely resist every nap – like go stiff as a board when I tried to put her in the swing awake, or start screaming bloody murder when I flipped on the white noise. One of the days, when she was particularly resistant, I just tried to put her down in her crib. She whined a little bit, but ended up falling asleep for the same amount of time as her “normal” naps (about 50 minutes). I wanted to still try the swing, in hopes that she would have some longer naps. But after a few more days of short naps, and hearing from my in-laws (her day time caregivers) that they were putting her in the crib, I decided to try it more full time.

    We started yesterday with all naps in the crib. All naps were 30-50 minutes (two 50 minutes and two 30 minutes). She also started rolling over like a CHAMP yesterday (of course…) She had rolled over 1 month ago, but has put it on the back burner until yesterday. So I was a bit worried about that because then we also had to forgo the swaddle! But, it all worked out. She bumped around a few times, but after some repositioning, and minor complaining, she slept!

    She also has slept in her crib for night sleeping since the beginning, and last night I was worried because of the rolling over. But she slept from 9:30 (late because we were out visiting friends) until 8:15, only waking once. When she woke for the 1:00 feeding, we put her back down, and she immediately rolled on her tummy. I think she likes it better that way.

    She is currently napping, in her crib, swaddle free, on her belly and has been for about 50 minutes. Here’s hoping for a longer nap, but even if it is at 50 minutes, I am really excited that we are transitioned from the swing (and that we don’t have to buy any more batteries!!!) We are keeping it out for a while, just in case. I am thinking that longer naps will come, but I won’t push it or stress about it. She wakes up rested and is a super happy baby. You have to keep trying things because, as you have said, things change 300% from one day to the next.

    Until the next hurdle…

    • WOO HOO! And actually 50 minute naps = pretty darn good. It’s a decent amount of sleep at 5 months so I would consider 5 months + put down awake in crib + 50 minute naps = FABULOUS!

      Also? Super happy baby = FABULOUS!

  12. Help! Our 2.5 month old daughter is unpredictable when it comes to swing/crib. Here’s the story….since day one she has only napped and slept at night in her crib (with of course a car seat catnap thrown in every now and then). She is a motion junkie. Our repertoire for sleep aids consists of a yoga ball, a bjorn, a glider, and a rocking chair (some nights require the use of a few of those!). Also, let’s not forget the endless patting and shh’ing that she needs to fall asleep! Back to the story…I came across your site the other day and could not read through all the great advice fast enough! We decided to try out our Graco swing again (which she at first hated). We have been wanting to transition her into falling asleep on her own without bouncing/jiggling/patting/etc from Mommy or Daddy. Also, she could never seem to make it past that 45 min. mark for her naps. Well yesterday we tried the swing and it worked wonders….she napped for 3 hours in it in the morning (highest speed) and a few other 1.5 hour naps throughout the day. Each time she went into it awake, fussing for less than 5 minutes. Last NIGHT however was a different story. We were unsure if we would be going backwards by letting her sleep in the swing rather than the crib. She does great in the crib at night, usually sleeping 4-5 hours, nurses, then asleep for another 3ish hours. Although it takes a lot of shhing/rocking/etc to get her sound asleep before putting her in there. To get away from that, we decided to put her down awake in the swing, let her sleep there for about 30 min. and then transfer her to the crib (thus eliminating the need for us to do the soothing for 45 minutes). DISASTER. She woke up during the transfer, screamed/nursed/screamed/had daddy rock her/screamed/nursed/finally passed out from exhaustion about 2 hours later only to wake up again in another 2 hours screaming. Perhaps she had such a hard time last night because she was waking up without motion and had gotten used to it with her swing naps during the day. Also, are we going backwards by putting her in the swing at night (since she has already been sleeping in the crib)? Would you recommend we just stick with us rocking her to sleep and putting her in the crib at night and do the swing for daytime naps only?

    • Maria,
      Let’s start with the positive – you put your baby down AWAKE for naps WITHOUT butt-numbing amounts of bouncing, rocking, etc. AND she took MONGO naps.

      WOO HOO YAAAY (*insert confetti here*)!!!!

      Then you tried the same tactic at bedtime and had a horror show. And frankly I don’t entirely know WHY bedtime was such a mess. The easy answer is – stick with the crib. If it ain’t broke….

      Possible theories on what happened:
      – If she WAS taking 45 minute naps and then took HUGE naps in the swing, it could be that her bed time was off. Maybe it was too early? Usually she must be pretty fatigued by all the short naps so perhaps with long chunky naps she simply wasn’t ready/able to sleep? This is my BEST GUESS.

      – There was something ELSE going on – like gas or something – that had her so upset. You never know really.

      I don’t think it had anything to do with her getting USED to the swing at naps. There is no problem with having her swing during the day and go into the crib at night. So while I don’t have a quick answer to explain the behavior, you can comfortably have her in the crib at night if indeed she’s managing just well there.

      You DO have to figure out how to help her fall asleep alone in her crib soon-ish. It sounds like she’s a pretty challenging kiddo who requires a lot of soothing. OK it is what it is. But in the next month or two you’ll have to work putting her down awake at bedtime. Something fun to look forward to, I know.

      But the GOOD news is that if she continues taking longer naps in the swing, she’ll be well-rested. And well-rested babies sleep better. So this will all HELP you in making continued forward progress with her sleep!

  13. Hi Alexis,

    I have a 10 month old who has been sleeping in her swing for naps until a couple of days ago. I did move the swing next to her bed and all went well with that. The problem is that she stands up screaming as soon as I put her in the crib. She will eventually sit down, but just sits there almost asleep until her head bobs. Then she starts screaming again. She refuses to lay down. I went in once to lay her down when she was doing the head bob thing, which just resulted in her repeating the pattern. How do I get her to lay down and take a nice restful sleep? She’s too old to be swaddled and we’ve tried a sleep sack. I’m not sure what else to do. Please help!

    • Have you been putting her down AWAKE in the swing? Have you weaned off the motion so that you are putting her down AWAKE in a NON moving swing?

      Because if so, I’m really surprised that she’s struggling so. What you’re describing sounds a lot to me like a baby who has not yet figured out how to fall asleep alone and now is being asked to do so without the support of her beloved swing. Am I right? Let me know – OK?

  14. Help! This article is pretty helpful, but I can’t put my daughter in the swing awake! She’s 6.5 months, and has taken every nap in her swing since about 1 month old. I keep trying to wean her, but she wants no part of it which is very frustrating for me. Well I tried putting her in awake at first(because I previously rocked her to sleep) and she can get out of the swing. But, I can’t put her in her crib, she never falls asleep. Nighttime is great, she sleeps in her crib all night. We use a paci and white noise for naps, and she’s so tired she can’t function :( help!

    • Hey Sarah,
      I don’t have an easy fix for you. Although I’m stunned/horrified to hear that she can get out of the swing! Even with the straps? What if you swaddle her first, can she get out then?

      You have the classic “put down awake” problem. The swing isn’t really the issue. And while it may be helpful at this point, I’m afraid the paci will eventually blow up on you too.

      I know she’s a bit old but I would try swaddling her in the swing to, minimally, keep her from climbing out. I’m not really comfortable with her sleeping in the swing if she can climb out so my recommendation is if you can’t make it so she CAN’T climb out, then you need to ditch the swing full stop.

      (I know that doesn’t solve your problem but safety first, yes?)

      So I would try swaddle, loud white noise, and possibly (for now) paci, put her in the swing, turn it on, and hide behind her so you can monitor the situation.

      She’ll probably cry. Give it a good chunk of time to see what happens. Like 20 minutes. If she spits the paci out so be it. I would continue to work with this plan and see what can be made to happen.

      Because basically the alternative (crib CIO for naps) is not always so great. So if possible it would be great to have her cry a little in the swing BUT also figure out how to fall asleep and THEN gently wean off the swing.

      Does that make sense?

  15. Thank you for posting. My 7 week old loves the swing and these steps sound doable.

    Question: She is currently sleeping in the Fisher Price Rock n Play at night in our bedroom and has since day 1. She has actually slept 7 hours straight the last 4 nights! For naps during the day, she’ll go down with the swing on lowest speed, but otherwise she either needs motion and white noise (she loves the running faucet) or nursing to fall asleep. My question is: since she sleeps so well in the Rock n Play at night which is motionless (unless she stirs a bit in the morning and I rock it with my foot for maybe a minute), should I try putting the Rock n Play next to the crib at night rather than the swing in order to transition her to the crib? And also do this for daytime naps? Or try the swing awake and off for daytime naps?

    And, at how many weeks should we begin this process? I wanted to start very soon.

    Thank you so much!!

    • Hey Rachel,
      For starters, I would suggest that she’s only 7 weeks and it sounds like things are going GREAT so I wouldn’t feel any pressure to “start very soon.” I like a “play it by ear” approach where if it isn’t going smoothly today, try again a week from today. She’s still tiny.

      Also? Don’t use the faucet for white noise! Tons of free apps and old radios that will spare the water. You tube videos also. Lots of water-free options to choose from :)

      If she’s doing great at night then sure, try the crib at night. If you can’t get her back to sleep in the AM you can always move her BACK into the rocknplay for the final few hours of the morning.

      As for how you are putting her to sleep, she’s super young so I wouldn’t sweat it too much yet. But if you’re successful in having her sleep in the crib BUT you’re nursing to sleep, what is your plan to help her learn to fall asleep on her own? I’m not suggesting you HAVE to use the swing to do this but it is a very effective tool TO teach her to fall asleep.

      So if you’re keen to race off the swing – that’s cool. But make sure you have an idea about weaning off the “nurse to sleep” part too because while you have time to figure it out, it’ll get a lot more challenging when she’s 4-6 months old.

      Good luck!

      • Thanks Alexis! Well, she will be 3 months on dec 6 and we have fully embraced the swing for all naps. The swing is next to her crib, on lowest speed with white noise, pacificer, and no swaddle (I tried I promise). Typically if I catch her at the right time, she can go down awake which is awesome. Those tend to be longer naps compared to when she goes down asleep, which only happens when I’ve waited too long and she needs extra soothing… like the faucet! Turn it in and count to ten, she’s out. So crazy and yes, our water bill will be insane.

        So, she’s still in the rnp at night but seems to be uncomfortable in it now, like she’s scrunched up and wants to stretch and can’t. Since the rnp is motionless and she was doing pretty good sleeping through the night until recently, should I have her sleep in the swing motionless at night (in her room) then transition to the crib or go right to the crib? Should i do this before trying the motionless swing for naps? She tends to wake up after 20 min or so when I shut off the swing.. I figured she wasn’t ready yet based on your other posts.

        Thank you so much for this blog. Your information is so helpful!

        • Oh and I don’t have to nurse her to sleep anymore except for the night/dream feeding. I’m using the EASY routine. :)

        • Hey Rachel,

          How does this faucet thing work? Do you race her into the bathroom to turn it on? Actually I’ve known other babies who LUVED the faucet too. One baby only slept IN water which clearly was unacceptable because then Mom&Dad had to stay awake all night to watch her which was making everybody insane.

          Anyhoo in general I like to move the swing NEXT to the crib and THEN move INTO the crib. The idea is to change as few variables at a time as possible. You may be able to skip this step though, it’s not a HUGE deal.


  16. My almost 4 month old has changed from a VERY predictable ‘up 2/down 2’ pattern for awake/nap time. Now he wakes after 45 minutes screaming and is VERY difficult to convince to fall back asleep. He often falls back asleep in my arms, but as soon as I put him in the swing…tears :( We used to feed upon waking (every 4 hrs) during the daytime – if he wakes prematurely from a nap, we frequently end up nursing in desperation. We are still napping in a swaddle, in the swing, with white noise and a paci. My husband is more of the ‘let him settle himself’ while I want to console more. He is a good night sleeper – down between 7-8p, wakes between 2 and 3am for a feed, then wakes between 6-8 to feed/play. Any tips on how to help our now light sleeper?

  17. Hi Alexis,

    Yes, she has been going down awake into a non-moving swing (the motor burned out, so she has no choice). She definitely has a will of her own, but this was not something I saw coming. I figured it would be hard, but not that she wouldn’t even lay down. We do currently co-sleep at night and are planning to change that soon. The only thing stopping us is that we are visiting my family in Guatemala for 10 days in a couple of weeks where we will be forced to co-sleep. Should we wait on weaning from the swing for naps until we get her sleeping on her own at night? Any tips or suggested reading for that?


    • Moving from co-sleeping to “put down awake in her own crib” at night is a big topic. At 10 months you’re options are sort of limited. The Pantely no-cry solution would tell you to take things very very slowly. Maybe you sleep on the floor next to her crib with the drop-side down (if your crib has one of these, most don’t anymore so you can snuggle but start putting some separation into the program. Then you gradually make small changes over weeks and weeks.

      Don’t get me wrong – it CAN be done but it takes time, patience, and commitment.

      Otherwise you’re stuck with CIO :(

      At 10 months I would stick with weaning off the swing (plus you won’t have it in Guatemala right?) so you’ll be FORCED to regardless. Then you’ll need some time post-trip just to get her over the travel-induced sleep disruption (despite your best efforts this will happen – it just does). THEN come up with a plan to get her sleeping on her own at night.

  18. First off excellent advice. You vindicated my husband and changed my mind about swings (I was against them). He just went and borrowed one to try for us. It works really well at naps. We have an easy baby (4 months) goes to sleep drowsy no problem in her bed for bed and naps, but only for mom, hence the swing, for dad. I think she has a boob sleep association and that is dad’s problem. She even wakes up to feed during naps sometimes. She still eats at night and is not ready to night wean as she is slightly underweight for her height. Though she goes to sleep on her own at first she nurses to sleep in the middle of the night/nap. Should I try to stop this or just wait it out. We try to have dad putting her to bed sometimes is not always home. We are co-sleeping with a pack and play since we only have one bedroom in the house and the only other option is the living room with lots of light and street noise.

    • First, I love getting in the middle of marital disputes. WOO HOO!

      Second, should you stop what? Generally nursing to sleep in the middle of the night is just fine. Also when you say you are co-sleeping, do you really mean co-rooming? If she’s in her own bed in YOUR room I would call that room sharing or co-rooming (and frankly I’m a big fan for babies under 6 months!).

      So not sure what the problem is. You’ve figured out a way for Dad to help her sleep – YAY! She has a strong nurse=sleep association but you’ve figured that out. You’re putting her down awake = YAY! So really your only homework is to gradually separate nursing from sleeptime so that she doesn’t always require nursing to sleep, yes?

      So generally sounds like things are going pretty well!

      • When you say you’re a fan of co-rooming for babies under 6 months…how does that work with the whole transition them to their crib before 6 months? My husband is hesitant to move our 4.5 month old to his own room at night. He currently sleeps in his own room in a crib for naps and sleeps in a bassinet in our room at night. I thought we needed to start putting the bassinet in his own room and then transition to his crib for nights soonish so we don’t miss the window of opportunity before he figures out where he’s sleeping. Can we keep him with us for another month then? (My husband will love you!!)

        • Yeah it’s rough. Here’s the deal:
          It IS easier to move them now. Not to say that it’s a horror show to do later, so waiting till baby is 6 months isn’t the difference between “easy peasy” vs. “horribly crying nightmare.” But earlier is easier.

          However studies have shown that SIDS is far more rare when baby is sleeping in a safe separate place in bed with you till 6 months. So for that reason there are (in very rare cases) safety benefits to having baby in your room till 6 months.

          So I could defend either position (stay vs. go) with various arguments. Thus the answer is, “You’re both right.”

          Good luck figuring that out 😉

  19. Hey there,

    Let me just say …Thank god for the swing!! My little guy had colic and wouldn’t let me put him down to sleep for almost 2 months. No joke, even at night. We were able to use the swing for breaks and now he sleeps all naps in the swing and then co sleeps with us at night.
    Now he is 6.5 months old and is a big guy he is 30 ” long and 22 lbs. I am trying to transfer him into the crib for naps and for the early part of the night but the last 2 weeks have been rough. He still just wont sleep in the crib. The swing still kinda works, naps are getting shorter, but it still does the trick. I would leave him in the swing forever if he wasn’t a giant but soon he wont be able to sleep in there at all. I have turned down the speed, the swing is next to the crib, I warm up the crib before putting him down, I have my pillow case in there for comfort, I have tried to make it a fun place and let him play in there sometimes…..BUT still he wont stay asleep. What happens is: I swaddle him, tell him its night night time, give him a paci, and leave. He starts crying right away( most of the time), but I let him cry for like 5 min as long as its not out of control, then let him cry again for 5 min I go in if the crying hasn’t stopped and replace the paci and comfort w/o picking him up…..then after like 20 min of this I just put him back into the swing.
    Anyway do I keep trying?? Am I missing something?
    Oh and he has been going to sleep awake in the swing the whole time so that is not a problem.
    Also, one more thing….sometimes he falls asleep in the crib but wakes up screaming and wont calm down. I have tried leaving and letting him work it out, and have also stayed in the room….nothing is working though.
    I would love your help!

    • Melissa,
      It’s hard to say because you’re using the paci and you’re much beloved paci could be part of the problem (it creates object permanence problems).

      Also keep in mind that the way your brain processes night vs. day sleep is different. So you’ve “swing trained” him for naps but you have “co-sleep trained” him at night. So while you can definitely work on transitioning him OUT of the swing for naps, you’ve got a whole different challenge going on at night because he’s only ever learned to sleep WITH you in YOUR bed. Thus he has a separate set of sleep associations for night sleep and the day/swing stuff doesn’t just transfer. Does that make sense?

      Have you been putting him awake in a non-moving swing and NOT turning the swing on for naps? Also have you mastered putting him awake WITHOUT a paci in a non-moving swing for naps? I think those two steps are key and once THAT is happening, I think the crib will go more easily for you.

      PS. When he wakes up screaming it’s most likely an object permanence thing which I believe is related to the paci. So back to my first point – I think everything you’re working on is really being complicated by the paci. So probably that needs to go first :(

      • Interesting! Yes I can see how the paci can be a problem. We always have to replace it for him to fall asleep. And when he does wake and I replace the paci he goes back to sleep. Shoot!!! Ok ill work on that.
        I have not put him in the swing with it off yet….I should try that too.
        I also did talk w someone regarding the day sleep and night sleep…swing/co sleep….It does make sense that that could be another problem.
        I thought about just letting him nap in my bed, but then what happens when he starts to crawl?? Another obstacle.
        Anyway thank you!! I really didn’t even consider that the paci could be a problem.

  20. Hello,
    I wrote to Alexis about this last week. Thank you for this posting! My 15 week old daughter will only sleep in her swing at night but actually naps in her crib. I felt that I needed to get her out of the swing because I was worried about her growing out of it. She’s only 13 pounds but when swaddled the straps are tight and piss her off and she would fight to get out. Well the good news is the motor went out on her swing. They sent a new swing that had longer straps. Yay. Now I’m trying to put her in the swing more drowsy than asleep. She usually screams and can’t settle herself down. It would take us 2-3 attemps at night to get her out. We started last weekend to swaddle her with one arm out because she’s been sucking her thumb. This has made things a little easier. We put her in it on level one. After an hour or so we turn it off and she sleeps just as well in it not moving. Next we’ll try and put her in it not moving. And then hopefully crib. Any other advice anyone?
    Love this site!

    • I would put her in the swing FULLY awake BEFORE turning the speed off. You don’t have to do this but it generally is easier to go that way vs. turn off swing and THEN put her in fully awake.

      Awesome work – sounds like you are in the homestretch!

  21. Alexis-

    I just wanted to tell you we tried all these steps and today my 7 month old fell asleep in her unmoving swing! That’s something I NEVER thought would happen, even when I read your article and started the process. I was pretty sure that when we got to this point she would just never fall asleep. She’s going on over an hour now! I guess at this point we can transition to the crib, but I’m worried about that too! Any tips for putting her in the crib? If she cries after I put her in should I let her CIO? There’s been no CIO since I started putting her in her swing awake because she always falls asleep. I’m just afraid she will reject her crib like always.

    • It’s hard to say. If she just complains about the crib for 10-15 minutes then I would say GREAT! Also I wouldn’t call that CIO. Most kids just complain a bit, “Hey this is new! I don’t like this! Hmmmm….zzzzzzz”

      Get her comfortable sleeping in a nonmoving swing for a few days and give it a go. She surprised you with this, she may surprise you with that too!

  22. Hello Alexis!

    My 5.5 month old son has been happily sleeping in his swing swaddled since he was 1 month old. He’s a big boy at 20 lbs and I am trying to work on transitioning him into the crib before he maxes out on the swing weight limit. Lately he has been breaking out of his swaddle, causing him to wake during naps and at night. I tried the one arm out thing and he wasn’t able to settle himself. Instead he wailed for more than 30 min before I gave up and reswaddled him as I didn’t want to resort to CIO for the goal of just one arm out of swaddle! I then resorted to the double swaddle. I think Im heading towards CIO soon as he is getting too big for his swing and the swaddle isn’t going to be useful to help transition him to the crib as he is breaking out of it even with it doubled up. My plan is to put him down in his crib at night with no swaddle and no swing cold turkey and let him cry. I feel horrible about it but I don’t know what else to do? I feel like if Im going to let him cry it out I might as well do it just once and be done with both swing and swaddle. Do you have any other suggestions? I just want to make it as easy as possible for him. I would love any input from you on this one!

    • I would stick with the swaddle. Find a way! I’ve swaddled 10 month old babies so it can be done. Extra large swaddling blanket, miracle blanket, etc. If he’s telling you he needs that soothing then give it to him! I wouldn’t look at it like “well we’ll have to do swaddle CIO later so let’s just get it over with now” – I would think more of “let’s give him the soothing he needs NOW so he doesn’t cry so much because when he’s older he wont’ NEED the swaddle so there won’t be any CIO for it when the time comes.”

      Most swaddle blankets are <$20 so if you can afford it, buy a few on amazon and see what works. People swear by the merlin miracle suit and those zipaddee thingies (I have no personal experience with both so that is word of mouth feedback). Maybe you experiment a little and see if you can’t find a workable compromise that keeps him from busting out and gives him what he needs?

      • The Mum 2 Mum Dream Swaddle is the only thing my baby can’t break out of. She’s been busting out of the miracle blanket since 8 weeks. The Dream Swaddle has arm flaps (like the Miracle blanket), a zipper AND velcro that goes over top of that. It’s awesome! She’s 5 months old now and out of the swaddle and in her Pack n Play at night (currently in the Magic Sleep Suit). For naps, though, she still sleeps in the Dream Swaddle in her swing. Gotta work on this swing transition business. Check out the Dream Swaddle, though, it’s full-proof! You can find it on Amazon.

  23. Hi Alexis – I am so glad I found out about your website from a fellow new mom at a breastfeeding support group at my hospital. I have been putting so much pressure on myself to transition my 8 week old out of his swings for naps and into his crib. He sleeps well at nights in his crib with 1-2 night feedings, we are trying to wean him to one. He had been sleeping semi well in his crib before I discovered he would sleep his entire nap in his swing. He would wake in crib always 30-45 minutes into his nap occasionally sleeping the entire nap in his crib. After I started putting him swing in the middle of his naps I feel like he got used to it and now when I have tried to put him down in his crib for naps he starts crying immediately. I will let him cry up to 1/2 hour and as soon as I pick him up and put him in swing he stops and falls asleep until I wake him up to feed. He will fall asleep in swing if I put him in there awake and on lowest speed. Sometimes we go in and turn the swing off and he still stays sleeping. My question is how long do we continue to let him sleep in it on the lowest speed before we try putting him a motionless swing to sleep. Or do we continue to turn swing off mid-nap when he falls asleep? If and when he falls asleep in a motionless swing how many days until you transition to crib? Do you wait until they fall asleep in motionless crib and move them to crib asleep or do you start nap off in crib with them awake? Sorry for the rambling. Thank you thank you!!!

    • Honey,

      Am I reading this correctly – you have an 8 WEEK old? He just came out like yesterday! Seriously. He’s an itty bitty little baby.

      For starters you are welcome to try to get him down to 1 feeding. If it doesn’t work it’s because he’s still tiny. Wait a little before you try again. He’ll get there. 2X a night at 8 weeks is actually pretty awesome :)

      As for the swing, most babies are out by 3 months. But if your naps go to hell in a handbasket I would stick with the swing a little longer. Your short term homework is to REALLY master “put down awake.” When you are putting him down awake ALL the time (night, naps, etc.) you have conquered a HUGE hurdle. Then you start to diddle with the crib. See how it goes. Listen to your gut. He may need the swing a little longer. Or he may be ready. Who knows?

      Babies are a mystery :)

  24. Hello!

    I just found your blog and love it so far! I am actually attempting to transition my 2.5 month old daughter to non-moving swing sleep.

    A couple of weeks ago I moved her to an earlier bedtime (7:30ish). She sleeps in her bassinet at night, usually for about 4-5 hours, wakes to feed, and then sleeps another 4 hours. I think this is probably average for her age?

    She is a great napper in a moving swing. When she first shows tired signs, I can put her in awake, swaddled or unswaddled, and she falls asleep in a short time with minimal/no fussing. If I keep the swing on, she can nap for up to 2+ hours.

    I read Dr. Weissbluth’s book “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” and a lot of it makes sense to me. It’s what inspired me to give her an earlier bedtime. He says several times that motionless sleep is best and the more restorative than swing sleep. His suggestion is to put the baby in the swing with it on, but then turn it off after she falls asleep.

    This is what I’ve been doing…and it’s not working very well. I started swaddling her all the time for swing naps, and use white noise. She still falls asleep easily, and generally stays asleep when I first turn the swing off. But then the nap is very short. She is up anywhere from 20-45 minutes after I put her down. I think it’s a sleep cycle issue, and without the swing to lull her back to sleep, she wakes up between cycles.

    What to do? I don’t know if the short motionless naps are better than the long swinging naps. After reading your blog I’m going to put the swing on the lowest speed instead of turning it off, but as you mentioned, the difference in speeds is kind of negligible. Any tips would be appreciated!

    • I’m in the exact same boat as Kate (right down to the Weissbluth comments), and would love to hear any advice. So far I’ve been taking the longer motion sleep over brief naps without motion because my little guy (just over 4 months) seems better rested that way (I think, anyway). Wish the book addressed that issue.

      **A tip regarding swing speed — I have the Fisher Price Snugabunny and have the same issue with the swing speed difference (even level 1 is a lot of motion). A way to help is to drape something like a blanket so that it hangs down off of the swing. It will dramatically slow the swing down. Here’s what the manual for the swing says: “If the low setting provides too much swinging motion for your child, try placing one end of a blanket underneath your child and let the other end of the blanket drape down while swinging.” (page 21). Of course, you have to be careful about blankets and such in the sleep space. I’ve been putting the blanket on the front-end only, under his swaddled legs, which seems to work well, but you might try a different method of dangling something if you’re not comfortable. I’ve just started trying this to see if it helps get him down to motionless.

    • Hey Kate,
      Personally I love Weissbluth.

      Except for that bunk about the “motionless sleep.” He basically says that sleep+motion=bad sleep because HE can’t sleep in the car, airplane, etc. Um….what? I mean we’re adults. We can’t sleep with swaddles or pacifiers either. The truth is that babies have very unique circumstances for sleep that in no way mirror our own.

      So he has created this rush to get to motionless sleep. To which I respond – which do you think is better, a 2 hour swing nap or a 30 minute crib nap? Truly the choice is yours. But I know which one I prefer!

      At 2.5 months I would embrace the swing for naps. She’s rocking in it. She’s sleeping like a champ. This is all great stuff. She won’t need it forever.

      As for nights, they seem a tad short no? If she goes to bed at 7:30 and sleeps in 2 4-hour chunks then her night is only 8 hours long and she’s starting the day at what, 4:00 AM? If she really IS waking up that early I would consider using the swing at 4:00 AM to eek out a few hours of “night” sleep for everybody.

      Good luck!

  25. Hello, first of all thank you thank you thank you for all the great advice! We have been successful so far with putting our 6 month old down in his swing and it’s now turned off and he’s ready for the switch to his crib. I had planned on doing this tonight, but he’s come down with a bad cold and I’m wondering if I should put it off until he feels better? If I don’t hear anything back just yet I suppose I’ll leave him in his swing at night until I do hear something or until he feels at least a bit better. Any advice would be helpful, thanks!
    Laura and baby Henry

    • Oh and I have an add on..this kid is used to having a comforter and footy PJ’s on him while he sleeps. I went to a small light blanket in the swing, how should I dress him in the crib and what would be too much? We live in Florida so the heat rarely comes on but it does get a little chilly at night sometimes!

    • Hey Laura,
      Henry is probably IN his crib by now but just to follow up – no blankets in cribs for babies under 1. Generally the BEST case is that they get tangled up in it (and upset about that). It also presents a slight SIDS risk. So if it’s cold (BTW I’m writing you from VT so I have a hard time worrying that your baby will be freezing his toes off in FLORIDA!) I would use jammies, t-shirt layers, or sleep sacks to keep him toasty.

      Generally cooler is better anyway. Overheating baby is also a slight SIDS risk. And when they get hot and sweaty they don’t sleep well. So I wouldn’t sweat him being frozen, probably he’s just fine. But if you’re worried bundle him up in a nice fleece sleep sack. Good luck!

  26. Hi

    First of all thank you for teaching me the varsity swing technique. It saved our mental stability. Our baby was sleeping in our bed the first 4 weeks and it was a mess. We were uncomfortable with all the noises she made and for some reason past week 2 the swing was not working. So we tried the varsity technique and it worked like magic. So we have been doing that for the past few weeks and baby is 7 weeks tomorrow. When she goes into her swing she is very tired with eyes closed and swaddled. We dont have to rock her before hand but she has to be tired and eyes closed. She doesnt do the pacifier very much. Anyway we really wanted to transition her into her crib as of 5.5 weeks. So we started with her initial sleep set in the swing and then we put her in the crib for the rest of the night and all her naps. That worked. At this point, as of the past week, she sleeps 4 – 5 hours in the swing and then the rest of the 6 hours in the crib with one wake up in between so 2 sessions of three hours. Also all the naps which are between 30 – 2 hours are in the crib. The problem occurs when we try to get her initial sleep set in the crib. She usually goes to sleep around 11pm and every time we try to put her in the crib even if we rock her to sleep first, it just does not work. We can try till past midnight and still she wakes up 5 – 10 minutes later freaking out. So we finally have to resort to the swing and then the rest of the night in the crib. Why is it so difficult for her to initially fall asleep in the crib but not the rest of the times. I dont want her addicted to the swing. What would you suggest I do.

    Thank you

    • Hey Agnes,

      I’m not going to answer your question and instead am going to share with you something that is jumping out at me here.

      He’s a NEWBORN! He just was born like 5 minutes ago. Sure there are times to sweat getting baby out of the swing. But when your baby is 7 weeks old you need to just roll with what works. Also? What works today won’t work tomorrow so then you’ll have to find a NEW “what works”. So for today I would relax about the swing, enjoy that it is working for bedtime, and listen to what your baby is telling you. Which is that for today, he’s not ready to fall asleep in the crib.

      Will he be ready for the crib eventually? Yes. I am 100% confident of that. Is he ready at 7 weeks? Nope. Are most babies ready at 7 weeks? Nope. Are you doing great? Yep. Is your baby healthy and sleeping well? Yes.

      So there you go :)

  27. Hi Alexis,
    I am so happy I found your website , so my darling daughter was sleeping from 9-3 or 4 nursed and went back to bed until 7, she started that at about 5 weeks, now at almost 4 months we are a total mess with bed time, it all started when I went back to work when she was 8 weeks.
    Slowly she started waking up earlier and earlier, We have a solid bedtime routine that we have had since about 2 weeks. We bathe her , massage, pajamas, we had the swaddle before and she started breaking out so we stopped that about a week ago,. Anyways about three weeks ago she started waking up about every two hours, I then being a working mom and exhausted got tired and started bringing her to bed with me, in the Nap nanny or co sleeper. Now she is up every two or three hours, in my bed exclusively and I need to remedy this problem. I am not saying cosleeping is wrong but its not for me, I want her in her crib and nighttimes my husband isn’t much help. She also has a very strong willed personality, when I do try to let her CIO in the least we will get more and more hysterical, No she LOVES her swing, awake asleep whatever she loves it, so I moved the swing in her room tonight and I put her in their with white noise right after her bedroom routine, I dont feel comfortable with the swaddle as one she breaks out of it and two I cant buckle her and she will flail her body when she wakes up. I am going to try and slowdown the swing in hopes that she will then transition to the swing, so here are my questions

    How much should I slow her down each night?
    Should I nurse and then bathe do she goes down awake, she usually falls asleep eating?
    Should I potentially try an incline in her crib?
    Should my mom work on napping in the crib during the day?
    Thank you in advance!

    • Hey Jenn,

      There is a lot going on here so I suspect that your challenges are sort of the result of a few things going on. One thing is this:

      I wouldn’t let her cry, it’s unlikely to get the result you are hoping for. And she may very well BE super hungry.

      I would definitely swaddle her however. Swaddle, loud white noise, swing. You can definitely buckle her in while swaddled – you just don’t swaddle her legs. Which is totally find as the benefit from swaddling is everything about the arms. So leave her legs out, buckle her in, and swaddle TIGHTLY (try double swaddling if she’s busting out). If she loves the swing then why not embrace it for now? She’s still little – just 4 months, right?

      So while you’re asking me questions about weaning OFF the swing, it seems like given your “up constantly unwilling co-sleeping” stuff going on, your first step should be getting her to sleep. At all. And if the swing helps achieve that goal then AWESOME!

      Once she and you are sleeping, THEN you move on to “put down awake and not nurse to sleep.” That’s a biggie. The swing can be really helpful with that.

      Once you’ve mastered THAT, THEN you start dialing down the swing speed. OK?

      If sleep is a mess I don’t know that I would work on crib naps right now. IF she naps like a champ in the crib – GREAT! IF she doesn’t but WILL in the swing – GREAT!

      I wouldn’t sweat the incline crib – rarely works, babies just slide down. Also you have a napnanny yes? So if you feel she needs to be held upright (suspicion of reflux?) then why not use the fancy nap nanny you already have?

      Hope that helps. Work + babies – sleep = stressful exhaustion. It’ll get better :)

  28. Hi Alexis,
    Your blog has been a huge help – thank you! My son was sleeping through the night from 3-4 1/2 months but then slowly started waking up a few times then about a month ago (at right about 6 months old) it was every 30-45 minutes. We were definitely putting him down asleep in the crib then and going in and soothing him with our hands until he went back down each time ( learned our lesson after reading your article about object permenance). After two weeks of every 30-45 minutes it got old (he is now 7 months old), I found your blog and started the swing approach. We have white noise going in his room, swing is facing the crib, turn the fan on, put him in the swing awake and give him a pacifier. He has slept in the swing at bedtime for ten nights now, for the past three nights he has gone down awake with the swing not moving and no jiggling or anything, just put himself to sleep and has slept for 10 1/2 – 11 1/2 hours each night (we have seen or heard him wake up on the monitor but he has been soothing himself back down within a couple minutes). So we are transitioning to the crib tonight which I am a little nervous about. If he does wake up in the middle of the night tonight and doesn’t calm himself down within the usual few minutes, is it best to go in and soothe him without picking him up or let him cry or something else?

    It has been going so well that I don’t want to ruin it!! Also for nap time we have been using the swing almost always (I’d be lying if I said there haven’t been some naps in the car the last ten days). Usually at nap time it still takes jiggling, coaxing, sometimes my hand to calm him down, etc. If he does take s nap, it usually only lasts 30 minutes or so. If he is really fighting the nap, I try for up to an hour without taking him out of the swing but if it doesn’t work after an hour 15 or more I usually just take him out and go about our day. Should I also wait until he is sleeping without movement or coaxing in the swing for naps before transitioning to the crib? Any suggesstions on a more efficient way to encourage naps with or without the swing?

    Thanks for all your help!!

    • Hey Christy,
      Well it’s been a few days so I’m assuming you’ve already figured out what to do if he wakes up. Personally I might go in for 1-2 minutes of soothing (jiggle the crib, pat his back like a tom tom, etc.) but nothing super involved. There might be some mild complaining at 2:00 AM but generally it’s not a nightmare CIO scene or anything.

      As for the napping thing I wouldn’t try for more than ~20 minutes. If it’s been ~20 minutes and nothing is happening probably both he and you are pretty frustrated. Time to move on.

      If you’re having a rough nap time some things to think about:
      – Timing of naps. Is it too early? Too late?
      – Is the room REALLY dark? Kids this age are easily distracted. DARK room. LOUD white noise.
      – Is your involvement helping or hurting? Have you tried swaddling him up, turning on the swing, and walking out for 10 minutes? 15? What happens then?

      If he wants to spend time with you (he does) and not sleeping keeps you around, he’ll fight you every time. I’m thinking that if you remove yourself from the equation you may have better luck.

      Good luck!

  29. Alexis — These are really great tips. Two more things:

    1) I found was that as my daughter gained weight, the swing wasn’t *able* to swing as hard as she got older, so there was some built in weaning off the motion just because our baby got bigger.

    2) When we first tried using the swing, for some reason it didn’t occur to my husband and me that faster = more soothing. What can I say, we were dumb. Maybe just point that out (it is pretty obvious from this post, but we were REALLY REALLY dumb) so that someone else won’t suffer the same fate as we did.

    • I’m pretty sure I talk about dialing up the speed in my big swing post (below). Although I haven’t looked at it in a year so maybe I should check in and see what the hell I was talking about back then.

      Most people are weirded out by the sight of their little baby swinging around in there. But you’re totally right – they LOVE it.

      And yes big babies slow the swing down enormously!

  30. I’m having a very hard time trying to get my 5 month old son to nap. Up until the last month he has always napped in his swing and they would last anywhere from 1.5 – 2 hours. I have always put him down awake for naps and recently have has success putting him down awake at night, we changed up his bed time routine so he eats then bath, book and bed. The last few weeks I can only get him to sleep 30minutes in his swing, so we are trying to transition him to his crib for naps and he crys for over 20-30 minutes and maybe falls asleep for 30minutes as well. The only time he has a good nap is when i put him in the stroller and go for a walk. I know that he’s sleepy but just seems to fight to stay awake durning the day.

    • Hi Rachel,
      Apparently all babies will reach an age where bouncing/rocking is more irritating than it is helpful for sleep. I would say your baby is giving you signs of this, but he’s just not ready to give it up for good. Hopefully this transition period won’t last long!

    • Naps do ebb and flow like this. If he refuses to sleep or CAN’T navigate longer sleep for now, it may just be what it is.

      Also as babies get older make sure they’re in a DARK room with LOUD white noise. They’re way more interested in the world around them now so any source of distraction will work against you. Some older babies practically need to sleep in a sensory deprivation tank!

  31. Anyone else out there having trouble just weaning baby off the swing-jiggling?! I feel as though I have simply introduced another crutch that my LO cannot do without :(

    • Yes – that’s the new crutch. And as others can attest to, sitting there jiggling the swing in a crouch position is super uncomfortable. And if you think THATs bad, wait till he has a really strong sleep association with it and you’re doing it all night long. It’s a big mess. Although I HAVE heard that it can do wonders to tone up your biceps. So there’s that I suppose.

      If baby is used to sleeping in the swing and has lots of other soothing – swing, white noise, swaddle – then I would be inclined to test the waters a little. Do your soothing nap routine, put baby in swing, turn swing on, walk out. Set a timer. Wait 10-15 minutes. What happens?

      Don’t give up after 1 try. Try many times a day for a few days. See what happens. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

      If not, please don’t mention it here because I want everybody to think my advice is infallible. Thanks ;P

      • Haha thanks :) I have been trying actually without the jiggling, both for naps and at night, and the weird thing is that SOMETIMES it works… most of the time not. Usually she starts to cry and it goes downhill VERY quickly from there :( I try to do it in such a way that I jiggle only VERY slightly at the beginning before she even gets drowsy, then switch to regular swinging so that that is what she remembers falling asleep to…. however, I’m starting to worry that she knows bloody well that jiggling + shushing = mommy, because even if I jiggle her into a drowsy state, as SOON as I stop she immediately cries again….. perhaps it is getting better very very slowly, and I’m just too tired to see? I hope we get out of it before she develops object permanence or I’m in deep S*&% :p

  32. Hi Alexis,
    Thanks for being a swing advocate! It is the only way my little one can get quality sleep in the day. It seems that we are on a good path so far of putting bubs down awake, and having swing naps with a clear sleep routine, and bassinet night sleeping with a different routine – of course I worry about the eventual transition to crib for both. Do you know why so many babies sleep well flat and non-moving at night, but need motion during the day?

    Also, we are going away for Christmas this year, and will not have access to a swing for 6 days! He will be 12 weeks by the time we leave. What would you suggest for naps during this time? I think he can probably handle the nights in a travel cot, but the days are going to be bad with all the Christmas commotion and relatives wanting to hold him, play with him, etc.

    • If he’s only 12 weeks old and it’s only 6 days I would probably vote for car naps or babywearing. Especially as you’ll have relatives who would probably just love to strap on a baby and walk around for naptime while you go to the movies or what have you 😉 So take advantage of the opportunity!

      Naps are harder to come by than night sleep because at night there is a whole slew of biochemical processes that make sleep happen. You don’t have all that going for you at nap time so you need to make up for it in the form of MORE SOOTHING. You can make naps happen in the crib but sometimes it means making them a lot shorter. So then people ask me, “I want baby in a crib but then he only naps 20 minutes and is miserable all day. But he’ll take a 2 hour nap in the swing. Fix this!”

      What can I fix? It’s a choice. How important is the crib to you? How important is decent naps?

      Usually by 6 months they’re napping OK in the crib though so your day will come :)

  33. Hi Alexis! My daughter(8 months) has been falling asleep in a non moving swing now for 2 months. She still won’t sleep in her crib! In assuming she’s just being stubborn now- what do I do?!

    • Do you have any reason to suspect that the angle is helpful to her (tummy issues/reflux)? If not I guess you could just force the issue by making the crib happen. There might be some crying but typically it’s not a horror show. Admittedly at 8 months you are in prime separation anxiety land so that might compound things.

      But I would try doing my soothing routine, put her in the crib, and leave. What happens? Does she cry for 20 minutes then fall asleep? If so I would call that success. She may cry for a few days but it won’t be forever.

      Sorry I don’t have any tear free fix – my best thoughts on this are in this post (I didn’t keep any super secret strategies out of it).

  34. Hi Alexis!
    I wanted to follow up with a success story {in progress} + hopefully offer others some hope. (I know I read all the comments as well as all the articles whenever I come hear, searching for as much info as I can!)

    I can’t find my original comment to you, but it was on one of the swing articles. At 2 months, my ped had encouraged me to try and get my son out of the swing where he was happily sleeping for 7-8 glorious hours at night, and 2-3 super long day naps, and in to the crib. I had tried for a week (!!!) and was super consistent but nobody was getting any sleep. Your advice was to give him a little longer – try again in a few months and to follow the techniques you listed above. I gave him all of month 3 to sleep in the swing and just get as much quality sleep as possible. At the 3 month mark, I started following these recommendations to a T – slowing the swing down and eventually having him fall asleep, drowsy but awake, in a motionless swing. I couldn’t believe how great he slept even with the swing off at that point. It also happened naturally around this time that he stopped using a paci and discovered his hands, so I was able to drop the nighttime paci and shortly after, swaddle him with his arms out. (I used the sleepsack by halo with the wings so I could still swaddle his body. We also have white noise machine going strong.) At his 4 month birthday, I said a little prayer and into the crib he went (for nighttime sleep.) I was AMAZED at how much better it went than when I had tried at 2 months. It took about 3 nights with some protesting and more frequent waking up, but soon he was back to sleeping 7pm-5am, 5:30am-7:30 am. (And I just read your post about night weaning and the 5 am feed, which is a WHOLE other story.) I’ve started introducing the crib for one nap a day and he takes the other 2 in a motionless swing, but I’m not nearly as stressed about getting him into the crib for those naps as I was before.

    Also, when I visited his peds at his 4 month appt, she was pleased about the crib at night but not concerned at all about the swing for naps. (And I just want to add for anyone reading this, that you did – in your response to me – encourage me to take my doctor’s advice into consideration as well as yours.)

    Anyways, I just wanted to thank you because you gave me the perspective to take a step back and not rush him into the crib and follow his cues for when he was ready. I felt like it was so important to get him into the crib but I was really sacrificing his quality sleep when I tried too early. I hope if anyone reads this, they feel reassured that the swing weaning techniques really do work and it’s okay to give your baby the time they need to get there! Thank you so much for your advice + this amazing site.

    (Now about that 5 am feed… yawn!)
    Thank you,

    • Thank you soooo much for sharing this. In fact I really wish I had the technical capability to PIN this to the top of the comments to anybody LOOKING at the comments here would see this first. Because probably 40,000 people will read this post (not a typo, nobody is more surprised by these numbers than I am) and 39,999 are freaking out about getting out of the swing and your comment is the perfect thing for them.

      (That remaining 1 dude is looking for sex swings and frankly, we don’t care about him now do we 😉

      • Hi! Updating again to tell you that we are officially in the crib for ALL night (12 hours) and 3 naps (a 2 hr, 1.5 hr, and 1 hr nap.)

        I swear to you, at 2 months old, I thought this child would never, ever, ever sleep in his crib. I am so thankful I found your blog. First, it allowed me to stop feeling guilty about using the swing and realize that the quality of sleep he was getting (and WE were getting) was the best thing for everyone.

        Second, you gave me the road map for when it was time to get out of the swing and into the crib. We did the night time first, then his first morning nap, then his evening nap… and lastly his afternoon nap. Each one took a few days of “protesting” (crying) but after a day or two, he would get the hang of it.

        Hurrah hurrah! Thank you for your help. We talk about you on a first name basis around this house, so just know you’re basically part of the family.

        And I hope if anyone else has any qualms about using the swing and getting out of it, they’ll trust the process!

  35. I am writing to you in a haze of confusion….

    our 5-month old has been sleeping in the swing at night for only around a week (we have been cosleeping for months) and during the day for around 2 months. I was starting to worry because we are traveling back to Europe for Christmas to see our families and cannot bring the swing on the plane with us. I thought she needed the movement in place of my boob and that without either, she would simply not sleep.

    Tonight, on a whim, I decided to pop her into the cot (drowsy but eyes open) to see what would happen. I swaddled her like normal (one arm out), I put on the usual white noise, I put her familiar blanket over her, and gave her the arm of a soft-toy to hold. She protested very slightly so I sh’d in her ear and jiggled her a bit as she lay there and she went to sleep within about 3 minutes!!!!!

    So apparently she does not need to be attached to me, OR to be in a moving swing to fall asleep. She needs the initial jiggling and sh-ing, just as in the swing, but further than that, nothing. I am VERY surprised….

    so maybe to others worrying about weaning off the
    swing, it might be worth trying every so often just to see if your baby REALLY cares? Of course the goal is to have them fall asleep ALONE, but now she’s in the cot, I can simply tone down the sh-ing and jiggling rather than doing that in the swing.

    Maybe this is all just a once-off, and tomorrow she will be thrashing about in the cot as though it’s full of snakes…. however it has been an hour and she hasn’t woken up, so I’m off to watch something trashy on the internet :)

    • When you wrote, “a haze of confusion” I thought you were going to follow up with terrible news. Instead what you have is a ROUSING SUCCESS. Congratulations!

      And you’ve stumbled across one of the GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT BABIES. Which is….

      What didn’t work yesterday, will work today.

      As adults it’s hard to imagine how immensely rapidly they are changing. So 1 month time for them is more like 10 years for us. So instead of getting frozen by fear, or letting a “failed attempt” lock us into unhappy sleep scenes for eternity, you need to take a “test the waters” approach. If it doesn’t work? *shrug* wait a little bit, see what happens.

      Thanks so much for sharing! Hope you found some good Internet trash to enjoy!!!

  36. What are the signs that it might be a food time to transition into the crib? My 14 week old loves to be swaddled and sleeps great. 2-3 hr nap and sleeps from 8-3am and 4-7am or sometimes even 8-6am. I want her in the crib but at the same time don’t know why, other than that’s what us conventional. She can almost roll over so shouldn’t I wean her if swaddle before crib due to SIDS? So overwhelmed !

    • Btw when she goes in the crib she will chill fit about 30 mon and stare at the mobile. But she never looks sleepy in crib. If she is swaddled in crib she fights to get out but she loves to be swaddled in the swing. she slept from 8-5 last night. Oh what to do… 😉

      • I would do 2 things:
        1) Turn down the speed. If it works – GREAT! If not, wait a week.
        2) Flipping while swaddled is harder than flipping with hands free. So yes you want to be alert for the whole swaddle flipping thing but it’s not a guarantee that it’ll happen. Also there are some swaddle-weaning products that peeps are raving about (my favorite is the merlin magic sleep suit – not because of anything it does, I just like the name 😉 So you have some crib options when the time comes!

  37. Hi Alexis,
    What type of timeline is typical for making the transition from swing to crib? Meaning for how many days should I let my baby sleep in moving swing, then switch to slower speed, to non moving, to crib? 1 week? 2? Does it all just depend on the baby? I don’t want to rush it and then ruin the work I’ve done so far so I wanted to get an idea. Thanks!

    • Great question. I’m currently weaning swaddle in swung and it is working well. Next in the agenda is following the steps. Would love to know the answer to. Am also curious if there is any success with skipping the step of putting in non moving swing and moving directly to crib

    • Dial down the speed. Does she sleep like usual or start waking up all night long? If the former then YAY – go ahead and turn it down further. If the later – OK she’s not ready, wait a week. Try again.

      There is no hard and fast rule. I get that you’re looking for, “Wait until 372 hours have passed, broil a nice chicken but ONLY if the moon is full, then try dialing down the swing” guide but it really is a bit of feeling out how things are going and how much soothing YOUR baby needs right?

  38. Hi Alexis, I’ve been co-sleeping & nursing to sleep, my baby is 5 months. I decided to try your swing method. I know it’s not going to happen right away as you’ve explained but I have a few questions. I moved the swing next to my bed, my daughter cries & screams in it, I put her in awake as suggested. I have the white noise blaring. No swaddle as she always hated them. My question is: do I take her out the swing then keep trying (she wakes up 5 times overnight do I keep trying) or wait till the following day. I feel like I may as well go straight to the crib with all the screaming. Basically I’m doing CIO in the swing. Please help!! Should I keep trying multiple times in one evening or should I take it as my daughter just hates a swing and perhaps time I get rid of it??! Also, I did nurse her to sleep and try the nursing till drowsy before putting her in. She either wakes one hour later screaming or screams straight away:-(((
    One more thing, should I stay in the room? I have been and each time I look at her she cries even more.
    Perhaps it’s a shock after co-sleeping?

    • Hey Tamara,
      It’s been a month so probably you’ve moved on to (hopefully) a successful option. But the bottom line is that you skipped a step.

      See your daughter was used to co-sleeping AND being nursed to sleep. Ideally you would have only changed one thing – in this case swapping from co-sleeping to swing sleeping. Personally I would have STUCK with the nurse to sleep and just focused on getting her to actually SLEEP in the swing (vs. co-sleeping). Once that was locked then I would have moved on to weaning off the “nurse=sleep” thing.

      So we’ll never know if the swing could have solved your problem because I think you tried to change too much too quick and as you said, ended up just doing CIO in the swing (which isn’t always a horrible idea).

      For what it’s worth, she’s not in “shock” after co-sleeping :)

  39. I don’t know if I can adequately put into words how much I love this website and your philosophy. It’s like you climbed into my own brain and observed my children/parenting, then added in a bunch of extra knowledge, research and humour, and hit publish.

    I was hit hard by the newborn sleep bus with my first (a very spirited, short-napping sleep-resister). I read every sleep book out there. I knew the lingo … the 45-minute sleep cycles, the overtiredness, the cues, the CIO positions from both extremes, from Ferber to AP. While I did gain some helpful insight from the Baby Whisperer and a few others, I still felt it wasn’t all really practical or applicable, and that they wagged their fingers at every sleep prop/crutch I was drawn to BECAUSE THEY WORKED(co-sleeping, swings, swaddling, pacifiers). I ordered my miracle blanket when she was 10 weeks old and never looked back. What a lifesaver! She and my second child each took until almost a year to sleep through the night, and we did gradual transitioning from full co-sleeping to full crib-sleeping.

    I now have a 2-month-old newborn, my third child, and I’ve come a long way. She is currently sleeping beside me on the couch, wrapped happily in a tight swaddle, paci plugged in, white noise app blaring beside her (usually she naps in the swing, but evening catnaps and bedtime seem more flexible). So I felt pretty wonderful when I came across your site yesterday (googled “nap consolidation”) and was validated that everything I’m doing is right, and that I don’t need to feel guilty for using all of these tools, and don’t need to attempt a plan until she’s over 3 months. I can’t even tell you HOW good it feels to hear that my instincts have all been bang-on and that I’m not the only one experiencing all of these exact things!! Every new post I read makes me want to jump for joy because I relate to it so much. I’ve been putting together this puzzle for years, and you just brought me all the final pieces (the whys, the whens, the hows). Now I can go forward in confidence, with a rough timeline and plans, and rationale behind each weaning step. I was a little in the dark with my first two, not really knowing when to break the dependencies or the best way to go about it.
    So thank you. Thank you thank you thank you. Your site has been more helpful and encouraging to me in the past 2 days than any parenting book I’ve read! I’m recommending it to every parent I know!

    • Haley,
      I’m home sick with the flu and have generally been a shuffling grump sniffling around my house for a week like a troll in a cave that desperately needs an in-depth cleaning. And your comment brought the first smile to my face since ages.

      Your experience is pretty much my own and in a large part how TT got started. I would literally weep at all the finger-wagging in these books because nothing was working and they suggested that I needed to stop what WAS working.

      So thank you for sharing with me because I definitely have days (like today, day #5 in the bathrobe) where I wonder why I bother? And your comment – this right here – THIS is why I bother.

      Cheers :)

      • Glad I could make you smile! It’s so great that you have put your experiences here on the internet and formed a community where we can all add our input. Like you say, it takes a village.

        We just got back from a trip to Florida and I definitely packed multiple swaddle blankets, iphone with white noise, and my graco travel swing (carseat snug glider – all the bars popped apart fit just fine in a suitcase!). In the whole week, my almost-4-month-old didn’t miss a SINGLE nap. Other than the plane ride and airports, I didn’t need to hold her for any naps or rock her to sleep. I just wrapped her, popped in the soother, and walked away. LOVE IT. We were staying with my inlaws and I think they were shocked at how happy and easy she was. The first 2 months of her life, she was not an easy or happy baby!!

        Do you find most babies at the 4-month mark are reaching the three-nap routine? so far it’s been two short morning naps, a longer afternoon nap, and one or two evening catnaps with a bedtime around 9 or 10. Now she’s able to be awake longer (2 hours as opposed to 1-1.5) so I’m thinking she seems ready for a single longer morning nap, long afternoon nap, dinner time catnap and earlier bedtime.

        I recently wrote a post about what I wish I had known before having a baby. Hope you enjoy (feel free to pass along to readers if you want)!:

  40. I actually came across your site when researching sleep regression. My 13 month old got a cold over Holiday Break, and is now waking Up in the middle of the night, screaming. As if that’s not hard enough, he’s screaming, “Mama, Mama, Mama!” Over and over in his most pathetic and tear wrenching voice. Thankfully it’s only taken me 39 minutes to get him back to sleep… I do go in to console, but gosh did he get mad when I left.
    In any case, your site is fabulous, and I wish I’d found it about 9 months ago! Heck, 13 months ago!

    • Thanks :)

      And of course he’s calling in his most wrenching voice. If he just calmly babbled and sucked on his toes nothing would happen. See? Smart baby you have there :)

  41. Hi Alexis,

    My baby is currently 5 and half months old, he’s a very good sleeper in the crib at night, i usually put my baby to sleep in his crib at 7:30 and once i put him down he fall asleep on his own in just 5 mins and wake up at 6:30am. But my problem is he’s used to taking naps in the swing during the day and afternoon usually for 3hrs in the morning and 3hrs in afternoon. I tried to train him for a nap in the crib with the same techniques i used when trained him sleeping at night in the crib but for napping it seems like its not working. He only sleeps for 10 or 15mins and doesn’t know how to go back to sleep again. I really want him so sleep longer. What do i have do? I need your help.

    • Vyan,

      Three hours is ASTOUNDING. So he’s napping for 6 hours a day? That’s a ton. I can’t promise you that you’ll EVER get 6 hours of sleep in a crib.

      But I’ll suggest this – lots of babies swing nap till there a bit older and if your using the gradual methods I describe here (putting in swing awake, gradually dialing down the speed, etc.) and getting nowhere I would wait a few weeks then try again. It’s not really a crisis yet right? I mean there’s no harm in letting him nap in there a little longer.

      Sometimes you’re just a bit more eager to make a change then they are.

  42. Hi Alexis,

    My baby is 4.5 months old and the swing has been a lifesaver for us. I’ve followed all your steps and I can now get him to fall asleep on his own (without crying) in a non-moving swing. However, if the swing isn’t moving, he will wake up and cry almost hourly. I’ve gone back to keeping the swing on (speed #1) all night long. Do you think he is waking up because of a sleep regression? I know it is not a growth spurt, as he is not eating more often. Should I just try again to have him sleep in a non-moving swing in a few weeks? I will sleep train him in his crib (CIO) at six months old, but only if I have to.

    • Hey Jen,

      Why are you talking CIO? That shouldn’t even be on your radar. You’ve done ALL this great work – why assume the worst!

      So he can’t quite sleep (stay asleep) in a non moving swing. So what! Let the swing swing for another week or so then test the waters again. My read is that he just needs a little more soothing to navigate sleep cycles. This could be exacerbated by a growth spurt or something. Regardless my answer is the same – let him swing a little longer. Try later. Assume the best. He’ll get there!

  43. Hi Alexis,

    Thank you for this great post. I have read many (perhaps not all) of the comments on this post and it seems that perhaps some individuals are having the same issues as I am to wean my little guy off the swing. He’s almost a year old now and has been religiously napping in his swing for months (lifesaver!). Recently, the motor gave out on the swing so we’ve basically gone to naps in the swing with only a gently nudge at the beginning from mom with our white noise on. He’s put into the swing fully awake with his lovey and falls asleep just fine. His swing lives next to his crib in his room. However, our problem lies in trying to get him to nap in his crib. He will not give himself a chance to wind down. The second I put him down, he stands up and starts to cry. He will not let up after 15-20mins crying. Other info for you – we sleep trained him around 6 months and he was sleeping through the night like a champ. Then, he learned to stand and we’ve had to re-train him a few times since this milestone. He’s not been the same since and wakes usually once a night…another WIP! Anyhow, wondering if you have any insight onto how to help him nap in his crib. He does this stand and cry thing in the middle of the night as well. I have yet to see him sit down on his own. BTW, he’s fully mobile – walking, climbing, so it’s not that he lacks the ability to sit down on his own.

    • So if you put him in the swing he falls asleep solo without a peep. But if you put him in his crib he screams for 15-20 minutes? That’s um..well that’s sort of unique. What happens after 20 minutes – does he fall asleep? Or is that when you go get him?

      I’ll be honest you have me stumped with that. I mean certainly you could just plunk him in his crib and let him work it out. And yes I could argue that the 12 months of great sleep and no tears was worth whatever rough few days you have to go through while he gets over his “stand and protest” thing. Or you could wait a month and try again.

      I’ve never heard of a kid napping in a moving swing longer than 13 months (full disclosure that was MY kid and he had reflux so keeping him upright was a big deal for us). And nobody has ever come CLOSE to touching my record. Until now you 😉

      It sounds like you’ve done all the right things. Thus you deserve an easy transition. I’m sorry this is not the case.

      My only real suggestion is to figure out what he loves about the swing. Maybe it’s the feeling of being cuddled – the crib feels to big and wide for him. So how can we help him feel cuddled in the crib? What about a woombie? Or a merlin magic sleep suit? Again I can’t promise anything but frankly that’s all I can come up with.

      Let me know how things work out for you, OK?

  44. This made me laugh: “The average US baby weighs 7.5 lbs at birth and will hit 21+ lbs by their 1st birthday.”

    In our case, baby weighed 19.3 lb at the 4 month doctor visit… Our swing still swings, but only if the baby isn’t actually in it! Luckily for us, he never *needed* motion to fall asleep (though of course it helped), so we just got him out of the swing sooner rather than wait until he was too big for it.

    • Well that IS a true statistic! And for every 19 lb baby there’s a tiny little baby at 4 months too. Although I’m like you – parent to jumbo babies.

      • I’m sure it is!

        By the way, I should’ve mentioned that I think your site is great. I don’t share the same views you do on a couple of things, but I think you present a balanced, coherent and cogent perspective on baby sleep, and clearly know what you’re talking about. So I very much respect what you’ve done here, and I come back to reread various articles quite a bit.

  45. Alexis, your site and all your advice has been tremendously helpful to me! But we seem to be a little stuck. My daughter is just 5 months old. We followed your crib transition advice to a T. We had her peacefully falling asleep on her own in a non-moving swing for almost 2 weeks before we tried the crib. The first few nights went pretty well. Then, it got gradually worse every night. By the end of 2 weeks she was up every hour on the hour. We were so desperate for sleep (but so determined to make the crib work) that we started rocking/walking her to sleep again. As you can imagine, this only added to our problems because now she was used to us soothing her to sleep again. But I didn’t know what else to do because I thought 4 1/2 – 5 months was too young for CIO?

    After a few nights we caved, put her back in her swing and she slept 11 HOURS!!! Little stinker! So, is it possible she simply wasn’t ready for the crib yet and we should just try again in a few weeks? By the way, she does have a great bedtime routine, loud white noise, but no swaddle because she rolls over and she has never taken a paci. She is also a tummy sleeper. Thanks for any insight you can provide!

    • I would definitely wait a little because babies often have sleep problems around the 4 month mark. Also you mention she is a tummy sleeper. Is she getting stuck there? Some babies flop over on their tummies but then get stuck and will wake up. Or they FALL asleep better in that position but can’t STAY asleep. So I’m wondering if the tummy flipping isn’t somewhat to blame. IF it IS then the answer is to give her tons of tummy time during the day so hopefully she masters flipping both ways. ANd yep – try again in a few weeks 😛

  46. Is there a “window of opportunity” for swing weaning?

    My son is almost 7 months old. He sleeps swaddled in the swings for 3 naps a day and all night. With your help we have a good thing going with almost 4 hours of daytime sleep and 11 hours overnight with a dream feed and 1 time where he wakes me up to feed around 3 am. He almost never fusses or cries at all when falling asleep.

    This is a BIG improvement for me and honestly I’m hesitant to work on swaddle or swing weaning. I’ve tried 1 arm out a couple times and given up quickly because he had a hard time falling asleep. He’s napped in his crib twice for his short last nap of the day and been ok. I haven’t risked a long nap time. And the motor on our swing died and while I waited for the replacement motor he did fine in a non-moving swing.

    I can see myself just letting him sleep swaddled in his swing for the next couple months unless you tell me that if he’s still there by ___ months it will be an even harder habit to break.

    I hear about babies turning over or pulling up etc and having a hard time sleeping and I’m happy to skip those stages :) Thoughts?

  47. My baby will only sleep in a swing, my arms or on my chest. She is 3 months old and I can’t get her to sleep on her back. She has been colic and I have her on sensitive stomach formula. I put her down in her crib during the day and she will eventually go to sleep but only for 30 mins max… She wakes up and is still tired and cranky. What do I do?

  48. Steph, my baby was the same way, except she’d sleep like 1.5 hrs in my arms or maybe 30 minutes in the crib and those were my only 2 options. just stick to putting her in the crib at least once a day to get her used to it — prop her on her side if that seems more comfortable. my baby only wanted to sleep on her side until recently, and now at 5 months she can take full naps in the crib on her back. (i found that a beanbag works great for this too…. If your baby wakes up cranky, just wait it out for about an hour and try again. or let her sleep in the swing to get a good nap and try again tomorrow. eventually she’ll grow into long naps in the crib.

  49. We need help with our 5.5 month old. He sleeps decent, once he falls asleep, typical routine after he falls asleep is 8:30-1:30 in crib. Feed him and he sleeps till maybe 3 or 4. Then we move him to his rock an play mapper. Then around 5 or 6 when he wakes up again we move him to the swing.

    His major problem is getting him to sleep. We were doing good letting him fall asleep on his own after feeding at 7-7:30. We would blast white noise and he eventually would fall asleep. For the past two weeks, he has started teething and just 2 days ago a tooth started to break through. But for about 2 weeks, we have two issues, lately it’s been around bed time he goes completely nuts. After feeding him, he kinda falls asleep, but then wakes up and again goes completely nuts. We have to keep putting him in and out of swing just to get him to calm down. Finally after about an hour he starts to fall asleep And i can try to move him to the crib.
    We use sleep sack swaddles and have to keep fighting with arms in and out as he wants to rub his eyes, but won’t sleep with his arms out.

    We tried CIO, but after literally 5 or 10 minutes crying, he goes so nuts when I pick him up he starts throwing up. The on,y way we can get him to sleep for napsormbedtime is if he passes out eating, or 30-90 minutes in and out of swing. We put him down for a nap every two hours, but can’t let him cry too much As he just goes nuts, feet in the air crazy screaming and then throwing up.

    Any ideas? I am hoping this tooth coming in is his major problem. We tried switching to gentle ease and he just had terrible smelly farts.

  50. HUGE success story right here! my little one is 4 months old this week, and we’ve been doing your swing/soother/swaddle/white noise for the past month for naps, and it has worked very well. for the most part i can walk out of the room and she’ll drift off to sleep on her own, maybe complain for a few minutes or need the soother popped back in (big change from my older two, who at this age needed rocking, shushing, patting, etc until they were almost a year old). before i read your site, she was sleeping on me for almost every nap, or would wake up when set down, or would startle awake at 20 minutes or less. the swing has given us a reliable 45 minutes every time.

    i noticed that at bedtime, she was able to fall asleep without the swing. with her soother, swaddle and white noise in place, she could fall asleep just laying on the couch with us watching tv. so without even reducing swing speed or moving it closer to the crib (which i had planned to try), i went straight to crib cold turkey and IT WORKED. yesterday and today, she has napped in the crib, fallen asleep by herself every time, just as well and for as long as her swing naps. i am doing the biggest happy dance EVER!!! thank you again for your wisdom :)

  51. I’m glad to know my child won’t be messed up permanently for using his swing. :) But he is over 8 months old and takes EVERY nap in his swing. I am ashamed to admit it has been far too easy to nurse him to drowsiness, pop him in the swing (awake) and he falls asleep within 5 minutes every time.

    Today he has been protesting even being put in the swing, which should be a great sign if I want to wean him of it. The problem is during the day he seems to go from rested and happy to overtired and hyper without showing any sleep signals. I have him on a schedule so I know his naps are at approximately 9 and 2, but I can’t seem to get him to settle–at ALL–without the swing! If we rock in a chair he claws, bites, and arches. If we walk around the house he’s okay at first and then starts acting like a rabid raccoon as well.

    He does settle well at night in the dark. But we have a very open floor plan with a skylight, so there’s no way to get our house dark unless it’s dark outside.


  52. Hi! Thank you for all the wonderful info. My first child had a nurse to sleep association that backfired on me around 4.5 months. I read the book Bed Timing, realized I needed to just survive and wait till the clingy phase passed. We transitioned to crib with PUPDs at 6m relatively easy. Timing really is everything.

    Anyway I have a 13 week old now and I’ve been super paranoid about NOT nursing to sleep :) and I hate the paci for the same reason. Actually I’ve been worried about any sleep associations. But she’s is so little and is a motion baby for sure. She got slightly addicted to paci around the drama of wonder week 12. So over the past 2 weeks I’ve been very good at writing down all sleep times and I’ve gotten her waketimes perfected although sometimes I’m still a few minutes off with bedtime (toddler running free and husband works nightshirt =hard!) For several weeks I’ve been doing all naps and nights in swing. Nap routine is diaper, white noise, lay in crib while swaddling watching crib aquarium, sway vertical 1 min, lay in swing awake about 5-7 min before asleep time. Uses paci some to unwind but I’ve been decreasing use and at least for the first few naps I get it out when eyes get really heavy. Sometimes she spits it out before she is asleep YAY. Swing is staying on full nap right now because she is taking mostly 5 a day, 45 min naps. Wakes happy, I think it’s age related and I expect them to lengthen soon. She has had longer naps before back when her sleep cycles were 30 min and I would turn swing off for some of those and she would stay asleep an extra hour or two so I know she can do it. Plan is to completely lose paci, decrease speed, unswaddle, move to crib at 6m or Kanoe baby hammock if younger and needed

    At night, bath, PJ, white noise, Swaddle in crib, nurse…’s my problem. So she tries to fall asleep nursing so I pop her off after couple min of comfort nursing, burp her, put in swing, fuss for 5-10 min thats improves w jiggling (stopped night paci a few nights ago cause she will keep waking up looking for it at night) and she’s asleep. I see her on video monitor stir after sleep cycle and she goes on back to sleep as long as swing is still on. BT around 630-715 based off Waketime since last nap. But if I turn swing off before 9-10 she wakes up which I think means I’m getting in swing a few min too late causing a little OT. She sleeps with swing off till 1st NF, if I put straight down I sometimes turn it on for 20 min and then off, and after 2nd NF about half time leave swing on till AM wakeup. So for BT when would you suggest nursing to disconnect it further from nursing to sleep? I like it cause its unwinding but I don’t like it so close that she is still rooting around. After ST my first I would nurse till comfort sucking, stand up and sway vertical, lay in crib drowsy. But he sucked his thumb at that point. So I’m confused about when to nurse… After bath, before Swaddle? Worried i’ll get her riled back up after she’s calm and drowsy. Or maybe just nurse a few minutes earlier to not risk getting too sleepy. I will mention she hates hp being swaddled while nursing but she also hates me swaddling her when she wants the boob back lol.

    This swing thing is really new for me. We have the fisher price little lamb and I HATE that speed 1 is still fast and I can’t wean speed like I want to. Shes on a 3 now down from 6 a week ago. Although pp mentioned hanging blanket. Great idea. Does this work for people?

    I am worried because at 13 weeks swaddled, as soon as she wakes and is ready to get up, she lifts her head and tries to lean forward. Not a big deal during the day cause I watch video monitor close but worries me at night even with her next to my bed. I buckle her in the 3 point harness but I’m paranoid she will fall out especially as time goes on. So 4 nights ago I moved her to baby hammock. Went ok but involved a lot of PUPD, fussing, missing sleep at BT, couldn’t get down easily at bedtime without paci so that really was just going backwards to use paci. So back to swing tonight.

    The leaning is my biggest concern with sleeping in swing at night

    I have been researching the Graco swings. Noticed they have the slower speed and the five point harness. Willing to risk the motor blowout if she would be safer in this although I hate to buy more baby gear! I prefer a deeper seat with a good recline to keep neck alignment good (mamaroo threw her neck out and had a lot of trips to chiropractor to fix it) The Graco Lovin Hug looks like a good option. I also saw the Bright Starts Ingenuity Smart and Quite swing. Just wondering which you would suggest? She is 13.5 lb at 3m and I don’t plan on using past 6m and her swing speed is a 3 on the fisher price lamb. Easygoing baby overall. I even saw her put herself to sleep in the still swing around 8-11 weeks every night after her first sleep cycle, but wonder week 12 and the new awareness has got us swinging to sleep again :)

    Sorry so long! Thanks

  53. I have a 5 month old who’s always mapped in his swing, but has been sleeping in his crib since 2 weeks for bedtime.

    He’s slept through the night @ 3 months so were fine there.

    Now I want to transition from swing to crib for naps (and for my sitters) but he’s hating it.

    We have no sleep cues for nap time (never have, hasn’t really been an issue) and always put him down awake since day 1.

    I can’t imagine swaddling him, we stopped that @ 3 months and he didn’t enjoy being swaddle then either.

    Any suggestions on how to make the transition smoother, he is not liking the crib @ all.

    • Hi Katie,

      I am going through the same exact situation! He would nap 3 times a day, 3 hour total without the swing on. Now that we have moved him to the crib for his naps he naps for 1.5 hour total and is more cranky. Night time he’s fine in the crib.

      I would love suggestions ..

      • i am doing one nap at a time…right now just the am nap. that way she can make up for a crappy nap with the others in the swing.
        tried to do the afternoon nap and it was only 1/2 hr.

  54. Hi, my six month old takes all her naps in her swing but has been known to sleep in other places. I weaned her from swaddling at five months and she has been fine. At night, she sleeps I her crib from around 9:30 or 10 until about 8 the next morning! If she wakes, she usually puts herself back to sleep. However, all of this wonderful sleep only happens if I let her rock in the swing for round half an hour before moving her to her crib. I don’t know the best plan for getting rid of the swing part and putting her right in er crib to sleep. I have only tried one time to just lay her down, but she immediately cried. A few times, she has fallen asleep while eating and I have put her down fine too. Lots of my friends tell me I ave nothing to worry about and to just appreciate how we’ll she sleeps in the crib. But I see an issue on the horizon! Help!

  55. Hi Alexis or anyone else
    We were using the swing for all sleeping and have been moving into the crib gradually starting with night time (not too bad) then morning nap. Her am nap used to be super long in the swing (had to wake her after 2 hrs) but is still pretty good in the crib. usually at least 1 hr but sometimes a little longer. Tried to do the afternoon nap a few days ago and she only napped for 1/2 hr and she def did not seem very well rested! I tried leaving her for a little, soothing (butt pat) and finally transferring into crib but no dice! got her out at norm time and then put her down a little earlier for nap 3 which is usually 45 min but she slept for almost 2 hrs that day…i let her go until 5 so i could still put her down by 7 for bedtime.
    so my question is is this going to get better with time? i am wondering if that nap will lengthen on its own and i jsut have to suck it up for a little while OR is she just not ready to do 2 naps in the crib yet?? she seemed to be fidgety in the swing for a little while and that’s why i thought it might be time to try the nap in the crib.
    any advice would be much appreciated:)

  56. Hi ladies / Alexis

    My 14 week old has been swinging for all naps and sleeping well at nightin his cot. I tried putting him in his cot for naps this week – he goes to sleep ok, but wakes after 30-45 min and.won’t go back to sleep. I tried getting him back to sleep up there for 4 naps yesterday and 4 naps the day before – all to no avail! Also he has taken to waking at 2am again – hasn’t done this for weeks. Is this due to poor day sleep? I think there is a growth spurt in there somewhere as well. He’s back in the swing today- I am an emotional wreck after the last two days!

    Just posting to say I feel everyone’s pain! Maybe my LO is just too young to give up the swing yet? Also where do people have their swings? Mine is in the living room cos I want to keep an eye on him – swaddled so not strapped in. Means I am constantly with him all day though – any suggestions? Thanks!

  57. We have been using the fisher price swing with our now 11 week old son for about a week and a half now, and are loving it! It is next to our bed currently and we are working on lowering speed slowly. We started on level 5 and just went to level 4 yesterday (he slept a bit less but not a huge difference). We use it every night and for his long nap during the day, and both times we put him in awake and he can fall asleep on his own. Since starting the swing we are usually down to only 1 night feeding.’s the question.. He typically wakes for the day around 730 or 8 am and then takes a short nap in his bouncy seat or while being held at around 930 or 10. This nap rarely lasts longer than half hour. He takes his long nap somewhere between 130 and 230 and sleeps for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Occasionally he takes another quick nap in the evening. Should we be putting him in the swing for these quick naps as well to be consistent? We are hoping to wean odd the swing and transition to crib by around 4 months, but we will see how it goes of course! Thank you SO much for this site!

  58. *wean off (not odd)

  59. Lucy…we do an arm swaddle so he can be strapped in the swing. The swing is upstairs in our bedroom, and I use the monitor wherever I am and check on him periodically.

  60. My (almost) 5 month old has been sleeping in the swing since 1 month old, and I have been trying for a while to wean her off of it. She goes to sleep fine without it moving at the beginning of the night (bedtime about 6:30 pm and goes in swing drowsy but awake, with white noise, and a paci), and sleeps until sometime between 1-4 am usually. When she woke up, I would go in and give her her paci (or sometimes feed her a bottle – she used to always need a feeding at this time, but i always tried the paci first and it was working more and more often) and turn on the swing and she would go back to sleep until 5:30-6 am. Well…..yesterday the swing motor broke!! So, I decided to just go for it and commit to sleeping with no motion. Last night, the hours from 2-6 am were pretty rough for me. About every 45-60 min, I had to go back in and give her the paci again and manually swing the swing for a few minutes to get her to sleep again. After that, she would be good for an hour or so, but then wake crying again. I don’t want to get another swing, but I am just not sure if this will get better or not. I think I will commit to a week of trying it and hope that she gets more used to sleeping without motion, since she can do it for her first stretch of 6-8 hrs of sleep. Anyone have experience with something similar or have any advice or suggestions? I initially thought that once she could GO to sleep without motion we were in the clear, but that is not proving to be the case.

    • I am in a similar boat! Hopefully someone has some suggestions!

    • Reading your post is identical to my son. Identical. Except hes 12 weeks old. I registered my fisher price swing when I got it. So when the motor broke, I called them and got a replacement motor sent to me because it was under warranty. The motor was on “back order”, I’m sure it’s a common problem. Took about 2 weeks. While broken my son was sleeping in it not moving at night from like 10pm-7am (with either a feedin or pacifier at 4am), but wouldn’t nap during the day with it broken. The motor arrived today! I put my son in it for a nap at 5pm…. And he never woke up! Haha. I kept checking on him. I just woke up at 12:30am shocked…. I had to wake him up and feed him. I’m sure he would have slept 12 hours. I read to take advantage of sleep aids now. There’s no reason to wean until we have to. Do it when you have to. They’ll eventually grow out of it. Also I read that babies don’t really grow out of the swing physically in most cases, so use the harness obviously. But in my opinion, my son needs good deep long periods of sleep for essential growth. If this is how he needs it, fine. His body is doing so much work creating hormones needed for growth only during sleep. We’ll cross the crib-bridge when we get there.

      • Meridith and Mik,
        Just wanted to update you on our situation. We had a couple of rough nights but it did get better and I never got a new motor. I still usually have to get up typically one or two times a night and give her the paci, but it is a lot less than it was the first few nights. She has also been taking naps there pretty well. Most of her naps are only about 45 min, but that was all we got with a moving swing, so it’s no different. Now I just need to get up the courage to move her to the crib! I think she is probably ready since she can sleep all night in the non-moving swing now, but I am scared since she is sleeping so well right now!

        • Hi Betsy,
          Just thought I’d share a little to maybe give you some confidence to try the crib! We also use the swing for all sleep with our 4.5mo old. He used to take 1.5-3hr naps regularly but woke to eat several times to eat at night. After the 4mo regression he dropped all but 1 night feed (so awesome!!) But his naps dropped to 45-50 mins. So I decided to just try him in the crib at nap times….and it was no big deal. I used to put him in the swing practically wide awake so for the crib I let him get extra drowsy, almost all the way asleep. Then laid him down (he would wake up) then hopefully at that point he was so super tired he’d drift off. I do still use the swing at night (too tired in the middle of the night to even mess with crib now) and sometimes for naps if he really, really needs to sleep. Anyway, give it a try! You never know :)

  61. I have a 14 month old who has never ever fallen asleep anywhere BUT in her carseat, snuggabunny rock n sleep (fisher price), or the snuggabunny swing (also fisher price). She slept in the rock n sleep next to our bed until she was about 7 months, then she could climb out of it, so we transitioned her (almost effortlessly!) to the swing in her own room. She sleeps 12 hours every night waking up to nurse 1-2 per night, and she also takes 2 1-2 hour naps each day. We swaddled her until she physically outgrew the swaddle blankets. She only weighs 18 lbs (she eats ALL the time, though!), so she can physically fit in the swing until she’s 25 pounds…but my pediatrician (and friends and family) are all urging me to get her sleeping in her crib. We have attempted this on several occasions (both the pack and play in our room and then her crib in her own room), and every time we have gone 5+ nights with her not sleeping at ALL. She would literally fall asleep standing or sitting up, fall over, immediately wake up, then stand up and start yelling all over again. Finally my husband and I caved and put her back in the swing, where she immediately fell asleep. I’m thinking it has to do with the smaller space and/or her being strapped in and that feeling of security (this was a baby that LOVED her swaddle!). She currently sleeps in a non-moving swing with a pacifier and white noise…as soon as she is strapped I to the swing she smiles and coos and falls asleep within a few mins with no issues whatsoever. We have tried the crib a few times since just to see if she was ready and it always leads to a huge freak out even if everything else remains the same (routine,white noise,pacifier, etc) and she will not even lay down in the crib and we already know she can literally last days. Any suggestions on how to transition her to her crib when it’s not the motion part of the swing she loves but the feeling of confined space and being strapped down? Please please help…and for the people that are just going to say “let her cry it out” WE HAVE tried this, and it did not work! Not to mention that if someone took your pillow and blankets and told you to sleep in some random spot that you weren’t comfortable in YOU probably wouldn’t be able to sleep either!

    • My 4.5 month old is exactly the same! She’s even small for her age but eats all the time! I’ve tried and tried to get her to sleep in her crib and she won’t have any part of it. I read if some babies sleeping in their swing up to 10 months! We just make sure to strap her in every time. I’ve given up on the crib for now. But I’ve been trying to find something similar to the swing seat to put in the crib, but so far no luck.

    • I am in the exact same boat with my 11 month old. What did you end up doing to get yours to sleep in the crib?

    • I am dying to know what you did! I am having almost the exact same problem. My son is 14m, barely 17lbs, and will only sleep jn his swing or our arms. Crying it out doesn’t work, he never calms down. I think its the movement and the snuggled secure feeling of the swing. I don’t know what to do!

      • We ended ordering the Safe-T sleep crib swaddle from amazon. Kinda pricey (over $100), but the best money I’ve ever spent! It secures to the mattress and then velcroes around the child’s torso, like a swaddle. It allows free movement in the crib, the only thing she can’t do is stand up or completely roll over on her stomach. She fell asleep immediately the first time we used it and started sleeping through the night FINALLY around 17 months! Now she is over 2 years old, and even though she knows how to undo the velcro, she still asks for her “night night” every night and happily helps me to wrap her up. I got the travel Safe-T sleep bc it has an attachment so when we travel it will work with literally any bed. I have no idea when she will decide just to go to sleep normally, but the Safe-T sleep is designed until kids are at least 3 years old…so I’m not in a rush! Good luck…figuring out this sleeping thing can be tough, but once you find something that works life is SO much better :)

  62. We currently use the swing and swaddle at night with our 5 month old. We also give her the passie when we put her down at bedtime. She also wakes up once during the middle of the night to be fed.

    My question is which should we wean her off of first? Swing, swaddle, or night feeding?

    Also, even though we only give her the passie when we put her down the first time, and we don’t have to go back in an put it back in throughout the night, will this come back to haunt us? Should we be weaning her off the passie too?

    • I worry about the paci too as we are in almost the identical situation as you (although she recently gave up the night feeding on her own – yay!) I am not going to worry about the paci unless it becomes a problem. Many babies do fine and never need you to put it back in all night, so I would just wait and see what happens. If she starts being up demanding that you put it back in her mouth, you can get rid of it then. Until then, I wouldn’t worry about it.

      I don’t know whether it is better to wean off the swing or the swaddle first. We are dealing with this right now also. I have tried swaddling with one arm out in the swing several times and it was a total disaster, so I don’t think we are ready to wean off the swaddle at all (at 5 months!). I haven’t tried the crib in a while, but she is sleeping all night in a non-moving swing now, so I am going to soon (when I feel brave and well rested 😉

  63. Same position as everyone else–we were beginning to think about weaning our little guy off the swing (he’s five months old, 22lbs, and his feet dangle off the end), when the motor on the snugabunny died. Moving to a still swing was easy, but moving out of the swing into his crib is turning into a disaster. He just doesn’t nap at all!

    So, SOME babies do outgrow the swing way before they’re ready, I guess. Sigh.

    • I am in the same situation, although my girl is only 16 lbs. She sleeps great in a non-moving swing (with broken motor…), but not good anywhere else. I actually haven’t tried night sleeping in the crib, but naps have not gone well, so I have been scared to attempt a whole night

  64. For those attempting a swing to crib transfer, I wanted to share our success story. As I posted here, our swing broke a month ago so I was forced to go to a non-moving swing at 4.5 months. She still slept well (after a few semi-bad nights, anyway), so I started trying to put her in the crib. Several times, I tried and she just ended up crying. I wasn’t able to let her CIO when I knew she would sleep great in the non-moving swing, so I gave in and moved her. Then, 3 days ago, I put her in the crib and she fell asleep with NO crying. She slept all night and again the next night. Now, she is asleep again in the crib for the 3rd night. She is now 5.5 months old. When she was ready, it happened without CIO or even any crying at all. If the transition is going poorly for you, just try again in a few days and things may change. We’re still having issues with naps, but I am following the same technique. I try the crib occasionally, but move to the swing if crying starts. I hope eventually she will nap in the crib as well.

  65. Our four month old is sleeping in still swing with one arm swaddled successfully at night and at most naps. He wakes for one night feeding and after that he sleeps with both arms unswaddled. We would like to move him to his crib but he has been rolling over from back to front easily for a few weeks now. We don’t want to put him in crib swaddled since he rolls so often… Should we just keep him in the swing until he can sleep totally unswaddled? Thanks for any advice!

  66. Thanks to your site our night times are finally peaceful! At 6 months we finally resorted to CIO and now our 8 month old happily falls asleep on her own in her crib at night and will usually sleep 8 to 10 hours without waking (or with minimal waking that she soothes herself back to sleep after). My only problem is swing weaning for naps and for the occasional 4am wake up. We just can NOT seem to get beyond swing sleep for these times and it’s kind of got us held hostage. We would love to visit family abroad but can’t exactly pack up the swing for travel. We have followed the steps outlined here and 80% of the time she will eventually settle in the non-moving swing but there are still times where she will require movement and GOD FORBID we put her in her crib for a nap! You would think we were torturing her. Do you have any suggestions or do we just have one of those rare kiddos that will need the swing for longer than most?

  67. So I have a just turned eight month old who we are trying to transition from swing to crib. He has had bad reflux but it seems to be controlled so we are thinking we need to get him in the crib. He sleeps in the swing for both naps and night-time. He sleeps two two hour naps and goes to bed at 6:30pm sleeps until about 2 am wakes up we change him, feed him a bottle and he goes right back to sleep. We don’t even turn on the swing so I no longer think it is the motion he needs but maybe the feeling of being cuddled? We do feed him a bottle right before bed but our thought was that if it was a sleep association wouldn’t he wake up after every sleep cycle needing it to go back to sleep? We have a white noise machine that he has been used to since birth. And he absolutely refuses any pacifier. So this past weekend we thought we would try to transfer him to the crib. After it taking 3 hours to get him asleep he would wake every 30 minutes, it would take 30 minutes to get him back asleep and then that routine lasted all night until 4am when my husband and I were exhausted and stuck him in the swing and within minutes he was asleep. Any suggestions? How did your 13 month old transfer from being cuddled to the big open crib. We are at a loss and since he is a big boy (pretty much 25 lbs. which is the limit of the swing) we feel like we have to do it soon. But this past weekend was just stressful for all involved (including my two year old who he kept up all night also). Any help would be much appreciated!

  68. I have a similar situation to “April” above, am also wondering about just the feeling of being “cuddled”.

    This website has been so helpful for us, thank you! We have a 4.5 month old who is now sleeping in a motionless swing in his room with white noise. (No swaddle, no paci) He goes down at 7, up by 6 or 7, and wakes once or twice for feedings. Sounds like we are ready for the crib, right?? Wrong! We have tried the crib every 2 weeks since he turned 3 months old…He cries and whimpers for an hour initially and then cries and whimpers after night wakings which occur every 2 hours through the night. He has a bit of a spit-up/reflux issue and so you can imagine, this website/post has really put my mind at ease.

    One question (from my husband): Is sleeping in the swing at his age/size (4.5 months/13 lbs) bad for his back/spine development? He seems so curled up in there, it can’t be good for his posture, right???

    Any reassurance would be great!

    • Hi Breezy,
      Just thought I’d tell you a little about our transition to crib since it sounds similar to your situation. Our LO slept in the swing from 2-5months. He also had reflux issues and was either in the swing or rock’n’play for all sleep, swaddled, with paci and white noise. The transition to motionless swing was very easy and baby didn’t seem to notice. At 5 mos the motor died anyway and we were going on vacation so we used the rock’n’play for a couple weeks. It seemed like LO was trying to sit up/move more at night and the incline was bothering him instead of the cuddly feeling he used to crave. At 5.5mos we were back from vacation and we knew we’d have a few rough nights of sleep anyway so we moved to the crib. Yes, there were extra wakeups and I nursed him back to sleep 3-4 times/night for several days. From there we worked out of the swaddle and now at 6.5mos he’s swaddle free and in the crib full time with 1 night feed.

      Also, I started the crib transition during naps (4.5mos) and prepared myself to go in and console as many times as were needed until he got used to it. Some naps were super easy and others took extra soothing but this lasted maybe a week. Around 3mos I was anxious to get him in the crib and the experience sounds like what you describe – he wasn’t ready.

      Your plan to try every couple weeks sounds really reasonable. Maybe aim for 6months for the full transition. It was probably in our favor that he was still swaddled in the crib so it wasn’t just a wide open space. Maybe you could try a sleep sack in the crib? I doubt he’ll make the change with zero fussing but for me it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I was expecting (and I have a pretty spirited baby :))

      Good luck!!

  69. I also wanted to share my success story. I discovered this blog when my son was 2.5 months old, when I was looking for an option to get him out of sleeping in the carseat every night and during most naps. I didn’t know that he should be taking 4 naps per day at that point because I had such trouble getting him to nap during the day. It felt like I was spending all day trying to put him to sleep, to have him immediately wake up as soon as I put him on his back in the crib (swaddled). I drive my husband to work in the morning, so he would fall asleep during the drive and nap for 1-2 hours, then in the afternoon I would put him in the carrier and he would nap for another 1-2 hours. I could tell he was sleep-deprived when, on three of the first four days after I bought the swing (a Fisher Price Snug-a-Monkey), he took a 3-4 hour nap each day in addition to three shorter naps.

    I started weaning him off of the swing at night within a couple of weeks of buying it and, after being mightily derailed for several weeks during both the 4- and 6-month sleep regressions, had him sleeping at night in the crib at 6.5 months. This was something that I was stressed about and it went much more smoothly than I had expected! He was never much of a pacifier user so I think he last used it at around 4 months, and he hasn’t been swaddled since about 5 months, so it was just the white noise and wind-down routine that we still have as sleep cues.

    A few days after putting him in the crib at night, I also tried putting him in the crib for a nap and it worked! He hasn’t slept in the swing since and his naps in the crib are longer than they had been for the last several weeks in the swing! He’s consolidated his naps down to 3 a day now. It hasn’t been completely cry-free but there has been much less crying than I had worried that there had been.

  70. Thanks for this post, it made me feel so much better about my son napping in his swing! My mother has been insisting that he nap in his crib for months and its such a struggle…now I don’t feel like I’m going to scar him for life!

    He’s 4 months old & sleeps wonderfully in his crib at night (8-9 hours) thanks to the magic sleep suit (google that if your baby needs to be swaddled but fights it or is too big but their crazy movements keep them up, it is magic).

    Naps are our struggle now! I put him in the swing, awake and he generally fusses 5-10 mins and then falls asleep. Only problem is, he only sleeps 20-40 mins. He then wakes up & has a total screaming meltdown, and it takes me an hour to get him calm & back in the swing for another brief nap. I keep trying to put him in his crib thinking he might be over the swing, but he can’t put himself to nap in there, AT ALL. He can put himself to sleep at night (I put him down awake), but not for a nap in his crib…what’s the deal?

    Anyone have thoughts on what to do about this?

  71. Until reading articles from your site today, I never knew that anyone put their babies in the swing to sleep at night. I feel silly for it, but that’s the truth.

    My daughter is 13 weeks and we’ve always had her sleep in a bassinet next to our bed at night, and mostly out in the living room area during the day for naps-in a swing, a rocker, on the couch, and occasionally in her crib (in her room).

    For the last couple of weeks, she’s started being really difficult to (a) put to sleep at night and (b) keep asleep during the night. Naps have become shorter, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been thinking of naps incorrectly after reading some on this website. I believe that, once we have the nighttime routine on track, the daytime naps will flow better, as long as I’m alert and don’t let her stay awake too long.

    My question is this: Are you really saying to move that big swing deal into our bedroom and have her sleep there? To date, she’s never slept there during the night.

    A followup: Would it be okay to try swaddling (I had tried her without and it was obviously not the right time yet!) again and putting her in the bassinet while awake…do you think she’ll go for that again/yet?

    One more thing: In a short while, she’ll outgrow the bassinet altogether, so I’d love to begin transitioning her into her own room, in her crib. Do you have an article about this…that doesn’t include the swing?

    Thanks so much!

    • Start with swaddling and white noise IN the bassinet. See if that helps with the “stay asleep” issue. If after 3+ days that gets you NOWHERE then try the swing. And yes I am saying to move the swing into the bedroom. But I’m guessing that the swaddle will be the game-changer for you.

      Once she’s sleeping better THEN you move to “more awake” in the bassinet.

      And if you can get to putting her awake in the bassinet the crib transition is easy peasy lemon squeezy.

  72. Hi,

    Our son is 10 months old and still in the Fisher-Price snug-a-bunny swing. He generally sleeps from 8:30pm to 7:00a.m. but wakes up 1-3 times nightly. We’ve made efforts to get him to sleep in the crib at night and he only lasts about 30 minutes. Then he wakes up unhappy and we wind up putting him back in the swing. I even tried CIO the other night and he threw a major fit; this went on for 50 minutes before he stopped crying but wouldn’t calm down or go to sleep. Instead, he was hot, sweaty and majorly pissed at us. I dried him off, changed his pajamas and he was asleep in four minutes in the swing.

    He self-soothes just fine and our only “problems” are that he’s still on the paci and can’t sleep in the crib. Any suggestions?


  73. Similar situation to others on this chain. Our 5 month old (today!) sleeps in a rock n’ play in her own room. All attempts at getting her to sleep in the crib have not gone well. It’s not that she cries, she just coughs and chokes and one time even threw up (at which point mom declared crib transition over!)

    We put her down awake, swaddled with legs loose and she recently weaned herself off her pacifier, so she literally puts herself to sleep. She goes to bed at 8pm and sleeps through until 6/7am. Hasn’t needed a night feeding since 12 weeks(so you can see why I’m not so keen to force the crib and backtrack).

    Despite all of this, pediatrician said she has to sleep in a crib (which I think is her speaking the party-line of the APA, but nevertheless..). And says “if she cries, let her cry, don’t pick her up.” Doesn’t feel right, especially since she’s sleeping so well, she just doesn’t seem to take to the crib. So I’ve been stressing about it for months now because I feel like I’m up against a 6 month deadline of object permanence, after which, forget it. Even been reduced to try to think of ways I can creatively make the crib feel more like the rock n’ play (fuzzy sheets and a crib wedge?!?).

    Does anyone have any encouraging stories to share? Helpful tips?

    • I have a good news update. My wife and I tried CIO starting on 8/12/13 and it has worked well. By that I mean we were able to get our son sleeping in the crib through the night. Yes, he has woken up just about every night but no more than once – it happens at odd times – it could be 12:30a.m., 2:15a.m. or 4:45a.m. On one of the nights he actually did sleep all the way from 8:30a.m. to 6:45a.m. and we were delighted! But then last night he woke us right after 2:00a.m. The bottom line is that the CIO suggestions actually worked. The first night he cried for 50 minutes and it wasn’t pleasant but he stopped and conked out. The next 2-3 nights it was about 20 minutes and then it started to become less and less. After one week he actually wasn’t protesting when I put him in the crib at all. What a relief. While I thought in theory that Weissbluth’s CIO might be superior, I was wrong and going in after 15-20 minutes, when necessary, has been working nicely. Mind you, I didn’t do this at first and I’d let him CIO. Not pleasant, not fun, but we’ve finally transitioned to the crib every night and we’re not looking back.

      Naps are a different story completely. I disassembled the snug-a-bunny swing and kept only the cradle and he is still using it for naps. Soon we will also try the crib only for naps. For now he’s still relying on the pacifier but if you haven’t tried the white noise, there’s a great free app for your iPad or other device.

      Thanks to the lovely and intelligent leader of the band for all her work on this site!!!

  74. Please please please HELP me! I’m desperate! Here’s the situation:
    I discovered this site and started sleep training with the swing a bit late – just shy of 6 months – but it worked incredibly well for us. Over 5 weeks, she learned to no longer associate nursing with sleep and to happily fall asleep on her own in a still swing (sometimes with a paci) for all naps and bedtime and throughout the night; we were getting 12 hours at night with just one short night feeding at 5 am. I was so excited and proud!

    And then I started transitioning to the crib about 3 weeks ago and all hell broke loose. I introduced the crib gradually and it was going well until she discovered that she’s no longer restrained (as she was in the swing) and could move all around. Now that she is nearly 8 months she is constantly go-go-go and so she rolls all around and babbles and crawls in her crib, unable to settle to sleep. Eventually she’d start whining and then full-blown crying. This is when I felt like all our amazing sleep training progress was unraveling as my husband or I would go back in to settle her. Here are the things we did to cope, which have probably somehow ruined what she learned:
    – I pat her and speak soothingly until she calms down, and then put her in her crib awake. I’d then hold her softly on her back as that’s how she’s used to sleeping in the swing, then slowly let go and hide in the room or walk out quietly. She was still usually awake.
    – If she would not soothe, I’d give in and pick her up and rock until she calms down, then put her down and pat / shush / hold as above.
    – She gives my husband a much harder time, so on a few occasions he has rocked her to sleep and then put down in crib.
    – Last week, we were out of town so I had to sleep in the same room as her, and feeling bad for the rest of the people in the house as she was screaming throughout the night, I responded to her more immediately and rocked her more than usual. And one night was so bad, that I co-slept with her for half of it.
    – And I do reinforce the paci because it helps her stop crying, but when she falls asleep on her own she doesn’t always use it.

    Where we are now at 33 weeks is that she does fall asleep on her own SOMETIMES for naps and at bedtime. So I know she can do it. But other times she just can’t settle and cries non-stop. Last night she woke up every single hour crying and I just can’t understand how we have come to this, nor what to do to fix it!
    (By the way, I don’t think it’s teething, and it’s lasting too long to be a sleep regression.)
    Please, any suggestions for what to do going forward would be much appreciated! I’m going out of my mind from exhaustion and frustration and I’m feeling like at this point she’s crying more than if I just used CIO – which I really don’t want to resort to. Help me please!

  75. Hi Alexis,

    Your site is amazing :) I’m so relieved to know that how my 4month old sleeps is normal for his age.

    So I just bought a swing today after reading a ton of your posts about sleep training (I’m trying to transition the baby from co-sleeping to crib). Technically it’s a bouncer (4moms mamaroo bouncer) but it has 5 different “swing” modes and the speeds are noticeably different unlike the Fisher Price swing.

    Anyway, I put him down awake in it and he fell asleep for the first time on his own. yay!

    But now my question is…should the white noise stay on all night? Or is it only something to use to make the baby fall asleep (as opposed to stay asleep)?

    • Hi Yoko,

      Yes Alexis would say use it all night. No surprises for baby in the night so if they hear it when they go to sleep they should hear it when they transition through sleep cycles.

      We are 14 months in and still use it! I love it as it covers up a lot of outside noise. We are gradually turning it down to wean off. Easy!


  76. Hi Alexis or anyone else that can help,

    My baby will be 5 months on Monday and is currently sleeping in the swing, swaddled, and with white noise. I really want to get her out of the swing and into her PNP because she is now rolling over and way too mobile.
    My question is, do I just stop swaddling and the wing cold turkey and start putting her down in her PNP?
    I could leave her in the swing unsaddled that way I could still strap her in but I’m just not sure if it would be best to do everything at once.
    Thank you !

  77. Two questions for Alexis.

    One, are there any solutions to the FP swing speed setting differential issue? I have gotten my 3.5 month old down to setting #2 (highest we ever used was 4) but it seems like there’s no difference between 2 and 1. I was thinking of securing a weight to the bottom of the seat but I don’t want to overheat the motor.

    Two, what goes first, the swaddle or the swing? It seems like the standard swing weaning time (3-4 months) is also when many babies start rolling and therefore have to lose the swaddle. I got a Magic Sleepsuit for this reason but we haven’t used it yet as my baby’s feet and hands get cold in it (just ordered a mitten/booties set).


    • There are no awesome answers to the swing speed issue but you can weigh down the swing and lower the motion by hanging a light swaddling blanket (or something similar) off the end near baby’s feet. There is some potential risk to the motor but they seem to hold up well with this treatment and it does gently slow the movement.

      Unless you HAVE to (baby flipping) I would encourage you to get to where you are putting an awake baby in a non moving swing, THEN move to crib, THEN move to swaddle weaning. Plenty of babies aren’t flipping in the swaddle for a long long time. Yes some CAN flip at 4 months but flipping in a swaddle is an “advanced maneuver.” Plenty of babies who can flip themselves regularly won’t or can’t in a swaddle.

      Good luck!

  78. I have a 4 month old who sleeps 12 hours at night in her swing, but takes her naps in her crib. She has been sleeping exclusively in her swing at night since 2 months. She is only in her swing for bedtime, never during he day. We have tried transitioning her to crib at night, but she woke up several times crying, and finally we ended up putting her back in the swing, just so we all could get to sleep. It seemed that she would roll over onto her stomach, and would wake herself up. When she naps during the day, sometimes rolling over wakes her up, and sometimes not. I like the idea of the extra step of not turning on the swing, before moving on to the crib, but was wandering if anyone has any other suggestions for me?

  79. I have a 5.5 mt old son. Mostly great temperament, but sleep has been a struggle. We found he sleeps better in a swing about a month ago. Every night he sleeps 5-8 hours in a row an then wakes 2-3 total the rest of the night after that. He currently has danced around an 8:30-9:30 bedtime. This is all in a non moving swing for the past week and a half. We transitioned to crib tonight and his sleep time cut right in half (woke up 3 hours after being put down at 9:30). Although I would be happy to stay with the swing a little longer, he was 20 pounds at his last doc visit and his head his touching the plastic part if the graco swing due to his height. Do I keep him in the swing until he is literally spilling out of it? I feel like we’re doing a couple things right (white noise, paci, comfort stuffed animal, never gets put down asleep, he always go in swing and crib either drowsy or even awake completely). At this point being such a big baby I feel like he could make it through night. He does spit up a lot but the doctor calls him a happy spitter and I very much agree with that unless this sleeping flat bothers him and that’s why he likes the swing. But we put his crib on an incline tonight and that made no difference. Would love any ideas that you have!

  80. Hi everyone. This blog is fantastic and it’s wonderful to know that I’m not alone. Our son has been sleeping well in his crib since he was 6 weeks. We have an excellent bedtime routine. He’s asleep around 8 and up around 6 with an occasional nighttime feeding. We put him down awake and he drifts off to sleep…no paci or swaddle. Now naps are a totally different story!!!! They have become the bane of my existence. LO will only nap well in his swing. We use white noise, same as at night and it’s on the lowest speed, but we just can’t make that transition to the crib. If he goes into the crib, he’s up screaming after 30-40 mins and nap ruined. Now if I had an easy going munchkin I wouldn’t mind, but put a few of these naps together in one day and we’ve got hell in the making. So here’s my question…do I move the swing into his room for naps or will this upset the routine we have for nightime and the crib…I don’t want to go backwards there???? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

  81. BS your baby wont outgrow the swing. My baby is 6 months and 25 pounds. Way to make moms with big babies feels shitty.

    • Oh no. You’ve caught me in my secret agenda. All of this – the expensive hosting, the hours of effort, research, writing, etc. It’s all part of my dastardly plan to subtly pick on parents of large babies. Yep. I’ve managed to sneak it by everybody so far but you caught me, so I figure there is nothing left to do but fess up!

      Well if you’re baby is still loving the swing and is outgrowing it at 25 lbs maybe it’s time to invest in a Graco that goes up to 30 lbs? Should buy you another month or two to gently wean off the swing!

  82. I have a 13 week old who I can put in the swing awake because he hates being rocked to sleep (which I find strange) sometimes I feel he will never grow out of the swing because that’s the only way I can get him to nap.. but will only nap for 30 minutes (if I’m lucky). He goes to bed at 830 in his swing and wakes up at 430 to eat and will fall back to sleep for another 3-4 hours. I have tried moving him from swing to crib and he woke up constantly, is that a sign he isn’t ready for the transition? Or should keep trying? I don’t expect this to be easy..

    • Justine,

      He’s 13 weeks old. He’s still itty bitty! He’ll outgrow the swing – I promise. Don’t rush it, you’ve got time. Wait until he’s sleeping happily in a non-moving swing at night before making the change. If he’s not ready – OK, wait a few weeks, try again. His body is changing so rapidly at this age, what doesn’t work today will work next week. Promise!


  83. I have an 11 month old who only sleeps in the swing. He had reflux but that hasn’t been a problem as of late. Our issue with him is even when we do somehow get him to sleep in the crib he sits up every 30-45 minutes with his head shrugged and cries. He also will stand at the rail yelling mama and dada, its pitiful. Are we being too soft? The swing is off, he goes to bed awake, and we use white noise. His swing seems to be uncomfortable now too. I feel bad for the little guy but I think it may be time for COI and I’m not sure that’s a battle we can win. Thanks

  84. Great post! My 3 month old is sleeping in her crib at night & the swing for naps. We rock to sleep at night but she goes in her swing awake for naptime. The swing is already by her bed so we are mostly there – just need to decrease the speed / get her to sleep in it without it moving. My question is, since you don’t promote CIO for babies this age, if she absolutely refuses to sleep in the non-moving swing, or to take a nap in her crib, what then? (I should mention that my little one is on the “high needs” side so overtired crying can really escalate.)

  85. I nurse my eight-month-old son to sleep then put him in the mamaroo swing asleep. he’s approaching the weight limit and the swing says that babies who can sit up unsupported well shouldn’t be in it anymore. I’m skeptical about his ability to fall asleep in it if i put him down awake. he seems to “wake right up” if i ever attempt to put him down awake. usually he just starts crying within a few minutes.

    • 8 months is generally not a great time to make changes – babies are well and truly “locked” into their way of doing things. Plus it’s often peak separation anxiety time so anytime they see you walking away they’re all like, “NO MOM!!!!”

      But you are right – he’s heading to the weight limit. So soon even the swing won’t be there to help you make this transition happen. And it really needs to happen.

      At this age you can:
      – put him down the same time every day
      – have a pre-nap routine (prior to the nursing/swing part) that is consistent
      – start chipping away at it

      Experiment with nursing till he’s drowsy. Test the waters by putting him in there. Even if he starts crying, set a timer, wait and see what develops. Even if he cries for 15 minutes and then falls asleep. Even if he takes a short nap. Your goal is to have him fall asleep IN the swing. It’s hard but totally do-able.

      The alternative is that you keep nursing and put him in the swing fully asleep until he’s out grown the swing. That’s likely to make the whole thing much harder. So you’ve got probably 3-4 weeks of runway left – time to dig in.

      Good luck!

  86. Alexis,
    I. Need. Help.
    My son has just recently turned 5 months old on the 5th. We have been working on the “putting baby down awake” since he was 3 months and one day old. It went surprisingly well. Our swing has 5 speeds, we went down to 4, then to 3, still no problems. We got rid of the paci (he started sucking his thumb)and no issue. He had consistently been having a 30 minute morning nap, 2 hr late morning/early afternoon nap and then 2 30 minute naps. The last usually ending by 6 and he was down for bed at 8.
    However, the past 3-4 weeks, without any obvious cause that I can find, his afternoon nap has cut to 30 minutes. I’m putting him down awake, he falls asleep on his own, I make sure there is at least 20 minutes between nursing and going down for his nap, I have not turned the swing down anymore and he is half swaddled (has to have that left arm out to get to his thumb). We do kind of struggle on his sleeping cues. Sometimes he goes down at 1 1/2 hrs, other days it’s 2 hrs. I truly don’t understand the fluctuation in times. But I’m trying so hard to put him down when he is not over tired. Many days after this half hour nap, he is still obviously tired but just won’t go back down. I usually let him fuss for at least 5-10 minutes just to see if he’ll go back to sleep, but he rarely does. Now for the last week he seems like he is trying to drop his last nap and after he goes down for the night he has started to wake up after 2 hours and he is up and down all night long, like 6 times a night. Before this he was sleeping 4-6 hour stretches and then getting up one other time to nurse. How could he stop his 2 hr nap and drop his last nap all within 3 weeks? And also be having night problems? He is not teething, he does not have an ear infection, and in the last 3 weeks has not been in a wonder weeks phase. I have NO IDEA what I am doing. I have no idea what I am doing WRONG, more specifically.
    My husband occasionally has him during the day and tells me he’ll sometimes just put him down on the floor play mat and walk away to do something and when he comes back, the baby is asleep and sleeps for over an hour! This has never EVER happened for me. I get the baby that has a break down if I don’t have him napping quickly enough. I feel like I am failing as a mother. I feel like I am doing everything right and I still suck. I am terrified that I will not have him out of the swing by the time he turns 6 months old and I will never have a baby that sleeps through the night.
    Please tell me what I am doing wrong. I am all for criticism if it’ll get him to sleep again. I’m so exhausted. PLEASE. HELP!

    • Tasha, i have no real advice for you but i want you to know you are not alone. Im in a similiar boat. My son is 5 months on thursday. He sleeps in the swing, swaddled with one arm out and white noise for all sleeps (naps and bedtime). His naps are all over the place, sometimes the longer one is in the morning with 2 shorter ones in the afternoon but usually at daycare it is the opposite. Some nights he can go down awake on the slower speed with a blanket hanging to slow it more with no problem some nights he screams his head off until he is gagging and i have to go nurse him. I am so stressed about getting him in the crib. He does have reflux so im cutting myself some slack on this one (my dd was in swing until 5 months then went into the crib with no problems, but she would cry and then fall asleep, this kid just gets more & more upset and doesnt fall asleep)…our wake time is generally 2 hours-ish but if he has a short nap its shorter, like an hour and a half. Sometimes if he has a couple of really short naps in a row, when he wont go back to sleep in the swing, ill put him in the car seat and rock him and he’ll go back to sleep…so you can maybe try that? sorry im no help but sometimes it helps knowing someone else out there is in the same boat :)

  87. Hi, my baby boy is four months old and has always slept in the swing at night because we thought it would be easy to transition into the crib. I think we were wrong… For the past 8 nights we tried extinction in the crib (lots of naps during the day, also swing only), tried early or late bed time with a consistent sleep routine. He cries anywhere from 10 min to an hour, then sleeps for 30-45 min, then cries another session of 10 to 30 min before down for good for most of the night. The crying is very very loud protest / screaming type of cry… Is he too young to self soothe? We gave him the merlin suit so he can kinda suck on his fingers…
    I put him in the swing last night after two hours because frankly I felt like giving up. So confused and depressed…

  88. Hi Alexis,

    In your steps to wean off the swing, you have put swing by crib before trying to dial down the speed. What is the reason? Would it not work to keep the swing in its current location till baby can sleep in it non-moving, then put the non-moving swing by the crib, then transition to crib?

    I only ask because my son is just 2 months but when I am ready to wean him off of the swing, I don’t know if I’ll be ready for him to leave outlet bedroom for his own. I was thinking to try weaning at 4 months and have him in his crib in his own room by 6, but at 4 mo I still want him in our room I think.

    Thanks, and your site is overall very helpful; thank you!

  89. PS I spelled my own name wrong last post!! Should be HALLIE haha

  90. I’ve done most of these steps for nap time and now my 4-month-old will fall asleep in a motionless swing unswaddled (yay!). But bedtime is going backwards…I could lay him in his crib swaddled after a nursing session and he would sleep for hours at night…until a week ago. Now, I lay him in there and he panics! I’ve tried putting him to sleep unswaddled since he is starting to roll around, but that is worse. Is there anything I can do for bedtime? I figure I will just give up and start over with the swing. Strange thing is that he never needed the swing at night before. Is this just a sleep regression? Will it pass?

  91. Alexis, are we headed for disaster? Our daughter will be 10 wks old when she starts daycare next week as I go back to work. She sleeps all naps and night in the swing. She’s a motion junkie. The daycare has a swing, but they’ll put her to nap in a crib. Should we be trying to wean her off the swing now (only have 1 week to attempt it)? Should we switch her to the crib at night starting on day 1 at daycare? What do we do for naps at home?

    Feeling Very Anxious about this Transition,

    • I have the same question! No swing at daycare… and baby is a motion junkie. And daycare isn’t allowed to swaddle. Needless to say baby is an overtired hot mess when he gets home. :(

  92. My 8 month old has been sleeping in her swing for every nap since we brought her home from the hospital. She now sleeps in the swing every night, she is to heavy and it no longer moves. She likes the light and sounds on it, because when they are turned off she wakes up within 5 minutes. We have to get her moved to the crib, for reasons I do not want to talk about. So what is the best way to get her to go to the crib NOW?
    I have tried the playpen, that don’t work. She just screams and throws herself. We have tried to move her to the crib before and after about 2 hours of reinforcement we gave in and put her back in the swing. ((No JUDGING)) I do believe in CIO, but I don’t let her cry for hours. I will let her cry for 5 minutes and then go soothe her and lay her back down. We need to do something quick, Please, any advise?

  93. I wanted to thank you for all of the wonderful information you provide. I’m so lucky to have found your site when my little peanut was only a week old. She’s now 5 months and just spent her first full night in her crib. She’s been a swing baby and we’ve been slowly weaning her from the swing. My baby is happy, my husband and I are well rested and I am so grateful! Please keep up the wonderful posts.

  94. Same situation as many others here. My baby is now 10 months old and will only sleep in swing. It is in her room right beside her crib and she has not had any motion in months. I have tried moving her to crib for naps several times and for bedtime and both lead to her screaming until I cave and put her in the swing. I think it is a snuggle comfort issue. When we travel and she is at sitters she sleeps in a car seat. I would eventually like her to sleep in her bed but have tried all the steps and nothing seems to work. Any advice for a baby this old in a nonmoving swing next to bed? She also has white noise and room darkening curtains in her room. I also have a 2 year old in the room right next to her so I can’t let her scream and cause everyone in the house to not get any sleep.

  95. My 3month old began sleeping in his bouncy seat at about 2 months and will sleep between 7-9 hours at night with one feed in the early morning. Then he will normally go back to sleep for about 1-2 hours. He goes to sleep with little to no bouncing from us. Naps only last about 30-45 minutes and I can sometimes extend the naps if I go in and reswaddle/bounce him to sleep again. He takes several naps during the day because the naps are short and he is only happy for about an hour to an hour and half. He is swaddled for every nap and bedtime with white noise for all sleep times. We tried to transition to the cradle a few nights ago and it didn’t go very well. I am wondering when and how I should transition to the crib. I am pretty sure he likes the bouncy seat because it keeps him inclined (he has reflux). We tried inclining the cradle but it didn’t help. Should I wait a few weeks and try the cradle or crib again? I also would like to know if I should try to unswaddle at the same time or do one at a time? My concern with the swaddle and bouncy seat is that he will be going to a home day care when he is about 4 1/2 months old and I would like for him not to be swaddled(it scares me for someone else to swaddle him). I also would like for him to be able to sleep somewhere other than a bouncy seat at daycare! Please help with any suggestions. Thanks

  96. They do outgrow the swing! My son spent his nights in the bed/crib but would only nap in his Fisher Price swing with motion. It was so critical that I bought a second swing for his 2-3 days a week at daycare…they respected his need cause they tried without and it did not work. I worried that he would never transition out, but he did. He was in the small group of babies you mentioned that needed it till about 10 months of age and then poof, just tried him one day when he was particularly pooped and he had a lovely 1 hour or longer nap in his crib….then again the next day and the next day. I still had to use the swing a couple more times until he was totally out but it did happen. My advice, stop trying to rush these kids…follow their lead and use it if it works and they are happy and rested. That’s what matters. It was inconvenient and I felt like I was tethered to the swing but he was happy and rested and now at 14 months his sleep issues are a thing of the past. The poor kid could not fall asleep without wailing and stay asleep longer than 15 min without the motion! Thank God for that swing!

  97. Should an 8 week old baby nap in the dark?

  98. Hi Alexis,

    I’m so glad I came across your blog, what a great resource! I’ve been reading your sleep guide and love your advice!

    So I have a few questions related to your article on using the swing. First, a little background info. My LO is 7 weeks old and, at night, she’s been sleeping in her room, in her crib, since she’s 4 weeks old. I nurse her to sleep and put her down around 8:30 pm and she wakes because she’s hungry around 12:30 am and 3:30 am. But then she has a hard time staying asleep/starts waking up for reasons other than hunger usually starting around 4:30 am. At this point I’m getting up to help her back to sleep. Sometimes just laying a hand on her works if I get there in time, otherwise I pick her up and rock/jiggle her to sleep. If I put her back in her crib she’s awake again after what I assume is just one sleep cycle at which point she’s either hungry or needs help back to sleep again. I have put her in her swing at this point a few times which seems to help her sleep longer. A few more notes about sleep aids. I haven’t been swaddling her because she would always get her arms loose (I suck at swaddling lol) and since she was fine most of the night I assumed she would eventually be fine the whole night. But now I got some swaddling sacks with velcrow so I’m going to try those out. Also, I started trying to give her the paci but she won’t keep it in her mouth unless I’m holding it which is very inconvenient lol. Also I have white noise playing in the room, and I keep it as dark as possible during the night but the blinds don’t fully block sunlight after sunrise.

    During the day, she mostly naps in her swing but sometimes she falls asleep in her sling or car seat (during a car ride) and I don’t bother transferring her to the swing. She naps where there is sunlight and noise from us doing things around the house.

    Ok so here are my questions.

    1) In your article, you list a bunch of problems and say that if you have even one of those, baby should be in a swing 24/7. I’m wondering, is this really necessary since she’s fine most of the night. Could I just put her in the swing after her 3:30 am feed?

    2) You suggest baby should nap in the swing in a dark room with white noise. I’m worried this will result in my LO getting her days and nights confused again. Is this a legit concern? I’ve read so many articles saying babies should sleep in daylight around normal daytime noises. If she already naps fine in her swing in the daylight with normal noises, is the dark room/white noise still necessary/preferable at this point?

    3) As of now, I still have to rock/jiggle/wear/nurse my LO to sleep before putting her in her swing maybe 90% of the time and in her crib 100% of the time. At what point should I expect her to be able to fall asleep on her own from being awake but drowsy?

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Again, I love your blog!


    • Amelie–Not Alexis but I will tell you my experience! If your little girl doesn’t have her nights and days mixed up, I think you are in the clear! At 7/8 weeks my son was still in the phase where he’d sleep in the light, dark, with or without noise, but that definitely changed somewhere around 3-4 months. I think you are doing fine just using the swing after 3am. If she’s fine in the crib before that, awesome! If she begins to have trouble in the crib, you could try the swing for the whole night.

      However, the swing is a really great tool for teaching her how to put herself to sleep–go down drowsy, as they say. Alexis has said nursing to sleep can be the hardest association to change, so if I were you I would experiment with putting her in the swing at the beginning of the night to see if she can put herself to sleep. You can use Alexis’s “varsity technique.” I also began by rocking my son until he was barely asleep, and then putting him in the swing. Then I slowly backed off on the rocking.

  99. My little girl, a week shy of 5 months, is sleeping PERFECTLY in the swing. She goes down awake and sleeps right through the night, from about 7-7. We’ve been following your suggestions and slowly bringing down the swing speed, and at this point we don’t have it moving. We have so appreciated your information on this site!

    This is all great and we’re ready to move her to the crib. The problem is that when she’s in the crib she rolls over on to her stomach and wakes up. We haven’t tried this at night for a couple months (she sleeping through the night in the crib swaddled, but started rolling and wouldn’t sleep in the crib without the swaddle), but when she’s at daycare in a pack n play she wakes herself up. I’ve done some google-ing on this issue, but mostly I’m reading to just let them cry until they can handle it or to get some bumpers so they can’t roll. She’s very strong, and I’m not convinced the bumpers or rolled blankets would even hold her. Do you have any other suggestions? I would rather avoid her CIO and having other stuff in the crib with her. Is this just something we have to tough out?

  100. Hi Alexis!

    My baby just turned 11 weeks old. He sleeps in the swing for ALL sleep. He will not sleep in a bassinet or crib. I like to call him a real motion junkie. The swing has been my entire family’s friend during the newborn phase. I am not ready to wean the swing yet, as I know that when my son is in the rock n play (pretty stationary), he does not fall asleep on his own. He was born big (8lbs 6 oz) and now is probably a solid 14 lbs. He wakes for two feedings, but occasionally has slept from 730 pm to 3 am without a feeding (probably done a total of 3 times).

    I have a strategy, and that’s to keep him sleeping in swing for all sleep til he makes it past the 4 month sleep regression. Do you think this is do-able, or am I setting myself up for failure of him not being able to wean from the swing? I just dont want to get to crib success (hopefully), only for it to all run a muck do to that regression. Should I try to start weaning the swing now, or wait for another 1.5 months?

  101. What do you do if your swing dies and you can’t buy another one??? Do you just try the baby in a non moving swing with a swaddle and cross your fingers?

    • It depends!

      If baby was close to being done then the “finger crossing” technique might work gangbusters. Otherwise you can call the manufacturer for a new motor – they’re really easy to swap out and sometimes they’ll ship you one free or super cheap. If none of those are options then maybe Craigslist?

      • Thanks for your reply :) our swing died yesterday morning during the first nap of the day which resulted in a short nap. We tried our 5 month old in the non moving swing yesterday for both naps and bed. We still used white noise and a tight swaddle. I just pushed the swing super slow a couple of times and within 4 minutes, our little guy was asleep. He slept 1. 5 for the 2 nd nap and almost 2 hours for the third. He fell asleep in 10 minutes that night and fussed a little overnight. I just tied a long blanket to the swing and would give it a pull if he started to fuss. He slept until 745am in a non moving swing!!! Usually he is up between 6-7am so I wonder if he was ready to ditch the motion?

  102. Hi there,

    My baby won’t sleep anywhere comfortably except for the non-moving swing. My question is when should we transition him to his crib? His swing has always been in his room and he goes into it like butter! He will be semi-awake but as long as he is cushioned into the swing seat he is happy. We tried a few times to put him in his crib and they were total fails. We are totally okay with this, but I just want to know when we would ideally transition in from non-moving swing to crib. He is almost 5 months old.


    • Probably never although you’re in luck, there are some people on Etsy who are making toddler and even big=kid swing molds so you can keep your child happily swing sleeping until college.

      I KID!

      Personally I would focus more on the “semi-awake” part and move to “fully wide awake.” I’m guessing that getting MORE awake will get put you in a better position to get him into the crib.

      Good luck!

    • Hi Julie,
      I was just wondering how getting your baby in the crib worked? My daughter id almost 3 months old and sleeps in a non moving swing. Last night we tried crib and she was not happy. Kept giving her a pacifier and at midnight gave up and put her back in swing. Got her to fall asleep in my arms and after she’s on her back for awhile she wakes up.

  103. Hi,

    My baby is 13 weeks old, and he loves his swing. I have tried the crib several times and he doesn’t even sleep for 5 minutes. Few weeks ago he began to make noises as if he was uncomfortable in the swing, as a result I put him on my bed (because he totally hates his crib and I do not feel comfortable having him out of our room just yet), totally flat, on his back, and he slept for 3 hours, then he began to make the noises of being uncomfortable again, and I put him back on his swing, and he slept for 4 hours. My question is if it is okay to make these transitions during the night? is this normal?

  104. So I have the opposite problem, a 4 month old who will nap in her crib but won’t sleep at night. Lately she’s been sleeping next to me, but the last few nights she’s been sleeping in her swing (after lots of time cuddling, nursing and everything else to try an get her to sleep). The first night she slept for 7 straight hours and I had to wake her to nurse or I was going to explode, and then she slept for 4 more hours. I’d love any ideas.

  105. I wanted to follow up on my post about weaning from the swing. I want to say, it’s been very successful! Baby is now officially 5 months, and doing all sleep in crib! I have to stay, this kid used to not be able to put himself to sleep for the life of him. The swing was my savior. For all of us who were panicking about baby not being able to sleep out of the swing…please do not. They will transition themselves out of the swing when they are ready with YOUR help. I had baby sleeping in a non moving swing (at night) for 3 weeks. Then the first night he slept in the crib, it was rough for the first 5 minutes. Just make sure to use plenty of the sleep cues. My son has decided to rollover in crib as well, so I had to get rid of the swaddle immediately. I sort of panicked about that too…but he proved to put himself to sleep by talking to himself.

    For all of us parents (I’m a second time parent), the panic is real when a routine works and then all of a sudden it changes. But we have to remember that babies are adaptable! Our babies are growing up!

  106. Found your blog after Googling Toddler Swing. LOL

    Thanks for the info!

  107. Can you gradually decrease the speed of the swing during one nap session? For example..can you have it on speed #3 at the beginning of the nap, then gradually decrease the speed every 1/2 hour or so, or should you have it at one single speed for the whole nap and then try it on a different speed on a completely different nap session/day?

    • I guess you could go that route? Generally I would say to keep it a consistent speed throughout the nap and decrease the speed on subsequent naps but you’re welcome to experiment with your way too!

  108. My almost 4 month old boy loves the swing so much. He always sleeps in it day and night. He totally hates the crib. When he was 2 months old, he would sleep with me in my bed for half of the night, but he doesn’t even do that anymore. When he wakes during the night, I pull him into bed for feeding and he falls asleep while feeding. Then he just wants to nurse for comfort. I try to give him pacifier after that but he fusses then I finally have to put him back in his swing. I have tried putting him in the swing when he is awake but it doesn’t work. He wants to be rocked in my arms to sleep or wants to sleep while nursing and then has to be put in the swing. I sometimes worry when will he be able to sleep on his own in his crib.

    • I wouldn’t worry about the crib just yet but I WOULD worry about teaching him to fall asleep in the swing. I know he wants to be rocked to sleep in your arms but I would really push the swing (because you know he loves it). What happens if you put him in there and leave for 20 minutes at bedtime? What happens if you put him in the swing awake, don’t turn the motor on, but rock him manually in there? Or maybe try this with your hand on his belly (gently of course ;)? I would commit to him falling asleep IN the swing AT bedtime for 3 nights. There’s nothing you can’t handle for just 3 nights right?

      See what develops with that route. Once he’s falling asleep IN the swing you can start worrying about your plan to gently wean him into his crib 😉

  109. Hi,

    My son is 5 months old and has been sleeping in a non-moving swing for the past two weeks at nap time (he has been sleeping in the crib at night since 5 weeks old and has no issues there). I have tried putting him in the crib for naps this week but he fusses/cries for at least 10 minutes no matter how tired he is and once he falls asleep he only sleeps for 45 minutes max. He has not been swaddled for a month or so since he can roll over now. Everything else on the list checks off – he is in a dark room, white noise, has had a naptime routine since 2 months – but he won’t take the same long naps he was taking in the still swing just last week! Is he just not ready for the move to the crib? I really want him to nap in the crib but I am not sure if I should just keep trying or go back to the swing and try again later. Help please!

    • This sounds exactly like my situation. Did you find a solution? My 4 mth old baby girl will nap in her swing for hours if I let her, but will only nap 45 mins max in her crib…fussing for at least 10-20mins before falling asleep. When she wakes at the 45min mark she sometimes will fuss for another 10-15min and fall back to sleep for another 30-45min. So I know she’s not ready to get up, but can’t seem to stay asleep.
      I’m hoping you found a solution you can share!

      • I did! I took the swing seat off the swing and put it in the crib and let him sleep in the seat in the crib. I had to prop it up with pillow to get the angle right and strap him in to make sure he would not roll out :) After about two weeks, I tried putting him in the crib without the swing seat for his first nap and he did great – 1.5 hours! Now he is sleeping all three naps in his crib. It was the slow and steady approach but it worked for us :)

        • I am trying this same approach today with my almost 7 mths old daughter. She’s been going to sleep from awake in a non moving swing for at least a couple months now. But when I place her in a playpen she has no idea what to do it seems. I thinks she’s addicted to the coziness of the swing seat. So we are trying the slow approach too.

          • Melanie–did the “swing seat in the crib” trick work for you? My LO is 5 mos and only sleeps in a non-moving swing. Whenever I put him in the crib his eyes pop open and he goes wild kicking his legs and squealing because he thinks its a game or something, then eventually it turns to crying because he’s tired of course. I really want to get him in the crib, so I’m thinking of putting the seat in there so he is confined to the chair and starts to get the concept of sleeping in the crib. Would love to know how it worked for you!

            • Hi Lenore, yes it did work for us! I can’t recall how long we did it fo. I think a couple of weeks at least. Then she was able to associate the crib as her sleep space and we successfully got rid of the swing seat. Btw, I used rolled up bath towels under the sides and back of the seat to keep it stable in the crib.

  110. Alexis,
    My son is over 11 months old and still naps in his swing. He has slept in his crib at night since birth and is a wonderful night sleeper, sttn very early. He’s a very active baby and when I’ve attempted to transition to crib for naps he just cruises around it for a while (10 minutes or so) and then the screaming starts. He has never successfully fallen asleep in it. We’ve given it 30+ minutes a few times before giving up and putting him in the swing. Typically he will complain and not sleep, and after 20 minutes we go in and tell him he needs to go to sleep and always after we leave after going in he gets and stays pretty hysterical, so going in definitely does more harm than good.

    So your suggestions about decreasing the swing speed are great and we’ve started doing that, but since he goes to sleep seamlessly in his crib at night I wonder if something else could be going on with the naps. Sometimes I think his urge to move around is stronger than his need to nap and that it’s the fact that he’s strapped into the swing rather than the motion that he needs.

    He’s a very small baby (17 pounds) so we aren’t in danger of outgrowing the swing but as we close in on a year (and have upcoming vacation) I’d like him to be more flexible! On camping trips he’s typically been able to fall asleep but naps are very short. In the car he’ll sleep well too on the occasions that we have to travel and time his naps in the car, I think because he knows there is nothing else he could be doing so he sleeps.

    Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • I think it’s as simple as this – the part of the brain that manages day sleep vs. night sleep are different. Just because he’s figured it out at night doesn’t mean he can translate that “skill” to naptime. Also the biological compulsion to sleep at naptime is a lot more weak so it’s “harder” to fall asleep during the night. Can you put him to down awake in a non-moving swing and have him happily fall asleep and nap in there? If no – THAT’S your nap homework. Keep slowing the swing till you get to that point. When that’s happening routinely put the swing next to the crib for naptime. Get him used to that location. Then move him to the crib. Let me know how it goes 😉

      • Transition to the swing without motion was no problem (did not change how quickly he fell asleep or length of nap), and we had normal naps for 2 weeks that way. Then tried to start moving to crib. First day he slept in the crib twice but only for 20 minutes at a time – he would wake up and immediately stand and cry at the rail. We kept trying and after a few days we were getting naps longer than an hour in the crib.

        It’s been about 3 weeks of regular crib naps now. Nap length varies wildly though, sometimes just half an hour and occasionally 1.5 hours or more. I feel like he’s still not totally used to the freedom of being able to pop up when he wakes and so sometimes that causes him to stand and demand attention right away (I’ve watched this on a video monitor – going from fast asleep to up and screaming in a blink) whereas in the swing he might’ve gone back to sleep. Even at 12 months he’s still taking 3 naps on a typical day, he’s always had really short wake times and his sleepy signs are very obvious. He’s a very active kiddo and hopefully he’ll start to get used to allowing himself to go back to sleep during transitions! If you have any suggestions now that he’s falling asleep easily in the crib but not necessarily staying asleep as long as he needs I’d love to hear them!!

        Thanks for your help and site Alexis!

        • I think you answered your own question – he struggles with freedom. At 1 year I would not lean towards putting him back in the swing although that’s an option to consider. I would probably lean towards how to gently take away his freedom. What about a sleep sack or even better, a zipadee? Something to recreate that feeling of containment but in the crib.

          Also if he can sleep for 1.5 hours or longer I might experiment with stretching his awake times even if he’s giving you sleepy signs. At 1 year your goal would be to focus more on sleeping on a schedule (napping at the same time every day) vs. following signs. And stretching his awake times might get you more consistent longer naps. Lots of people have success with the 2:3:4 schedule at this age.

          Good luck and tally ho!

  111. Hi! So I’m hoping you have some advice! My son is almost 6 months old. He’s been napping and night sleeping in a swing since he was a newborn. It bought me some descent naps and the periodic 4 hour stretch at night. That was pretty temporary though. He naps for 30-45 minutes at a time every 2ish hours. He wakes at night every 1.5-3 hours. Nap time and first initial put down for bed I put him in the swing awake. The other wakings in the middle of the night he nurses and falls asleep. My problem is (other than being a zombie from no sleep and having two under two) is that the swing is the only thing (other than nursing) that can put him to sleep. The reason I need the swing to come to an end is bc he is beginning to really squirm and twist himself in it when he wakes up and gets ansy for me to get him. I need help a. Getting him to sleep in his crib and b. Maybe gaining even one extra hour of sleep. Please help!!!!

    • They nap thing is may not be fixable – that may just be where he’s at right now. But for bedtime my advice is to not nurse him when he wakes up 1.5-3 hours later. What you do at an early wakeup can set you up for an association you’re trying NOT to develop. Confused?

      You don’t nurse at bedtime because you don’t want to establish a nurse=sleep association. But nursing 1.5 hours after bedtime can do exactly that (and I’m pretty confident it IS happening). So no nursing 1.5-3 hours after bedtime. If he wakes up you could ignore (recommended) or send partner in. But no nursing early in the night. Try that out for 3-5 nights and see what happens. I’m pretty confident you’ll see a dramatic decrease in the requests to nurse at night.

  112. I’ve been freaking out that my 4 month year old only sleeps in his swing…this post and comments give me hope! I made the mistake of telling our pediatrician he sleeps in swing and she made me feel like a horrible mother!

    • Whew! Glad I’m not the only one! Sleep is so valuable (especially when nursing) you just do what you have to do! My little girl is 10 weeks and you can see the relief on her face once she’s put in the swing! I was panicking for a little while about her love for the swing, but thankfully found we are not alone and will be trying the 8 steps before I go back to work in a couple weeks!

      • Jen,
        My LO sleeps in the swing and I’m worried about his transition to daycare. How did weaning her go for you? Did you have her in her crib before she started? Mine is only 11 weeks and hasn’t been a great sleeper until the swing (we’ve been using it for about three weeks). I feel pressure to wean him off since he won’t have the option at daycare, but we are finally getting naps and I don’t want to give that up. Did you have success? Any advice?

  113. Well, I’ve done it again. I’ve screwed something up in my second sons napping mojo. He sleeps in his crib at night, falling asleep on his own. But for naps (especially with another napping almost 3 year old), I used the swing. And it worked beautifully, he’d go to sleep on his own, nap for at least 1.5 hours, often more. Until it didn’t. I’m sure I used it for too long (he’s almost 1), and now I have no idea what to do. He just cries and cries in his room. Sometimes falling asleep 40 minutes later, sometimes I give up and retrieve him (yes, I know this is not the answer either). The swing isn’t really working either because now he just sits up in it and it stops moving. I know that I need to transition him anyway. Any advice would be much appreciated.

  114. Good afternoon. I am wondering if anyone has some advice with regard to swing safety. My almost 8 month old has been sleeping in the swing for naps and bedtime since 4 months. He has acid reflux. Recently, he has started to slump over in his swing. He has a graco swing and sleeps in it non moving and fully reclined. He is also swaddled with legs out. It has a 5 point harness. I notice he ends up slumped to the side when he tries to adjust himself during sleep. Is it time to transition to the crib? I am a little apprehensive to do so due to his reflux. This will also mean that I will have to unswaddle him as he can roll while swaddled. Any advice would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    • How slumped is too slumped? Personally I would ask your pediatrician about it. If his reflux is under control maybe the crib wouldn’t be as big a deal as you fear. That being said my own refluxers where swing sleeping for 10 and 13 months respectively so I totally understand how sometimes you need to keep babies upright for a while. Generally the slumping issue is a concern with very young babies or preemies. But I would definitely run it by your pediatrician.

      PS. Lots of swaddle-loving babies do great with a merlin sleep sack in the crib so that might be another direction to consider if you DO feel that the slumping is a concern.

      Good luck1

      • Thanks for your reply Alexis!I guess by slumped i mean that he somehow manages to twist and arch his back so that he is at an angle. Diagonal really. Then his head slumps forward over the harness. I really don’t know how he manages that position. It do not want him to choke and his safety is my biggest concern. I wonder if unswaddling might help him in that he can get more comfortable ?

  115. Thanks for your reply Alexis!I guess by slumped i mean that he somehow manages to twist and arch his back so that he is at an angle. Diagonal really. Then his head slumps forward over the harness. I really don’t know how he manages that position. It do not want him to choke and his safety is my biggest concern. I wonder if unswaddling might help him in that he can get more comfortable ?

  116. Hello,

    We decided to try the swing yesterday with our 10 week old and it went pretty well, but I have a few questions. Do we keep the swing moving all night or turn it off once she is asleep? And our swing is not a flat swing, she is probably 50% inclined (Fischer Price) and seems to be fine with that, her head does not come forward, she is in a little V shape sort of. But I watched the video you had with the Dr. from The Happiest Baby, and he said the swing should be almost fully reclined. Should we be worried?

  117. My baby is just 5 months with reflux and the swing has been a life saver. She was a premie and because of the reflux I have to feed her a small amount more often so we have yet use the 4 hr shut off! The trouble is she is already 24.5 pounds.
    Any suggestions for a swing that has a greater weight limit?

    • Wow – that is a HUGE kiddo at 5 months and doubly so for a preemie. We’ll at least you don’t have any questions about him thriving and growing – yay!

      The Fisher Price swings max out at 25 lbs. Not because it’s a safety issue but because it’ll blow the motor (meaning the motor will die, not that it will actually blow up or anything scary like that). So if she’s in the swing but doesn’t need it to move you might just wait it out in the one you have.

      Otherwise you could invest in a Graco which goes up to 30 lbs. They’re a bit more expensive but if you think she’ll need the inline for a few more months (refluxing kids often do) it’s probably worth the investment. Good luck!

  118. Hi there,

    My DD is that super sensitive 10 month old that you spoke of. She has never slept in her crib. Every nap has been in her swing(which has been by her crib for several months months now) and we use a sound machine with loud white noise (sometimes 2 of them. We originally used the vacuum.) At night we bed share. In the early months she would sleep in a rock in play swaddled. Then I started getting too tired and was afraid of falling asleep and dropping her while nursing at night. So, I just started to pull her into bed. She used to sleep till 3 am. Now she wakes all the time and basically has to be latched on. She hates pacifiers. I had to stop swaddling because she hated her arms being trapped. But she loves to nurse to sleep in the ring sling (which I do before every nap and then ease her into swing). So I wonder if I can swaddle her and leave her arms out if she would like it? Or one arm out? She never rolls over. She can(I have seen her do it) she just doesn’t.
    When my DH is home with the kids and I’m at work, he puts her in her swing awake for naps. He says she maybe fussed 10 mins tops if she does at all (it used to be much longer and it was screaming. She ran off all options we had for child care my first 2 weeks back to work because she would scream the whole time I was gone. Sometimes she would stop.if she was being held). I always nurse her to sleep then ease her in. I’d like to end up with her in her crib for naps and maybe the first part of the evening (I use bed sharing and night nursing to keep up my supply).
    She wakes all the time. Sometimes I will nurse to sleep at night and put her in a moving swing (only on notch 2) but she will only sleep a couple hours and then it’s like she is wide awake again and We end up staying up for a while.

    I guess I need to start putting her in the swing awake? I really don’t know how to do this gently. She is the 21 pound baby with the swing that has a 25 pound weight limit that you joked about. Hahaha.

    Please help.if you can.

  119. Hi there!
    I have a question, but I’ll give some background first. My little girl is 4 months and 1 week old. She has been sleeping in her crib at night (fairly well most nights) but naps in her swing in the day. Her swing has always been on the lowest setting, never higher….but never off either. I have moved her swing into her room next to her crib about a month ago. We have always put her into her swing and crib awake…..she won’t fall asleep in our arms even if we wanted her to!! She usually fusses for 10-20 mins before falling asleep, occasionally longer at night. I keep trying to nap her in her crib….starting with the first nap of the day. If that nap doesn’t go well it’s right into the swing for subsequent naps just to make sure she gets the day time sleep she needs. In her crib she will only nap 30-45mins then wake….unable to get herself back to sleep. At that point I give her some time, usually 20min,to see if she will go back to sleep. If she doesn’t, I go up and put her in her swing. I do this because I DO NOT want her to miss a nap entirely. This little miss becomes a vicious monster if overtired…impossible to console or settle. She needs 3 naps a day, at least 2 hours each. So in desperation to make sure she sleeps I move her to her swing. Am I jepordizing progress by doing this?? 30-45min nap in her crib, and if unable to go back to sleep, move to her swing to “finish” her nap?? I’m hoping one day she will just surprise me and go longer then 45mins. At night, she tends to squirm/wake at this 30/45min interval also, but almost always falls back to sleep on her own. I don’t know if what I’m doing is “ok” and if not, what can I do to make her crib naps last longer. She would literally sleep for HOURS in her swing sometimes if I let her. I’d LOVE to be able to put this darn swing away!

    • Hi there. I just wanted you to know you are not alone. My DD becomes a vicious little monster too. But at least you put yours down awake already. If I do that she will be a monster then as well. And she sleeps terribly at night. But we bed share. Is seems like she tosses and turns all night long. I would LOOOOVE to put my swing away. My LO is 10 months.

    • Hi there! This is my exact situation, but my little guy is 3 months old. He goes to sleep in bed by himself at night. He will even go to sleep by himself for the first nap of the day, but only sleeps for 45 min in crib….and will sleep 2+ hours in the swing. Seeing as this post is old, just wondering what you did and how it worked for you?! Thanks!

  120. Hi there. I have a 2 month old who loves his swing but hates the swaddle. He will fight and struggle once swaddled to break free. The sad thing is, when we have been able to swaddle him when he’s drowsy (which is a challenge to do without waking him) he sleeps so well! But he wales when he wakes up and realizes he is swaddled! I really want to transition him to the crib soon and love the idea of having swaddling as a tool when I finally do so, but I wonder if there are infants that just hate being swaddled? Any suggestions? Please help!

  121. I’ve just transitioned my 6 mo. old out of a mamaroo swing into her crib for her 3-4 daily naps. It went really smoothly, I always put her down awake, and she falls asleep fairly quickly on her own with no fussing… HOWEVER, her naps that used to be 1-2 hrs. in the mamaroo have turned into 20-30 minutes naps. :( How do I get the longer ones back!!! Her twin brother is still in the mamaroo and napping wonderfully, so now I don’t want to transition him….multiples and sleeping in the same room has its own issues. Anyway, suggestions on how to get those long naps back?

    • Andrea,

      We are in the exact same boat! I just transitioned my 6 mo. old to her crib for naps and although she falls asleep on her own, her naps are only 30 mins. In the swing, she slept 1-2 hours. I would love to hear if others experienced this issue and how they resolved it!

  122. I have a mamaroo and had used when my baby was a new newborn, it was hit or miss on the sleep then. He is 3.5 months old now. And needs to be rocked/nursed to sleep every time. He now doesn’t like to be put down for naps and rather wakes up when try to so I let him nap on me just so he will . For bedtime he lets me put him down after he is asleep in the rock n play next to his crib. He will sleep there for a little stretch 30mins-2hrs depending, and then I bring him into bed with us for the night after he wakes up around the 10-12am time because it has been far easier to nurse and go back to sleep.
    My question is do you recommend start to use the swing again if we haven’t been at all and where to start with that? There is no chance he remotely seems interested in falling asleep on his own and he doesn’t even like being consoled after I lay him down. So laying him down awake anywhere he just cries. He is also swaddled and uses white noise, no pacifier.
    Thank you!

  123. Hi Alexis!

    First of all, THANK YOU. I found your blog when my LO was almost 3 months and my arms were about to break off from carrying him while he napped. We were co-sleeping at night, so the only time I really had a break from my sweet son was when I put him in the swing as a last resort (he’d immediately dose off). I had no idea I was keeping him from sleeping by waiting for his overdue sleep cues! Once I found your blog, I put his swing in his room (video monitor on), established a good bedtime routine, and began offering him regular naps…and he turned into a completely different kid! So happy!

    So, now my happy little guy is just over 4 months and I’d like to start the transition to his crib at night. I have him on the lowest swing setting, so the next thing to do will be to put him in the stationary swing. My question: since the swing is already in his room, do I still need to move it so that it is right by his crib? And if so, is it important which way the swing is facing (like, facing the wall he’ll face in the crib)? Right now the swing is facing his crib, across the room, and I’m not sure how detailed these associations go.

    Also: would it be a bad idea to start sleep training the same time as transitioning to the crib? I leave the room when he is in the swing now, so he is used to putting himself to sleep (aside from the rocking of the swing, of course). About a month ago I tried to skip the stationary swing step and just put him in his crib for the night…and he woke up crying every two hours. If that happens again, I want to be prepared with whether I should go in and comfort him or just go with CIO.

    Would love any advice you might have!

    • I am wondering the same thing about the position of the swing in the room. What did you decide to do, and how has it worked out? Would love to hear.

    • And I’m also in the same boat you were in with about to transition to stationary swing & leave the room. Have you made the transition? Would love to hear your update all around!

  124. Our baby starts the night off just fine in his crib. At 3.5 months we got him down to 2 feedings a night and I was finally getting enough sleep collectively. However, starting somewhere during month 4, he has a hard time falling back asleep in his crib after his feedings. I usually resort to dumping him in his motionless swing – which immediately quiets and comforts him.

    Last night I was determined to keep him in his crib all night. (He is 5.5 months old, in the 99% height and his head is skimming the fabric top. it is TIME). Well he woke up at 1:30a for his feeding, was put down and cried his little heart out (Husband and I took turns trying to comfort him every 30 minutes to no avail). At 5a, (neither of us had slept at all since 1:30a) I finally relented and dumped him in his swing and he quieted and fell asleep.

    Should I have kept him in his crib even though he had already cried straight for 3 hours?? Or does this mean it’s time to end the night feedings so he isn’t awakened so much by it? (I can’t blame him, it’s hard to fall asleep when you have a few hours of sleep in your belt and you’re awake for 30 minutes or so to feed!)

    I’m desperate. someone, anyone have and advice or similar experience?

  125. Hi Alexis! My baby is 12 weeks old and we’re trying to transition her to sleeping in her crib in the next two weeks because we’re going to be going on a trip and she’ll have to sleep in the pack ‘n play. She’s been sleeping in the non-moving swing for at least a month. She was sleeping from 10:30pm to 4am and then until 8am pretty consistently in the swing. We moved her to the crib Monday and now she’s waking 2-3x instead of once a night. We tried putting her in a sleep sack because the first night she had kicked off all her swaddle and blankets every time she woke up. The sleep sack kept her warm, but didn’t decrease the wakings because her arms aren’t swaddled. We think she sleeps better when swaddled. So last night (third night trying the crib) we just swaddled her instead of using the sleep sack. She only woke up twice (2am and 3:30am). I still only feed her once in the night no matter how many times she wakes up because we know she only needs one night feed. After the night feed, I’ve been putting her in the swing so that she’ll stay asleep until 8 or 8:30am so I can catch up on sleep. I’m afraid if I put her back in the crib she’ll keep waking up every couple hours. My plan is to continue to start her out in the crib every night (swaddled) and keep doing that until she can sleep through the night. Do you think she’ll just gradually get used to sleeping in the crib and go back to sleeping from 10:30pm to 4am after a while? Or is there something else I should do to help her with the transition? One of my friends talked about making a “nest” under the crib sheet with a blanket or towel so she’s supported on the sides and feels more snuggled in the crib like she does in the swing. I may try that tonight and see if it helps. I appreciate any ideas you have. I’m writing because my situation is a little different than the situation in your post – she’s been sleeping in a non-moving swing for a long time. So it’s not the motion she likes, it’s the position (upright and snuggled). I think…..

    • No nest (it’s not a huge issue but it’s a mild SIDS hazard). Sounds like she wants to be swaddled! I would totally swaddle her. Most 3 month olds are still swaddled (as are plenty of 6 and 9 month olds). As long as she’s not flipping over she can be swaddled in her crib. So 100% swaddle vote from me!

    • Natalie, what ended up working for you? I’m in the exact same position. My 13 week-old will only get up once at night or sleep through the night in the non-moving swing but will be up every two hours in the bassinet. She’s swaddled in either location.

      • Hi Paige, it just took us about a week to get her adjusted. We’d start her out in the crib at night and when she woke up in the middle of the night I’d try putting her in the crib after bottle but if she wouldn’t settle then I’d put her in the swing. At first she woke up multiple times but night after night it got better. She eventually went down to one wakeup per night and would go in the swing after. And then the second week of that we didn’t use the swing at all. All this was in preparation to sleep in a pack ‘n play on vacation so we gave ourselves 2 weeks for her to get used to it. She finally adjusted and she did really well in the pack ‘n play too. Now we don’t need the swing at all. She’s 15 weeks now.

        • We still swaddle her every night. Now that she’s able to roll on her side sometimes it takes her longer to settle but eventually she does and if she happens to come unswaddled, that’s usually when she wakes up, so the tighter the better. Eventually we won’t need to swaddle her but she’s still under 4 months, so she still likes it.

  126. This is the most reassuring information I have ever read about weaning off the swing.
    I have twin girls. One falls asleep pretty easily and doesn’t need the swing as much.
    The other will not fall asleep on her own for anything. Once you put her in the swing though, she is out like a light in no time.
    All naps are happening in the swing with motion and without motion for a few minutes before its time to get up.
    At night she falls asleep in the swing, I move her to bassinet, feed her and she sleeps in bassinet the rest of the night. She falls back asleep in bassinet pretty easily at night.
    The swings are in the living room and I feel like we have restricted use of the living due to this.
    My girls are 15wks old. When should I start to wean off the swing and where do I begin? I think they would be ok sleeping in cribs once we are ready to have them in their and out of bassinets. We would like to wait until they are sleeping longer stretches before doing this.
    Should we just wait for now and revisit in a few weeks?

  127. I’m really hoping you can help me. I am a first time mom and I wish I had started this process earlier, or even looked into it earlier. My baby just turned a year old. She is small for her age but I know that she needs to get out of the infant swing ASAP. She has no problem sleeping in her crib at night. We don’t put her in the crib awake though. We usually rock her to sleep (which only seems to work at night). She has never really liked pacifiers and she does have a white noise maker by her bed. She will not take a nap during the day unless she is in her swing. We do put her in it awake and she normally is out in about 5-10 minutes or less. We have a fisher price swing so I know that the weight limit is 25 lbs and the lowest setting doesn’t seem to be any different from the highest setting. I am at a loss of how to get her out of the swing. She gets really upset if she is put in her crib awake. I’ve even tried letting her cry for a few minutes but she just gets more and more worked up. Help! I don’t know what to try next?

  128. When you put baby down awake in the swing, how long do you give him to fall asleep on his own? My 11 week old son will sit in the swing happily at bedtime or naptime with eyes wide open and babbling in the dark, alone, for a long time. So after 10 minutes (of watching him on the monitor) I feel compelled to go in and bounce him around in my arms to get him to sleep. I feel like because he’s still little that he may NEED more soothing from me to sleep. But I want to start to transition out of the swing and into his crib. Should I just leave him to fall asleep on his own even if it takes 20 minutes or a half hour or more? I worry that the more time he spends in there awake, the farther he gets from all the calming/sleep cues I gave him from bedtime/naptime routine (nursing, diapering, cuddling) and the more over tired he’ll get. Plus, this happens in the middle of the night after his feeding and its impossible for me to sleep next to him when I know his little eyes are wide open and he’s randomly announcing baby babbles.

  129. Hi Alexis,

    My daughter is almost 6 months old and it has gotten to the point where she takes all of her naps and night sleep in the swing. (She’s #4 and life here is crazy!) She will not go to sleep by herself in the swing – usually she takes a bottle in there and requires some singing and jostling to get to sleep. She takes 2 or 3 good naps during the day if the swing remains on (1-3 hours each) but will typically wake after 45m if we turn it off once she is asleep. Same if we turn it off at bedtime unless she has been asleep in there a few hours and then we will often get a 4-5 hour stretch. Typically she wakes once or twice/night (but sometimes remains awake for a full 2 hour wake cycle – yuck). As you can probably guess, I’M LOSING MY MIND! Obviously we need to get her 1) out of the swing into the crib and 2) putting herself to sleep after being put down awake, but in which order would you recommend we tackle that? Also, night time before nap time, or vice versa? Thanks so much.

  130. My 6 month old is breastfed and starts every night in his crib. At night we give him a bottle and he then puts himself to sleep. However, naps are an issue. He was napping in the swing, and doing pretty good, but naps have been shorter and shorter. It’s also taking a long time to fall asleep. He’ll be up for 3 hours sometimes and sit in the swing for another hour and still not sleep. I would really love to transition completely to his crib because I have a house full of kids during the day. Any tips or pointers?

  131. I just finished using this protocol exactly with my TWINS. It was pure magic. When transitioning to naps, we started with the first nap of the day in the crib only and then progressed to all over the course of a few days. Fantastic post, thanks so much!

  132. Yes, I love the idea of a slow progression! We are using the same philosophy when removing other sleep cues like transitioning from a swaddle to a sleep sack, etc. The best part of this slow transition is that we haven’t had to use CIO like we did with our first child. The twins had the time to learn at their own pace and are so relaxed. It’s really awesome! Thanks again, your blog has been superbly helpful :)

  133. My baby just turned 5 months old and is 28 inches and 20 lbs.. Should I try to find a larger swing or just start putting him on the couch with me? He just uses it during the day when he is done playing.

  134. Hi Alexis, Thank you for this website and your articles. It has made me feel a lot better about even considering CIO for my 6 month old. I’m guilty of the biggest sin of not putting my baby down awake. I rock, nurse, sing, pat (just about anything!) to put him to sleep. It didn’t used to be so bad but since he turned 5 months he got progressively worse.

    He catnaps during the day (usually 30-45 mins), 4x a day. He goes to bed between 7pm and 8pm (in his cot but after rocking) depending on when his last nap was and wakes every 1-2 hours and I have to nurse him back to sleep and he eventually ends up in bed with me til morning.

    Anyway my question is, is it too late for me to try a swing? He only just turned 6 months this week. So far he is only able to fall asleep on his own in the pram without fuss (this started happening in the last month too).

    Thank you so much!!

  135. Hi Alexis,
    My son just turned 7 months and has slept in his swing (cradle swing for naps and night time sleep) for about 5 months. I’ve tried to get him to sleep in a pack n play and to co-sleep, but he absolutely refuses. He’ll go into the swing, awake, without one issue but anywhere else the tantrum and tears begin, even in my arms. I’d love to transition him to a more spread out sleeping environment as well as I have just read the impaired breathing can cause developmental delays, and I’m terrified I’m harming my son. I’m also expecting my second son 9 days before my swing baby turns 1, so to get him into a better sleep environment would be great for us all and I would really love some transitioning advice! Thank you greatly!!
    Alex: bad decisions first time mom

  136. Hi there,

    Thank you for your website, my husband & I really appreciate the advise.

    My 5 month old will only nap in his swing. His naps last for 30-45 mins, every 2 hrs. My goal is to get him to nap in his crib for longer periods.

    As per your advise, I have moved the swing next to his crib & put him down awake. I start on speed#1, as he falls asleep I stop the motion. What should my next step be? How many days should I wait until I transition him to his crib? Will he ever nap longer? I also use white noise & pacifier.

    Thank you,

  137. Hi Alexis!

    My LO is 4 months and is sleeping (naps and nighttime)
    In her swing (side to side swinging). I toned it down to level 1.
    I am really looking forward to trying the 8 steps to wean her off it.
    But here is the thing. We are going on vacation in 2 weeks.
    My husband wants to disassemble the swing and bring it
    Along. (It’s not a travel swing). There is no travel swing
    Swinging side to side. Can I transition her into stationary
    Sleep in 2 weeks or just start after we get back?

    • Hi Bea,
      Would love to find out what you ended up doing. We’re in the same exact predicament you were in – heading to vacation soon and thinking about dismantling the swing to take it with us!

      • We succeeded in having her sleep in the stationary swing and half the time she goes to sleep awake.
        But then we chickened out and basically took the swing along. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. (Dissembling it). When we get home, we will put the swing in the nursery and go from there. I better have her ready by September because I sure can’t take the swing overseas :-).
        Good luck!

  138. Hi there, we have her sleeping in the cradle next us @ night and the swing during the day. She slept in the crib great during the day for 2 weeks until 16 weeks then back to swing or else she won’t nap. Awake when we put her in there On the lowest speed. Been trying again for naps in crib now that she’s 19 weeks and it’s not working. Are there signs I should be looking for to try the crib again, or just keep trying with the first nap? you’ve mentioned 5-6 months in the swing is also ok. That seems long. Please help.

  139. Dear Alexis

    I think I have waited toooo long, I have 14 month old and boy she wont sleep without the swing.. sometimes she even fights the swing and doesnt want to sleep at all.. I just got a new one graco little lounger.. worked twice but now she cries and will not sleep in it.. I feel helpless at this point.. she is 22 lbs and I just wish she would sleep on her own. Another thing she sleep side-carting in her crib next to our bed due to night time nursing.. when we tried to transition her to closed crib we gave up..

    All i can say is Help

  140. Alexis, my son is 4 months old and will go in the swing wide awake but will only fall asleep with jiggling. How do I wean him off the jiggle? By the way I’ve only survived this long thanks to your varsity swing info!

  141. THANK YOU! I have returned to this website for #2, because her sleep issues are the total opposite from #1! #1 was a catnapper, #2 I have to wake from naps! #1 hated the swing, #2 is sleeping only sleeps in her swing! Alas, neither are early STTNers (it took #1 18 months and I’m still recuperating!)

    We place our 15wo awake with light in her Fisher Price snuggabunny swing and after turning off the light, with much aggressive swinging and shushing (we now use a shushing machine), she falls asleep in 10 or so minutes. I’d love to do the dial it back thing, but when we leave her in the swing on highest speed (and with shushing machine), she either just looks around for 2 hours then starts crying (and by then is totally OT) or she quickly cries to hysterics (at which point we aggressively swing and she falls asleep). The issue is she IS outgrowing the swing (16lb at 15weeks so still room to grow there, but mainly she is 99th% height and her feet already dangle / her head almost hits the top; and we are having trouble closing the harness which is too tight). Also she keeps trying to sit up which makes her head slump forward in a way that makes us uncomfortable. So if it will require some crying in swing to slow the speed, I’d rather have her cry in my arms and transition her to crib. What is your advice? THANKS!

  142. Hi Alexis,

    I really like your methods and want to use them for my 4 month old son. He turned 4 months this week and he’s been sleeping in his crib for a little while now (probably about the last 6 weeks). We don’t really have any problems with him napping and sleeping through the night. Although he’s not consistent every night on his timings yet, he is sleeping for good long chunks of time (at least 30 minutes in day time naps with morning ones sometimes as long as 2 hours and he does one stretch of 6 hours at night normally) but we do have to bounce him to sleep every time. I’ve been trying to put him down in his crib fully awake for this last week and he’s been screaming the place down and not settling. I wonder if the swing would be a good transition for him as he likes to bounce to sleep but I don’t know if I should leave him in the swing when he’s asleep if he’s already sleeping so well in his crib once we get him there? I understand he needs to have everything be the same as when he went to sleep but I’m afraid of creating an attachment to the swing when we’ve already got him sleeping so well in his crib for all naps and night time sleep.

    I would so appreciate any thoughts you have on this as I’m wanting him to be happy going down in his crib but also want to stop bouncing him to sleep each time! Or maybe I’m just wanting too much too soon?! Thanks!

  143. We have twins and last month I finally broke down and told my husband that we need a second swing. The whole nursing and rocking both of them to sleep and then sliding slowly out of the rocking chair, leaving one baby precariously in it while I take the other baby to bed and then come back for the second baby only for them to take a 45 minute nap was killing me. And when they were in the swing they would generally take at least 90 minute naps. Fast forward to this week. They are finally sleeping in their cribs (just shy of 6 months) . It started out at 2 out of 3 naps in the crib and by the end of the week, 3 of 3 naps for both babes in their cribs! Thank you so much for the encouragement that the swings weren’t going to damage their sleeping habits forever.

  144. Hi,
    We have recently successfully transitioned to the crib from the swing and it was certainly in large part thanks to this website! At around 7 weeks there was nothing that I could do to get my lo to fall asleep – bouncing, rocking, singing… nothing was working! He would basically pass out from exhaustion at around midnight after 5 or 6 hours of nursing (of course, I didn’t realise this at the time and thought the problem was with my milk supply). After a while of this, my husband ran out to buy a swing to give me a bit of time during the day to get things done and we realised that, miraculously, he fell asleep in the swing like magic! He also had long naps and slept great at night in the swing!

    At around 3 months he mostly didn’t need the swing to be on (it was by accident that I realised this – similar to the FedEx scenario described above). However, he wanted nothing to do with the crib, even though the swing had been next to his crib for weeks and we were using many other sleep cues. At 5.5 months, we decided to transition. Night #1 was really tough, he basically “broke” us and at 3am, we put him in the swing. That was the last time he spent any time in the swing at night. Night 2, he cried 8 minutes and fell asleep in the crib and followed his usual nighttime schedule and night 3 he only cried 2 minutes.

    We waited until he was almost 7 months to transition for naps (I did not want to make him cry unless necessary!), but to my surprise, there was no crying at all. He is now 8 months and we have no issues (for the most part). He will even sleep at my parents’, which we only tried for the first time when he was 7 months.

    Thank you so much Alexis – the information you provided was invaluable! I felt like such a terrible mother for relying on the swing, until I found your site and saw that I was not alone!!!

  145. Looking for a sample schedule for weaning baby off the swing for naps. For example, an estimate of how long (how many days/naps) to drop to each speed.

    Here’s what we are doing now:
    Currently, LO sleeps in the crib for bedtime from 8:30pm-4:30am so nighttime sleep is not an issue. Naps in the crib are not happening. We tried for a few days and he would just cry or take 5 minute naps. Rather than let him get overtired, he sleeps in the swing. With the swing at 4 (out of 6 speeds), he naps 1.5 hours per nap. We have a nap/bedtime song that plays first along with white noise and he is put down (in both swing and crib) awake. Goal is to move him gradually off the swing and into his crib for naps.

  146. Hello,

    My 5mth old son used to only nap in his swing and sleep at night in the crib. Now he doesn’t want to nap in the swing OR the crib. Night time crib sleeping is still fine. Any suggestions to get him sleeping in the crib during the day would be great!

  147. My baby is 4 months and huge (approaching 20 lbs.) so I am feeling like we might need to move him out of the swing pretty soon. He sleeps amazing in the swing at night (5-6 hours at a stretch). We have been trying to transition him to the crib and we’re able to get him to fall asleep but now he wakes up every 2 hours. As soon as we put him back in the swing – back to long stretches of sleep.
    We could probably get him back to sleep when he wakes up from the crib if we gave him a bottle every time, but we are trying to avoid him being totally dependent on the bottle. Any ideas on how to get him out of the swing but keep making progress in sleeping through the night without depending on milk?

  148. So this week we moved the swing to her room, and she is swinging at the lowest speed of 1. She falls asleep with white noise, but I stopped swaddling her a while ago. Will the process still work if I don’t swaddle her, or should I start again? She is 18 weeks old!

  149. Hello,

    So I have a beautiful 9 month old baby boy. Sleeping has always been an interesting situation for my little guy. For a few months napping only happened in my arms or in a baby carrier with white noise blaring and me bouncing up and down. A few months later I could rock him to sleep, but couldn’t put him down without him waking up. Finally at about 6 months old I discovered the swing :) white noise blaring and swing on full blast I could get him to nap maybe 30-45 minutes. I always put him down awake and would let him fall asleep on his own, but the swing was in the living room so I would turn the lights off, but he could see me while he fell asleep. Then he turned 7 months, we put the swing in his room. So his room is dark, white noise blaring, put him in awake and sit beside the swing in the dark. He looses his mind crying, so if you whip the swing back and forth very quickly he finally gets sleepy. Once he falls asleep I let the swing take over on the highest setting and sneak out of the room. He will nap in the swing for 45min to 2 hours. It’s great he’s sleeping, but he’s getting bigger and it’s so hard to get the swing whipping back and forth hard enough to calm him… I try and just let the swing go back & forth to help calm him, but it never works and I eventually have to swing it harder. Any advice on getting him to relax and sleep without very fast swinging? Or without us being in the room?

    • Also I have to add, we started manually swinging the swing faster when he was teething and extra fussy. Also we are co-sleeping at night. At this point, just trying to get napping under control is the first battle.

  150. My daughter is 6months old today, sleep has been getting worse and worse. At first I thought that it was 4 mo sleep regression bleeding into 6 month growth spurt. But after reading your 3 articles on sleep, I think otherwise. She does not like rocked, but bounced, she nurses to sleep and is waking every hour and has to nurse to sleep again. She refuses a paci. Is the swing method the first step I should try?

    • Honestly no – at 6 months she’s likely aged out of the time when swing would work. I mean if you have one sitting there you’re welcome to try for 2-3 days and see what happens. But truthfully I wouldn’t expect swing miracles at this point :(

  151. What do you suggest for a 6 month old for sleep training.

  152. Alexis – you saved my life!! Your post on sleeping in the swing has been my saving grace with my daughter who has reflux and gas issues. She was waking up every 45 minutes in her cradle at 3 months old and she would sleep in the swing for naps but I was nervous to let her sleep in the swing at night because I didn’t want to go against the recommendations for newborns! I started to put her in the swing for naps and at night (I know you say miracle blankets in the swing don’t work but I’m proof that swaddling with her legs out in the miracle blanket DOES work!). I followed your advice and kept lowering the swing speed every couple of weeks – flash forward 2 months and she now sleeps from 8pm-5am in the non-moving swing! She eats and then goes right back to sleep – sometimes she falls asleep nursing, other times I put her down awake and she falls asleep on her own. Hoping to make the transition to the crib within the next few weeks and then we’ll work on ditching the swaddle but just wanted to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!! I was feeling like a failure for not being able to put my baby to sleep “drowsy but awake”…I was rocking and holding her for 30 minutes before every nap and at bedtime and she was waking up constantly! Now I swaddle her, put her in the swing and she fusses for less than 5 minutes and falls asleep!
    I know you say losing the swaddle should be no big deal but I’m having anxiety over it! Would you recommend transitioning to the crib BEFORE we lose the swaddle or should I get her sleeping in the non moving swing with no swaddle first?

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