Are Swings Good for Babies with Reflux – The Baby Swing

Last Updated on October 30, 2023

Swings can often be a godsend for parents dealing with the challenges of a baby with reflux. The gentle, rhythmic motion provided by a swing can soothe a fussy baby, providing much-needed relief for both the child and the exhausted parents. But are swings good for babies with reflux?

This is a question many parents grapple with, especially because reflux in babies can be quite distressing. Reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux (GER), occurs when the contents of the baby’s stomach come back up into the esophagus. This can lead to discomfort, frequent spitting up, and in some cases, even poor weight gain.

Swings can help in managing these symptoms. The upright position a swing provides may aid in keeping the stomach contents down, reducing reflux episodes.

Are Swings Good for Babies with Reflux

How should a baby swing be used for a baby with reflux?

Using a baby swing for a child with reflux requires careful consideration to ensure it’s both comfortable and safe. Here are some points to keep in mind:

Upright Position: 

A baby swing’s upright position can help keep the stomach contents down, reducing reflux episodes. Ensure the swing allows your baby to sit at an angle greater than 30 degrees to prevent acid from flowing back into the esophagus.

Monitor Swing Time: 

Limit the time your baby spends in the swing. Prolonged periods could lead to a flat head syndrome or torticollis (twisted neck). The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 15-30 minutes at a time.

After Feeding Care: 

Avoid putting your baby in the swing immediately after feeding. Wait for at least 30 minutes to allow digestion and prevent spit-ups.

Secure Strapping: 

Always use the provided harness to secure your baby in the swing. The straps should be snug but comfortable to prevent the baby from slipping.

Soothe Before Sleep: 

Use the swing to soothe your baby before naptime or bedtime, but avoid letting them sleep in it. It’s safer for babies to sleep on a firm, flat surface.

Regular Supervision: 

Never leave your baby unattended in the swing. Continuous supervision is essential for safety.

Follow Weight Guidelines: 

Ensure your baby falls within the weight limit specified by the swing manufacturer. Overloading may cause the swing to tip over or malfunction.

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What are the key factors to remember when using a baby swing?

Are Swings Good for Babies with Reflux

When using a baby swing, it’s essential to consider the following key factors:

Safety Standards: 

Ensure the swing meets all safety standards the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sets. It should have a sturdy frame, a wide base for stability, and no sharp edges or points.

Appropriate Size and Weight: 

The swing should be appropriate for your baby’s size and weight. Overloading may cause the swing to tip over or malfunction. Always adhere to the manufacturer’s weight guidelines.

Reclining Positions: 

The swing should have a reclining position for newborns and small infants who can’t sit up independently. As your baby grows, adjust the seat to a more upright position.

Swing Speed: 

Choose a swing with variable speed settings. Some babies prefer a slow swing, while others may enjoy a faster pace.


The seat should be padded and comfortable. Look for a removable, washable cover for easy cleaning.

Entertainment Features: 

Many swings come with features like music, vibrating seats, and overhead toys to entertain and soothe your baby.

Limited Use: 

Don’t let your baby spend too much time in the swing. Extended periods could lead to problems like flat head syndrome or torticollis.


While swings can soothe your baby, they shouldn’t be used for prolonged sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies sleep on a firm, flat surface.

Which is the best baby swing for reflux in 2023?

The top baby swings for reflux 2023 include the mamaRoo 4 multi-motion baby swing, the Graco DuetSoothe Swing and Rocker, and the Fisher-Price Sweet Snugapuppy Swing.

The mamaRoo 4 multi-motion baby swing is lauded for its smart swing technology, offering five unique motions that mimic parents’ movements.

The Graco DuetSoothe Swing and Rocker are highly praised and considered the best baby swing 2023. It doubles as a rocker, giving more options for soothing your baby.

Finally, the Fisher-Price Sweet Snugapuppy Swing is recognized for its two swing options (side-to-side and head-to-toe), providing versatility in comfort.

How can swing assist a baby suffering from reflux?

A baby swing can assist a baby suffering from reflux in several ways. As per Dr. Sears, a renowned pediatrician, “The slight incline of the swing may help to keep the stomach contents down due to gravity, thus reducing episodes of reflux.”

According to Amy Graham, a physical therapist specializing in pediatrics, “The gentle motion of the swing can provide a soothing effect for babies experiencing discomfort from acid reflux.”She also emphasizes that swings should be used in moderation, not as a substitute for appropriate medical treatment.

Dr. William Carey, a pediatric gastroenterologist, warns about prolonged use of swings, stating, “Extensive use of seating positions like swings can exacerbate reflux and even limit infant exposure to various movements.”

What features should one look for in a baby swing or bouncer for colic and reflux?

When looking for a baby swing or bouncer for a baby with colic and reflux, consider the following factors:

Incline Position: 

A slight incline can help keep stomach contents down due to gravity, reducing reflux episodes. The swing or bouncer should have adjustable recline positions.

Motion and Speed Settings: 

Different babies respond to various movements. Some may soothe with a side-to-side sway, while others prefer head-to-toe motion. A swing with variable speed settings allows you to find the perfect soothing pace for your child.

Vibration Feature: 

Some swings and bouncers come with a vibration feature. Gentle vibrations can help soothe a colicky baby by creating a womb-like environment.

5-Point Harness: 

Safety is paramount. A 5-point harness ensures the baby stays secure in the swing or bouncer, especially when moving.

Comfortable Seat: 

Look for a swing or bouncer with a well-padded, comfortable seat. An uncomfortable seat might exacerbate a baby’s discomfort.

Removable, Machine-Washable Cover: 

With reflux, spit-ups are common. A removable, machine-washable cover makes keeping the swing or bouncer clean easy.


A lightweight, portable swing or bouncer can be very helpful if you need to move around the house.

Entertainment Features: 

Features like music, nature sounds, and overhead toys can distract babies from discomfort and help them relax.

Sturdy Construction: 

The swing or bouncer should have a robust and stable construction to ensure it doesn’t tip over.


What natural solutions exist for babies with reflux?

Several natural remedies can help manage reflux in babies, as per various sources and expert opinions:

Elevating Baby While Sleeping and Eating:

For babies with reflux, keeping them upright during feeding and for at least 30 minutes afterward can help reduce reflux episodes, as gravity helps keep stomach contents down.

Some experts suggest that probiotics can improve symptoms of reflux in babies. Dr. Richard J. Noel, a pediatric gastroenterologist, states that “probiotics can be beneficial in managing gastric discomfort in infants, including reflux.”

Feed Thickener:
Certain natural thickeners can help prevent regurgitation, but their use should be discussed with your child’s pediatrician.

Fennel and Chamomile Teas:
These teas are popular soothing remedies as they can help with digestion. It’s important to remember that any beverage other than breast milk or formula is considered a solid food for babies, and a healthcare professional should guide its introduction.

Nat Phos:
Nat Phos is a natural cell salt that may assist with digestion. It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplements.

Gentle Stomach Massage:
Applying some warm olive or coconut oil on your baby’s stomach and gently massaging in a clockwise direction may provide relief.

Homemade Gripe Water:
Some parents find that homemade gripe water, made from natural ingredients, can soothe a baby’s reflux.

Do baby swings provide any relief for babies with reflux?

Yes, baby swings can provide relief for babies suffering from reflux. These swings often have a slight incline that helps keep the stomach contents down due to gravity, thus reducing reflux episodes.

Several baby swings, such as the Graco Sense2 Soothe, Fisher-Price Sweet Snugapuppy Swing, and Graco DuetSoothe Swing and Rocker, are recommended for reflux relief. These swings have features like an adjustable seat recline, different motion settings, and a 5-point harness for safety.

Which is more effective for reflux, rocker or swing?

When comparing the effectiveness of rockers versus swings for babies with reflux, both options have their benefits. These are based on factors like the baby’s comfort, the product’s design, and how it’s used.


Inclined Position:
Many swings offer a slight incline, which can help reduce reflux episodes by using gravity to keep stomach contents down.

Motion Settings:
Swings often come with multiple motion settings, including side-to-side or head-to-toe swinging. This movement can soothe a baby and distract them from their discomfort.

Comfortable Seat:
Swings usually have well-padded seats that comfort the baby, which is crucial for those suffering from reflux.

Swings should not be used excessively as they can exacerbate reflux and limit infant exposure to various movements.


Gentle Rocking Motion:
The rocking motion of a rocker can be soothing and calming for a baby with reflux.

Rockers are typically lightweight and portable, making them easy to move around the house.

Despite these benefits, experts suggest that rockers may not be as effective for babies with acid reflux.

Wrapping up

Finding the right solution for reflux can be overwhelming at times. It is important to remember that swings and rockers can help relieve babies with reflux, but it is paramount to consult a healthcare professional before introducing them. 

From gravity-defying swings to gentle rockers, the market offers a variety of products that can help soothe babies with reflux. Be sure to choose one with features like adjustable recline, vibration mode, 5-point harness, machine-washable cover, and entertainment features like music and toys. Parents can provide much-needed relief for their little ones with the right product.

It’s also important to remember that natural remedies and lifestyle changes help manage reflux in babies. These include elevating the baby while sleeping and eating, using probiotics or feed thickeners, introducing herbal teas or Nat Phos, and giving a gentle stomach massage. 

As always, consult your healthcare provider before changing your baby’s routine. We hope this guide has helped provide information about reflux relief solutions for babies!

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Dr. Leah Alexander

Dr. Leah Alexander is a board-certified general pediatrician who has been in practice for over 20 years. She began working as a pediatrician at Elizabeth Pediatric Group of New Jersey in 2000. Since 2005, she has been working as an independently contracted pediatrician with Medical Doctors Associates at Pediatricare Associates of New Jersey. Read more

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