Has little-known brand 4moms made a baby swing worthy of it’s big name rivals?
This unique seat was created to mimic the movement of mama’s: rocking, swinging, swaying and bouncing. The 4moms mamaRoo Baby Swing has 5 different movements that can soothe and calm any fussy baby and is a favorite of hospitals. The features are fantastic, but you might consider the Ingenuity SmartSize 2-in-1 for a better priced, better-reviewed swing.
It’s All About the Motion
Many baby swings claim to have a certain movement that will calm any baby. So when I came across this swing from a brand I had never heard of, I had my doubts. Will their swing be any different than one from Fisher Price or Graco? After checking it out, it seems that this swing might actually be different than the others.
Great movements with even cuter names. 4moms names all the motions for the mamaRoo Baby Swing , and they are adorably accurate. They are designed to mimic any motion that a parent could make with their arms, body, and even the car.
The first movement, the “car ride,” moves the baby in a sort of figure eight motion: up and over, then back down, around and up.
The “kangaroo” bounces baby up and down in one direction and then back the way it came.
The “tree swing” is exactly how it sounds- it just swings back and forth.
The rainbow pattern of the “rock a bye” keeps the baby moving up and over, back and forth.
The final move, called the “wave” sweeps baby in a circle to keep them gently moving without any bouncing.
Speed em up or slow em down. All 5 of the movements can be adjusted speed-wise as well. That means the movements can be low and slow for those brand new littles, or maybe a bit faster for an older baby. The speeds don’t seem to go as fast overall as some of the other swings I’ve used. This might be a good thing for babies who like gentle movement, but if your baby is like my active-from-birth child, the movement might not be enough to soothe, even at the top speed and the most busy motion.
Compact size for modern living. The baby swing I used for my little love was great, but we had to drag it out in the middle of the room to use it. Not so with this hybrid baby swing/bouncy seat. Measuring in at 33″L x 19.5″W x 25.5″H, it can fit in a corner somewhere. All of the movements take place within those dimensions, so no dragging it away from walls or furniture for use. This is good, because at 19 pounds, it’s not exactly a breeze to move around.
The combination of compact size and unique movements is what landed this swing a spot on our unique baby items list.
Product Overview Video
Mobile Controls for the Tech-Savvy Mom or Dad
Our phone controls our entire life, so why not our baby swing, too? Makes sense. The mamaRoo swing was developed with our techy lifestyle in mind. You can control the movement, speed, and built-in sounds of the swing by connecting your swing to your phone via Bluetooth.
How great is this? You can be in the laundry room folding clothes and as soon as you hear baby start to whimper, you change the setting without walking in the other room. As with a lot of awesome technology, it was created with Apple products in mind. So if you have an Android, you might experience some problems with getting that Bluetooth connectivity to work.
Pump up the jams. Okay, so your very young baby may not have a jam yet, but they can still listen to music so they can develop their tastes. Or, if you are like me, you can listen to your own music so that you don’t go crazy when baby is super fussy. The mamaRoo swing gives you the ability to plug in your phone with an auxiliary cord. So whether you are listening to Baby Einstein or Rhianna, you can turn your swing into a speaker.
Not too loud. Speaking of the speakers, though, they are a bit lacking. They don’t get very loud at all. And the music that does come out is a bit tinny sounding. This goes for the 4 programmed sounds (white noise variations, no lullabies) that come on the unit and for your own MP3s played through the aux cord. The motor does its part to drown out the speakers anyways, so maybe opting for the white noise of the motor running is your best bet.
Toys Up Top
What’s a good baby swing without something dangling down to catch baby’s attention? I know my son spent a few minutes staring at a mobile before being swung into sweet sleep each time he was in his baby swing. The mobile on this unit is completely lacking in my humble opinion.
If I am going to pay the big bucks for a swing, I would expect more from the mobile. Here’s the two things that need improving:
- The mobile doesn’t move. Not even a natural sway in the breeze. Completely motionless.
- The mobile is boring. So the toy balls are removable and reversible. But both sides are pretty boring: black and white patterned fabric on one side and colors with white polka dots on the other. Won’t keep baby’s attention for long.
At least there is something there to catch baby’s attention, if only for a minute. And if your baby is able to reach the balls and pull them off and play with them, that would be great too. But for little babies, the mobile leaves a lot to be desired.
Fit for Babies of All Sizes
The 4moms mamaRoo swing can be used from birth up to 25 pounds. Like any swing, it becomes unsafe when baby can sit up on his or her own or when they weigh more than the supported weight.
Big babies beware! For most babies, you’ll probably get a lot of use out of this swing. Some other brands of swings support up to 30 or 35 pounds. Those swings are more appealing to me because for whatever reason, my babies grow fast and are pushing 25 pounds by the end of their first year. It would be a shame to pay so much for the mamaRoo and only get to use it for a few months because my monster baby won’t fit.
Newborn insert needed. The padding and cushioning just isn’t enough for those tiny newborns. Tiny babies might have a really hard time getting comfy. The company sells a newborn insert, but it isn’t cheap and adds on to the already hefty price tag. Want a cheaper option? Buy an insert that you’d normally use in a car seat and attach it to the straps. Same effect for baby, but a much more positive effect on your bank account.
Reclining for comfort. The seat has so many positions that can be reclined into. The manufacturer says that it can be fully reclined, but the seat never seemed to lay flat. I’d say that it still had a 20 degree angle on it or so at it’s most reclined level. I’m not one to split hairs, so I’m going to say that they fact that it goes from almost flat to sitting up is pretty fantastic and meets the needs of babies of different sizes.
Just Throw It in the Washer!
Well, maybe not the whole thing. The padding/seat liner is removable and is completely machine washable. Just zip it off and you are good to wash. This is so great if you have a little who loves to have little accidents. My son spit up non-stop for the first 6 months of his life, and having this washable swing would have been so nice. Another big bonus: you can buy extra seat covers from 4moms in case one gets ruined or you want to have one to use while another is being washed.
Straps gotta stay strapped. The straps don’t come out for washing, though. They stay connected to the whole unit for safety reasons. This is somewhat of a pain, because it seems like those straps are a magnet for spit up or spills. Don’t fear though, the buckles and straps are still easily cleanable if the need arises.
Plush vs Regular- Is the upgrade worth it?
This is the big question: do you need to pay extra and upgrade to the plush version over the classic version? The answer really depends on you. Like me, do you feel the need to surround your baby with all things soft? If so, then it might be worth it to you to upgrade. The classic fabric isn’t the softest thing I’ve felt, but it’s not bad. Also, the plush seats come in cuter and brighter colors.
But if baby is going to be cuddled up with a blanket anyways, the money is maybe better saved than spent. This comes down to personal preference, but I would say use a super soft blanket or newborn car seat insert instead and save the money and the baby sweat.
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- Awesome and unique movements
- Swings and bounces
- Compact size
- Machine washable
- Mobile control
- Different seat positions
- Speeds are relatively slower
- Speakers are terrible
- Mobile isn’t very fun
- Problems using Bluetooth
- Upgrades are expensive
- Big price tag
What’s the difference between the mamaRoo and rockaRoo?
Most importantly, mamaRoo mimics a variety of motions that Mom might make to sooth her baby, while the rockaRoo mimics a rocking motion. The mamaRoo has built-in soothing sounds, while rockaRoo has none. The mamaRoo is considerably more expensive.
How long can I leave my baby in the mamaRoo?
Some sources recommend no more than 30 minutes per day. Two cited explanations for this limit are:
- to prevent too great a length of confinement (hindering proper physical development)
- to prevent his coming to rely upon the bouncing or rocking in order to go to sleep and stay asleep. Many parents leave the baby in the mamaRoo for longer periods of time, but your child should not be in the device during all her waking or sleeping hours.
Is it safe for my baby to sleep in the mamaRoo?
It is safe for your baby to sleep in the mamaRoo — as long as you are watching. Remember that the recommendation for safe sleep while you sleep is that your child is:
- in your room but not in your bed
- on his back
- on a hard, flat surface
- with nothing (pillows, etc.) that might interfere with breathing, should the child get turned in a wrong direction.
Can the mamaRoo be washed?
Yes, the removable seat cover can be washed. The base and straps can only be wiped.
Do the mamaRoo and rockaRoo use batteries?
No, they do not. They must be plugged into an electric outlet.
Is the 4moms mamaRoo safe for newborns?
Yes, the mamaRoo is safe for any baby between 5 and 25 pounds who is harnessed, does not sit unassisted, and does not try to climb out.
The 4moms mamaRoo baby swing is a good product. If it wasn’t they wouldn’t use it in NICUs all over the country. What sets it apart is the amazing movements, compact size, and ability to accommodate tiny babies. The Bluetooth controls, if you can get them to work, are a huge bonus. But for the price, I think this leaves parents wanting for better features. I would save the money and buy a baby swing that has faster speeds, better sounds, and a cooler mobile.