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the benefits of swinging 

by Jenny Etherington, Solvej Swings

Why is it so good for babies and children to swing?

The most obvious benefit of swinging for babies and children is that swinging is fun and exciting. The feeling of being weightless for a split second at each end of the pendulum, feeling the wind as you accelerate down, hitting the bottom of the pendulum in full speed with the extra g-force on your body is exciting. To laugh and be happy is most beneficial to both our physical and mental health.

Swinging is a suitable exercise from the time the neck is strong enough (approximately 6 months). Swing your baby gently in the beginning to get them used to swinging and not frighten them. If you start your baby young be gentle in your swinging for quite some time. Swinging can also be very soothing and relaxing for your baby.

There are some hidden benefits that the children won't know about but we as parents can appreciate;

Eye development (focusing): The development of changing the depth of focus has already started at 6 months and is basically completed during the baby's second year. Swinging is one of the most excellent ways of helping to develop this ability and exercise it as the baby is moving back and forth constantly changing the depth of focus. (This is a period when watching TV should be at the absolute minimum, preferably not at all.) So don't wait to long before you start your baby swinging.

Balance: Eyes and ears are major organs when it comes to balance. When swinging it is not only the eyes that are trained and exercised but also the fluid in the inner ear is constantly swirling back and forth, which is great for the development of balance. When swinging your baby is not only leaning front wards and back wards she/he is also moving back and forth and up and down.

Coordination: To get oneself swinging only by moving ones body is harder than it looks. At the age of about 4 years old a child can swing by themselves and swinging is super for learning and training full body coordination.

Benefits for the parents: There are times when you want to get on with a job without your baby/toddler wanting to be held or clinging to your leg. Just pop your baby in the swing close at hand where he/she can see you. An occasional push will keep baby entertained while you get on with the job.

An easy to shift swing can be of great help to those who work in and around the home and have to look after the little one too. We know of people using their swings in milking sheds and sheep yards. We are sure you can think of other situations you can use a swing and this versatile swing is easily shifted, just unclip and move.

When our daughter Solvej was a baby we found it extremely useful to have a baby swing at home. We used it as much inside as outside. One of the best places was in the kitchen. When it was time to cook it was great to have her up high so she could see what was going on. It is also great not to have your little one hanging on your trouser leg. It is also so much safer not to have them crawling on the floor so you can trip over them or spill something hot on them. An occasional push kept her happy and if tired the swinging often made her go to sleep.


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