Pros: Puts baby to sleep, muted colors, comfortable for baby
Cons: No AC adapter, swings fast for small babies, time limit on sound feature
This swing, along with our crib mobile (see my review of the Tiny Love Symphony Animal Mobile) was a lifesaver in the early months with our baby!
My son is not a good sleeper, and during the first 3-4 months, he would only sleep well when either my husband or I was holding him (he'd wake up screaming as soon as we put him down), or in this swing. While I loved cuddling with my new baby, having a baby in your arms for 12-15 hours a day makes it hard to get anything else done. My baby was small at birth (5 1/2 pounds) so at first I was reluctant to put him in the swing, since the seat looked so huge and my baby was tiny (now the swing is what looks tiny!). But after the first week when we had so much trouble getting him to sleep, we tried the swing.
It worked like a charm! The first time we put him in it, he fell asleep within minutes and stayed asleep longer than he ever had before! Even now, at 6 1/2 months old, we still use the swing occasionally when my baby won't go down for his nap, and it will put him to sleep (and keep him asleep) 90 percent of the time.
This swing features two seat recline positions: one is pretty much upright, the other position is reclined with baby's back at around a 45-degree angle. It's very easy to switch between the two with a button under the seat. There's also a comfy, cushioned head support, the seat is very deep and is also very soft and cushioned, and there's a three-point belt harness. So even my teeny-tiny baby was comfortable, safe and secure in this swing. And still, now that he weighs nearly 20 pounds, he still looks comfortable (weight limit is 25 pounds).
The swing features 6 swing speeds. Once you turn the swing on, it stays on until you turn it off, which is nice, since the last thing you want is to have your baby wake up because the swing has stopped. One problem I have with the speeds, however, is that even at the lowest setting, the swing went pretty fast when my baby was small. He still slept when it was swinging, but I was uncomfortable with the speed. The instructions state that if the swing is going too fast, you can place a blanket under the baby in the seat and drape it so it's trailing on the floor. We did this, and it does work, but it seems like a clumsy solution, and if the blanket falls out, the swing picks up speed again quickly.
The swing can also move side-to-side in a cradle motion, or front-to-back in a more traditional swing motion. We use the cradle motion almost all the time, as this is what my son seems to prefer. But it's easy to switch between the two motions by pushing a large button above the mobile and turning the swing.
The swing includes two other electronic features: sounds (music, nature sounds, frog sounds and chirping) and a mobile. The sounds quality is not great, but it's pretty good for a baby product, since some can sounds downright awful. We use the natures sounds as white noise to help baby sleep. I love that there's a volume control dial (many baby products don't have this feature, or only have a high/low volume setting). The mobile features butterflies, a bird and leaves that spin above baby's head and move up and down. My son has never been very interested in this feature, but he loves the convex mirror that's located in the center of the mobile - he stares and stares at his reflection, and that keeps more entertained than the mobile ever has.
I really like that the sound, swing and mobile features are all operated independently. So, you can have the swing swinging without sound or mobile, or you can have one or both of either the sounds or mobile going while swinging. You can also turn on the sounds and/or mobile without the swing moving. However, the sounds and mobile turn off after about 7 minutes, which is annoying. There's a one-touch reset button to start them up again, but I hate to have to approach the swing to restart them when my baby's just falling asleep. The swing, however, continues to move until you turn it off.
One final feature is a removable play tray. I suggest taking the tray off while baby is young, as young babies have no interest in these toys, and it makes it difficult to get baby in and out of the swing. But now that my son is older, he loves the toys on this tray and plays with them often.
I like the appearance of the swing. It has muted colors and decorations (as opposed to many brightly colored, garish baby products out there). Since we have this swing right in our living room, it's nice to have something that blends into the background, rather than standing out with bright colors and characters.
I do wish that this swing came with an AC adapter so I could plug it in and not waste batteries. We've used the swing A LOT in the past 6 months, and have only had to change the batteries 2 or 3 times, but still - it uses 4 D size batteries, so that adds up!