Many parents have been worrying and showing concerns about a contrary opinion toward baby swing stating that it can be one of the reasons for brain damage in infants, especially newborn babies. So, where does this opinion come from, and is there any possibility that it is telling the truth? Do baby swings cause brain damage?
In this article, we will be providing you with information based on a number of scientific resources, not rumors or personal opinions, to help you answer this question yourself. Let’s dive in!
What Causes Brain Damage in an Infant?
Regarding the relation between brain damage and baby swings, we should check the most reliable sharings about baby swing brain development. One of those is from Dr. Cheang (the head of the neurosurgery department – Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital). According to him, repetitive and rough swinging movements are, for the most parts, the primary cause of brain damage in babies.
One of the biggest mistakes that parents often make is that they exert too much force to stop the babies from crying, like shaking them around. However, as Dr. Cheang said, if this movement is repeatedly and roughly done for many hours, this might affect babies’ brains badly.
He also stated that the speed of the back-to-forth movement is a crucial factor in terms of safety. This sharing makes sense even for us adults. Even though we have much stronger bodies than babies, we also feel that “headache” if we play some swinging games for hours.
Do Baby Swings Cause Brain Damage?
Until this point, this question is still a controversy in the parents’ community. However, because of the lack of information from science and professionals for this question, we cannot come to the final verdict that baby swings can cause brain damage if it is used in the right way.
So, can using baby swing result in brain damage in your child? Let’s take an in-depth look at both sides of the discussion!
Scientists Have not Concluded that Baby Swings Can Cause Brain Damage in Infants
There are quite a few reasons that make parents, especially newlyweds, or those who do not have much experience in raising kids, think that baby swings can cause brain damage. However, until this point, there is no trust-worthy scientific evidence that baby swings can cause brain damage in infants.
As we mentioned above, the leading swing-related reason that causes brain damage in a baby is not the baby swing itself, but the speed and frequency you use it.
Unfortunately, not every mom or dad knows all of the potential causes of the swings’ wrong speed and frequency. They make huge mistakes while using swings, and when there is something wrong with their baby, they end up blaming the swings.
We have been going through many reports and studies about baby swings, and the reason scientists cannot conclude that swings can damage a baby’s brain is that the power of the swings is too weak to do so. Also shared by Dr. Cheang, at the moment, even though wrong use of baby swings can cause serious harm, there is no evidence shows that baby swings can cause brain damage in kids if we use them in the right way, with a reasonable amount of time and speed.
We’d Better Be Careful Than Careless
Even though there is no scientific proof showing the last verdict for this controversy, it does not mean that we should be careless and use the swings improperly.
While waiting for the last conclusion, it is better to take both sides into consideration and always be careful with anything you use for your kid, not just the swings.
Now, if you still choose to use baby swings for your kids, first, make sure you only choose the low swinging speed for the safety of your babies. Let’s learn more about how to use baby swings in the safest way for your kids by following the advice from professionals that we are going to show you in the next part.
Safety Tips When Using a Swing
Swings can be a great “helping hand” for your baby to have deep sleep, but using it the wrong way or depending on it to an extreme degree can bring more harm than good. So, how can we use it safely? Check some of our safety tips below!
Safety Tip 1: Baby Sleeping in Swing Overnight is Not OK
We know that it would be so comfortable for you to just let your baby sleep in his or her swing for hours without your effort trying to make him or her sleep. By doing it, you can have much more free time to do your own stuff. However, this lazy habit is not recommended at all.
As we shared with you early on in this article, professionals say that repeated use and high speed pose some risks to the babies brain’s neurons as they’re sensitive and fragile towards those swinging movements.
You should always remember that the purpose of a swing is to calm the baby down and make him or her feel relaxed and more comfortable while sinking into slumber. However, no matter versatile it can get, it can never replace the parents’ care.
How to do it properly
To minimize the negative impacts of baby swing on your kid’s physical health, you should only use it to soothe your baby for a while. Keep in mind that you should never let your baby sleeping in the swing for hours without any supervision.
Safety Tip 2: Never Use Swings Longer than the Recommended Time
Using swings for hours may cause harm to baby brains, or at least makes your little one dizzy. To make it safe for your kid, we suggest you use the swing for a maximum time of 30 minutes, and stop the swinging movements after seeing your baby sleep soundly.
If you are busy with other things and frequently forget to turn the swing off, you can set the alarm on your phone to remind you when the time comes.
If your baby cannot sleep without a moving swing, you may need to spend more time changing this bad habit. Singing a lullaby or playing some gentle music to lull him or her to sleep can be a good solution. This might be difficult at first, but your baby will get familiar with falling asleep without a swing after a while.
Safety Tips 3: Change Cradles While Your Baby is Growing
Most parents do not know that using the wrong swing (wrong size for their heigh anf weight) might endager many parts of their body, especially the brain. Infants with different sizes need different cradles because their bodies and neuron’s reactions toward movement are also different.
You must also pay attention to your baby swing weight limit. If you have not bought any yet, you should weigh your kid first, and buy the one that is most suitable for him or her.
How to do it properly
We highly recommend you note the swing’s limit weight and change it on a daily basis when your baby grows bigger. Moreover, do not keep on using the swing when your baby already crosses the limit weight.
Safety Tip 4: Pick the Cradles that Have Safety Harness
Safety harness should be one of your priorities while choosing a cradle for your kid, especially when he or she is a newborn. This is no laughing matter. A cradle without a protective harness might hurt the baby’s brain and body if they accidentally fall off it.
The safety harness is like the “protector” who will not let your baby fall off the swing when you are not around. You know, kids are playful, and prevention is always better than cure.
How to do it properly
To keep it safe, make sure you only go after the cradles with a protecting harness for your little baby, especially the new-born ones.
How Do You Know If Your Baby Has Brain Damage?
Knowing some common symptoms of brain damage in babies can go a long way in protecting our kids from potential harm. And if you see your kid have one of the following symptoms, get them checked immediately to ensure no further harm comes their way.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of brain damage in infants and toddlers:
Symptom 1: Sensitive Reactions to Light
If your little one recently reacts aggressively like crying, screaming, or showing negative emotions towards the light (both daylight and electric light), you should pay more attention to your kid.
If your baby just reacts like that when you interrupt their sleep with light, like opening the curtains or turning on the light suddenly, this is just a normal reaction, and you should not worry too much. However, if your kid has been reacting like that frequently, you should have their health checked by the professionals.
Symptom 2: Sleep Disorders, Developmental, and Cognitive Symptoms
Developmental and Cognitive symptoms, and sleeping disorders can be related to brain damage. Those are one of the intense symptoms of brain issues in children that most parents do not have enough knowledge to recognize.
We know kids are hard to sleep, and are playful. So, if they randomly do something weird, yet, most of the time, we only think of those symptoms as “the kid things.”
However, when your kid encounters troubles with sleeping or shows signs of cognitive symptoms (poor motor coordination, confusion, loss of short-term or/and long-term memory), you’d better have your babies checked out by a doctor than stay home guessing.
Symptoms 3: Abnormal Body Movements and Reactions
Some of the most noticeable signs of brain damage is the abnormal body movements and reactions in kids.
Do your kid have signs like walking gait, scissoring legs, lousy coordination, abnormal head movements, stiff muscles, or some of the similar signs? If so, the best thing to do is take your kid to the hospital and have them checked immediately.
Unlike symptoms 1 and 2 listed above, those abnormal movements can be the apparent symptoms of brain-related problems. Even if they have nothing to do with the brain, they might be a sign of bad physical growth.
What to do next?
Firstly, we have to honestly say that if your baby already has one or some of those symptoms, then the best thing you can do is to seek help from those qualified in the medical field as soon as possible.
It is sad to know that many inexperienced parents take advice from anyone from friends who do not have enough knowledge in treating children’s trauma for their kid’s problems and end up harming their kids. So, again, the best thing to do now is taking them to a reliable hospital or clinical office for help.
If you are not a doctor with this expertise, you cannot help anything in treatment. However, the best thing you can do in this situation for your baby’s brain is to build a happy and healthy environment. Make sure the kids will stay out of anything appearing to bring them harm, and other factors that may cause mental issues.
Baby swing is a useful and familiar thing that most parents choose to soothe their kids. However, because of the lack of knowledge, most moms and dads do not know how to use it in the safest way.
In this article, we have discussed both sides of the problems and provided other helpful information to enhance your kids’ safety and healthy growth while using a swing.
So, do baby swings cause brain damage?
The answer depends on how you use it. Just keep it swinging at an average speed, and never leave your child unattended, then nothing bad will ever happen.