Hardly anything can calm a baby as quickly as a swing hammock. But the principle of the hammock is very simple. Actually it is nothing more than a spiral spring linked to a hammock. The special thing about such a spring hammock is its gentle movement without an electric motor. The baby lies calmly in its basket hanging from the ceiling and is gently rocked. Because of the gentle up and down of the spring the baby rocks almost like in the womb.
Do you need a hammock automatic swing? – A well adjusted spring oscillates about 60 to 70 times per minute. This corresponds approximately to the heart rhythm of the mother. Anyone testing a swing hammock for the first time will be amazed at how quickly even crying babies calm down in the cradle. Parents who are convinced of the hammock often look for a modell with an electric drive. They will soon discover that there are various baby cribs with an electric motor, but with the swing hammock, such a drive was deliberately avoided.
Why an electric drive is not necessary with a swing hammock
When you hold your sleeping baby in your arms and he gets restless, you instinctively start to bounce him up and down. This task is performed by the hammock. As already mentioned, good springs are so sensitive that they will bounce for a long time at the slightest movement of the baby. So you react to the baby when it becomes restless and moves while sleeping. At this point, the motor is actually not needed.
Advantages of a baby hammock motor
Many parents complain that it often has to be pushed until their baby falls asleep. Depending on the offspring and external circumstances, this can take longer. Here, an automatic drive would of course be desirable to “outsource” this task.
At this point, a motorized swing hammock makes sense for many parents, especially when time is short anyway. If, for example, you are very busy at work or simply have other siblings or children to entertain, you will be happy to use such an aid.
Here everyone should decide for himself how necessary this acquisition really is. When my first child was born, I did not find it disturbing (despite colic) to accompany her to sleep and to be at her bed for a few more minutes. This period is manageable and in retrospect I would not like to miss this time.
Baby hammock video – Experience with electric swing hammocks
In this video from the German manufacturer swing2sleep you see many happy parents who are very positive about their electric sleep aid. It can be assumed that most children will love this swinging experience and an uncomplicated falling asleep is pre-programmed.
Disadvantages of an electric hammock
The only real advantage of an electric drive can also be fatal. Once the little ones get used to it, it becomes difficult to get them to sleep without the electric motor. This can be counteracted by setting a fixed time at the beginning, which you then reduce piece by piece.
A reasonable period of time
As already indicated, the time in which one needs an automatic drive is manageable. Many parents say in retrospect that the first 3 months were the hardest, which is due to the frequent breastfeeding. With some babies, other problems, such as colic, are added.
Due to the rather high acquisition costs, one must carefully consider whether a purchase really pays off.
One of the many advantages of the swing hammock is its mobility. You can take a baby cradle with you to the park or use it as a travel cot. Many manufacturers supply their cribs in small compact bags that are light and do not require much storage space.
If your child has become too accustomed to an automatic drive, you will always need one. This restricts your mobility. You must always have the motor with you and make sure that there is a power socket. Add to that the weight and the extra space. Since this is an electronic device, it naturally needs to be handled with care.
As already indicated, these electric drives are sometimes very expensive. This can be attributed to high-quality components and certificates.
The price may be justified, but you simply don’t need such an electric motor for long. This again depends on the baby, but after the first 3 months “the worst” is mostly done and the daily routine becomes more relaxed again.
An additional point is the noise development, which cannot be avoided. Depending on the manufacturer, this can be a major problem. However, every baby ticks differently, because many newborns love monotonous noise. My daughter, for example, preferred the noise of our hairdryer. So a monotone and rhythmic noise can also have a calming effect. You simply have to test that.
How long can a electric swing hammock with motor be used?
For example, the swing2sleep can be used up to a weight of 33 lbs. Most children reach this weight at the age of 8-10 months. This corresponds to the service life of most spring cradles, which are usually compatible with an electric drive. In the video of swing2sleep you can see the different hammocks, here you can choose freely.
Buy electric motor cheap in China
Online shops like Aliexpress offer the possibility to buy an engine partly for less than 100 Dollar. This sounds tempting at first, but should be well considered.
You simply have to assume cheap processing here and you cannot expect a quality seal. Often the devices from China are not even delivered with suitable plugs, for this an adapter is still needed.
Of course, you can’t generalize and there will be companies that make good products. I would still advise against it.
DIY – build your own drive with motor
If you are afraid of the high purchase costs and a motor from China is not an option, you might consider building the drive yourself. There are different ways to create a mechanical up and down movement. If you really consider this, you are sure to be a professional and already have an exact idea. But there are also some things to consider.
Security should be a top priority. From short circuit to stability everything should be considered and 200% should work or be fused.
As described above, this need not be a disadvantage. However, manufacturers of engines for swing hammocks have invested a lot of time in development to get around this problem as effectively as possible. This requires a lot of optimization if your design works, but is simply too loud.
Even if you build a drive yourself, you need different components and parts. For this you have to plan some hours of work. If you enumerate and add this up once, you may even end up paying more. Whether the quality of your product then justifies this is another question.
Cheap alternatives for an hammock automatic swing
As mentioned in detail, it is mainly about rocking your baby as comfortably as possible so that he or she can get to sleep quickly.
There are also other ways to generate the necessary movement. This is because the problem has already been recognised in the case of prams and solved by means of pram swingers.
Pram shakers for hammocks
There are different models in the offer. The lolaloo company has a relatively expensive product in its range. A cheaper version would be the ROCKIT Rocker for just under $50. Of course, you have to keep in mind that these devices are actually not made for spring cradles, but there is certainly a practical way to attach them.
Children’s vibrating sensory toys
Another possibility to do without electricity and electrics are toys which can be wound up and which then swing and vibrate through a simple mechanism.
This solution of course still forces you to take action yourself, but much less frequently.
If you hang such a toy on the crossbar, for example, your baby can pull on it himself at some point and control the mechanism independently. The caterpillar from the company small foot is relatively inexpensive at just under $15 and can of course also be used without a spring cradle.