When I was registering for my first baby back in 2017, there was one item at the top of my list: the mamaRoo baby swing from up-and-coming brand 4moms. I’d been reading about the brand 4moms, which was founded in 2005 in Pittsburgh, Pa. and was dedicated to creating better, more intuitive, and in my opinion, less ugly baby gear.
So when I received the rockaRoo (the brand’s lower-end version) at my baby shower, I was thrilled. I couldn’t wait to see what baby magic it would perform on my little one, who was born just a few months later.
I was wrong. From day one, my son hated it. He would sit in it, sure, but only if I was in his sight and would often emit a series of very disgruntled articulations which would eventually morph into full-blown cries. Then I’d pick him up to soothe him, rinse, and repeat.
But the swing was not only expensive but also a gift. So I hung onto it. Meaning, it sat, unused in our living room for months. I’d occasionally park the baby in the swing, hoping for a different outcome, but he never quite adjusted to its unique motion and slippery surface, so eventually I just packed it away.
When my second son was born just two years later, I pulled out the rockaRoo, determined that this time, things would be different. (And if not, I always had our backup—the classic Fisher-Price bouncer that, ironically, retailed for just $24.99.)
My second son is a lot more laidback than my first. He sleeps anywhere, from his crib to the car, and in the baby carrier more often than not. Most nights, he logs 12-13 hours straight. But he never once fell asleep in this swing. And that was the end of my very tumultuous love affair with a baby product that I really wanted to like. I liked a lot of things about the Mamaroo swing, from i’s modern appearance to its quiet operation, and even the brand’s mission — but it’s a baby swing that ultimately, just didn’t work for our family.
mamaRoo Swing Features
- Unique motions. There are many pros to the rockaRoo. First and foremost, it mimics the natural movement of parents holding a baby, with a gentle back-and-forth movement. While my babies never cared for it, I’m sure there are many babies that do. And it has a total of 5 different options for movement, unlike traditional baby swings, so it really is a cool feature.
- Machine-washable. Second, the swing’s cover is fully removable and washable, a boon if you’ve ever had a kid who has frequent blowouts. (I’ve had two). It also offers more material options now, from classic gray and black to plush options in multi and silver, even a cool gray mesh for those babies who run hot.
- Smaller footprint. And last, the swing’s footprint is also significantly smaller than other swings, which means you can position it nearly anywhere in your home and not trip over it every five seconds. This sleek design is also a welcome respite from the usual appearance of baby gear, meaning brightly-colored, large, and in a word, loud.
What to Consider Before You Buy
My biggest issue with the 4moms swing is the material. While it’s nice to have a removable cover that is machine-washable, I thought the material was simply too slippery. I also often wondered if it simply wasn’t cozy enough for my babies.
The swing’s price might also be a deterrent for some. In a world where the necessary baby gear could set new parents back hundreds even thousands of dollars (hello, Snoo!) paying upwards of $200 for a baby swing may not always be reasonable.
Not Right For Everyone, But Works For Some
My overall conclusion of the mamaRoo swing? While it wasn’t right for us, that doesn’t mean that it’s not right for all families. For us, I think it was a combination of the material (too slippery, not cozy enough), the motion (while innovative, my kids preferred a simple bounce that they could initiate themselves with a few quick kicks of those chubby legs), and the fact that I really, really, wanted my babies to like it.
Stay with me. Babies are notoriously fickle creatures and the very items that well-meaning parents bestow upon them most often aren’t what the babies prefer. There’s a reason why simply-designed baby gear has been around for generations. Think, a classic crib, a bassinet, wooden blocks or a rattle and yep, even your basic bouncer.
And maybe I’m giving my kids too much credit, but I felt like they saw through the somewhat overly engineered design of the 4moms swing. Sure, it was made to feel exactly like mom. But it wasn’t her — and they knew it.
Based on my experience, I wouldn’t recommend the mamaRoo swing. The bang just isn’t worth the buck. Instead, you might have better lucking pursuing one of Truly Mama’s other baby swing recommendations.
Pros & Cons
5 unique motions
Good for small spaces
Material not "cozy"
Babies can't bounce on their own
4 Things I Want My Daughters To Remember About This Inauguration Week
At first I was afraid to watch the inauguration with my daughter, but we’ve had important conversations about the events…