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Less isn't more; more (features) is more

Full-size baby swings are typically fitted with dozens of features, including variable swing speeds and directions, music, lights, sounds and vibration. The Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny Cradle 'n Swing (Est. $165) , one of the top-reviewed models in the full-size baby swing market, is a prime example. Reviewers say their baby likes the option of swinging either from front to back or side to side in the plush seat, and the ability to face mom in one of three different directions makes everybody happy. The Snugabunny doesn't convert to a floor model, unlike the Graco SweetPeace Infant Soothing Swing (Est. $180) , which also vibrates when used separately from the swing base.

Although more expensive, parents say the versatility of the Graco SweetPeace makes it worth the extra money. Dubbed a "soothing center" by Graco, the SweetPeace swings in multiple directions, plus parents can use their Graco car seats in the frame, making it possible to extend a nap that started in the car. However, some reviewers say the seat is too upright, even in its most reclined position, so it may not be as good a choice for newborns or small babies.

The Fisher-Price Starlight Papasan Cradle Swing (Est. $175) gets glowing reviews from parents of newborns for its fascinating light show, but with only a three-point harness, it is not as safe a choice once baby is a little older. The Starlight Papasan is a traditional cradle swing that can move in multiple directions, and in addition to its popular light show features music, sound effects and a mobile with hanging plush toys.

All three of these swings, like most full-size baby swings, can run on battery or electricity. They also garner many negative reviews for an unreliable motor that stops after limited use -- a common issue among full-size swings. Taking all of those issues into account, the Snugabunny, with its five-point harness and deep recline, is the optimal choice for baby.

A budget swing may be all you need for a happy baby

Baby swings are hit or miss, depending on the baby who's judging them, and none of them shine as far as durability is concerned, so trying to find a bargain on a swing that may only be used for a few months is a smart idea.

The Graco Comfy Cove LX swing (Est. $80) , one of the least expensive full-size swings on the market, is a sturdy choice for parents on a budget. Despite being battery operated and only swinging in one direction -- front to back -- the Comfy Cove LX earns praise by reviewers who like the deep, easy-to-adjust seat and gender-neutral fabric choices. An attached mobile has three hanging toys, plus 15 sound and song options. Several reviewers have reported problems with the swing either not working out of the box or quitting after limited use, and the straps may slip off a smaller baby's shoulders.

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Fisher-Price Papasan Cradle Swing, Starlight
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $176.99 $109.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Graco Sweetpeace Infant Soothing Swing - Elefanta
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $279.97
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Fisher-Price Cradle 'N Swing, My Little Snugabunny
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from Amazon.com
New: $169.99 $160.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Graco Comfy Cove LX Infant Swing, Roman
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from Amazon.com
New: $109.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  

Baby Swings Runners Up:

4 moms mamaRoo Est. $250

8 picks including: About.com, Amazon.com…

Fisher-Price Rainforest Bouncer Est. $65

4 picks including: Amazon.com, BabyCenter.com…

Fisher-Price Starlight Papasan Cradle Swing Est. $175

3 picks including: Amazon.com, Baby Bargains…

Graco SweetPeace Infant Soothing Swing Est. $180

3 picks including: Baby Bargains, Buzzillions.com…

Bright Starts Comfort & Harmony Portable Swing Est. $70

2 picks including: Amazon.com, Baby Bargains…

Fisher-Price Space Saver Swing & Seat Est. $80

1 pick including: Amazon.com, Walmart.com…

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4Moms 2014 Mamaroo Classic- Classic Black
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $239.99 $210.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Fisher-Price Rainforest Bouncer
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $64.99 $44.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Fisher-Price Papasan Cradle Swing, Starlight
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $176.99 $109.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Graco Sweetpeace Infant Soothing Swing - Elefanta
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $279.97
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Bright Starts Comfort and Harmony Portable Swing, Florabella
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $59.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Fisher-Price Space Saver Swing and Seat, Luv U Zoo
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $79.99 $50.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  

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