A longtime parent favorite, the Fisher-Price Starlight Papasan Cradle Swing is a versatile option that does a good job of soothing fussy little ones, reviewers say. The songs and mesmerizing light show win particular praise, as does the ability for babies to swing side to side or back and forth. However, some say the three-point harness is unsafe, and others find the swing too slow. The swing is also plagued by reports of faulty motors.
Think a three-point harness can contain your little one? The Fisher-Price Starlight Papasan Cradle Swing has a three-point harness and tray, and is recommended for use from birth through 25 pounds. However, a handful of parents say they have found their baby squirming out of the seat and hanging off the side, underscoring many reviewers' wish for a five-point harness. Fisher-Price says to stop using the swing when babies are active enough to sit up or climb out. Owners say the swing offers a nice cushion for infant head support, and they generally find the unit easy to set up. There are two seat-recline positions. A few users say the legs wobble, making the frame seem unstable.
Mesmerizing light show. With six speeds and the ability for babies to swing side to side or front to back, the Fisher-Price Starlight Papasan Cradle Swing is one of the more versatile models available. The mobile features plush hanging stars and a teddy bear, but parents are bigger fans of the lights -- the stars projected onto the swing's canopy mesmerize babies, many say. The swing also features 16 songs, two sound effects and volume control. The swing is reported as comfy, but some owners complain that there is little difference between swing speeds, and some say the swing is simply too slow. Others say it is not very portable.
Potential motor issues. The Fisher-Price Starlight Papasan Cradle Swing's padding is machine washable, but a few reviewers note that the head cushion is not removable and can get dirty. The swing does not convert into any other type of seat, and as with most baby swings, parents say their babies outgrew the swing before reaching the upper weight limit of 25 pounds. Many owners report that the motor stopped working shortly after purchase. Fisher-Price sent a replacement for the motor, but in some cases owners had to wait a while for a back-ordered part.
1. Baby Bargains
Review Credibility: Excellent "Baby Bargains," a comprehensive book by Denise and Alan Fields, reviews baby gear and common baby brands. The authors recommend a handful of swings based on expert testing and parents' reviews, as well as information from manufacturers and retailers. Their website offers up-to-date information, additional reviews, recall information and forums for parents to discuss baby products.
Review: Around the House: Monitors, Diaper Pails, Safety, Denise and Alan Fields, Ninth Edition, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good The Fisher-Price Starlight Papasan Cradle Swing earns 4 out of 5 stars in more than 700 reviews on Amazon.com. Reviewers like the comfy material, easy assembly, ability to use AC power and soothing features -- the lights are especially mesmerizing for their babies, many say. However, some reviewers report issues with faulty motors or found there was little difference between swing speeds. Others say the lack of a five-point harness makes this swing unsafe for older babies.
Review: Fisher-Price Cradle 'n Swing, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good The Fisher-Price Papasan Cradle Swing earns 4.1 out of 5 stars in more than 4,800 reviews on Buzzillions.com. Reviewers agree the swing is comfy and fun for their babies, easy to set up and soothing. However, many find it too bulky, hard to store and noisy, with many clicking and grinding noises. Others say the motor quit after limited use.
Review: Fisher-Price Papasan Swing, Contributors to Buzzillions.com, As of March 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good This detailed review names the Fisher-Price Papasan Cradle Swing as the best choice for parents on a budget. It praises the easy assembly, neutral color scheme, lights, different swinging directions and incline for reflux babies. It also praises Fisher-Price's customer service and says the swing is "perfect for newborns." However, it's not the best choice for older babies and could go faster, the review notes. Also, the swing is "bulky" and can be noisy, and the headrest is not removable.
Review: Baby Swing Reviews, Editors of HomegrownBabies.com, Not dated
Review Credibility: Good Editors say parents they've surveyed like the Fisher-Price Papasan Cradle Swing for its superior soothing capabilities. The short review does not note any cons or compare the swing to others.
Review: Top Swings, Bouncers and Exersaucers, Circle of Moms Editors, April 29, 2011