4moms mamaRoo vs Fisher-Price Cradle ‘n Swing
Help Me Decide: 4moms mamaRoo or Fisher-Price Cradle ‘n Swing
March 30, 2021

Help Me Decide: 4moms mamaRoo or Fisher-Price Cradle ‘n Swing

Help Me Decide: 4moms mamaRoo or Fisher-Price Cradle ‘n Swing.
Help Me Decide: 4moms mamaRoo or Fisher-Price Cradle ‘n Swing

Ever find yourself stuck between two products and you just can’t make up your mind? Baby registry decision fatigue is real—so Babylist’s Help Me Decide! series is here to help.

Most parents choose to add a swing to their baby registry or purchase one right after their little one arrives. That’s because swings are great at doing what you can’t do all of the time: soothe and entertain your little one, especially when they can be extra fussy during the newborn phase.

The 4moms mamaRoo and the Fisher-Price Cradle ‘n Swing are two of the most popular swing choices for Babylist parents. But what if you can’t decide? And what are the pros and cons of each? Our side-by-side comparison is here to save the day.

THE SHOWDOWN

4moms mamaRoo

Spend a few minutes with a newborn and you’ll quickly learn that motion is one of the best ways to keep them calm. The mamaRoo stands in for your tired arms and back and does what you can’t do 24/7: sway, rock and bounce your little one with the motions they love. The mamaRoo boasts a range of different movements that simulate baby favorites like a car ride, a tree swing, a gentle wave or the bounce of a parents’ arms. It also plays built-in sounds or connects to an MP3 device for custom tunes and can all be controlled via your phone.

Fisher-Price Cradle ‘n Swing

More of a traditional swing, the Cradle ‘n Swing is jam packed with features designed to calm your baby and keep them entertained when you need a break or a few minutes to get things done. The super-plush seat reclines to the perfect custom angle to support your little one. It swings side-to-side or front to back, features six different swing speeds, 16 songs and sounds and an overhead mobile with a dome mirror and soft toys.

Help Me Decide mamaRoo or Fisher-Price Cradle n Swing

THE LOWDOWN

What’s the same?

  • Safe and soothing. If you’re in need of a safe, comfy and calming spot to put your baby (and who isn’t, really?), you can’t go wrong with either of these swings. Although they each move in different ways, the overall idea is the same: (most) babies love constant motion, and these swings provide it. Both do a great job of soothing a fussy baby and keeping them entertained when you need a break or want to get something else done. That’s a major win in our book.
  • Weight and age recommendations. You’ll be able to use both the mamaRoo and the Cradle ‘n Swing for the same amount of time—until your little one is about 25 pounds or can sit up independently.
  • Washability. Babies are messy, and being able to machine wash whatever they spit up and/or poop on (sorry, gross but true) is clutch. Both the mamaRoo and the Cradle ‘n Swing feature seat pads that are 100% machine-washable. Easy, convenient and very much appreciated.
  • Storage—or Lack Thereof. If you’re looking for a swing you can fold up and tuck away when it’s not in use…neither of these options are going to be great for you. Neither the mamaRoo or the Cradle ‘n Swing break down easily for storage. While you can move them from room to room (just be warned they’re both fairly heavy), once they’re set up, you’ll probably want to leave them that way until it’s time to either pass them along to another family or pack them up for the next baby. For something with similar functionality that also folds flat, check out a bouncer seat like the Babybjörn Bouncer Balance Soft or the Munchkin Bluetooth Enabled Baby Swing, one of the only flat-folding motorized swings.
  • Entertaining add-ons. Both swings boast extra add-ons to keep your little one entertained. The mamaRoo features an overhead mobile with three removable, machine-washable plush toys: a rattle ball, a crinkle ball and a ball with a mirror. The Cradle ‘n Swing also features an overhead mobile with three hanging animal toys to encourage eye tracking and a mirrored dome to soothe baby’s auditory and visual senses.
  • Not approved for sleep. Swings are not approved for sleep. Check out the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Safe Sleep Guidelines to learn more about safe sleep for babies.

What’s different?

  • Footprint. This is one of the biggest differences between these two popular swings. Unlike traditional swings (including the Cradle ‘n Swing) that are supported by two bars spaced widely apart at the base, the base of the mamaRoo is centralized and compact. This gives the mamaRoo a much smaller footprint than most other baby swings. (The mamaRoo is about 19 inches wide at its base, while the Cradle ‘n Swing is 37 inches. That’s a pretty significant difference.) It’s easy to set up in the corner of a room or place between a few pieces of furniture, a huge plus if you live in a smaller space or if you’re simply trying to limit the amount of baby gear you want crammed into your home.
  • Weight and portability. The mamaRoo weighs almost five pounds less than the Cradle ‘n Swing—not a huge difference, but a noticeable one for sure, especially if you’ll regularly be moving the swing around your home. And due to its more compact design as mentioned above, the mamaRoo is generally more portable than the Cradle ‘n Swing.
  • Motion options. Yes, both of these popular swings offer plenty of motion choices for your little one—but the type of motion each provides is very different. The Cradle ‘n Swing moves like a traditional baby swing: front-to-back or side-to-side. The mamaRoo, however, features motion patterns designed to mimic human movement, including movements like the bounce of a parent’s arms or a car ride. Is one “better” than the other? Unfortunately only your baby can figure that out! Some babies strongly prefer one type of swing over another, while others don’t seem to care either way as long as there’s some sort of motion involved. If you’re stuck between the two and can’t decide, we recommend trying to borrow one of these swings from a friend after your little one arrives so you can take them for a test drive before committing.
  • Tech features. The mamaRoo is a bit more tech-forward than the Cradle ‘n Swing. The floor-level controls are displayed on a digital screen that you can operate by hand or with your foot. You can also control the motion, sound, speed and volume of the swing remotely via your phone or any Bluetooth-enabled smart device. And while both swings offer music options, you can connect the mamaRoo to any MP3 device and pipe in your own tunes, which isn’t an option with the Cradle ‘n Swing.
  • Price. Neither of these popular swings fall into the budget category, but you’ll definitely save a serious chunk of cash if you go with the Cradle ‘n Swing over the mamaRoo. There’s anywhere between a $60 to $100 price difference between the two depending on what type of fabric you prefer for the mamaRoo. (The cool mesh and plush fabric options are more expensive than the classic.)

THE VERDICT

Unless you’re equipped with a sixth sense (which could be really helpful when it comes to parenting, now that we think about it), there’s no way to know which one of these swings your baby is going to prefer—or if they’ll even have a preference at all. Short of taking each for a test drive before taking the plunge, which we do recommend if at all possible, here are a few things to think about as you make your decision.

The 4moms mamaRoo may be a good choice if:

  • You like the idea of unique swing motions. The mamaRoo is like no other baby swing on the market. There’s definitely something cool about a swing that mimics the motions that babies are known to love like riding in a car or bouncing in your arms.
  • You want a more tech-forward option. Being able to control a swing remotely is hardly a must-have feature, but it can come in pretty handy when you find yourself cooking in the kitchen as your little one decides to have a meltdown, for example, or tethered to your breast pump across the room. The option to pipe in your own music is pretty fun too.
  • You need something more compact. The mamaRoo isn’t the most compact swing out there, but it’s pretty close. The small footprint makes it ideal for smaller spaces. And although it’s not quite easy to move around, it’s not all that difficult, either.

The Fisher-Price Cradle ‘n Swing may be a good choice if:

  • You’re budget-conscious. Spending upwards of $300 on a swing isn’t for everyone. While the Cradle ‘n Swing isn’t a budget pick, it’s significantly cheaper than the mamaRoo.
  • You’re looking for more movement options. When you add up the Cradle ‘n Swing’s ability to move in two different directions and at six different speeds, you’ve got a swing with a lot of versatility on your hands. There’s a good chance you’ll land on a motion that does the trick in soothing your baby.
  • Space isn’t an issue. Have plenty of room and don’t mind a swing with a larger footprint? Then the Cradle ‘n Swing is a great choice. It’s less expensive than the mamaRoo and still offers plenty of movement options that most babies love.

Happy swinging!

Shop These Swings

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