Baby health

Ask Dr. Dina: Can I let my baby sleep in his swing?

Paediatrician Dr. Dina Kulik shares her safe sleeping tips

Photo: iStock Photo: iStock

My son often falls asleep in his baby swing. Is it safe to let him sleep there?

With each of my kids, I was tempted to let them sleep in their swing or car seat, or next to me in my bed. I’d spend hours trying to get them to nod off; and once they finally did, it seemed like a terrible idea to wake them up and move them to the bassinet. On this topic, however, the Canadian Paediatric Society is unequivocal: For the first six months, the safest place for your baby to sleep is on his or her back, in a crib in your room. Keeping the baby close by can make nighttime feeding a little easier, plus it can protect against sudden infant death syndrome.

Of course, it can be next to impossible to prevent some infants from falling asleep, whether in a moving car or a baby swing. So it’s important to ensure there are no sleep positioners or blankets that could cause your baby to suffocate. If your little one falls asleep in a swing or car seat, it’s OK to leave him there for a short while under a watchful eye—this is one time when you shouldn’t nap when the baby naps. Check he’s able to breathe well and not slumped over, which might compromise breathing.

Dina Kulik is a paediatrician and emergency room doctor in Toronto and mom to three boys, who are five, three and 17 months. Send her your kids’ health questions at

This article was originally published on Oct 03, 2016

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