Baby Swing Review: Fisher-Price Cradle ‘N Swing

I’ll never forget the moment of panic when our hand-me-down baby swing (the older version of the Fisher-Price Fold ‘n Stow Swing) stopped working. It was midnight on a Saturday. My three-month-old, who would only sleep through the “witching hour” in that darn thing woke with a start. I bolted up from the couch, grabbed a screw driver and some fresh batteries, and went to work. I flipped the on switch and … silence.

The mechanism had died. After six years and four kids (my nieces included), the swing had just had enough.

I don’t remember how we got through the rest of the night, but I do remember this: the next day, we bought the Fisher-Price Cradle ‘N Swing. This has been a lifesaver; it got us through the first six months with our first son, and our new three-month-old refuses to sleep in anything else.

Not Your Mama’s Swing

The Fisher-Price Cradle ‘N Swing is much more deluxe than its older counterpart. It swings in three directions: front to back facing two ways and side to side. I’ve never been so thankful for the side-to-side feature until now: my three-month-old only likes that motion. Our older son didn’t care which direction he was swinging, as long as he was on the move.

Fisher Price Cradle 'n Swing

Fisher Price Cradle ‘n Swing

The swing has a mirrored mobile, which both of my vain sons have loved. It also plays music or nature sounds. The best feature?

The plug.

No More Battery Runs

That’s right: it plugs into an electrical outlet, which has saved tons of money on batteries and lots of time and hassle replacing them.  (No more running to the store at 10 p.m. in a panic). This has been a lifesaver: my three-month-old sleeps in the swing most of the night.

Music to Our Ears

The only downside I’ve found is that I would like the music to play a bit longer. My son needs the clangy music to get to sleep, and sometimes he’ll be just about to drift off to sleep when the music stops—only for me to see those big blue eyes pop open again. Then I have to run and frantically turn the music back on. Usually it only takes two music cycles for him to fall asleep, though.

Nice Cradling

Our old swing wasn’t ideal for sleeping; it didn’t recline much, and I had to make a neck roll out of a receiving blanket in order to support my son’s head properly. The Fisher-Price Cradle ‘N Swing reclines nicely and has adequate head support.

Overall, the Fisher-Price Cradle ‘N Swing is a must have in our household.


Double Stroller Review: Maclaren Twin Triumph Stroller

When my first son was born, we went all out and bought the Chicco Cortina KeyFit 30 Travel System. The stroller is great; it’s sturdy, the carseat snapped easily into the stroller when we used it for our newborn, and it also works well now that my son is almost two. I still use it for walks through our neighborhood when I’m taking just my older son. We call it the stroller Hummer.

When our second son arrived just 19 months later, I started looking at double strollers. The Chicco Cortina Together Double Stroller was the first item I looked at because I knew our carseat would snap into it. But I’d used front-to-back strollers before; my nieces had one, and a friend from my MOPS group used one. I’d tried steering this type of stroller, and it was a beast. Not to mention that we have a small car, and I was worried about a double stroller fitting into the trunk.

Compact Double Stroller Alternative

The Maclaren Twin Triumph Stroller is the best of both worlds. It’s an umbrella stroller, but it’s sturdy. It also reclines appropriately for an infant. I had some concerns at first about putting my newborn in an umbrella stroller, but this one is much heftier than your typical umbrella model. It also has nice padding and head support.

Maclaren Triumph Stroller

Maclaren Triumph Stroller

Surprisingly, the weight limit is higher than that of the Chicco Together Double stroller; the Maclaren Twin Triumph Stroller can hold up to 110 pounds.

I had some concerns about fitting the side-by-side stroller through doors, but it’s designed to fit through a standard door frame. We even made it through an all-day zoo trip with no problems.

This stroller also fits well in the trunk of our Ford Taurus: it actually folds up smaller than our single stroller. I forgot to take it out of the trunk before my most recent solo grocery trip, and I was able to squeeze a week’s worth of groceries and diapers into the trunk with it.

Easy to Steer

My favorite thing about this stroller is how well it corners. It’s easy to get through tight spaces because it’s so compact. It’s really easy to steer; this was one of my main concerns about getting a double stroller, but this hasn’t been an issue.

Tough to Open and Close

The only downside we’ve noticed so far is that the stroller is a bit hard to open and close. Opening the stroller involves unlocking hard-to-see clasps on either side of the stroller, then shaking and wiggling the stroller a bit. Closing it requires hitting several levers, which aren’t clearly labeled.

A Basic Model

The Maclaren Twin Triumph Stroller doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles. The sun shade is pretty minimal, and there’s no cupholder like on my Chicco Cortina KeyFit 30 Travel System. But if you’re looking for a compact, easy-to-steer, easy-to-transport double stroller, this just might be the option for you.