Our most successful item for sleep was the Fisher Price Acquarium Swimg. Unfortunately they don’t make the Acquarium line anymore–it’s the Rainforest line, which is very cool, but I’ve checked out the swing and it’s not the same. The Acquarium swing has this awesome lighted acquarium ball at the top (I called it the disco acquarium) which babies love to look at. I don’t think this swing would have been the same w/out that feature. Good friends of mine, Morgan and Elizabeth Snyder, insisted that I buy this swing. I was very hesitant because it is fairly large and it seemed unnecessary. I was very glad we bought it!
We had many nights where our newborn slept the entire night in this swing. She also loved it in the day. This swing facilitated good, long sleep like no other thing we owned or did. I could routinely get 3-5 hour naps with her in this during the day. The combo of a good swaddle and this swing was unbeatable.
For the first couple months, we had her fall asleep in the swing, and would move her to her bassinet after her middle of the night feeding. At 2.5 months we moved her to her crib, but occasionally still used the swing at the beginning of the night. From 3-6 months we occasionally used it–for times when she wasn’t feeling well (once had a cold and other times after vaccinations) and it helped her power through the night. Also, we had two trips to Grandma’s house in the first 4 months and each time we brought the swing and she slept the night in it–very happy and comforted despite the different surroundings.
In other words, in the first couple months where you’re in the “anything goes” mode of assisting your newborn to sleep, we used it frequently. At the 2-3 month mark I gradually started moving her away from it and to her crib. From 3-6 months I just used it occasionally, when she needed some extra assistance sleeping.
Granted, our baby is a very good sleeper and I’m sure all babies don’t like swings, so take this advice with a grain of salt. This was based on our experience. I’ve heard some parents say their kids didn’t like swings, but I’ve never heard it when the parents had this particular swing. It’s worth seeking it out on craigslist or ebay. I would not have another baby without one.