New-Mom Promises That Are Fine to Break

Putting Baby in a swing

The Promise: I won't use a swing just so I can get stuff done.
When Jessica Parker's firstborn was an infant, she never touched the baby swing. This mom from Mertzon, Texas, had received one as a gift but worried that Scarlet wouldn't sleep in her bed if she got used to it. But when sister Presley came along, that same contraption was irresistible. "We started using it to save our sanity, but Presley loved it so much that we upgraded to one with sound and multidirectional swinging!"

The Reality: Swings can benefit parents and babies alike.
Your supermom neighbor may regard swings and bouncy seats as neglect-o-matics -- not true! Putting your kiddo in one doesn't only let you finally eat a meal with both hands; it also soothes fussy babies. The rocking and vibration help re-create the oh-so-comforting, round-the-clock movement of the womb, Dr. Karp explains. "I've even made a house call to help a couple set up swings for their twins," he says.

Of course, you don't want to leave your baby hanging all day long, but there's no reason to feel guilty for letting her chill in midair for short stretches of time while you prepare a meal or clean the bathtub. "Parenting is so much tougher than ever before," Dr. Karp says. "We often work outside the home and don't have extended family nearby for support." Moms and dads today need all the help that they can get, so it's fine to occasionally use the swing or bouncy seat as an extra set of hands.

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