Chicco Polly Swing review

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
User rating
£99.99 RRP
chicco-polly-swing_53557

In a nutshell

Detachable light and sound console has enough tunes to keep mum and baby happy
Ease of use
3.5 out of 5 rating 3.5
Comfort
5.0 out of 5 rating 5.0
Ease of cleaning
4.0 out of 5 rating 4.0
Design
4.0 out of 5 rating 4.0
Durability
4.0 out of 5 rating 4.0
Worth the money
3.5 out of 5 rating 3.5
Pros: Intuitive design, quick to set up, comfy, clever music console, foldable
Cons: Fiddly to dismantle, temperamental swing motion, sun-shade disappointing
Skip to view product specifications

To anyone who’s felt the first grumbles of a sway-needy little one (or the inevitable first gripes of back pain) there’s no doubting the appeal of a musical, motorised swing that’s easy to deploy at a few second’s notice and never gets tired.

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By this reckoning the Chicco Polly swing promises a potentially perfect soothe to a little one, grumpy or not.

There are four motion settings, a compact footprint, excellent and intuitive controls, and a chair plushed with the sort of comfort that makes you wish they came in grown up sizes.

See a video of the Chicco Polly swing in action

First impressions?

The Italian-based manufacturer, Chicco, is great at first impressions and its gear shares the same appealingly chunky, sturdy, simple-to-construct-but-clever-nonetheless design.

Just as importantly the Polly is certainly no slouch in the looks department. Mine was easy-on-the-eye neutral and there’s a funky green one if you prefer something a bit brighter.

Size- and weight-wise it was also just right, tipping in at just under 6kg and measuring a pleasingly compact 57 x 55cm on the floor.

What’s the swinging action like?

And so to the swing feature itself. Chicco say that ‘making a baby smile is the most extraordinary job ever’ – and they did succeed in making Evelyn smile. But sadly, it was only for 10 minutes.

The swing is operated by a switch on the right strut, which lights to indicate its four different power levels. Getting the movement going requires a gentle shove, and whichever setting you use it takes a while to gain momentum.

The instruction manual suggests that ‘a heavier child may reduce the number of swing movements’. 

But as Evelyn was eight weeks old and 10Ibs when first introduced to the swing, and as this is far from the 19Ib limit Chicco recommends, it seems unlikely the chair’s slightly sluggish response was down to her weight.  

Once going, the swing does do its job, though. The highest setting is rather too dramatic a swing for a newborn, but this is common sense and would no doubt entertain a slightly older baby.

Switching between speeds mid-use takes a couple of minutes to take effect. And as a safety feature, the unit switches off automatically after 30 minutes – by which time little one will either be peacefully slumbering or keen for a change of scene.

But for whatever reason the Polly Swing just didn’t do it for Evelyn. She was happy, smiling and occasionally yawning for around 10 minutes each time, after which she became increasingly grumpy even on the gentle settings. This could of course be a personal preference relating to the motion; many mums report the swing as being good for colic, for instance.

But overall she just didn’t seem happy and was soon back in her basic, vibrating bouncer, with its simple up and down movement.

And while the toys were cute they didn’t seem to interest her, and in the end we replaced them with a few of her own which thankfully was easy to do. Again, this could be just Evelyn being fussy.

What was the detachable music and light console like?

A neat touch for music-loving babies – like my 10-week old daughter Evelyn – comes in the form of the detachable music console. This is the shape of a halved-rugby ball and features six sound moods, from soothing to exciting.

It’s a potentially brilliant idea as it’s always useful to have portable music for bed-, bath- and changing-times. Sound quality was better than I expected. Plus it was nice to have a fairly wide selection of sounds that seemed both to entertain Evelyn and not drive me mad with repetition.

An iPod jack would have been a great addition here and would make it even more indispensable. This unit also features a little light show complimentary to the sounds, and houses the main batteries for the swing.

It’s a shame that given the position of the console below the chair, Evelyn was never going to see the lights while she was swinging. This perhaps makes this feature less versatile than it could have been.

How were the straps?

The seat straps clip in one at a time, which I found far less fiddly than the both-together systems many infant seats use. And while a bit more padding on the straps would have been nice, the removable booster seat for newborns meant that happily this was my only comfort concern, and settling Evelyn in was easy.

What’s the swinging action like?

And so to the swing feature itself. Chicco say that ‘making a baby smile is the most extraordinary job ever’ – and they did succeed in making Evelyn smile. But sadly, it was only for 10 minutes.

The swing is operated by a switch on the right strut, which lights to indicate its four different power levels. Getting the movement going requires a gentle shove, and whichever setting you use it takes a while to gain momentum. The instruction manual suggests that ‘a heavier child may reduce the number of swing movements.’

But as Evelyn was eight weeks old and 10Ibs when first introduced to the swing, and as this is far from the 19Ib limit Chicco recommends, it seems unlikely the chair’s slightly sluggish response was down to her weight.  

Once going, the swing does do its job, though. The highest setting is rather too dramatic a swing for a newborn, but this is common sense and would no doubt entertain a slightly older baby.

Switching between speeds mid-use takes a couple of minutes to take effect. And as a safety feature, the unit switches off automatically after 30 minutes – by which time little one will either be peacefully slumbering or keen for a change of scene.

But for whatever reason the Polly Swing just didn’t do it for Evelyn. She was happy, smiling and occasionally yawning for around 10 minutes each time, after which she became increasingly grumpy even on the gentle settings.

This could of course be a personal preference relating to the motion; many mums report the swing as being good for colic, for instance. But overall she just didn’t seem happy and was soon back in her basic, vibrating bouncer, with its simple up and down movement.

And while the toys were cute they didn’t seem to interest her, and in the end we replaced them with a few of her own which thankfully was easy to do. Again, this could be just Evelyn being fussy.

How was the sun shade?

And in the end it was the sunshade that proved the biggest let down. During a period of nice weather I popped Evelyn in the swing outside in the garden while I hung up some washing.

It soon became clear the shade wasn’t offering her any protection in any of its three adjustable positions. She was squinting, so I had to move her to the shade. This in itself is only an issue if you want to use the swing outside, but given this feature is marketed as a sun-shade, bear this less-than-perfect performance in mind if it’s key to your needs.

What about cleaning?

A husband-triggered milkshake incident gave me the opportunity to test how easy the Polly is to clean; the seat covers detach for washing, and the smooth plastic is simple to wipe, though cleaning the deep joints in the console unit did require robust use of an earbud.

What to watch out for?

Personal preferences aside though, the Polly did have some other shortcomings. The rocking motor isn’t the quietest, and given the struts housing the mechanism are quite close to the little occupant’s ears the click and grind of its operation seemed excessive.

Assembly was faultless, but collapsing the swing was a faff as the pins were stiff and a struggle to unclip; this was necessary as while the swing was easy to store at home, reducing it to car-friendly dimensions meant removing the chair and sun shade. 

Is it value for money?

At pretty much £100 it’s hardly the cheapest swing available and is up against arguably fancier efforts such as the Mamas and Papas Starlite Swing. Personally, with Evelyn I have found the costlier 4Moms MamaRoo Swing (£200) to be worth the extra stretch for the variety of movements it offers.

It has a quieter operation and the ability to plug an MP3 device into it, though this is more of an investment and also won’t be for everyone.

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MadeForMum verdict?

Overall the Chicco Polly Swing is a well-thought out product, though with a few shortcomings in performance – both in terms of the usual preferences of your little one, but also a few small but significant design foibles. If you can live with the Polly’s limitations and know your baby likes to swing, overall it’s a great choice. 

Product Specifications

Product

Brand Chicco
Model Polly Swing
Price £99.99

Suitable for

Child weight Up to 9kg

Dimensions & Weight

Dimensions H:71cm W:55cm D:57cm

Features

Power supply Batteries
Washing instructions Machine washable and wipe clean
Features
  • Soft and luxuriously padded fabric seat
  • Includes insert for newborns which can be removed as baby grows
  • Removable entertainment console with coloured lights
  • Sound console can be used at bedtime as a night light near cot
  • 5 point harness with double action safety buckle
  • Hanging soft toys featuring 3 colourful and removable characters

Accessories

Toys/Toy bar included Yes