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Hands-on Gear Review
Graco Duet Soothe Swing & Rocker Review
Price: $180.00 List | $124.80 at Amazon - 31% off
Pros: Quality materials, multi-functional swing and vibrating rocker seat
Cons: Shallow seat, large footprint
Bottom line: Subpar in soothing
The Graco Duet Soothe Swing & Rocker is a multi-functional baby swing. The design is stylish with less of a footprint than our Editors' Choice the Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny. The most important aspect to all the swings reviewed was the ability to soothe a baby, and unfortunately this swing fell short in the competition. Simply put, there are better options.
RELATED REVIEW: The Search for the Best Baby Swing
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Graco Duet Soothe Swing & Rocker is designed to be two products in one: a baby swing and rocker. The swing for use up to 30 pounds or crawling and the rocker up to 25 pounds. The idea to combine these two products in one is fantastic and space saving in theory, but unfortunately as a general rule of thumb, multi-modal products typically don't perform at the hype they are played up to be. As such, we find it to be more effective as a rocker than as a baby swing. Which begs the question, why not just buy a rocker and a baby swing separately? Compared to the Graco Comfy Cove DLX which receives our Best Value award with a soothing score of 8 of 10, we feel that Graco's 2-in-1 Duet Soothe just doesn't match up to the task as well.
The Graco Duet Soothe Swing & Rocker lands third in our review for soothing. Its main design flaw seems to be a shallow seat in which baby sits with more exposure along their sides than in the Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny, Editors' Choice, and Graco Comfy Cove DLX. As such, our experience is that drowsy babies tend to fuss more when placed down. Some babies are also prone to startling when placed in the seat. Though the seat and insert material is well made, the insert cushioning just sits baby too darn high which shorts little ones with the all encompassing swaddled feel they enjoy for effective soothing. There is a 3-position recline however with an angle ranging from 40-47 degrees from horizontal.
The swing seat has 6 speeds and the vibrating rocker seat has 2 vibration strengths. The swing base has a speaker with 10 songs and 5 nature noises. In addition, we find the cute stationary mobile to be lacking in high contrast and as such, it doesn't tend to grab an awake baby's attention.
Ease of Use
The Duet Soothe scores top of the bunch in ease of use with an 8 of 10. This is a baby swing made for convenience. It operates via both AC adapter or batteries. The controls are easy to read and operate and the rocker to swing transition is clear to use. The straps are well made and substantial enough that when you want to lay them open they stay in place well. Unfortunately, it does not fold down for storage, so this is a baby swing that will take up permanent real estate in your home during its use with a surface area of 1099 square inches. However at 20.4 pounds, the fact that it It does easily separates into 2 pieces with the rocker and the swing base, makes it less heavy to move around. The rocker seat slides on and off the swing base easily and is light enough to carry singlehandedly.
The Graco Duet Soothe received the 3rd highest score in quality with a 6 of 10. The materials are of nice quality of materials and the base design is simple and sturdy. In terms of motor failure issues, the failure rate is about 8% (similar to the Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny) based upon Amazon user reviews.
This swing scores on par with the Editors' Choice winner, the Snugabunny with an 8 of 10. It has an easy to use 5-point harness, an adjustable seat recline, and a secure, stable base.
The Graco Duet Soothe is a good baby swing, but in our opinion, not a great one. If space is at a premium, we recommend going for the Graco Comfy Cove DLX for superior soothing and skipping the vibrating bouncer or rocker altogether. If loads of space is available and there is an extra $50 or so in the budget, spring for the Fisher-Price My Little Snugabunny instead. You will not be disappointed.
— Dana Ganssle Ellis & BabyGearLab Team
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