Goodbye batteries! {Converting a battery powered baby swing}

If you have ever stepped into a Babies “R” Us or Buy Buy Baby, you know that there are thousands of products that are marketed and sold to parents.  In our land of abundant choices and distracting advertising, figuring out what you really need for your little one can be an overwhelming task!   Do we really need things like wipe warmers and baby-sized food processors?

Before our baby was born we asked friends, family, and strangers to help us create a list of basic baby items we would need- things like cloth diapers, clothes, blankets, bibs, etc.  Fortunately, we received most of these essential items as gifts.  We also debated about which of the “non-essentials” we wanted to splurge on.  One item that seemed to land in the middle of need  vs splurge was a baby swing.  Most white middle-class Americans use baby swings, and we also observed that all of the Asian refugees we know (many of whom don’t use strollers or cribs) seemed to have one.

We received a baby swing as a gift from our mother/mother-in-law (she was also eager to tell us that she got a clearance deal on it! We love a good deal!).  Shortly after we received the gift, we realized that, like most baby swings, it runs on batteries.

We had seen some plug-in baby swings in stores, but they all seemed to cost double or triple what the battery powered swings did. As I (Micah) thought about it a little more…it soon dawned on me that we could probably convert the swing so that it could be powered by the wall outlet (120 volt AC power).  Neither of us know much about electricity, but after watching a few online tutorials, I figured out how to modify the swing.  All it took was an old phone charger, some basic tools, and a little bit of investigative curiosity.

Kermit the Frog was eager to test the swing before Ruby was born. Geri, our bunny was relatively uninterested.

Kermit the Frog was eager to test the swing before Ruby was born. Geri, our bunny was relatively uninterested.

Just an old phone charger and a little bit of know- how.

Just an old phone charger and a little bit of know- how.

Ruby (3 months) enjoying wall powered swing.

Ruby (3 months) enjoying her wall powered swing.

We especially liked this video tutorial: Baby Swing Modification (also, if you don’t have an old phone charger, you can find them, or another appliance charger, at a local thrift store)

We also began to wonder what other battery powered toys or devices we might modify in the future.  If you have any ideas or have converted anything, let us know.

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