Introduction: Convert a Baby Swing From Batteries to AC (wall) Power

Picture of Convert a Baby Swing From Batteries to AC (wall) Power

Are you tired of changing the batteries in your infant/baby swing?

This instructable covers how to convert your baby swing to wall power, so you can just plug it in and not have to change the batteries.

It's designed so that you can choose wall power or batteries, depending on your needs.

This Instructable requires soldering--There are other instructables covering that if you need help learning.

Step 1: Tools & Parts Necessary

Screwdriver(s)--Used to open up the motor/switch/battery housing
Wire Stripper/Cutter--Used to cut and strip the old and new wiring
Soldering Iron--Used to solder the new switch and wires to the existing wiring
Heat gun or Cigarette Lighter--Used to melt the heatshrink tubing

5 VDC Power Supply--I used an old cellphone charger. It needs to have a similar voltage output to the batteries in your swing. Count the batteries in your swing. Each one puts out 1.2VDC (Whether AA, C, D, ect). Obviously 9V batteries are a different animal. Mine used 4 "D" batteries, so I needed at least a 4.8VDC power supply.
Double Pole Double Throw (DPDT) Switch--A small one from Raido Shack, etc. is fine.
Solder--Used to secure the new wiring
Heatshrink Tubing--Used to protect the solder joints
Epoxy or Super Glue--Used to secure the switch to the housing

Step 2: Disassemble the Swing

Picture of Disassemble the Swing

The goal here is to get access to the wiring from the batteries to the motor. The exact technique will vary depending on manufacturer of the swing, but most of the time you you have to remove a number of screws. This will allow you to split the plastic housing of the swing to gain access to the wiring.

I had to remove about 10 screws in order to accomplish this. The picture shows the plastic housing split apart, and the battery box, and wiring visible.

There should be two wires leading from the battery box, a red wire and a black wire. This is the positive (red) and negative (black) power for the motor/sounds/etc.

Cut both of these wires. I chose to cut them equally distant from the battery box and the circuit cards for the motor. This gave me several inches of wire to hold onto when soldering, which is very helpful.

Step 3: Build Up the Switch

Picture of Build Up the Switch

Take your DPDT switch and and solder approximately 4" long wires to the six switch leads. Once your solder has cooled, slide heatshrink tubing over the solder joints and shrink the tubing with a heat gun or lighter. I used a cigarette lighter since I don't have a heat gun.

The center two positions will be connected to the motor side wiring in the swing. One side of the switch contacts will go to the battery box wiring, and the other side will go to the new power supply.

The positive wires should be on one side of the switch (left or right), and the negative wires should be on the other side.

It does not matter which side goes to what power source, as long as the middle contacts go to the motor.

Step 4: Cut Hole in Housing for Switch

Picture of Cut Hole in Housing for Switch

Lay out the size of the hole necessary to accomodate your switch and then remove that material.

I chose to drill the corners of the area with a small drill bit and then use a razor blade (multiple passes) to cut between the holes to make my rectangular cutout. I cheated and used my Dremel tool a bit, but the razor blade method works fine as well.

Step 5: Prepare Power Supply

Picture of Prepare Power Supply

I had an old Motorola cell phone charger with a similar (slightly) higher voltage.

Cut the cell phone connector end off, and strip back about 3/8" of the insulation to expose the copper wire.

Carefully separate the stripped ends and plug the charger into the wall. Using your multimeter, touch the red lead of your meter to one wire, and the black lead of the meter to the other wire. If the meter displays the correct voltage of the power supply (say 5.0 volts), then mark the wire the red probe is touching as the positive wire. I used masking tape to do this. If your meter says (-5.0 volts), then the wire the black lead is touching is the positive lead. Mark it as such.

You will need to figure out how to run the power supply wires through the plastic housing of the swing in order to connect them to the switch. I chose to drill a hole on the bottom of the swing, near the battery box. Drill a hole just large enough to fit the wires through. The tie a simple knot (overhand) in the power supply wiring on the inside of the housing to provide strain relief for the wiring. You DO NOT want the solder joint to be pulled on when someone trips over the wiring, etc.

Step 6: Connect the Wiring

Picture of Connect the Wiring

Now its time to connect the switch wires to the motor wires, battery wires, and power supply wires.

Be sure to slide heatshrink tubing on the wires and push it away from the joints prior to soldering them. Once the joint has been soldered and is cool, slide the heatshrink tubing over the joint and shrink it with your heat gun/lighter.

Push the switch through the hole you've created and connect the switch wires to the appropriate wires--battery box, power supply, and motor.

I stripped the wires back about 1/2" inch and then "hooked" them together. (see picture). Basically I bent the stripped ends into a "U" shape and connected the "U"'s together. I then soldered them together. Note the white heatshrink tubing on the red wire. Once the joint is soldered, that will be pulled down and shrinked over the joint.

You will need to do this for all six wires.

Step 7: Reassemble and Test

Picture of Reassemble and Test

Reassemble the housing and reinstall and tighten the screws that you removed.

Place the batteries in the unit, and plug the power supply into the wall.

Turn on the swing (with the switch in either position) and see if it works normally. Push the new switch the other direction and make sure it works normally.

I then glued the switch into the housing using epoxy (in the first picture it's under the masking tape, being held in place while the epoxy cures).

You can unplug the power supply and then determine which direction the switch has to be in for the power supply to power the swing motor.

Label the switch accordingly.

Enjoy not having to buy batteries!


prasad2312 (author)2017-03-21

hi am Prasad,

I have made a water level sensor which is basic though and previously it was running on 9v dc battery ,and so the started draining in 2 days,so if I want to supply or power my circuit on wall current what will I have to do

HI Prasad You will need a power supply with a 9 VDC (9 volt DC) output instead of a 5VDC output like the one I used.

I don't know how much amperage your water level sensor draws, but a 1000mah 9 VDC power supply should be good.

Fortunately, these are easy to source. Here's one on Amazon:

Get one like this, cut the connector off, separate the positive and negative wires, and connect this to your water level sensor in lieu of the batteries.

paulry made it! (author)2016-01-28

i had the idea come to mind and no kidding the very same day i came across your instructable and to top it off the same exact swing color and all, the only thing i did different was ran the wire up threw a hole i made in batterie compartment and soldered the negative and positive leads where the connection was for the batteries leads origanny were behind thw battery holding box so i didnt to add any extra switch just keot everything the same i still have the option for both battery or ac power thanks for the insight and instructions gave me the all go to do mine

jorge talamantes (author)paulry2016-11-04

instead os the dpdt switch , try a switched power jack, so it will switch to ac power when you plug it and will switch back to battery when you unplug it, its like this

AnthonyM226 (author)2016-09-01

hello, need some help.

I have an outdoor motion light in my drive way. it's using 4
C battery’s, and would like to get a wall adapter. What voltage adapter should I
get? I can get one that change from 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, or 12.

Thank you in advance.

-Anthony Mendonca

Hi Anthony.

Do you know if your light uses LEDs? If so, it's most likely 5 volts, so use a 5 volt charger.

joshuaperry (author)2016-04-08

Thanks for making this instructable! After reading it through, I gathered the courage to mod our old D-Cell only baby swing with a 5v AC adapter. Feels good man. Cheers!

vietn13 (author)2015-12-10

great idea and very useful,

ocnhochimto (author)2015-09-05

That's amazing idea. i enable me to save money of battery replacement. Thanks

JasonD20 (author)2015-04-10

red side of the plug onto where the last batteries + side**

JasonD20 (author)2015-04-10

Like this

nickolai.borba (author)2015-02-16

I just did this and it works great. Thank you for the great idea. Not too hard.

laguera (author)2011-07-13

I love this instructable!

I have this exact swing and the same exasperation with the repeated purchase of "D" batteries!

I do not know how to solder, however, so I probably won't try this at home. :-/

I have never seen a baby swing with an AC adapter and all the hand-me-down swings we got are battery operated. I looked for swings with AC adapters in local (Pittsburgh) stores and found none. My sisters actually didn't believe that they existed, and they almost had me convinced. We figured there had to be a law against them, because who would want a battery powered swing if plug-in swings were available?

Are you listening, Fisher-Price?! (Probably not. Sigh.)

TheBatSub (author)laguera2014-12-27

Great instructable, but for those non-techies who read this and don't want to walk away feeling discouraged from trying it, I'd suggest taking a look at the Batsub TooL ( It makes doing this kind of stuff a snap, for both the techies and non-techies.

santhony5 (author)laguera2011-10-30

My old swing was AC power or battery, but you could never find an AC adapter officially sold for it. I just went to radio shack and got one of those adapters you could change the voltage and the plug on..

It's a shame that they don't make both options.... It's probably a "safety" issue with having a corded product... they have to go through UL certification I think.. or something probably like that..

dapperbac (author)laguera2011-09-03

try the mamaroo baby swing. its actually a better swing all together. it is pricey but its a great swing.

amyewing462 (author)2014-11-17

How safe is this?

Well, I had no issues with the swing after converting it; the people I gave it to had no issues, and the baby who swung in it in '09 is now a happy kindergartner, so I'm happy with how it worked.

TimJ2 (author)2014-09-28

great idea although instead of hard wiring the ac adapter to the swing i would have to suggest the use of a ac plug so that in the unfortunate event someone trips over the wire it could unplug before tipping over with or without your baby using the swing

WrenchingPilot (author)TimJ22014-10-02

Agreed, a barrel style connector (or any connector for that matter) would be an improvement. I just didn't have one in my junk drawer at the time.

TimJ2 (author)WrenchingPilot2014-10-02

they need to add a like in this case or dislike in others for comments lol i was always a fan of the xbox controller cables for usb cords etc they should make a similar type solder plug for this type of use lol

dolnhu (author)2014-06-16

Why is a machine used 3 C batteries is not working after replaced by 5v dc power supply?

The power green light turn on but non of the botton working. No sound, no vinration. Use 3 C battereis again then it working. Reverse the DC power from adapter, the motor running without swiching it on, no light , no sound. Correctted porarity from DC power supply, light, no sound, no viration no matter switch on or off. Replace different DC power supply, same result.

WrenchingPilot (author)dolnhu2014-06-20

How may mA does your DC supply produce? I've run into issues with some swings that need 800 mA+ in order to function properly.

dolnhu (author)WrenchingPilot2014-06-20

I fit it by reduce the Volt supply from 5 VDC to 4.5VDC. The new circuit has volt regulator to stop power that over 4.5VDC. As long as the supply Amp capable for the acttual the Amp the device will draw or more then it is fine. You can use bigger Amp capacity power supply. Usually the machine is drawing about 150mA to 250mA. But it peak out at the start time up to 300mA.

dolnhu (author)dolnhu2014-06-20

The reason I reduce my voltage because 3 (C) batteries add up is about 3.6V-4.0V It's never get up to 4.5V, never and never including the brandnew battery.

hoehand (author)2013-09-21

Can I use a single pole double throw instead of double

WrenchingPilot (author)hoehand2013-09-30

Yes, just join the negative sides together (battery negative, power supply negative, baby swing negative), and join the positives via the SPDT switch.

wc9 (author)2013-06-04

I've borrowed a baby swing from a friend and can't make permanent modifications to the wiring. If I just connect the wires from the AC adapter to a pair of battery terminals will that work?

WrenchingPilot (author)wc92013-06-04

Yes, that should do it.

Worked perfectly. Just used some electrical tape to secure the ends to the terminals. A+ work, WP.

tomohern (author)2013-04-07

What is the amperage rating on your wall wart? The one I have is 1A and didn't seem to power the swing. I wanted to figure out how much bigger of one I needed to get to make it work. Thanks for the instructable!

WrenchingPilot (author)tomohern2013-04-16

I was using an 800ma unit. Hopefully you can find a larger unit. iPad chargers are typically rated at 2100 ma (2.1A), so maybe one of those would work for you...(assuming 5 VDC is what you are after)

MHofrichter (author)2012-12-25

So I tried to do this method of conversion with a jack and switch like Vsansg1. We got the jack installed and tested it successfully. Then we went to screw everything back together. Apparently we crimped the black wire and a yellow one (one to the speaker) with one of the screws (the long one to the left of the control switches). We've unscrewed it and repaired the wires, but it's no longer turning on at all. We've been testing the wires, but can't figure out what's causing it to not work.

If anyone has any ideas on how to fix this, we'd be all ears.

iconiu (author)2012-11-25

I tried to convert this Graco baby swing.

I used a 6V 1A adapter which worked for about an hour and then the motor burned out. Amazon says the battery life is only 3 hours. Duracel batteries say they have 18000mAh or 18 Amp hours in them. Thus this swing uses 6 Amps during the 3 hours that it's in use? If that's the case, I probably burned out the A/C adapter which in turn fried the swing. But eveyone here is using 1A adapters at 5 volts so something is no right with my math or this swing uses a lot more power.

The control panel is burnt as well as it aways has it's "on" light lit even when the switch is in the 0 or off position.

coolcass1234 (author)2012-10-17

Thanks for the post. I honestly had no idea it was so simple to convert something from AC to DC--plus, I always try to go for AC because I just love Tesla. However, now I find myself looking around my house for things aside from my electric baby swing that I want to convert. You may have created a monster!

vsansg1 (author)2012-10-14

Thanks so much for the writeup, it was extremely helpful. Also thanks to jsgaillard's comments, which I also incorporated. I preferred the jack w/switch (Radio Shack p/n:274-1582 ~$3.99- I used size M to fit the LinkSys 5V 2A adapter I was using) and drilled a hole to mount, as the jack is circular panel-mount. See pic for my final result. Works perfectly!

Thanks again to the author and others with helpful comments. Hopefully I will never have to buy batteries for this swing again!

jsgaillard (author)2012-06-01

Thanks to Wrenching Pilot for this awesome post - I just completed this on our 4 x Size D Battery swing with a 5 volt / 2.5 amp adapter from an old satellite radio receiver, and it works great. Just three comments, two on the procedure and one on one of the challenges reported below:

1) Instead of the DPDT switch, I bought a DC coaxial male plug and female receptacle. The receptacle has a DPDT switch built in, such that if the male plug is plugged in, it will draw the wall power, and if it is not plugged in, it will revert to the batteries. Hence no need for a switch and if you don’t want a wire hanging off of your swing you simply unplug the wall cord from the swing. I mounted the receptacle just above the battery compartment, and it mounts almost flush with the swing casing and looks great. Then it’s super easy to plug in the coaxial plug or pull out the coaxial plug as needed.
2) To "drill" through the plastic shell for the receptacle (or for the wire in these instructions) I decided spur of the moment to use the solder iron - the amount of plastic melted was small and it was easy to clean off of the iron when I was finished, and it was less messy that using a drill.
3) For the people who commented that when they hooked it up the motor and music started playing even with the switches in the "Off" position, you probably had the positive and negative feeds from the AC adapter switched and simply need to switch them to the opposite terminals - you might have noticed if you have a moving fish or animal mobile that it was running "backwards" - another indication that you've got them backwards. This is not a case of too much voltage being applied to the system.

Thanks again! jg

rpjamess1 (author)jsgaillard2012-06-29

Can you point me to where you got your plug and receptacle? This is exactly what I have been wanting to do with my two swings.

kevinds (author)2012-05-29

I only comment on this old article because there are new comments on it already.

Batteries are 1.5 volts each, not 1.2

Recharable batteries are 1.2 volts, why if your device has 6 batteries, recharables don't allways work well because you are almost 2 volts low at that point.

2 Batteries 3 volts
3 Batteries 4.5 volts
4 Batteries is 6 volts

If your device uses 3 batteries, a 5 volt adapter should be ok for 3 and 4 battery devices.

Timmer12 (author)2012-05-06

I have the same swing and a 9v, 1a adapter. Is this too much voltage? I mean would this hurt the swing in any way? You mentioned too much amperage is fine, it draws what it needs - is too much voltage the same? Thanks!

kevinds (author)Timmer122012-05-29


Too much voltage is bad, and can burn out your swing, a little bit extra voltage and it will swing faster, too much and you will burn out the motor or other parts.

Example Lightbubs are normally 120 volts, if you put in a little extra voltage, it will be a little brighter. Less voltage, will be more dim.

Too much extra voltage, and will just burn out the bulb.

WrenchingPilot (author)Timmer122012-05-08

I would be hesitant to connect a 9V power supply to a swing that normally gets ~5V.

It may work fine, it may burn something up as that's double voltage it was designed for.

Regarding amperage, a 5V ~1.5 amp would be great. More amp capacity is better.

Timmer12 (author)WrenchingPilot2012-05-08

The cell phone adapter you used, any idea what amperage it was? I found a 5v 850mA that I'm hoping to use instead of coughing up 25-30 for a new one with amperage above 1A. Just wondering if 850 may not be enough. Thanks again for your reply.

Timmer12 (author)Timmer122012-05-11

Just a note for anyone curious about amperage. I used the 5v, 850mA cell phone adapter. Works perfect, motion,music and mobile all being use at once.

curlyfry09 (author)2012-02-11

Hello, I have pretty much the exact same swing as shown in the pictures here. I hooked up a 5v, 1A converter and it didnt do anythinhg, so Then I switched it out to a 5.7v, 800mA converter and tried touching the leads to the battery terminals and the little animals immediatly started turning and wouldnt stop regardless of where the switch for that function was positioned, and when I turend it on to rock the animals would slow down but the swing wouldnt actually move, and the sounds dont work at all. Any ideas?? Am I short on amperage??

Amperage shouldn't be the problem with a 1A supply. Other than making sure the wiring is correct (positive to positive, negative to negative), I don't have much to offer you.

Hey thanks, i figured out in the end that the motor is fried, found another post online saying to use the motor from an air wick fresh matic so 'i went and bought one and opened it up and I guess they changed them since then because there was no motor in it

sbednarek (author)2011-11-25

HI! Thanks for the great post! My only question about these kind of conversions, is do you need to be concerned with amperage? Understandably, you want to try to match the voltage of the combined 4 batteries to the AC supply, but what about amperage? As I understand it, a D cell battery has 1200mA hours, or 12 amps for an hour. I don't know if this means that batteries are 12amps? that seems high, and also cell phone adapters are usually less than an amp. Do I need to worry about this? Thanks!!

WrenchingPilot (author)sbednarek2011-12-30

Short answer, you want as much amperage as possible. So if you have a 4.5v DC @ 1 A, it's better than 4.5v DC @ 500 mA. The device will only draw the amperage that it needs.

bfeij (author)2011-11-23

I think the instructions were clear (anything that isn't to the reader, I would suggest you Google what you don't understand or ask someone for help).

What I would add is this when you have the DPDT (Double Pole Double Pull) switch and you have identified which side your going to put your positive and Negative cables on in a row, use the wires that was originally coming from your battery pack to the control as the wires going to the motor. On the one end you would have wires going to your battery pack, the other end wires going to your 5V (or whatever voltage you require) power supply and the center poles (originally your battery wires) going straight to your control panel.

This way you have full control whether you use batteries or AC power.

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