I was given a very nice swing by a friend of my Mom's before Penny was born. I had a hard time figuring out where to put it, because it has a pretty big footprint. My Mom suggested putting it in the kitchen so that while I am cooking and cleaning she has a safe place to be. So, that's where it went.
Now, I had visions of my tiny newborn being lulled off to dreamland by the slow rocking of our swing. This was so not the case for us. She didn't ever want to sleep in it, and usually when I put her in it she would freak. But, it still came in handy for many reasons. The seat itself is detachable. This became the place she would hang out in the bathroom while I was in the shower. When she got a little older, the built in toy bar kept her entertained. It's now where she sits while we eat dinner since it is right next to our table. I feed her purees while she's in her swing. I still bring the seat into the bathroom when I shower. And now, at nearly 11 months, it seems she likes to nap in it! I turn on the radio, start doing dishes and running the dishwasher and she's slumped over and out like a light!
The swing was not the newborn lifesaver for me that it was for others, but now, I am very thankful for the naps while I clean! Did you have gear that you didn't expect to use for so long?