it plugs into the wall, which is so great! This was such an important piece of equipment for us because dd had colic and would only sleep in the swing. It was expensive but totally worth it. We took it on vacation with us! It is true that not all kids like the swing though so it may be something you want to wait on. We had this other swing that took batteries and when I realized she would sleep in it I went right out and bought this one. It was awesome!