8/4/11

Fisher Price Newborn Rock and Play Sleeper


Jacob, 7 weeks old
**You can find information about the recall (it regards reports of mold) right here and cleaning instructions here.**

I can't say enough about the Fisher-Price Newborn Rock 'n Play Sleeper. It kind of saved my life when Jacob was a newborn. Believe it or not, but my babies have not been born good sleepers! In fact, Jacob was a terrible sleeper from the day he was born. I couldn't even get him to fall asleep in the hospital by nursing him or bouncing or whatever. He was not a good sleeper. And he hated to be put down to sleep, even if he was asleep in your arms for an hour he'd wake up crying the minute you put him down. We worked and worked on it, but it was hard, especially because of some mild reflux he had. 

I bought this when he was 3 weeks old hoping it would help out. I didn't love the idea of having him sleep somewhere that differed from how he would sleep in the future (a flat crib), but I didn't have much of an option at this time if I wanted him (or me!) to get some sleep. 

And guess what. He started sleeping better the first time he sleep in it. In fact, his night sleep immediately got much longer, extending out to 8 hours by 5 weeks of age. I'm not saying he suddenly had zero sleep problems, but his sleep significantly improved.
Jacob, 11 weeks old. As you can see here, the sleeper is really deep.

I had Jacob sleep in this bed much of the time until he was almost 6 months old. I would try to have him sleep in the crib sometimes (I highly suggest this) but he usually didn't sleep as well. The transfer to his crib was pretty easy, but not perfect. He had a hard time with the 45 minute sleep transition for two naps then no problems after that. I even put him back in the sleeper a couple times when he was 6 and 7 months old when he got bad colds. You are suppose to use this from birth until a baby pulls up or sits unassisted. My son was a late sitter and a late puller upper. Even so, I made some extra precautions when I used this at 7 months of age, just in case.

Pros:
  • Baby likely will sleep better and longer
  • Way cheeper than other beds.
  • Cradles baby while he sleeps so he feels more secure
  • Lightweight
  • Compact and portable. Even folds up for storage
  • Holds up to 25 lbs
  • Inclined seat for babies who need their head elevated (colds, reflux etc)
  • Some reviewers say it helps with colic
  • Machine washable cover.
  • Meets industry safety standards for bassinets
  • Easily rocks - even baby can rock it
  • Three-point restraint

Cons (this isn't as scary as it looks, I just wanted to address some of the concerns on reviews I have read):
  • There may be an adjustment period when you move baby from this sleeper to a flat bed. For my baby it took 2 rough naps then he slept great in his flat crib. For my sister's son (my sister loved this so I bought it for her when her baby was born) there was no adjustment period.
  • There are some worries about torticollis (the angled position may pull baby's head/neck down) on a few out of the hundreds of reviews I read. My baby did not have this problem. In fact, my baby never had slumping at all when he started to use it at 3 weeks of age. Either way, be aware of this possible problem with any child regardless of where he sleeps. It can happen anywhere. Some babies are born with it, some develop it.  I always do neck stretches with my babies starting shortly after they are born. I work on having them turn their head to the far right and left (they prefer right at this age) and from ear to shoulder. These are some stretches my pediatrician recommends. Also, some reviewers used a head support like the Baby Moon Pillow to prevent slumping.
  • There are some worries about plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome) on a few out of the hundreds of reviews I read. Once again, I did not have this problem and be aware that this issue happens with babies regardless of where they sleep. The plastic base under the cover is a bit hard though. Several reviewers mentioned putting a couple prefold diapers like these or these(they also make the best burp rags!) between the hard plastic base and the sleeper cover. I honestly can't see how this would be dangerous for baby, but be aware that it isn't following the product's guidelines--which is to do nothing-- so do it at your own risk. You can also use the Boppy Noggin Nest Head Support or the Baby Moon Pillow to prevent and/or reduce a flat head.
  • It only comes with one cover. It would be nice if they sold additional ones. Some people put a burp cloth or something similar under baby's bottom to catch leaks so they wouldn't have to wash it so frequently. If you do this, do it with care. I really can't see how a baby would get a small cloth under their bum onto their heads to cover their nose and mouth but who knows.

4 comments :

  1. This is (as much as I LOVED all my baby gifts) the best gift I received for my baby. It saved my life and sanity and my baby slept!!!

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  2. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I'm following you back. Happy New Year.

    Lisa

    http://frugalmommieof2.blogspot.com/

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  3. Can you explain your transition? I have an 8 week old who is my 3rd but actually I have a dilemma as she has been sleeping in her carseat 24/7. I never did this with my other 2, as they always slept in the crib at night (naps were another story). But she had reflux and congestion and I felt like I needed to do this. The issue now is how do I transition? She appears a "touchy" sleep temperament. I have tried the last nap of the day in the crib and it went so-so but the past 2 days really bad. So I'm anxious as how it will work! Do you do it younger rather than older? Will it be more difficult as they get older to transition or easier? The thing is she is quite big and long! Any tips I'd appreciate.

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  4. Michael and Yvonne,
    I can't really say whether it will be easier doing it now than later. Some babies simply do better with sleeping flat when they get older, but some babies will get really used to sleeping at an angle and have a hard time adjusting the longer they stay there.

    If she has reflux, you will want to make sure you get that a bit resolved first. Car seats often make the reflux worse, actually. Not always though.

    To transition you have a few options. you can try doing some naps here and there in the crib. You can even trying transferring her to the crib when you go to bed at night. If these things aren't working so well you might want to wait a bit longer or just transfer her all in one go and get ready for several rough days and nights :) She will get used to it eventually.

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