Updated: Apr 26, 2019
You and your child are better off without it.
The Washington Post released an article entitled, “Parents dread life ‘without a Rock 'n Play’: Fisher-Price recall triggers shock and frustration.” In the piece, parent Rachel Tombari, who has a two-year-old, states she “has no plans to return her rocker”, which is stashed in the attic for future children.
“When we heard about the recall, my friends and I all had the same reaction: Total shock,” said Tombari, 32, a therapist in West Orange, N.J. But within minutes, she said, they’d all agreed on something else, too: “There’s no way we’re sending back our Rock 'n Plays.”
I feel for those parents. Being completely dependent on a product that was just linked to over 30 infant deaths must be shock-inducing. I know these parents meant no harm when they used the Rock ‘n Play in the long, dark hours of the night when the sleep deprivation hit hard. They found some small success, so they kept using it. That’s another one of the troubles with sleep positioners (besides the safety issues) – they create a dependency on their incline, vibration, or rocking motion that will keep your baby from learning how to sleep without them.
If you’re feeling like the Rock ‘n Play is your only lifeline to sleep, I want you to know that you’re better off without it. It was holding you and your child back.
There is so much marketing and hoopla around the “ideal” image of what baby sleep spaces should look like. Many of the products you see pictured in nurseries in sales ads are unsafe for sleep, and can actually get in the way of your child’s ability to sleep independently. An empty crib doesn't photograph well, but it's safe.
The Rock ‘n Play™, baby swings, DockATot® and other such baby containers all have clear safety issues for sleep, but there are many others out there that are more subtle; including crib wedges, side positioners, and restrictive sleepsuits for babies who have outgrown the need for a swaddle.
You don’t need any of this stuff, and you don’t have to sacrifice all-night sleep to get safe sleep. The best possible way to get your baby to sleep through the night is to put her down alone in a crib with a flat, firm mattress – before she falls completely asleep.
In order to sleep all night long (or even for a long nap), your child will need to connect sleep cycles, which means he or she will have to “fall asleep” repeatedly overnight. Whatever sleep props you use to put your baby to sleep at the start are the sleep props baby is going to be looking for to go back to sleep once she rouses in the light portions of her sleep cycles.
That means if you nurse or bottle feed your baby to sleep, you’re going to have a baby who needs to feed to get back to sleep, all night long.
If you rock your baby all the way to sleep, your baby will be looking for your rocking, soothing arms all night long.
Now – this is not to say that you cannot rock, snuggle and enjoy your baby. I have rocked my daughter every night of her 10 months of life. I just don’t rock her 100% to sleep. I pull myself back, just a little, and set her down on her back in her crib where she assumes a comfortable position and coos her little self to sleep.
Giving your child the gift of being able to fall asleep when she feels tired builds lifelong beneficial habits. Imagine needing to rely on someone else every time you wanted to rest. It’s unfair to the child to have to reach out for sleep props they cannot get for themselves (nursing, rocking, holding, parents’ shoulder) every time they finish a sleep cycle. It sounds exhausting and it is.
Your child deserves to sleep when tired.
For more on how to get your child sleeping safely and independently,
check out the Safe Baby Sleep eBook available on Amazon.com now!
To begin processing your refund or voucher for the now-recalled Rock ‘n Play™
visit www. Service.mattel.com