Fisher Price Rock ‘N Play: A Bassinet & Lost Sleep Alternative
If you’re here, you’re probably who I once was: the parent of a newborn, searching the internet desperately for any opportunity to sleep through the night. As if suffering from sleep deprivation and being borderline-nervous breakdown aren’t enough, it seems like, every day, there’s a new scary article on baby sleep rules and regulations on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
In the midst of all the hormonal changes, total insanity, and utter anxiety, I truly don’t see how I would have actually ever fallen asleep again without the assistance of the Fisher-Price Deluxe Newborn Rock’n Play Sleeper.
Giving the Rock ‘N Play a Shot
I don’t know if it was his lack of a desire to be swaddled, a potential acid reflux situation, or just an outright determination to not fall asleep, but my little guy spent his first full week awake and crying—completely opposite of the sleepy, angelic newborn I’d envisioned back when I was pregnant.
My husband’s brother and wife, with a 4-month-old of their own, had insisted that we register for the Rock ‘N Play for my baby shower and luckily, some other– probably once sleep-deprived— momma scooped one up for us. I’m not sure what I did to deserve this strong suggestion and ultimate gift, but I sure am thrilled I did it.
On day four of ZERO sleep for all of us, we took the bassinet wannabe out of the box and my husband easily snapped a couple things into place and voila—we had a new sleep alternative to the adorable, flat-mattress bassinet that we had so proudly assembled in the months before he arrived.
Once placed in the device, my son was slowly rocked and, soon enough, fast asleep. I was able to catch a quick nap myself as my mother kept an eye on him. After convincing myself that I had received a baby that simply did not sleep, I was shocked and impressed to wake and find him still sleeping beyond my two-hour nap timeframe. It was obvious that he finally found a comfortable, snug environment. I was confident that he’d be able to sleep through the night in this blessing of a product.
Rock ‘N Play: Fitting for My Emotions, Too
Basically a hammock for babies, the Rock ‘N Play:
- Envelops your little one on an inclined netting lined with a padded, cozy character insert to lie directly upon.
- Plays lullabies and rocks slowly in a manner that imitates your baby’s rhythmic experience in the womb.
- Provides your little one with the comfort and familiarity that cold, spacious bassinets and/or cribs simply cannot.
- Keeps those who suffer from acid reflux consistently inclined, easing digestion.
However, as the rest of the family began to sing “Hallelujah”, I remained hesitant to want to use the inclined Rock ‘N Play for prolonged, nighttime sleep. Internet searches that revealed countless families that had gone this route and never looked back, somehow, weren’t motivating enough for me. After all, the American Academy of Pediatrics says—at least, currently—that the best newborn sleep set-up is completely flat on his or her back and in close sleeping proximity to his or her parents.
I made my family aware of my concerns, and they were receptive. We decided we would allow him to sleep in the Rock ‘N Play that evening. However, we would each take a two-hour shift throughout the night to literally stare at him as he slept, ensuring that he kept breathing without any sort of obstruction due to the incline.
I’m no doctor, but my pediatrician is. I phoned him the following day after my little one slept for nearly five hours without interruption. I informed my pediatrician of our baby sleep challenges thus far and the relief of the Rock ‘N Play. Expecting that he would remind me of the same concerns I saw online– such as a potential flat head condition (and what a horrifying term it is!)– I was stunned to hear his lack of concern with prolonged and nighttime usage of the device.
In fact, I nearly equate the moment of relief and utter joy upon hearing his encouragement for using it with the moment my son was actually born.
Rock ‘N Play with Your Own Priorities
Now in month seven of my little guy’s perfectly round-headed life, we no longer use the Rock ‘N Play at nighttime, but we still certainly use it on a daily basis. In the first few weeks of his life, using this amazing bassinet alternative, he woke throughout the night just a few times, as expected, for feedings. However, by the time he was 7 weeks old and up until the four-month sleep regression, he was sleeping for nearly 12 hours straight each night—comfortably, right next to my bed– in the Rock ‘N Play.
During those first couple of months, my personal anxieties got the best of me at times, and I would attempt to put him down in the original bassinet again. Let’s just say he laughed at my efforts.
We do not keep the Rock ‘N Play plugged in. As a result, it’s versatile and transportable. In addition to being an option for nighttime, the Rock ‘N Play will be where you can put your baby down and bring him into the bathroom with you while home alone so that you can shower. It will allow your little one to watch you in the kitchen while you make his or her bottle. Its optional lullabies and rocking motion will calm and comfort your fussy newborn when you and the rest of your exhausted efforts cannot.
It’s important to keep in mind that every baby is different. My sleeping woes happened to have been settled by the use of this device. My son may suffer from acid reflux—his pediatrician seems to think it’s a possibility—or he may just have not enjoyed his flat bassinet, or being swaddled. Maybe your baby needs to feel closer to you, so a bedside bassinet attachment could be your go-to instead. Or, maybe you’d like to use the crib from week 1 and not have to worry about eventually transitioning to such.
I can say, however, I literally live-tweeted the first night that we transitioned my son to his crib because the excitement of him sleeping through the night there, too, without a transitional issue, was incredible. I was just not a fan of having him in another room during those first few precious months.
Regardless, you’ll have to see what works for you and, of course, you can always soothe your concerns with a call to your pediatrician. For me, increased opportunities to shower and for BOTH of us to sleep soundly—in close proximity, at that– were priorities. The Rock ‘N Play officially took my new mom role to Supermom status.
My sister’s son suffers from acid reflux. Though he’s 3-years-old now, my sister will tell you that she and he “did not sleep” for the first YEAR of his life. This same sister was kind enough to take one of those two-hour “staring shifts” that first night that my son slept in the Rock ‘N Play. Let’s just say that what she witnessed has caused her to deeply regret not seeking alternative sleeping methods for herself and her son during his first year.
As she gears up to have baby #2, I know exactly what I’ll be getting her this time around.
If you’re interested in sleeping at all again, check out the Fisher-Price Deluxe Newborn Rock’n Play Sleeper on Amazon.