Have you ever done the baby shuffle at nighttime? Every mom knows this exhausting game. Baby is mad about his sleeping situation so he cries and cries. You swaddle him, unswaddle him, feed him, burp him, change him, then put him back in his bassinet.
He cries. Sigh.
You pick him back up re-swaddle, shush in his ear, bounce him gently (we all have the mom bounce down) and try putting him down again.
He cries. Crap.
So you try the swing after making your husband get up at whatever f-ing hour it is to move the darn thing into your bedroom. You place baby in the swing with music (that is so irritating to normal humans that there is no way you will sleep).
He cries. Oh, for the love of cheese.
You pick him up and try the bassinet again and then the stroller and then the car seat, and the bouncer, and any other contraption you have to hold your baby…
The baby shuffle. It is one of the nighttime horrors that is made to drive even the most level-headed parent insane.
I had that baby. He is a crazy, sassy, lovable two-year-old now, but for the first year of his life, that child refused to sleep. I did the baby shuffle with him all night long, every night. Now in his defense, he suffered from terrible reflux. He was on medication for it because it was so bad. He had silent reflux which meant he would swallow back down what was coming up so he would get the burn on the way up and on the way back down. He choked constantly from it. It was horrifying at times.
I could not lay this child down because it hurt him so bad. It was heartbreaking. So finding a sleeper that was at an incline was a must. He could not be laid flat or he would never sleep. A friend suggested I look into Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play reviews as they had heard it was good for reflux.
Sure enough, many moms said it was a life saver. So I bought one from Amazon. Wow, what a difference. My son loved the Rock ‘n Play. He was a small baby so he slept in it until nearly seven months old. It sat him up just enough to help relieve some of his reflux. He wasn’t ever a great sleeper but he was finally able to go a few hours at times while sleeping in it which was a few hours longer than any other product we tried.
If you have a baby with reflux, I would highly suggest the Rock ‘n Play. But even if you don’t, I still suggest you pick one of these up! You will see why this is one of my favorite products!
Features of the Fisher-Price Rock n’ Play
You can buy a few different models of the Rock n’ Play. My favorite is the Auto Rock n’ Play. It has a motor that rocks the sleeper automatically. With the basic Rock ‘n Play models, you have to rock manually which is a pain but it does come with a battery operated vibration option. The Auto version does not come with a vibration option.
Both the auto and the basic have the option to come in Deluxe. There is not a ton of info on the difference but it appears the only difference is the Deluxe comes with the extra padded insert. I have the Deluxe and do like the padding. I felt it made the sleeper softer especially for when my son was a newborn. It seemed to cuddle him more. I think that is what he liked about the sleeper, the fact that he felt “held.”
If you are feeling really fancy, there is a newer member of the Rock n’ Play family that has all the features of the Auto Deluxe model but comes with what Fisher Price calls Smart Connect. It has the auto-rock, vibration, music, timer, etc that can all be controlled from your smart device via an app. Pretty cool if you ask me! I have not tried this model but trust me, I will be looking for an excuse to get one if any other Baby Grace’s decide to bless us.
Here are some Key Features as listed on Fisher-Price Site:
• Two auto-rock settings: 30 minutes or 6 hours of hands-free rocking
• 12 musical tunes and 3 soothing sound effects
• Comfy incline helps baby sleep
• Compact fold for portability & storage
• Sleeper & playtime seat in one
• Deluxe fabrics & a plush newborn insert (DELUXE Only)
• Easy to assemble
• Linkable clacker toy
• Breathable mesh sides
• Lightweight design
• Secure, three-point restraint
• Easy to clean design with machine washable insert & pad
• Includes AC adapter that plugs into the wall – no batteries needed!
• Nighttime sleeper & playtime seat in one
• Comfy, supportive incline
• Rocks head-to-toe with a gentle push
• Switch on calming vibrations to help soothe baby
• Compact fold for portability & storage
• Deluxe fabrics, breathable mesh sides & , plush, machine-washable newborn insert with head support (DELUXE Only)
• Secure three-point restraint
• Linkable clacker toy—take it on the go
• Light-weight & easy-to-assemble
• Requires 1 D battery
The Price difference for the different models can vary. It also depends on the style and design you choose. Some of the more basic patterns are cheaper versus the cute lamb or kitten pattern for example. I think it will depend on your style and what you feel is important when choosing the model that best fits you and your baby.
My son, for example, hated anything that vibrated but he was okay with a side to side rocking motion. I also wanted the cute puppy so I paid the premium for the Deluxe Auto Rock ‘n Play. I feel it was worth the upgrade. Some babies hate being rocked but love vibration. So it will depend on yours.
See the Rock ‘N Play Sleeper in Action!
This quick video gives you a full run down of the Auto Rock ‘n Play (note, it is not the deluxe). I love how easy it is to store and travel with!
Does the Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play Cause Flat Head?
I wanted to address this since I see this comment made on various community boards and reviews. The Rock n’ Play is very convenient. It is super light and portable so it is tempting to not only sleep your baby in it but also put it in the kitchen while you cook so your hands are free. Or place it in the living room while you fold laundry. Like anything, you should not be putting your baby in it for hours and hours during the day in addition to sleeping them in it.
You should hold your baby as much as possible. Put baby in a safe place (while supervised of course) on the floor for tummy time for just to stretch out. Wear you baby. I love wraps and think it is the best way to get stuff done while holding your baby.
I don’t condone putting a baby into any product for long periods of time. Hold your baby!
That said, I did not have an issue with a flat head with my son and he slept in the Rock ‘n Play every night for nearly six months. But like I said, he was not in it during the day. It is tempting, though, I must admit.
I will add that a lot of moms felt the added padding with the Deluxe version helped prevent a flat head in their baby. I have seen nothing official to back that up, however. I think the key is limiting the use of any baby product and being aware that your baby should not be laying flat on his back for extended periods of time.
But I would always suggest you be aware that by using a product like the Rock ‘n Play, you are not allowing your baby to change positions at night in a natural way. So, if you plan to use the Rock ‘n Play as a sleeper, then you need to be aware of the signs to look for. Every baby is different and I would never say that an issue could not happen.
If my son had not had such severe reflux, we probably would have moved him to a crib or Pack ‘n Play around the time he could roll. I feel they are ready for a more natural sleep environment then.
The Rock ‘n Play is great to use around the house as well (as I pointed out above), so you have the option to use a different sleeper at night and the Rock ‘n Play as needed during the day. I have many friends that did that and loved it.
Pros and Cons of the Rock ‘n Play
- Lightweight and portable!
- Lots of style and color options
- Auto rocker runs on AC Adapter so no need for batteries
- Perfect for keeping baby safe and busy to free hands while cooking, cleaning, or doing other mom things
- Great for babies with reflux
- Easy to wash the covers
- Easy to store
- More expensive than a standard bouncer if you plan to use in place of one
- Some moms reported flat head in baby when using as a sleeper
- Vibrating option is only on basic model, not on Auto
The Rock ‘n Play is a great product when used correctly. My babies hated the bouncer seat so that was a waste of money for me. I wish I had one of these for my first baby as I ended up pushing my stroller around the house when I needed to set him down to keep him where I could see him. The Rock ‘n Play would be great for that!
If you are like me with a severe reflux baby, then this might be your miracle product. My doctor agreed it was best for my son to sleep at an incline and the Rock ‘n Play provides that perfectly.
I think you will love this product as much as I do!
Every used the Rock ‘n Play? Have a question? Leave a comment!