When we were expecting Jeremiah, I asked some of my veteran mom friends to share their top baby must-haves. My cousin, Meghan was the one who introduced me to the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, and I am indebted to her for that recommendation!
The Rock ‘n Play Sleeper is a small hammock-like cradle that can fold up. The secret to success is the inclined seat, so babies are not sleeping flat on their backs. This is huge, because many babies have reflux when they are brand new, and laying down flat can aggravate it. Jeremiah was no exception, and this is where he slept at night when I would feed him and lay him right back down to sleep. (During the day, he would be awake after eating, so it gave his milk time to settle before I’d put him down for a nap.)
Another great feature is the cozy sides. The sleeper snuggles babies in nice and cozy…another key to getting better sleep for Jeremiah. The sides are mesh, so no need to fear them not getting enough air. Jeremiah did seem to sleep longer snuggled up in the Rock ‘n Play than he did in his crib, so I’d put him in it at night when I REALLY needed a few hours of consecutive sleep!
The Rock ‘n Play folds up nicely. This was great for taking to a friend’s house for the evening so Jeremiah could nap, or on longer trips to visit family. It is MUCH smaller and easier to carry than a Pack ‘n Play, so this was our go-to travel bed until Jeremiah outgrew it at six months when he could roll over.
Cleaning the Rock ‘n Play was pretty easy. The cover comes off and is machine washable (great for those unavoidable blowout diapers). We have an older version of the Rock ‘n Play that did have issues with moisture being trapped between the cover and the base causing mold to grow. Fisher Price did address this issue with newer models and gives directions on how to clean older models. If you buy a used one, it is good to check under the cover on a regular basis just to make sure it is clean.
When reading reviews on Amazon, some parents complained the Rock ‘n Play caused their child to have a flat head. While I won’t say those claims are true or false, I do see how the design of the Rock ‘n Play does have the baby lay more on the back of their head instead of one side or the other. Personally, I had Jeremiah sleep in his crib or Pack ‘n Play for naps to make sure he slept on different sides of his head and only used the Rock ‘n Play for nights when he needed to sleep at an incline. As with all baby gear, it’s good for parents to be aware of potential issues and use their own judgement on what is best for their baby.
I found my Rock ‘n Play Sleeper used on Craigslist, but they are also common to find at consignment and garage sales. You can also buy or register for a new Fisher-Price Newborn Rock ‘n Play Sleeper here on Amazon.
I would 100% recommend parents get a Rock ‘n Play Sleeper for their little one. Not only is it easy to transport, but it also seems to help babies sleep more comfortably for longer periods of time. Sure, it’s not a long-term investment like a crib, but it definitely makes getting sleep in those early days a possibility when you need it most!
Want to see my other bed time baby essentials? Check out my Sleeping/Soothing Essentials list here!
Any links to Amazon are affiliate links (all opinions and reviews are still 100% my own). If you purchase through them, you’ll be supporting The List Mama – Thanks!