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What’s the best infant sleeper?
Every baby product on the market is actually safe for your baby, right?
You know how it goes. Nothing is done until something bad happens. A baby is severely injured or even worse, there is loss of life.
Suddenly, we realize just how unsafe a product is.
Still not convinced?
Take the Fisher Price Rock n Play for example.
For years if you asked a mom what’s the best infant sleeper to use for your newborn, do you know what the majority would have told you?
I do, the Fisher Price Rock n Play!
That item has been a top five must have on baby registries for years. Moms love it because babies love it and it’s a portable sleeper that doubles as an infant rocker, has an incline, vibrates, plays music, and gets babies to sleep through the night! That’s a sleep deprived mom’s dream, right?
But wait- there’s more.
The Fisher Price Rock n Play has been recalled and it’s causing moms to stress out over finding a safe alternative infant sleeper.
There’s so many things to worry about as a parent, safe sleep shouldn’t be one of them. Keep reading and you’ll learn what to avoid in baby sleepers, get tips to get your baby to sleep safely, and find out which baby products are known to provide safe baby sleep.
What’s wrong with the Rock n Play?
Honestly, it’s hard to let go of the Rock n Play. For years it seemed to be the solution to all sleep related problems. But, we now know its use has been linked to infant fatalities.
The major problem with the Rock n Play is the incline.
Babies are top heavy as their heads are larger than the rest of their body. This weight can cause their head to drop during sleep, resulting in their chin falling down on their chest, and blocking their ability to breath.
If this were to happen to you, naturally you’d adjust your head. Newborn babies don’t have that ability which makes the Rock n Play and other inclined devices dangerous.
The other issue is that when babies start turning and rolling over, they can place themselves in compromising positions that can lead to accidental suffocation.
The simple truth is it’s just not worth it.
Remember, when looking for sleepers for your infant you want them to be flat with no incline. Should you decide to use an infant swing, baby bouncer, or any related product, make sure to supervise your baby at all times and to only use the item as directed.
Related: SIDS prevention
So, now what?
Be familiar with safe sleep practices for babies.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends:
- Placing baby on his or her back on a firm and flat sleep surface
- No crib bumpers, blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals should be in the crib
- Don’t use soft or loose bedding, just fitted sheets
- Let baby sleep in the same room as you (not the same bed) for at least the first 6 months
- Avoid exposing baby to second hand smoke
- Use a pacifier for naps and overnight sleep
By now you’ll be wondering how does this help you get your baby to sleep.
Bear with me, because I’m about to show you how.
How to get a newborn to sleep at night
So here’s the thing, sleep is highly coveted as a new parent. You do whatever you have to do to get it. I’ve been there! There were times I thought I’d never get a full nights sleep again.
The truth is you don’t actually need a device to help your baby sleep (but it is great to have a safe place to put your baby so they can sleep). You just need to know what to do.
Still not convinced?
Let me explain:
The key is to get your baby on a sleep schedule early. This was something I neglected to do, and I paid for it dearly. Then I found Baby Sleep Made Simple , a program to help exhausted moms get their babies to sleep without crying it out.
This literally saved my sanity and gave me back my me time. The great thing about it (aside from my new found sleep) is that it’s taught by a neonatal nurse, Jilly Blankenship, and comes with a community of other exhausted moms also battling baby sleep.
For the record, Jilly has always encouraged moms to avoid the Rock n Play. Obviously she knows her stuff and places a high priority on safe sleep practices.
Jilly’s process helps you transition your baby to independent sleep over 21 days. She’ll teach you what to stop doing, what to start doing, and how to manage hiccups like vacations and overnight guests.
Trust me, this is an absolute must have for parents even if your baby is older.
Ok, so now you know what to avoid in a sleeper and you have access to the tools to get your baby to sleep. It’s time to learn which baby bedside sleepers you should consider instead of the Rock n Play.
Safe Infant Sleepers
1. Baby Bjorn
This cradle is JPMA certified which means that at a minimum it passes government requirements but also passes requirements deemed necessary for today’s market. It is made for infants from newborn to 6 months of age. Moms love it because it’s easily portable, has breathable mesh material, and has a rocking motion.
Cons: The price. The Baby Bjorn is expensive when compared to other infant sleepers but in this case you do get what you pay for.
Another downside is the height. The cradle sits low to the ground and can cause a concern if you have pets or other young children.
2. Dock A Tot
The Dock A Tot is marketed as being able to recreate the womb experience for babies because of its ability to “hold” a baby close.
Personally, I loved it. It was easy to move my baby to different levels of the house without waking her. Whenever we travelled, this automatically came along for the ride. She always seemed to get the most peaceful sleep regardless of where we were.
The Dock a Tot can be used for newborns through 8 months. You have the option of buying a larger one that will support a baby from 9 months to 36 months.
Cons: The accessories are expensive. The Doc a Tot comes with a white cover but you have the option of purchasing additional covers along with toy archs. If you buy two covers, you’ve almost spent enough to buy another Doc a Tot.
3. Tiny Love 3 in 1 Rocker Napper
This is another JPMA certified napper and it does everything without being hard on your pockets! You have the option of putting it in 3 different positions to allow for play time, quiet time, and nap time. Even with all of this, it is still light and portable.
Cons: It’s not collapsible so when moving it from room to room it may be a little cumbersome. Some moms feel that the incline position is to steep for smaller babies as a lot of them have noticed their baby sliding down.
This napper does rock but not as much as other devices. It would be better if the legs allowed for more of a rocking motion.
4. Day Dreamer
I absolutely love this thing. At 21 months, my daughter still likes to sit in it. It’s very versatile as it can be used as a sleeper, lounger, and a place to feed baby. I purchased it for my daughter to help with her frequent spit ups after meals. We didn’t use it for sleep much but occasionally she would doze off while sitting in there.
Cons: Since it does have an incline, I would avoid letting baby sleep in this unsupervised. This is also a little bulky (but still portable) so it may take up too much space in a smaller place.
5. Pack n Play
This is yet another product that I love and still use for my now toddler. The infant napper is easily removed from the pack n play and moved from room to room. I love that you have many sleeping options. Baby can either sleep in the portable bassinet or in the pack n play itself, which is adjustable.
I decided to keep the pack n play itself stationary in my bedroom (although it does have wheels) and keep her crib in her nursery. The movable napper would go wherever I went. It was extremely useful when it was time for me to take a shower and the baby was already napping.
Cons: The napper doesn’t collapse so it doesn’t travel well. Although the pack n play does break down, it’s just too much work in my opinion.
6. Snuggle Me Organic
This lounger is for babies 0-9 months. It is designed to hug the baby which keeps them positioned on their back while also giving them the sensation of being held.
The Snuggle Me Organic is perfect for traveling too, it comes with a case and is lightweight. It rivals the Dock A Tot, but it’s organic material gives moms another reason to love this.
Cons: It’s perfect for newborns but the length doesn’t seem to work for babies past 3 months.
7. Fisher Price Rock n Play Portable Bassinet
Don’t let the name Rock n Play scare you. This is different than the infant sleeper that got recalled. With this product you get a flat sleeping surface, that’s easily folded and moved from room to room. It is made for babies up to 25 pounds.
This functions as a regular bassinet except it also has the ability to rock.
Cons: When washed, the included mattress has been known to shrink.
8. Graco Dreamglider
The dreamglider is perfect for the family that is tight on space. It serves as both a swing and a sleeper.
The great part is if the baby falls asleep in the swinging position, you can lower the device into the sleeping position without moving your baby. For play time, it also has 3 reclining positions. This is great for babies up to 30 pounds.
Cons: It doesn’t fold or come apart easily for travelling. It’s also lacking the storage that’s common with other bassinets.
The speeds options for the swing seem to be very similar and are all slow. Some moms even find themselves manually pushing it themselves.
9. Snoo Smart Sleeper
This sleeper makes a constant rumbling sound to mimic the noises that baby is used to hearing in the womb. This along with it’s gentle rocking should really make the fourth trimester a breeze for any mom. It comes with an app that allows you to control the motion as well as the sounds.
One of the best features is that it comes with a preemie mode. It also comes with 3 swaddle sacks in various sizes to accommodate your growing baby.
Cons: It’s very expensive. The cost is definitely not for the light at heart but most parents do get their money’s worth.
Another downside to the snoo is that your baby will need to love being swaddled or it won’t work. Unfortunately, my baby wanted nothing to do with the swaddle.
Best Baby Sleep
So it all adds up to this, we want our babies to sleep, but we want to make sure they are safe while doing so. The best way to do this is to practice safe sleep habits right from the start. Don’t be dependent on a device to get your baby to sleep, instead use infant sleepers as a safe place for your child to rest.
I have been where you are and it’s scary not knowing what products to trust especially when it comes to your baby! It’s also hard to function when no one in the home is getting rest.
Don’t try and reinvent the wheel. The hard work has already been done for you, so give it a go and try baby sleep made simple.
What have you got to loose?