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This Baby Gadget is PURE GENIUS!

By Katie Allison Granju |

Fisher Price Rock and Play Sleeper

I’m a fan of co-sleeping (done safely, of course). As a working mom, I enjoy the overnight snuggling with the baby. She sleeps well and so do I. Even on weekends, I like the fact that I get to lie down and rest myself – guilt free – and savor some quiet time when I nap with her.

When my older (also co-sleeping) children were babies, I could get them to sleep by lying down with them, but I could also then get back up if I needed or wanted to, and they  would then remain happily asleep wherever I’d left them. I could usually rock them into a deep sleep and then put them down on our bed to remain that way, and they would also sometimes sleep in their bouncy seats or swing.

At 5 months (yesterday!), Miss G is by far the most laid back, happy, and easygoing infant I’ve  ever known. She loves people and is very social and smiley with everyone. At an age when many babies are starting to freak out when they encounter people they don’t know very well, she is happy to let friends and family members play “pass the baby” without crying for me. In fact, she rarely cries unless she’s seriously hungry or exhausted, and even then she’s easy to soothe once you satisfy whatever her immediate need is. She will play independently for long periods of time on her little playmat or in her bouncy seat with the toy bar. She’s just a super easy baby….except for one thing (there’s always that one thing, isn’t there?)

G will not, absolutely WILL NOT sleep – not for naps or for overnights – unless she is touching another human body – preferably mine (this is particularly true at night, when it has to be mama and no one else). She sleeps wonderfully as long as she’s in someone’s arms or snuggled up next to me in our bed – she’s a great sleeper in that case- but the minute you try to slide out of the bed yourself, or put her down in a crib, cosleeper, bassinet, swing or anywhere else, she’s wide awake and grinning up at you, ready to be awake and play.

As I said, I love co-sleeping, so this isn’t an issue during the overnight hours when I am ready to be in bed myself, but I don’t always WANT to go to bed for the night at 8pm, and sometimes I am not in the mood for a daytime nap when she is. This was starting to become a bit problematic, and nothing I tried was working. She simply would not remain asleep for more than a few minutes in any setting except our bed, with me in it. Not the bassinet. Not the co-sleeper. Not the swing. Not the bouncy seat. Not her carseat…. You get the picture. It was me, with her, in our bed, or nothing.

While this was a bit of an inconvenience, I wasn’t really worried about it (G is my 5th child, so I know that this too shall pass….very, very quickly). But then I somehow happened to stumble across a rave review on a blog somewhere for the Fisher Price Rock and Play Sleeper. Basically, the review said that this baby gadget, a simple hammock-shaped, mesh sided bassinet sort of thing that folds up when not in use – was the ONLY place that the blogger’s otherwise co-sleeping baby would sleep for longer than a few minutes when not being held.

Hmmmm…..this sounded intriguing. So I surfed on over to Amazon, and found review after review after review saying the same thing – parents claiming that this Fisher Price item had seemingly magical sleep inducing qualities for every baby who tried it. I looked at a few other sites that offer this thing for sale and found the same phenomenon – parents raving about the product. In fact, I am not sure I have ever seen such a high percentage of positive reviews for a baby item.

We really didn’t buy anything for G before she was born. Since we have a three year old, we already had plenty of baby stuff. Plus, people were nice enough to loan or gift us with the few things we didn’t have but needed. But I decided to buy this thing. At less than $50 with shipping, it seemed like a good deal if all of these happy parents were telling the truth. So I ordered it.

Three days later, it arrived, and Jon was able to set it up in less than five minutes. An hour later, G was happily snoozing in it, taking her  first nap of more than an hour in any location other than my arms or the baby sling in at least eight weeks. A week later, I don’t know how we ever got along without this baby gadget. I am just so bummed that I didn’t discover it sooner. It’s rated to 25 pounds, and G is very small for her age (only 13 pounds), but I am already dreading the day when she outgrows it.

G LOVES sleeping in this thing. It’s inclined just right (more than a swing or bouncy seat), has a deep pocket-shape, and it snuggles her close, but the sides are breathable mesh, so it’s safe. It’s just a brilliantly simple design that I can’t believe no one has thought of before. Babies like to be inclined, and they like to feel enclosed in a deep pocket sort of space. That’s why they tend to relax and sleep in carseats, but this thing is way better.

It also folds up super-easily and only weighs a pound or two, so it’s great for moving around the house or or travel; in fact we brought it with us when we went out of town this weekend and it was SO much less hassle and bulk than bringing the fold-up pack and play. She can also sit in it just to hang out around the house – sort of like a taller baby bouncy seat. It rocks gently when needed, and it’s the perfect height to set up next to mom’s side of the bed to have the baby right at hand. Honestly, I’d pick this over a co-sleeper any day.

So add me to the chorus of rave reviews for the Fisher Price Rock and Play Sleeper. It’s definitely on my list of must-have baby items – in fact it could easily replace swing, bouncy seat, bassinet and co-sleeper – all of them. I will definitely be buying this as a baby shower gift from now on. Highly recommended.

(PS: Just in case you are wondering, I have no relationship with Fisher Price and they haven’t given me any swag or compensation for writing this review. In fact, they don’t have any idea who I am. I just really love this product and wanted to let you other new mamas know about my discovery. – Katie)

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About Katie Allison Granju

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Katie Allison Granju

Katie Allison Granju is the married mother of five children, ranging in age from toddler to teenager. In addition to blogging for Babble Voices, she also publishes her own blog, Big Good Thing. Katie also enjoys working in her flower garden, riding her bike, and feeding the chickens she keeps in the backyard of her family's large Victorian house. Read bio and latest posts → Read Katie Allison's latest posts →

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19 thoughts on “This Baby Gadget is PURE GENIUS!

  1. jamiebeths says:

    wow – this sounds very exciting! question: if you weren’t co-sleeping, would you still love this over a co-sleeper … that is to say, could this replace an arm’s reach so sleeper/bassinet or is this only super useful because most of the time your baby is in bed with you? thanks!

  2. K.C. says:

    Oh, how I wish I had that when #2 wouldn’t sleep. Hope the magic continues!!

  3. J.M. says:

    I am expecting my first child in a few weeks and almost purchased this product. I also read tons of rave reviews but then checked into the low reviews. Several parents have run into their babies having issues with torticollis (shortened/tight neck muscles) and plagiocephaly (flat head) after using this product. In the reviews I read, something about the metal structure underneath the netting had caused the problems. Not sure how much time these babies spent in the rocker but I just wanted everyone to be aware before purchasing. I personally decided not to purchase.

  4. Steph says:

    I don’t get to go shopping much at all as we live on a small island but we’re planning a trip to the USA to do some shopping. I’m expecting my second baby and this rocker looks like it will be a great product to have – anything to maximise sleep for everyone sounds like a lifesaver! I’ll be checking this out for sure.

  5. becky mom of willie says:

    Oh! That would have been great when my 13 year old guy was a baby. The weight limit, however, is a bummer. His nickname was “The Baby who Ate Cincinnati” so I still look at weight limits on all cool new baby items. Yeah, we would not have got much usage out of a 25 pound limit item…

  6. tricia says:

    Wish this had been around nine years ago. Our son would only sleep if being held or on my chest. This went on for months and months. I might be a little saner today if we had had one of these!

  7. Christi Wampler says:

    I have heard great things about this, too! I never got a swing for my son and he could take or leave the bouncy seat, so this sounds much more promising than having them all out! Thanks for sharing!

  8. anne says:

    I just ordered this – if this lets me put my 6 month old down for a nap and walk away, I’m sending you a box of cupcakes in the mail. :)

  9. dewi says:

    It’s a brilliant useful product. I’ve had clients who adore it.
    However it should not replace a co-sleeper bassinet or a regular mattress for the baby to do most of their long hours during nighttime sleeping.

    Like infant seats, if overused it causes flat-head or torticollis (tight neck muscles) because the baby cannot naturally move its head and body, or roll over as they develop.

  10. tam says:

    So glad you have found something that works for you. Just one caution to breastfeeding moms with really new babies – swings like this can induce newborns to sleep for too long and not get the time at the breast that they need for nutrition and to stimulate the milk supply in the early days/weeks.
    But once supply is established and the baby is clearly thriving, a good nap in arms or not is wonderful for all!

  11. kgranju says:

    Lia – I wear my baby all the time. She spends lots of time in both my Maya wrap sling and our Bjorn front pack. I am a babywearing fan, 100%. – Katie

  12. kgranju says:

    Jamiebeths – I would find this very useful even if we didn’t co-sleep. If I could only have one thing, I’d choose this over the swing, bouncy seat and the bassinet. It really serves all 3 purposes, only better. – Katie

  13. kgranju says:

    JM – I think that babies who are routinely left for long periods in the same position can develop head shape issues or torticollis (sp?). I don’t find the back of this product any harder than any firm baby mattress or car seat, but I do put a nice soft blanket in it, to line it and make it cozier. – Katie

  14. Sara says:

    Oh man, I wish this had been around 6 1/2 years ago! My daughter also refused to sleep unless she was being held…if she was at home. At my mom’s house or the babysitter’s, she napped like a champ. But if my husband or I were nearby, it was all arms, all the time. We tried co-sleeping, but couldn’t make it work for us. We took alternating turns on the couch or in the special sleep-chair in our room. It was brutal. Funnily enough, though, she’s a champion sleeper now. You just never know, do you? :)

  15. Pamela says:

    Katie,
    We are so in the same boat. My 15 week old daughter will not sleep unless I am holding her or she is in her moby wrap. She will not sleep at night unless she is snuggled with me and I never intended to co-sleep, so I am going to get this asap! Thanks for the advice and your opinion about the head and neck issues. I was debating how I felt about that issue and I think your opinion sounds right on.

  16. kia says:

    I agree with everything you’ve written, I love this sleeper! I bought this particular one because we needed something with a smaller footprint than the traditional bassinet to fit in our small room and something low enough to be easily accessed from our platform bed. This fit the ticket and our baby liked it to boot. Also, we bought it from Babies R Us with a 20% off coupon – double score!

  17. Amanda Pelicano says:

    My now 6 1/2 month old still sleeps here at night. I’m a nervous SIDS risk mommy, and I feel SO secure when she’s sleeping here at night. She can’t roll over or get mashed up against the sides, the incline is great, fits right next to my side of the bed, and she sleeps so well in it. Kudos, Fisher Price!!

  18. Jenny says:

    Thank you SO much for this review I have been racking my brain trying to decide where/how/in what will our baby sleep in when we bring it home to our tiny little apartment. I think this is it!

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