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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