The FisherPrice RockNPlay was recently recalled due to its relation to infant deaths. These deaths were due to positional asphyxia, or when baby accidentally occludes their airway because of weak neck muscles, from the incline of the RNP.
You can read more about the recall here.
So…what’s so scary about this?
The RNP has been a staple baby gift for years – I had and used one myself! The danger, unfortunately, is not in the product itself, but the misuse of the RNP (along with many other containers). Please follow the guidelines listed by the AAP for safe sleep in regards to containers.
What is a container?
- A container is any object that baby can be placed in. Common containers include:
- RockNPlay* recalled, please do not use
- Boppy Pillow or Boppy Lounger
- Bouncy chair
- Activity center
- Bumbo seat
- Baby Carriers (make sure you can kiss baby’s head at all times! And support head and neck properly. Check with specific brand on how to use safely.)
- Anything baby can be strapped into – for example, carseat, highchair, stroller
Why are containers a concern?
Containers themselves are not a concern for safety. HOWEVER, when a baby is in a container, they should have 100% adult supervision (and this adult needs to be AWAKE!) Why? Because babies don’t have the muscle strength to correct poor position, especially of their airway. This can lead to accidental suffocation/asphyxiation. Some containers have an incline (RNP, swings, bouncers, some PackNplay inserts, car seats, etc.) which heighten the risk of asphyxia. It’s JUST NOT WORTH IT!
When can I use a container?
You can safely use a container when baby is awake + you are awake and have all eyes on baby! Never leave your baby unattended when in a container, even if they have a monitor on them. They need to be in the same room as you and you need to be awake to correct/catch any potential accidents. The baby needs to be awake as well!
But I LOOOVEEE my DocATot and my baby sleeps SO WELL in it!
YOU are the parent, you make the decisions. It’s my job to inform you of potentially hazardous/life threatening objects and misuse. And the DocAtot is one of them. It even states on their website that the product is NOT safe for sleep! Use it during the day if you want to while baby is awake! But you don’t needthis product (and it’s $$). Spend your money elsewhere, like on a quality mattress (see below for my mattress suggestion).
OK…well what CAN I use?
Any of the products listed above (besides the RNP) can be used with supervision while the baby and adult are awake. If you want something safe to use while you are not supervising (aka, you are sleeping) then here are some great options:
A Crib or Mini Crib
A crib/bassinet is the safest place for your baby to be when asleep, as long as you are following safe sleep rules. Head to my Safety and Sleep highlight on IG to brush up on the Safe Sleep ABCs + check out the AAP recommendations.
A – alone
B – placed on back
C – in a crib or bassinet with NOTHING but a fitted sheet and sleep sac.
Lots of great info here from the NIH (recommended by CDC).
Invest in a quality mattress rather than an expensive bassinet/positioner. The bassinet is used for such a small amount of time (weeks!) when a crib mattress will be used for up to 4 years. I recommended (and have for Roey) the Newton Mattress – it’s the first and only 100% breathable and washable mattress that is SAFE! Read more here about the items I got for Roey.
Click here for the Newton Mattress and get $50 off with code NB50.
*Tips for a bassinet*
Don’t spend a ton of money. And by don’t spend a lot of money I mean spend no more than $100. Babies are in a bassinet for SUCH a small amount of time. Get two safe, cheaper bassinets – one for your room, and one for common area. If you think you’ll be traveling, I love this portable bassinet by Dream on Me. It has safe, mesh, breathable sides and the legs come off, folds right up into a travel bag. Great for grandparents’ house (this is what is at my parents’ house for Roey!) I used a hand-me-down bassinet from Pottery Barn for all of my kids. These bassinet fitted sheets are a standard size and fit most bassinets.
PackNplay without Inclined Insert
The PackNplay is a super versatile baby item and a great option for safe sleep – both in the bedroom and out of the bedroom (for example, the living room!) The infant riser is safe and makes it easy to pick baby up without bending too far over. Most have a weight limit of about 15 lbs before you move to the lower option, so check with the label.
Without the infant riser is safe for newborns, too.
Some PackNPlays have a slightly inclined insert that is NOT safe for infant sleep. Because of the angle, baby could accidentally cut off their airway. I recommend The Cloud travel crib by Zoe because it’s the EASIEST and LIGHTEST pack and play to travel with. It comes with a removable infant bassinet insert and a backpack carrying case with wheels for easy travel! Use code BUMBLEBABY20 for discount.
I also like this Graco pack and play that’s more budget friendly.
Both are equally safe. Remove the mobile on any crib for safety.
Car Seat Safety
Please Please PLEASE never leave your baby in the car seat at daycare (or any time when the car seat is not in the base!). The base of the car seat keeps infant seats at a safe angle (as long as the base is installed correctly). When the car seat is taken out of the base, it’s not guaranteed to be at the correct angle to prevent baby from blocking off their airway. So what does this mean? If baby is asleep in the carseat and the car seat is in the base, they are at a safe angle. If they are sleeping and the car seat is not in the base, they need to be removed from the carseat ASAP. Keep them strapped in as you would in the car even when outside of the car (clipped in stroller, etc). Check with your specific stroller/adapter brand, but generally, carseat adapters for strollers are safe and provide a safe angle. There have been terrible stories of infants (even past 6 months of age) who have died of positional asphyxia from being asleep in the car seat at daycare. It’s just NOT WORTH IT!
Products to avoid Moses and Rattan Baskets
Moses baskets are not breathable! And you can’t keep your eyes on baby, even though they are cute! The bigger slots in the Rattan baskets leave room for arms and legs to get stuck, so best to just avoid. If you want to use while baby is up and awake, and so are you, go for it!
As I said above… 🙂
But I LOOOVEEE my DocATot and my baby sleeps SO WELL in it! YOU are the parent, you make the decisions. It’s my job to inform you of potentially hazardous/life threatening objects and misuse. And the DocAtot (and similar items) is one of them. It even states on their website that the product is NOT safe for sleep! Use it during the day if you want to! But you don’t need this product (and it’s $$). Spend your money elsewhere, like on a quality mattress (see above for my mattress suggestion).
These sleepers could shift or move (and so can you or baby!) or cause baby to fall on the floor. Just pull your bassinet really close (that’s what I do!)
Containers That I LOVE / Safe Options
SkipHop Activity Chair
I love this little chair because it’s so versatile – you can use it for entertaining on the floor or counter and eventually use it for introducing solids. This chair helps keep baby’s hips at the right angle and is perfect for littles who can’t sit up yet but have good neck strength! Baby should be awake and supervised when in this item.
A blanket/foam mat on the floor
The good ole’ floor! This is where my kids spent 90% of their time.
This mat is great because you can make it any shape that fits you living space, and spills, spit up, and diaper contents can be easily cleaned and sanitized. I love to place Roey’s Monica + Andy Always blanket on top (all 3 of my kids have one!) because the size is perfect!
Infant to Toddler Rocker with Adjustable InclineThis is another great and affordable rocker. I love that it extends past infancy and has an adjustable incline based on age. Baby should be awake and supervised when in this item. Follow guidelines for ages.
Boppy and boppy lounger for younger babies
To be honest, I didn’t love the boppy for breastfeeding, but I used it all the time with baby. It’s great for tummy time, lounging, and learning to sit up as a cushion! The newborn lounger is a staple and Beesie lived on it during awake time in the beginning. Baby should be awake and supervised when in this item. Follow guidelines for ages.
SkipHop Activity Center
A favorite!! The floating piece can be removed once baby is a little taller, but the balance is fun for baby, as well as the foot keyboard. With this activity center, you can interchange the toys on the top to your liking or switch them out when baby gets bored. Baby should be awake and supervised when in this item. Follow guidelines for ages.
Love Every Activity Mat
You can add a little activity mat once they are a few months old, like this adorable Love Every Activity Mat.Great for floor time, tummy time, and entertainment. Remove all padding and pillows, baby doesn’t need them.
If you want a less pricey option, this FisherPrice one is great too. My kids loved the key board that baby can kick with their feet!
I prefer this Fisher Price bouncy because it has a vibration option and because there are NO INSERTS! So many bouncers come with pillow like inserts that put baby as risk for bending their neck and blocking off their airway. Less is more! Also comes in pink. Baby should be awake and supervised when in this item. Follow guidelines for ages.
The Bjorn bouncer is trendy but $$. I love that there are no inserts in this bouncer, either. Baby should be awake and supervised when in this item. Follow guidelines for ages.
Remember to please use containers responsibly!!
Have more questions? Schedule a text or video chat consult with Kate, Lauren or Natalie (NICU RN’s) and they can help answer any questions that you have!
Moms on Call: Want to find out more about Moms on Call? Check out my blog post here about why I am a sleep consultant.
**This post is educational and not meant to take the place of your provider. Bumblebaby makes a small commission on some of the items listed above