There’s no question that a rock n play can be a lifesaver for new parents. It offers a comfortable place for the baby to sleep, and it’s perfect for when you need to get things done around the house. But how long can a baby safely sleep in a rock n play? And when is it time to transition to a crib? Read on to find out more.

How long can baby sleep in rock n play

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies should nap only in a crib or bassinet for the first 6 months, but it’s up to you when to make the switch. The safest time is around 3-4 months old, when the baby is able to roll over on his or her own.

It’s important for the baby’s safety to unswaddle him or her before putting the baby down for a nap. If your baby still needs swaddling, it may be time to transition away from the rock n play, so he or she is not sleeping with loose bedding.

While you’re teaching your little one how to fall asleep on his own, it’s best for him to learn that it’s “lights out.” The AAP recommends that infants sleep in a dark, quiet room during the first year of life. When you change the baby’s diaper, don’t turn on the lights. If your child wakes up because he or she needs a fresh diaper, then go ahead and use the night-light in the bathroom when you’re getting supplies to clean up. It all helps to teach them how to sleep through the night.

It’s never a good idea to use a rock n play as a crib substitute, even if you’re going on vacation and there is no other option for sleeping space. There have been reports of babies suffocating while using this product in their sleep. In addition, overheating can be a risk, so remember to monitor the baby’s room temperature when using this product.

How old were babies that died in rock n play?

In an investigation of Fisher-Price of Rock N’ Play, More than 50 infants who were less than 3 months in age died in the sleeper, according to a Congressional report before it was recalled in 2019.

Consumer Reports also reported of a baby called Ezra Overton of Alexandria, Virginia who was 5 months old when he died in a Rock ’n Play Sleeper on Dec. 22, 2017.

Credit: Consumer Reports

Oftentimes, people think that it’s okay to use this product for babies up to 6 months old. However, the AAP states that there is no real age limit on when you should start transitioning out of a rock n play. If your baby hits the height or weight limit before he or she transitions away from the rock n play, then remove the product when your little one hits that limit.

It’s smart to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use. While babies generally sleep well in this product, there are still some instances of discomfort and even minor injuries. If you notice any sort of marks on your child’s face or body when he or she wakes up from a nap, remove the rock n play immediately.

Why can’t Infants sleep in rock and play?

Infants should never sleep in a rock and play, or any other product for that matter. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a warning this week about deaths associated with such products, with most occurring when babies suffocated after becoming wedged between the product and an adult bed or another crib.

How long can baby sleep in a rock n play before suffocating?

The AAP does not recommend the use of such products at all; they also warn that using one places infants at risk for accidental strangulation and entrapment.

According to the AAP, about 2 dozen deaths have been associated with sleep positioning systems like this (which often go by other names, such as “infant recliners” or “anti-rollover devices”) in the past 20 years. The vast majority of deaths occurred when an infant became wedged between the product and another surface, such as a crib rail or adult bed railing, which can cause serious airway blockage.

What are some dangers of rock n play?

Dr. Michele H. Berger, a pediatrician and chair of the AAP Section on Breastfeeding, states that “any time an infant spends sleeping in bed with another person increases their risk for suffocation.” The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants sleep in the same room as parents but not in the same bed until 1 year old.

How can you use a rock n play safely?

CPSC recommends parents follow these safety tips when using products like infant recliners:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
  • Never leave your child unattended in a product for sleeping or feeding
  • Use products according to age, weight or height recommendations
  • Do not substitute with other products (such as pillows, blankets, or regular crib mattresses or cushions)
  • Keep all other products away from the infant during sleep time
  • Remove baby from product and lay them on their back to sleep
  • Do not assume a product that worked for older children or pets will be suitable for an infant. If you have questions about using a product safely, contact the manufacturer.

What else can I do to keep my children safe?

  • While most injuries are avoidable, they’re often tragic endings. So follow these tips to protect your kids from accidental injury:
  • Lock doors and windows to prevent access to swimming pools or balconies
  • Use child safety seats in the car that are correctly installed according to manufacturer’s instructions
  • Make sure car seats are appropriate to your baby’s weight and height
  • Don’t smoke in the home or around children, as this increases the risk of a burn injury
  • Never leave household cleaners, matches, cords, cleaning equipment, small items that can be easily swallowed, or other common household hazards within reach of young children.
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