New parents know that sleep is extremely important for both mom and dad and of course, the new baby.  You want to do whatever you can to help your little one sleep consecutive hours in a safe, secure, and comfortable environment.

So, where is the best place for a baby to sleep?

As an expectant mom, I felt overwhelmed by all the choices I needed to make even before my baby was born. Everyone warned me that I would be sleep deprived and up all hours of the night to care for my new arrival. I asked for advice on things I could do to prepare for our little one. Many of my mom friends stressed the importance of sleep.

A friend gave me a regular-sized baby crib but I knew it would be important to have a place for my baby to sleep that was portable from room to room throughout the house. I also had a Moses Basket and a bassinet from another friend. We received a Rock ‘n Play as a gift but I had not even heard of this type of sleeper at that time.

While our crib was a wonderful place for sleep after our son was five months old, it did not work for our family when he was a newborn. You see, it is recommended for the safety of your baby to keep blankets and extra bedding of any kind out of the sleeper of your choice. This made the crib less cozy for our little one. Plus, the baby can potentially turn over on his or her belly which can be dangerous for a little baby. The Rock ‘n Play does not allow this motion and the baby is positioned safely on his or her back.

The Moses Basket was a lovely place to take newborn photos but I honestly felt that it did not have the support and stability as a safe sleeper to leave my sleeping baby alone. In fact, once, my son rolled to the edge of the Moses Basket and his face was pressed against the side.

After this happened, I stopped using it as a viable place for him to nap. The Rock ‘n Play held my son in place and he could not turn his face into the fabric in a way that could affect his breathing like with the Moses Basket.

There are so many different kinds of bassinets. The one I had was so beautiful with delicate lace and it was seemingly convenient as it had wheels for portability. But, I actually found it cumbersome to move from my son’s bedroom to our room. I also felt that it would easily turn over with a slight bump. So, I still needed a solution that helped my baby sleep through the night.

After some trial and error with trying different sleepers, I finally tried the Rock ‘n Play that we had received as a gift.  Immediately, it was obvious that our infant son felt much cozier and more secure sleeping in the Rock ‘n Play. I would swaddle him snuggly or put him in a sleep sack, and simply lay him down. Even though he was too little to move too much at this stage, I would fasten the three-point-harness for his safety and my peace of mind.

Do you have a favorite portable sleeper for your baby? Share your thoughts with us below!

You may also be like and already have a crib or a bassinet, but you may want to consider a Rock ‘N Play Sleeper by Fisher Price.

Fisher Price offers several different models of the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper. My friends love these sleeper options for their babies because it uniquely offers a safe and secure inclined sleeping position that you do not find in a crib, bassinet, or Moses Basket.

The Rock ‘n Plays are also lightweight, fold easily, and are portable from room to room. You could easily have your little one take a nap in the living room but then move the Rock ‘n Play to the bedroom for nighttime.

They also fold nearly flat and store easily under a bed or in a closet.  I ended up taking mine to my parents when they would keep our son. It fit perfectly in the trunk of our car and was light enough for me carry along with other things in my arms.

I hope that in this article, I will be able to help you differentiate between the options available for your new baby. Whether you are sleep training, working through sleep regression, or about to welcome your newborn, one of these models may be perfect for your family’s current needs.

Types of Rock ‘n Play Sleepers

Premium Auto Rock ‘n Play Sleeper with SmartConnect

If you are looking for a hands-free “smart” rocking sleeper, this model may be perfect for your baby. It offers calming vibrations, soothing rocking, and a projected light show. To help keep your little one asleep, there are around twenty minutes of tranquil music as well as an overhead display for your baby to enjoy.  The padding is supportive and plush.

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If you are also looking for somewhere to lay your little one for safe play, this sleeper offers two link toys to amuse your baby. If want your sleeper to provide more than just sleep, the auto-rocking motion, the variety of soft fabrics, and the light-up projection will help your baby develop sensory skills.

This model is set apart by the Smart Connect technology that allows you to conveniently control the various features on your smart device.  This model was not available when I had my baby but it seems extremely convenient for a busy mom or dad.

You can easily customize your baby’s experience without touching the Rock ‘n Play or disturbing your baby.  The SmartConnect app allows you to make changes from the palm of your hand as well as set your baby’s favorite preferences for either naps or night time.

Just be aware that this Premium design is higher priced than some other models offered. It also must be plugged into the wall to make all of the features work. Some reviews mentioned that while they liked the Premium version overall, some of the features only worked for several months. The Rock ‘n Play is to be used only with an infant who cannot roll over or pull up on the sides.

Features

  • Soothing Light Show Projection
  • Weighs 8.38 Pounds
  • Optional Vibrations
  • Convenient Machine-Washable Pad
  • Canopy and plush head support
  • Additional Padding to Basic/Standard Model
  • Two speeds, volume control, and customizable modes
  • Up to twenty minutes of soothing music and sounds
  • Smart Device Control
  • Maximum Weight: Twenty Pounds

Deluxe Newborn Rock ‘n Play Sleeper

The Deluxe model also keeps your baby safe and secure with an inclined seat that helps your baby sleep comfortably. While this sleeper does not come with the auto-rocker motion feature, it rocks easily with a slight push from you. It comes with calming vibrations to soothe your little one.

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This model is nice for a newborn because it comes with a plush newborn insert. You will feel secure knowing that your infant is held in place by the three-point restraint. Like other Rock ‘n Play models, the lightweight design is convenient.  It also folds and is easily portable from room to room in your home.  Thankfully the seat pad and support cushions are all machine-washable. This model does not include the auto-rocker mechanism.

Features

  • Easy to Assemble
  • Minimum Weight: Five Pounds
  • Maximum Weight: Twenty Pounds
  • Calming Vibrations that is unique to the Deluxe and Standard models
  • Seat Incline Helps Baby Sleep
  • Deluxe Plush Head Support
  • Newborn Body Insert and Seat Pad
  • Machine Washable
  • Rocks with a gentle push vs Auto-Rocker
  • Lightweight and Compact Fold for Portability and Storage
  • Requires Two C Batteries. No power cords.

Auto Rock ‘n Play Sleeper

The Auto Rock ‘n Play has some of the same features as the Premium model including the auto-rocking motion that offers two separate settings for nap time and night time.  The consistent rocking will help to soothe your fussy baby. Your baby will sleep in comfort while the inclined sleeper rocks on its own throughout the night. This soothing, rocking motion is loved by babies and frees you up once baby goes to sleep.

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Included are twelve soothing songs and nature sounds. You will appreciate that it is lightweight and folds easily with the press of a button.  The elevated sleep position gives your baby a sense of security and comfort. This model is completely AC powered which means it must be plugged into the wall but it also means that you do not have to purchase or change batteries.

The hurdle may be that you will be limited to specific locations in your home where you will be able to use all the features. You may notice that the motor is not durable for long term use and can be a little bit loud when a newborn is trying to sleep.

Features

  • Automatic Hands-Free Rocking
  • Lightweight at One Pound
  • Removable Machine-Washable Pad
  • Two Auto-Rock Settings
  • Two Rocking Speeds
  • Variety of Musical Tunes and Nature Sounds
  • Supportive Seat Back
  • Maximum Weight: Twenty Pounds
  • AC Powered (no batteries)

Basic Rock ‘n Play Sleeper

Your baby will love rocking in this inclined infant seat that also helps little ones stay asleep. A gentle push from you rocks the sleeper back and forth and offers optional calming vibrations for extra comfort. The lightweight design folds for easy portability or storage.

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The fabrics are comfortable, breathable, and washable.  Your little one will not only sleep but also be engaged by the playful clacker rings. You can use the calming vibrations and gentle rocking to create a helpful bedtime routine for your baby.

While the basic model does not have the SmartConnect option that allows you to use your smart device, it is a great sleeper option for your baby and is priced significantly less than the Premium and Deluxe models. Some moms say that the restrictive sleeping position can cause a flat-head.

Features

  • Inclined Sleeper
  • Secure Three-Point Restraint
  • Playtime Seat
  • Compact Design
  • Rocks with a Gentle Push instead of the Auto-Rocker Motion in the Premium Model
  • Calming Vibrations
  • Lightweight Design
  • Machine-Washable Seat Pad
  • Minimum Weight: Five and Half Pounds
  • Maximum Weight: Twenty Pounds
  • Lower Price Point than the Premium and the Deluxe Models

Rock ‘n Play Portable Bassinet

With a push from you, your baby will be rocked gently in a flat elevated sleeping surface.  You can also twist and lock the feet for stationary use if you do not want the bassinet model to rock. Your little one can also spend time playing with the linkable toy and mirror.

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This bassinet is great at home or on-the-go because it is not only lightweight but also folds easily for portability from room-to-room or when away from home.  The pad is conveniently machine washable and dryer safe. The padding may not be as sufficient as you would prefer.  I would prefer the bassinet to have more support for the baby’s back.

Have you used other portable sleepers with better padding for your little one?

Features

  • Folds Flat for Portability
  • See-Through, Breathable, Mesh Side Panels
  • Flat, Elevated Sleeping Area
  • Rocks with a Gentle Push in Place of the Auto-Rocking Mechanism on other Models
  • Mirror and Linkable Toy
  • Twist and Lock feet for Stationary Use
  • Machine Washable Pad
  • Maximum Weight is 25 Pounds
  • Higher Price Point than most other Models Offered

Ultra-Lite Day and Night Play Yard

This portable play yard is only fifteen pounds which is half the weight of many other popular play yards for baby. But, you do not have to sacrifice other key features. It offers everything you and your baby need for napping, playing, sleeping, and changing whether at home or traveling.

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It is easy to fold and carry in the bag. You can feel great about your baby sleeping, napping and playing in a comfortable and removable inclined sleeper. Your baby will not only be comfortable but also secure due to the cushioned head support, supportive seat back, and a three-point restraint.

You can remove the sleeper to make a great space for older babies and even toddlers to rest and play. You can conveniently use a standard-size crib sheet on the padded platform that it sits securely on the floor. Diaper changes are made easier with the built-in storage pocket.

This inclined sleeper will work great for your infant until he can roll over or pull up on the side. When the sleeper is removed, the play yard works great for little ones who cannot climb out on their own.

Features

  • Age Birth and Up
  • Inclined Sleeper
  • Changing Station with Built-In Wipes Container
  • Comfortable Play Yard
  • Ultra-Lightweight: Only 15 Pounds
  • Machine–Washable Pad and Head Support
  • Easy to Assemble
  • Easy to Fold
  • Included Accessory: Carry Bag for Hands–Free Carry and Storage
  • Higher Price Point Than Standard Rock ‘n Play Models
  • Works well for babies and toddlers

Conclusion

The Rock ‘n Play series of sleepers offers an inclined sleeping position that many parents appreciate for their babies that cannot be found in cribs, bassinets, and Moses Baskets.  In fact, parents with babies who have issues with acid reflux said that the position provided in the Rock ‘n Plays helped their babies sleep better.

Other parents say that when other sleeping options did not work well for their little ones, the Rock ‘n Play saved the day (and the night!). It worked for so well for my son after trying other sleeper options.

Parents say that it is a great first sleeper for your infant and works well until your baby can sit up and turn over easily.  My son slept in his standard Rock ‘n Play every night for four months.  He loved being swaddled and the Rock ‘n Play held him in a snug position plus, I did not have to worry about him turning over. We did have to stop using it once he could sit up because he could turn it over easily.

Overall, with all the options available, the Rock ‘n Play series has models that work for almost all families. Personally, I feel that the standard model was sufficient for our family as we did not need all the bells and whistles that come with the higher end models for our son to sleep through the night.

What do you like about the Rock ‘n Play? Which model works best for your baby?

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