- Fisher Price recalled its Rock 'n Play last year after the product was linked to more than 30 infant deaths.
- Now it's not just the Rock 'n Play that's considered unsafe. A recent report from US Consumer Product Safety Commission concluded that all inclined sleepers put babies at risk for injury and death.
- According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants should only be placed to sleep on their backs, on a flat surface with a fitted sheet. The six products below fit that bill for safe sleep.
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When Fisher Price recalled its Rock 'n Play, which could get even the fussiest of babies to sleep, parents everywhere were devastated — including me.
The product was taken off the market last year after it was linked to more than 30 infant deaths. Many of those deaths occurred when the Rock 'n Play was used in a way that went against the company's recommendations, which included leaving a baby in the device overnight or not properly buckling a baby in.
Parents particularly appreciated the Rock 'n Play because it provided a soft and cozy sleeping surface, and the inclined position offered some relief to babies with acid reflux. As an added bonus, it was lightweight, and cheap.
But finding a suitable alternative to the Rock 'n Play has gotten even harder now. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission released a report in October saying that all inclined sleepers are unsafe. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants should only be placed to sleep on their backs — on a bare, flat surface with a fitted sheet.
So, what is a parent who's desperate for some shut eye or a hands-free hour to put in a load of laundry to do?
Full disclosure: There's nothing currently on the market that checks all the boxes the Rock 'n Play did. But the six products below come close.
Dream on Me Traveler Portable Bassinet
The Dream On Me Traveler Portable Bassinet is a relatively inexpensive, no-nonsense, simple-to-assemble and transport sleeping surface. It's completely flat, so parents can breathe easy putting a sleeping baby in it. There's no hassle in folding it up, which means you can take it on a big trip, or from room-to-room in your home, without disturbing your little one.
Arm’s Reach Clear-Vue Co-Sleeper Bassinet
As the name suggests, the Arm's Reach Clear-Vue Co-Sleeper was designed to be pulled right next to you in bed, so you can reach for your baby with ease for middle-of-the-night feedings. Its adjustable legs allow you to put the bassinet at your bed's exact height, and the wheels make it easy to drag all over the house. You can stash diapers, wipes, and snacks for mom in the convenient basket underneath.
While users can lower one side of the bassinet to make it a true co-sleeper, this bassinet is only safe for sleep when all four sides are raised.
Halo Bassinet Swivel Sleeper
I used the Halo Bassinet Swivel Sleeper with my daughter when she was a baby, and I was truly upset when she outgrew it. This bassinet is the closest thing you can get to bed sharing without taking the risk of actually bed sharing. The height is adjustable and the swivel function allowed me to pull her right up next to me without my even getting out of bed.
When she fell asleep in my arms, I was able to transfer her back into the sleeper without having to bend all the way down, as is the case with other portable cribs. Some models come with music and vibration functions, which help to soothe your baby too.
Guava Lotus Travel Crib
The Guava Lotus Travel Crib doubles as a safe spot for babies to sleep, and a roomy playpen for them to hang out in. It folds up into a small bag, so it's conducive to traveling. Many parents also like that the mattress sits directly on the floor, making it sturdy and safe for babies who have exceeded the weight limit for other cribs and bassinets.
Graco Travel Lite Crib
The Graco Travel Lite Crib is a cross between a bassinet and a travel crib. What separates it from others on the market is that the mattress has three height stages, so it can last from the newborn to the toddler phase. The mesh fabric makes it breathable, and the canopy fosters that secure, cozy feeling without compromising safe sleep.
SNOO Smart Sleeper
Created by Dr. Harvey Karp, a pediatrician and author of "The Happiest on the Block," the SNOO Smart Sleeper better keep baby, and parents happy — with its hefty $1,295 price tag. (Though parents can also rent the SNOO for $112 a month). The SNOO is a "responsive" bassinet, and improves a baby's sleep by gently rocking, soothing with white noise and, offering snug, safe swaddling. Parents can remotely control the bassinet and get daily sleep reports from the connected app.
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