Lately, more and more of my friends are starting to have babies, and whenever I browse through their registries the first thing I look for is to see if they have the Rock n' Play listed. If they don't, I'll tell them about this wonderful contraption and explain why it is all kinds of awesome, then buy it for them! I'm not normally this vocal about baby items because all babies are so different, and have different preferences, but this is a product I really believe in! Anything that makes the newborn stage a little bit easier gets a thumbs up in my book, and in the case of the Rock n' Play, I really felt it made the newborn stage a lot easier.
We didn't use the Rock n' Play with Noelle because we didn't know about it, but I'm pretty sure if we had the rock 'n play we all would've slept better in those early weeks, especially since she suffered from reflux, and would not sleep unless held or at an incline. With Jaren, he was in the Rock n' Play from the minute we got home!
First day home
We would swaddle him, and put him in there without buckling him in. Having him unbuckled didn't bother us because he was so immobile. Sometimes we'd swaddle with just an Aden & Anais blanket, but this lil' guy was really good at breaking out of that. To combat that, we'd double swaddle by using an Aden & Anais blanket, then zipping him up in a Woombie.
Double swaddled and as snug as a bug
Sometimes we'd swaddle his body but not his arms
In the second picture, you can clearly see a soft, plush blanket several layers thick folded and tucked beneath the rock 'n play where his head should be. Mr. Heels came up with the idea after reading some reviews on Amazon complaining about the hardness of the backing. People worried about their baby getting a flat head from the rock n' play not being padded enough, and from them staying in one position for too long. We just made sure to keep switching which side he slept on to prevent the flat head or torticollis issue.
We put him in the rock n' play for most of his naps, and sometimes for overnight sleep. We completely stopped using it for sleep once he became more mobile around the 4 month mark, but continued to use it as a place to seat him whenever we needed our hands free for eating or other purposes.
Now that I've explained how we used it, let me tell you why we LOVE it...
1. It sits at an incline - I already mentioned this, but some newborns suffer from reflux because their little digestive systems are still developing, so the incline really helps combat this.
2. It's portable - It's so lightweight and folds up, so you can easily take it with you wherever you need. Even if your baby isn't sleeping in this anymore, you can still use it as a place to set him down when you're eating or need your hands free for one reason or another. We used this until Jaren was 5 months old, and when we were eating we would just strap him in while he happily watched us from his rock n' play.
3. It's multi-purpose - This serves similar purposes to a swing, bouncer, and bassinet. It's like a swing because although it's not automatic like a swing, you can rock it back and forth with your hand or foot if you need to. The deluxe versions even have a vibration mode. It's like a bouncer because it's at an incline, has movement, and is a good place to put your baby whenever you need your hands free. It's like a bassinet because your baby can nap or sleep in it just like he would in a bassinet.
4. It's easy to clean - just take off the cover, toss it in the washing machine, and you're golden.
5. It has a small footprint - Unlike the other baby gear we had, this thing took up so little space! When not in use, you can easily fold it in half and store it away.
6. It's cozy and small - It's the perfect size for little newborns. They feel so much more secure and safe in this thing than they would a crib - it gives them that feeling of being in a womb-like environment with padding on all sides.
Are you a rock n' play fan?