So what exactly happens when a product you swear by as a parent, recommend to all new moms, and are currently using at the moment with your seven week old, gets recalled?
This is my current situation. As of April 12, 2019, Fisher Price recalled all models of its Rock n’ Play sleeper. When my mother-in-law first mentioned this to me, I didn’t necessarily even know exactly what she was talking about, I figured we did NOT have it because in my house we refer to this item as the bassinet, and casually with friends call it a Rock and Play, but I couldn’t tell you what brand we had for sure.
There are other brands that carry a similar design and concept – and turns out we do have the Fisher Price version. The history on this is originally we got the item in 2015 for Drake and slept him in it as his bassinet for the first 3 months in our bedroom. We didn’t have the item right away, for about a week Drake “slept” in a flat bassinet in our room, and by “slept” I mean waking every hour and basically not sleeping. It wasn’t until we tried sleeping him in the Rock ‘n Play as a bassinet that we actually got some sleep 😴. EVERYONE did and I loved it. I feel any product that provides sleep and relief to a new parent suddenly becomes your “I swear by this” item.
The Rock ‘n Play made sense to me as to why a baby would find comfort from the cocoon-like atmosphere of being papooosed/swaddled and sleeping on a human, their true preferred choice. It has a cove-like shape, the baby is technically on a slight, hammock-like incline, and you can even make it vibrate. You buckle them in and you’re good to go.
I planned on sleeping Cortlan in this for the next month and when he’s 3 months old moving him to the crib in his bedroom for nighttime sleeping. However, after the announcement of the rock and play recall, the “good mom” conscience in me knew that I would have to start this process sooner, as in that VERY NIGHT! What had been a product that I would have recommended number one to any parent had suddenly become a “deathbed”. In fact we were jokingly calling it now in the house the baby “Death Star”⭐️. Even the American Academy of pediatrics referred to the as “deadly”.
Not trying to dilute the tragedy of associated deaths with the product here, but my concern personally quickly became about the fact that there’s no way in hell my papoose loving, baby sling wearing, snuggly seven-week old is going to take to the flat, cold crib, that is in a completely different room, and doesn’t smell like mom. But I didn’t have another sleeping option and I sure as shit wasn’t going to drop $200 or more on the popular dock a tot, which I’m sure will be recalled within the next five years. I hope that’s not actually the case but time will tell…
So best business practice was to get that baby in the crib! Curious as to how the night went? Read on…
Much to my surprise and pleasure Cortlan actually slept the exact same amount in his crib the first night as he did when sleeping in the baby death star. I am currently nursing him and so he does wake up every 3 to 4 hours to feed. This happened at the same time frames as he did when he was sleeping in his bassinet thank goodness, however, I am aware we are only only three nights in. For some realism, no night is guaranteed to be a “good night” with a newborn baby, you just hope for overall consistency.
I am curious how other parents are “dealing” with this transition – I understand not every baby will take to the crib or new sleeping situation like mine did. Obviously I recommend sleep sacking or swaddling your baby if they’re in to that, and put in a binky too. Currently I’ve been sleep sacking Cortlan in this Vitamins Baby brand (got it on Amazon) and it’s been working great.
I have to admit when hearing about this recall and the number of associated deaths (about 30 cases) with this product versus the amount sold, over 4.5 million, the questioning part in me immediately goes to things like was this user error? How many babies were sick? Were the parents under the influence, and what exactly are the specifics of each circumstance? Very tragic to hear and/or know that this product may have caused deaths by technicality because I honestly I feel (felt??) that if used correctly it is a safe product.
Fisher Price is either offering full on refunds or vouchers on any of these rock ‘n plays. Personally I have no interest in going through the hassle of shipping the product back or whatever but it is nice to see the company offer that level of gratis on an item that would otherwise have probably been one of their most successful. I’ve read they estimate it costing about $40 million or more in refunds and damage control.
Did you have a similar situation happen to you, either with this product or another? Or maybe you’re a parent that used to sleep your baby on their tummy, back in the day when that was still deemed OK. What do you think?