How To Wean Off the Rock n Play

wean off rock n play recalled

On April 12, 2019 Fisher Price recalled all Rock n Plays due to infant deaths while sleeping in them. This was a big shock for parents given the fact that the Rock n Play is one of the most popular baby products in the U.S.

The Rock n Play is a chair that reclines, vibrates and rocks. Many parents of babies with reflux turn to the Rock n Play as a sleeper. Slight elevation can relieve reflux pain.

The AAP has come out and stated that the Rock n Play is NOT a safe sleep space for your baby. So, if your little one sleeps in the Rock n Play, it’s time to transition out of it and into the crib!

Video: How to Wean Baby Off the Rock n Play

Here are your 2 options for weaning off the Rock n Play:

Option A: Go cold turkey and have baby sleep in the crib starting tonight. Do as much hands-on comforting as you need to for baby to accept this. (This is the safest option.)

This option is for babies who are showing signs of starting to roll or parents who want to get rid of the Rock n Play asap.

Option B: Wean over the next few days. PLEASE make sure your baby is not yet attempting to roll and you use the safety harness at all times.

If you prefer to take a few days to wean off the Rock n Play, the rest of this article will guide you through what to do.

There are 3 functions of the Rock n Play:
• Vibration
• Containment
• Elevation

Step #1: Wean off Vibration
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The first thing to do is wean baby off needing vibration to sleep.

  • Turn down the vibration one level each day. If your baby has been sleeping at level 5, turn it down to level 4 tonight, and level 3 tomorrow, etc..
  • Turn off the vibration 20 minutes after baby is asleep. You want to get her used to sleeping in a motionless space.
  • If baby wakes, use vibration to get her back to sleep. Switch it off again once she’s fallen asleep.

Step #2: Wean off Containment
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Now it’s time to get your baby sleeping in her crib.

Tip 1: Use a Specialized Sleep Sack

Since your baby is used to sleeping in a small and cosy sleep space, I recommend you use a specialized sleep sack to aid this transition.

Younger babies that aren’t yet trying to roll should be put in a swaddle blanket. (See my favorite swaddle blankets below.)

Older babies that have shown signs of trying to roll should be put in a swaddle transition blanket. They provide a feeling of familiar cosiness while also being safe for babies that are mobile. (See my favorite transition blankets below.)

NOTE: This isn’t for babies who are fully rolling. It’s for babies who have tried at least once to wiggle, flip or roll.

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Tip 2: Have baby’s feet touch the end of the crib

Place your baby in the crib with her feet touching one end, so that she feels some boundaries. We often put baby right in the center of the crib, but if your little one liked the cosy Rock n Play she’ll sleep better feeling some boundaries.

Popular Swaddle Blankets

Miracle Blanket Swaddle

SwaddleMe Original Swaddle

Halo Swaddle Blanket

Love To Dream Swaddle UP

Woombie Grow with Me Baby Swaddle

Nested Bean Zen Swaddle Classic

Popular Transition Blankets for Babies Trying to Roll

Zipadee Zip

Love To Dream Swaddle UP
(with arms out)

Nested Bean Adjustable Blanket

Step #3: Wean off Elevation
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There’s no real way of doing this. But by the time you have weaned off the vibration and containment, you’ve done most of the hard work.

Your baby may need more hands-on comforting during this transition. Rub her back, pat her bottom, or sing to her. That’s okay. Do whatever you need to so she can get used to sleeping in a new environment. Over time, reduce your hands-on support.

Are you having trouble weaning your baby out of the Rock n Play? Tell me about it in the Comments below & I’ll give you some advice!

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