Rock n play sleeper transition to crib: Transitioning Out of the Rock ‘n Play — Baby Sleep Concierge
Transitioning Out of the Rock ‘n Play — Baby Sleep Concierge
This week a lot of parents were struck with the news of multiple deaths in infants who were sleeping in a Rock ‘n Play. This is a scary news story to hear when perhaps your little one is sound asleep in one right now! Truth be told, the Rock ‘n Play has never been an approved sleep space and the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) has always recommended placing your baby on a FLAT, firm surface on their backs for all sleep. The AAP is now recommending that the product be recalled and is urging all parents to discontinue use right away. Easier said than done, right?
Let’s start with WHY babies sleep so much better in the Rock ‘n Play. It’s more comfortable plain and simple. They feel cuddled, snug, and warm which are the feelings we’re all striving for when falling asleep. For reflux babies it keeps their bodies at an elevated angle, helping to keep milk down and avoiding excess spit up. This can be a lifesaver for so many moms, but the risk simply doesn’t outweigh the benefit. Babies who sleep flat on their back in the crib/bassinet may wake up more frequently throughout the night, but keep in mind that they are waking for good reason. It is a natural defense mechanism to ensure that their bodies are continuing to work. When a baby wakes frequently throughout the night, they are filling their tummies more often allowing them to grow. They are in a lighter stage of sleep, but that lighter stage of sleep is actually keeping them safe.
The problem comes with baby not being flat on their back. It means that their chins are at an increased risk of dropping straight down to their chest, restricting their airway. A newborn baby has not developed neck strength and may not be able to lift their head to open the airway. Babies older than 3 months can potentially roll over while in the Rock N Play, putting their bodies in a dangerous position for suffocation even while strapped in. If they’re not strapped in it can be even more dangerous.
So how can we help our babies transition out of the Rock ‘n Play and into a safe space? There are some options, but keep in mind that babies will protest ANY change so you can expect 2-3 nights of worse sleep when you make the transition.
Cold Turkey. Jump into the transition and ditch the Rock ‘n Play right away. Continue with your usual bedtime routine, but this time place baby in the crib instead. If you’re baby is normally asleep when you place them down, do that. If they’re normally awake, do that.
Sometimes a transition swaddle can help, such as the Magic Merlin Sleep Suit or the Zipadeezip as it will add some of that resistance and push back that your baby is used to. The Merlin Suit will be time limited because there will come a time when baby develops enough core strength to roll over in it, at which point they need to transition out. The Zipadeezip can be used indefinitely as baby can safely crawl, roll, and walk in it.
Again, expect a few nights of extra protesting and resistance when you first make the transition.
Gradual. Always start at bedtime. This is when the sleep drive is at its highest and your little one will have the easiest time falling asleep. Starting with naps is not recommended as they don’t have as much sleep pressure built up and have more difficulty falling asleep.
When you finish your bedtime routine and are putting baby down in the crib, keep them swaddled if they’re not rolling, and remain next to them, hovering over them as you place them down. So keep your arms around them, pat their chest, pet their hair, whatever is going to be soothing to your little one as they fall asleep. Each night you can let up on that assistance but your baby will be falling asleep flat on their back.
DON’Ts. When making the transition we tend to want to recreate the same logistics of the Rock ‘n Play but in their crib. I’ve seen some crazy crib setups but doing these things will be making the sleep space unsafe, which is what you’re try to get away from in the first place. Please avoid the following:
• Using a crib wedge (unless prescribed by your doctor)
• Placing a rolled up towel under the sheet
• Raising one side of the crib for an incline
The crib should not be modified at all.
Need more help with the transition? Schedule a private phone consultation here.
Want more information on infant sleep safety standards? Check out the guidelines here.
Sleep SafetyJoanna MartindaleSleep, sleep safety, safety, safe sleep, safe nursery, Rock n play, AAP, transitionComment
ROCK N PLAY TO CRIB TRANSITION
THIS PRODUCT HAS BEEN RECALLED. DO NOT USE.
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If you have followed our story with Bella (@bryannah_kay) from the beginning, you know I swear by the Rock N Play (RNP) for new parents. RNPs everywhere are gifting parents with nights of restful sleep.
I love it so much that the RNP has become my gift of choice for all baby showers.
However, we were warned by several friends that it can become somewhat addicting. The longer we waited to transition her out of the RNP the harder it would be for us in the long run. Bella’s crib transition started at the end of her first month and we really did not have much of a problem.
Here are the collection of steps from both us and our friends at for successfully transitioning our babies at all different ages from the RNP to crib.
START WITH NAPS
We started having Bella sleep in her crib one nap per day (the first day I tried to do all naps and quickly realized that was not going to work). It was usually the morning nap because 1. I had more energy and patience and 2. It was her longer nap and when she was less cranky.
Gradually, we did two naps per day and by the second week she started to sleep in her crib overnight.
This is a picture of her at 3 months – I will still occasionally let her nap in her RNP
TURN OFF THE ROCKING
Bella was starting to take sound naps in her crib around the 4th day of the transition. Actually, the naps were better: longer with more sound sleeping.
This is when I decided to stop the rocking motion when she was in the RNP overnight. I would sometimes have it rock her to sleep but turn that feature off once she was actually sleeping. We also moved her RNP to her nursery for naps so she became familiar with sleeping in that space.
If this is not working because your baby likes to fall asleep with the vibration motion, our neighbor told me about this vibrating mattress pad that she used with her little one (now 14 months). It vibrates baby to sleep and the gradually slows down the vibrations so your baby will learn to fall asleep without it.
CREATE A SNUGGLE NEST
This tip was what worked for us best I think. Bella loved the RNP mainly because she felt so snug like when she was in my belly. That’s when I read about creating what’s called a snugglenest. I rolled a soft blanket up to create a U-shape and put it around her upper body. I also put her crochet baby blanket under her to keep her warm.
I think she liked to sleep on softer bedding so we placed her sheet over her crochet baby blanket. We used this every night up until 4.5 months when she was a rolling machine. Now she sleeps perfectly with just her halo blanket and noise machine.
GET THE ROOM CONDITIONS RIGHT
We had Bella sleeping 6-7 hour stretches through the night at 8 weeks. It definitely took some work but I attribute it to these tips and the room conditions. Baby’s like to sleep in a Las Vegas suite-style setting. I’m talking dark, cool rooms. And I swear by this noise machine and it’s ocean sounds setting. My mama friend of 6, recommended it to me and I am beyond thankful – update: we still use it today (1 year later) and take it on trips.
CREATE A SMALL INCLINE
Bella didn’t really have an issue with reflux or anything like that so she doesn’t need to sleep on an incline. However, some of our friends needed to put their cribs on an incline when transitioning so I think it’s important to mention here. If you roll up a towel and place it under the mattress of the crib you’ll create that incline. One friend used a crib wedge and it worked well too.
We started to transition Bella at the end of her first month. While it was rough for the first few days, I am glad that we did it when we did. I remember the first 3 days of transitioning her were hard. It took a lot of me holding her and gently bouncing her to get her to sleep. I would also stay in her room, shushing her to sleep.
It took up most of the day and I didn’t really get to do anything else during the hours she was supposed to be napping. But I have learned with every transition for the baby since, it takes about 3 days then it gets easier.
Bella is now 5 months, breastfeed, in daycare, and sleeps perfectly through the night with no problems. She is a happy healthy baby and I attribute it to her good night’s rest. If you have questions are concerns comment below to shoot me an email healthylittlemama@gmail.