rock and play... WARNING! — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months

rock and play... WARNING!

So not to be a Debbie Downer, but a friend of mine has the FP rock n play sleeper. At her LO's 8 week appt the doctor noticed a serious flat spot already forming on one side of his head. The doctor specifically asked my friend if they use this sleeper because this isnt the first case she's seen. Fortunately, they had been using the RNP only about 2 hours each day, so the flat spot wasn't as serious as it could have been. Her son has to go to physical therapy to help his neck muscles and they're hoping he won't have to be in a helmet. To see if this has happened to others, we looked up the RNP on amazon. We found several reviews from parents whose LOs slept in RNPs for most of the night for weeks or months, and their little ones were diagnosed with torticollis and flat heads caused by the hard, angled headrests on the RNP sleeper. Many have to go to therapy and are in helmets, and some are even seeing plastic surgeons.

I see a lot of people talking about the RNP on this site, so I just wanted to warn you to at least keep an eye your LOs positioning in the sleeper and check their little heads often. If I had this sleeper, I would throw it away.

Re: rock and play... WARNING!

  • ugh....literally just ordered this 20 min ago. Sad
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  • image amy052006:

    I have a really hard time believing that baby's get flat spots from RNPs just sleeping in them at night.  Honestly, it is no firmer than a good, safe crib mattress should be.

    People talk about our their LOs love the RNP and are in it all day.  That is the problem.  All day in anything will cause a flat spot.

    This.  It's just fabric and it has a little "give" to it.  I bet the swing is a lot worse.

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  • I agree with the PPs. My LO has been sleeping at night in her RNP for almost a month now. She has a little bald spot in the back, but its still round!
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  • My LO has slept in one every night since we got home from the hospital.  She is 2.5months old and no flat spot.  I do try and rotate positions though.  A friend of mines baby sleeps in a crib and has a huge flat spot that requires physical therapy.  The rock n play doesn't seem that hard to me.  I think a flat spot can occur from sleeping anywhere if they're always sleeping in the exact same position.  I love our rock n play.
  • I think I'll take the risk. The bassinet we had her in until we got the RnP is a lot harder. She also moves her neck a lot in her sleep so she is rotating from side to side. I told my pedi that we are using the RnP and he said he loves it, and didn't mention anything about any flat spots.
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  • Ok, I'm concerned now...our LO is 16 days old today and has been STTN in her FP RNP since we came home from the hospital. She will not sleep flat on her back, even in the hospital we inclined the bassinet. When she sleeps in the RNP she stays in the center (we swaddle her) and she's only about 6.5lbs so she doesn't go to the sides yet. Not sure if I should be worried or taking it with a grain of salt. We've had a few friends who've used this and loved it, kids are just fine.
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  • Do some further research and you'll discover that since the "Back is Best" campaign, SIDS has gone down 40% but flatheads have gone up that much if not more. Babies will get flatheads if they're left on their back anywhere for extended periods of time. Babies need tummy time, and most of all to be held!

    FWIW, I've been using the RnP for 9 weeks now (DS is 11 weeks) and DS has no problems. I put a folded up receiving blanket under the fabric part of the RnP where DS's head sits for some added support/padding. 

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  • This is not an issue with the RnP, it's an issue with laying in the same position for an extended period of time.  Babies can get flatheads from anything...cribs, swings, even being held in the exact same position too much.  There's not a problem with the RnP, just make sure your LO isn't in it all day long.  If they sleep in it, make sure their head changes positions and they don't favor one side over the other.
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  • I read this warning when I got my RNP.  I just lined it with a receiving blanket for a little extra cush and we've never had a problem.  DS LOVES his sleeper...so much that we are having a hard time getting him to sleep in his crib.

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  • This problem is also caused by not rotating the baby for sleeping.  If you allow the baby to sleep on one side all the time this will happen.  I know a mother who has 2 little boys and both of them have flat heads...the whole back of their heads is flat.  It looks awful.  They didn't know to rotate the babys sleep positions and her sons got used to only sleeping on their back.  A doctor wanted her second son to wear a helmet and he was fitted for one so his head would correct itself.  But she said after a couple times putting it on her son didn't like it so they didn't have them wear it.  I myself think they were selfish since a child does not know what is best for themself.  Yes he didn't like it, but he would have gotten used to it.  Now her boys will have a hard time with haircuts and such. 
  • I've actually heard this before. I don't think it's a product of bad parenting either.
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  • Its not the rock n play, it is caused by too much 'back' time as pp said, and not enough tummy time.  I work with infants-some requiring Physical therapy or DOC bands (helmets) to correct flat heads or tortocollis.   The PT that I work with always tells parents to limit these types of holders- rock n play, swing, carrier, ect- and put on tummy more (when awake obviously).  She also encourages the parents to get baby to track toys across midline, and hold in opposite arm as usual.  Most babies correct this themselves as they become more mobile. 
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  • LO pretty much slept exclusively in her RNP for 2 months and still takes naps in it frequently and she has no flat or bald spots.  You need to vary positions as ppers have said.  I also think some babies are simply more prone to having these problems than others.  You just need to pay attention for any potential problems.  I still love this thing as does DD.
  • Last night was the first night LO has slept anywhere but on me and it was in the RnP so I think I'll take the chance for now...I'm not going to keep him in it all day but I still intend to use it at night for now if it's the only place he'll sleep. 
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  • I do think some babies are just more prone to developing flat spots than others. DD sleeps at night in the Rock N Play, and she is developing a flat spot on one side of her head.

    I'm a little irritated that people are insinuating that we let our child languish in a seat all day long, and that is what is causing it. She spends almost the entire day either in my arms, in the Moby, or doing tummy time.

    We have lined the Rock N Play with a blanket, rotate sleep positions, and she still is developing a flat spot. Since she has reflux, I still feel it's the best place for her to sleep at the present, but we might explore other options in the near future.

    Everyone needs to STFU about flats spots being the result of poor parenting. I'm sure some of them are, but not all.

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  • Agree with the rest. My daughter is 3 months and I noticed she favored one side over the other. She was diagnosed with torticollis and has been going to PT..Very true about the previous post who said not enough tummy time..I have seen a huge difference in her.. She uses the RNP but it has nothing to do with it. If anything the PT recommeds not using the swing at all she also recomended to return our Bumbo seat and not to use johnny jump ups or exersaucers. I guess it has to do with that equipment not allowing your LO to use their muscles to build strength...But again I have seen the biggest change with her because of all the tummy time we do and believe it or not because I didn't...little by little she is enjoying her tummy time more..HTH

  • 1ht

    I put a recieving blanket between the fabric and the plastic as an extra precaution and make sure to switch lo's head position with each feeding. Babies get flat spots from mattresses all the time, too. Fact is, babies are now supposed to sleep on their back on a firm surface so flat spots will develop.  for naps we hold her, moby, and use a noggin nest with supervision.

     

    not giving up the rnp

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