The right baby rocker sleeper looks exactly nothing like what you’d see in an elaborately-styled Instagram post. And it definitely bears no resemblance to the recalled Rock ‘n Play. A safe, snug infant sleeper or bassinet should never be inclined because letting babies sleep with their head elevated, the American Academy of Pediatrics notes, can lead to accidental suffocation and strangulation. Getting your baby to sleep through the night (or for any solid chunk of time) may seem like a truly Sisyphean task, but it will happen. Someday. That’s where the best (translation: safest) infant sleepers come into play.
“Infant sleep is super-hard. Anyone who’s had a kid knows that,”says Dr. Ben Hoffman, a pediatrician and the chair of the AAP’s Committee on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention, who urged the CSPC and Fisher-Price to recall the sleeper. “Products that have a reclined position are not a safe position for sleep. Babies need to sleep on flat surfaces, with nothing other than them inside the sleep space. The bottom line is, don’t sleep at an angle.”
All of the sleepers on our list have flat surfaces, a feature that is nonnegotiable. When choosing one, pay special attention to weight and age limits, because they vary fairly widely. Everything else is a matter of choice. Some of these sleepers rock. Others glide. Others do both while playing music or soothing noises. Some do nothing except provide your child with a safe place to get some shuteye.
Streamlined, simple, and beautiful, this cradle has a gentle rocking motion. It fits babies from birth until about 17 pounds. The mesh sides allow for breathability and let you see your baby. It has a spring suspension system similar to what you find in a stroller, so it rocks smoothly in both directions.
This phone-controlled smart sleeper is like the Snoo, but much more affordable. You choose between 5 motions (car ride, wave, kangaroo, tree swing, and rock-a-bye) and 5 speed options; there are also 4 white noise options (rain, ocean, fan, and shh). The weight limit is 25 pounds.
This portable bassinet is ideal for nursing mothers because it swivels and rotates 360 degrees to give you easy access to your baby, and it has a base that fits under most adult beds. It has a built-in nightlight, it vibrates, and plays six different lullabies. This bassinet fits babies weighing up to 20 pounds and has a safety lock that allows you to feed your baby without leaving your bed. The base is height adjustable and can be customized to the height of almost any bed.
This bassinet has cry-detection technology, so when your kid is having a moment, the bassinet responds with a head-to-toe soothing motion to help the baby go back to sleep. You can choose between 3 speeds, 2-speed vibration, white noise, 10 songs, and 10 soothing sounds for a full, glorious sleep experience. It fits infants up to 20 pounds.
If you so choose, you get 30 minutes of calming vibrations, music and sounds. We like the nightlight feature on this baby sleeper, plus the sweet twinkly stars mobile. And there's a nice amount of storage space beneath the bassinet. This sleeper is safe to use until your baby can push up on hands and knees, pull up, or sit up unassisted.
If you prefer a crib that rocks your baby gently to sleep, here's a great option. This good-looking cradle is great for newborns until your kid hits three months. It's modern and sleek and unfussy. You don't need batteries because it rocks on its own.
This ultra-portable bassinet has a memory-foam mattress and can be set up or taken down in minutes. The mesh panels allow plenty of air to circulate around your baby, which experts believe may help reduce the risk of SIDS. It also comes with a handy carrying bag and a soft, comfy-feeling fitted sheet. It has a 20 pound weight limit.
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