After a long fight with the AAP and Consumer Product Safety Commission, Fisher Price recalled 4.7 million Rock ‘N Play Sleepers. Unfortunately, since the initial recall notice, only 400,000 of the almost 5 million products sold have been returned.
While this number doesn't factor in the products thrown away or otherwise disposed of, it does point to an alarming statistic - there are still a huge number of Rock n' Plays out there. The CPSC also revealed "at least" an additional 8 infant fatalities have occurred since the original recall, which is why they're officially re-announcing the recall.
What We Know
The original recall came after 32 infant deaths were reported between 2011 and 2018, with numbers growing to 97 as of 2022. The deaths were a result of unrestrained babies rolling over to their stomachs or sides, or “other circumstances” – an important (but vague) designation.
The American Academy of Pediatrics points out that in a number of these cases, the babies were less than 3 months of age and died due to positional asphyxia - the inability to breathe caused by the babies’ position, reinforcing their argument that even when used as designed, the Rock ‘N Play isn’t safe.
Why Are They Dangerous?
Although they look cozy, the reality is that the rock 'n play isn't a safe sleep environment. Extensive research has shown that the safest way for babies to sleep is on their back, on a flat, firm surface, with no pillows or blankets. An empty crib or bassinet is great, but sleeping at an angle in an inclined sleeper like this or an infant car seat increases the risk of positional asphyxia and infant death.
Someone Gave Me Their Old Rock 'n Play - What Should I do?
If you have a Rock ‘n Play, you are instructed to stop using it immediately and contact Fisher Price for a refund or a voucher. Even if you didn't buy it. Even if it's old.
What The Recall Includes:
All makes and models of the Fisher Price Rock ‘N Play Sleeper.
How To Get Your Refund or Voucher:
The amount you get back, in either refund or voucher format, depends on when you purchased the unit and if you still have the receipt. Full details can be found here, but the basics from Fisher Price state:
- If the Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play Sleeper was originally purchased new - either by you or by a prior owner of the product - on or after 10/12/2018, you will receive a full cash refund. If you include your original receipt you will be reimbursed for the receipt amount including sales taxes paid. If you do not have your receipt, please write the month and year of purchase on one of the hubs you are returning, and we will determine the refund amount for you.
- If the Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play Sleeper was originally purchased new - either by you or by a prior owner of the product - before 10/12/2018, you will receive a voucher for a Fisher-Price product to be selected from a list of products to be provided by Fisher-Price. Your product choice will be determined by the original date of purchase of the product. To establish your date of purchase, please send in your original receipt if you have it. If you do not have your receipt, please write the month and year of your purchase on one of the hubs you are returning.
In order to be eligible for a refund or a voucher, you will have to send the two hub assemblies (pictured below) back to Fisher Price in a pre-paid envelope with either your receipt or the month and year of purchase written on one of the hubs. Once they’ve received them, you can expect your refund or voucher in 12-16 weeks.
What About Canada?
The Rock ‘N Play is marketed as a “soother seat” rather than a sleeper so there is no official recall in Canada (yet). It looks like many of the large retailers have already pulled it, however, because there is no official recall you don’t qualify for a refund or voucher (gee, thanks). You may have some luck going back to the retailer (Walmart, BabiesRUs, etc.) and seeing what their policy is.
More information can be found on the Fisher-Price site under “Recalls & Safety Alerts” or by calling 866-812-6518 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.
Our next recos: Checklist: Setting Up a Safe Sleep Space