As many parents must know by now, there has been a safety recall for Fisher Price’s Rock and Play Sleeper.
This is a sleeper I have personal experience with, as my daughter slept in this very same sleeper for a week while we were staying with my In-Laws just three weeks after my daughter’s birth.
This comes on the brink of yet another infant death, a beautiful baby boy from a Virginia family passed away tragically, after rolling over in the sleeper. Naturally, after such a loss, mom’s everywhere were outraged and called for the product to be recalled.
Millions of the product are being recalled as over 30 infant deaths have been reported. This is an alarming number and my heart goes out to every single one of these families. The loss of a child is something no parent should ever have to experience, and I personally don’t think I would be able to live through it.
As parents with a new baby, every moment is overwhelming and we look for rare moments to ourselves. Exhausted, we long for a safe place we can lay our babies for even just twenty minutes so we can close our eyes. No matter how prepared we are, the constant duties of a new parent sweep us up and leave us feeling like we are caught in a wave, unable to swim to the surface.
I know this feeling all too well. When my daughter, now six months, finds something that piques her interest, I experience a joy that I can’t even explain. Because that means I may be able to get enough time to myself to use the bathroom alone or eat. Every parent has been there.
That being said, when we purchase a product of any kind, whether it is a product geared towards babies or towards ourselves, as a consumer, we take the responsibility to use that product as instructed in the manual. Every product has a manual that will tell us how to safely operate it. The manuals for most baby gear is oversimplified with pages and pages of warnings. Most of these products even have warning tags stitched to the product itself that can’t be removed. The perfect example of this would be our infant car seats where the tags are attached near the headrest and along the sides, not mere stickers that can be removed, but permanently attached to the fabrics.
When I had my daughter, I was over-cautious and extremely paranoid when using products. The baby swing we chose, I chose because it had more of a bucket seat, and it had a five-point harness. I walked the aisles of the store for hours, my husband trying to hide how annoyed he was as he pointed out swing after swing and I would wave it off. The full harness was important to me, because I knew there would be moments when I would walk away from that swing leaving my daughter unattended as I did chores or tried to do little things for myself. She was never left for more than ten minutes at a time, but so much can happen in a moment, and I wanted to take every safety precaution. Having that harness meant she was fully secured, and I knew, there was little chance of her being able to move out of that seated position she was strapped into.
My husband has read an article about a baby suffocating in the infant car seat, the cause, in that case, was the straps being fastened incorrectly, and because of this, my husband would not want to go out for long durations of time while she was in the car seat (best in mind the car seat was the seat in the stroller for almost four months). He even went so far as taking her out of the seat and carrying her when we were in the mall or out for the day, because he was so nervous.
As new parents, we are given this precious little thing and sent out into the world with it with almost no instruction. We try to remember every little thing we have ever been told about babies and what to do, while getting constant guidance (sometimes unwanted) as we go along.
I am part of a mom community on a social app, and on the day this story hit the news, there were several heartbroken moms sending out their thoughts and prayers and condolences out into the universe for this poor baby boy. Then, amidst it all, someone wrote a hard truth; This is extremely sad, but 100% preventable.
So close to a loss, it is hard to hear. We definitely don’t want to point fingers because at one moment or another, every parent will do something for the sake of their sanity and wellbeing. We will steal a moment, we will forget or forgo the safety straps on a swing or seat, we will look away while they are sitting on the couch, or in the tub. We are human, and there is always a voice in our head reassuring us that it’s only for a moment, only for a second, what could happen?
Sadly, the consequences could be higher than we would have ever dared to think.
I can’t stress enough how important the safety of our little ones are. Please, try to take absolutely every precaution when using products. Use all the necessary safety straps, read all the warnings, and follow the guidelines to using the products to ensure there is no risk when it comes to your babies.
For those who want products where you don’t have to fully supervise your baby, no judgment here, I absolutely get it, try to find something with a full harness that keeps your baby safely secured and limits their movements as to completely eliminate the risks while you are moving about out of sight.
*What’s written here is not to take place of the actual manuals for any products. Please use every product with care and read the supplied literature for the safety guidelines.*