When the Fisher-Price Rock ’n Play Sleeper debuted in 2009, it quickly became a must-have item for new parents. With its 30-degree incline and padded sidewalls, it promised a peaceful sleep for hard-to-soothe babies, and inspired other companies to make similar rocking inclined sleepers. What the public didn’t know was that the product design was based on faulty medical advice. Over the next 10 years, infant inclined sleepers would be linked with at least 94 deaths. How did the government and manufacturers allow these sleepers to stay on the market while so many babies were harmed? This Consumer Reports investigation explains.


Last Updated: July 13, 2021

Families and Experts Talk

CR talked with families whose children’s deaths were linked to the Rock ’n Play Sleeper, and to experts to understand what makes infant inclined sleepers so unsafe. And we recount how CR discovered the alarming number of deaths tied to the sleepers, what the government and industry did in response, and what has happened to the products since then.

Car Seats vs. Infant Inclined Sleepers

Deaths linked to infant inclined sleepers, along with recalls of the products, have highlighted the danger of putting babies to sleep on an incline—and led some parents to question the safety of inclined car seats. Here, Consumer Reports demonstrates the difference between inclined sleepers and inclined car seats, and explains why car seats, when used appropriately, are the safest place for babies when in a vehicle.