April 17, 2019

"Infants should always sleep on their back, on a separate, flat and firm sleep surface without any bumpers or bedding."

Said Rachel Moon, who heads the American Academy of Pediatrics's Task Force on SIDS.

Quoted in "Parents dread life ‘without a Rock n Play’: Fisher-Price recall triggers shock and frustration."
Last week’s recall of nearly 5 million Rock 'n Plays hit close to home for sleep-deprived parents who have turned to the Fisher-Price product for a moment of reprieve -- or a night’s sleep -- since it was introduced a decade ago. The cloth-covered cradle, which vibrates, plays music and positions the baby at an incline....
It's called "Rock n Play," which suggests baby and parents are all awake, but that's not how it was being used.
Original reports had said that 10 babies, all older than 3 months, had died when they rolled over while unrestrained in the cradle. But last week, a Consumer Reports investigation found that at least 32 children had died, including some younger than 3 months, who had died from asphyxia when they were unable to breathe in the cloth-covered cradle....

Jilly Blankenship, a pediatric nurse and baby sleep consultant in San Francisco.... said she has been telling parents for years that the device does not meet standards for safe sleep, but parents often turn to the Rock 'n Play as a last resort, when their babies have trouble staying asleep in a crib or bassinet.

“They’re often desperate and saying, ‘What do we do now if our baby won’t sleep anywhere else?’" she said....

“Every single parent I know uses a Rock 'n Play -- literally everybody[," said one young woman. "]It was the number one recommended item at my baby shower."
Apparently, millions of babies have been trained to fall asleep with continual vibration inside an enclosed cushiony cocoon, and suddenly they're all being required to sleep of an inert flat firm surface.

ADDED: The 3 most highly rated comments at WaPo: "Parents 'dread' being without this item. Come on. Millions of us over many, many years never had one of these. It wasn't invented/available way back when," 2. "I had three kids and never used this. I was a stickler for Safe Sleep, no exceptions. My babies didn't always sleep great, but that's how babies are...," and 3. "What will I do without a Rock n Play? Actually take care of your child, that's what you'll do."

AND: There must be a "separate, flat and firm sleep surface" that vibrates. I remember the "Magic Fingers" beds in motels in the 1960s.

ALSO: Maybe you, like me, have a Frank Zappa song playing in your head at the mention of Magic Fingers. From the Wikipedia article for John Houghtaling:
John Joseph Houghtaling (pronounced HUFF-tay-ling; November 14, 1916 – June 17, 2009) was an American entrepreneur and inventor who in 1958 invented the Magic Fingers Vibrating Bed, a common feature in mid-priced hotels and motels from the 1960s to the early 1980s....

In the 1950s, Houghtaling was still working as a salesman, this time selling vibrating beds in which the vibrating motor and bed were sold as a single unit that was clumsy, expensive, and prone to failure. At a service call for a broken unit, Houghtaling realized that the vibrating motor was the essential component, not the bed, and that a unit could be developed that would attach to any bed, not just the combination vibrating bed units he was selling.
Okay, first of all, this is the answer for the Rock n Playless parents. Just put a vibrator and put it under the baby's separate flat and firm sleep surface. Here's one designed to go under a baby's mattress. Now, back to the story of John Houghtaling:
Houghtaling worked in the basement of his Glen Rock, New Jersey, home and tested hundreds of motors before finding one that weighed relatively little, could be attached to the box springs of an existing bed, and would provide the right level of vibration. Once a quarter was inserted into the attached coin meter, the motor would vibrate the bed for 15 minutes....

By the last half of the 1970s... [t]he devices started to seem out of date and somewhat sleazy, because of the bed's association with seedy motels....

The vibrating bed was frequently featured in 1960s–1980s movies and TV shows. "Magic fingers" is a song by Frank Zappa in the film 200 Motels. It was mentioned by name in songwriter Steve Goodman's "This Hotel Room", sung by Jimmy Buffett, which included the line "Put in a quarter / Turn out the light / Magic Fingers makes you feel all right" and is also mentioned in Buck Owens's "World Famous Paradise Inn." Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five also referred to Houghtaling's Magic Fingers; the protagonist Billy Pilgrim used the vibrating bed to help him fall asleep. Magic Fingers was also seen in the 1997 film Lolita, the 1998 Clay Pigeons, and the episode of CSI Vegas "Assume Nothing" (season 4, episode 1). In the classic 1983 National Lampoon film Vacation, Clark and Ellen Griswold can be seen relaxing on a Magic Fingers bed that goes rogue, vibrating excessively and forcing them onto the floor. In the X-Files episode Bad Blood (Season 5, episode 12) Dana Scully used one in a Texas motel, before being interrupted by Mulder, telling her that she had to go perform an autopsy at that moment. She complained "but I just put money in the Magic Fingers." It has been referenced twice in The Simpsons, once as a couch gag and once in the episode "The Cartridge Family" in which Marge takes the kids to the Sleep Eazy (the neon sign is partially burned out to read "Sleazy") Hotel; Bart and Lisa turn on the Magic Fingers and race their vibrating beds across the hotel room. It was also featured several times in the TV show Supernatural. Dean is very fond of the magic fingers as seen in season 2 ep 13.
Man, that is a lot of pop culture referencing. Can any product match that?



Love the Ringo-as-Frank bit, but actually, that's not the Mothers of Invention Magic Fingers song that plays in my head. I hear "What Kind of Girl Do You Think We Are?":
Ever been to a Holiday Inn?
Magic Fingers in the bed (Picture it!)
Wall-mounted TV screen
Coffee Host plugged into the bathroom wall
Formica's really keen!

85 comments:

MayBee said...

I don't believe every infant should sleep on their back. Babies should be able to lay the way they want to lay, but with fluffy soft surfaces nowhere near their face.

When my first was born, it was the days of "no baby should sleep on his back, he'll choke". But of course, that baby was a back sleeper. Then my second was born in the days of, "no baby should sleep on his stomach, they'll suffocate" and of course that baby was a natural stomach sleeper. They sold wedges so you could wedge your baby on it's side
The problem is face down, or face in something soft with a baby too young to move its neck.

Freeman Hunt said...

Get a swing and let the baby sleep in that.

daskol said...

My youngest had no use for the vibrating cradle we had, nor for the swinging cradle, but it was a lifesaver for us with the other two. I had no idea it was also life-threatening.

daskol said...

Someone bought us a fancy faux-Scandinavian bouncy cradle, but none of the kids liked it. They were all about the $30 Fischer Price.

daskol said...

Screw those commenters. Sometimes I wanted to take a shower or a crap, and I didn't want to do it to the background of a wailing child. And I liked my neighbors, too.

Fernandinande said...

at least 32 children had died,
“Every single parent I know uses a Rock 'n Play -- literally everybody"


In 2017, there were about 1,400 deaths due to SIDS, about 1,300 deaths due to unknown causes, and about 900 deaths due to accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed."

So the "Rock 'n[sic] Play" might be prophylactic.

David Begley said...

Magic Fingers! What happened there?

Mr. Forward said...

“My Baby Stump” a separate, flat and firm surface without any bumpers or bedding. Free shipping.

Darrell said...

I stake them face-up on a large flat rock.
I should start selling those on Amazon.
Consider that idea trademarked and copyrighted.

Birches said...

All of these rules stress parents out too much.

I nursed my last two in bed asleep most of the time. That's a no no too. My second slept really well in a swaddle, but the third always broke out. It's all too much because anything you do to get sleep is a way you might kill your baby. And it's not Fisher Price's fault.

The Vault Dweller said...

I foresee a spike in sales for Baby Benadryl. Buy now to get in while the getting's good.

mccullough said...

I doubt anyone is an expert in the field of newborn sleep. We pretend to know a lot of stuff we just don’t know.

Darrell said...

What does the Stork do?

The Vault Dweller said...

I doubt anyone is an expert in the field of newborn sleep. We pretend to know a lot of stuff we just don’t know.

I'm actually an expert in identifying fake experts and fake fields of expertise. For example, it is impossible for anyone to be an expert in sociology.

Birches said...

I feel like the Rock n Plays got too fancy. One of my family members got one of the first and it was a very plain mesh cradle. Probably less of a suffocation hazard.

daskol said...

I foresee a spike in sales for Baby Benadryl. Buy now to get in while the getting's good.

More like a black market for the Rock N' Play.

tim maguire said...

5,000,000 Rock 'n Plays were recalled over 36 SIDS deaths.

How many SIDS death would one expect among 5,000,000 babies?

How many people are still in jail because their child died of SIDS before the experts decided SIDS was a real thing?

Wince said...

An “infant crying specialist” on Shark Tank invented Tranquilomat.

https://www.tranquilomat.com/pages/how-it-works-new

Fernandinande said...

"What will I do without a Rock n Play? Actually take care of your child, that's what you'll do."

Put the baby in a bag partially filled with moss and tie him to a board.

Henry said...

Strap your baby into an infant car seat and set it on the washing machine while you do your laundry.

For safety, bunji-cord it down.

Darrell said...

Amazon pulled the Rock 'n Plays page. But you do get to see one of the "Dogs of Amazon." They stole that idea from Althouse.

MayBee said...

mccullough said...
I doubt anyone is an expert in the field of newborn sleep. We pretend to know a lot of stuff we just don’t know.


This. I put "a baby should always sleep flat on his back" in the same category as "you should never leave the house without sunscreen" or all the cholesterol "science" from the 1990s.

The Minnow Wrangler said...

Yeah I am guilty of nursing my babies to sleep (way back in the day) and letting them stay in bed with me. Big no no now.

Also they were stomach sleepers which wasn't such a big deal then.

Seems like the main issue with the Rock N Play is that babies who are becoming mobile get trapped in the straps and end up face down on the cushiony surface.

And yes I think lots of babies sleep better in swings or even carseats. Parents need a break every now and then and most of these things to not lead to a dead child.

roadgeek said...

My mother sat in a rocking chair with me, and my wife and I sat in a rocking chair with our son. Low-tech, but it worked. And babies crying at night is temporary, anyhow.

Birches said...

@henry

You're not supposed to leave your baby in a carseat asleep either. Not joking.

That mat looks awesome.

Darrell said...

And babies crying at night is temporary, anyhow.

Yeah, it stops in a few years and picks up again when they reach their teens.

Bob Boyd said...

Magic Fingers! What happened there?

The magic is gone.

Fernandinande said...

How many SIDS death would one expect among 5,000,000 babies?

SIDS 35.4 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2017.
Unknown cause 33.4 deaths per 100,000 live births.
Accidental suffocation 24.6 deaths per 100,000 live births.

Add those up and you get about 4,650 per 5 million.

Roger Sweeny said...

Apparently, millions of babies have been trained to fall asleep with continual vibration inside an enclosed cushiony cocoon

Yes, for nine months in the womb.

Wince said...

This product recall news is likely to make the Shark Tank contestant rich.

And her story seemingly an example of why capitalism works in the spirit of Adam Smith.

https://www.tranquilomat.com/pages/new-melissa-s-story

Henry said...

Birches said...
You're not supposed to leave your baby in a carseat asleep either. Not joking.

Really? We had one of the detachable carrier kind. I thought the whole point was that the baby could sleep. Whattya know.

Of course my oldest son was a terrible sleeper as a baby and once he got about 10 months old, driving him around in the car seat was about the only way to get him to nap. And even that was a crapshoot.

Bob Boyd said...

Strap them kids in
Give 'em a little bit of vodka in a cherry coke - James McMurtry, Choctaw Bingo

MadisonMan said...

Sleep deprivation leads to irrational behavior. But sleep returns eventually.

MayBee said...

You're not supposed to leave your baby in a carseat asleep either. Not joking.

And yet the other rule is now, no baby seats in the front seat of the car, and infant seats face away from you. So many safety rules.

robother said...

If it only saves one life...

Expat(ish) said...

Experts say!

-xc

PS - our boys were poor sleepers (think North Korean re-education camp) but our daughter a delight. So maybe the trick is to have girl babies. Experts say!

MadisonMan said...

I tried a Magic Fingers once when on a trip somewhere with my parents, when I was a teenager.

I decided pretty quick it wasn't worth the quarter.

I'm cheap.

tim maguire said...

MayBee said...And yet the other rule is now, no baby seats in the front seat of the car, and infant seats face away from you. So many safety rules.

The argument has been put forward that this rule contributes to the recent phenomenon of parents forgetting their child in the back seat, to disastrous consequences for the child. Personally, I think cell phones ("multitasking") is a bigger culprit, but this is surely a factor.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"Man, that is a lot of pop culture referencing. Can any product match that?"

Ford.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Bring back the tried and true method of having your baby sleep in a dresser drawer padded by some old towels. /sarcasm Poor people can't afford bassinets.

When my daughter was a baby, I was lucky to get more than 1 to 2 hours of sleep at a time when she was sleeping and IF I wasn't doing chores like washing diapers, clothes, cooking, cleaning. At best 4 hours of sleep in 24 hour period. As a result I began hallucinating and randomly falling asleep in places in the house. I was a walking Zombie for about 4 months.

The only thing that gave me some respite was to put her into the car seat....in the FRONT SEAT FACING ME...where I could actually see her and she could see me too. Drive to a local shady park where I would open all the windows and the front door so I could see her and for ventilation...leaving her in the car seat....blissfully asleep. Spread a blanket on the ground next to the open door and read a book for a short while...until the next crying jag and feeding time.

Thank GOD that phase only lasted for a while.

Parents need to do what they feel is best and works for the INDIVIDUAL NEEDS of their child.

JackWayne said...

Sure, lay them on their back to sleep. Then they get a flat head and need a lot of expensive care to round it out again. Everything is a scam nowadays.

MayBee said...

The only thing that gave me some respite was to put her into the car seat....in the FRONT SEAT FACING ME...where I could actually see her and she could see me too

This was great and modern parents should be more upset that safety regulations/air bags aren't mandated to be changed to allow this again.

John Borell said...

Fernandistein's SIDS stats come from here:

https://www.cdc.gov/sids/data.htm

I have a 4-month-old and a 3-year-old. Both slept in an "old" rock and play for a couple of months.

I too, when looking at SIDS stats versus rock and play deaths wonder how in the hell "experts" can pull the danger rabbit from the rock and play hat.

Clearly the rock and play is dangerous when a baby can roll; we moved our kids to a crib before that stage.

I just don't see how 32 deaths out of 5,000,000 babies can be correlated to the rock and play versus any other random cause.

Dave Begley said...

Did the guy patent his Magic Fingers invention? How much money did he make? Was there a follow-up? Taxable estate at his death?

The Minnow Wrangler said...

Madison Man said, "Sleep deprivation leads to irrational behavior." Yes! When new parents reach a certain point they will do anything to get that baby to go to sleep for a few hours.

It's pretty amazing that any of us survive infant- and toddler-hood. Those little ones are constantly learning new ways to endanger themselves.

I was shocked when my granddaughter suddenly learned to climb out of her Pack-n-play (a playpen with mesh sides where she napped when she was at my house). I was doing laundry in the basement and I heard her walking around upstairs. I ran up there as fast as I could, and of course there she was standing at the top of the steep and dangerous basement steps.

After that I put up baby gates to keep her in and out of places. Those are working so far LOL.

Anonymous said...

The flat sleeping, safe version is called SNOO. Expensive but very well designed. It increases and decreases vibration according to baby’s movement.

Shouting Thomas said...

Frank Zappa was the classic English lit rocker.

Clever with words. Couldn’t play for shit. Didn’t have a clue how to write a melody.

Unlistenable, but good for references.

Guildofcannonballs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff Brokaw said...

How did babies survive for millions of years without the guidance of government experts? What a string of incredible luck!

Shouting Thomas said...

Sleep apnea in young kids is often a symptom of enlarged tonsils and adenoids.

My 3 year old granddaughter was waking up repeatedly at night. Just had a tonsillectomy.

She’s sleeping all night now that her air passage is not blocked.

Guildofcannonballs said...

We gotta find us some lawyers and tort Target.

That's right I said it: Tort Target right out of SJW bidness.

Linky Winky.

MayBee said...

The argument has been put forward that this rule contributes to the recent phenomenon of parents forgetting their child in the back seat, to disastrous consequences for the child. Personally, I think cell phones ("multitasking") is a bigger culprit, but this is surely a factor.

tim Maguire- the lure to be interacting with a phone when you have a baby or child in your care has got to be a huge challenge. At least you can set a reminder with Siri "Remind me when I get to XYZ Address to check the back seat"

Bill Crawford said...

Did anyone else think of this?

wildswan said...

The Dems want the government to issue one-size-fits-all policies and protocols for every situation because equality but it doesn't work because diversity. Under One-Size Socialism everyone will ride a Schwinn three-speed women's bike (equality), except Bernie Three-House, the members of his government and their relatives (diversity).

CJinPA said...

At some point, my wife and I noticed our infant fell asleep while wife was using the hair dryer. So I recorded the sound of the dryer on cassette and played it to get her to sleep.

I'd like to think we didn't first go through a stage in which we left a running hair dryer in the baby's room. I really want to think that, I'm just not 100% sure.

iowan2 said...

millions of babies have been trained to fall asleep with continual vibration inside an enclosed cushiony cocoon

We have a winner!

People have trained their babies!! Shocked I am. Shocked that you can train a newborn mammal to respond to stimulus.

Seriously people, this is not difficult. They are BABIES. People know better, but they insist the baby adapt to the adults wildly erratic behaviors and schedules.
Step one. Write a schedule for the baby.
Step two. Never very from that schedule.

Loved, fed, dry, loved, loved. Love some more. Do these steps and your baby will veer off the path periodically, and with adherence to the schedule, fall back into a normal pattern.

Quick story. When our first was 3 or 4 months old someone asked how new parenthood was going. I said great, not much sleep lately because the baby was up every morning at 2 am, to play. The person asking, said " oh yes, he's got you trained". Trained I said, what to you mean? "they're awake and think they whole house should be, it's time to play".

She went on to say it happens a lot. The only solution is to make sure the baby is dry, fed, and healthy, then close the door and walk away, and let them scream for attention. If you give in and play to shut them up...they got you on their schedule, instead of him on ours. Our choice.

Toughest 3 nights of our early parenthood careers. But we did get our baby back on our schedule.

Martha said...

As a mother of three sons who all survived infancy and as a long ago trained pediatrician, I found it unnerving to hear THE NEW RULES as dictated by the American Academy of Pediatrics from my son and daughter-in-law when their daughter was born last year. Many of the NOT TO BE BROKEN OR THE BABY WILL DIE RULES were issued only 6 months ago.. Didn’t they realize that those RULES would be declared obsolete by the time their second baby was born?

The Minnow Wrangler said...

Ways for infants and toddlers to die -

Drowning, in a lake, bathtub, or even a toilet or bucket. Most commmonly, drowning incidents occur when multiple adults are watching the child, but no one is watching them closely.

Head injury, from running into furniture, or falling off a bed, crib, or sofa, or falling down a stairway

Crushing, from pulling a heavy bookshelf, microwave oven, or TV over on top of themselves

Smothering/strangulation, from rolling over onto a stuffed toy or fluffy blanket or the edge of a crib mattress

Most parents have stories to tell that are kind of funny because the infant or toddler was not permanently injured. Sadly, not all of these stories have happy endings.

tim maguire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim maguire said...

Jeff Brokaw said...How did babies survive for millions of years without the guidance of government experts? What a string of incredible luck!

"In my day we blah blah blah and we all survived it just fine!"

It's called survivorship bias--we only hear from the people who survived.

Henry said...

There are more ways for infants -- and children -- to die. Lots more.

My mother-in-law used clip out every single random death story for our education.

The Minnow Wrangler said...

Henry said, "There are more ways for infants -- and children -- to die. Lots more."

They are endlessly creative in the ways that they endanger themselves. Most end up in funny stories but a few end up in a cemetary.

I remember a few years ago I was pulling into the parking lot of a clinic to pick up a prescription for my son. A young boy, probably mentally disabled since it was that kind of clinic, had escaped from his grandmother and was running towards a busy street. I jumped out and ran after him (I was too slow) but fortunately he stopped before he got to the street. I grabbed him at that point. He would have surely been killed if he hadn't stopped at the sidewalk. It was terrifying, I was shaking and my mother-in-law, who was in the car with me, was crying uncontrollably.

Jeff Brokaw said...

Tim M - also known as survival of the fittest.

If we had needed experts to guide us, we would have died out a LONG time ago. Experts change their minds every 10 years so I tend to tune them out.

wwww said...

The Halo Bassinest vibrates and swivels to position over your bed. Flat surface with tight cover.

sinz52 said...

"How many SIDS death would one expect among 5,000,000 babies"

Your chance of being killed by lightning is only 1 in 7,000,000.

Your chance of being killed in a commercial airline crash is only 1 in 1,000,000.

Yet people still take those risks seriously.

The point, of course, is you shouldn't go looking for trouble. The fact that your chance of being killed by lighting is small doesn't mean you should go out in a major lightning storm and stay under a tall tree.

sinz52 said...

"How did babies survive for millions of years without the guidance of government experts?"

They didn't.
In the 18th century (when our Founding Fathers lived), something like 10% of babies died in the first year.

JAORE said...

"....save your money, honey. A quarter in and I start vibrating too."

Michael K said...

They didn't.
In the 18th century (when our Founding Fathers lived), something like 10% of babies died in the first year.


Mostly of diarrhea.

Michael K said...


Blogger MayBee said...
The argument has been put forward that this rule contributes to the recent phenomenon of parents forgetting their child in the back seat,


I am certain that passenger side airbags and laws that require infant seats to be in back are the cause. We drove across the country with our 6 month old in a playpen mounted on the middle seat of a VW bus. Of course, he is now a trial lawyer so maybe it did have consequences.

Jenny said...

Iowan2,

I hate to break it to you, but babies are born already trained. They've spent nine months being trained. It isn't really a case of weak-willed idiot parents deciding to create problematic sleeping preferences for their blank slate children.

reader said...

I will always remember the sheer panic I experienced upon waking the first time my son slept through the night.

My son ended up sleeping with us most of the time because we both fell asleep while he nursed. Family beds are a big no no but it worked for us.

reader said...

My admin lost her son to SIDS. She and her husband were of course devastated and then had to endure the police investigation afterward.

Ann Althouse said...

"I tried a Magic Fingers once when on a trip somewhere with my parents, when I was a teenager. I decided pretty quick it wasn't worth the quarter."

Yeah, it didn't last long at all.

But once I put the quarter in, fell asleep, and woke up the next morning and it was still on. It was sort of like getting a fantastic bargain and also like having my body intruded upon far beyond what I consented to.

walter said...

I wonder if you incorporated that into your dreams.

Fernandinande said...

In the 18th century (when our Founding Fathers lived), something like 10% of babies died in the first year.

Even in 1900 in the US, a little over 20% died before they reached 5 years old. Now it's around .5%

Anonymous said...

Flo & Eddie (of the Turtles) were great with Zappa as a couple of the Mothers.
"Want a guy from a group with a hit in the charts" (with a bullet!)

They had "Happy Together" -- and many other Turtles hits but just did the one on that album.

Zappa's a fine guitar player, and fun but often obscene lyrics.

walter said...

Not vouching for the podcast, but made me laugh when I found it:
https://player.fm/series/underground-usa/tca21-the-magic-fingers-of-joe-biden

bleh said...

If you want a flat baby bed that vibrates, you can pay $1300 for the SNOO bassinet. Supposedly it hears when your baby cries and then takes countermeasures to soothe him or her.

Milwaukie guy said...

All of our parents survived childhood accidents.

RigelDog said...

Our kids are in their twenties now and we just missed the mandate to put your baby to sleep on his back. The babies loved sleeping on their tummies. I'd like to see what the actual risk factor of tummy-sleep is compared to the problems caused by babies choking on vomit--something that can happen much more easily if they sleep on their backs. The fact is, we need a lot of specific facts and statistics to make realistic decisions about child safety and I don't think we have them all in the cases. For instance, with the RockNPlay: How many of the determinations that 32 infants died due to suffocation in the RockNPlay are 100% certainly due to the device? Virtually all, I would guess. BUT, in how many of those cases did the parents use the device correctly, with proper restraints? Also, the stats looked at number of infant deaths over 10 years vs. the number of RockNPlays sold. That's not the best metric--knowing the number of infants who actually used the device (certainly more than the number sold) and the number of hours spent in the device is necessary to correctly calculate the risk factor. Many of the article's comments urged parents to hold and rock the baby instead. Ok, I did a lot of that and almost dropped the baby a few times because I fell asleep while rocking/nursing. That's not ideal either! So which is more dangerous and by how much of a factor?

Milwaukie guy said...

OT. https://hotair.com/archives/2019/04/17/aoc-intercept-present-green-new-deal-future/

Just wow.

Yancey Ward said...

If I remember correctly, the "Cartridge Family" episode of The Simpsons is the one where Homer buys a handgun and Marge moves herself and the family out of the house. Homer eventually relents and gives the gun to Marge to get rid of, but then Marge keeps it instead.

You couldn't make that episode these days, and the shows producers wouldn't even try to any longer.

Yancey Ward said...

+1 to RigelDog's comment just above.

Ralph L said...

Egg crates for mattresses.

funsize said...

It's called the rock and play SLEEPER. It was marketed for sleep. Many babies died in it, likely from improper use, but also due to its unsuitability as a safe sleep surface.

My kid is due in a month. I am dreading this sleep business. Infants want to be warm, comforted, held, etc but in order to keep them safe we have to place them to sleep alone, on a bare flat mattress. No wonder parents turn to other solutions. And that doesn't even cover infants with reflux or colic.

If it wasn't for the threat of dead babies, we'd probably look at this science/these regulations the same way as we look at the food pyramid. How many other government "rules" have turned out not just to be wrong, but 180 degrees from what more recent developments suggest to be true? I generally don't trust government regulations, especially for safety, but no one wants to experiment by losing their child.