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Fisher-Price Newborn Rock 'n Play Sleeper with SmartConnect review: This connected baby sleeper is a must-buy for new parents

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While some devices, such as the 4moms MamaRoo, have attempted to replicate parental movements to nominal effect, the SmartConnect Sleeper consistently calmed my 10-week-old son and kept him asleep much more reliably. Whether this was due to the better seat design or the rocking pattern, I didn't really care -- the important thing was, I got more sleep at night and was more alert during the day.

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This leg extends from the bottom of the device to rock your child to sleep.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The last feature I love is a small one on the app: the ability to set timers for the settings (however, the timers only work for 30-minute increments). For example, you could set the music to play for 30 minutes and vibration to continue for 60 minutes. Sure, this is a simple mechanism, but it's these small touches that make the SmartConnect Sleeper so consistently meet the needs of parents and reduce the chances that you might accidentally wake the baby.

What it doesn't do

I can think of a few features I'd like to see SmartConnect add in the future. First off, you can't play your own music through the speaker. There's no auxiliary input, no Bluetooth playability -- nothing. Custom music should be standard for devices of this sort, but almost no developers are doing it (and when they do, the speakers are worse than my phone's).

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The SmartConnect's speaker is surprisingly good.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

I'd also like to see some kind of basic movement monitor, so if your baby starts kicking like they're waking up, the sleeper automatically begins rocking.

Small additions like these wouldn't dramatically raise the overhead of the sleeper. And given the already modest price for a device of this sort, these are less critiques than suggestions for making a great product even better.

Should you buy it?

Short answer: absolutely.

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My son loved sitting in the Sleeper even while awake.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

When you have a baby, two basic products will make you shell out the big bucks: a car seat and a sleeper. My wife and I have tried out five different bassinets, co-sleepers and sleepers that ranged from $50 to $150. Of those five, the Fisher-Price SmartConnect Sleeper kept our son comfortable and asleep the most consistently. He even enjoyed sitting in it while awake -- even more so than both our baby seats.

Sure, Fisher-Price's sleeper doesn't do everything, but it does the important things well, and for a reasonable price. If you're a new parent looking for a sleeper, this is the one for you.

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