Updated at: 16-11-2022 - By: Helen Skeates

For parents, nothing beats the convenience of a pack n play. Parents can take a break knowing their child is having fun in a controlled setting. Honestly, I don’t know how I would manage without a play yard while bringing up my infant.

However, you may be unfamiliar with the term “pack n play” and concerned about whether or not it is safe for your infant.

I’m here to tell you that it’s necessary and, up to a point, completely risk-free. Let’s dig into the details.

What is a pack n play?

A pack n play is a portable crib or play yard for your infant or toddler. Others are made of metal with mesh walls, while yet others are wooden-framed.

This cage isn’t a playpen, but it is a confined space. Most playpens are simply a perimeter fence placed on the floor, without any sort of mattress or padding.

The comparison to a bassinet is equally inappropriate. Newborns and infants up to the age of three or four months can sleep safely and comfortably in bassinets.

It’s simple to pack a pack n play for a trip. Babies and toddlers benefit greatly from pack n plays.

The typical weight limit for a pack n play is 30 pounds, though this might vary depending on the specific model.

How To Make Chicco Pack N Play Into Playpen - Krostrade

Benefits of a pack n play

A bassinet and changing table that attach to the top rail are available on some models of Pack n’ plays. If you invest in a playpen, you may put it to use as soon as you bring your newborn home. Keep using the changing table as an alternative spot for diaper changes.

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Put your baby down for a nap in a pack n play and know that they are safe and secure. A small youngster wouldn’t be able to climb out of it because the sides are so high. While you’re busy, your baby can sleep or play in peace in this area.

A playpen can be easily moved from one location to another. The infant can continue to sleep in his or her own crib, even if you are visiting Grandma or taking a weekend trip. For the first six months, some parents choose to keep the pack n play in their bedroom.

When looking for one, keep its portability and ease of assembly in mind. Some models may be cumbersome to carry about due to their weight and size.

Are pack n plays safe for sleep?

Yes, to put it briefly. Remember that the main pack n play area or the newborn napper (bassinet) are both acceptable places for your baby to sleep throughout the day or night. Both scenarios are going to be discussed further on.

However, there are a few exceptions to the rule when it comes to the safety of sleeping in a play yard.

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) safe sleep recommendations recommend a firm mattress for infants. It has been determined that babies should not sleep on loose or soft bedding.

If you must leave your baby alone in the crib for any length of time, remove the bumper, as well as any pillows, blankets, or other soft items. Don’t put anything in the area where you sleep, and use only fitted sheets designed for your particular brand and model of pack n play.

Sheets purchased elsewhere may not fit your playard properly, creating a suffocation hazard if they shift around or bunch.

Be careful you sleep on a thin, firm mattress. Here’s a link to a fantastic post I wrote about portable crib mattresses.

The pack n play’s sides should provide sufficient ventilation. As is the case with most modern pack n plays, ventilation mesh on the side panels is highly recommended.

Babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs. If you want to protect your child from sudden infant death syndrome, this is the approach that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends (Sleep-Related Infant Deaths).

Be sure that the pack n play is assembled correctly and that the sides are locked in before using it. Some playards only a few simple steps, while others have a lot more. Before putting baby in it for play or sleep, double-check that everything is securely fastened.

Can a baby sleep in a pack n play?

Babies of all ages can sleep in a pack n play, albeit each stage calls for a unique strategy. Newborns shouldn’t sleep in the pack n play’s base, but there are various ways to make use of the device. In order to accommodate infants weighing less than 15 pounds, most pack ‘n plays include a bassinet attachment.

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With the pack n play’s newborn bassinet attachment, you can rest certain that your child will be safe and secure while you go about your day.

Safe sleep in a pack n play can be achieved even for babies who have learned to turn over on their own. Check read my other post where I go into greater detail about how to get a baby to sleep in the bottom of a pack n play.

Is it safe for a baby to sleep in a pack n play every night?

As long as the other safety measures are taken, it is absolutely fine to put a baby to sleep in a pack n play. It doesn’t matter how often you use it, as long as you’re also adhering to the other safety precautions for bedtime that have been discussed.

Remember that pack n plays are not intended for nighttime use and should only be used when traveling or during the day. Your pack n play may exhibit symptoms of wear and tear earlier than planned due to the increased use. Using this method, you can inspect the pack n play’s stability in minutes, giving you peace of mind that your child is always safe.

When should a baby stop sleeping in the pack n play bassinet?

When newborns reach three or four months old, or when they learn to roll over on their own, they usually outgrow bassinets.

The baby’s weight is another consideration. The maximum weight for a pack n’ play bassinet is 15 pounds. Once a baby reaches around 12–13 pounds in weight, it is no longer advised that they sleep in a pack n play bassinet. Approximately at this point, the infant outgrows the bassinet attachment to the pack n play.

You should also stay away from bassinets that have a soft base or sides. If you must leave your baby alone while he sleeps in the bassinet, make sure the base is nice and sturdy.

Chicco Lullaby LX Playard Romantic

When should a baby stop sleeping inside the pack n play?

When a child reaches 30 pounds in weight, 35 inches in height, or is between the ages of two and three, it is no longer necessary for them to sleep in a pack n play.

Remember that your infant may not weigh 30 pounds but may be unusually tall for his age. Because of his height, his pack n play may no longer be suitable for him.

If your baby is nearing 35 inches in height, it is time to graduate him from the pack n play.

In addition, some infants are robust and may exhibit frustration if their movement is restricted. Check that your baby is not tall or heavy enough to tip over the pack n play. Obviously, that’s also a sign that you need to find a new place to sleep.

Observe your child’s behavior while in the pack n play as a whole. His actions will reveal everything you need to know about him.

Steps on how to make Chicco pack n play into playpen

First, know that the Chicco playpen’s assembly instructions are written in Italian. The graphics, though, make it straightforward enough. The first order of business is to join the legs and secure them to the pen’s base.

Next, insert four screws into each corner and tighten with an Allen wrench (it comes along with all pieces). Similarly, at this stage, you should join the two sides of the square pen by attaching a little section on each side.

After the bed has been assembled, place the pad around the top edge inside the mattress area, making sure there are no spaces between the mat and the walls. If necessary, tighten the bottom rail or insert plastic clips to keep the pad in place. Do the same with the other three corners without pinching your fingers.

Assemble mesh panels, set them on top of the pen floor, and insert plastic anchors into each corner, ensuring sure they are secure by rotating them counterclockwise before pressing them all the way in (watch your fingers here too).

To prevent the mattress pad from bunching up under the mat, place it over the bottom rail and secure it with the included Velcro strips or by hand. Afterwards, you should have a square playpen that is baby-ready.

If you frequently go on excursions and need a crib for your baby, consider this Chicco pack n’ play. When placing the Twall and mat inside the bag, make sure there are no air pockets, as this could lead to suffocation.

How to clean a pack n play in the winter

Your pack n play takes a beating during the winter. As time passes, dirt, dust, and grime accumulate, making it difficult to maintain all the parts clean. However, with enough work, you can quickly restore that showroom condition. Some suggestions for spring cleaning after winter:

Cleaning the house is the first order of business, so let’s get that vacuum out! In order to remove any dust or debris that may have settled within the cracks of the unit’s frame, you can use a standard vacuum cleaner, either upright or portable.

This method is especially useful for picking up any stray baby food scraps right before bedtime…

Keep in mind that water-resistant gear is not the same as waterproof gear, and always take the necessary safety measures when pitching a tent in the rain. You may need to perform some maintenance on your equipment throughout the winter due to the increased humidity and wetness…

Cleaning your portable grill as soon as possible after usage is recommended. Use warm water and soap or another cleaning solution. Use a wire brush and hot water to get rid of any food debris that has become embedded in the crevices and then store the pots and pans away until the following spring.

Before putting anything back in the box, double-check that everything you need is there, including batteries (if applicable), remote controls, and so on. The absence of misplaced items is thus ensured! Determine which items are most important to pack initially to ensure their safety during the packing and moving process.

I assume you packed everything up securely? Good! All boxes should now be securely closed, labeled with their contents (if necessary), and sealed with packaging tape, duct tape, or some other adhesive…

After you’ve taped the lids shut on each box, stack them against a wall so nobody or anything can knock them over while you figure out what to do next. If you pile too much stuff on top, it could potentially crush what’s on the bottom.

Are playpens safe for toddlers?

Young children can safely use playpens. The size and intended purpose of the playpen should determine how secure it is. If your child is not securely fastened within the playpen with a strap or netting, she poses a serious risk of escaping.

Falls onto hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt could cause major harm if this occurs. When not in use, gates should be locked, just like the fences around pools, to prevent children from running out into traffic.

Also, keep coins and erasers out of the reach of children. Some kids have choked to death after swallowing them. You may rest assured that your child is secure with a high-quality product because it will solve your concerns.

Do playpens expire?

If you have ever observed a youngster at play in his or her playpen for more than five minutes, you will know that the pen is incredibly sturdy. It may be feasible to use it even after many years have passed. Individuals and circumstances will likely have different answers.

Since a playpen can’t be converted into anything else, parents often wonder if they should throw away their child’s outgrown one once she’s outgrown her baby cot.

This line of thinking has been encouraged by public service announcements warning of the dangers of using these pens unattended. But before we decide whether or not to get rid of them, let’s take a deeper look at what goes on between those four walls.

8 Best Pack N’ Plays of 2022

1. Graco Pack ‘n Play Dome Playard

Graco’s Pack ‘n Play Dome Playard is an excellent choice for parents searching for a pack ‘n play that will last from infancy through toddlerhood. This playard serves as a bassinet, a toddler bed, and a spot to change a newborn. The changing mat is simple to clean and there are built-in compartments for storing diapers, wipes, and other baby necessities.

This pack ‘n play has certain special characteristics that make it stand out from the crowd. For example, if your bassinet is next to your bed, you can raise it so that baby is at eye level. The toddler cot is another option; dual-child families can use it in tandem with the infant car seat. You know you’re getting a high-quality item because Graco is a well-respected name in the baby gear industry.

This pack ‘n play has a lot of features for its price, so you probably won’t need much more in the way of baby gear. Depending on your demands, you may choose to go with a less cumbersome alternative because of the additional setup time and space requirements.

2. Baby Trend Retreat Nursery Center

The Baby Trend Retreat Nursery Center is an excellent alternative if you need a convertible pack ‘n play but are on a tighter budget. It has a full-sized bassinet, a bassinet for a baby, a changing pad, and a lot of storage space, but it doesn’t convert to a toddler bed as the Graco Newborn2Toddler Pack ‘n Play does.

However, the Baby Trend newborn bassinet has several extra features not found on other pack ‘n plays, like a canopy, soft overhead toys, music/nature sound selections, and a night light. It may be used independently and has a carrying handle, so it’s easy to transport a sleeping newborn from one room to another.

If you don’t have a lot of room or plan to travel with it often, this convertible pack ‘n play may be a bit cumbersome. This pack ‘n play is a terrific alternative that will grow with your child if you only plan to take it with you on infrequent trips away from home.

3. 4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard

The 4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard is another excellent all-in-one choice because it also features a full-size bassinet and a changing mat. Although it lacks some features, such as extra compartments for diapers and wipes, it is designed to grow with your child. The larger crib on the bottom can be used as a travel bed or playard once your baby outgrows the smaller bassinet stage.

If convenience is a top priority, the 4moms Breeze Plus is an excellent choice. If you’ll be taking your little one on the road, you’ll like how compact and lightweight this pack ‘n play is, and how the removable changer can be folded over to the side. This one doesn’t have a ton of features for the price, but its one-handed assembly and disassembly make it convenient for families on the go.

4. hiccapop PlayPod Deluxe Portable Playpen

Whether you’re at a campsite or just trying to get some yard work done, you may need to provide a secure area for your child to play. If you’re looking for a product that can be utilized in a variety of settings, the hiccapop PlayPod Deluxe is a great option. The pack ‘n play can accommodate multiple infants or toddlers, yet it collapses down to a manageable size for transport. The fabric is both waterproof and machine-washable, making it ideal for use in the great outdoors. It should be noted that the canopy shown is not included.

The childproof side zippers on the hiccapop PlayPod Deluxe are a great addition, as they save you from having to bend over to lift your child. While some outdoor pack ‘n plays only have a piece of fabric on the bottom, your child will be comfortable playing or napping in this one owing to the added padding.

The hiccapop PlayPod Deluxe is larger than the standard PlayPod, which may be good or bad depending on your needs. For those who only need a playard for their infant or toddler and don’t care about the extra features, this is a fantastic alternative.

5. Lotus Travel Crib

Do you intend to take your baby or toddler on a trip? We thought of everything when designing the Lotus Travel Crib. This pack ‘n play weighs only 13 pounds when folded and has a backpack carrying case, making it easy to drag through the airport alongside your other bags and possibly other family members. The pack ‘n play mattress is softer and more comfy than those of competing brands, and it’s been tested and authorized for nighttime use, which could help your child get some rest in a strange environment.

You’ll be glad you brought along this pack ‘n play because it doesn’t take long to put up and has a side zipper to make carrying it a little easier on your back on that long flight or car ride. The fact that it has earned the prestigious GreenGuard Gold certification indicates that it was created without the use of toxic substances, which is great news for the quality of the air in your home and your child’s health. The Lotus Travel Crib is not equipped with a bassinet or a diaper changing station because it was designed with portability in mind.

6. Graco Pack ‘N Play On the Go Playard

A stripped-down version of Graco’s Pack ‘n Play is available for a reasonable price. It still has a full-size bassinet that can be detached, storage pockets, and some plush hanging toys to keep your baby occupied, but that’s about it. If you already have a baby seat and a changing table, and you’re looking for something easy to give your newborn or toddler a safe space to nap or play, this is a fantastic choice.

This model doesn’t have a lot of moving parts, so it’s simple to put together and move. If you need to relocate the entire unit to a different room, the wheels will come in handy. You’re getting a well-made Graco Pack ‘n Play, so it won’t break the bank, but it doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as some more expensive options and the storage compartments are much smaller.

7. Joovy Room² Portable Playard

The Joovy Room2 Portable Playard eliminates the need for two pack ‘n plays, a common source of stress for parents of multiples. This playard, with its approximately ten square feet of space, is ideal for families with multiple young children or for those who simply want to offer their infant or toddler more room to roam. The Joovy Room2 is a very simple playard on its own, but it can be upgraded with an optional twin nursery center, which includes a bassinet and change table.

This pack ‘n play is equipped with a waterproof sheet (often sold separately) and its all-around mesh window allows you to see your baby at all times. Bear in mind that, as a larger playard, this one will weigh more to carry. However, if you merely need to move it around the house, the wheels will come in handy, so long as you don’t have to squeeze it through any narrow doorways.

8. Dream On Me Nest

This award-winning item from the National Parenting Center is both inexpensive and aesthetically pleasing. This pack ‘n play is a great option if you’re looking for a high-quality product at an affordable price. When folded, it’s small and light, which is great for parents on the go. This one also has a 360-degree field of view, letting you keep an eye on your kid from any angle and reassuring them that you are never far away.

The Dream On Me Nest is a basic pack ‘n play that doesn’t come with any extras like a bassinet, changing pad, or drawers. It also lacks wheels, which could be a deal breaker for those who want to easily relocate it around the house. However, if you’re strapped for cash and still need a safe and comfortable spot for your infant or toddler to sleep and nap while traveling, this award-winning device is a truly lovely, easy to use, and simply made option.

Graco Pack 'n Play® Day2Dream™ Travel Bassinet Playard | Graco Baby


What should you look for in a Pack ‘N Play?

What features you prioritize in a pack ‘n play are highly context dependent. How often will you be taking it with you, and where will you mostly use it? Is it more of a playroom, bedroom, or both? Generally speaking, you should get something that folds up little and keeps your baby safe and comfy. Storage compartments, side zippers, bassinets, and changing mats are just some of the optional extras to consider while shopping for a stroller.

How do you set up a Pack ‘N Play?

Depending on the make and type, a pack ‘n play may or may not be difficult to assemble and disassemble. When your pack ‘n play is folded, you should be able to unfold it by pushing down on the middle and snapping the side bars into place. To finish setting up a bassinet, infant seat, or changer, you’ll need to attach the included pad or mattress to the base. It ought to take no more than a few minutes at most.

What are important safety considerations with a Pack ‘N Play?

Make sure your pack ‘n play is in good condition and correctly set up just like you would any other piece of baby equipment. Purchasing a new pack ‘n play ensures that it will be up to date on safety standards, but it is still important to read all instructions and warnings before using it.

Verify the age and height restrictions and that the locking sides and wheels of the pack ‘n plays are in good functioning order (and set up correctly). There is a risk of suffocation if you use soft blankets or cushioning in the pack ‘n play, which is why it is not suggested.

At what age can my child use a Pack ‘N Play?

A pack ‘n play is a convenient and safe sleeping solution for newborns, babies, and toddlers. Some models include a bassinet, which is intended more for the comfort of the newborn than for its protection. Typically, the height and weight limits for a pack ‘n play are 35 inches and 30 pounds. If this is the case, you may want to keep your child in a pack ‘n play until they are at least two or three years old.

Is a Pack ‘N Play the same as a playard?

Although the names are sometimes used interchangeably, there are significant distinctions between pack ‘n plays and playards. Some playards are designed to remain stationary and cannot be taken anywhere with the child. Conversely, pack ‘n plays are a portable crib and playard in one. They often fold up small and come with a tote bag, and they are padded to keep your child comfortable while they sleep or play.


To put it simply, a pack n play is a portable crib or playard that can be used anywhere. If you attach a bassinet to it, you can use it from the day you bring your infant home until your child is around three years old.

Most pack n plays, when used with a firm mattress and a sheet that fits tightly around it, are completely compliant with all AAP safety standards.

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Having mesh sides means you can keep an eye on your child while you get other things done.

These foldable playards are convenient for use around the house and on the go.

What do you think? Yes! Pack n plays can be used for many different purposes and are extremely useful.

For how many hours per day may a baby use a pack n play?