One important accessory that every parent should buy their child, especially when travelling constantly, is the best pack and play. This device is excellent for play time and can also be used to put a child to sleep. There are a number of features and benefits that this crib can offer for parents and soon-to-be parents.
A best pack n play is made to offer your baby a spacious and safe place for sleeping and playing. Depending on how you use it, there are options available to cater to different scenarios. A lot of parents prefer pack and plays as a “care station” that can be used both at home and on the road.
“Pack n Play” is a term that can be interchangeable with a “play yard.” It comes in different sizes, styles, and colors. So if you intend to keep one at home, then go for a pack and play that meshes with your home décor.
You can also benefit from the amazing features and reviews of a pack n play such as its detaching station, bassinet, baby music, and toys. Regardless of the style you choose, you’ll find that owning a pack n play can lead to endless hours of entertainment and comfort for your child. Before you make a purchase, always do your research on the best pack and play models available as well as the model and brand that most parents believe in.
What is a Pack and Play?
A Pack and Play is useful if you intend to take your baby on long trips since it’s lightweight and simple to pack up. Pack and Plays are made to be foldable, allowing for a portable and safe place for your child to rest and play in.
Compared to traditional squared playpens, pack and plays are typically rectangular. They have additional components that keep your baby preoccupied. These include detaching toy bars, entertainment centers, nature sounds, and flashing lights. What makes these play yards convenient is that they can be turned into changing stations. This can be done through a manipulation of a table inset or an attachment that can be flipped on a certain direction. Pack and plays are also available in different weight categories, with a typical coming in at around 20 to 25 pounds.
Top 5 Best Pack n Play Reviews Models Today
Here are the 5 best pack and play reviews models seen in today’s market:
1. Graco Pack 'n Play’s Playard (with Reversible Napper and Changer) in Go Green
This pack and play provides the best in comfort and convenience as an all-in-one product. Its soft fabric is simple to clean and is made to be skin friendly. The crib is made to grow with the child’s skin even from newborn all the way to the toddler years. Children tend to gear towards the play yard’s color (chocolate brown and grass green colors) since it gives an equal balance of dark and light mixture in one portable structure. One important aspect to note with this play pen is its height and spacing. It keeps any child within the device without feeling “boxed in.” The airy mesh and ample space allows for endless play and comfortable rest.
Pros of the Graco Pack ‘n Play’s Play Yard (with Reversible Napper and Change), in Go Green:
- The structure promotes easy switching from napper to changer and back with its unique “push and lift” motion.
- The station is beautifully designed with comfortable fabrics to keep the child comfortable while in the play yard with the napper.
- Its detaching toy bar makes it easy for the child to play with soft toys while encouraging visual stimuli — perfect for enhanced learning.
- A detaching bassinet is a plus since it makes it a lot easier to switch from one set of toys to another; it’s also convenient for switching into different child functions.
- The unit can easily be converted into a full-sized play yard for comfortable play.
- The play yard is 35” in height, making it impossible for the child to climb out.
- It’s structure makes it a very safe spot for your child to play and sleep in for hours.
- Airy mesh on all sides of the play yard allow for complete ventilation to promote restful sleep.
- Graco’s push-button fold makes it easy to collapse the unit and carrying it anywhere inside or outside the home.
Cons of the Graco Pack ‘n Play’s Play Yard (with Reversible Napper and Changer), in Go Green:
- The napper/changer has a tendency to slant frontward on its changing side as it barely sits above the pack and mat; this prevents the need and purpose of the changer.
- Its hinges has a tendency to remain stiff which makes it hard for the unit to easily be packed for on-the-go situations.
- There have been instances where bolts randomly appearing in the hinge mechanism, leading to locked levers from disengaging.
- The napper/changer tends to get attached to the bassinet section, leading to manually flip and forcing a solid push to rotate the napper/changer from one side to the next
- Buttons used for assembling and collapsing the unit appears too small and can remain stiff at times.
- The unit’s color scheme is something that won’t please other buyers as there are other colors available in the market.
- Removal of the napper exposes pointed corners, which can be dangerous for the baby — leading to installation of bumpers to cover the sharp ends.
2. Evenflo’s Portable BabySuite 300, in Marianna
This pack and play has a stylish design that offers all-around convenience for your child. Made to be completely functional, this play set provides a full-sized bassinet, a toy bar of removable toys, a portable play yard, and a play mat. The set is packed with a dual slot storage area for housing wipes and diapers while on the road. Bringing the suite for play time is simple since its foldable frame can be made into a self-containing carry case via a handle. If you desire a complete baby set to keep your child preoccupied, then this play yard is a sure shot answer worth going for.
Convenience and ample space is what this crib can offers for any child. Its padded mat can easily switched into a mat for the child to play in. Paired with its detaching toy bar, your child can make the most of the safe and clean space available. If portability is urgently needed, the set can quickly be folded and tucked into its own carry bag for easy travel. Its sheets are completely made from pure polyester fabric — comfortable and skin friendly at the same time.
Pros of Evenflo’s Portable BabySuite 300, in Marianna:
- The floor mat can easily be transformed into a play mat to foster clean and ample play space for the child.
- Its changer can easily be rotated out of the way when it’s no longer needed, this promotes convenience for the long term.
- A full-sized bassinet offers ultimate comfort and simple handling for both child and parent.
- The unit’s 3-detachable toys promotes switching of different play materials while allowing endless hours of entertainment.
- The unit is very simple and easy to set up making it convenient to place and be moved from one room to another.
- Toys provided with the product are visually stimulating and entertaining.
- The play set takes a short time to set up compared to other brands in today’s market.
- Structure is made from sturdy and reliable materials to ensure it can be used for several years.
- The unit’s mats and parts can easily be cleaned.
- The set is current available in varying weight capacities: 30 lbs. maximum capacity for play yard, 15 lbs maximum capacity for bassinet, and 25 lbs maximum capacity for changer.
Cons of Evenflo’s Portable BabySuite 300, in Marianna:
- The seating has a tendency to make some children uncomfortable.
- The unit can be a bit difficult to pack since some parts tend to get stuck or requires extreme force to close the set altogether.
- Some of the manufactured materials are poorly made and tends to break down after a short period of time.
- Setting up the crib could frustrate some parents and could take time since the manual provided involves complex drawings and instructions.
- The bassinet can be noted to be nothing but a flat board covered in fancy material.
- Its bottom spacing can be ripped apart in some instances in the middle of setting up the unit.
- The changing table has a bumpy appearance instead of being normally flat.
3. Joovy’s Room Portable Play Yard
Its huge mesh windows offer exceptional view from the inside so your child won’t feel trapped the entire time. In addition, its steel frame is sturdy while its aluminum tubing adds to a crispy, clean, and smooth design. Its fabric and carrying bag are made from top quality and durable materials. The set has come a long way since it the introduction of its predecessor. This time around, it’s twice bigger and better in a number of ways
Pros of Joovy’s Room Portable Playard:
- The unit id made from 600D material to ensure long lasting use and durability.
- The crib’s wheels are reliable and makes it easy to transport from one room to another.
- It comes fitted with a pure cotton mattress sheet which can easily wash off any dirt and stain being thrown at it.
- Its wide 10 square meters of ample space is perfect for the child to play out in the open.
- The packaging ensure the unit can easily be viewed and set up in a short period of time.
- It offers a minimalist and striking modern design that can blend well in any modern living space.
- Its roomy space offers comfort for room and play as the baby grows into the toddler years.
- Big windows on the sides assures excellent visibility for both parent and child.
- Its small and compact structure makes it easy to carry around the house and even in the outdoors.
Cons of Joovy’s Room Portable Playard:
- The fabric of the playset tends to give off a rotting or plastic-like smell once the unit is removed from the packaging
- The “net” material can easily be ripped out with enough pressure and can only last within a few months of use.
- Its mattress doesn’t appear to be flat at times since the middle portion often sticks out affecting the user to properly store the unit.
- A noticeable bump can often be noticed on the platform due to its narrow body and awkward construction.
- The heavy weight of the play yard makes it difficult to set up and close down.
- There have been instances where some of the delivered packaging came in without a cotton sheet.
4. Graco’s Pack 'n Play On-The-Go Playard (Little Hoot)
This playset assures comfort for your little one whenever and wherever you are. Its special bassinet ensures that there are less parts to bring, making the whole structure several times more lightweight and compact. The durable body structure makes it ideal for on-the-go travel while its signature push button lets you break down the play yard swiftly and with ease. Whether you’re away or at home, the crib assures your baby is comfortable at all times.
Pros of Graco’s Pack ‘n Play On-The-Go Playard (Little Hoot):
- The bassinet is purposely created for convenient set-up and take down to quickly place the child in for naps.
- The playset has fewer parts making it extremely portable and lightweight to have at home or on the road.
- Its compact body makes the unit to fit in just about any small space available.
- Its foldable feet and wheels offer 20% more compact folding ability compared to other brands in today’s market.
- The signature push button makes it easier for the crib open up and close.
- It comes packed with a carrying bag so storage is immediate and convenient.
Cons of Graco’s Pack ‘n Play On-The-Go Playard (Little Hoot):
- There have been instances where plastic pieces that unite the tubes together tend to break off leading to a possible structure tear.
- A chemical odor is noticeable and continues to persist even after being aired out.
- Some of the mattress included in the packaging have been lumpy and uncomfortable.
- The mattress has a tendency to shift or tilt depending on where the child is lying down
- Bars on each side of the unit can fail to lock in place from time to time
- Several push-in buttons from the crib side functions with a single collapsing bar as opposed to working as a whole unit.
5. Lotus’ Travel Crib and Portable Baby Playard
A flexible crib made to be carried and fit anywhere, this unit is a great product worth mentioning. It has a lightweight body that can easily be taken anywhere at home or on the road. It takes under a minute to set up and can be tucked away in a matter of seconds. The play yard is a perfect item to keep your child comfortable while on the road.
This travel crib comes with a beautifully design. It offers clean lines, art-inspired logos and graphics, textured fabrics, and contemporary colors. If you’re seeking for a crib that can last your newborn until the time your child no longer needs it, then this could be the play yard you’re looking for. It comes packed with a fitted sheet, mattress, and a manual.
Pros of the Lotus’ Travel Crib and Portable Baby Playard:
- The play yard is highly convenient and takes under a minute set up.
- Its “backpack” portability makes it easy to fit in any standard carry-on for travel.
- It comes with Greenguard Gold certification (contains no flame retardants, PVC, phthalates, or lead content).
- The mesh is breathable to aid complete air flow even with the side fully zippered for a safe and easy sleep.
- ClearView mesh allows both child and parent to have an unobstructed view
- The mattress offers ultimate comfort for the child.
- The side door allows for fun and comfortable entry and exit to the play area
- The crib is relatively easy to use as a whole.
- Its surfaces are stain-resistant can easily be wiped clean with a cloth.
- Its fitted sheet is machine washable and tightly secured in place to avoid any tangling.
- It has a pleasant appearance when viewed at different angles.
- It offers an easy bassinet conversion for switching or adding baby accessories
- The crib can be used outdoors and comes with an optional shade or mosquito net (items will need to be purchased separately).
Cons of the Lotus’ Travel Crib and Portable Baby Playard:
- The mattress often provided have been deemed to be “too thin” leading to uncomfortable sleep for the child.
- Some of the manufactured mattress ends fail to completely lie flat on its own unless the child is placed on it.
- Numerous Velcro straps can be tedious when setting up and using the product for the first time.
- Folding the unit quickly can be difficult unless the right folded sides match well with each other.
- Legs will fold flat only if you slowly fold them in proper order.
- Some of the packaging failed to contain a fitted sheet or the sheet included are either too narrow or too long for use.
- Legs of the unit tend to stick out and could accidentally be kicked when passing by the crib.
These are currently the hottest pack n play models in the market. And many chose them for a number of reasons. It’s important to consider the benefits and downsides of each model mentioned since they can make or break yours and the life of your child. But if you intend to go for a model outside these top 5, ensure you run down its features from top to bottom. Never miss out on the little things as they could be a deal breaker.
Sometimes it pays to go to the store and see the pack n play models yourself. You can even get the feel of what you think feels right for you baby. Opt for one that offers a warranty on parts since you’ll never know what could happen once you’ve unpacked the crib in your home.
What to Look for in a Best Pack and Play Product
Whether you’re settling for a basic or feature-added play yard, you’ll want to settle for one that meets your child’s needs. A combination of features will make sure the play yard you’ll be buying makes you and your baby comfortable and cozy the whole time. Keep in mind to not be spending too much on features you feel you won’t need for the long term.
Here are some essential things to look for in a pack and play:
1. A bassinet
Seeking for a pack n play with a bassinet equipped with a changing table can be a big benefit. You should understand to never leave your child unattended when these devices are within the yard regardless of the features you’re using. Your baby is at its safest in a crib regardless of how comfortable they appear to be in the bassinet.
If your child starts moving around within the bassinet then there’s a possibility of him falling out, which could lead to serious injuries. You’ll need to detach the bassinet or eliminate the changing station when your child placed in the main portion of the play yard. There’s also a possibility your child could be trapped under such attachments (something you should avoid).
There are a plethora of pack n plays that provide a bassinet covering the whole play yard. This is an excellent opinion since it minimizes the chances of your child falling into the play yard. Nevertheless, a child could also fall out of the play yard. So you need to ensure to stop using the bassinet once your child is old enough to get up on his knees and hands.
2. A changing station
Going for a pack n play with a detaching changing station adds further convenience and is typically designed to stick to the longer top railing. You’ll need to remove this at times since it can get in the way of your child. Some models offer a charging station that rests on the long railings and can be simply flipped to hang out of the play area. Some think it’s safer to possess a detaching changing station to keep it from your child’s reach. Ensure the station can be locked via a manual method through a button or snap instead of leaving it to rest on a frame.
Pack n plays are specifically named for a good reason: to make it easy to pack up and move to another place. There are a number that can be easily be folded, rolled on wheels, or fitted in any travel bag. The bags tend to resemble that of a smaller golf bag, which makes it simpler and convenient to bring on the road. As indicated, basic play stations are meant to lighter and smaller compared to their full-featured models. Unfortunately, not all of them possess similar features.
4. Easy folding
If you intend to travel often with your child, then you may want to settle with a pack n play that can easily be folded. There are certain market models that take a bit of time to pack, but a nicely made version with foldable wheels and feet are faster and easier to store.
5. With wheels or casters
Lockable wheels on a pack n play makes it easier for you to move the device around at home. Ensure the wheels are locked when left sedentary to ensure your baby’s safety. There are models that can roll even when already folded. This makes it convenient to take from one place to another.
You’ll need to keep these pack n play essentials in mind since they’re considered critical for your baby’s benefit and safety. Never settle for anything less. You’ll be thankful in the end by the time you bring one home for your little one.
Benefits Attained with a Pack n Play
Having a pack n play for your baby is one way to achieve the upsides of a play yard without sacrificing on mobility. Here are the main benefits worth mentioning when it comes to owning a pack n play.
1. Safe for playing
It’s never possible to always give your baby consistent attention (even though you wish you could). It’s essential to ensure your baby is always safe while you’re busy around your home. Once you leave your child within the play pen, you can always be assured of safety when it comes to playing. It’s even a possible to leave your child for a few minutes without having to worry about anything. Play yards are typically safe, soft, and comfortable for any child, so you shouldn’t be worried about anything.
2. Fosters learning
Deluxe play yards have more educational and fun accessories and toys than those seen in the basic version. Latest studies indicate that the earlier your child learns through play, the better it is for his development. A majority of basic play pens possess some features, but to acquire the most accessories, you’ll need to shell out a bit of cash for a deluxe crib. This is never a bad thing since the act of playing with toys and accessories aids the development of your child’s motor skills.
3. Always around
Possessing a pack n play is an excellent way for your baby to be close to you while you’re doing stuff in the kitchen, living room, and other parts of your home. Since your child is nearby, you’ll easily see and hear him play. This is the safest approach to keep your child within a confined area while you’re busy doing things.
Pack n plays are made to be lightweight. A majority easily folds up in a short period of time. That means, if you intend to move from one room to another in your home, you can quickly do so. Also, if you happen to frequently travel, it’s a good idea to have a pack n play around. Most models are come with a carry bag for portability.
5. All-around use
A crib is deemed the safest place for a baby to sleep in. But if you happen to travel or are visiting relatives, a pack n play is an excellent substitute for putting your child to sleep. Since pack n plays are a thin and durable, you won’t have to worry about your child suffocating. It’s also perfectly acceptable for frequent naps. Most pack n plays in today’s market come with a detaching changing stations, bassinets, and other worthy features that make them ideal for a wide range of functions.
The benefits a pack n play can provide for children and parents are numerous. Aside from offering a bassinet in some models, others have changing table for the convenience of parents. Owning one is also a safe way for your child to play in while keeping him nearby. You always want to keep your attention to your child all the time, but sadly, it’s never possible. You’ll always be dealing with things around the house while keeping your child preoccupied and comfortable. If you’re travelling a lot, then you know it’s essential to have a play and rest area for your child that can be with you wherever you are.
Pack n plays are basically made to be convenient while giving you a peace of mind. It also fosters hours of entertainment while aiding in the development of essential motor skills. There are a plethora of pack n plays in the market including new brands that have become a hit for parents-to-be. So, before you wind up with one at home, ensure you do your research and be familiar with the features being offered by these amazing play pens.
FAQS ABOUT PACK AND PLAY