If you are a new parent it won’t take you long to realize that pack n’ plays are one of the best baby inventions ever from a safety standpoint. Do you want your child close by at night, a pack ‘n play is the answer. If you want an easy place to lay your sleeping baby near you during the day… pack n’ play. Do you need a moment to yourself and need to contain your crawling child, you guessed it… pack n’ play.
There are many different styles of pack n’ plays available today. It is important to consider all of the features when deciding which one is right for you:
Portability– The whole purpose of pack n’ plays is that they are cribs that are easy to move around. Whether you are just moving from one room of the house to another or heading on vacation, portability is important.
Personally, I would recommend finding one that is able to fit through your doorways without being folded down. This way you can easily wheel your sleeping baby into another room of the house if need be. If you will need to take your pack n’ play out of the house, to a sitters or while traveling, you will want to look for one that folds down easily and is lightweight.
Accessories – Back when I was growing up my parents used the old playpens. If you are not familiar with play pens, they were simple mesh sided squares with hard bottoms to keep your child in. Pack n’ plays have come a long way. You will have options of included diaper storage areas, mobiles, changing pads, music, and bassinet inserts. These accessories are usually all removable so you can use the basic pack n’ play option as well.
Safety – No one wants to put their child in something that isn’t safe. Pack n’ Plays are federally regulated for safety and it is important to always check for recalls before purchasing. You will also want to register your pack and play when you buy it so you can be notified of any future recalls. Make sure you are using the appropriate product for your child’s size.
10 Safest And Best Pack ‘N Play Playards
With so many options on the market it is can be tough to find the right one. Here are ten of the top rated pack and plays available:
Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard
This pack ‘n play is basic and simple. If you want an easy to fold, take and use pack and play this is the one for you. It packs away easily into a carrying bag and while it is a no frills style, it does include a padded bottom for more comfort.
This unit is sturdy and extremely difficult to tip due to a low center of gravity. Whether you need a safe spot for your sleeping infant or a place to contain in active toddler, from a safety standpoint this is a great pack n’ play.
Graco Pack ‘n Play On The Go Playard Stratus
This pack ‘n play is highly reviewed online. It comes with an optional bassinet for children under 15 pounds who are not yet pushing up on their hands and knees. The bassinet option makes it very easy to pick up, lay down, and change your infant.
This is a durable product that is easy to keep clean. With wheels on the bottom it is easy to transport from room to room. Graco is a trusted brand among baby products, working to keep your child safe.
Baby Trend Deluxe Nursery Center, Hudson
This pack n’ play includes all the bells and whistles. It has a great one-handed locking feature to ensure your child’s safety. With a bassinet, mobile, docking station to play music and shade cover your baby is sure to love the Baby Trend Deluxe Nursery Center.
One of the most convenient features for new parents is the flip over changing station. When you need to change your infant you just flip the changing station over the bassinet bottom and when you are finished you can flip it back over the side to allow your child to nap.
This pack n’ play is a little heavier than the first two options we covered because of all the extras. But, as the name says, it is a complete nursery center and great for new parents, child care givers and grandparents to use.
Cosco Funsport Play Yard, Posey Pop
This pack n’ play is simple and compact. It is a great option for small places. With 4 mesh sides the air circulation is good, keeping your little one safe. Side locks provide the confidence you need that this pack n’ play will not collapse while in use. With the more compact size, this is a great option for travelling.
Evenflo Portable Babysuite Deluxe Playard, Marianna
If you are looking for a pack and play that is lightweight and easy to carry but still features all the extras, this is a great option for you. At only 20 pounds this pack and play is easily portable but provides all the comforts you are looking for when caring for baby. It comes complete with bassinet, changing station, diaper storage and mobile.
The padded bassinet mat is multi purpose and can be removed and used on the floor as a play mat. One of my favorite features is that the bassinet zip in place to ensure the safety of your infant. This pack and play is an easy way to travel with everything you need for baby.
Summer Infant Grow with Me Playard and Changer
This pack n’ play is sturdy enough to grow with your child. The bassinet feature allows your newborn to sleep comfortably, and is easily removable when your child is over 15 pounds. The changing station safely holds up to 25 pounds making it a great place for diaper changes through the first year for many babies.
With a parent tray attached to the side it helps parents keep their baby safe by not needing to leave the area for even a moment to track down a diaper or wipes.
Safety 1st Sweet Wonder Play Yard
This is another great option that comes with many extra features. You have access to everything you need in a crib, changing table and play mat all rolled up into one.
The material is easy to clean and the mesh sides allow parents to easily check on their child even from a distance. This unit setup easily and comes with Safety 1st indicators so you can trust your child is safe.
Disney Sweet Wonder Play Yard, Garden Delight Minnie
You can trust this pack n’ play to keep your infant safe since it is made by Safety 1st, a highly reviewed baby product company. They use a locking mechanism to keep the pack and play setup, sturdy and in place. With an included bassinet, changing table, and storage compartments this pack n’ play will meet all your needs.
Fisher-Price Ultra-Lite Day And Night Play Yard
This pack n’ play’s base mat sits directly on the ground, which provides ultimate safety in not tipping. The bassinet attachment is actually an including sleeping spot that includes a 3 point harness to keep your child in place.
With a head rest support this is a great option for a newborn, and the insert can be removed for older infants and toddlers to sleep and play. This unit includes a diaper storage area and the whole thing is about half the weight of similar units.
Delta Children 36″ x 36″ Playard, Novel Ideas
This pack n’ play is a throw back to playpens with the retro build. It is larger than many pack n’ plays and is shaped as a square instead of a rectangle. Due to the larger size this unit is heavier than many others.
While the extra weight can make it slightly more difficult to carry, it also makes it more durable with rambunctious babies and toddlers. This pack n’ play does not come with a bassinet or changing table, but is a great space to keep older babies safe.
With mesh sides on all 4 sides parents can easily keep an eye on their child.
The important thing to remember with pack n’ plays is they are not all created equal. Determine what needs you want your pack n’ play to meet and then use that as your starting point.