by Robert Fox
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.
Today's post is all about these amazing baby cribs that will let your baby comfortably play, sleep, and even eat in them. So, without further ado, here's what we are going to talk about today:
We start by explaining the key factors you need to consider when buying a pack n' play.
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.
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.
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.
Next, we move on to the reviews.
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:
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.
This unit also has a removable full-size bassinet ad a removable diaper stacker for your baby's essentials.
This amazing gender neutral play yard is perfect for any home or nursery setting. You and your baby will definitely love it!
On to the next one…
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.
The unit has plenty of space for your child to rest or play. There is also a toy arch with interesting and adorable toys that will keep your child entertained.
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.
It can be easily unfolded and confidently set up thanks to the indicators that show when it is locked in place and ready to use.
This unit also has a diaper changer that is incredibly easy to remove and clean.
The deluxe organizer will let you keep your baby's necessities nicely stored within your reach. It is also worth mentioning that the top shelf holds a large wipes container. You don't need to worry about where to store all those wipes.
Graco is a trusted brand among baby products, working to keep your child safe. Another great thing about this play yard is that it includes a one-year limited warranty.
To find out more about this play yard watch the video below:
The next one on the list is the Baby Trend Deluxe…
The Baby Trend Deluxe Nursery Center is a reliable, multi-purpose, gender neutral play yard that will function as a sleep are, play area, and a changing table for your baby..
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.
Here is the list of all the features this play yard has:
As the name says, it is a complete nursery center and great for new parents, child care givers and grandparents to use. Thanks to all its features, both you and your baby will absolutely love this play yard.
Moving on to the next one…
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.
The four mes sided with padded floor not only keep your baby safe but also let the baby see what's happening around her.
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.
This pack n' play is incredibly easy to assemble and disassemble. It will literally take you less than a minute to have it ready for your baby.
The play yard folds compactly into included carry bag for travel. Wheels on one end will let you easily move the play yard around the room.
Another great thing about this pack n' play is its small size when disassembled. You can store it almost anywhere when not in use.
On to the next one…
Featuring a newborn changer, infant bassinet, and full-size play yard, the Summer Infant Swingin' Safari Grow is designed to grow with your baby. The bassinet feature allows your newborn to sleep comfortably, and is easily removable when your child is over 15 pounds.
The neutral fashion design will ideally compliment any nursery or home.
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.
The changing station safely holds up to 25 pounds making it a great place for diaper changes through the first year for many babies.
Th unit also features a removable toy bar with 3 plush toys that will help keep your baby entertained.
The play yard also has 2 wheels on one side, making it move from room to room incredibly easy.
On to the next one…
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 unit is very spacious and offers plenty of space for your baby to play and rest. Your baby will always be entertained thanks to the toy arch with 2 adorable plays.
The material is easy to clean and the mesh sides allow parents to easily check on their child even from a distance.
The deluxe organizer keeps baby's necessities easily within reach. You don't have to worry about where to store your wipes and diapers.
This unit setup easily and comes with Safety 1st indicators so you can trust your child is safe.
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. You and your baby will definitely love it!
Next, we review Fisher-price ultra-lite play yard…
This pack n' play's base mat sits directly on the ground, which provides ultimate safety in not tipping.
This travel play yard has a bassinet and changing pad included along with a handy travel bag that fits the entire unit easily. Thanks to the travel bag, you can take the unit with you no matter where you go.
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. Thanks to its weight of only 17.5 lbs, it is excellent for travelling.
The play yard is relatively easy to open and close. It nicely fits in the travel bag, without a struggle.
The folded product measures 22.4″H x 26.5″L x 7.2″W which is larger than a lot of the competition.
Next on the list is Delta children play yard…
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 play yard features a frame measuring 36″ x 36″ for extra play space for your baby. It is made of fun, bright, multi-color fabric that will add some colors to your home.
The high-quality fabric and metal frame make it lightweight, yet sturdy and safe.
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.
Last but not least the Lotus travel crib…
The Lotus Travel Crib is a reliable, ultra-light and compact baby crib that will make your travelings with your baby a lot easier.
It comes with a compact and light backpack carrying case that will let you take the crib almost anywhere. It is so compact that you can even take it with you as a cabbing luggage during your flights.
This makes it one of the most portable and versatile play yards available.
It is also worth mentioning that assembly and disassembly of this crib is pretty much straightforward. It takes less than 15 seconds to have it set up.
Its mesh sides which allow complete airflow and clear view of a child.
When it comes to quality, the Lotus is right at the top of its game. All of the materials used in this crib are very high quality. There are absolutely no harmful chemicals used in the making of the crib.
The Lotus is the only play yard which received the Greenguard Gold certification, meaning it has been completely tested to ensure it is free from chemical emissions.
This play yard is definitely one of the best play yards available. It is reasonably priced and an excellent option for parents who are social and travel a lot.
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.
About Robert Fox
Rob Fox is a former hydro worker, who used to teach self defence in Miami for 10 years. His hobbies include cribbage, golf, locksmithing, and cooking.