For parents, and especially the ones who stay mobile, a pack n play is a godsent product. It lets you take your time to relax while being able to keep an eye on the little one — no matter where you are.
It is advised that newborns sleep in the same room as their parents. Transitioning from this habit to sleeping on their own may take some effort and time.
You may be wondering what to do meanwhile, and can a pack and play be used as a crib for the transition and later on? Let’s help you figure out all the facts to make an easier decision.
What Is a Pack ‘N Play?
Pack ‘n plays are also known as playpens. It is basically a portable sleeper that can also be used as a playard. Most pack ‘n plays come with a diaper changing station too. So, a pack ‘n play is considered a 3-in-1 asset.
Pack ‘n play is great when you need to work while keeping an eye on your baby. You need not worry about them crawling around and about — they can comfortably sleep or play in their pack ‘n play station.
Pack ‘n play helps them learn how to entertain themselves and learn to not need/want you at all times. Not only for such daytime activities, but these playpens can also be great for extended nighttime sleeping in your room or when you have to go over to some other place.
Difference between Crib and Pack ‘N Play
Cribs have been traditionally used as a sleeping arrangement for babies all over the world for years. Cribs are more of a heavy, permanent fixture.
It is not easy to move it from room to room – let alone carry a crib for convenience. Cribs usually cost high, and they last long enough to get your money’s worth. Cribs are more spacious and have more room for babies to grow into.
On the other hand, pack ‘n plays are lightweight and a little smaller compared to cribs. Some/most come with wheels at the bottom, so it is easier to move them from room to room per convenience. Because of their size and weight, they are perfect for travel. However, since it is lightweight, it is not as long-lasting as a traditional crib.
These can open up and double as a playing area for the babies. Some playards come with a bassinet too, which can be tripled as a changing station. Playards cost way less than cribs, hence it is definitely worth the money you spend. These products are foldable, and as they are lightweight — unlike cribs, they are easily portable.
Who Can Use Pack ‘N Play?
Who Can Use It: From one company to other- it is advised that pack ‘n plays can be used for toddlers up to 2-3years old. Alternatively, babies can use these up until they weigh around 30 pounds or 30-35 inches in height. It is crucial that these instructions are followed- otherwise, it can hamper the baby’s growth drastically.
How to Use a Pack ‘N Play
Put the compact pack ‘n play on the ground, so the wheels are at the bottom. Open the straps and separate the soft pad. Pull the legs apart to set them in place. Extend the bars of each leg, so they are at the same height level, and make sure they’ve set securely when they make clicking sounds.
Place the center crib and press it down the middle to secure it evenly. Now take the soft pad and place it back inside, securing with the (Velcro) tab. Make sure everything is tightly secured and at even height. Your pack ‘n play assemble should be done for your baby is ready to enjoy.
Reasons to Use Consider Pack ‘N Play Instead of Cribs
Pack ’n plays can be a great alternate to cribs for a lot of reasons. Let’s discuss why you may want to consider using it instead of traditional cribs:
Accommodation of Space
Pack ‘n plays take up way less space than any regular (full) sized crib. If you live in a small house or apartment, or if your rooms are simply small – a pack ‘n play would be perfect for you. Even if you are thinking of getting the baby to sleep separately in your room, it is also convenient because of how little space it takes up.
The biggest advantage of a pack ‘n play is its portability. These products are foldable and lightweight – you can fold them to fit in your car easily and set them up whenever you need them.
You can carry your baby in a pack ‘n play anywhere you go easily. This gives your baby to have their nap and playtime in a known sleeping environment.
Moreover, you may have to go over to friends’ and families’ houses for a couple of days who do not have a crib- carrying this sleeper will be helpful in that case. Not only that, you carry your baby to the beach or park in it easily. This gives you the option to stay mobile without having much to worry about. Transitioning
After spending so long curled up in a mother’s warm womb, or perhaps even sleeping with parents for the first few weeks – many babies tend to struggle with sleeping problems.
As their cribs are so much bigger, the environment may seem foreign to them, which hampers their sleep and eventually growth. A pack ‘n play is better than a crib for babies who like to be tucked in a familiar environment.
It is also notable that most babies may struggle to sleep in their own nursery in a crib away from their parents. Transitioning from sleeping with parents to sleeping on their own can be fearsome.
If the baby uses pack ‘n play for nighttime sleep, you can carry them in it to your room whenever they get fussy, or you feel like it. In these cases of transition, a pack ‘n play is extremely helpful.
Your baby needs to know and learn that their caretakers may not be able to tend to them at every waking moment. They need to know how to entertain themselves— how to play and fall asleep by themselves. A pack ‘n play gives you and your baby the perfect opportunity to do that.
This carrier lets you go about your chores while keeping an eye on your baby from a distance. You can finish your chores around the house and carry the pack ‘n play with you. Set it up somewhere in the room and finish your work; while not having to worry that they might crawl out of sight, fall, or hurt themselves.
A pack ‘n play is definitely built as safe as it can get. Still, there are some safety measurements you can take.
Firstly, do check upon buying if there are any loose parts. Secondly, every time you assemble your pack ‘n play, make sure every bolt is tight and secure. Do not try to change the surface blanket to make it more comfortable – it may loosen up and come apart when the baby is playing or rolling.
Try not to add any extra blanket or too many stuffed toys to it. As it is a small space, these may end up constraining the space and cause suffocation accidents. Follow the assembling and cleaning instructions that come with the product as thoroughly as you can.
As most pack ‘n plays are designed to come with a bassinet attachment, you can use it as a changing station as well. But do make sure to be careful enough to not use it for unsupervised nap time or playtime.
Certainly, there are no alternates to cribs if you are looking for a permanent sleeping arrangement.
However, since you are wondering, can a pack and play be used as a crib – the answer is yes. It adds some extra handy features to those of a crib while missing a few.
What kind of features work best for you or you are looking for should determine if you want a traditional crib or want a pack ‘n play instead. We hope this article has given you some helpful insights – and now you can make the best decisions for your little one!