So, you’ve got a baby on the way and you are wondering what all that you are going to need. Is that nursery stocked with diapers? Check! Enough baby powder to make it look like an explosion at a bakery (if you wanted that for some reason)? Check! When it gets down to the most iconic item, however, baby’s sleeping place, this is where it gets really hard to choose. Do you go with a fancy crib or what about something with a little utility to it? Let’s discuss the differences between a Pack ‘n Play vs your average, run-of-the-mill crib.
A crib or a Pack and Play
It is really sort of a trick question. A Pack and Play vs. a Crib results in… well, it’s unfair, really. A Pack and Play IS a crib, with a little more functionality. You might find a crib an advantage for its size if you are looking for a larger place for baby to sleep but beyond this… well, if serving only one function is fine then the crib won’t let you down. That said, if you are looking for a crib that can also act as a playpen and can do other things (like some models can be used from newborn, to infant, to toddler, function as a changing station, and more) then a Pack and Play is certainly going to be of interest to you.
Is a Pack and Play comfortable as a crib?
Most definitely. As mentioned before, size is the biggest factor. Cribs some in many sizes but typically you go with the larger one. A Pack and Play is designed to fold up and go with you wherever you like. In an ideal situation you could have both, one stationary crib in the baby’s room and one Pack ‘n Play crib for those ‘on the go’ times or even just as a sleeping and playing space you can roll around the house to convenient spots. Let’s take a look at some examples and we will show you what we are talking about!
Pack and Play On The Go – Pasadena
This is one of the most basic models. You can use it as a changing station with the provided pas and special fabrics in the Pack N Play are designed for easy washing. The bassinet is removable, so you can pull it out and simply use this component when convenient, or take advantage of the mesh-lined play space on the inside. It’s not their fanciest model but it gives you a bit of mobility and extra functionality in the bargain! At around $60 retail this definitely won’t break the bank.
Pack and Play Care Suite – Maxton
The Maxton is our second model to demonstrate the Pack and Play. This one is designed to transition from newborn to toddler. The removable bassinet features a canopy to shade baby from the light and there is a separate changing station as well in this model. Oh, did we mention? There are also some plush hanging toys in the canopy. It’s a nice little touch for when baby is not yet sleeping in the Pack and Play. The Maxton also comes with a little bit of storage space for toys, changing supplies, or whatever else you see fit to put there and removal of the bassinet and changing space gives you a small play area for the child. This model goes for around $110 retail so it’s a pretty good little bargain for what you are getting.
” Like the previous model, this is designed to grow with your child.”
Pack and Play Playard Snuggle Suite LX – Abbington
This is one of the deluxe models and it has some great features to go with it. This model has a separate changer and a canopied bassinet like the previous, as well as the storage space (more of an organizer in this model), but also a few extras. The infant seat can also double as a bouncer, for keeping a child of up to 18 pounds amused while you get some work done at your desk or around the house. The changing station on this model is rated for up to 30 pounds, so it is nice and solid, but there is another feature that we like on this more.
This one plays music to put baby to sleep! The baby chair also vibrates, if you like, which can definitely help to soothe a grumpy little one. Aside from the music (which your child will love), there is a small light for checking in when baby is sleeping in the pack ‘n play and it’s dark. Like the previous model, this is designed to grow with your child, so while it goes for around $220 retail you will get a lot of use out of it. With baby supplies, that counts for a lot!
Is a Pack and Play a decent replacement for a crib then?
If you don’t have a lot of space at home then as a crib the Pack and Play is a great solution. That said, if you can do BOTH, that is optimal. Have a set crib for your baby’s room and use the Pack and Play around the house or when you travel with baby. A crib provides a lot of sleeping space but isn’t exactly portable, so the Pack and Play can help keep baby in sight while you are moving about the house.
Some final words
Whether you go with a crib or a Pack and Play (or both), we encourage you to read the online reviews for the products to make sure that you know what you are getting and to see what other parents have thought about the product. There is no substitution for experience, after all. Parents just like you are sharing their experiences in everything from assembly to everyday function with this items, so take advantage of this! Finally, if you like what you purchased, share your own experiences.
We parents have got to stick together!