What is a pack and play?
Pack-n-play’s, also often called travel yards, are becoming popular with new parents as an option for their baby when it comes to bedtime. This is not only true for newborns, but also, as your baby gets older. How do pack-n-plays measure up for long term use and would it be a good idea for your family? Most pack-n-plays come with a bassinet option and come with a changing table, making the pack-n-play an excellent multi-functional piece of baby furniture. It is nice because at night diapers, wipes and a place to change baby is right there and at hand at 3 am. However, the use of pack-n-plays for sleeping doesn’t have to end when your baby outgrows the bassinet or learning how to sit up. Many people have chosen to skip over the whole idea of a crib, and use a pack-n-play as their child’s bed for the first year and beyond. This is an idea with many benefits included.
Finding a pack n play that has a bassinet and changing table insert can be incredibly beneficial. There are many pack n plays that offer a bassinet that will cover the entire length and width of the play yard. This is an excellent choice since it reduces the likelihood that your child will fall into the playard. However, a baby could still fall outside of the playard so make sure to discontinue use of the bassinet when your baby is old enough to push up on their hands and knees.
Play: Many times while at home or on the road you need a safe place to put your baby for a few minutes while you have to do something that puts you in a position where you can not keep your eyes on him. The pack-n-play can easily double as a playpen for your baby or a time-out area for you. Your baby can’t get out and can easily be entertained for a while with a few of his favorite toys.
Pack and plays are meant to be easily transported, but some do a better job of that than others. Many roll on wheels, and when they’re folded up, they wrap up in their totes, or sometimes the mattress provided works as a tote. Models that fit in a travel bag with the wheels expose are much easier to move through busy places so you can pull behind you. Otherwise, you are required to carry it. Size and weight are important considerations when it comes to portability. The basic models will be easier and lighter to transport than the premium models that are loaded with extras.
Purchasing a pack n play with a removable changing station adds even extra convenience, and usually they are designed to attach to the longer top rail. You will then have to remove it to get it out of the way. Some other models will have the changing station solely resting on the edges, and they can be easily flipped over to hang on the outer side of the play area. Some say that it is safer to have a removable changing station so that your child cannot reach it. Also, make sure the station has to be manually locked in with a button, snap, click, etc., as opposed to simply resting on a frame.
Storage: Some models of pack n play provide storage for toys and other baby things in the form of zippered side pockets, hook-on fabric storage pouches, or clip-on organization bags. It’s not entirely necessary to have this feature, but it can be helpful to many parents. Be sure that you find a model that has storage large enough to hold what you need to carry with you. Storage pockets should be attached and definitely, should connect to the outside of the play area, out of baby’s reach.
Owning a pack n play is a convenient and safe way to provide your child with a fun play area that keeps them nearby at all times. Let’s face it; you’d love to pay attention to your child at all times, but it’s simply not possible. You need to do some jobs around the house, all while keeping your child entertained and cozy. Also, if you happen to travel frequently, then you know that it’s great to have a special area for your baby that can move with you on the go. Pack n plays are designed to add convenience and peace of mind to your life, all while entertaining your sweet baby and developing their critical motor skills.