Do I need a Pack and Play?

Last Updated on May 27, 2021 by Ines

No, you do not need a Pack and Play. You and your baby are going to be just fine without it! But it will help. It will help a lot!

Do you really need a Pack and Play?

Although very useful, a Pack ‘N Play is not a piece of necessary baby equipment, so you do not need it. However, it is so versatile and easy to use that many parents do not imagine life without it anymore. I have to say that I am one of them!

Yes, the Pack ‘N Play’s features are replaceable with other baby equipment, but in some cases, I recommend you think about it anyway.

If you don’t travel a lot, then you do not need it. And on the contrary, if you travel a lot, visit others, or like to have your baby close to you, but not in your hands all the time, then a Pack ‘N Play is a good buy!


Why do you NOT need a Pack ‘N Play?

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends a crib, Pack ‘N Play, and bassinet as the safest sleeping place for your baby.

But, although a Pack ‘N Play is excellent for occasional sleepovers and afternoon naps, I would not use it for everyday sleep. In my opinion, it just can not replace a regular crib.

I must point out that a Pack ‘N Play, which has passed all safety tests and is used according to the instructions, is safe and suitable for a baby. However, to be safe, you can only use the mattress that comes with the Pack ‘N Play, which in my opinion, can’t compete with the crib mattress. The crib is also a sturdier and more durable choice.

Cosco Funsport Pack 'N Play

So, you do not need a Pack ‘N Play instead of the crib. However, the Pack ‘N Play has many features that might come in handy. It is a safe place to play, nap, or sleepover in a grandparents’ home. And most of all, you can take it with you wherever you go!


Do you need a Pack ‘N Play for a newborn?

Again, you do not need it, but in my opinion, it is a better choice than a newborn bassinet. Most Pack and Plays come with a full-size bassinet that is a safe substitute for a classic bassinet.

Yes, newborn bassinets are cute, but they last only up to 6 months. So, why wouldn’t you choose a Pack ‘N Play instead of a classic bassinet? Not only that it costs less, but you can also use it longer. My argument, therefore, relates primarily to the economic aspect.

Pack ‘N Play as a care station

Some Pack ‘N Plays offers everything you need from a child’s infancy through toddler age, so many call them Care Station Playards.

Besides a safe sleeping place and play area, such models possess at least a few or even all of the following features:

  • full-size bassinet for a newborn
  • newborn napper
  • portable bouncer
  • soothing devices, like crib mobiles and musical boxes
  • wheels for easy moving around the house
  • changing table
  • storage units
  • one pull folding mechanism
  • carrying bag, backpack, or a suitcase for taking it with you wherever you go
Best Graco Playard carestation
Graco Playard Nearby Napper with Portable Infant Bassinet

As you can see, a quality Pack ‘N Play can substitute lots of nursery furniture. And the best part, most of them are really affordable!

If you are interested in such Playard, but you do not want to spend a lot of money, I suggest you take a look at Graco’s models. Yes, they might not fold up as quickly as 4moms Breeze or Lotus crib. You will also need a little more time to squeeze them back into the carrying bag. But for the price, you are paying, that’s neglectable.

4moms Breeze Playard review - Specifications
4moms Breeze Playard

When do you need a Pack ‘N Play?

I think you need it for traveling with a baby. I find it very useful! Having it, my baby can sleep in a familiar place, making our night away a lot better.

Our Pack ‘N Play also spared me worrying about having a proper and safe bed for my baby at the hotel. We have an ultra-light Babybjorn travel crib light for traveling by plane and a Graco’s Care Station when we are on vacation closer to home.

BabyBjorn travel crib Review - Specifications
BabyBjorn travel crib Light

Of course, you do not need two Pack ‘N Plays, because you can travel with all of them.

All models have an included carrying bag and can be set up and fold down more or less hassle-free. However, due to the difference in weight, different bag designs, and sizes of the collapsed units, some are more suitable for carrying around than others.

While the lightest Pack ‘N Plays weigh only 13lbs, some traditional models can weigh even 30lbs and more. That’s a big difference!


So, for the conclusion. You don’t need a Pack ‘N Play, but it’s helpful! You can use it in so many ways and for so long that it is absolutely worth your money!

If you want to know more about Pack ‘N Plays, feel free to ask it below or find your answer in our articles about Pack ‘N Plays.

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