How long can baby sleep in a Pack ‘n Play?

Are you planning to use a Pack ‘n Play for your baby? Then you have to be familiar with the basics, like how to use it safely, when your baby can start sleeping in it, and last but not least, how long can your baby sleep in a Pack ‘n Play.

Pack ‘n Plays can be used for quite a long time!

Being relatively affordable and very versatile, a Pack ‘n Play is one of the best-selling pieces of baby equipment. Many can not imagine life without one! Consequently, they hope their child can use a Pack ‘n Play for as long as possible.

So, if I refer to your original question on how long your baby can sleep in a Pack ‘n Play, the answer is until she becomes a toddler. The start of use varies from model to model. But you can use virtually any Pack’ n Play all the way to toddlerhood. Only then do the limitations come to the fore.

Pack ‘n Play Definition

A Pack ‘n Play (also called a Playard) is a portable sleeping and playing area that you can use at home or take with you anywhere you go. Pack ‘n Plays’ characteristic features are their lightweight aluminum or plastic frame surrounded by mesh and the ability to fold away and store in a convenient traveling bag.

Its use is incredibly versatile. You can use it as a crib substitute, a place for napping and playing, sleepovers, traveling, or camping.

The size and shape of a Pack ‘n Play are not standardized, meaning they can be in various sizes and shapes. For instance, you can opt for a lightweight Pack ‘n Play intended primarily for travel or a Pack ‘n Play nursery station with numerous accessories, such as changing table, storage pockets, napper, newborn bassinet, etc.

Therefore, their weight and height limit is not the same, but most of them fall in the Pack ‘n Plays group with: 

  • weight limit of 30 pounds
  • height limit of 35 inches
Care station Playard vs. Traditional Pack 'n Play vs. Lightweight travel crib

RELATED: Best Pack ‘n Plays under $100

Is Pack ‘n Play a safe sleeping place?

A Pack ‘n Play is a safe place to sleep, as long as you follow the safe sleep recommendations. Your baby can safely use it even for everyday use! After all, today’s Pack’ n Plays undergo several tests to meet all required safety standards!

I will list some of the main points related to Playard safety, but you can find more about this topic at the following links:

Tips for using Pack ‘n Play safely:

How long can a baby sleep in a Pack ‘n Play?

The government hasn’t standardized the Playard’s dimensions yet. For now, Pack ‘n Plays can vary in size and shape, which can make the length of their use very different.

Nevertheless, most of them fall in the group of Pack ‘n Plays that are around 40″ long and 28″ width and have about the same height, meaning they have pretty much the same size and weight restrictions as well.

Children can use most Pack ‘n Plays until they reach about 30 pounds, 35 inches in height, or can climb out from the unit, whichever comes first! Because they grow differently, this will be somewhere between 2 and 3 years of age.

As you see, usage restrictions occur only after the child’s first year, so your baby can use any Pack ‘n Play for the entire first year of her life.

Only later, when your toddler becomes more active and agile, you’ll need to track how long he can still safely use his Pack ’n Play. While your toddler does not weigh 30 pounds yet, he might be too tall to lay comfortable in the Playard. Some toddlers are also stronger than others, so they can pull out from the Pack ‘n Play before reaching the weight or size limit.

So, observe how your kid reacts inside the Pack ‘n Play to determine whether it is still appropriate for him.

How long can baby sleep in a Pack ‘n Play bassinet?

Many Pack ‘n Plays come with a bassinet insert, making parents wonder how long their infant can use this accessory.

Note! I’m talking about the full-size bassinet hanging inside the Pack ’n Play, not the newborn bassinet that clips on the top and stands above the unit.

The weight limit for Pack ‘n Play bassinets is 15 pounds. However, stop using the bassinet immediately to prevent falls if your baby begins to push up on her hands and knees before reaching the weight limit. Many specialists recommend using the Pack ‘n Play full-size bassinet until the baby’s 12 to 13 pounds anyway!

Generally, most infants outgrow Pack ‘n Play bassinets by the time they are 3 or 4 months old.

Best Graco Pack and Play with bassinet

Take away

Your baby can use most Pack ‘n Plays pretty long!

Most are classified as suitable for newborns. However, although it is considered safe, I wouldn’t use the Pack ‘n Play without a bassinet for a newborn. Why? Because I don’t feel comfortable placing a newborn on the Pack ‘n Play’s bottom.

If using a bassinet, stop using it when your newborn starts pushing up or rolling around! If that won’t happen so soon, it is best to transfer her into a Pack ‘n Play’s bottom when she reaches 13 pounds.

And for the Pack ‘n Play itself … you should stop using them when your child reaches 35 inches (89 cm) in height, weighs more than 30 pounds (14 kg), or is able to climb out. Whichever comes first!

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