What Is A Pack N Play?
The Pack ‘N’ Play product is a crib-come-play area constructed by several different brands, Graco being the main one across the US.
These products are easily portable, foldable, and safe for your baby to both sleep and play in throughout the day.
The cribs have mesh sides, allowing for excellent airflow while your baby is sleeping, and come equipped with different attachments to give you a whole baby care solution in one.
The Pack ‘N’ Play structure’s crib section comes away to reveal a safe play area underneath. You’re also able to attach mobiles and other toys to the sides of the playpen underneath to keep your baby safe and happy while you’re busy.
The upper section above the crib even comes with a changing mat base so you can change your baby while you’re out visiting other people too.
The Pack ‘N’ Play set is designed to be a convenient way to travel with your baby and is completely safe for your baby to sleep in.
So can a baby sleep in a Pack N Play? Yes, babies can sleep in a Pack N Play, but you should follow some measures before going ahead with the idea.
At What Age Can Babies Sleep In Pack N Play?
Your baby can sleep in a Pack ‘N’ Play when they’re young quite comfortably. If your Pack ‘N’ Play set comes with a bassinet, then you can use this until they reach around 13-14 pounds.
Because of the way the bassinet is suspended between the walls of the playpen, it can be dangerous to put a baby heavier than this in. Depending on their size, it may also be quite uncomfortable for them as they grow older.
If you remove the bassinet when your baby gets a little older, you may also have a crib attachment which fits over the whole area, providing more space for your baby to grow.
The crib attachment is built to hold more weight, and it’s safe to let your baby sleep here until they’re around 30 pounds in weight, which could be anywhere between 12 and 24 months of age.
You shouldn’t let a baby of over 24 months sleep in a Pack ‘N’ Play as it could be dangerous if it doesn’t support their weight. They may also be large enough to start climbing over the sides.
How Long Can Babies Sleep In Pack N Play?
Babies will sleep in a Pack ‘N’ Play crib in precisely the same way as they do in a static crib.
So, you’re OK to leave them overnight as long as you’re confident that your crib has been built by the manufacturer’s specifications and you’ve checked it’s sturdy enough.
An entire 8-hour sleep session shouldn’t be a problem.
However, the amount of sleep that your baby gets in the Pack ‘N’ Play is more to do with the environment around them.
You’re most likely to use a ‘Pack ‘N’ Play kit when you’re traveling, staying in a hotel, or at someone else’s house. The unfamiliar surroundings may mean that it takes your baby longer to fall asleep.
A brand-new Pack ‘N’ Play set will also have a different smell and feel to the places that your baby is used to. It may take them a while to feel safe enough to drop off to sleep in the new crib.
Is It Safe For A Baby To Sleep In A Pack N Play?
Pack ‘N’ Play equipment is entirely safe for portable use. However, there are some concerns about the way in which parents are using it against advised instructions, which could cause some health concerns.
You should only provide the light bedding that the Pack ‘N’ Play set comes with when your baby is sleeping in there.
One of the biggest causes of cot death when using a portable crib is because the parents have placed thicker mattresses, quilts, or longer blankets in the crib that it wasn’t made for.
The mattress and sleep equipment that comes with a Pack ‘N’ Play kit is suited explicitly for comfortable sleeping in that area. Putting more bedding in could cause your baby to move awkwardly and pull the covers above their head.
Building The Structure
You’ll need to ensure the structure is built firmly to the manufacturer’s specifications. Check that the structure is sound and solid before placing your baby inside.
If the structure is built incorrectly or modified in any way, it could cause your baby to catch themselves on loose edges resulting in injury – or the whole structure may even collapse, trapping your baby inside.
Ensure your baby isn’t wearing loose-fitting wool clothing. If any rivets are sticking out that you haven’t noticed, the material could easily get caught and cause injury or even strangulation.
The sides of most Pack ‘N’ Play structures are made of mesh, specifically to allow air to flow through the crib and playpen.
However, if you let your baby sleep in the crib, with one side folded down, the material edges will double over, removing the mesh’s benefit and potentially causing a suffocation hazard.
Pack ‘N’ Play structures are only made for one child at a time. If you have more than one, you will need a different crib for each. This is because:
- Two children’s weight could be too much to maintain the cribs integrity – meaning it’ll fall down.
- Even if your babys’ combined weight is less than 30 pounds, your babies may end up rolling into each other in the confined space, crushing each other, or pulling blankets, causing suffocation hazards.
Make sure you have an up-to-date model. Some older models aren’t as structurally sound, and the mechanisms can deteriorate over time. Remember that they aren’t as well built as a normal, stationary crib.
It’s best to get a new Pack ‘N’ Play structure if you have a new baby, rather than repurposing one from someone else or from a previous baby.
Can Babies Sleep In Pack N Play Every Night?
Although a Pack ‘N’ Play set is equipped for sleeping, your baby should have a proper crib that gives them a little more space to move around as they grow.
A Pack ‘N’ Play crib will only be suitable until your baby reaches 30 pounds, but a crib will be needed for much longer than this.
Although a Pack ‘N’ Play set should be completely fine for a whole night’s sleep, it’d be best to have a more permanent crib that accommodates their needs for longer.
It’s also less hassle for you having to rebuild the Pack ‘N’ Play in the house every time you take it elsewhere.
Can Newborns Sleep In A Pack N Play?
Yes, newborns can sleep in Pack ‘N’ Play. In fact, there are bassinet attachments that come specifically equipped for this.
The bassinet is ideal for attaching to the top of your Pack ‘N’ Play area during the early days of breastfeeding, when you’ll want to be as close to your baby as possible.
It allows you to be close enough to your baby to see them turning, crying, or becoming uncomfortable and helps you to develop your bond, but it still provides the safe barrier so that they can’t fall out of bed and so that you can’t roll on them.
Pack ‘N’ Play kits are an essential part of every new parents’ armory.
They allow for flexibility when traveling, closeness with your newborn, and you can be confident that your baby is safe if you ensure that you build your structure soundly and replace it when it gets a little old.