What are pack-and-play's used for? — The Bump
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What are pack-and-play's used for?

Dear Parents,

First time mommy here! My husband and I are making a list of what we really need for baby, and today we were glancing at pack-n-play type portable playyards in the store.  They seem so big and pricey, but I know lots of parents swear by them. I hope this isn't a dumb question...what do you usually use pack-n'play's for? Are they useful to have? Does size matter, and at the end of the day, are they something you can't live without for the first few years? Or are they just nice to have? I know that they are used for sleeping and playing in obviously, but how often did/ do you use them with your baby or young child? I know its a silly question but husband and I are totally new to this whole baby world! :blush: 

Thanks, Grace 

Re: What are pack-and-play's used for?

  • Depends on your lifestyle. If you travel a lot it's a good thing to have so baby has a portable place to sleep. My baby will be sleeping in a pack n play exclusively until after we move and can get a nursery set up. If you don't ever travel overnight or are inventive enough to figure something else out to make do in the future, then skip it. You can always buy one later if you find you need one.
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  • Both my kids used the pack n play to sleep in until about 3 or 4 months. It's nice to have it set up in the living room as a place for baby to nap during the day, especially if the nursery is on a different floor. And once they become mobile, it's nice to have somewhere to put them to play while you run to the bathroom or make dinner. It's not a necessity but it was definitely useful.
  • Loading the player...
  • They are great for naps.  Great if you have two levels in your home and want somewhere close to where you spend a majority of your time to place them.  Great for play time.  If you just need two seconds to pee, start dinner, vacuum, sit for two seconds, etc.  Could you do without one? Sure you can do without 96% of the stuff that is on the market.  Does it make your life easier and come in handy more than you could imagine. Yes. You don't need to best of the best here, personally I didn't even use my attached changer part.  The simple just pack n plays are relatively reasonable.  

  • I had them for both of my children, but both times we ended up using them as glorified toy storage bins. As others said, I think their usefulness depends a lot on your situation. Our house is small, so we didn't really need a satellite sleeping area, and when we travelled, the pack-n-play just seemed cumbersome to tote aong, so instead we just had the babies sleep in bed with us. I know some parents also use them as playpens as their babies get a little bigger but I just let mine destroy the house instead ;)
  • VORVOR member
    I loved ours.  We used it almost 100% the first 2 weeks we were home.  One of us basically lived in the living room w/ DS.  Then, as said, it was nice to have a place to put DS when I needed to go do something, or if I wanted to put him down for a nap but have him near by.  Our house at the time was a steep, narrow row home so it was nice to not HAVE to go upstairs.  We used it as his changing station too.

    Then, we traveled a fair amount and it was easy to tak ewith us. 

    But as stated - you don't need anything fancy.  We went with the most base model and even that came with a couple attachments (a sound machine and mobile) that we never used.
  • We use ours as:
    -Somewhere for the baby to sleep when visiting family or friends overnight (and at one of vacation homes until we recently broke down and purchased crib #3).
    -A place for daytime naps(all of our homes have two or more stories)
    -A safe place to play when a parent can't be side by side to supervise. Our LO is now at an age where they love to play on the floor and that is great if there is a responsible parent nearby.  If I need five or ten minutes to take a shower, start dinner, etc, then I can put them in the pack and play with a few toys and now they are safe (even if not always completely thrilled that they don't have mommy or daddy's undivided attention).

    We never did use either the bassinet or changers that came with any of ours.  If you can find one without those attachments and it is cheaper then I would definitely save your money.  One of the ones we have was a gift, another one my husband purchased before the baby was born (and thought I was being overprotective when I said the changer looked a bit precarious---then our wonderful energetic squirmer came into our lives and he agreed it was precarious) so we didn't do that.
  • I am planning on using mine in our bedroom for the first 2 months or so for him to sleep in until we can transition him into his crib in his nursery.  After that I will probably bring it to the living room for naps.
  • We never used ours. It was a waste. We had an arms reach co-sleeper which we're still using at 5 months. It was used 3 months with the first kiddo. 
  • We use ours to store toys and blankets on our first floor and for changing. Now that she's outgrowing her bassinet and bouncer/swings we'll use it for sleeping until we get her nursery set up (we're in the process of moving) and then transition it back downstairs for naps and play. We use the changing attachment and bouncer that came with it. The bouncer was wider than the one we originally got so as she's gotten bigger she prefers it.
  • We use ours for daytime naps and sleeping when we travel. 
  • I have had so many. I use then all the time. We travel a lot and a regular crib is to big for our life style. I have had 2 kids sleep in one at the same time, my daughter played in one when I needed her contained. It helps when your trying to clean and need baby in one place and safe. Finding them used is pretty easy. I have 3 kids and another on the way and I have gone through like 5.i have one to my little sister bc hrs was taking apart. Lost one in an RV accident and used a few to they were no good. I'll probably have one for the next 3 or 4 yrs 
  • We used it as a portable crib once or twice when she was very small, but as a crawler now, we drag it all around the house and put her in  it. She drinks her bottle in it, hangs out in the kitchen while i do chores in it. We would use it for her to sleep if we needed to. It's not that expensive. We got ours on amazon for $80. 
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  • We got one that included a changer for use at the grandparents house.  My MIL does not have a ton of space but also might be helping periodically with some baby sitting.  Having a portable/packable place for our LO to sleep and be changed seemed like the best option.  Plus then when we go visit my parents (who live further away) we can just swing by and grab it and bring it there as well.
  • edited January 2018
    I am a FTM also and I plan to purchase the Graco pack and play playard snuggle suite lx with bassinet changer for our bedroom. After 2-3 months when we transition our little one to the nursery full-time it will either go in the living room or most likely downstairs in our finished basement. I have been looking at several options for our room and for the price this has a lot of features and seems like I would get the most use out of it long-term. Plus I like the idea of being able to take it with us if we go visit my husband's family for the day as it comes with a travel bag. :)
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