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Best Pack and Play

Updated on June 29, 2014

How to Choose the Best Pack and Play

The best pack and play for you will depend on how you use it. Some pack and plays have features perfect for travel, others have changers, nappers and storage pockets which are great for reasons such as you have a large house and would like a place for baby to sleep and change diapers downstairs as well as upstairs. Other people choose a playard so baby has a safe place to play. Or perhaps you are hoping for a combination of features.

So what are some features to consider when choosing a pack and play:

Easy and quick to put up and fold down - Perhaps the main consideraton for most people with a pack and play is that its easily folded up and down. There's nothing worse than having to spend hours trying to put up the pack and play on vacation or at a familly member's house.

Lightweight and easy to carry - you want to avoid a bullky, heavy playard. A playard that is light and designed to be easily transported will be easier to take to grandmas, friends or a babysitter's house. Many pack and plays come with a travel bag making it easier to take out of your home.

How compact the fold? - a pack n play that is very compact when folded means it takes less space to store and less space in the car or on the plane too. It also tends to be easier to carry.

Size - The size you want will depend on how you want to use your pack and play. Some people use them as a travel crib wheras others need a space for their baby to play while they're getting on with other things. If you're looking for a play space, look for a big pack and play. Or you may want one for both.The Joovy pack and play below has 10 square foot of space, so great for play space.

Bassinet - many pack and plays have bassients. A bassinet is for perfect for younger babies to sleep on. They bassinets are high up so you can easily pick up and put down babies without straining your back. Most bassinets are removable so when babies are older they can't climb out the playard.

Changers and nappers - these are great features for younger babies. Or perhaps you want an additional changing area in a nursery or other part of your house.

Toy Bar - Some pack and plays also come with toys for babies to look at.

Longevity - it's worth looking to see how long a pack and play should accommodate your baby for. Some are larger than other so can accommodate older children. Playards with bassinets are a good choice for younger babies and will accommodate children through to the toddler years.

Read on for lots of suggestions of the best pack and play for a variety of different needs.

Graco Pack N Plays

Graco is perhaps one of the most well known and well respected brand that makes pack and plays. They make them for lots of uses. Pack and plays with bassinets and changers. and ones with just bassinets. Pack and Plays just to be used as a play area. They tend to be fairly easy and quick to put up and set down. In the main they have good reviews and are reasonably priced. In my opinion Graco is a well trusted brand to go for.

All their playards have an mesh on the sides which is designed to give good ventilation to your baby.

Read on to find a summary of good pack n plays by Graco.

Graco Pack 'n Play On The Go Travel Playard

This is a great all round pack and play which has features making it a good choice for travel.

It features a bassinet for newborns which is specially designed to fold up with the playard so easy to take up and put down. This is better than having a separate bassinet as there is less parts to carry. The bassinet can be removed as baby gets older.

It has a compatt fold which is 20% smaller than other Graco pack n plays (it has folding feet and wheels).

It features a push button fold, which makes closing the playard easier and quicker. It also features a toy bar with 3 toys and is excellent value for money.

Graco Pack N Play Napper and Changer.

This pack n play will grow with your child from newborn to infant to toddler.

It has a napper for newborns and you can reverse it over into a changer too, so if its set up downstairs in your home, you don't have to run upstairs to change baby's diaper. When you want to pack up the playard and travel, you just remove the napper and changer. This makes the pack and play a good one to use in the home as well as using it for travel.

Graco Pack 'n Play Playard with Cuddle Cove Rocking Seat

This is a great choice of playard for newborns and young babies especaially if you're looking for one that can be used around the home. Again it will grow with your child from newborn, to infant, to toddler.

This playard has a removable vibrating rocking seat which can be used until babies are 15 pounds (about 3 months old). It can be placed in the playard but you can also remove it and the rocker features carry handles so you can easily take baby around the house with you.

It also features changer (which will can be used with babies up to 25 pounds). There's storage space on the side. There's three cubbies, you’ll be able to store just what you need – diapers, wipes, changes of clothes.

Graco Tot Bloc Pack N Play - Great for use as a Play Area

Very popular pack and play which offer a large space for babies to play.

Features include:

Large and roomy 36" x 36" square play space for little one to play. It's recommended for children under 35" tall who are unable to climb out.

Sets up and folds in less than a minute for use anywhere and everywhere.

Durable frame weighs less than 25 pounds and airy mesh on all sides provide maximum ventilation.

Convenient carrying bag for no-fuss travel and storage.

Easy to clean.

Big Pack and Play

For some parents the priority of a pack and play is to have a big a play space as possible for their baby.

Both the Graco Tot Bloc above and the Joovy Pack and play below offer large play spaces. The Joovy has 10 square foot of space for babies and toddlers to play

Joovy Room 2 Play Yard

This is the biggest pack and play featured in the article. It is made of 600D material which is durable.

There are wheels so it's easy to move.

The carry bag comes with a shoulder strap so it's easy to transport.

It's quick and easy to fold and set up, so good if you're going to be putting it up and down a lot.

It comes with 100% cotton filled mattresss and a sheet too.

The design looks nice and contemporary.

Cheap Pack and Play

If you're looking for a cheap pack and play, check out the Cosco Funsport playard opposite.

It features include:

  • Mesh on 4 sides
  • Sets up in less than 1 minute
  • Squeeze latch fold
  • 2 wheels for mobility
  • Easy to store and transport with carry bag

Plus its currently under 50 dollars. It sets up in more time than the graco pack and plays but it's extremely good value for the money.

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