July 29, 2021

Pack n Play vs Crib – Which Is The Better Option

If earlier children’s pack and play (also known as Playpen) were strictly for playing, now this subject is successfully used for convenient sleep. So a common question which many parents ask nowadays is, “should my baby sleep in a pack n play or crib?”

Pack n plays have developed into multipurpose goods. Among the critical evolutions has been in supplying a sleeping environment. Many now include a pack and play mattress, which gives a comfortable sleeping surface. Some have specialized choices like newborn nappers, bassinets, changing tables, and inbuilt cribs.

Pack n plays may now supply a comfortable, secure, and cuddly sleeping environment. For a parent, this also presents an opportunity and a conundrum. Should they choose the traditional crib or a pack n play? We shall inspect the strong points of cribs and pack n plays. Comparing cribs to pack n plays are often quite tricky; they are designed for different purposes. However, the easiest way is to compare them predicated on what parents typically search for in a sleeping option for their child.

Comparative features of pack n play and crib


The chief thing that parents search for is security. Among the reasons co-sleeping is frustrated is because it can undermine the protection of the infant. Concerning security, there’s absolutely not any remarkable difference between a crib and pack and play. Normally, pack n plays that offer sleeping facilities (e.g., bassinets) have these centers designed based on established security specifications. We could say the same of cribs. Ultimately, the relative safety of a pack n play or crib comes down to the product’s overall quality. As a result, if you decide on a pack n play or crib, your baby’s safety will come down to what product you buy and how you use it. So, concerning security, pack n plays and cribs draw a tie.

Adaptability and duration of use

Parents prefer baby products that can adapt to the baby’s changing needs. In this respect, pack n plays are better than cribs for the first year of a tot’s life. But let’s find out which is the long-distance winner!

A common question among young parents is how long a baby can sleep in a pack and play.

  • Pack n play with bassinet. Like most bassinets, they have a weight limit of 15 pounds (4-5 months).
  • Once a baby outgrows the bassinets, a pack and plays mattress can be put on the play yard base to provide a cuddly sleeping option. Being used as a crib, it has a base for a mattress that can be adjusted in 2 positions – middle and lower levels. We use the middle level until the child lifts on its own. Then go to the lower level. Typically, a child can sleep in a pack and play until the baby’s weight reaches 30 pounds.

  • As a playpen, it will last you until about 1-1,5 years or the child’s height limit of 35 inches. It also depends on the character of the child. My baby was in the playpen at 6-7 months. Then it became too boring for him to sit there, and he was eager to get out.

What about a crib? Most cribs are designed for babies who have outgrown the bassinet, but newborns are also allowed to sleep in them. A crib for the little tot has a base for a mattress adjusted in 3 or sometimes 4 height positions. However, the development of the capabilities of cribs also did not stop there. A modern crib is a convertible universal piece of baby furniture because it «grows along» with the child and can convert to a toddler bed or couch and then to an ordinary bed. To transform the crib into a full-size bed, you need to purchase an additional kit. Then the bed will suit a teenager or an adult and can last for many years.

So the crib wins in the adaptability and the capability to grow with the child to provide good service for years.


The elegance and simplicity of the wooden furniture lines are pleasing to the eye. Wood products exude the energy of health and stability.

Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib
Dream On Me, Ashton 5-in-1 Convertible Crib
Stokke Sleepi Crib

The design of the playpens is functional, but it is unlikely to cause aesthetic delight. They are neat and practical.

Graco Pack n Play
Delta Children Deluxe Playard
Baby Trend Nursery Center


When considering sleeping choices, most parents rarely consider portability. But it’s when the realities of parenting strike they recognize its significance. As an example, if you would like to sit down on the terrace and have your little tot next to you; or urge to travel along with your small one, that’s when portability becomes a major thing. In terms of portability, pack n plays are better suited than cribs. As a rule, cribs are better suited for a fixed location.

Pack n plays, on the contrary, are designed to be portable. They are often equipped with a convenient travel bag to fold and stow the playard.

Being lightweight and easy to pack and fold, playards can be taken anywhere. Portable playpens can come in really handy when you are about to embark on a journey, whether you go by air or in your car. For your child, nothing can be more reassuring than to be on the familiar terrain of his playpen as you travel. Since playpens can be easily assembled, grandparents and relatives can also find them useful can help keep watch over your child while you are away for some time. So, in terms of portability, pack n plays trounce cribs.


Infants don’t just sleep. They also need to play, be soothed, and even have diaper changes. Therefore, while looking for infant goods, parents often favor choices that provide a lot more than their typical functions. They prefer an item that’s adaptable enough to fulfill several other requirements. In this regard, pack n plays outclass cribs by a few distances. Granted, there a few crib versions that include additional attributes like storage racks. But a typical pack n play provides considerably greater than a crib. Among others, pack n plays can have changing tables, bassinets, entertainment consoles, toys, soothing sounds, and of course, spacious play areas. So they could fulfill virtually every requirement of the little one.

The Verdict: Crib or Pack and Play?

Pack n Play



(certified models)

Adaptability and duration of use

Mattress height adjustment




Total score 15


This isn’t to imply a pack n play is ideal for everybody. If you’re strictly searching for a comfortable sleeping option with restricted mobility and no additional features, then a crib can do for you.

Suppose you are looking for a flexible all-in-one solution and aren’t planning to spend extra money and time searching for different baby care products. And you will travel with your baby, here is the simple answer: go for a pack n play.

How to Pick the Best Pack n Play

When shopping for a pack and play, it is important to know what features to look out for. This will make it much easier to find the perfect pack and play for your needs. This article will introduce you to the standard pack and play features you will find in most products. However, it is important to remember that not every product has all these features. So may have them all. Others may have any combination of features. Knowing the features will make it easier to decide which combination is best for you. So, what are these standard pack and play features, anyway? Well, they are:


A bassinet is one of the most common features you will find in a pack and play. This is because most manufacturers realize children need to play and need to sleep. Most pack and play bassinets are detachable, i.e., you can either attach them or remove them. Bassinets also have both weight and developmental restrictions. In terms of weight, most bassinets are designed with maximum weights of between 15 and 18 pounds. In terms of development, most bassinets typically come with restrictions such as “a baby who hasn’t begun pushing up on their hands and knees.”

Changing Station

A changing station is usually intended to help when there is a need to change the baby’s diapers, clothes, etc. A standard changing station is usually composed of a flat board attached to the pack and play side. This board acts as a changing table, i.e., you can lay the baby there while you carry out your diaper changes. Changing stations add a convenience level by ensuring you don’t have to run to the nursery every time the baby requires a diaper change. Just like bassinets, changing stations also come with weight restrictions. Most of them average 15 pounds, although some stretch up to 30 pounds.


Most pack and plays are intended for use, even when a parent is traveling with the baby. As such, they are designed to be easy-to-set-up, carry around, and transport. All pack and plays come with specially designed bags which are compact, robust, and easy-to-carry. Most of them are lightweight when fully packed (typically weighing between 13 and 22 pounds) and are thus easy to carry around. Some even come with special features that make them easy to set up. All these combine to make a pack and play portable.


Sometimes, it becomes necessary to move a pack and play when fully set up. Most of them come with inbuilt wheels to simplify this. In most cases, a pair of wheels is on one end of the pack and play. On the opposite end, there is usually a handle which you can use to lift and either push or pull the pack n play. A pair of wheels makes it possible to move the pack and play even with the baby inside.

Storage Hampers

A storage hamper is usually designed to provide convenient storage for a baby’s necessities such as swaddles, diapers, and pampers. A typical hamper is composed of a simple rack attached to the side of the pack and play. Most storage hampers are detachable, although some are permanently fixed. In most cases, the hamper is subdivided into little compartments, storing different categories of accessories.

Entertainment Options

Pack and plays come with inbuilt entertainment features to enable the child to have a great time. They have simple toy bars with cute interactive toys that a child can play within most cases. However, some of them have sophisticated features such as music consoles, mp3 systems, and multi-color music lights. Some even have high-tech features like vibrating mattresses. Basically, whatever features you prefer your baby to be entertained with, the chances are that you will find it in a pack and play.


A canopy is a specially designed cloth which arches over the top of the pack and play, partially or totally enclosing it. Most canopies are detachable and can be totally or partially removed. A canopy typically plays two important functions. First, it shades the excessively bright light from reaching the baby, especially when sleeping, keeping them comfortable. Second, it can keep out unwanted bugs and other flying nuisances from disturbing the baby. This comes in handy, especially when the pack and play are being used outdoors.

Pack and Plays: The Benefits To You And Your Baby

Over the last few years, pack n plays have become an important part of the parenting toolbox. This is because the benefits of pack and plays extend beyond the baby’s right to their parents. If you are wondering whether you need a pack and play, here is how they can benefit both you and your baby.

A safe play area

As a parent, your primary concern is to ensure that your child doesn’t get hurt while playing. The most certain way is to keep an eye on them vigilantly. But you can’t do this all the time. This is where a pack and play comes in handy. Pack and plays are typically designed to maximize the safety of the child while they play. They are typically subjected to rigorous tests to ensure their safety. As such, they provide the safest play environment possible. This means that you can leave the baby in the pack n play and be sure that nothing will go wrong.

Early Learning

Playing is one of the most important avenues through which babies learn about their environment. Most pack n plays come with cute educational toys that can aid this learning. Even if your pack n play doesn’t have inbuilt toys, you can still provide your baby with other toys to facilitate learning. Also, leaving the baby to play on their own can teach them important lessons about autonomy and independence. They learn how to feel secure even when they are not in your arms. This can later play a critical role in enabling them to attain confidence and a sense of security.


A pack n play is the best way of keeping your baby close without having them interfering with your activities (and ultimately upsetting you). When you have to do your house chores or carry-home from the office, you can have your baby close by, in their pack, and play. They can be playing happily while you do your work. This way, you can keep an eye on them without them interfering with your work. You can be there for them when they need you. Generally, having your baby within your sights reduces the likelihood of accidents or injuries because you can quickly intervene before things escalate.

Peace of Mind

The greatest source of worry for parents is what their babies are up to while they are out of sight. When you need to take a shower, attend to other children, or even answer an important phone call, it becomes impossible to give your baby undivided attention. In such a scenario, the worry of what dangers your little darling is getting into can spike up your stress levels. This is where a pack n play comes to the rescue. Knowing that your little angel is happily playing in the safety of the pack n play can give you peace of mind and focus on accomplishing your other activities.


Pack n plays provide more than just a play area. Most of them come with extra features such as bassinets, changing tables, storage hampers, and entertainment consoles. The presence of such features makes taking care of babies simple, convenient, and hustle-free. If, for instance, your pack n play has a bassinet, you don’t have to bother moving the baby to the crib when they fall asleep while playing. If yours has a changing table, you need not go to the nursery for a diaper change. Such little conveniences make your life as a parent much easier.

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