Every parent desires that their child plays in an environment which is safe, comfy and secure. This can be a very difficult thing, especially when you are on the go. That is why every parent needs a pack and play( also known as Playpen). This is basically a playard which is designed to meet the needs of a parent (and child) during travel.
However, choosing the best pack and play for your child can be a very difficult process. And yet making the wrong choice can result in unnecessary stress for both you and your. So, how can you go about it? Well, that’s where we come in. We have put together a collection of reviews to help you easily find the perfect pack and play to suit your child’s needs. For the start, you can take a look at our top 10 recommended products below:
Best Pack and Plays 2015 review
After thoroughly reviewing to most popular pack and plays on the market, we’ve identified the top 10. How did we identify them? Well, we interviewed parents. And although each parent had their own preferences, there certain things they agreed on. These products represent this consensus. This is not to say that they are 100% perfect. However, they are the best pack and play options on the market.
Our Rating: (930+ Reviews on Amazon.com..)
This Graco Totbloc is a pack and play in the simplest and purest way possible.This playard is also user-friendly, portable, easy-to-pack and easily cleanableREAD 930+ GENUINE CUSTOMER REVIEWS
Our Rating: (232+ Reviews on Amazon.com..)
Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Baby Playard is the perfect choice especially for a frequent traveler. It is simple, lightweight, easy-to-setup and spacious.Therefore, if you are looking for the perfect pack and play, it won’t come better than thisREAD 230+ GENUINE CUSTOMER REVIEWS
Our Rating: (1277+ Reviews on Amazon.com..)
It is sleek, spacious, easy-to-setup and portable. The fact that it comes with a bassinet makes it extremely convenient especially for a traveling parent. Its simple design and color scheme makes it astonishingly cute. It is robust enough to handle the hustles of travelingREAD 1277+ GENUINE CUSTOMER REVIEWS
Our Rating: (251+ Reviews on Amazon.com..)
Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard with Cuddle Cove Rocking Seat is designed to adapt to the baby’s growing needs. As such, it is a multi-purpose playard which can serve as a sleeping area, changing table, play area, and entertainment centerREAD 251+ GENUINE CUSTOMER REVIEWS
Our Rating: (345+ Reviews on Amazon.com..)
Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard with Cuddle Cove Rocking Seat is designed to adapt to the baby’s growing needs. As such, it is a multi-purpose playard which can serve as a sleeping area, changing table, play area, and entertainment centerREAD 345+ GENUINE CUSTOMER REVIEWS
Our Rating: (455+ Reviews on Amazon.com..)
The Graco Pack ‘N Play Playard with Reversible Napper and Changer is the perfect product for anyone who is looking for an adaptive playard.It is robust, strong, durable and is filled with features which can adapt to the growing needs of your child.READ 455+ GENUINE CUSTOMER REVIEWS
Our Rating: (180+ Reviews on Amazon.com..)
The Graco Pack ‘N Play with Twins Bassinet is one of the first pack n plays which is specifically designed for twins. Its most prominent feature is its two bassinets which are nested side-by-side. These provide a cozy sleeping option for the twinsREAD 180+ GENUINE CUSTOMER REVIEWS
Our Rating: (130+ Reviews on Amazon.com..)
The Graco Day2Night Sleep System is designed to provide an all-round sleeping option for the baby. As such, it has three bassinets i.e. a playard bassinet, a portable bassinet and a bedroom bassinetREAD 130+ GENUINE CUSTOMER REVIEWS
1.Graco Pack ‘N Play Playard Totbloc with Carry Bag, Bugs Quilt
The Graco Pack ‘N Play Playard Totbloc with Carry Bag, Bugs Quilt is one of the easiest pack n plays to set up. It can be fully set up in less than 60 seconds, thanks to an ingenious folding design. Speaking of design, this playard is also extremely cute. Built around the bugs quilt pattern, it colorful, artistic and jovial. The Graco TotBlock is also extremely lightweight – weighing just 23.8 lbs – which makes it extremely portable. This playard is also one of the most spacious on the market, with a total play area of 38 by 38 inches. This gives the baby enough space to crawl, roll about and have a jolly good time. The Graco TotBloc’s light weight and quick set-up time makes it especially suited for parents who intend to travel. Its colorful design makes it well suited for parents who prefer a touch of artistry on their playards. Basically, it can serve various needs which is why it is a playard of choice for many parents.
2.Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Baby Playard
The Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Baby Playard is actually a hybrid between a crib and a playard. On the one hand, it is cozy, safe and comfy baby crib. On the other hand, is a robust, well ventilated playard offering a spacious play area of 24 by 48 inches. However, what sets this product apart is its weight and set-up time. At only 13 pounds, it is without a doubt the lightest playard on the market. Its total set-up time of just 15 seconds is also unmatched (the closest rival takes at least twice that long). Its other unique feature is the zip-operated fun-door which can give the baby access to the environment. This product is actually designed for travel, and is therefore solidly built, durable and robust. Essentially, it is everything which a parent on the move would desire in a playard.
3.Graco Pack ‘n Play On The Go Travel Playard
The Graco Pack ‘n Play On The Go Travel Playard is perhaps the most popular playard on the market. It is the Amazon number one best-seller in the Playards category; and the number two best-seller in the Activity Centers & Entertainers category. Its popularity arises from an elegant combination of great features and competitive pricing. This playard comes with a full-size bassinet for providing a cozy sleeping option. It is built with a double-frame system making it solid, robust and durable. Despite its solid build, it weights just 23lbs – which is considerably lightweight. This playard is also easy to set-up and is fitted with Graco’s push-fold system – a unique mechanism which simplifies setting-down. Above all, it costs less than $75 which makes it about the best priced playard on the market. Other playards with similar features typically cost at least $100. No wonder it is a best-seller!
4.Summer Infant Pop ‘n Play Portable Playard
The Summer Infant Pop ‘n Play Portable Playard is one of the few truly versatile playards on the market. Unlike most playards which are best suited for use indoors (or on smooth, leveled surfaces), this one is “all terrain”. It can be safely set up on the lawn, dewy grass, a sandy beach, and of course indoors. This versatility means that the playard can be safely used almost anywhere. Versatility aside, this playard is also extremely spacious. In fact, it is far more spacious than any other playard currently on the market. It has a whopping 14 square feet in playing space. As such, it can comfortably hold up to three babies at a time. The combination of large size and all surface set-up capabilities has catapulted this playard into the first choice for most parents. As such, it is number one on the Amazon best seller list for the Baby Playards category.
5. Joovy Room2 Portable Playard
6.Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard with Cuddle Cove Rocking Seat
The Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard with Cuddle Cove Rocking Seat is one of the few truly multi-purpose baby products on the market. Besides being a playard, it can also serve as a sleeping area, changing table and entertainment center. One of its premium features is its Cuddle Cove Rocking Seat. This cute accessory offers babies a sleeping environment from birth to about 3 months old. It is comfy, fitted with a vibrating mechanism, has some soothing sounds, and is fully detachable from the Playard. Besides the Cuddle Cove, this playard also has a bassinet. It also offers a play area of 28 by 48 inches, a robust changing table, and 3 cubbies which can hold the baby’s essentials (e.g. diapers, wipers and pampers). In a nutshell, this playard offers everything a parent would need which is why it is the 4th best selling playard on Amazon.
7. Graco Pack ‘N Play Playard with Reversible Napper and Changer
The Graco Pack ‘N Play Playard with Reversible Napper and Changer is one of the few adaptive pack n plays on the market. Adaptive pack n plays are built to adjust to the changing needs of a growing baby. One aspect which this playard adjusts to is the sleeping needs of the baby. This product is fitted with Graco’s iconic Newborn Napper – a cozy crib which provides a sleeping option from birth to about 3 months old. Once the baby outgrows the Napper, they can then sleep in the bassinet until they reach 15lbs. Once they outgrow the bassinet, the playard mattress is cozy enough to sleep on. Beyond multiple sleeping options, this product also has a baby Changer (changing table), a play area of 28.5” by 40” and a unique push n lift mechanism which makes it easy to switch between the Changer and Napper. Essentially, it is about the most complete pack n play out there.
8. Graco Pack ‘N Play with Twins Bassinet
The Graco Pack ‘N Play with Twins Bassinet is one of the few pack n plays actually designed specifically for parents of twins. Its main feature is a pair of bassinets which nest side-by-side. The two bassinets provide a perfect sleeping environment for twins. Each is quilted for extra comfort and fitted with a canopy to shield off excess light. Detaching the bassinets reveals a spacious play area in which the twins can play at the same time. The play area is padded for maximum comfort and well ventilated. This playard has a unique squeeze latch system which simplifies set up. It features a sleek design (based on a curved frame) which makes it to look quite stylish. Basically, it offers almost everything which a parent of twins would desire in a pack n play.
9. Graco Day 2 Night Sleep System
10. 4Moms Breeze Playard
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 babies right to their parents. If you are wondering whether or not you need a pack and play, here is how they can benefit both you and your baby.
- A safe play area: As a parent, you primary concern is to ensure that you child doesn’t get hurt while playing. The most certain way is to vigilantly keep an eye on them. 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 absolutely sure that nothing will go wrong.
- Early Learning: Playing is one of the most important avenues through which babies begin to learn about their environment. Most pack n plays come with cute educational toys which can aid this learning. Even if your pack n play doesn’t 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.
- Proximity: 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 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. As such, 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 you little angel is happily playing in the safety of the pack n play can give you the peace of mind and focus to accomplish your other activities.
- Convenience: Pack n plays tend to provide more than just a play area. Most of them come with extra features such as bassinets, changing tables, storage hampers and some even have 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 don’t need to go to the nursery for a diaper change. Such little conveniences make your life as a parent much easier.
Pack and Play Features
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 which 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 the following:
- Bassinet: A bassinet is one of the most common features you will find in a pack and play. This is because most manufacturers realize that children not only need to play, they also need to sleep. Most pack and play bassinets are detachable i.e. you can either attach them or remove them. Bassinets also tend to 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 which can be attached to the side of the pack and play. This board acts as a changing table i.e. you can lay the baby there while you carry out you diaper changes. Changing stations add a level of convenience by ensuring that 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.
- Portability: 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 which make them easy to set up. All these combine to make pack and plays portable.
- Wheels: Sometimes, it becomes necessary to move a pack and play when it has been fully set up. As such, most of them come with inbuilt wheels to simplify this. In most cases, there is a pair of wheels located on one end of the pack and play. On the opposite end, there is usually a handle which you can use to lift up, 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 basic necessities such as swaddlers, diapers, and pampers. A typical hamper is composed of a simple rack which is 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 which can be used for storing different categories of accessories.
- Entertainment Options: Pack and plays come with inbuilt entertainment features to enable the child to have a great time. In most cases, they have simple toy bars which have cute interactive toys which a child can play with. 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; chances are that you will find it in a pack and play.
- Canopy: 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 either totally or partially removed. A canopy typically plays two important functions. First, it shades out excessive bright light from reaching the baby especially when they are sleeping – thereby keeping them comfortable. Secodly, it can keep out unwanted bugs, and other flying nuisances from disturbing the baby. This comes in handy especially when the pack and play is being used outdoors.
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