Out of the numerous pieces of baby gear and equipment, few are as multi-functional and useful as pack and plays. They are rarely on the lists of essential baby items because it is true that you can get by without one if you want to. However, pack and plays make life so much easier and we strongly recommend you buy one if you can.
What are pack and plays?
Pack and plays can also be called a portable crib or a portable playpen. They are compact and easily foldable which makes transporting a pack and play a breeze. Your baby can both sleep in them and play in them. Pack and plays can be easily moved between different areas of the house, allowing you to always have your baby next to you wherever you are. You can fill them with a blanket and the favorite plushie to help your child fall asleep or place some toys in it to let your baby play without fearing that they will crawl/walk away from you.
Some pack and plays come with a bassinet and a changing table, making them even more functional. These attachments are usually put on top of the pack and play. All elements – the main crib, the bassinet and the changing table – are safe for your baby to be put in. A pack and play allows you to bring your baby with you anywhere and still provide them with a safe environment.
Pack and plays can usually be used for children up to 3 years old (each product has specified age limits). The ones with a bassinet attachment can even be used with newborns.
What can they be used for?
The most obvious use of a pack and play is putting your baby to sleep. Unlike a regular crib or a toddler bed, however, pack and plays can be transported easily so if your baby gets sleepy while you are in the kitchen, you can simply put them in a pack and play to keep an eye on them.
Keeping separate play areas
A pack and play can also be very useful if you have more than one child. Sometimes siblings aren’t keen on sharing their toys and spaces, especially if it’s a younger sibling. Having a pack and play will allow you to draw some boundaries regarding different play areas for your children.
This is perhaps one of the most useful usages of a pack and play. Because of how multi-functional they are, pack and plays are often the only piece of baby equipment you will need when staying at a hotel or your cousin’s. And for an added advantage, your child will feel more comfortable because they are in a familiar environment, even if it’s a different country.