When it comes to buying baby stuff, parents would want to get products that offer the best value for money. We would want to invest in items that have multiple functions and those that our baby can use from its infancy to toddlerhood.
These days, baby brands have their versions of playards, and all of them come with newfangled features that will wow you. Most of them are lifesavers that can effectively wrap up all your concerns when you need a quick bathroom break.
Because of this, the big question remains—what is the best newborn pack and play for your baby? Our best overall goes to Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard Snuggle Suite LX. We talk about other top picks too in this simple list of 2021 playards buying guide, so continue reading!
- Why and How to Use Newborn Pack and Play
- Factors to Keep in Mind Choosing the Best Playard for Newborn
- A Closer Look at 10 of The Best Pack n Play For Newborn
- 1. Graco Pack 'n Play Playard Snuggle Suite LX
- 2. Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib
- 3. Graco Pack 'n Play Newborn Seat DLX Playard
- 4. Graco My View 4 in 1 Bassinet
- 5. Baby Trend Nursery Center Playard
- 6. 4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard
- 7. Delta Children LX Deluxe Portable Baby Play Yard
- 8. Ingenuity Smart and Simple Packable Portable Playard with Changing Table
- 9. Evenflo Portable BabySuite DLX Playard
- 10. Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe 2 Nursery Center
- Verdict: A Safe Place for Your Baby
Why and How to Use Newborn Pack and Play
As parents, we would want to make sure that our baby is safe and sound at all times, but there are times when we have to leave the baby unattended for a while. A pack n play is especially convenient when it comes to leaving a newborn alone briefly.
The primary purpose of a pack n play and playard is to provide a safe play zone for your little one or space for baby to nap while you are busy. One edge that it has over other play areas is its portability. It is foldable, compact, and portable enough that you can bring it with you on your travel.
Depending on its features, a standard pack n play can also double as other baby must-haves. It can be a diaper changing table and a bassinet.
Can a newborn sleep in a pack n play?
Yes, of course! If you want your baby to feel comfortable sleeping in its playard, I suggest that you get one with a newborn napper.
I was also confused about whether I should buy a portable bassinet or pack n play for newborn, but I realized the latter plays offer more benefits. So far, it is one of my most favorite purchases when it comes to baby products!
How do I get my little one to sleep in a pack n play?
Your little one may not like to sleep in a newborn pack n play possibly because your baby does not feel comfortable there. One way to help your little one slowly accustom to and accept the playard as a safe space to sleep in is by getting a firm mattress cover for him/her to lay on. Keep in mind there shouldn’t be any loose bedding, pillows or soft items in the playard to avoid the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) due to suffocation.
Babies do not need the same thick cushioned padding that adults do so a mattress cover provides just enough cushion to make the pack and play surface a little bit comfortable for napping.
This video demonstrates great tips you can apply to get your baby to sleep in a pack and play:
How long can my newborn baby sleep in a pack n play safely?
As a parent, this question will crop up when dealing with your newborn in a pack n play for the first time. According to the baby sleep guidelines by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), firstly you should make sure the newborn pack n plays and play yards meet the CPSC safety standards. Secondly, there is no set period or time limit of how many hours your baby should stay asleep in a playard, so as long as your baby is kept supervised, overnight sleeping is not a problem.
However, there is a guideline of when your baby should stop sleeping in a pack and play- once they reach about two to three years of age (or 30 pounds, or 35 inches in height, since most play yards have such max weight and height limits). Of course, each baby develops differently so, at the end of the day, it goes down to your judgment as a parent when it comes to your baby’s safety when using the pack and play.
Factors to Keep in Mind Choosing the Best Playard for Newborn
To make the most out of your investment, it is a must that you choose your newborn pack n play and playard wisely. To do that, here are some of the crucial considerations that you should take into account:
Type. Playards come in two varieties—basic and deluxe. The basic playard has all the standard features– storage pockets and removable bassinet. It is highly compact, portable, and lightweight
On the other hand, the deluxe playard comes with all the bells and whistles such as baby massage chairs, removable changing station, electronic entertainment. It is also a lot more durable and a bit heavier.
Dimensions and Weight. The heavier the playard or play pen, the less portable it is. On the other hand, you need to consider the size of the product to ensure that it can be able to fit your small living space or baby’s room.
Weight Limit. Pack n plays have their weight capacity limit. You must familiarize yourself with this factor since once your child reaches or goes beyond that limit, it is no longer safe for him to use the pack n play. Most playard or playpen has a weight limit of up to 30 lbs.
To ensure that you can use the product for as long as possible, it would be best that you go for the item with the highest weight limit.
Portability. If you plan to bring your playard with you on your trips, it would be best that you go for one that is highly compact when folded and lightweight, especially those with a simple push button fold. Moreover, you would also want the pack n play portable playard to have either wheels or casters so that it’s not only easy to use but also easy to carry and easy to move around for your baby to sleep and play on the go.
Assembly. This is another factor that you have to keep in mind if you plan to bring the product when you travel. You need to make sure that the playard is designed for easy setup. Some of the features you need to look for are folding feet and simple design.
Safety. The materials must be durable, and the fabric must not be too soft as it can pose a risk to your baby. The fence must also be tall enough to prevent your baby from falling. Lastly, it must have lockable wheels so it can be secured in place.
Additional Features. Other features are storage (pockets, storage pouches, fabric shelves, an organizer bags) and entertainment features (detachable baby gym, mobile, and electronic entertainment centers with music and lights). Lastly, a canopy can protect your baby from harsh light.
Further reading: 15 Best Play Mats and Play Gyms for Babies
A Closer Look at 10 of The Best Pack n Play For Newborn
Here are the essential features and information you need to know about our 5 top picks of newborn pack and play among the 10 that we’ve reviewed:
1. Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard Snuggle Suite LX
If you are hoping for a newborn sleep-in pack n play, check out the Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard Snuggle Suite LX. This is our pick for the best pack and play for newborn sleeping because of its many attachments. It has the standard removable bassinet that is best for overnight sleeping. Plus, it also has a removable bouncer complete with a canopy and soothing vibrations.
The plush newborn insert keeps your child snug. This model includes a night light as well as calming sounds and songs so you can check in on your child and calm them when they are in distress.
The changing pad attachment is a great space for a diaper change and can be used with children up to 30 pounds! The built-in organizer keeps all your necessities close at hand. When your little one is too big for the bassinet the spacious playard offers plenty of room. It can easily last you through toddlerhood.
- Includes carry bag
- Removable bouncer with sounds, vibrations, and canopy
- Extended use changing station
- Locking and rolling wheels
- The mattress is a bit firm for older babies/toddlers
Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard Snuggle Suite LX
- Portable infant seat doubles as a bouncer (holds up to 18 pounds), giving you flexibility to move around the house
- This playard and baby bassinet has a large extended-use changing station (up to 30 pounds) to make changing baby easier
- Playpen has built-in storage organizer for baby’s essentials such as diapers, changes of clothes, wipes, and more, keeping everything at hand
- Removable infant bassinet is a comfy rest place for baby
2. Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib
On the hunt for the best pack n play for newborns while traveling? The Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib is worth checking out. Its super-compact fold allows it to be stored in a backpack. At only 13 pounds, it is painless to travel with and designed to be airplane-approved. The foldable mattress is plush and safe for children. The large lower position of the mattress gives kids a huge space to stretch out. It includes a whisper-quiet zippered side door to make cuddling or playtime easier.
While it isn’t our top pick as the top pack n play for a newborn, it is still safe for newborn sleep and can be used until your child is three years old. It is certified GreenGuard Gold non-toxic, a fact that is very reassuring for many parents of newborns. No assembly is required, it simply pops into shape when you arrive so you can have a safe space for your baby or toddler from the moment you touch down.
- Includes backpack carrying case
- Very lightweight
- Zippered side door for easy access
- No assembly required
- Certified non-toxic
- No bassinet
- Foldable mattress retains grooves when laid out
- 【CERTIFIED SAFE & LOW-VOC】It’s surprising, but some baby products, including play yards, still contain harsh chemicals. That didn’t fly with our team, so we had the Lotus tested, and certified, GreenGuard Gold – one of the only portable play yards to do so. What does that mean? No PVC, lead, formaldehyde, mercury, arsenic, phthalates, or other dangerous chemicals. Whether resting or playing, the Lotus truly creates a safe and comfortable environment for your little one
- 【WORRY-FREE AIRPORT TRAVEL】3D Z-Fold Technology allows it to fold compact enough to carry through airports, making the Lotus Travel Crib a baby travel essential. The durable yet lightweight design weighs only 15 lbs and can be set up in just 15 seconds! The foldable crib’s ability to be carried as a lightweight backpack allows you to travel hands-free with ease.
- 【BUILD A BETTER BOND】Quietly and easily unzip the lockable side door to help your baby fall asleep or turn the portable crib into a play yard. With the door open, you can nurse or cuddle your little one to help them feel safe and secure in a new place and foster an even stronger connection. The updated insulated mattress has a thick, soft foam approved for overnight sleep (ages 0-3) making it a safe and comfortable environment for both resting and playing.
3. Graco Pack ‘n Play Newborn Seat DLX Playard
The first time I saw the Graco Pack n Play Newborn Napper DLX, I fell in love with how beautiful its classic gray color and subtle textures are for a newborn pack and play.
This Graco Pack ‘n Play model features Newborn napping and seat station lined with a micro-fleece fabric that is extra-soft and feels warm on the baby’s skin. It also has mesh sides that promote better airflow. The Graco Pack n Play with Newborn Napper and seat station even comes with a highly stable and large diaper changer station.
This play n play for newborn sleeping also has built-in zippered storage shelves that allow you to store baby’s clothes, toys, and diapers in an easy-to-access location. The newborn seat and carry bag that comes with it are machine washable.
This is also one of the best Graco Pack ‘n Play models known for its electronic entertainment module that can play 5 classical songs and 5 nature sounds and produce vibrations with 2-speed settings.
- Stylish, soft and quilted mattress designed for baby’s comfort
- Comes with a canopy to protect the baby from harsh lights
- Push-button folding mechanism for hassle-free folding and storage
- Equipped with a toy bar where you can hang plush toys
- Extended changing station for easy diaper changing process
- A bit pricey
- Newborn napper can only be used until the baby is three months old
Graco Pack ‘n Play Newborn Seat DLX Playard
- Newborn Seat station has beautifully-styled, extra-soft micro-fleece fabric that cuddles baby
- Stylish, built-in storage shelves create nursery-like convenience right in your living room
- Canopy keeps baby shielded from direct light and keeps them soothed any time of day
4. Graco My View 4 in 1 Bassinet
The Graco Pack n Play Playard with newborn napper station LX can be used in 4 different ways and is designed to help and be with your child until toddlerhood.
The first stage is the raised bassinet, which is positioned at your eye level so you can check on your baby without having to get up.
The second stage is the crib-level bassinet that allows you to get the baby in and out without any hassle.
The third stage of the bassinet is the removable travel infant bassinet, which permits you to place your baby by your side.
Last but not the least, the newborn pack and play can be a spacious bassinet which is perfect for a toddler.
With all the stages that it undergoes, we can consider the Graco My View 4 in 1 Bassinet Playard to be the best compact option for newborn sleeping and toddler playtime.
To further understand the different stages of this playard, watch this video:
- Smooth and easy transition from one stage to the other
- Comes with canopy where you can hang soft toys
- Integrated wheels for easy transport
- The canopy can also block out harsh light
- Push-button folding mechanism for easy disassembly
- No ready-made sheets that can suit the size of the pack n play
- The mattress has a strong chemical smell
Graco Pack ‘n Play Newborn Seat DLX Playard
- 4 different ways to use to grow with baby from newborn to toddler
- Stage 1: Raised bassinet for newborn positions baby at your eye level for check-ins throughout the night without having to get out of bed
- Stage 2: Crib-level bassinet for infant offers a cozy, elevated spot for baby to sleep, making it easy to get baby in and out
5. Baby Trend Nursery Center Playard
For parents interested in a pack n play playard with accessories, you may prefer the Baby Trend Nursery Center Playard. It includes a spacious newborn pack n play bassinet that is suitable for children up to 15 pounds and can simply be removed. The included mobile with adorable plush animals is a nice touch.
Many parents love that this baby pack n play includes an attached diaper stacker for easy changes. The one-hand locking mechanism is also great. It’s a breeze to set up and take down. The compact fold allows it to be stored almost anywhere. However, you don’t have to take it down thanks to the rolling and lock wheels that let it move about your home.
- Comes with a removable bassinet
- Locking and rolling wheels
- Diaper stacker attached
- Best budget-friendly price
- Mobile sags inwards and hangs low
- Sides can be difficult to unlock
- Removable full size bassinet
- Handy diaper stacker and mobile
- One hand locking mechanism
6. 4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard
The 4moms brand is very popular, and their newborn pack and play, the Breeze Plus Portable Playard, is no exception. It has a variety of features that allow it to grow with your child. It is a 3 in 1 pack n play with a bassinet attachment that is perfect for newborns and their postpartum moms. It is an excellent pick of a pack n play with changing station because with one effortless motion you can flip over the table accessory from its position along the side of the playard.
When your child outgrows the bassinet it can easily be removed. You can continue to use the changing table accessory though. The playard is spacious and ideal for sleeping or using as a safe place to play inside or outside. You can set up and take down this product with only one hand. Once taken down you can travel with it using the included portable bag.
- One push to open and one push to close
- Flip down changing station
- Removable bassinet
- Includes travel bag
- Large size
- No pockets or organizer attachment
- One push open, one pull close
- Easy, one-handed set up and take down
- Includes detachable flip changer & removable bassinet
7. Delta Children LX Deluxe Portable Baby Play Yard
The playard bassinet for newborn can accommodate up to 15 pounds while the massive changing table can hold up to 25 pounds. The fence of Delta Children LX Deluxe Portable Baby Play Yard can protect children that are 35 inches tall and below.
With its removable mobile arm where you can hang plush toys, this newborn pack and play is designed to be fun for babies. Its changing station has a waterproof surface and a small snap-on storage compartment, it is also designed for your convenience.
It is also highly portable as it has two moving wheels and comes with a carrying storage bag.
- Comes with carrying bag
- Equipped with wheels for easy transport from one room to another
- Full size playard can accommodate your child even as he grows
- Affordable price
- Certified to meet CPSC and ASTM safety standards
- Playard has a strong chemical smell
- Poor customer service
- RECOMMENDED USE: Deluxe Play Yard features a removable full size bassinet and changing table; Bassinet holds up to 15 pounds; Changing Table holds up to 25 pounds; Play Yard holds children up to 35 Inches tall
- FUN FOR BABY, EASY FOR YOU: Removable mobile arm with hanging plush toys engages early visual development; Removable changing table station features waterproof surface; Snap on hanging storage compartment for diapers, wipes and other toiletries
- TRAVEL FRIENDLY: Quick and compact fold; Includes carrying bag for fuss free travel or storage; Easy to pack; Great mini crib alternative; Two wheels allow for easy movement from room to room; Easy to assemble; no tools required
8. Ingenuity Smart and Simple Packable Portable Playard with Changing Table
Called as a smart and simple newborn pack and play, the Ingenuity Packable Portable Playard has a simple and effective design with its auto-locking wheels, pivoting changing table, and breathable fabrics.
The changing table is elevated to ensure the convenience of parents. It comes with a side storage pocket for easy access to diaper changing essentials. And when not in use, the diaper changer can be pivoted away to give room to the play space.
Considered to be packable, this playard for newborn requires no disassembly as it folds in just one swift motion.
Learn how to assemble this playard by watching this video:
- Collapses in just one motion
- Auto-locking wheels to secure the travel crib when not in use
- Changing table is of the right height
- Comes with its carrying case
- Breathable fabrics for proper airflow
- Putting the napper on top of the playard can be quite difficult
- Bassinet material sags and bunches up
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9. Evenflo Portable BabySuite DLX Playard
Here’s another great option of a playard that offers four modes of function. Aside from its play space, changing table, and bassinet, Evenflo Portable BabySuite DLX Playard has an added floormat feature to encourage your baby’s tummy time.
The play space has breathable mesh sides that offer maximum ventilation. It also features an entertaining plush toy bar. It also has a removable multi-size organizer, which can also be attached to your diaper bag. Maintenance will not be an issue since the playard is made of wipe clean fabric.
Learn more about this playard by watching this video:
- Comes in two different colors
- Easy cleanup
- Removable storage organizer
- Playard railing where you can hang soft toys
- Carry travel bag for traveling convenience
- Limited assembly instructions
- Flimsy and noisy mattress
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10. Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe 2 Nursery Center
When I first saw Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe 2 Nursery Center playard, I fell in love with its cute designs. It has six designs that feature different images—bluebell, daisy dots, flora, ions, twinkle twinkle moon, and Ziggy.
This product is designed for function and convenience as well. The portable bassinet comes with a removable canopy with two plush hanging toys. The changing table comes with a storage pocket and can be flipped away when not in use.
The star of the playard’s design is its safety features– two large wheels with brakes and a one-hand locking mechanism to keep your baby or toddler safe and secure.
Learn how to assemble this playard by watching this video:
- Unique design
- Convenient flip-away design of the changing table
- Travel/ storage bag included
- Full-size bassinet
- Storage pocket for diaper changing essentials
- Hard to set up
- Changing table latch malfunctions
- Removable full-size bassinet
- Flip away changing table with storage pocket
- Removable napper with canopy and 2 toys
Verdict: A Safe Place for Your Baby
Choosing a newborn pack n play is an important decision. You want it to be safe, comfortable, convenient, and useful beyond the newborn stage. We think you can’t go wrong with our top pick, the Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard Snuggle Suite LX. It has two safe spots for overnight sleep, a bassinet, and a large lower mattress. In addition, it comes with a removable bouncer with lights, sounds, and vibrations. The included changing table with a three-pocket organizer is a nice touch. Easy to move around and relatively easy to put up and take down, this is an all-around excellent pack n play!
Last update on 2023-06-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API