Pack n’ plays are handy little devices. They serve many different purposes; from changing table, to portable playard, to newborn bassinet and even a temporary toddler bed. Most of these pack n play functions are pretty straight forward, but when it comes to safe sleep practices most parents start wondering what is and isn’t safe.
Pack n plays are easily portable and fold down small enough to be brought anywhere which makes them perfect portable beds. But can your baby sleep in the bottom of the pack n play?
If you have a newborn you will find that most pack n plays come with a detachable bassinet that is perfect for naps at home or on the go. The issue is that most if not all of these types of bassinets are only good until 15lbs or until baby can roll over on their own. So, what do you do once they outgrow the portable bassinet? Can you place him on the bottom for a nap or night sleep when on the road with the family?
Safe sleep guidelines
Safe is sleep is probably one of the most important practices a parent should follow at all times, including when using a pack n play. It is a time of vulnerability for you little one and every care should be taken for his safety.
The best and most up to date guidelines come from the American Academy of Pediatrics and it states that:
- Babies should always be placed on their backs for naps or sleep
- Babies should sleep on a firm surface
- Room share with your baby for at least 6 month and up to a year
- Keep soft objects, loose bedding or any accessories out of the sleeping area
For more details check out the AAP’s safe sleep guidelines.
Is the a pack n play safe for sleep?
Most modern pack n plays such as the Graco, 4moms Breeze plus or the Guava Lotus are made with safe sleep in mind. Today’s manufacturers know that parents need a place to put baby to sleep when on the road and they make portable play yards for this exact purpose.
Pack n plays that are sleep certified come with firm mattresses, mesh sidewalls for added breathability and they lock in the open position for complete safety. Take a look at my detailed explanation on what to look for in a pack n play mattress pads.
If you plan on using you pack n play for naps or sleep, make sure to get one that is safe sleep certified.
Can baby sleep in the bottom of the pack n play?
Well, that will depend on the type of pack n play you have and how YOU set up the sleeping area. If you follow all of the sleep guidelines, there is no reason why you cant put baby to sleep in a pack n play.
Always ensure to verify the weight and age limit of you pack n play. Most are rated for up to 30lbs or 35 inches.
For additional safety, make sure your baby is not big enough to climb out or tip the playard.
One final tip is to always place your pack n play away from windows so there is no chance that that baby can pull on the curtains, blinds or strings that usually hang in those areas.
Pack n play sleep solutions
After struggling with my son’s sleep in a pack n play for too many nights, I believe the best way to improve sleep quality in a playard includes using a pack n play darkening tent such as the SlumberPod.
Use the DISCOUNT code “UPSIDEDAD” for $20 OFF or click the button below for your EXCLUSIVE discount!
I explain how to make your pack n play dark for sleep in this post linked here.
There are a few different models of pack n play tents out there but the SlumberPod and the SnoozeShade are my favorites. I even did a detailed comparison of the SnoozeShade and SlumberPod.
I also wrote and recorded individual reviews for each (SlumberPod review and SnoozeShade Review)
There are many great solutions for helping your baby sleep well in a pack n play, the secret is in continuously trying different approaches until you find the one that works.
Paul is a passionate dad who founded Upside Dad to share his parenting journey with other new parents. He graduated from Concordia University and worked as a test engineer for over a decade. Paul loves dad jokes and craft beer.
Learn more about Paul and Upside Dad here.