5 Best Pack and Play Playard Reviews 2017 Ultimate Guide
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Did you just welcome a beautiful bundle of joy into your family? Are you maybe expecting a sweet baby to make a grand entrance soon?
When your baby starts, playing and exploring the world around, that’s when the fun and crazy times start. The times to think about child safety; the times when you should consider getting the best playard.
There are many different options out there and each one has unique and useful features. You may find it confusing to try and find the best pack n play so we have spent many hours and done all the research for you. We have found the top five!
Here are our reviews of the top five models to help you choose the one that suits your needs.
Wait, if you have knowledge about playard then Let’s check Top 2 best playard we picked
- Best of the best
- Best Bang for Your Buck
Top 5 Best Pack And Play Baby Playards 2017
|Pack 'n Play Playard||Features||Batteries required||Dimensions (inches)||Product Weight||Our Rating|
Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Baby Playard
|15 second set up|
Fits in a backpack for portability
Greenguard Gold certification for safety
No weight limit
|No||23.2 x 11.7 x 8.5||11 pounds|
Graco Pack 'n Play Playard Bassinet Changer with Cuddle Cove Rocking Seat, Winslet
|Removable rocker seat so you can keep baby close|
Handy changing table
|Yes||32 x 50 x 38||32.5 pounds|
Graco Pack 'n Play with Reversible Napper and Changer Playard, Basin
|Napper and changer all-in-one|
Easy attachment to switch between napper and changer
|No||40 x 28.5 x 34||28.3 pounds|
Graco Pack N Play Playard Bassinet with Automatic Folding Feet, Pasadena
|Automatic folding feet|
Built-in storage pockets
Sturdy construction of plastic, metal and polyester
|No||40 x 28.5 x 29||21.4 pounds|
Graco Pack 'n Play On The Go Playard Stratus
|Perfect size for smaller spaces|
|No||40 x 28.5 x 29||22.8 pounds|
It can be confusing when you start looking at all the information out there. But we are going to break it down and help you find the best product. The one that works for your family will depend largely on what will you use it for the most. Here are some points for parents to think about.
12 Points for Parents to think about
Types of pack and play playards
Essentially, there are two types of portable pack and play playards – basic and deluxe. Basic models are usually of lighter weight and easier to move around and fold. They are also devoid of some of the advanced features, like learning toys. Deluxe models, on the other hand, are more stationary, but they feature some added extras like bassinets, organizers for storing diapers, built-in storage, pack and play mattress, and removable changing tables. It's good to know that both of these types are in the similar price range, so your decisions will be guided mostly by your priorities.
Are you buying a pack n play playard for an infant or a toddler?
If you are soon to have a baby, you will want to purchase a pack-n-play playard with bassinet. The deluxe pack and play playards include bassinets that are easily removed once the baby gets bigger. And remember, you’ll have the toddler playpen to use once the baby outgrows the bassinet. Has your child already passed the infant stages? Then you just need a basic playard without the added bassinet and changing table.
Most pack ‘n plays are designed to be easy to set up and take down. Some even have a push button release that makes them simpler to fold up. It’s good to pick the model where wheels or legs fold up into the unit, so they don’t protrude. Suffice to say; such playards are much easier to store away and transport.
A very important consideration, especially if you are going to be traveling with it in tow. Most of them are designed to be easy to carry around. But it's always good to check the weight of the playard just to ensure that you've chosen the one that is light enough for transport.
The safety of the used materials
This is one more thing you want to check before making that final purchase. You should be able to find a statement by the manufacturer that tells you what they used to build the unit. This information report should also state if it is non-toxic and not harmful for children.
As we already mentioned, many of today’s modern playards come with a toy bar or other unique additions designed to stimulate or educate your baby. Several of the top playards have a toy bar that is soft and colorful. They help the child to practice focus, reach for things or make associations. Although these additions are, by all means, recommended, if you plan on hiring a nanny or sending your kid to an early education center, these additions will be of little relevance. Also, these toys usually use separate batteries and produce additional long-term costs.
Many of the portable playards have wheels, so they are easy to push around the house. In many cases, they fold up nicely for easy packing/storing. If you plan on buying such model, make sure that the wheels lock in place for safety reasons. On the other hand, if you intend to keep the playard in a single location all the time, you can probably save a little money by purchasing a model without casters.
Many of the latest models have extra storage units available. If you are not traveling much and are keeping the playard in one location most of the time, then you might benefit from having a convenient storage option. Just make sure that the storage unit is large enough to actually hold something and that the stored items are out of the baby’s reach.
Generally speaking, playards that can fold up as small as possible and have a carrying case of some sort are considered of better quality - you can take them wherever you are going whether by car, plane or another mode of transportation. But, you shouldn’t think of portability only in the light of long-distance travels. Playards can prove to be very helpful even in your backyard or a city park.
The size of your home
If you live in a small house or apartment, you will want to try to find one of the smaller models to help you save space. Larger units are nice, but you want to get the full functionality out of your playard. That means choosing a smaller playard that will meet your needs without taking up too much space.
Some of the high-end, expensive models have unique features that might be considered as extras. For example, one of our top choices has a vibration feature. This can be very calming for the baby. Others can play music or sounds of nature for your child to help them relax and sleep. While it is always good to have as many additional features as possible, you should avoid gimmicks and invest the money in more sensible upgrades like a canopy.
Although the quality and the safety of pack and play playards are closely monitored both by government institutions and manufacturers, these products can still pose a threat to your child's safety. Here are a few things you should pay attention to in order to avoid any unfortunate outcome:
- Mesh holes – According to standards set by Juvenile Products Manufactures Association, mesh holes shouldn’t be smaller than one-quarter inch.
- Sheet – If the playard has one, make sure it’s tight-fitting. Also, don’t use a sheet made for a mattress or any other-size bed.
- Fine print – Be sure to read it. You may discover some specific safety requirements and precautionary measures.
- Straps – On some models, they can cause a strangulation hazard. Make sure they are securely fastened to the surface so they can’t form a loop.
- The quality of the build – Always check are the part securely locked into position when you put playard together.
Also, here are few precautionary measures you should use regardless of the playard you buy.
- Don’t put two or more babies in the playard
- Stop using the playard when your kid reaches weight and height limit
- Don’t add a second pillow or mattress
- Don’t place the playard near windows and electrical outlets
- Don’t use the playard for changing diapers. Buy a changing pad instead.
We’ve listed our favorites along with their features for you. Read them carefully and decide which model fits your needs the best. Here are our picks.
Top 5 Best pack and play available On the Market
How did this one make our list? It has several features we found exciting enough to land it in our top 5. One of the most notable things about this model from Lotus is how easy it is to set it up. It literally takes 15 seconds to have it up and ready to use. But it also folds up easy and then fits tightly inside a backpack. This is one of the most portable units we’ve found. It’s made to wear on your back which frees up your hands to do other things like tending to your baby. It only weighs 13 pounds, so it’s not difficult to carry around.
Another feature that stood out was the zippered door on the side. This makes the playard tons of fun for the kids. It also has one of the highest pack and play mattresses of all the playards we looked at. It’s both comfortable and the perfect size for a toddler’s nap. There is also no weight limit on this model which means you can use it as long as you need it. This model is perfect for traveling, and it’s one of the lightest you’ll find too.
There are two things that really stand out in this model from Lotus. One thing is it folds up super small. It’s small enough to classify as carry-on luggage if you’re flying. The other outstanding features is that it is Greenguard Gold Certified to be totally free from chemical emissions.
The only notable problem we saw with this particular model was trying to fasten the special made sheets using the Velcro straps. It’s rather difficult to get them into the right position and fastened to the sheet right. It’s doable, but very difficult. They are not essential, but if you want to use them to their full benefit be ready to wrestle with them a bit.
If you travel a lot, especially by airplane, this product will suit you very well. Also, if storage is an issue, there is no better choice than this one.
Graco outdid themselves with this model. If you are looking for lots of features and more bang for your buck, this is your choice! The portable rocking seat also has a vibration feature, which is an excellent soothing and calming element built-in for the baby’s comfort.
It’s super portable and along with the rocking seat it comes with a handy changing table.Another great feature is the organizer that has three little cubbies designed to hold all those baby necessities.
You can use the rocking seat up until the child gets three months old, reach 15 pounds, or starts trying to roll over on their own. The changing table is safe to use for children weighing up to 25 lbs.
The one thing that makes this product stand out from the others is the vibrating device since it can help the baby to relax. We also liked the built-in storage cubbies because this makes it incredibly convenient to have everything nearby when changing the baby. Another advantage of this model is the canopy to put over the baby’s eyes. This is very nice especially when you take the child for an outing.
Perhaps the biggest downside of this model is that it is so difficult to assemble for the first time when you buy it. It can be quite a hassle and might require more than one person to put it together correctly, even when trying to follow the instructions. One other negative thing is having to buy batteries for the vibrating mechanism.
This pack n play is ideal for the new family. It is not as portable as some of the other models available but has all the bells and whistles to make it desirable. It’s perfectly designed for the baby and provides a variety of features just to keep them happy, comfortable and aid them with their sleeping.
This is one of the better Graco pack n play models out there. It has everything you’ll need for your child. This includes taking care of them during infancy, as well as well into their toddler years. There is an attachment that comes with it, and it has dual purposes. It works as a napper when the baby sleeps a lot, but then when they are bigger, you can reverse it, and it becomes a changer.
One thing we like about this model is that it also has features for entertaining the baby when they get more attentive. The soft toys are designed to capture the attention of small children. But the bar is removable if you want to pack it all up. The baby is going to outgrow the napper, but then you still have the playpen that is perfect for napping and playing toddlers.
The other feature we liked about this unit is how compact it is. You just push a button and it folds up easily. It also comes with a handy carrying bag. This makes it really easy to take on simple family outings.
There were a couple of particularly great features we noted about this Graco product. We love that it’s simple to switch between diaper changer and napper with the simple push of a button. It’s also very nice to have the removable bassinet feature. We felt like this added a lot of versatility that other models don’t have.
The biggest problem we saw with this Graco model is that the whole thing has to be broken back down just to remove the napper. It would be nice if we could take it off with a simple release lever. Another con is that the cover of the napper cannot be removed, so it has to be spot cleaned with a damp cloth. Over time, it is going to get stained up pretty bad as it is tricky to clean.
This playpen is ideal for someone’s first child. It has all the components needed to care for a baby from its birth well into its toddler years. You’ll have the bassinet or napper for when the infant is small, and then the playard to use as they grow.
One of the features you’ll think is coolest with this model from Graco is the automatic folding feet. This makes it so easy to fold up. But you’re going to love the detachable changing pad and a built-in unit for storage too. The storage unit is placed on the end of the bed for easy access. This feature gives you a nice place to keep all the baby changing essentials.
If you’re looking for a model to take with you in your travels, you’ll love this one. It’s super compact so it’s easily toted along for short and long trips alike. There’s no hassle in setting it up or taking it down. The sturdy construction makes it durable so it will hold up over many, many miles. This one has great features and you’ll be able to take it along with you well into the toddler years.
Graco has a good reputation for providing high quality baby products, so it’s no wonder this playpen is so popular. The wheels are what captured our attention on this model. They are designed just for the purpose of making it easy to move about the house. But engineers took the time to design its construction so that they wheels fold up automatically when you pack it up to go somewhere. This makes it super convenient.
The only disadvantage we found with this model is that the support bars don’t seem to be adequate. Over time, the mattress starts to sag a bit due to lack of support.
This model is the perfect solution for families who want to move the playard around their house a lot, but don’t necessarily take it on other outings.
This model by Graco is one of the top deals you’re going to find. This is especially true if you are looking for lots of extras. This playard with bassinet is the perfect size for you if you deal with smaller spaces. The bassinet folds up into the unit so you can easily take the whole thing with you. However, once your baby is bigger and no longer needs the bassinet, it is easy to take off. The wheels make it easy to move around – but with the push of a single button it all folds up into a compact unity. The wheels fold up inside it nicely.
This model has a toy bar to occupy your baby. Do you travel a lot? This one fits nicely in an included carrying bag so traveling is simple, quick and easy. It’s actually about 20% more compact than a lot of other options and the travel bag is a really nice added feature. This one’s a good choice for you if you travel a lot.
The Graco Stratus has one feature that sets it apart from others. This model folds up easier than the other brands out there. Its designed and constructed to use on the go. It folds up into a very small little bundle and its wheels and feet fold right in to the unit. This is one of the most portable units you’re going to find. We also liked the removable bassinet. Most have a mini version of this feature, but this is a full size bassinet that is convenient for parents and comfortable and cozy for baby.
The main thing we did not like about the Graco Stratus is that it wreaked of chemicals when we took it out of the box. It did clear out after a little while, but it provided an unpleasant experience. We also noticed that the bassinet sides were somewhat shorter than other playards. This just means it cannot be used as long as you might like before switching to the bottom play mat.
This model is the perfect solution for parents who want to get the most out of their money. It has a removable bassinet to provide a lot more versatility than some of the other choices. The Stratus can be used for a very long time from birth to the toddler years which is a real plus and means you will get more from your investment.
Best of the Best
We have shared with you here 5 of the top models available on the market today. Out of these three outstanding choices, we thought two of them were top of the line. The Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Baby Playard just stands out from the rest with its flexibility and functionality. And the other top pick is the Graco Pack ‘n Play On the Go Playard Stratus. It’s budget friendly and it comes with the napper and changer which just adds to its versatility.
Closing Thoughts and Our Final Choice
Hopefully, you can use this review to help you narrow down your choices. It was designed to inform you about the options you have available so you can make a smart choice when you make your purchase. Plus, we just reviewed 5 of the top playards available today!
Of course, you have read all the features and looked carefully at each of the models presented here. It can be a lot of information to sort out before making your purchase. There are many things to consider as we outlined here. Our opinion is out of these top five playards, Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Baby Playard is the best pack and play unless there is a specific feature you wanted included with another model. This best pack n play playard can be used the longest and is most portable especially if you travel. Once you sort through the information and make your purchase, be sure to leave a review to help other shoppers make their purchases too!
Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Baby Playard
Question 1: How difficult is the Lotus Travel Crib to set up and to take down?
Answer : This portable baby playard is truly portable. It is simple to set up when you are ready for the baby to lay down, and just as simple to fold up if you want to transport it or travel. It is lightweight and two carrying handles which make it easy to move around. Right out of the package it will only take about two minutes to set up and is just as easy to fold up as well.
Question 2: Is the Lotus Travel Crib easy to carry around or is it bulky and difficult?
Answer : The Lotus is designed for travel. It folds up compactly and it is lightweight. The carrying case is equipped with two handles that are located on the top. This makes it easily carried briefcase style. But it can also be carried like a backpack. It is small enough to be used as a carry on when traveling via airplane.
Graco Pack n play Playard with Cuddle Cove Rocking Seat, Winslet
Question 1: How long will I be able to use the rocking seat for my baby?
Answer : The rocking seat is designed to use for a baby under three months old. As long as they are not turning over on their own, or trying to do so, it should be safe for an infant. Once they reach 15 pounds in weight, or are starting to turn over on their own, it is time to stop using it and make use of the other features like the playard.
Question 2: What is the difference in the changer and the rocker?
Answer : The rocker is designed to be used as a baby carrier, or an infant seat. The baby can play or look around. The changing table is less portable and flatter. It is designed to put the baby on for a few minutes to make changing easier. The rocker can be used until the baby weighs 15 pounds, but the changer can be used until the baby reaches 25 pounds.
Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard with a Reversible Napper and Changer Basin
Question 1: How long will it take to set up the playard with the changer?
Answer : When the playard is first removed from the box, it should take less than 30 minutes to put it together. This includes time for installing the changer and getting it all set up and ready to use. After that, it is very easy to fold up and move room to room. The changer can be removed from the unit later on as the infant grows into a toddler and it is no longer needed.
Question 2: Can I use this playard for a bed for my baby?
Answer : Yes. You can use playard for the baby’s bed. Parents have found it useful for placing near their bed to keep the baby close by when they are small. Then as the baby grows and needs less supervision, the playard can easily be moved to another bedroom, or into other parts of the residence.
Graco Pack n play Playard with Automatic Folding Feet, Pasadena
Question 1: How long will I be able to use the bassinet with my child?
Answer : The bassinet is designed for smaller children and can be safely used until the baby reaches 15 pounds. Once the child is able to get themselves up on their hands and knees in a crawling position, the bassinet is no longer safe to use.
Question 2: Are the sides of this playard made of mesh?
Answer : Yes. This playard from Graco has mesh sides. This prevents babies from getting their legs caught in slats like many cribs have and allows for ease of airflow so babies can breathe comfortably. It also offers a good view of the baby to caregivers who are providing supervision for the baby.
Graco Pack 'n play On The Go Playard Stratus
Question 1: Is the Pack ‘n Play big enough for babies to move around in?
Answer : Yes, this Pack ‘n Play is just the right size for babies and toddlers to have room to move around a bit. Babies who are big enough to start rolling around have a safe area to explore their newfound mobility without rolling into furniture and other items that can cause them harm. It also allows toddlers enough room to stand up and move around once they become more mobile.
Question 2: How versatile is this playard?
Answer : Graco designed this pack ‘n play to be used for a long time. The bassinet is handy for use when the baby is first born and can be used until the baby can get up on their hands and knees in a crawling position. At this time, it is easily removed. Once it is removed the pack ‘n play provides a space for the baby to grow into a toddler who can easily move around and enjoy the space.