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Is a Pack and Play Safe For Baby Sleeping?

While a pack and play is valued due to their portability and functionality, are they actually safe for baby sleeping? 

Pack and plays are one of the most bought items among parents apart from baby gear like strollers, cribs, car seats and more. Pack ‘N Plays are made to provide temporary sleeping space for babies, especially when it is inconvenient to take the crib out of the house whenever you have to travel or visit elsewhere from time to time.

Some parents prefer getting the best pack and play with bassinet and changer for space-saving and mobility purposes. Pack ‘N Plays that come with bassinet feature are really useful, since you don’t need to spend extra cash to purchase a separate gear, when you can take advantage of the playard’s bassinet to let your baby snooze for a bit.

While pack and plays are valued due to their portability and functionality, are they actually safe for baby sleeping? 

So, Is A Pack And Play Safe for Baby to Sleep In?

A popular question from parents is whether a pack and play is safe for a baby to sleep in. The answer depends on where you live, and what model of pack and play you have. 

The American Psychological Association provides a list of the recommended weight and height limits for pack n plays. In most cases, a pack n play is safe for babies up to two years old. Some manufacturers have higher and lower limits, so it’s important to check the manufacturer’s website for the maximum weight and height.

The size of a pack ‘n play varies. Some are 40 x 28 x 29 inches, while others are smaller or larger. Keep in mind that the baby’s growth rate varies greatly, so monitor the size of your pack ‘n play to make sure that your baby fits safely. Also, if your baby is getting big, sleeping in a pack ‘n play will present a big problem, and the item will soon become redundant unless you plan to get pregnant with another child or donate it away.

Safe Sleep Guidelines

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a firm mattress for the best fit, as soft bedding can cause SIDS. When you leave your baby unattended, remove all the bedding and place the baby on his or her back.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends sleeping your baby on their back to reduce the risk of SIDS. While a pack and play is safe for naps and daytime use, you are encouraged to go for much safer options like a crib where possible. 

If your child is too big to fit inside, you may need to purchase a different model. In any case, make sure to follow the recommended guidelines and be sure your child is comfortable and safe inside it. 

While pack and play are considered safe for babies, they are not always the best choice for sleep. However, a pack n’ play is a great choice for newborns, whereby the baby can sleep safely in a pack and play until he or she is 30 pounds or 35 inches tall. Generally, a pack n’ play with bassinet may be the better choice for infants since it can be used as a temporary bed especially for traveling.

How to Choose A Good Pack ‘N Play For Your Child

Before purchasing a pack ‘n play, measure your baby’s height and weight. It’s important to buy one that fits the exact size of your child’s head and shoulders. 

When choosing a pack n’ play, consider the safety features. A pack ‘n play mattress is important to protect your baby from injuries. Ideally, you should choose a pack n’ play that’s designed to provide a flat and comfortable surface for your baby to sleep in. A quality pack n’ play will be sturdy and will stand up to repeated use and your baby’s growing needs. You should also check the CPSC guidelines to make sure the product is safe for your child.

You can also go for a pack ‘n play with extra features such as a playard with a bassinet that can also serve as a changing table to get the maximum value out of your purchase. Some pack ‘n play can also withstand larger weights to serve as a temporary toddler bed. 

Its portability is another factor that determines if it is a good choice. A portable play yard can be convenient when traveling. This is also where pack and plays with bassinet shines, since this allows for a more mobile yet comfortable temporary sleeping place for babies. You would also want the size of a pack n’ play to be compact if you live in a small apartment or lack the space required to house the playard.

A pack n’ play is not safe for baby sleeping if it collapses easily and does not have a sturdy structure, so be sure to check on this aspect. Many older models have side rails that fold down, causing entrapment hazards for the baby. Some parents also modify their pack n’ play by adding a pillow or adding toys to it to keep the infant inside. Don’t do this especially if you have a newborn sleeping in the pack and play – this creates entrapment hazards! This is not a good idea, as it could lead to injury.

Also, do check on the breathability of the material used to make the pack and play. You would want mesh fabric to line the sides of the playard for optimum breathability to avoid a stuffy sleep environment which could affect your child’s sleep. 


So is pack and play safe for your child to sleep in? The answer is yes, pack n plays are safe for babies to sleep in each night, as they are considered a safe alternative to bassinets and cribs. 

They are in line with CPSC guidelines for safe infant sleep, so you can be assured that your little one can rest safely in one, provided you’ve chosen the best pack and play according to the aforementioned criteria.

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