What Is a Pack and Play?
Whether you’re expecting a baby or becoming a grandparent, you’ll want to own a pack and play. This is one of the most helpful equipment you can own with its diverse usage.
However, are you wondering what is a pack and play? How exactly is it diverse and is it even necessary? Read on to find out.
What Is a Pack and Play?
The ‘pack and play’ is essentially a portable crib. You can use it as your kid's play or sleep area, from birth to their toddler years. It’s like a restricted play area for your child which will keep the baby safe and sound. Although one should never leave their kid unattended, the pack and play will allow you to have some breathing space.
This self-contained unit is normally made from plastic, metal, and wood. It has its own floor and mesh sides that provide a soft playing area for your kid to spend their day in.
Now, you must be thinking that’s what a crib does. Well yes, a crib does all that, but a crib is a permanent piece of furniture. You can’t fold it and take it with you while traveling or just visiting grandma’s house.
With the pack and play, you have the liberty to transport it easily. You can also fold down the pack and play for storage when not in use.
What Is a Pack and Play Used for?
The pack and play is most frequently used by parents for their babies and infants to sleep in. In addition to that, it’s also used by parents who travel a lot. But even if you don’t travel, this can be the perfect investment for you to make for your baby.
For one, it’s the perfect part-time crib. Want to do the laundry but don’t want to leave your kid in their crib alone? Just set up the pack and play in your laundry room while working so keep an eye on your kid at the same time.
Do you feel your baby is not ready to be placed in their own room, but you also don’t have space in your room for their crib? You can just set up the pack and play in your room at night and take it down during the day.
Additionally, they’re the perfect accessory to have if you’re traveling. No need to skip trips to your parent’s house just because they don’t have a crib there. You can just take the pack and play along.
Furthermore, you can also use the pack and play as a play area for your child. You can choose to keep it indoors or take it out and always have a designated area for your kid to be free in without any fear.
How to Set up a Pack and Play
Each pack and play would be different to setup depending on the brand, but most will follow some basic steps:
- Raise the four corners by pulling up on the sides.
- Ensure the sides have clicked into place by slightly pressing down onto them.
- If they don’t collapse, then they’re fine.
- Once done with that, push down the center beams from the bottom.
- Finally, add in the mattress, and the pack and play is ready to be used.
However, do note that you’ll have to follow the procedure step by step. The sides will not lock into place if you push down the bottom first. In case that happens, just pull on the handle in the middle of the pack and play’s bottom surface. Then return back to step 1 before pushing down the bottom.
How to Collapse a Pack and Play
You can collapse the pack and play in reverse order of the setup:
- Start by removing the mattress.
- Pull up sharply at the handle in the center of the bottom surface; this brings the bottom corners in towards each other
- Next, collapse the sides by pinching on one of the buttons present on the side rails.
- Pull up slightly then pinch downwards.
- Once the sides are collapsed, fold the pack and play and store it however you like.
Like in the setup process, the sides will not collapse unless you remove the bottom so make sure to follow the steps very carefully.
What to Look for when Buying a Pack and Play
Here are some key features to look for:
Yes, these products are designed to be safe for your kids, but you have to make sure the safety measures are enough. Read through reviews and reports from experts and customers, and pay special attention to the product recall.
Product recall is basically a request from the manufacturer to return a product after any safety issue, or defect has been identified that may result in legal action against them. If the pack and play you’re planning to buy has been recalled, it’s probably not the safest option no matter how cheap it might be.
The main reason you choose a pack and play is its portability. You can easily transfer the pack and play from one location to another, making it the perfect thing to bring while traveling. However, you'll not be able to extract the maximum result out of the pack and play purpose will be defeated if it’s very heavy.
Therefore, when you’re buying a pack and play make sure it’s very lightweight and easy to carry. Also, make sure the wheels are lockable and can be safe for use for your baby.
Durability is very important while buying pretty much anything and that applies to the pack and play too. Make sure you take a thorough look at the materials that are used in the making of the pack and play and figure out how durable they will be. This will help you in making an investment that you’ll be proud of.
Foldability is related to the portability of the pack and play. Remember to choose one that is easily foldable and can become very compact. This will aid in not only storing the pack and play when not in use but also easy to carry when traveling.
Warranty is something that gives you the assurance that the quality of the product you’re buying is excellent. If the manufacturers are confident about their product, they will offer a warranty to emphasize that. Therefore, look for a warranty when you’re buying a pack and play so that you make the best use out of your hard-earned money.
How to Make Your Pack and Play Safe
Safety is the topmost concern of any parent for their child. Make sure to keep the following in mind so that your child is safe at all times:
- Take a look at the materials and make sure they’re sturdy.
- Place it in a safe location, one where you’ll be able to keep an eye on it at all times.
- Don’t place the pack and play anywhere near heaters, windows, cables, doors or radiators.
- Keep it clean. Make sure the toys are proper for your child to use and none of them are choking hazards.
- Remember to look for reviews before buying any play and pack
Play and pack is definitely one solution to multiple issues you might be facing. And in our opinion, it definitely is a necessity. Make sure you make the right investment.