Crib vs. Pack-n-Play

posted 2 years ago in Babies
  • poll: Which would be best for full time sleep- planning to move in a year, no nursery now
    Pack-n-Play Only : (4 votes)
    11 %
    Crib Only : (18 votes)
    47 %
    Pack-n-Play AND Crib (both) : (14 votes)
    37 %
    Other : (2 votes)
    5 %
  • Post # 16
    291 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2025 - City, State

    They do sell pack-and-play mattresses that are firm and made to fit snugly.  This sounds like a good option for you.  If it’s safe for the baby to sleep in while traveling, I don’t see how it could be unsafe at home.

    Post # 17
    9101 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    We used a pack n play that looked identical to that (different pattern though, I think it was the Elite Vance or something like that?) But our daughter slept in the napper exclusively until she was about 4 months old (when she started rolling really well) and we migrated her to the elevated pack n play bottom. Then when she was 6 months old, we put her in her crib (in her room)

    We had no problems and it was great for breast feeding.

    Post # 18
    6100 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: September 2016

    My kid slept in a pack n play during his first 15 months. It worked really well for him. I was an anxious mother so I made sure to set it up so it was safe for him- no blankets, super sturdy bottom to support him. We had a tiny sleep nook when he was first born so a standard crib just wasn’t going to work.

    Once he got a little bigger my husband built him a toddler bed that was close to the floor (in case he rolled out) and by then we had more space and transitioned to a convertible bed (crib, toddler, full) and set it up as a crib because he’d started climbing out of the pack n play and his little toddler bed at all hours of the night. Once he came running out of the dark at me in the middle of the night and, in my overactive imagination and sleep deprived state, he looked like a Chucky doll and I screamed right in his face.

    We did start with a co-sleeper before transitioning to the pack n play. So he was in that for the first 4 months or so.

    Post # 19
    592 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    BeckyS0 :  I voted “other” because we couldn’t go without a crib (and having LO have his own bedroom) after 8mo. BUT he slept in the pack n play nearly identical to the one you posted, right next to my side of the bed, up until then. I say be prepared to buy a crib just in case the p&p doesn’t work for you, but I don’t see why the temporary nursery couldn’t work. Eventually I would make the suite portion a home office and give LO their own room, should your plans to move be delayed further 🙂 

    Post # 20
    9812 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2013

    Either the crib or the pack and play if you put baby in the bottom part on the firm mattress (they usually come with those? you can’t add another mattress but you can use the one that comes with it).  I did a crib from day one so then my child never had to transition into a crib later but you can do a pack and play.  I would NOT put my baby in those top attachment things for sleep.  Sleep should be a firm mattress.  I have a portable crib for traveling but it would work for about the first year for sleeping.  And don’t waste your money on a mini crib if you want a full size crib later.  Just get a crib, it will last longer.  But it depends on your house.  I have my kids on their crib size mattress as long as possible because it takes up less space than a twin bed.  So my 3 year old is in hers (in a toddler bed) and should be good for another few years.  If you travel you’ll need a travel crib/pack and play anyway.  I set up the crib for my babies right next to my bed both times.  Then when I was ready I just moved the crib to their room.  Anyway, I’d buy both a crib and a pack and play. If you use a pack and play full time you have to bend all the way down to the floor multiple times a night trying not to wake up your baby.  At least with the crib you can have the mattress at the highest level and it’s easier to put a sleeping newborn in.

    Post # 21
    1541 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    We have: a cot for when he was a newborn next to our bed, a crib in his room, a travel crib (baby bjorn) and a graco pack and play at grandmas.

    I have to say, I find the pack and play to be a huge pain in the ass! The weight limit for the upper levels is 15 lbs which my monster of a baby reached very quickly. They do not assemble or fold easily and they are heavy! And they will take up a lot of space in your car. So for traveling I would highly recommend a travel crib. 

    With respect to the crib, we have the IKEA Sniglar and it is so perfect  I understand what you are saying about IKEA quality – but the thing for me is that this is the highest sold crib in the world and has been for a while. So I feel pretty confident that it is safe.

    personally I would just get a bedside cot (like the Halo or ours which is the baby Bjorn cradle) and then decide on the whole crib issue when baby is a couple months old. I know it feels like you have to get everything ready now, but you don’t! 



    Post # 22
    2523 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    We have a graco bassinet that flips over to be a changing table.  It is small and saves space because we don’t need a seperate changing table, it should last until about 3 months, then we are planning on moving her to the nursery in a crib, and continuing using the bassinet as a diaper table.  Might be a good thing to start out with and you can get a crib once your baby starts to push up on their hands/feet and need a crib.  Another perk is that it is on wheels, so you can wheel it into the main living area during the day.

    We have a pack n play much like you described, the bassinet, AND a crib.. but we also have multiple floors and want to avoid stairs as much as possible.   I have a much younger sister and grew up in a house where the kitchen, living room, and bedrooms were all on the same floor and distinctively remember my mom using a bassinet and rolling it out from her bedroom to the living room during the day- it worked great. 

    Post # 24
    9391 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    As others have said…

    I don’t think you’re supposed to add a mattress to it.

    The “bassinet” portion (that can be raised up and down) is only good to like 15 lbs. My kid outgrew it crazy fast. Then you’re only supposed to put them in the very bottom part. We had the one with the changing pad thing and it’s a pain in the ass to take on and off, it’s not something you’d want to be doing all the time. And the “cuddle cove” thing should not be used for overnight sleeping.

    Personally I’d buy a crib and like the cheapest pack n play option available for traveling.

    Post # 25
    704 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2016

    We have a similar-ish situation to yours, in that we have a large master bedroom. We did make our smallest bedroom a nursery though, and have a regular crib in there. I have the exact pack n play from your picture in a different pattern. It’s currently set up next to my bed with the bassinet and changing table in place. My baby’s due in a week and a half, and the plan is to have him sleep in our room for the first couple of months in the bassinet to make feeding quicker & easier. At the point that he outgrows the pack n’ play we’ll transition him to a regular crib.

    The thing about the pack n play, is you can take it down once your done with it…so you could technically do both even in your room w/no nursery. After we’re done having the baby in our room the pack n play will be put away and just used for nights away from home. I’ve heard the mattress pad in the pack n play really isn’t supportive or comfortable enough for an every day sleep situation (I don’t know anyone who’s exclusively used it without any kind of crib) and if I remember correctly they do not recommend putting a different mattress into the pack n play. We also have a regular bassinet and a rock n play which we’ll put in our two living room areas, so basically there’ll be a napping station conventiently set up in every part of the house.

    Post # 26
    14 posts
    • Wedding: September 2011

    We used a bassinet for the first 4 months or so and then bought a crib. We have stayed in many many hotels in the past year or so and DS has never slept well in a pnp. 

    Post # 27
    313 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2016

    Have you thought about a mini-crib? They are normally good up to a year and just as safe as cribs, because they have the same firm mattress and no soft sides. I have this one. It folds (for easy transport and storage), and the wheels lock. Easy to move from room to room, and will be easy to move if you move houses. A good middle ground that doesn’t have the same safety concerns as a pack n play. 

    Origami Mini Crib

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