The 5 Best Pack n Plays Perfect for Your Newborn

Sleep is the most affected part of your life when you have a newborn in your home. Your baby will need a safe and secure sleeping place in your home for a few months, and it should be readily accessible to you as well.

A crib might seem a perfect solution in this situation, but most of the parents believe that they don’t need a crib for this. In fact, most of the people think that the place of a newborn baby is in their bedroom especially for the first few months.

You can choose a crib for your newborn straightaway. But, most moms think that when they put their little one into these spacious cribs, it’s a bit too much for them – and little too far away from mom and dad.

Many experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend a temporary sleeping venue in parents bedrooms for at least the first six months. Keeping your  newborn close to you makes for easier feedings as well as comfort for both parents and babies. These nest-like venues can include a cosleeper, Moses basket, or a bassinet. While, these options are entirely functional, their lifespan is much shorter than the alternative. The pack n play or portable crib.

Pack n plays have come a very long way in the past decade. Long gone are the days of a 2 x 3 foot, deep, thin-mattress play pen. Many, including the ones we recommended below, include newborn inserts, napping stations, changing stations, sound and light shows and much more.

The best part about these newborn pack n plays is that you can place them wherever you want: in the kitchen, in your bedroom or the lawn. And, the little one in the pack n play goes with you.

We have developed a list of the highest rated Pack n Play for newborns.

Pack n Play Features

According to Consumer Reports there are a variety of features to look for when buying a pack n play for a newborn.  Top features you should include in your wish list include:

Bassinet

Bassinets are one of the most useful features if you are shopping for a newborn friendly pack n play. The provide great comfort to your tiny newborn and ones that come with a pack n play replace the need to buy an independent bassinet.

Changing Station

Newborns get approximately 10 diaper changes per day. So for obvious reasons you will need a changing station handy. It is not always convenient to change your baby in their nursery, especially during those middle of the night blow outs.

Compactability

Maybe not when your baby is a newborn, but a few months and years from now you will travel with your pack n play. And, you will understand why its important to fold down to be compact. You will also want a pack n play that reassembles quickly and can be put back into use within 30 seconds by one person.

Portability

Most play yards are now designed to move. Many roll on wheels or casters to make relocating the pack n play in within your home easier.

Storage

Many manufactures have caught on that parents need lots of storage and have created side pockets and cargo bays for baby essentials like wipes, diapers, pacifiers, teething rings, and more.

Toys, Music, Lights

Many pack n plays, specifically the ones geared towards newborns feature a mobile or bar with suspended toys. Some even move, play sound, and have a light display – which will usually require C or AA batteries. Toys, lights, and music may be a nice benefit if you intend to use your play yard as more than just a portable crib.

The short of it is, there are two different types of pack n plays. The basic versions that are simply a play pen with a simple but standard pack n play mattress. Or, the version that features the bells and whistles mentioned above.

A basic pack n play will be very light and easy to move, but it won’t come with a changing station or lights and sounds that may sooth your little one. On the other hand, a deluxe pack n play will come equipped with music, toy bar, canopies and a changing station – and it may act as a two in one product, replacing the need for other baby gear.

1. Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard

Best Pack n Play Newborn Graco

For many new parents, a huge perk is options – as you don’t yet know what your baby will want or need – and that is exactly what the Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard offers.

The most versatile feature of the Graco Pack ‘n Play is the comfy nest bassinet, a delightful insert that gives your baby a familiar spot to rest, no matter where you are. The basset feature is designed for infants up to 15 pounds, and is removable when your baby no longer uses it.

Named a 2017 Moms’ Picks by Baby Center, the Graco Pack ‘n Play also allows you to change your baby wherever you want because it is equipped with a changing table, with wipe-clean fabric and portable changing pad. You can even turn this pad into an easy-to-use pouch for travel purposes too. The Graco Pack ‘n Play has a handy little storage compartment to store diapers, wipes and various other essentials you’ll want easy access to (pacifier, burp cloths, swaddles, etc). The removable changing pads also come with built-in pockets for additional storage space.

The weight of the Graco Pack ‘n Play is 23 pounds while its dimensions are 40-inch x 28.5-inch x 29-inch.

Things to Keep in Mind

The main drawback to the Graco Pack ‘n Play is that the bassinet feature can only be used for a few months, up to 15lbs, which my son hit within three months.  However if you plan on transitioning to the crib by 3-6 months it’s not a deal-breaker. Most experts say that babies should sleep in a crib in their own room after you cut out nighttime feedings – typically 4-6 months

Who’s it Best for?

With extra features and a versatile configuration at a stellar price, the Graco Pack ‘n Play best for budget-conscious families who want an all in one options that you can use for many years.

2. Ingenuity TravelSimple Playard

Best Pack n Play Newborn Ingenuity

If you are looking for a small footprint pack n play for newborns, look no further than the Ingenuity TravelSimple Playard. The best part of this pack n play is that it is half the weight of most of the pack n plays that you will find on the market. Yet, it features an inclined sleeper – Ingenuity’s take on a newborn bassinet attachment. This inclined sleeper has plush fabric, breathable panels, and zips in and out for super easy removal.

The TravelSimple keeps you and your little fellow ready for travel at all times. You can use it till your baby grows up to be a toddler. The TravelSimple even comes with a very durable travel bag and shoulder strap.

Things to Keep in Mind

The Ingenuity Washable Playard is not ideal for larger or older baby since it is a more compact option. But it’s not a deal breaker since the sleep style is part of the appeal for more minimal parents. Another user noted in a review that the TravelSimple was challenging for shorter parents because the base of the TravelSimple is low, laying or picking up your child up takes a little balance and effort.

Who’s it Best for?

The TravelSimple is the ideal playard for parents that have space limitations or love a less is more approach to their style and functionality.

3. Ingenuity Washable Playard

Best Pack n Play Newborn Ingenuity Washable

What makes the Ingenuity Playard the perfect pack n play for newborn is the Dream Center that is equipped with breathable mesh, soft fabrics along with a canopy. All the fabric on the Ingenuity is completely removable and washable.

Our favorite feature is that removing the Dream Center bassinet is not mandatory to fold the Ingenuity Playard, which gives you one less step when storing or transporting the pack n play.

It has an elevated table which you can quickly pivot out of the way, and you don’t have to bend your back all the way down to pick up your baby. The bassinet comes with a unique feature of Soothing Star Shine which projects a display of soft light show of star too.

The product is ideal for a newborn as well as a toddler for relaxing, resting and playing all the time in comfort.

Things to Keep in Mind

You should keep in mind that the Ingenuity Washable Playard has a few drawback reported by other users, including the fact that the bassinet cannot be used as a standalone item. Not a deal breaker if you plan on having another small portable item like a bouncy chair, rock n play, or swing. We also read in various review, that while all pack n plays are a pain, this one is particularly challenging – lucky for you there is a set by step video.

Who’s it Best for?

Perfect for taller parents as the changing table is adjustable, this pack n play is a great fit for any family looking for a durable option that is easy to keep clean. It’s also ideal if it will be used at multiple houses – like grandmas or the nanny, since it collapses easily with the bassinet feature in place.

4. Chicco Lullaby Glow Playard

Best Pack n Play Newborn Chicco

This all in one newborn playard from Chicco comes with a changing station and a bassinet – the only one on this list that works independently on the floor when not being used in the Lullaby.

Other features perfect for a newborn are an electronic sound machine with controls in a compact corner control unit. The Chicco Lullaby also has a glowing mobile to sooth infants when they are in the napper. This mobile doubles as a projector, shining stars on the walls and ceiling with LED lights that change colors.

The Lullaby comes with a large changer – with machine washable cover – that snaps on and off and deluxe parent organizer where you can store diapers and wipes, along with other baby essentials.

Things to Keep in Mind

As crazy as it sounds, it was really hard to find anyone who had something negative to say about the Lullaby. From is beautiful color, and high tech and comfort features, this is one of the best all-around pack n plays for newborns. The only drawback may be the price point, which is on the higher end of the products we featured. But for all the features

Who’s it Best for?

Its best for everyone, but particularly, those with newborns who can utilize all the features as their child grows.

5. JOOVY Room Playard and Nursery Center

Best Pack n Play Newborn Joovy

The Room Playard and Nursery Center by Joovy offers the functions you’re looking for in a contemporary style. The Joovy Room is equipped with a flip away changing table that has a sturdy vinyl top for convenient cleaning and washing. The Room’s full-sized bassinet can easily hold babies up to 15 pounds, while the changing pad can hold up to 25 pounds.

A giant side pocket and a diaper organizer can provide plenty of storage.  While the included sheet is made of water-resistant cotton. It comes with a travel bag that has additional storage.

It also features a couple of wheels so that you can move your playard around the house with ease. It weighs nearly 32 and half pounds, and the dimensions are 39.4-inch x 28.5-inch x 32.5-inch.

Things to Keep in Mind

You should keep in mind that the Joovy will require two people to assemble, as several reviewers noted that it went much faster when assembled as a duo.

Who’s it Best for?

The Joovy is best for contemporary design lovers who are looking for a smaller footprint – than some of the bulkier models featured on this list. Its simplistic yet modern look would look great in any contemporary home. I see this pack n play and think it belongs in a nursery in Dwell Magazine.

Liz Coyle

Liz is a Scottsdale-based writer and mom to a three-year old boy. She is a lover of cooking, travel, and racing hot wheels with her son. As the mom of an only child, Liz has a unique perspective on parenting. She loves to share her experiences of being a high strung, type a mom in an imperfect world.

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