Are you wondering what the difference is between a bassinet vs pack n play?
Then let us help you decide which is best for you and your baby: bassinet vs pack ‘n play!
As a new parent there are a ton of baby products that you will come across, which will no doubt leave you wondering what they are and if you need one.
And two such products are baby bassinet vs pack n play.
Both a bassinet and pack n play are used as places for your baby to sleep.
Whilst there are actually some similarities between the two products there are also some differences between them and how they are used.
That’s why we put together this guide, so we can walk you through the features of both a bassinet and pack and play, as well as their pros and cons.
And if you love this bassinet or pack n play guide, make sure to check out our guides on a bassinet vs crib, mini crib vs crib, and can a baby sleep in a pack n play. Or even our guide to the best pack and play with bassinet.
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Bassinet Vs Pack N Play
Firstly, let’s take a look at what is a bassinet and a pack and play.
What Is A Bassinet?
Bassinets are a small, portable, and safe bed for babies to sleep in from birth up to around 4 month of age once your baby either our grows it or can roll over on their own.
They come in a variety of colors and styles and most commonly are oval shaped with mesh sides, however they can be rectangular too.
There are several different options when it come to bassinets especially in recent years bassinets with the introduction of smart technology.
There are now smart rocking bassinets that that lull your baby to sleep automatically to the best bassinets for c section that have a dropped side that is connected to your adult bed for easy access to your baby.
They are a great option to keep your newborn baby close to you within their first few month.
The SNOO Smart sleeper bassinet combines technology, innovation, and comfort to help soothe your baby to sleep!
This automatic rocking bassinet works off an in-built microphone, which in response to your baby’s cries, helps them to sleep with vibrations, movement, and lullabies.
But what sets the SNOO smart sleeper apart from the rest is their compatible app so you can control the bassinet with a simple touch on your phone.
What Is A Pack N Play?
A Pack ‘N Play is like a portable crib, but it also functions as a play area for infants. Like a crib, they have four sides, but a mesh material covers the sides. Some versions come with bassinet attachments and diaper organizers.
A Pack ‘N Play is made out of sturdy materials, strong enough to hold your baby with ease despite having mesh sides. The mesh helps increase air circulation and makes it easier for you to keep an eye on your baby while working around the house!
The American Academy of Pediatrics deems that a Pack ‘N Play is a safe sleeping environment for children, and parents may also use them as a play area if they can sit on their own. According to the AAP, play yards meet the requirements for safe sleep as long as the play yard includes a tight-fitting, firm mattress, like these best pack and play mattresses, and has fitted sheets designed for that product.
Keys Differences Between Bassinet vs Pack ‘n Play
Now we have defined what a bassinet and pack n play is, let’s look at what is the difference between a bassinet and pack n play.
One of the main differences between both a pack n play and bassinet is the age at which your baby can use them.
Bassinets are designed specifically for newborns up to around 4 months of age when your baby either our grows it or can roll over.
They are small and cosy, and provide easy access for parents to reach their baby, yet once your baby can start to roll over they become a safety risk. This is due to the low sides of the bassinet that your baby could easily fall from once they have learnt to roll and sit up.
In contrast, pack and plays can be used from newborns to toddlers up to about 30 pounds or they reach 35 inches. You can learn more in our guide on when to stop using a Pack N Play.
In fact, many pack and plays will have a bassinet attachment that can be used in the first few months after birth to allow easier access to parents.
So, if you are looking for a product that will last your baby longer, then a pack n play is the clear winner!
A pack n play is considerably larger than a bassinet.
If we look at the popular SNOO smart sleeper bassinet it measures 35.83 x 18.9 x 32.28 inches.
Whilst the popular Graco Pack N Play measures 39.5 x 28.25 x 29 inches.
They both have a similar length, however the width of the Graco Pack and play is 10inches wider than the SNOO.
This might not seem an issue, but the NICHD recommend that you share a room with your baby to reduce the risk of SIDS for the first 6 months or longer.
So, if space in your shared room is an issue then you may want to look at using a bassinet.
As previously mentioned a bassinet is used as a bed for your newborn until approximately 4 months when they develop and can start rolling over. This means it is very limited in it’s use.
Where as a pack n play can be used as a bassinet, crib, and also as a play yard to keep your baby or toddler contained as they play.
You may find that their are additional functions such as a detachable change table and storage that can come with your bassinet or pack n play.
Both a bassinet and pack and play are designed to be light weight and portable.
However a bassinet is deigned so it can be easily moved from room to room whilst fully assembled. So, no further set up required. Some bassinets will even come with wheels to make moving from room to room even easier.
Where as a pack and play is designed to be folded and disassembled before moving. The good news is that this is very simple to set up a Graco Pack and Play. and it even comes with it’s own carry bag to make transporting it easier.
So, whilst the pack and play probably isn’t ideal for regularly moving room to room like a bassinet, it is a great option if you’re travelling or looking for a 2nd sleeping option for grandma’s house.
Lastly, let’s compare the price points between a pack and play vs baby bassinet.
Bassinets come in a range of prices depending on the style and features you choose. On the cheaper end you can find bassinets as cheap as $40 up like this Dream on Me Karley Bassinet to the high end smart bassinets the the SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet that are $1500 or more.
Pack and plays again come in a range of prices depending on the additional features such as a bassinet and change table. They generally start from $70 for a basic Graco pack and play model to $500 for the high end models with all the bells and whistles like this Graco Pack ‘n Play Newborn2Toddler Playard.
Final Thoughts on a Bassinet vs Pack ‘n Play
Both a bassinet and pack n play are great options for keeping your baby safe while they sleep.
Whilst a pack n play is more versatile and can be used for longer, it does take up more room and if often seen as more of a temporary sleeping space for you baby.
Meanwhile a bassinet is only used for a short four month, but it does take up a lot less room and can came with some extremely handy smart technology to help your baby settle your baby.
Which one you choose will come down to what best suits your needs and budget.
The most important thing is that the product you are buying meets the standards to which you set out to achieve.
We hope this article has helped to finalize the decision for you and ease the stress around buying a bassinet or a Pack N Play.
And if you want to check out any more of our guides, we recommend checking out these guides on best mini cribs, SNOO vs mamaRoo, and best SNOO alternatives that are budget friendly. Or even our guide on the best portable bassinet!