Can A Baby Sleep in a Pack N Play?
Wondering can a baby sleep in a Pack N Play?
Then let us help with our guide to how long can a baby sleep in a pack n play!
Having a portable crib is helpful for parents. Yes, you can use them for naps during the day when you go on vacation or trips to Grandma’s house. Many parents use them for room sharing for the first several months, but the serious question is – how long can babies sleep in a pack ‘n play?
We want to be safe, and all parents feel a bit worried about SIDS and safe sleeping.
The last thing we want to do is accidentally use something improperly that increases any dangerous risk for your child. That includes ensuring we aren’t using a pack ‘n play too long.
If you’re worried about safety, here is all the information you need to know – keep reading!
And if you love this guide on can babies sleep in pack and plays, then you’ll love our guides on how to clean a pack n play mattress, how to dress a newborn baby for sleep, and 10 tips to help your newborn baby sleep. Or this guide on can a baby sleep in a playpen instead of a crib!
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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 and has fitted sheets designed for that product.
When using a pack ‘n play for sleep, babies must be placed on their backs to sleep, reducing the risk of suffocation and death.
How Long Can A Baby Sleep in a Pack ‘N Play?
The best way to answer this question is to read the guidelines for your particular Pack ‘N Play brand because each one may have different guidelines to follow.
In general, you have to stop using a Pack ‘N Play when your baby is 30 pounds, but it’s not all about weight. Another factor is your baby’s height. Once your baby is 35 inches tall, they shouldn’t sleep in a Pack ‘N Play. In addition, your baby shouldn’t be tall enough that they could climb out of the portable crib or fall out – both pose safety hazards.
So, if you’re wondering – how long can a baby sleep in a Pack ‘N Play – the answer is whenever your baby exceeds the recommended weight or height, whichever comes first.
Can Babies Sleep in a Pack ‘N Play All Night?
According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, as long as the baby hasn’t outgrown the play yard and it’s used correctly, it’s safe for babies to sleep in a pack ‘n play all night long. The play yard must meet all safety standards if you want to use it for overnight sleep.
In fact, it’s safe to use a pack and play for long-term use as long as your baby doesn’t outgrow the height or weight requirements!
Remember that these are portable cribs meant for travel or daytime use. If you use it regularly, it might start to show signs of age or damage faster than expected. Also, keep an eye out for any signs of issues with structural integrity.
Can Babies Sleep in an Attached Bassinet?
If the play yard has an attached bassinet, you must stop using it for sleep once your baby is between 13 and 14 pounds. Not only could a baby potentially roll out of the bassinet if you use it too long, but excess weight could cause the bassinet to collapse.
Safety Considerations When Sleeping in a Pack ‘N Play
Even though a Pack ‘N Play is deemed a safe sleeping space, you still need to consider certain safety considerations. As parents, we always want to do everything possible to ensure our babies are safe while sleeping.
Here are some suggestions:
No Extra Bedding
If you place your baby in a Pack ‘N Play to sleep, you need to make sure all bedding is removed. We know that soft bedding is a risk factor for deaths associated with unsafe sleeping solutions.
You might be worried that your younger baby will be cold in a crib or Pack ‘N Play without beddings, but blankets increase the risk of SIDS or suffocation. Unfortunately, babies can become tangled or covered in the bedding.
This means you need to keep out all sorts of things, such as pillows, blankets, quilts, toys, sheepskins, and stuffed animals. It’s best only to use an approved mattress and sheets.
Speaking of fitted sheets, parents must use tightly fitted sheets made for the play yard. The sizes of the play yard and crib sheets are different – don’t use crib sheets. They’ll be too large, and all that extra fabric increases the risk of suffocation.
You may want to check out our guide to when can babies sleep with a blanket.
Unfortunately, there is always the risk that a Pack ‘N Play could collapse with your baby inside sleeping. In addition, some models, especially if you buy a used model, might have hardware that doesn’t work correctly that can lead to entrapment hazards.
This is an excellent time to mention that modifying your Pack ‘N Play increases the risk of something going wrong. This includes using a different mattress, adding plywood under the mattress, or any other changes.
The safest way to use a portable crib is just the way it comes!
Watch for Strangulation Hazards
Always watch and study the structure of your Pack ‘N Play. If you find anything sticking out that might pull on your baby’s clothing, increasing the risk of strangulation. Also, being close to any blind cords or drapes increases the risk.
Also, check regularly to ensure no holes are in the mesh that might create loose threads and tears.
Final Thoughts on Can A Baby Sleep in a Pack N Play
If you want to room share and use a Pack ‘N Play, feel free to do so since these are deemed a safe sleeping environment. However, if you’re wondering how long can your baby sleep in a Pack ‘n Play, the answer is that babies can use these products until they outgrow the height or weight requirements for their particular model!
And if you’re looking for more great sleeping guides, then check out these sleeping guides on best crib alternatives, mini crib vs crib, and bassinet vs pack n play. Or even our guide on when to stop using a Pack N Play!
Allison Banfield an experience mom of two, wife, writer, editor, and passionate parenting advocate! Backed with a Masters Degree in Public Health, a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion, a long career in health and safety, and 10 years of hands on experience using, researching, and testing baby products, Allison loves to use her parenting experience to support and encourage other parents.