36 Weeks: Pack n Play Options

August 7, 2012

There are so many options out there for playards – I have no idea what to choose or even how we will use it!

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Here are some facts about our situation:

  • We won’t be using it for nightime sleeping (we have the rock n play sleeper and a crib nearby our room)
  • We could use it for downstairs napping.
  • We could use it for contained + safe playing – especially when he becomes very mobile and upstairs where there is more danger.
  • My mom and Karen are both getting this one for their homes.
  • I don’t think I’d bring it to the beach, park, etc for playing – I’d probably just bring a blanket and play with him.
  • For newborn travel, we could use the rock n play which is pretty portable. But when he’s bigger, I’m not sure what he’d sleep in if the hotel/house didn’t have a crib or pack n play provided.

So all of that said, do you think we need to buy one?

I love the look of the Joovy Room2 Ultralight and the reviews are good. It’s super lightweight, but also expensive at $200. It’s 9 square feet and weighs 21 pounds all folded up. Since it sits on the floor, I think the weight limit is probably nearly unlimited. I could see this being very useful with a bigger baby. It’s also really easy to fold up in an instant since there is no wooden/plank board for the floor.

 

 

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I don’t like the look of the Graco ones as much, but I like the Pasadena well enough and the price is much, much better at $70. I THINK it comes with a bassinet for napping, although it doesn’t show it in any of the photos. It’s well reviewed and popular on Amazon. Weight limit: 40 lbs. 28 x 40 inches – so quite a bit smaller but the same weight at 22 lbs. I can see him growing out of this more quickly.

 

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Then there are the ones that are kind of inbetween. They have some bells and whistles (which I doubt I would need/use but maybe?) Like this one for $99 that has a napper/changer station, exterior storage, etc. The napper/changer has pretty low weight requirements, and I’ve heard that they are not built too well. Medium sized and heaviest. I also don’t love the design.

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I am tempted not to get one at all – or just wait and see if we need a contained play space or portable crib when he’s older. But I don’t know what I don’t know so please share your thoughts!

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{ 128 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lindsay August 7, 2012 at 8:05 am

We have the pasadena and we like it. it does not come with a separate bassinet though – at least ours didn’t

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2 Erica August 7, 2012 at 8:05 am

I adore mine! I have the one with the changing table and use it downstairs in our house. Its nice to have a second changing table and its a great place for Kay to nap.

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3 Molly @ RDexposed August 7, 2012 at 8:09 am

So…about 5 years ago I saw one of these and couldn’t remember what it was called. I affectionately called it a BABY CAGE! Which it essentially is…no? ha

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4 Katy August 7, 2012 at 8:10 am

We have the Graco. It’s fine, but it’s a real pain to set up and break down (the locking edges are REALLY tight and difficult to get to “pop”). I have a running 14-month-old, and I honestly never use it, except when we travel. I know some people use it for a play area, but my son’s never tolerated it as he’s an insane tornado of activity. As a baby, I just had him sleep in the main portion, though he was big and rolling by 2 weeks, so I never used a bassinet period. The Joovy looks neat, the only concern I’d have is with it so low, it would be difficult to use as a nap area for a newborn where you’d have to bend so far to pick him up. Good luck!

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5 carla August 7, 2012 at 8:13 am

No, no pack n play especially since Grandmas have one! Hotels have always had a pack n play but we typically take a pack n play mattress with us. I am very very minimal baby gear though. I have never had a kid who liked to “play” in a pack n play for very long, it was typically guaranteed crying.

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6 Amy August 7, 2012 at 9:56 am

I agree with Carla. My kids have their own room at my mom’s (crib/bed, etc) so no need for one there. The only hotel traveling we did was always baby friendly and they had pack n plays (brand new). I also have a 2 story house and didn’t need one downstairs. SO that being said, I have a practically never used pack n play that is going to be dropped off at the Goodwill today;) Might be an item you could hold off on buying until you find a need for it.

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7 Christi August 7, 2012 at 8:19 am

I’d be tempted to skip it until you know you need it. Our kids both didn’t like playing or hanging out in the play yard, so it was unused most of the time. We used it for travel, but it sounds like you can borrow one from Karen if you need to be on the go?

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8 carla August 8, 2012 at 7:49 am

Yeah totally forgot a grandma lived in town! I’d bet Karen would let you borrow it if you really needed it on a trip! For a while you can put baby down on the floor downstairs for a nap (especially since there are no other kids or pets to disturb baby)!

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9 Lo August 7, 2012 at 8:24 am

We have this one and love it:
http://www.target.com/p/graco-pack-n-play-little-wonders/-/A-10992865

We put it in our living room (we don’t have a den) and I’ve found it great to be able to change our baby without having to go down to the nursery. Also, I put my daughter in here while I make dinner and it’s been nice for her to have some time and space to herself to figure out how to “entertain” herself while Mama is busy. My daughter LOVES the turtle mobile and lights up every time she sees it. Although the bassinet is only recommended for up to 15 lbs. that hasn’t been a problem since we have a tiny gal (12.8 lbs. at 5 months old). Next spring I envision putting her in this and wheeling it outside while her Dad and I garden.

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10 Jackie August 7, 2012 at 8:26 am

The Bassinet is shown in the photo. Notice how the “bottom” is raised up? That is the bassinet. Once the baby is older you can lower it so it’s more like a playpen. I have 4 kids and I have used mine with all of them. We use it for travel, downstairs napping and playing. Even though it’s true – babies don’t like to be contained for long – sometimes it’s necessary as they get older and more mobile. Plus if you plan on having more children you will appreciate having a secure place for baby to play so s/he is not getting into older siblings toys (that have small pieces).

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11 morgan August 7, 2012 at 8:28 am

We never used ours as a play area but always took it with us when we traveled. Our son used it as a travel bed until he was around 2.

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12 Lauri August 7, 2012 at 8:30 am

We had one and used it for a LONG time! We had one w/a changing table you could attach and ni those first few months we kept it set up on the 1st level of our home so we could change diapers, clothes, etc on that instead of going up to the nursery everytime. Also kept some clothes in it for quick changes. The one we had also had a higher setting option (rather than putting the baby all the way at the bottom) and we kept that set up and it was also a good, safe place to leave him for a few minutes while I ran to the bathroom. plus I soon discovered that he LOVED just laying on the changing table part so sometimes we did that. We also used it for travel to hotel rooms and beach weekends where there would not be a crib until he was almost 2! I just loved ours!

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13 Sarah August 7, 2012 at 8:32 am

We have one, but we don’t use it too much. We haven’t traveled too far with the little guy, and both his grandmas have them as well. We are taking it with us when we leave for our vacation in Maine this weekend, but before that, I hadn’t touched it since Christmas!

Sounds like you might not need one – at least not right away. Unless you score a crazy deal, save your money.

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14 Amy August 7, 2012 at 8:39 am

What about the Chicco playards? We keep ours set up in the living room for now, and use the changing table since that’s where we spend most of our time. We just hang our wet bag from the corner and have a nice diaper changing station (although not at all necessary – could totally use a changing pad on the couch). It’s not too tough to set up but it is heavy. Also, our 2.5 month old naps in it (the bassinet). They now make a neural colored one at Target (Perseo), but ours is red and I like the extra color in our rather bland room. We love the quality but would like to also have a super light travel crib like the Bjorn for camping and plane travel. Happy hunting!

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15 Bridget August 7, 2012 at 8:42 am

I would go for the larger, lighter better quality one. I have tall kids who grew out of the pack in play from a length point of view long before they were ready to sleep in real beds while traveling. I wish I had a portable crib that could have contained them once they were 16 months plus. Keep in mind that with a higher quality crib you will either be able to use it with multiple kids or consign or sell or give it away when you are done. One downside I think might be the bright color – might it be a little stimulating for bedtime?

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16 Cate August 7, 2012 at 8:44 am

I say skip it and see if you feel the need for one later, especially since you’ll be able to try them at Karen’s and at your parents’ house. We never had a pack and play (we called them “baby cages” too haha) but I know that my daughter would have lasted .2 seconds in one without throwing a huge fit about being contained.

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17 Allison August 7, 2012 at 8:44 am

If you’re traveling, you could always take the one that you said Karen is getting. Otherwise, I’d just wait and see if you think you need one at home. Once they’re bigger, they don’t always want to be contained for playtime.

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18 Chrissy August 7, 2012 at 8:45 am

The “bassinet” is the bassinet attachment, which is being used in the picture you posted and all of the pictures on amazon. It’s not separate. It just means the pack n play can also be used as a bassinet (when you add in the attachment). That’s why the floor is so high in those pictures, if that makes sense. We had one of those changer attachments and it didn’t work well for us.

I think they are great for downstairs play/napping and traveling! But if your parents both bought them, you might not really need one!! Since the baby already has something to sleep in when he comes home, you can always put off this decision until you can have a better idea of what you will actually need! For some people, a Pack N Play is a MUST-HAVE and then other people never even take it out of the box.

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19 Sarah S. August 7, 2012 at 8:47 am

I have 2 kids (pregnant with the 3rd) and have loved having a pack and play. We always bring it when we travel to hotels, friends houses, etc. Also, I had ours set up in the basement/play area and would use it for changings/nap time when the baby was very llittle and would sleep everywhere. When the baby gets older, I would put him in it while I showered and got ready and just put some fun toys to play with in there. I don’t think it’s something you necessarily “need” but I have found that it comes in handy. Also, both our kids were born pretty close together so it was nice having our crib and the pack and play – but that’s thinking for the future of course!! We had a Graco that was a combination pack and play/bassinet/changer.

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20 Melissa August 7, 2012 at 8:47 am

It sounds like you might not need it. We got a lot of use out of ours the first month (Graco with changing table) –she slept in our room in the pack and play and promptly went to her crib at a month. It was a pain with nursing, but she was soooo noisy in her sleep (not crying, babies just make a lot of weird noises and I couldn’t sleep). She played in there for those early months while I’d do my hair/etc before work, and even now when I am home alone and need to shower, I can put her in there (or her crib, just depends on what she’s up to) with some books and I know she’s safe and can’t climb out. But we never travel with it — all my friends have kids and my parents have one at their house. And we use hotel cribs/pack-n-plays …

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21 Melissa August 7, 2012 at 8:49 am

Oops–I meant might not need an expensive one!! I still think it’s a good thing to have! Oops

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22 Helen August 7, 2012 at 8:47 am

With our baby that is due here in about 2 weeks or so, we’ve gone ahead with the Baby Bjorn Travel Light Crib. We were really frustrated by all of the Pack ‘n Plays for a number of reasons, namely because of the metal support bar underneath. Plus, they didn’t seem that easy to set up and break down (we actually were given one from a friend to use for the baby and we just don’t care for it and plan on sending it over to one of the grandparents’ houses). We love the Baby Bjorn because it has no metal support bar underneath, sets up in just a matter of seconds, only weighs around 10 pounds (I think) and it looks nicer than a lot of the other travel cribs/playards available. However, I will say that I had really liked the Joovy one, too. It’s so roomy!

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23 Heidi August 7, 2012 at 8:48 am

We have a Graco one…not sure which model, but we’ve had it for 4 years and used it with both of our daughters. I’ve never used it much at home with the exception of some newborn napping in the living room (with the bassinet option in it) when they were little babies. We mainly use it for sleepovers at nana’s house and in the hotel when we travel. Overall I’m REALLY glad we have it because even though we don’t use it every day (or even every week), it’s been really valuable those times when we did need it.

About Joovy-I do have a Joovy sit n’ stand stroller and I love, love, love it! Joovy seems to put a lot of thought into designing their products…the stroller has lots of extra features that I love! :)

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24 Liz August 7, 2012 at 8:50 am

We have one because our Arms Reach co-sleeper turned into one. We have a 10m old and have used it exactly once. What a pain they are! If Grandmas have one, I say skip it. There are baby travel gear services you can use that will ship a pack n play, diapers, toys, etc. to your hotel so you don’t have to worry about travel. And the bassinets/changing tables all seem so flimsy to me and the weight limit is really low – usually under 15 lbs. – for those accessories. Maybe I was making cream, but she surpassed 15 lbs. shockingly fast before evening out ( I guess a fairly common trait of EBF babies?) so those features might not be useful for long.

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25 Celeste August 7, 2012 at 8:58 am

Yeah, if grandmas are getting one and you really truly plan on having him sleep in his room, you probably don’t need it. We used it in our room, but even at that, it was packed up and put away by about 9 months. He HATED “playing” it, so it was never effective for that for us.

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26 jen August 7, 2012 at 9:00 am

honestly, since he’s not going to sleep in it you will probably only need for when you travel, so you could just hold off. we use ours mostly when we go to someone’s house or when i have another child over that needs to nap or go to sleep. our kids went into their cribs right away so we didn’t need them for sleeping and i just hate having it up all the time so i never use around the house. i would say go with a cheaper one :)

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27 Katie Mac August 7, 2012 at 9:01 am

I find it def necessary to have one, but don’t think you need all the bells and whistles. If you go to a friends house or go on vacation they can use it up until like 2 years old. We have used ours more than we thought we would

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28 Mandy August 7, 2012 at 9:04 am

I have a 4 month old. We have a pack n play in our bedroom. While he has yet to sleep in it, the changing table bassinet attached to it has been the most used baby item to date. (what can I say; my boy can poop!) ours also has storage space for diapers, extra clothes, wipes, etc. which is great too.

I would definitely recommend getting one with the changing table bassinet if you get one at all.

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29 Jen August 7, 2012 at 9:07 am

We used ours pretty regularly– much more than I expected. When she was very small, but able to roll over it was a short term play/lounge location and a way to keep her from rolling all over the living room when I had to run to the bathroom or fix something quick to eat. We kept the top suspended layer (forgot what it’s called) in, then could place it right next to the kitchen to talk and sing with her (and let her smell the foods and spices we were using) as we cooked.

As she got more mobile, it occasionally served the same containment purpose! As a toddler now, she likes to play games in in (mainly drop in the stuffed animal and talk to it through the mesh), pretend it’s a car or train (and have me place her in with the animal) and fill it up with toys. It’s also handy when we have a project that needs to be done outside or in the garage when we can’t safely supervise her. We put her, a bunch of toys and puzzles and a snack in it, then wheel it to wherever we will be and she can be part of the action without us worrying about her finding bugs or eating sticks. Now that she’s two it is also the “time-out” location, as it prevents her from running around when she’s supposed to be calming down!

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30 Nicole August 7, 2012 at 9:07 am

We went with the ArmsReach cosleeper instead of a pack n play. It’s not as pretty looking (especially since the natural color was the only one available), but it’s more functional with higher weight limits for both the sleeper part and the play yard. Ideally that’s going to stay in our room for a long time, especially with the straps you place under the mattress to keep it secure. We don’t plan to travel much, but ours will pack up easily to take if needed.

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31 alex m August 7, 2012 at 9:09 am

I didn’t think I’d end up using one with my daughter but in the end it was really, really handy. I liked having it at other people’s homes if they had pets or small children–no need to baby proof if my daughter was contained in a pack and play! It also allowed me a chance to get some stuff done around the house without worrying she’d crawl off or I could bring it outside for her to get some fresh air instead of crawling around on the grass. Also, if you plan to stay in a hotel its MUCH more reassuring to keep your child in your own pack and play rather than one the hotel may provide! I knew exactly how clean it was, what kind of things had been in it, and I knew that any bodily fluids in it belonged to my daughter, which i couldn’t really trust in a hotel’s pack and play. I know you have access to the rock and play sleeper but really, thats not going to be as practical for your son once he starts turning over or moving around more. Its mostly just for sleeping whereas a pack and play can be used to give him a little more room to move around

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32 Alli August 7, 2012 at 9:11 am

We skipped it with no regrets, although we are pretty minimal with baby gear and don’t travel much. Both Grandmas had a pack n play in their homes and that took care of our needs 95% of the time. “Everyone” told us that we would regret not having a play-yard since we have our living space spread out on all 3 stories of our house, however we just got creative with nap spaces when our babies were little, and by the time they were both 3 months old had transitioned into their cribs full-time for napping anyway.

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33 Sarah August 7, 2012 at 9:11 am

I wouldn’t get one just for travel – they’re big and bulky, and there’s too much other stuff to take along on mos trips. You can generally get one from the hotel or even rent one from a local baby gear company or borrow from a friend at your destination. (My parents and sister have both borrowed baby gear from neighbors or friends when we’ve come to visit. A lot of people seem to really love to help friends out with stuff like that.) Plus, if Karen has one, you could always borrow hers for travel if you decided you need it, right? So definitely don’t waste your money if you don’t think you’ll use it much at home.

Craigslist is a good way to go if you think you might want one downstairs at home but don’t want to commit a lot of money in case you don’t use it much. This seems to be a baby gear item that a lot of people buy, and then some of them use all the time and find indispensable, and others barely use at all and end up selling nearly new for less money just to get it out of the house! :)

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34 Amy August 7, 2012 at 9:13 am

I have the Graco basic one that i keep in our kitchen/livingroom. It’s very handy for quick diaper changes and if you have your hands full making dinner. It’s nothing fancy, but very portable and if you fly somewhere and it gets marked up in baggage-you won’t mind so much.

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35 Danielle August 7, 2012 at 9:14 am

We have the Graco one that has the changer station– and we never once changed the baby in the changing station! Not a worthwhile add on.
We also never used it to put our son in to play, which was a mistake! If you start them young enjoying playtime in there I imagine its much easier than trying later. Since we also used the PnP for sleeping on vacation and when visiting people I was a little concerned that if he used it for play he would not associate it with sleep when he was intended to sleep in there… but maybe I over-thought that :)

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36 Sara August 7, 2012 at 9:16 am

They are good for Grandparents houses, but other than that we never really used one, even though we had one. We got one second hand and it came with the changing table attachment, so we did have it set up when my daughter was a newborn for diaper changes so we didn’t always have to run upstairs to change her in her room. Other than that she HATED being in it. She never really napped in it, because she didn’t like to be put down much when a newborn…and even when older, she did not like sleeping in it. She STILL hates sleeping in one (she’s 15 months now). When we stay in a hotel, we just ask for a crib and bring our own sheets. Much less to pack and our daughter usually ends up in the bed with us at hotels because if she knows we’re in the room, she won’t even really sleep in a crib–just cries and cries! If you have the rock n sleep thing, that should be all you need. I wish I had had one of those! As for playing in it, Carla said it best–most kids hate being put in them to play, they’d much rather be hanging out with you, so they most often will cry!

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37 KERF August 7, 2012 at 9:27 am

I’m assuming most hotels have cribs that are up to safety measures? I would think this would be required by law? Glad you have used them

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38 Sara August 7, 2012 at 10:39 am

Yes, from what I have seen. They are usually a mini size that only adjusts to two different levels-high for newborn or very low. We bring our own sheet which is a pack n play sheet and then we’re set. You can buy the mini pack n play sheets and BRU. Hope that helps–I wish I had really known from others what you need and what you don’t, because now my house is filled with stuff that never really got used and we’re running out of room! Just holding on to it for when/if there is a number two :).

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39 Jody, RD August 7, 2012 at 11:48 am

We travel a lot and have had small metal cribs, small wooden cribs and a sketchy pack-n-play in hotels. We have also had it where a hotel wouldn’t guarantee the availability of a crib – saying something like “Ask for it when you check in and if there are any available, they will bring it to your room”. If traveling by car, we usually bring our own. If traveling by air, we gamble and hope they have one!

With that being said, I would get one if I were you. Sometimes its nice if you’re going to friends’ houses and you don’t feel like leaving at 7 pm so your 9 month old can go to bed. Just bring the PnP with you and set the baby up in a spare bedroom so you can still have a social life, not ALWAYS have to get a baby sitter and the baby has a safe place to sleep.

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40 Robin August 7, 2012 at 12:03 pm

I agree, we’ve seen a lot of sketchy hotel cribs… and there’s no guarantee one will be available when you check in. Our daughters are older now, but my one recommendation would be if you’re planning to use one for travel, try to get one that rolls when it’s packed up. They’re not fun to carry around with the plethera of gear that comes with traveling with a baby!

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41 Lauren August 7, 2012 at 9:16 am

I would suggest not getting one until you need it because it sounds like it may just be an extra piece of equipment that may not get used. Is there a reason not to go the Craigslist route? Simplegreen works wonders and you can always replace sheets, etc.

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42 KERF August 7, 2012 at 9:26 am

Yeah, I haven’t thought to check with friends who are done or CL

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43 Sarah August 7, 2012 at 9:17 am

I would say if you have the Rock’n Play you don’t need a separate pack and play. If you are travelling, you could easily borrow either Pack N’ play from the Grandmas. Personally (and Matt might have the same problem) I’m 5’7″ and would break my back trying to change a baby on the pack n play “changing stations” on a regular basis. The bassinet is nice, but again, very short life span and if you already have a rock n play not necessary. We used our pack and play in our room with the baby until she was big enough to sleep in her own crib.

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44 Jessie @ Graze With Me August 7, 2012 at 9:17 am

We received the third one you pictured as a baby shower gift. I think it’s the same, it has the removable changing station, a musical mobile and the exterior storage. My daughter is almost 11 months & we’ve only traveled with it 4 times. I’m not a fan of this one bc the sleepin surface is so hard. I’d recommend buying the softest one if you do get one. We’ve had to add extra blankets for padding under the mat as well as a padded crib sheet. It’s a pain…

But we live in a 4 level house with the nursery on the top floor & living room on the 2nd and that changing pad/nap station was a LIFESAVER the first three months!!

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45 diana @ frontyardfoodie August 7, 2012 at 9:18 am

i would wait until you need one to buy anything. i have used our one a couple times but my son is almost two……

for relatives they are priceless but you have all you need for a baby as far as places to sleep so i would play it by ear if i were you.

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46 Cristen August 7, 2012 at 9:18 am

I would vote no since you already have the sleeper & crib at home. If you found yourself in a situation where you needed one, just borrow Karen’s.

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47 Kristin August 7, 2012 at 9:19 am

It doesn’t sound like it would be used often in your house and the only other time would be traveling, so it sounds best to wait and see. Even if you needed it very seldom, it sounds like borrowing one from a grandma would be quite easy. Also, I have yet to meet a baby or toddler who enjoys “playing” in a pack and play for more than about 3 seconds before standing up, hanging on the side, and crying to get out.

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48 Christie August 7, 2012 at 9:24 am

I say no to the pnp. We have one and we used the napper for the baby for several months until we found the rock n play. I like it much better for little babies. I kinda don’t know what to do with pnp now.

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49 Liz August 7, 2012 at 9:26 am

I would say no to a pack and play also. We have a 4 year old and never ever used one. Plus, keep in mind, 40 lbs is a decent sized 4 year old and I can guarantee you that a kid will be out of a pack and play for sleeping and playing well before 4. Good luck with your decison!

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50 Averie @ Averie Cooks August 7, 2012 at 9:33 am

my honest recommendation on this one is to go with the cheapest model that still folds up without too much elbow grease. Some of them are really finnicky but it will take a beating and a $200 P ‘n P just seems like you would be better with those dollars allocated somewhere else – like another boppy cover, a pedicure, etc :)

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51 Jen August 7, 2012 at 9:34 am

Is the baby’s nursery on the top floor? The only reason I think you might like one is for downstairs diaper changing. It’s annoying to have to go upstairs to change diapers. You’ll want some kind of downstairs station for at least the first 6 months.

Otherwise, when travelling, you can almost always find a hotel port-a-crib or borrow the pack-and-play from one of the grandmas. My daughter is 16 months now and on our last vacation, we used the hotel crib and it was fine. The place we stayed on our drive back (so only one night) didn’t have one so we just put her in our bed and that was also fine for just one night. It’s easier now that she’s a bit older.

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52 Jeanette August 7, 2012 at 9:36 am

Dominic was so, so tiny when we brought him home that we used the one with the sleeping area and changing table for his actual bed (crib?) because his real crib seemed so huge. We switched him to his real crib at about 7 or 8 months (the equivalent of a 4 or 5 month old full term baby). After that the only time we ever used it was sending it to the grandparents for sleepovers. We never really used it at home, it just stayed in the closet until we sold it a few years later in awesome condition for bucks. Maybe put aside the money for it and if you keep coming up needing it then you could go get one?

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53 Jeanette August 7, 2012 at 9:40 am

*Lol, for 50 bucks!

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54 Erika August 7, 2012 at 9:37 am

I don’t think it’s something you need right away. I’d wait awhile and the see if you feel like you would benefit from one. We have one and we do use it for the changing table part, but we could do without it. I’ve only used it for him to nap in a few times. As far as putting him some place safe while I’m busy I use either the Johnny Jumper or walker – not to say I won’t use it when he is older but I don’t really see that happening.

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55 Amy August 7, 2012 at 9:38 am

With our first we mostly used the PnP as a changing table and occasional nap spot. It was handy at first but after a while ended up just doubling as a big toy box….not much “play” action, just a dumping ground for things left astray in the living room!

That said; here I am 8 years pregnant with #2 and I went and bought a new one anyway…but I’d still say you probably don’t need one. :)

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56 Erin August 7, 2012 at 9:40 am

I wouldn’t bother with it. Honestly, the grandparents have them, which is the only time we really needed one. And with Karen being close, if you were in a pinch, maybe she would let you borrow it? They are pretty easy to transport. Save the money then if you need one, you can always go get one. Hotels have cribs and pack and plays. You’ll be fine without one :)

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57 Janelle August 7, 2012 at 9:48 am

If both grandparents have them, I would definitely wait. If you need one…Craigslist! They are a great item to get second hand.

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58 Marie August 7, 2012 at 9:56 am

I had the same questions. We were given a used one from a friend. There are a million on craigslist – fyi. It is nice to have when traveling. That’s about it. If both the grandma’s have one — I don’t think you will need one. Hotels have cribs. And if you do need to take it with you — you could just borrow grandma Karen’s. If you feel you need one, my advice would be to wait. It is not something that is necessary now. Love that Joovy! Great company – all Joovy products are designed by mamas. So smart.

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59 yasmara August 7, 2012 at 9:56 am

We never ever used ours except when traveling & even then, only if our destination didn’t have one (relative’s house with no young kids). If we wanted the baby to nap, we put him in his crib/bassinet & used the monitor if I was going to be on a different floor. If you have a Once Upon a Child in your area, they usually have tons of pack & plays. I would vote with the others who said to definitely wait on this purchase – you may find that you don’t need it at all or that you want something entirely different.

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60 Kathleen August 7, 2012 at 9:58 am

We love our Graco pack n play, the one with the bassinet and changing table. Both of my kids used it for many naps and playtimes. My son actually outgrew the rock n play by 8 weeks old so I was glad to have the other option.
The main reason I’m writing this, though, is that I really love having the pack and play for when my other friends with kids come over. That way they can put their baby to sleep in it while my kids sleep in their own beds, or some other arrangement. I imagine you have lots of friends with young kids and it really is nice to have the option for them in the house, it makes entertaining easier for everyone. Best of luck!

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61 Katherine August 7, 2012 at 10:07 am

we have one exactly like the pasedina one and love it. We used it in our room as a crib for about 6mo. Doesn’t come with the changing/napper station but I really didn’t feel like we needed it. It’s been a lifesaver for going to babysitter’s houses as well. We don’t have family here and sometimes had to secure babyless friends for babysitting. I think it’s very quick and easy set up and break down and my 14 mo old still SOMETIMES uses it for secured play. I’m about to have another baby (due sept 19th ish, maybe the 26th ;) ) but I plan on using it for about 6 mo maybe longer depending on how Noah does with a toddler bed transition. Kinda playing it by ear. HTH

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62 colleen August 7, 2012 at 10:21 am

I had one for all three of our kids. Besides using it for a bassinet and changing area for the first month, it come in handy when they became mobile – especially when I was home w/o the hubby and needed to shower, cook, work, etc. We made sure they didn’t spend too much time in it daily, but those minutes they did were worth it.

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63 Maggie August 7, 2012 at 10:24 am

I would vote no based on my experience so far. With my 3 month old we use the rock n play sleeper at night in our room and when we travel. We are currently transitioning him to his crib in his own room starting with nap time. Our pack n play has clean clothes on it that havent made it to the dresser/closet. I might use ours when he’s older and we travel but I wish I had gotten a cheaper one with less bells and whistles. Also, there are many reports about safety issues with the napper attachment so be sure to read up if you buy one with that part.

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64 Tiffany August 7, 2012 at 10:30 am

Skip it! At least for now since it doesn’t actually sound like you need it. We used one with a bassinet attached for the first few months in our bedroom, but then after that the crib. If you already have the bassinet option covered, then no need. We have only used it once when traveling. The other times either the hotel provided a crib or it was at grandparents who bought a pack n play like yours are! If you need it when traveling, buy it then (or borrow one!).

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65 Jaymi August 7, 2012 at 11:05 am

Long story short, you don’t need one. For both kids, if we wanted them to nap in a different room, we would just move the RnP. When we travel, we take the RnP, it folds flat and works perfectly. We had both a play yard and a PnP and never used either, we ended up selling them. I know some people use the play yard to contain a kid, but we would just close doors to block off rooms our oldest wasn’t allowed in. Or, we just kept our eyes on him. No big deal.

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66 Jaymi August 7, 2012 at 11:06 am

I forgot, I have a 20 month old and a 4 month old. Not sure if that really matters, I thought I’d just throw that out there.

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67 Molly August 7, 2012 at 11:09 am

We have used ours a lot. When we travel to friends homes for overnights or vacations we take it. Our biggest vacation destinations are usually beach rentals where a pack n play would not be provided. At my pediatricians suggestion I also used it as a way to get my daughters used to playing independently. When they could sit up I would put them in there with toys while I was still sitting next to them (outside the pack n play). When they got comfortable in there I was then able to put them in with toys and swap out a load of clothes or put away dishes or even take a quick shower while they played!
Hope this helps!
Take Care!
mhc

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68 Brie August 7, 2012 at 11:16 am

This is the one we registered for (and got!): http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11959538&fromRegistryNumber=48277382&product_skn=780919

It was bought on sale at $119, which isn’t bad.

We just set it up last weekend and it feels really sturdy to us (and the pattern is pretty neutral and not offensively ugly). We wanted one with a changing station because we have a big, two-story house. The Pack n’ Play will reside on the main floor and be the place where we change diapers/put him down for a nap when we’re in the living room/kitchen area. (We probably won’t use the “newborn napper” as much, because we also have a swing and bouncer for downstairs use, too.) We have the Rock n’ Play for our bedroom upstairs and the changing table in the nursery upstairs. If our house was smaller, I’d probably have bought a more basic model, but I do NOT want to have to haul a baby up two flights of stairs every time his diaper is dirty!

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69 Michelle August 7, 2012 at 11:19 am

We have the middle priced one and never used the changing table or the mobile once! It was great for a travel bed for our son! He also slept in it every night in our room for the first five weeks then he decided to be a big boy and sleep through the night in his own bed! Hes almost three now and not even 30 lbs yet, so we would still be able to use it. We actually use a little Lightening McQueen fold out couch that he adores when we travel now!

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70 Crissy August 7, 2012 at 11:19 am

I can count on one hand the amount of times I used mine. If Grandmas are getting one and you have a rock n play you really have no use for it. I loved having a large gate/fence in our play area when my daughter was a bit older – this one http://www.amazon.com/North-States-Superyard-Play-Yard/dp/B00020L78M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1344352698&sr=8-1&keywords=superyard to be exact. Save the $ you would have spent on the pack n play and buy one of those instead for your basement!

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71 coco August 7, 2012 at 11:32 am

I’m getting the graco pack n play pasadena and plan to use to for the first 6 weeks as night sleeper in our room until she transition to her room. And after that, we can use it as napper down stairs and as play ground. Since it’s not expensive, I think using it for 2 months or so is okay.

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72 Candy August 7, 2012 at 11:45 am

I wouldn’t assume that every hotel will have a pack n play (or one available for you when you check in). We were just traveling with family and got to a hotel only to find they had no pack n play for our 1 year old nephew. Oops. Plus, I am really not overly cautious when it comes to germs but I would bet that a hotel pack n play NEVER gets cleaned. It always made me a bit squeamish to think about what all the other babies (and the bodily fluids that go with them) did in that pack n play.

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73 Marie August 7, 2012 at 11:48 am

Don’t get one! Instead, get a Kidco Peapod Plus. If you get your child used to sleeping it, it will be awesome when you travel. Very light, folds up small, portable. We didn’t get one until our son was 2, but wish we had it sooner! It’s so much easier to use than a playyard.

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74 DCRunner August 7, 2012 at 11:50 am

We have the Pasedena. The higher “mattress” setting is the “bassinet.” it doesn’t come with anything else. Before we bought a Rock n Play, we used it a lot but now we don’t use it. Not sure if we’ll travel with it or not.

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75 Allison August 7, 2012 at 12:35 pm

I NEVER used my pack and play for my son, but then I did end up using it with my daughter. When she became more mobile, I would put her in it when I would take a shower. I think I would just put my son in his crib, but with my daughter, I put the it in our bed room so she would be close. She preferred that. Not sure that we ever used it other wise.

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76 Jessica Gilbert August 7, 2012 at 12:38 pm

We used the pack and play with a changing/bassinet thing on top as a place to change our little guy downstairs and to store items. Now that he is 8 months old it is a life saver to set him in to play when I need to run out of the room for a few minutes. I know he is safe and I can make lunch, swap laundry, or take out the dogs. I also have used it while traveling it is nice for them to have a place to sleep that is familiar and smells like home. I wouldn’t invest a ton of money in it we got our brand new at target (Bright Starts brand)for $89 and it has been great.

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77 Jessica Gilbert August 7, 2012 at 12:39 pm

We also used a loved the rock n’ play until he made it into his crib but as soon as he could sit up or even start to move/roll it seemed unsafe to me for napping.

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78 Melanie August 7, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Have you seen or heard about the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib?

http://www.amazon.com/BABYBJÖRN-Travel-Crib-Light-Blue/dp/B000XDYLEK/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1344357667&sr=8-3&keywords=baby+bjorn+travel+crib+light

While it is around $200, I have to say that it rocks! The ease of traveling with it, setting up, etc is so much more simple than any pack and play I’ve seen. My daughter is 16 months now and has been sleeping in it when we travel since she was 3 or 4 months old- so it’s been a lifesaver, doesn’t take up much room in the car and is very lightweight. When we fly however and are staying in a hotel, we make sure the hotel provides pack and play’s and just bring our own sheet. It’s hard figuring it all out with all the options- good luck!

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79 Jen August 7, 2012 at 12:49 pm

I think, as a general rule, if you’re asking “do we need one?” that it’s a good idea to wait until you actually KNOW you need it. Wait until he’s been around for a few months and then decide… especially because it’s so easy to order something with the click of a button these days! :)

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80 Katie August 7, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I got this instead on a recommendation from a friend. In a pinch (or if you’re visiting someone that doesn’t have a pack and play) it could work when they are little. Obviously this isn’t long term but it folds up in to a ridiculously lightweight square that you can sling over your shoulder. It was cheap and I figured also good for naps in the park (we live in a city) or at a friend’s apartment the first few months. We don’t have the space for a pack and play and both gramdmas have one.

http://www.amazon.com/Eddie-Bauer-Infant-Travel-Bed/dp/B000COW7WS

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81 Lauri W August 7, 2012 at 12:58 pm

We actually tried to return our pack n play! I say ‘tired’ because I returned it and received a refund for the full amount at target (~140.00) and the cashier then told me they would be placing it back on the floor for FOUR dollars because it was an ‘online item’ that they didn’t sell in the store. She then offered to let me buy it back… for $4 bucks! Obviously I couldn’t refuse that!

We JUST set it up in the kitchen as a temporary place until we can buy some play mats and the ‘North States Superyard’ play area. For travel we will probably use the rock n play as long as possible and then maybe the pack n play… I definitely don’t think it is a must have and I wouldn’t buy one with all the bells and whistles. Ours has a bassinet, changing station and mobile that we probably won’t ever use. The changing station wasn’t very sturdy and I didn;t feel comfortable using it the 1-2 times I tried it out. So I would recommend waiting to see if you need it or buying a really inexpensive one just for travel (but you could always borrow from your family)…

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82 Melissa August 7, 2012 at 1:00 pm

It was the biggest waste of money for us. LO napped in the swing or in our arms when she was little, then moved into napping in the crib later. I’d skip it. If you need it, you can buy it later.

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83 Regina August 7, 2012 at 1:07 pm

We travel a lot as a family. In fact, our first trip will be when our son is 3 months old in December (he’s due in 13 days!!) We registered for this http://www.target.com/p/baby-trend-nursery-center-playard/-/A-12443136 and our aunt was gracious enough to purchase it for us. We love it! It’s set up in our living room and I plan to use it often for diaper changes, naps and play time if I need to leave the room for a moment. It has a traveling case and is really compact so it’ll be great and easily transportable for road trips and other vacations. I love the fact that it has a changing table so I don’t have to sit on the floor to change him and it just easily flips over the top of the crib (when it’s not in use you flip it down and it lies flat with the side of the pack n’ play). The mattress pads are really comfortable enough without having too much give that they could pose a danger. The mobile is great for distracting him while we’re changing him or to give him something to focus on when falling asleep. It’s also deep enough that he’ll be able to grow with it for play time and has the crib layer for using while he’s still small. For $72 it was a great investment and we would surely buy it again.

(We plan to use it a lot while we’re at home too. In our childbirth class we were told for the first few days or even weeks sometimes recovery is bad enough where they advice mommy to only go up/down the stairs once in a day. Our living room and kitchen are on a different floor from our bedroom/nursery. So for the first few days and weeks, if that’s the case, I plan to use the pack n’ play primarily and spend my time in the living room (right near the kitchen) during the day so stairs aren’t an issue and I’ll be able to change him easily using the pack n’ play rather than going up and down the steps. Ditto for nap time).

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84 Lora August 7, 2012 at 1:10 pm

We never bothered with a pack and play. We traveled quite a bit and if the hotel didn’t have a crib for us the baby just slept with me (or on me). We also have a multi-story house and when he was little enough nap time was just on the couch and when he was old enough to roll over he went to his room to nap in his crib. At this point I would hold getting one until you are absolutely sure you will use it enough to get your money’s worth out of it. So much of the baby stuff is just a “nice to have” but you don’t really need it.

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85 Anna @ On Anna's Plate August 7, 2012 at 1:37 pm

We have one, but still haven’t used it. We got one with a bassinet on top, thinking that she might sleep in that (instead of a co-sleeper or regular bassinet) in the early months, but she just slept in her nap nanny and then transitioned to the crib. I’m hoping that we might use it for playtime once she’s a little older (and mobile), so that it won’t count as just a complete waste of money!

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86 Cindy August 7, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Since both of your moms are getting one, I would say borrow one of those to travel and don’t worry about having one at home. Babies grow fast & you won’t really use it for very long.

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87 Julia August 7, 2012 at 2:02 pm

The rock n play is soooo great and easy to use and to move around from room to room, even if baby is asleep in it.
We got the Chicco model when our son was 4 months old and have only used it when traveling–visits to the grandparents and a week at the beach. As a first-time mom, I wanted to get the “fancy” one with toys and a changing table, rather than a basic one. Now that I see how little we use and that the mattress (and I use that loosely) is not very comfortable, I wish that we had just gotten the MOST basic one available. While I wouldn’t use cribs provided by a hotel, my vote is to hold out until you really need or to inherit one from a friend!

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88 Carrie August 7, 2012 at 2:27 pm

I haven’t had time to read through the comments section so I apologize if I’m giving feedback others have but after three children, I will say that we most definitely needed and used our pack-n-play for all of our kids and consider it a must have. In the beginning, it served as a second changing station/nap area on the lower floor where the baby’s room and supplies were not convenient but even more importantly, it was a great tool for teaching our girls how to play independently as they grew. As soon as they were able to sit up, we put them in it for 15 minutes twice a day (usually for me to shower and then do some other type of cleaning or dinner prep) and gradually worked up to 30 minutes twice a day. As they grew, we moved from it to their room (where they now were comfortable playing on their own but we just put a gate at the door) and then eventually removed the gate and by then, they have learned how to play independently in their room without needing me or my husband to engage them 24/7. Believe me, I love my children dearly and play with them all the time but it is truly a gift to teach them how to engage themselves with toys and activities. My now six year old daughter loves to go to her room and play with her dolls or toys and is not constantly under foot saying she is bored or doesn’t have anything to do. So your basically teaching your child how to play and I think the pack-n-play is key in getting this going early on (we started at 6 months).

Beyond that, we were definitely a road tripping type of family that often visited friends or places that we definitely couldn’t count on having a pack-n-play so we used it very frequently as a sleeping/napping option. Even if I’m having a “mommy play date” that might run into nap time, I can throw it in the car and then set it up in a guest room at a friend’s house so that I don’t have to run home to keep my baby on a schedule. This is also great if you have friends who want you to come over for dinner – you can put the baby down in the pack-n-play, stay and enjoy the party and then head home later without having to sacrifice the baby’s schedule or your desire to maintain social friendships, etc…

Sorry this is such a long winded response but I think it’s definitely worth the investment. We have a Graco that we bought 6 years ago and it’s still in great shape, easy to use and is already set up for baby four’s upcoming arrival. I hope that’s helpful :)

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89 KERF August 7, 2012 at 2:33 pm

I think the “teaching to play independently” concept is really interesting. My mom said she encouraged this too and we were always happy to go to our rooms and play with toys on our own.

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90 Susan August 7, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Teaching independent play is invaluable for building confidence and imagination!!!! We’ve encouraged both of our children in this area and they are very content to play alone or “alone” with each other. It also allows me get things done around the house, etc.
Oh, and we only use our pnplay when we travel … not every hotel has one and even if they do … it creeps me out. If Karen lives close-by you could always just borrow hers when you need to.

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91 Kelsey August 7, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Playing indepenently is very important! We have encouraged independent play recently as our 6 month old has become more mobile and interested in toys. He loves his blocks, his mobile in his crib and loves playing on his own. He just laughs and giggles and coos and talks to his toys… its an amazing thing to see. We love that he is so content playing on his own but of course we also LOVE to play with him!

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92 Casey August 8, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Absolutely agree! Independent play is good for you and good for your child! We have used our pack and play tons and it’s nice to have a safe place to put baby down when you need to. He may not be happy about it, but at least you know he is safe :)

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93 Katherine August 7, 2012 at 5:01 pm

totally agree with Carrie

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94 Kelly Baker August 7, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I wrote a post about “room time” for independent play. I never really used our Graco pack n play for that purpose, but would recommend teaching independent play somehow.

As far as the bottomless Joovy, I would NOT recommend that for travel/sleep. The floor, if bare, will be cold; and the floor with plush carpet could be too squishy. We have traveled a lot with our Graco packnplay, and always prefer it over the hotel’s option (which is often either old, sketchy, worn down, or too small). Plus our little girl is familiar with our pack n play, so in an unfamiliar place, it’s not completely new.

Someone else commented, but the bassinet is the slip-over, hanging bottom that is only like 10 inches from the top. It’s great when baby isn’t rolling over yet – saves your back!

Over all, the Gracy is a great overall option. It’s a great value, and really all that’s a nice add-on is the compatibility, ease of use, and bassinet. Highly recommend!

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95 Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength August 7, 2012 at 3:05 pm

We used ours a ton when CJ was a newborn at home for naps, to put him down if we were running to the bathroom, cooking dinner, etc. Now he just uses it to sleep at my parent’s lake house. We thought it would be good for playtime, but he mostly just stood up and cried to get out. haha

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96 Morgan August 7, 2012 at 3:33 pm

We intended on having our daughter in the PNP as a newborn. She absolutely HATED IT. I don’t blame her. The “mattress” is about 1/2 inch thick and the bassinet part of the PNP sinks slightly in the middle, so it’s not the sturdiest surface to rest.

Once we dropped the mattress down, she liked it better. We only use it when we are on vacation or taking her to a place that doesn’t have a crib. I’d get the cheap model and just store it in the attic. It does come in handy if you are traveling and need a place for the baby to sleep. Other than that, it’s pretty worthless in our house!

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97 Danielle August 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm

I don’t have any children of my own yet but I have a number of nieces, nephews, friends with babies etc. So I have a question related to possibly unnecessary baby equipment.

I’ve noticed a few people saying that one of the above items would be handy to have downstairs for a downstairs changing table because it would get annoying to have to go up to the nursery for every dirty diaper. In my experience with my siblings’ and friends’ babies it was very very common to just use a foldable diaper changing pad and change the baby on the floor.

Is there really a reason to spend money on changing tables?

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98 Marci August 7, 2012 at 3:45 pm

I haven’t read the above comments, but wanted to chime in. We bought a Graco pack and play with a changing table. I don’t think it’s as necessary as our friends made it seem. Logan has never napped or slept in it overnight, but that wasn’t our plan for it. We used the changing table part as our downstairs changing station, and this part was necessary, but a smaller table would do too. Maybe 3 times I have put him in the bed part to look around. I am hoping it will be useful when he is more mobile and he can play in it by himself. If nothing else, I’m sure it will become a ball pit one day! It is definitely too heavy and hard to assemble to ever take it anywhere.
One thing to remember–when they are really little, they like to nap in movement, like bouncy or swing. Pack and Play wouldn’t cut it for us.

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99 Kelsey August 7, 2012 at 3:45 pm

We have a 6 month baby boy. We have two play yards… by accident (gifts). So here is our little story of the play yards…
We also anticipated Will sleeping in his bassinet but let me tell you… that did not happen.
So finally after a week or so of Will sleeping on my chest or my husbands chest we realized… oh maybe he doesn’t like to sleep laying flat. So we had him sleeping in his little bouncer thing. Which he LOVED! We actually had one of the play yards next to the bed with the bouncer in it and the other play yard in the living room with the changing portion and the storage section.
We used the bouncer for about 3 weeks then started transitioning to the play yard…. then when he was about 3 months we transitioned to crib sleeping.
As for the play yard in the living room we used it up until a couple of weeks ago for the changing table ease… and basically the other part just held toys and random baby stuff so it wasn’t really being used for sleeping or for safe keeping of the babe when doing house work.
He never really liked to just lay and hang out it in… but he LOVES his crib… he is so happy just googling in his bedroom. Its pretty awesome.
So, yes, I would recommend having a play yard for the living room area because it does make life a little easier, but just be aware that things may change very quickly one day to the next depending on your little mans preferences.
Good luck!

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100 Kelsey August 7, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Oh ya! We used those co-sleeper beds for a while but he only liked it if it was angled a little bit. He didn’t really like sleeping on his back at first.
Now… he sleeps in his crib at night, all night basically. When he wakes up around 5-6 we feed him in bed and then he falls back alseep and just sleeps with us until 7 or 8. I know a lot of people are against co-sleeping but if it is done in a safe manner then i beleive it is very beneficial to the bonding of mommy, baby and daddy.

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101 Chand August 7, 2012 at 4:38 pm

WAIT! You do not have to have everything before baby arrives. You are nesting on steroids girl! Chill out, read a book. Sleep. You are ready.

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102 Reghan August 7, 2012 at 4:54 pm

I could see it being useful for you since you plan on hanging out in your basement quite a bit. Would be a good place for baby to nap, a good spot to change baby and also when he’s more mobile if you had to run upstairs quickly for any reason you know he’d be contained in the play pen part when he’s a big bigger!
We have just a plain one with the bassinet part and the change station. We’re using it for the baby to sleep in our room for the first few weeks and will probably use it for traveling as well!

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103 Katie of Cabbage Ranch August 7, 2012 at 4:54 pm

They’re definitely worth the money but I recommend just getting a really basic one (it’s just for occasional/temporary use)! We spent just $50 on a no-frills pack n play and have used it plenty for sleeping away from home. It’s been perfect for play dates, overnight trips, camping, etc. If we can check ours for free when traveling by plane, we bring it. On our last trip, however, it was going to cost us $25 each way to check as luggage. Since we were going to visit grandparents, I opted to buy another $50 one and have it shipped (free!) directly to their house, and they will store it in between visits. It cost the same as checking it for one round trip, but now it’s there and waiting from now on. Done and done!

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104 Meagan August 7, 2012 at 6:02 pm

We have used ours CONSTANTLY with both kids… always when traveling. The only thing I would suggest is find one that will fit a baby that is 2-3 yrs still (until the baby moves to a big kid bed, they would likely use this as a bed when traveling) AND is not too wide. We fit ours into small spaces whenever we can… ie) in bathrooms of hotels to provide our baby his/her own “room” (and give us some privacy to watch tv, read with lights on and talk without distrubing our sleeping baby), tucked beside hotel beds (to provide a bit of a block from seeing us and therefore wanting us all night long!) and even in our little trailer when camping. We always brought our own to hotels to as my kids preferred and got used to their own playpen (and then slept with no problems even in new environments because their bed was familiar) and I always knew it was clean, safe and hygentic.

Remember, you can always sell stuff when you are done with it too!

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105 Erinn August 7, 2012 at 6:25 pm

My 2.5 month old baby girl is snoozing in the bassinet portion of the pack ‘n play as I type this. We have the one that is second from the right on your chart above and absolutely love it. We have a 2 story home with her nursery upstairs, so the pack’n play is used downstairs in the living room. Having the changing table on the right and the bassinet on the left has been extremely helpful. Summer naps in the bassinet daily (it vibrates, which lots of babies love and also plays music) and the changing table is used many, many times each day. Not to mention the portion in between both inserts and underneath is great for storage of extra diapers, wipes, towels, wash clothes, etc. there is a side caddy that fits diapers, wipes and other smaller items, too. I would definitely recommend this to any Mom.

Also, in my opinion, functionality is much more important than style when choosing items for your newborn. In those first few weeks and months you will appreciate that something works well more than it looking good, I suspect.

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106 Aria August 7, 2012 at 7:06 pm

I don’t think you need one. That big square one is great for 12 months + (my sister has it) or else those baby gates that create a baby jail. No rush for now though.

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107 Kelli August 7, 2012 at 7:08 pm

I only ever used mine for two things. 1. Great for getting dressed with a 7/8/9 month old to keep baby out of trouble. 2. And this really is where ours gets the most use…. We keep it in a closet for friends when they stay overnight. We are getting to the age where friends and siblings have babies too so it has paid off many times over. I just went with the cheap one.

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108 KERF August 7, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Friends is a good one!

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109 Nancy August 7, 2012 at 7:29 pm

We had two pack-n-plays (hand me downs from friends) for our twin girls and rarely used them. To put the girls down into them while they were asleep was a) too much of an opportunity to wake them up with the movement and b) too hard on my back, trying to maneuver them without bonking anyone. For the rest of the time, it was easier (and they were happier) to be tucked into their bouncy seats. We didn’t have reflux issues by the incline of the bouncy can be beneficial too.

Hotel cribs are going to be up to code – I would worry more about confirming availability.

We did not have the little upper parts (changing table?) with ours, but I never missed it. Way easier to just put a changing pad on a bed or even on the floor. I would give it some time and see if you really need it before you buy it. In the early weeks you (and others) are going to be cuddling him all the time. See if you really need one – you can get it anytime.

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110 jen August 7, 2012 at 7:40 pm

We got a $60 or $70 Graco and it was fine for us. Like you, the grandparents in our family have their own. When our girl was littler we kept it in the living room to lay her down if she fell asleep, set her down if we had to run to the bathroom or grab something out of the oven, and for diaper changes. As she got to be a few months old we started a bit of independent play time in it, but she’s always hated being confined, so she quickly became happier playing independently outside of it.

By the time she was 4 or 5 months old we packed it away. She was much happier by then to sit in her activity center (command center, we called it – you know, rotating suspended seat surrounded by toys and gadgets) while we ran to the bathroom or made dinner. We still use the pack & play for her to sleep in when we go camping or to our family’s cabin though, and it’s great for that because it’s familiar enough that she’ll go right to sleep (she’s one now).

So for us, it wasn’t worth a big investment but was one of a handful of tools we used for semi-independent time before she was really big enough to sit up and play by herself on the floor. Other things we used were a bouncy seat and the command center.

Things that WERE definitely worth the bigger investment for us: #1– baby carrier/sling (she was a very high need infant who rarely slept except when we were wearing her and having a comfortable carrier made this so much easier on all of us!) and a #2 — video baby monitor. I know some people say the video monitors are overkill. But our girl started out with a lot of sleeping problems and it has been a life saver for us. Particularly once she started learning to put herself to sleep around 8 months, we could just peak at the monitor when she let out a yelp and see easily whether she seemed to be settling down or getting more riled up and likely in need of assistance. Since I’m not into crying it out, it was a huge help for me to be able to see that sometimes after she’d let out one little cry she’d sit there quietly and happily playing with her blankies and then collapse and fall fast asleep. If I hadn’t been able to see it I’d likely have been worrying that she was up there wracked with despair.

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111 Andrea August 7, 2012 at 8:34 pm

We bought a basic Graco model with my first and have ended up using it much more than I thought we would. As others have mentioned, it’s great to have a place to put a slightly more mobile baby while you shower or cook dinner (trying to keep a 12 month old out of harms way while cooking is no small task). It’s also been nice to have for friends who stay late or are visiting from out of town. We also use ours for traveling. In my experience, most hotels will give you a pack and play if you request a crib and I would rather my kids sleep on one they “know” as well as one I know is clean.

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112 Amy August 7, 2012 at 8:45 pm

I’d say pass on it for now. We have one. . .it’s currently our laundry hamper. :) Our 16 month-old sat in it about twice. When we travel, it’s easy enough to borrow one, and, like you, the grandmas have their own. I’d say the rock’n play is worth every penny, but this is one item I wished I’d skipped buying!

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113 Leanne August 7, 2012 at 9:53 pm

We have really likes our pack-n-play because it allows us to put our daughter to bed other places (hotels, friends houses,etc). I think this has helped her become a flexible sleeper, although we always bring other comforts from home as well.

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114 Suz August 7, 2012 at 10:35 pm

I received a hand me down Graco one from my sister and used it to put my little guy in when I was showering, I would have used the crib, but the shower is on a different floor than his bedroom. We also used it when camping, so he had a spot to crawl around off the ground.

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115 Leila @ Spinach and Skittles August 8, 2012 at 12:26 am

Our neighbors gave us their no-longer-used Graco pack n’ play. It doesn’t have any of the bells and whistles, which I don’t think I’d use. I would like to purchase a removeable bassinet, however, as that would be really convenient for the first few months when we’ll be traveling for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sure, we can bend all the way over and put her in/pick her up, but the bassinet would be easier :) But I haven’t found any removeable bassinets for sale on their own. Aside from a few trips, I see myself using it in my exercise/sewing/office room as a contained space. My mom said when I was a toddler they’d put the Christmas tree inside the pack n’ play with all the gifts so I wouldn’t attack them, haha.

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116 Kym August 8, 2012 at 12:38 am

I’m currently 25 weeks pregnant and we just bought the Joovy Room2! Not the ultralight, the regular one – ultralight didn’t seem very “light” at still 21 lbs and the 30 pounder was cheaper, seemed sturdier, and I thought cooler looking too. I’ve unpacked it and set it up and taken it back down just to get a feel for it, and so far I love it! Ridiculously easy to set up/take down, VERY sturdy, nice cushy mattress inside. When I think “playard”, I think of the playpens from when I was a little kid – these Graco pack n plays just seemed so flimsy and ridiculous to me – what kid wants to play in an area they barely can fit into? I suppose if you are constantly bringing your kids to other people’s houses where you would need some kind of playard, the Graco ones are probably easier (cuz they’re lighter), but at least for me that won’t be happening much and I plan on using it mostly in our home so baby can play when mom or dad is prepping dinner, etc. If you only need to haul it to/from the car in order to take it other people’s houses, the weight should not be an issue. Yeah it’s heavy but it’s not “omg I can’t carry it for 2 mins” heavy. So yeah, all that to say – I really like it!

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117 KERF August 8, 2012 at 8:06 am

cool! let me know how you like it when babe is here :)

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118 Joanna @Midwestern Bite August 8, 2012 at 6:48 am

I haven’t read through the 100 comments so maybe this is a repeat, but here is my take. I barely use my pack n play but am glad I have it. We don’t travel a ton so my 9 month old has only slept there twice. I mostly use it to set him in when I come back from the grocery and need to unload the car and put away the food. We leave ours in the dining room corner so it is fairly out of the way. With that being said ours is a hand me down from my sister so it didn’t cost me a dime. Still, I think I would have bought one if I had too. Nothing too fancy as I don’t think the bells and whistles are necessary. They fold up nicely for easy storage and I think you just never know when you might need it so it’s a worthwile purchase. I hate relying too much on others to provide / hotel accomodations. My two cents.

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119 Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) August 8, 2012 at 6:56 am

We don’t have one and honestly don’t need one. Clara sleeps in her crib (now) and as a newborn slept in her little lamb vibrator chair or her swing. I say if the grandparents have one at their house there is really no need for one at this point.

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120 Emily August 8, 2012 at 10:32 am

We have one and NEVER use it, granted she’s only 5 weeks old right now and I’m assuming once she gets bigger we’ll use it. But, right now it’s just taking up space ;)

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121 Angel7 August 8, 2012 at 1:27 pm

We have a Pack ‘N Play that I used when we stayed at my parent’s house. It came in handy! But if your mom & Karen are each purchasing one, then you obviously will not need one when the baby is at their homes.

If you are not sure that you will use one, then I would defnitely wait, because you can always order one once you know for sure whether you need one.

I will say that I was pretty frugal when I bought items for our first child. I never wanted to register or buy things that I would not use. So, I would always think really hard whether or not I needed something, & I kept all the receipts in the case that I would want to return stuff.

http://faithfulsolutions.blogspot.com/

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122 Lara @ Birchtwig-Yellow August 8, 2012 at 4:38 pm

I registered for the On the Go playyard (first column in your picture). I haven’t received it yet, but chose it because of the price (also ~$70), the colors, and the fact that some book (I *think* it was Baby Bargians) said that you shouldn’t get one (or decide based on) the newborn napper feature, because they didn’t think it was safe enough. Since all the others that I liked were SO much more expensive, I decided on this one. Good luck with your choice!

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123 Janet August 8, 2012 at 11:26 pm

My grandmother gifted me with a Graco Pack-N-Play 17 years ago. It was well used by my two children and several relatives children. I used it in the house, hotel/relative house stays and camping. Also used it outside while I worked in the garden. It is still being used today in a different capacity. My 14 1/2 y/o, small dog, sleeps in it when we are at my fiance’s house. Appropriately enough, it has a Dalmatian like pattern on it.

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124 Monica August 9, 2012 at 7:30 am

We did not get one and opted to use the Rcok’n’Play as well. Hotels provided one for us upon request, we coordinated things as needed at family members homes and all has worked out fine. The one downside is that Wrigley never seemed to be able to sleep that wel lin them while we were on the road. Not sure if it was because he wasn’t use to them or because we were all in one room – he has never slept well when we are close by.

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125 Mary Kate August 9, 2012 at 10:58 pm

This is definitely one of those things that’s nice to have but you definitely could live without. I have the Graco Pak and Play and I’ve used it for both of my kids (it still looks brand new).

On a Daily Basis:

I use it the most for the changing table (I have another changing area upstairs as well). I occasionally will use it for napping purposes but not consistently. Now that my son’s getting a little older (6 months), I will sometimes place him in there with some toys for short periods of time (i.e. If I am moving from room to room trying to gather items before we head out for the day.)

Travel:

For hotel travel, I’ve used the ‘cribs’ supplied by the hotel (both times, the hotel gave us a pak and play.)
When staying at other people’s houses, it’s been good to have the pack and play. If both of the grandparents have pak and plays, it would be easy to borrow one of their pak and plays for that.

BTW, I find the Pak and Play easy to set-up, take-down. You just need to do it in a certain order. Once you know the order, it’s easy to remember it. It is similar to learning how to place/remove the car seat from the car or open/close the stroller. At first, it is extremely confusing and not intuitive at all. But with just a few uses, you’ll be a pro and will be doing it on auto-pilot.

I also totally recommend having a changing area on each level of the house where you hang out regularly. It can be really simple (changing pad, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream) but it will be a life saver when it’s time to change the diaper for the 1,000th time in a day. I also have found it easier to keep some of my son’s clothes in the area of the house we spend most of our time (living room/dining room/kitchen area). This makes it easier to grab a change of clothes or new bib if needed.

BTW, good luck with everything. Anticipating and having a newborn is such an amazing experience.

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126 Mary Kate August 9, 2012 at 11:12 pm

BTW, I noticed that you mentioned you were planning on using the Rock and Play Sleeper for sleeping purposes. Before you do that, I just wanted to suggest you read some of the 1 star or 2 star reviews. My son happens to have torticollis and flat head (not from the Rock and Play Sleeper) and I keep hearing about people who had similar feelings/experiences to the 1 or 2 star reviews I read on Amazon. Obviously, it’s ultimately your decision but I thought I would make sure you were aware of this.

http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Newborn-Rock-Sleeper-Yellow/product-reviews/B002M77N22/ref=cm_cr_pr_hist_2?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addTwoStar&showViewpoints=0

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127 KERF August 10, 2012 at 7:40 am

I’m aware of that and will make an effort for a variety of places, naps, changes throughout the day. Rnp for night only. thanks for the warning

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128 Jill August 16, 2012 at 4:13 pm

My grandson who is a large 2.5 yr. old is approx. 42″ tall, he still sleeps in his crib and is coming for a 4 week visit. Is there such a thing as a pack n play that can accommodate lets say up to 47-50″ in length. I have looked and can find nothing.

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