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Can Pack And Play Be Used As A Bassinet? (Controversy Resolved)

pack n play
Image Credit: Mitch Bennett

Many people have been asking the question “can pack and play be used as a bassinet?” Let me tell you, this is a highly controversial issue and both of them are perfectly safe for the baby. The question arises mainly due to the budget, space of the nursery room, and so many other factors.

Parents use the baby bassinet for only the first few months, and then eventually move to the crib. Bassinet has some greater benefits for the parent, that’s why they are popular. They are made only for the infant taking all the safety concerns in place.

On the other hand, pack and play is mainly for the nap of the baby. That means they are not suitable for full-time sleeping. They are great as a travel crib as well. Modern pack and play have built-in bassinet which is great.

Since there is some confusion whether you should go for the bassinet or pack and play, I should mention some benefits of the two.

Why Pack And Play?

  • It can be used longer than the bassinet. If your pack and play has a built-in bassinet, you can take the benefit of the bassinet for the first few months. Then you can use the middle of the pack and play and lastly the lowest part of the pack and play. So yes, you can use the pack and play for a longer period of time.
  • The built-in bassinet is not much different than an independent bassinet. That’s why some parents prefer the pack and play.
  • If you are living in a very small space where there is not enough room to set up a crib, a pack and play is preferable over the bassinet.
  • Some pack and play comes with the changing table option as well. This is huge considering you would have to pay a lot to buy the changing table separately.
  • If you travel a lot, pack and play is second to none. Some people even call the pack and play as the travel crib. Your baby is having the same sleeping environment wherever you go!
  • Playard mattresses are widely available. A lot of parents use the pack and play just like the crib.

Why People Like Bassinet?

  • The bassinet is solely made for the infant. The infant stage of the baby is so crucial. To avoid SIDS, baby needs to sleep on abassinet flat hard surface bed. A bassinet is a great and ideal bedding environment for the infant.
  • A bassinet is much smaller and portable than a pack and play.
  • Most of the bassinet can be used as the co-sleeper because you can raise it to your bed level, so breastfeeding is so easier for the mom.
  • If you are living in a smaller space, bassinet as the co-sleeper is a great option to save space.
  • For a pack and play, you have to bend over several times and it may hurt your back badly. The bassinet has not this issue at all.
  • For a pack and play, you have to get up from your bed repeatedly to soothe the baby. But for a bassinet, you literally don’t have to get up from your bed.

Majority Parents Thought

Pack and play with bassinet feature is okay to buy and use for the baby, but not the pack and play only or pack and play with just a napper feature. Most pack and play with a napper feature is not considered to be safe for the baby.

Because, most of the cases, the napper is so soft for the baby that it may a reason of SIDS. But pack and play with a bassinet feature is considered to be safe since the bassinet has a flat and hard sleeping surface.

I know some parents prefer the pack and play and with the napper, because they can elevate the napper, so they don’t have to bend much. But the safety of your baby comes first. Read the instruction that comes with the pack and play. You have to constantly watch over your baby when sleeping on the napper. It is totally impractical!

What Should You Do?

Most parents first buy a bassinet, and then buy the crib. They buy the pack and play just for napping and travel.

But if your situation arises that way that you have to go for only one: bassinet or pack and play, then I would recommend a pack and play with the bassinet support. But don’t prefer a pack and play over a crib.

A pack and play does not have a good spine support for the baby. For the older kid like 1 or 2 years, pack and play may become dangerous because of the weight of the kid. If you don’t have the space for the crib, that’s a different case. But replacing a crib with a pack and play is not a good idea.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, both bassinet and pack and play are good and safe for the baby. It completely depends on you. Your budget, space of the room, and your personal habit of traveling will decide what you should do. But if you have enough space to make a separate nursery room, then you must have a crib. A pack and play can’t do the job of a crib.