Your Pack-n-Play will come in handy in the first few years for sleepovers at Grandma’s, family road trips, hotel stays, even dinner gatherings at friends’ houses. They’re useful at home, too, as a bassinet replacement in your bedroom, or to allow baby can nap in different spots in the house. Most models are pretty similar; the best ones are lightweight and easy to assemble and disassemble. Given that pack-n-plays are really less for playing and more for sleeping, bells and whistles really are not necessary. Less is more here.
Graco invented the category in the 1980s (what did traveling families do with their babies before then??), and this model is as tried and true as they come. Its Amazon rating bears this out.
Pros: Value; Easy to open and close; Can be wheeled from room-to-room when open; Sturdy: Two breathable mesh sides; Removable bassinet attachment; Removable mobile with velcro-attached toys; Some models (not the basic one, though) come with a changing table/napper attachment.
Cons: Heavy (23 lbs).; Sheet sold separately; Mattress thin (We recommend augmenting with a cushier one when possible.); Front and back “walls” are opaque nylon so no visibility from those angles.
If money is no object then check out this model.
Pros: Sleek + compact + stylish; Lightweight (13 lbs.); Four breathable mesh sides so you can see baby from all angles; Well-padded edges; Easy to open and close; Body is machine washable
Cons: Pricey; Sheet sold separately
This is quite similar to the Baby Bjorn model, but with the addition of a backpack carrying feature
Pros: Hands-free carrying; Extremely lightweight (11lbs.); Sheet included; Side zipper door provides another entry/exit option