Never Wake a Sleeping Child, but What Should They Sleep In? The Case for Pack N Plays Vs. Classic Cribs

Never Wake a Sleeping Child, but What Should They Sleep In The Case for Pack N Plays Vs. Classic Cribs

Are you about to become a parent? Congrats!

Welcoming a new addition the family is an exciting time filled with lots of decision making.

You want to keep your baby safe and where they sleep plays a big part since newborns spend between 16-17 hours a day sleeping.

There are many options when it comes to the kind of space your baby sleeps in. Between a pack n play, bassinet, and a traditional crib, the cost of these items can begin to add up.

But did you know a Pack n Play can function as all three of these options?

Read on to learn more about why you should opt for a Pack n Play before you invest in a crib.

Where Should Your Baby Sleep?

When you bring your baby home from the hospital, it’s important they sleep in the same room as you for a little while. You’ll want to monitor how they’re doing and they’ll also be waking frequently for feedings and changing.

They should always be placed on their backs, on a flat and firm surface when it comes time to sleep.

Sleeping in the same room as you will reduce their risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) as well.

It is not recommended, however, that your baby sleeps in the bed with you.

So, even if you have decorated a nursery with a full sized crib, your baby will not be spending the beginning of their life sleeping in there.

Because of all the expenses required when the baby first arrives, buying something they won’t even be using right away may not make sense.

Other than a pack and play, here are some options available for your newborn.


Think of bassinettes as a “mini” crib. There are a ton of varieties and models. They can come with mesh sides, thin mattresses, even ones that are battery operated and lul your baby to sleep automatically.

While there’s nothing wrong with a bassinette, it’s not necessarily the wisest investment. Most babies outgrow the bassinette within a couple months or when they reach 15-20 pounds.

Once they’ve outgrown this item, it can’t be repurposed elsewhere and becomes something that just takes up space. It also costs a pretty penny. Some bassinettes can cost over $1,000.

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Cradles are the halfway point between a bassinette and a crib. They are small like a bassinette but usually made of wood the way a typical crib appears.

The one major difference is they rock back and forth. While this was a classic way to soothe babies and rock them to sleep, they’re now considered a safety hazard because of the risk of a newborn rolling over on their stomach due to the rocking motion.

Aside from the health risks, a cradle will also be easily outgrown so investing in one isn’t necessarily the best financial choice.

Bed Side Co-Sleeper

This is a form of bassinette where one side of the can be lowered down for easy access when it comes time to feed the baby during the night.

Parents can essentially roll over in bed, bring down the side and get to their baby all without getting out of bed themselves. While it can be a convenient option, it can also encourage co-sleeping which is not advised by pediatricians.

Similarly to a bassinette, your baby will outgrow this item quickly and they tend to be on the pricier side.

If you select a co-sleeper, it’s important to remember to put the siding back up after every feeding so you don’t risk suffocation. You also want to be sure the wheels lock in place so it doesn’t roll around.


At some point, your baby will begin sleeping in a crib. It’s an investment you’ll have to make at some point, as children sleep in them until they become toddlers.

While your newborn could technically sleep in a crib right away, your crib may not fit into your room, thus requiring a smaller, more flexible second option.

Cribs are regulated by with federal guidelines so unless you are using an old crib that was inherited by your family or a hand-me-down from a friend, they should all comply with the most recent requirements.

If you can’t fit a crib into your room when your baby is a newborn, using a pack and play for the first few months is the most convenient and affordable option. Once they’re big enough to spend the night in their own room, you can move them into the crib.

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Benefits of a Pack n Play

Most pediatricians will agree that a pack and play is a perfectly safe sleeping place for your baby. These items also fall under a category that needs to be approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

This is not the case for many bassinettes or co-sleepers.

The sides of the Pack n Play are a mesh material and the mattress on the bottom is firm, which is a great step in decreasing the risk of SIDS.

Many pack and plays also come with a bassinette feature which can be placed in the top of the item for babies to sleep higher up. This eliminates the need to purchase a separate bassinette altogether. Learn more about the various kinds of pack and plays available today.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of a Pack n Play is its portability. If you frequently visit relatives, do an at-home workout or want to bring your sleeping baby to your office, having the mobility to travel easily can be very helpful.

They are compact and can be moved from room to room in the house with ease. They also double as a play space for your baby, thus the name. So you’ll use this item for a while, even when they outgrow a bassinette.

Pack n Plays are also much more affordable than a crib and more functional than a bassinette.

Help Your Baby Sleep Well

With the information above, you can decide if a Pack n Play is the right choice for you.

Remember that your baby needs to sleep in the same room with you right away and you’ll need something that can fit into your bedroom and be taken to other locations with ease.

Be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more lifestyle tips today!

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