How To Make A Pack And Play More Comfortable – Tips And Tricks
Purchasing a Pack and Play is a great investment for young children. They’re super convenient and offer a safe space for your little one to relax or play.
You can move them around with ease so whether you’re looking for a second sleeping spot downstairs or something that you can collapse and take to grandma’s for sleepovers – they’ve got you covered.
The only issue? They can be a little flimsy and thin, making them not all that comfortable for your little one.
If you want to find out how to safely make some additions to make your pack-and-play more snuggly warm and comfy for your little one, then you’ll want to continue reading.
As a mother of three, I have tried and tested pretty much every play-pen out there. And I must say that I do really like pack-and-plays, they have so many advantages.
However, as you’ve probably noticed while assembling yours, they do tend to be super thin and hard. And I can’t imagine that being very comfortable, can you?
It’s really important to remember, though, that our little ones don’t quite need the amount of plush and padding that you and I might need for a good night’s sleep.
Not only do they not have the same comfort requirements at this age, but they are also a whole lot more vulnerable to safety issues.
In fact, the AAP Recommends firm mattresses and tight-fitting fitted sheets for all baby sleeping arrangements. And so that harder mattress is actually intentional.
Keeping them relatively ‘uncomfortable’ actually is the safest option. When you add lots of extra layers and padding you can actually create safety hazards such as potential suffocation risks. You also need to check the weight your pack and play can hold to be safe.
This is why if you are making additions to your crib you need to really carefully consider all the risks involved.
It is recommended to use the pack-and-play as they come. However, over the years with my little ones, I have found that there are a few small additions you can make to make things a little comfier, just like we do in our article on how to make car seats more comfortable.
Let’s take a look at those now.
4 Ways To Safely Make Pack-And-Plays More Comfortable
Okay, so below you’ll find 5 of the different ways that I have converted pack-and-plays into more comfortable spaces.
I have used all five of these with my three children so you can be sure that they are safe options and I can promise you that they definitely encourage playtime and sleeping too.
1. Use Padded Sheets – Not Suitable For Children Under 12 Months
*Let me just reiterate that padded sheets are NOT suitable or safe for any child under the age of 12 months*
Some parents want a thicker mattress for their little ones in their pack-and-play’s so that they are more comfortable.
This is fine, but you need to ensure that it is thicker not softer. Little children still need a firm mattress to be safe.
I purchased a Graco quilted pack-and-play sheet that gave just a little extra padding to my Graco pack-and-play which was a great option.
But this brings me to my next point – make sure that you stick with the manufacturer for your pack-and-play.
Third-party sheets won’t always fit your pack-and-play perfectly and this can cause safety issues.
To be sure that you get that much-needed tight fit, you’re much better sticking with your manufacturer for additional purchases.
2. Use Waterproof Sheets – Always Follow Safe Sleep Guidelines
Waterproof sheets are multifunctional which can make them a fantastic choice. They were an absolute life-saver for me with my youngest.
We all know that accidents are all too easy to happen, but oh-so difficult to clean; especially on fabric.
A waterproof sheet will make clean-ups so much easier, but it will also act as an additional layer for your little one to sleep on. This helps to make things a little comfier too.
However, upon research AAP highlights that it is imperative to keep the sheets thin, fitted, and tight. So don’t opt for a sheet too thick or large as the extra material can cause potential hazards for your bundle of joy.
3. Use A Mattress Topper – Not Recommended
Another option is to add a pack-and-play mattress topper to your pack-and-play. There are tons of options online that are sold by baby-safe retailers and they are specifically designed for these types of pens.
I personally have not used one myself and I wouldn’t really recommend them as they go against many manufacturers’ and safe-sleep guidelines.
However, if you are adamant about using one please ensure that it is non-toxic and free of unsafe chemicals.
You should also never use a mattress topper for children under the age of 12 months.
4. Pack-And-Play Blackout Tent
I found with my eldest that while she loved playing in her pack-and-play she would never seem to sleep in it. It soon became clear that there just too bright for her – especially when we took it on vacation.
So, I thought I’d try investing in a blackout tent for her and it worked absolute wonders. This canopy acts as a barrier to light and once set up she would fall asleep within seconds.
One way to make things much cozier is to definitely invest in a blackout tent to give them that feeling of nighttime.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Pack N Play meets the CPSC standards for infant sleep, which means they are a perfectly safe alternative for cribs or bassinets.
Unlike car seats, pack n plays won’t actually expire. With this being said, though, manufacturers will still strongly recommend that you constantly check and refer to up-to-date safety requirements.
For the most part, you are much better leaving your play-and-pack as bare as possible. This will eliminate many safety risks and hazards.
And while it may look pretty uncomfortable for your little one it is important to remember that they do not require the same level of comfort as you and I do. If this still does not site well you can always just use your crib for nap time, check out our article on best cribs for small spaces.
If you are going to add extra items to the play area avoid choking and suffocation hazards such as pillows, blankets, and overly large fitted sheets.
I would also always recommend speaking with your health practitioner to discuss the risks and benefits before adding anything that could be potentially life-threatening for your little one.
This content may contain affiliate links. We earn a commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase. We may earn money, free services or complementary products from the companies mentioned in this post. All opinions are ours alone…