Pack and Play Verses Crib

Updated on January 24, 2010
R.S. asks from Chicago, IL
18 answers

Hi there,

Our daughter will be 6 months old in a few days. Since infancy, we've had her sleeping in a pack and play since that came recommended. I've recently been itching to get her a proper crib with a nice firm mattress but my husband things it's a complete waste of money and that she's perfectly fine in the pack and play. He feels we can get several more months use out of it. I guess I can't help but feel she might sleep better (and in longer stretches!!) if she were in a good quality crib. Any thoughts? Also, we still have her in the snap-n-go carseat/stroller frame...and he also feels we can get many more months out of that, but I feel she should have a real stroller at this point...especially since she's almost sitting up. My husband is not cheap by any means...he just doesn't like to have a lot of unnecessary items around the house. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Wow, I didn't even think about bending over...and since I've been having problems with my wrists (I think it's tendonitis from holding the baby), the idea of a crib is even more appealing. I think I'll order her a crib that converts to a toddler bed, so that she'll have it for many years. I found one on for 179 and that seems reasonable. Thank you for all your tips. As far as the stroller, I think she definitely needs a new one...she likes to see the world and she can't do that very well in the snap-n-go. I'm going to check Craigslist/eBay and see if I can hit a good deal. Thanks for all the helpful advice!

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answers from Chicago on

Get a crib, she can use it for another 2 years or more and will sleep better. You can get them anywhere and you dont have to spend a ton if you dont want to. I would get a stroller too. If you dont want to buy new, try craigslist. You can find many strollers (cribs too if you want) for very little money. But definitely get those 2 things. You will use them for a long time and its better for you child.

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answers from Portland on


Well, as she gets bigger, she'll get heavier and placing a sleeping baby into one of those things can be back breaking. My son grew out of his pack 'n' play before he grew out of his crib. I think you'll have to get one eventually so it may as well be now. Regarding the stroller, same thing. When she's out of the infant seat the snap'n'go will no longer be an option. If cost is an issue (isn't it always) keep your eye on craigslist or go to a used children's store.

Best of luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I'm sure your daughter will sleep better in a crib. She will be in a crib for a long time and get too big for the Pack N' Play. My daughter is just over 30 inches and already does not have a lot of room in the pack N' play.
As for the stroller, I miss the snap and go carseat/ stroller. I miss being able to see her when we are walking.



answers from Jacksonville on

R., I can tell you from experience. I agree with your husband. I bought a pack & play for 1st child and received one for 2nd child. I received a crib for 1st child and bought one for 2nd child. In both cases, the crib worked out better. To maximize your baby's sleep experience and to be practical, buy a crib that extends into a toddler bed later on - 2 for the price of one. I have a swing that I use to keep the baby and it lasted for both my kids. They swing, ate in that and as for the stroller/car seat, doesn't the frame work as a sit in type seat. The only time I've used a real stroller is when traveling or walking at the park and that is limited time and not frequent. So use that to determine the necessity of one more bulky item they are going to outgrow anyway.



answers from St. Louis on

When she outgrows the infant carseat (9-10 months? a year?) you can use the stroller portion of the snap-n-go stoller until she's old enough to go without a stroller. That's what we did. (Actually we ended up buying a double stroller when our second came along.) But the stroller portion of the snap-n-go is a real stroller. Our daughter did sleep in a pack and play until she was 10 months old because her room was upstairs and ours was downstairs. She'll be in a crib until she's about 3 (ours were) and will outgrow the pack and play. At some point she could jump right out of it when she's bigger. Of course she could jump out of the crib at some point too, but maybe it's harder. Good luck.



answers from Chicago on

I agree with you when it comes to sleeping in a pack and play. The padding on the bottom is not the best. Look into purchasing a crib that converts in to a daybed. There are no side rails that go up and down (always the type of cribs that are recalled) and when your baby is ready to be in a big girl bed you can change it in to a daybed. We also bought the extra pieces to convert the crib in to a full size bed. Granted the crib is a little more than a regular crib but if you use it to it's full potential you more than get your money's worth. Good luck!



answers from Charlotte on

Hi R.,

One of your posters who mentioned the pack-n-play being hard to put a heavy baby down into is certainly right. I would have broken my back if I had done that with a growing baby. Your husband probably hasn't thought about that, or he's thinking about his own muscular manly back! LOL!

My husband could have lowered our kids into a pack-n-play all day long, but I could not have. Do yourself a favor and buy a second-hand crib (not an old one though) and keep from having to go to the chiropractor for a strained back!

Best of luck,



answers from Dallas on

The stroller is something that will have to change. My kids have used their stoller to about 2 1/2 to 3 years old. The pack and play, I'm not sure. Our youngest started out in a crib, but is now sleeping in a pack and play. He was climbing out at the age of 10 mos, He is now 15 mo. and has not figured out how to climb out of the pack and play, So I'm not sure. But I would get a stuardy stroller.



answers from Chicago on

Crib - I would say get it. You will get several years' use out of it if you get a convertible crib or a separate toddler bed frame (uses a crib mattress). I think it would be better to get your little one used to sleeping in a crib.

Stroller...what about a stroller she can sit up in, that also still holds the carrier? If she falls asleep in the carrier, you will appreciate still having the option of transferring her w/o waking her up.



answers from Honolulu on

Eventually... Hubby will have to admit to needing to buy more kid stuff... as the baby grows and outgrows what you presently have.

A pack n' play... is not a crib. And as the other poster said, as the baby gets bigger and heavier, it is a REAL hardship on the back and arms/wrist to lift a child out of there. But I know some people do continue to use it as a place for the baby to sleep. And then if/when you do buy a crib... then baby will either like it or not... as each baby needs to adjust to "new" things too. THEN, when the baby grows up... then you will need to buy a "toddler bed" too... then as the child grows up more.... a regular bed or twin bed etc. So... it is never-ending.
That is just life with a baby and child as they grow up.

You WILL need to get a stroller... for the baby. If not now, then eventually. Sooner than you think.

A baby by nature, WILL outgrow their clothing and gear & diapers etc.... thus, the need to buy more age appropriate things... and by nature of having a child, there WILL be lots of things, unnecessary or not, that will end up around the house. Thus, periodically you will have to purge things as the child grows up. Even toys, the baby WILL outgrow it.

So, Hubby will have to come to terms with that.
Its hard to have a home with children... to be "not" full of extra "stuff." Having a child does fill the home... with things, necessities and other things.

Good luck,



answers from Chicago on

Aside from the necessary relief to your wrists and back, a crib can be used well into your daughter's 3yr year...and you can move directly to a "real bed," instead of buying a toddler bed. That can save you some bucks.

Please do yourself a favor and purchase a stroller that can be used for several more years. You will use it. It is the best way to "secure" your child's safety anywhere you go -- especially after she starts to walk!



answers from Jamestown on

I agree, we did the same thing and right before my daughter turned 6mth we started putting her in her own bed (crib) in her own room, and she started doing much better through the night, it took a lot of convincing for my husband as well, he thought exactly what your husband is saying. but i just told him that she can't stay in our room forever, so points to push-- she will be sitting up soon and if shes still in the bassinet in the pack and play there is the risk of her pulling herself out and falling. It's going to be best to transition her now because she responds to change easier, it will be more of a fight to transition her later on. she is going to have to go into a crib sooner or later so your not saving any money or space waiting until later. and as far as the stroller its definitely time to turn her around, can you use your stroller as just a stroller with out the carseat, with ours you could snap the carseat on or use it like a normal stroller. hope it helps.



answers from Reno on

I think a crib would be good at this point. Really it's something you'll use a long while especially if you get the kind that can be converted to a toddler bed. So that might be a selling point to your husband that it can turn to a bed that she can then use til she's 7 or 8 years old:)



answers from Chicago on

Dump the pack n play.. it is not a bed! My children both used cribs until almost 3 years old and my oldest would have stayed longer if I didn't need it for my 2nd one. A pack n play has very little support for your child's back compared to a bed. The sooner you get the crib, the easier the transition will be. As for the stroller... if she still fits in it, then fine, keep it until she is too long for it or too heavy. I eventually would use a regular stroller and leave the infant car seat in the car because he was too heavy and not big enough for a larger car seat yet.
Tell your hubby to spend the cash, the regular stroller can be used for years, as well as the crib. Get a decent mattress (you can get a good one for around $100-120 at BBRUS.



answers from Chicago on

I would spend your money on a nice quality mattress and you can get a least expensive crib. I purchased my crib at Target for $200.

It converts to a toddler bed that my child is currently in. The crib also got a top rating from Consumer Reports. You can get many years in this product and your child will sleep better on a mattress instead of a thin pack-n-play.

The stroller, my child was in the snap-n-go until about 15 months. It is safer rear facing in the car and my child was still in the weight limit. I did get a cheap umbrella stroller at a resale for $5. It was nice to use instead of a bulky stroller.



answers from Chicago on

Buy a crib. My son was in his until her was almost 2 1/2 years old. I will dod the same with my daughter. We also got a crib that changes to a toddler bed and then a full size bed, so you can get your money's worth with one of those. A pack n play is only going to last you so far. Let the child have a bed of their own they can stretch out in. As for the stroller - are you talking about a travel system that comes with the baby carrier and the stroller? If so, we've been using that since my son was a baby. He's now almost 4 and baby number 2 is riding around in it now.

Also, check out and/or - lots of people sell baby items on there after they are donw using them.



answers from Chicago on

My youngest daghter slept in a pack n play until she was in a bed, due to space issues. You can get a matress for i at Babies R Us for about $25. That made me feel better about it. I dont see anything wrong as long as she cant climb out. As far as the stroller goes, the car seat has a weight and lenght limit for saftey issues for the car, but as far as walking around I dont think it matters, my sister used hers for a long time after because it was convienent in stores and if her daughter was sleeping. As long as your daughter is comfy it should be ok. I have to say I am kinda with your hubby, we are taught that we have to buy the right thing for them. If you go by what "they" say you would be buying something new everymonth. A compromise would be a little bit nicer unmbrella stroller, still small but comfy and convienent for you.
Hope this helps.



answers from Chicago on

My lil one is 2 yrs old now and still sleeping in the pack and play. And it probably would still b good for him for another 6mnths. He seems to b comfortable in it . Hope that reassures

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