Before buying a Pack N Play for a newborn, every parent should need to know; how long can baby sleep in pack n play & when it is the best time to stop using it.
As you know, Pack N Play provides a controlled sleeping environment that gives the baby & the parents a sense of security & lowers the risk of SIDS.
It is not only used for sleeping purposes; you can use it for a diaper changer, a short nap, playtime, etc.
But the question is; how long can a baby sleep in a pack and play, and when to stop using it? And also, when to stop using pack n play bassinet? If it comes with it, and when to lower pack n play mattress?
All these questions look pretty straightforward, but answering them is a little complicated.
To understand this, you first need to understand three main factors; AGE, WEIGHT, AND HEIGHT, which define how long you can use it.
So, let’s check this.
Table Of Content
- When To Stop Using Pack N Play?
- When To Stop Using Bassinet In Pack N Play?
- When To Lower Pack N Play Mattress?
- Can Baby Sleep In Pack n Play?
- Can A 3-4 Month-Old Sleep In A Pack N Play?
- What To Use After Pack And Play?
- When Is Baby Too Big For Pack N Play?
How Long Can Baby Sleep In Pack N Play?
Your baby can sleep in Pack n Play as long as they are comfortable in it, and doesn’t cross the pre-set Age limit (1.5 to 3 year) & weight limit ( 30lbs – 40 lbs ) to be on the safe side Or until the baby doesn’t gain the strength to climb on the sidewall ( up to 35 inches tall ) by himself.
Let me break down these factors more practically with daily life examples to make it easier for a parent to understand.
1.) Comfortable Size & Right Age Limit:-
Generally speaking, the baby’s size is a critical determining factor in deciding how long can a baby sleep in a pack and play.
Usually, the size of a pack and play is approximately 40 x 28.5 x 29 inches (depending upon the manufacturer of the Pack n play).
Once your baby starts feeling uncomfortable or not fitting in it, then it’s time to say farewell to the Pack n Play. But, keep in mind; babies differ in their patterns of growth.
Some grow slower, and some faster than others.
So, you need to be vigilant for your baby’s safety and keep an eye on the baby’s growth.
Sleeping in a restricted space can pose a huge problem and is unsuitable for proper growth for a baby who has outgrown the Pack n Play.
So, at what age to stop using Pack and play?
The standard age range for Pack and play is 1.5 to 2.5 years approximately (depending on the pack n play dimensions ) or until the baby or toddler feels comfortable in it.
In that age range, a baby will grow enough to move out from pack-n-play.
Pack And Play Age Limit & Dimensions:-
|Pack N Play Dimensions||36 x 24 x 25 inches To 40 x 29 x 31 inches, Approximately|
|Standard Pack And Play Size||38 x 26 x 27 inches, Approximately|
|Pack And Play Age Limit||1.5 – 2.5 Years, Depending Upon size|
2.) Weight Limit & Floor strength:-
Pack n plays differ in their weight limit recommendations. The pre-set weight limit for your baby to stop using the Pack n Play is approximately 30 lbs ( 14 kgs).
A baby who is over the above-recommended weight can cause the Pack n Play to collapse.
But keep one thing in mind, not all pack n plays have weight limit recommendations.
The bottom of some pack n plays touches the floor, so there is no need to worry about the weight limit in such cases.
On the other hand, if you are using a bassinet on the pack n play for sleeping, that comes with it.
Then make sure you follow the weight & age limit recommendation set for the bassinet by the manufacturer.
Note:- Only the Age and the weight limit are the primary factors that define how long a baby can sleep in pack n play bassinet.
Read this guide: When to stop using the bassinet.
Also, ensure your baby sleeps on the perfect flat surface as per the APP’s recommendation. Placing your baby on an uneven surface will increase the risk of SIDS.
Weight Limit For Pack And Play & Its Bassinet:-
|Pack And Play Weight Limit||Between 30 – 40 Pounds approx.|
|Pack And Play Bassinet Weight Limit||Between 15 – 25 Pounds approx.|
|Pack And Play Floor Strength||No Limit If The Base Touches The Floor|
|Pack N Play Changing Table Weight Limit||Between 30 – 35lbs approx.|
|Pack N Play Top Level Weight Limit||Between 30 – 40 Pounds approx.|
3.) Sidewall Height & Strength:-
The pack n play height & the strength greatly define how long your baby can safely stay in the Pack and play.
Your newborn baby will grow faster than you think; soon, they start rolling in and moving in or climbing on the sidewall.
Most pack-n-play side walls are Mesh made for better breathability and lower temperature.
But that Mesh is not strong enough to hold the baby standing or push when climbing on it.
Suppose your baby stands near it and pushes your Pack and play wall. It can flip, which could lead to an accident .
The American Academy of Pediatrics found that most injuries that the babies incurred were in the neck and head regions due to falls, some due to product failures and others due to consumer negligence.
Some babies may not have crossed the recommended weight and age limit for Pack and play but are pretty tall and can easily climb on the side to move out of it.
In short, when your baby starts pushing the side or standing in pack n play, that is a clear sign that it’s time to stop using Pack and play and switch them to a crib or standard bed.
Pack N Play Height Limit:-
|Pack N Play Height Limit:-||35 inches (88.9 cm)|
Watch these CDC  safety guidelines for safe sleeping.
Always remember that “safety” should go before “comfort.”
Q1:- When To Stop Using Pack N Play?
As per the American Association Of Pediatrics (APP) and consumer product safety commission (CPSC), you should have to stop using pack n play once your baby outgrows it Or start climbing the Pack n play wall, to lower the risk of an accident.
Q2:- When To Stop Using Bassinet In Pack N Play?
As per the American Association Of Pediatrics, you should have to stop using the bassinet in pack n play; once your baby outgrows it ( after 4-5 months usually) or feel uncomfortable or crosses the weight limit set by the manufacturer.
For more useful information, read this handy guide; How Long Can a Baby Sleep In a Bassinet?
Q3:- When To Lower Pack N Play Mattress?
You should lower the pack-n-play mattress before the infant starts holding or rolling in it or trying to sit up by himself. The small sides of the pack-n-play walls (when the mattress is on top level) can’t provide safety at that time, and infants can fall or jump out from it.
So, it’s best to lower the pack n play mattress before the infant gets the strength to sit up or roll in the pack n play.
But, how to lower Pack and play?
To lower the pack n play, you need to remove the mattress from the top level of the Pack n Play and place it at the bottom of it.
Watch this quick video to understand,
Q4:- Can Baby Sleep In Pack n Play?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (APP) & Childrenswi.org, A newborn baby can sleep in Pack And Play because it provides a safe, separate and comfortable sleeping environment for newborn and toddlers up to 1.5 to 3 years.
Q5:- Can A 3-4 Month-Old Sleep In A Pack N Play?
Yes, as per the APP, pack n play is a safe place for an infant to sleep, so it does not matter if they are 3 months old or 5 months old until they are in the same room and sleeping in their separate place; they are safe.
Q6:- What To Use After Pack And Play?
Once your baby outgrows the pack n play, you can move him to the crib, where they can sleep for upto 4-5 years. However, some cribs are convertible to the bed, which means you can use the crib as long as you want.
Q7:- When Is Baby Too Big For Pack N Play?
There is no fixed number, but as per the thumb rule. It does not matter how old your baby is; if your infant is not comfortable in it, that means they are big enough to transition from pack n play to crib.
I hope you like our “how long can you use a pack and play” guide and find this article helpful; now, what’s next?
Well, you can read our below guides, To make a more valuable decision for your baby’s safety.
- Is a Pack n Play Bassinet Safe for Sleeping?
- How To Clean a Pack and Play & Its Mattress?
- How To Make Pack n Play More Comfortable?
Now, it’s your turn. What do you think? How long can you use a pack and play, according to your experience as a mom?
Put your valuable comment in the comment box to help other moms like you make a quick decision.
Don’t forget to share the guide because sharing is caring.
Dr. Sakshi Patel
Senior Content Writer
Dr. Sakshi Patel, an expert in Human Development and Family Studies, combines her academic knowledge with personal experience as a mother to twins. She provides comprehensive articles and meticulous reviews on baby essentials, offering accurate and up-to-date information to help parents make informed decisions. Read more.
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We believe you should always know the source of the information you’re seeing.
- community.babycenter.com:- Age to stop using a pack and play? Feb 6, 2014, & kid outgrow the Pack and play? Sep 4, 2017
- forums.thebump.com: – stop using Pack N Play? April 2011
- community.whattoexpect.com:- How long have you used your pack n play? Jun 2, 2015
- Consumerreports.org:- New federal safety requirements for pack-n-plays
- Children’s org:- Answering questions about safe sleep for babies and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- CDC gov:- Parents and Caregivers
Harvinder Singh is a founder of Getforbaby and an electrical engineer by profession. He is an expert in evaluating facts, doing in-depth research, and handling technical stuff. He completes his Bachelor in Electrical from Jammu university. Full Harvinder Singh Profile