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Travel Crib Vs Pack N Play: Which One to Choose?

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It would be best to have a baby crib that is portable to bring it anywhere. Both travel cribs and Pack n Plays do a good job at this task, but which is better?

This post will reveal the differences between a travel crib vs Pack n Play. Check it carefully and choose the more suitable solution for your baby.

Differences Between a Travel Crib and a Pack N Play

A travel crib is a small, transportable sleeping setup. It has a simple design with an enclosed area and mesh walls.

On the other hand, a Pack n Play also called a playard, is a sleeping and playing area for babies. It usually comes with a bassinet and changing table. You can also fold it up for portability.

Uses

Although these items look similar, they aim to serve different purposes.

The main uses of a travel crib are:

  • Offering a traveling alternative to regular cribs because it is lightweight and foldable
  • Providing a solution for on-the-go sleep
  • Giving a safe playing area on the floor for your baby thanks to the zip-up sides

Meanwhile, parents use a pack n play for:

  • Providing a safe place for their babies to play and sleep
  • Working as a combination of bassinet, a playing area, and a changing table
  • Moving around their house
  • Giving a long-term use solution

Dimensions

The regular size for travel cribs is 43″ L x 29″ W x 28″ H. Pack and Plays are often bigger with an average size of 40″ L x 30″ W x 34″ H. These pack n plays also weigh more than their competitors because they come with extra accessories.

You can see the size comparison table of some popular travel crib and pack n play models below.

Pack n Play Vs Travel Crib Dimensions (L x W x H)
BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light ‎44″ x 25″ x 32″
Graco Travel Lite Crib ‎23″ x 34″ x 32″
Lotus Travel Crib 45″ x 32″ x 25″
Dream On Me Travel Light Playard 40″ x 27″ x 26″
BABY JOY Baby Foldable Travel Crib 45″ x 31″ x 27″
4moms Breeze GO Portable Travel Playard 43″ x 30″ x 29″
Lumiere All-in-One Lightweight Travel Crib 39″ x 24″ x 26″
Pamo Babe Portable Crib ‎39″ x 27″ x 25″
Phil & Teds Traveller Travel Crib 2021+ 51″ x 30″ x 25″
Nuna Sena Aire Travel Crib 41″ x 30″ x 29″
Graco Pack ‘n Play Travel Dome LX 27″ x 29″ x 37″
Graco Pack ‘n Play Anywhere Dreamer 41″ x 28″ x 31″
Baby Trend Pack n Play Lil Snooze Deluxe 2 ‎42″ x 35″ x 41″
Baby Trend Retreat Nursery Center 41″ x 29″ x 29″
BABY JOY 5-in-1 Pack n Play ‎43″ x 30″ x 22″
BABY JOY 3-in-1 Pack and Play 40″ x 29″ x 44″
4moms Breeze Plus 43″ x 30″ x 32″
ADOVEL Bedside Pack and Play 50″ x 27″ x 29″
Dream On Me Princeton Deluxe Pack n Play ‎43″ x 30″ x 30″
Chicco Lullaby Zip All-in-One Portable Playard ‎45″ x 31″ x 46″

Durability

An item is durable or not, depending on its material and construction. While we have a lot of choices for the material, construction makes these models different.

Pack n Plays have a studier construction because they have to work as a playing area and bassinet. They also need to carry baby accessories.

Moreover, because people mostly use travel cribs for traveling, these items should be compact and lightweight, sacrificing their construction.

lotus travel crib vs graco dome travel pack n play
Lotus Travel Crib Vs Graco Travel Dome LX Pack n Play

Longevity

The size gap between these models is minor. Hence, they have the same longevity. You may choose another alternative when your baby turns three.

However, this rule doesn’t apply to all. It’s necessary to observe your baby and determine if he exceeds the capacity of the sleeper. So, switch to a new item when your baby is ready for it.

Portability

Nothing can beat a travel crib when it comes to portability. Manufacturers try to make it lightweight and foldable so that parents can bring it around easily.

Pack n Plays are also portable, thanks to their size. Some models have wheels and foldability features for transport. However, they are the best to use at home instead of outside.

Lotus Travel Crib Setup
Lotus Travel Crib Setup

Setup

Travel cribs are quick to assemble and fold because you use them on the go. However, they will be more prone to collapse.

Pack n Plays also have sturdier construction. You may have to spend more time and labor building them up. The advantage is that they don’t collapse easily.

ways to use graco pack n play
Ways to Use Graco Pack n Play

Accessories

A changing table, soft toys, storage, and other features are available in a pack n play. Your babies will find this place heaven where they can play all day. Yet, make sure that they don’t climb out.

Unfortunately, travel cribs do not have as many features as their competitors. The most outstanding element of these travel cribs is their mesh walls, helping you see your child clearly, and he can see his surroundings.

Phil & Teds Traveller Travel Crib 2021
Phil & Teds Traveller Travel Crib 2021 Modes

Safety

To avoid SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), big manufacturers of both items must follow strict safety requirements. As a result, you can ensure that most baby sleepers are secure places for your child to sleep, relax, and have fun.

Avoid unknown suppliers who lack certifications. Keep in mind that your child will sleep in there, and nothing is more important than his safety.

No matter which type you choose, follow all of the CDC and AAP‘s basic safe sleep instructions. Always put your child to lie on his back, avoid using crib attachments like wedges, and get rid of loose blankets or covers.

Price

The price of a Pack n Play varies significantly, ranging from $80 to $300. It’s primarily due to its accessories such as a bassinet, canopy, toys, and a diaper changing table.

On the other hand, the crib costs between $100 and $300, which is more pricey than its competitor. Despite its lack of features, it’s excellent for your trip time, and your baby can use it for three to four years.

Comparison Table

So now you can picture the differences between travel cribs vs pack n plays. This comparison table will help you sum them up.

Criteria Travel crib Pack n Play
Uses Mainly for traveling Mainly for use at home
Dimensions 39-51″ L x 24-34″ W x 25-32″ H 27-50″ L x27-35″ W x 22-46″ H
Durability Less durable More durable
Longevity Until your baby turns three Until your baby turns three
Portability Excellent Moderate
Setup Easier Harder
Accessories Travel bag Bassinet, storage, changing table, etc
Safety Good Good
Price $100 to $300 $80 to $300

Pros and Cons

You will have both benefits and drawbacks no matter which item you choose.

Travel Crib Pack n Play
Pros:

  • Compact and foldable
  • Quick and easy to set up
  • Best for traveling
Pros:

  • Foldable and portable
  • Sturdy construction
  • A lot of accessories
Cons:

  • More costly
  • Less sturdy
  • Fewer accessories
Cons:

  • Harder to set up
  • Needs more space in your home

Is A Travel Crib Or Pack N Play Better?

Both items have pros and cons. So, which should you choose? The answer depends on whether you use the item for sleeping, traveling, or playing.

For Sleeping

A pack n play has two sections: a playing area and a bassinet. The bassinet is a great sleeping place. For example, the Graco Pack ‘n Play Travel Dome LX comes with extra accessories, such as soft toys and a large canopy with UV protection. They are excellent soothers to bring your baby to sleep.

Its bassinet is also beneficial, thanks to the comfy mattress. Even when you are on the road, your baby can fall asleep quickly.

For Traveling

As its name implies, the travel crib is undoubtedly a perfect solution for parents who often travel. For example, the Lotus Travel Crib can be folded into a backpack measuring 27″ L x 7″ W x 11″ H. It allows you to keep your baby by your side without changing their sleeping habits and playtime.

You can also commute with a pack n play. However, in terms of portability and foldability, it still needs improvement.

For Playing

If you use the bassinet section of the pack n play for your baby’s sleep, the playing area will be where he has fun. You don’t have to buy toys since this item already provides some soft and safe options for him.

FAQ

Here are the most frequently asked questions about Pack n Plays and travel cribs. Check them carefully because you may have the same problem.

1. Is a play yard the same as a Pack and Play?

Play yards are constructions with various panels connected to create an enclosed area. These models are different from Pack and Plays in some aspects:

  • Size: The play yard is much bigger. It even allows an adult to step in.
  • Use: The only use of the play yard is for playing. With two different sections, your baby can use a Pack and Play for playing and sleeping.
  • Longevity: When your baby reaches the age of three, he may exceed the Pack and Play. You have to choose another crib or sleeping option for him. Meanwhile, the large-sized play yard can accommodate bigger kids.

2. Can a travel crib be used as a regular crib?

Yes, you can, but make sure that the crib meets all of these requirements:

  • Durability: Choose a sturdy travel crib since your baby will roll over his sleeping place.
  • Comfort: Most travel cribs are compact. If you want your child to sleep comfortably, choose a bigger model. Also, check the mattress to make sure it’s soft and thick enough.
  • Safety: These cribs are less durable than regular cribs by nature. So if you go for this idea, buy it from a reliable manufacturer to guarantee safety.

3. What do 2-year-olds sleep in when traveling?

Both travel cribs and pack n plays are suitable for traveling. Yet, the former outshines thanks to its portability, foldability, and ease of setup.

Conclusion

The most significant differences between a travel crib and a Pack n Play are their size and extra accessories.

While the travel cribs are more lightweight and easier to carry, Pack n Plays do better at soothing your baby with their accessories and sturdy structure. 

Hopefully, you will find this article helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

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