Crib Or Playpen

14 Replies
Jo - January 26

I've been told to buy a playpen instead of a crib, but I'm confused. Any advice to second time mommies out there????


JennyC - January 26

great question. My husband and I wrestled with this for a long time. This will be our first, so I don't have any experience to share, but I want to make sure you understand that you will get very pa__sionate answers both directions! There are lots of people who say that you will kill your child and you are a bad mother for even considering not getting a crib. Then, there are plenty of kids who only ever slept in a playpen until they moved to a twin bed. We decided to go with a playpen for now to save money and space since we're short on both. If she has problems with the playpen, we will buy a crib at that point. My biggest argument is that if the playpen is just fine for Grandma's house, why would it be "unsafe" to use at home? And this way, when we travel, we can take her bed with us so she'll be more comfortalbe in surrondings she knows. sorry for the long response. guess I'm pretty pa__sionate about it too. Just don't let them make you feel like you are a bad mom for investigating this possiblity.


Ginny - January 26

Hmm, I've never really heard any controversy about this, but I'd love to see some! (Slow day at work). We actually inherited a hand-me-down crib, so we never had to worry with it. But I have a niece who had special health issues, and she slept in the playpen type thing, because it was easier to keep her hooked up to the medical equipment. So if it's good enough for a special needs baby, I don't see why it couldn't work for a healthy baby.


Jessica - January 26

The only annoyance that I could forsee would be - especially if you had a c-section - leaning way over to get the baby up and out. Oh, but if you're talking about a pac n' play type thing - keep in mind those have a weight limit, and you can't use them for very long.


JennyC - January 26

Ginny, my nephew was in the same situation. He had some special health issues too (born at 24 weeks) and they got a playpen so that they could put the oxygen tank on the changing table attachment. I figured the same thing - if he was good in a playpen until he was like 1 1/2 years old, it must be OK. But then their second kid only did OK in the playpen until he was old enough to stand. He was a stout little kid and could get the whole thing rocking when he got mad and pulled and pushed on the sides. At that point they got a crib. That's why I said we would try the playpen for now and get a crib later if necessary. I'm guessing we'd end up with a playpen anyways, so hopefully this will work out OK for at least a little while.


bean - January 26

I don't have any thoughts one way or the other, but I do have a question - is the mattress in the pack n play sturdy, thick, or comfortable enough? We bought the Cla__sica I mattress, and it's pretty darn solid. It's thick, hard (but comfortable - yes, I've tried it out), and our pack n play mattress is less than an inch thick. I wonder if it'll hold up with baby sleeping on it many hours a day. We're going with a crib, but that's just our choice.


JennyC - January 26

bean, you're right, the pack n play mattress is only about an inch thick. Its very different than the crib mattresses.


Jessica - January 26

It is thinner - that's why there's a weight limit. You can make it more comfortable by putting a cushy blanket under the sheet, or some other type of padding.


Kel - January 26

I have both. We bought a pack and play for obvious reason, but I am thinking that for the first couple of weeks, when she is up at all hours of the night, I will put her i the pack and play in the bedroom so I don't have to go all the way to her bedroom to feed her. The pack and play we purchased has some attachement (for lack of a better word) that is an oval shaped ba__sinet that raises up. Its hard to explain really...sorry! I plan to put her in her crib when she is napping during the day and after she sleeps through the night more regularly.


JennyC - January 26

I wouldn't put too much padding over the mattress. everything about SIDS says that babies need something firm to lay on. Too cushy and they can suffocate.


JennyC - January 26

they do have quilted sheets for the pack n play mattress, but it didn't lay very flat (bunched up in areas) and my husband was worried about it for SIDS reasons.


Alycia - January 26

I suspect the pack n play mattress would be fine. Remember back when we were kids - nothing, and I mean NOTHING ever bothered our backs. We adults weigh a heck of a lot more and we're, well, older, so we need more supportive mattresses to be comfortable. I'll bet a baby would be just fine on a thinner mattress. Think of all the babies the world over who have little more than a blanket on some straw to sleep on! We're using a cosleeper crib (fairly thin mattress) for the first few months before we move the baby into the crib.


Tess - January 26

Im a 1st time mommy and my DH and I have decided we're getting a play pen/ play yard for our daughter...Reason for that is....It would be convenient to move around the house unlike the crib. And thats mainly the only reason were getting a play yard. :)


Melissa - January 26

I bought a playpen that has a top, like a tent for camping (it will be practicle in the summer for keeping away bugs). I wonder if it would be ok for the baby to sleep in there (SIDS, does it have to do with the amount of air that goes or not in the bed???)...I have a cat, so it would be less worry ..cause the cat would not be able to jump in the playpen. Any opinions??


bean - January 26

Melissa - is yours a Graco pack n play? Because we got the Cape pack n play - which is an indoor/outdoor one that comes with the cover you're talking about. If you read the instruction manual it specifically says never to use the cover (shade) with the ba__sinet - only with the play pen, because of restricted air flow. I've also read a lot of reviews on these canopies that they DO NOT keep animals (esp cats) out - cats actually jump on top and crush the canopy onto the baby. So if that's what you have, I'd be really careful.



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