The Pack ‘n Play turned 20 years old on December 3rd. We had a little celebration here in the office to commemorate the occasion – noisemakers, birthday cake, sparkling cider (honest)- the whole shebang! It’s quite an accomplishment for a product to set the standard for an entire category and remain the leader for two decades!
I was fortunate to have been a part of the Pack ‘n Play team here at Graco for about a quarter of that time…..It began as a simple rectangular playard that folded easily to go places. It has since evolved into an essential part of a new mom’s wish list and home with lots of useful features being added to the product over the years.
Personally, I found that the earlier you start using a playard with your child, the easier life will be and the better you can keep your child contained (that’s the word moms use in research)- so you know where he or she is. Unfortunately I waited a bit too long and couldn’t keep my son in it long enough to get anything done around the house. He’d always be jumping out, running through the house, asking to borrow the car keys, whatever. But really we did not use it early enough for him to become accustomed to it and so by the time we tried it, he was used to the freedom of the open hallway….ZOOM! He was off to the races. So I grew accustomed to having projects half-finished, showers half-taken, and meals half-cooked.
I became rather skilled at running after him saying “NO,NO,NO,NO”….”SIT,SIT,SIT SIT” “STOP IT, STOP IT, STOP IT, STOP IT!”
I spent nearly 5 years working on the Pack ‘n Play team and envied the moms who, in focus groups, would tell us how wonderful playards are in helping them get things done around the house and keeping their little ones out of trouble. 25 million kids using Pack ‘n Plays over the past 20 years, and I get Harry Houdini – the escape artist! Now he’s 13 and can’t get out of bed in the morning! But I suppose it all works out…he’s turning into a really good kid. Maybe now I can get back to some of those incomplete projects around the house, take a nice long shower, and eat a well done steak for a change.
Happy Birthday Pack ‘n Play!