Know Before You Register: Two Playard Facts

As the brand manager on playards, I get to listen to a lot of moms shop for their ideal playard and there are a few questions and misconceptions that seemingly always come up. Here are a few tidbits about playards so that you are armed with the facts before registering.

#1 Does the upper level (aka the bassinet) go down to make it a full-size playard?  Yes. On virtually every playard available in the market today.

Here is a picture of a Graco playard in ‘bassinet mode’ and next to it is the same product in ‘playard mode’. Every manufacturer has their own way of accomplishing this, but in general the mattress is securely suspended mid-air for bassinet mode and you just move the mattress to the bottom for playard mode.

Bassinet Mode

Playard Mode










#2 Misconception: Changers are places for babies to sleep. This is not true!

Only Graco offers a Newborn Napper®, which is a dedicated spot for newborns to rest while you’re nearby. Changers on playards are not designed for a sleeping baby.


Finally, I’ll share one other tidbit. Not all playards are “Pack ‘n Play’s”. Graco developed and trademarked the first Pack ‘n Play playard in 1987, so only Graco can call their playards a “Pack ‘n Play®”.


What other questions would you like answered about Graco Pack ‘n Plays?

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12 Responses to “Know Before You Register: Two Playard Facts”

  1. Kristen February 1, 2012 at 12:30 am #

    As you already know I’m a Graco fanatic through and through. As a Graco Nation member, I shout it from the rooftops that Graco is an awesome company that listens to their customers. This is yet another great example of that. Thank you for always allowing us to tell you what we are looking for or what other features we love and look for in quality products. I’d love to see Graco come out with a toddler type travel bed. We travel quite often as our family is out of state and my husband is the national sales manager (so with little ones we often hop along for an adventure)… but with a 2 and 4 year old I find it really annoying to schlep a (usually 2) Pack n Plays along (yes we have Graco so I can use the term :) !)

    My 4 year old still sleeps in a toddler bed (converted crib with toddler rail) at home and has failed majorly in our attempts to let him sleep in the 2nd hotel bed. He is just not ready for a “big bed” yet. So depending on the length of the trip we decide whether we’ll just deal with the obstacle (aka put as many pillows as we can to barricade him to the hotel bed in an attempt to keep him from falling out) or whether to drag along the Peapod that we invested in. I like the Peapod in terms of “idea” for use because it is smaller and compact, however it is squeaky, the mattress leaks and just isn’t a quality option like our Graco baby gear items have been. We also have a Phil & Ted’s Traveler for our 2 yr old as it packs down to teeny tiny and I can fit it in an overnight bag with 4 peoples clothes no problem. Love this as an option, but it was pricey. We have definitely gotten our monies worth out of it so I can’t exactly complain, however, I know that Graco could totally come out with a competitive, if not better product at a reasonable price as they always do! That’s one of the reasons why we love Graco so much… they understand families and don’t try to take advantage of someone or cut costs – just quality for a justified price as I like to think of it. So can we get a Graco “tent” (as my boys call their travel beds)?!

    So perhaps we could go to the drawing board per say (I’d totally help sketch something out!) and come out with a not so bulky option for the “older” child that may not be little anymore or fit in a Pack n Play but hasn’t quite graduated to the big ol hotel bed! Yes, it may be a small market… but we are out here!! :)

    Yeah for Graco. Thanks for always listening. (P.S. – HI KELLY!)

  2. Kelly Voelker February 1, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    Hi Kristen!! We always love hearing from you – as always, great ideas and I know Lauren will definitely take it back to her team. Thanks, as always and keep the ideas coming! As you know, we might not be able to do all of them, but we take all of the ideas we get very seriously and do our best to respond or make changes based on that feedback. Thanks again for all that you share and talk to you soon!

  3. Jenn February 11, 2012 at 4:36 am #

    Just trying to find out if you can purchase the Newborn Napper attachment for your existing Pack ‘n Play. I have a 2 1/2 year old and my husband and I are talking about preparing for a second baby. I don’t want to have to purchase a new Pack ‘n Play since my daughter no longer uses the one we have. Just curious. Thanks, Jenn

  4. Lauren Westin February 11, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    Hi Jenn, Thanks for your comment! We would actually recommend that you go ahead and purchase a new Pack ‘n Play(R) playard for your second child. We do not sell the Newborn Napper feature as a separate item. We have many different options available with Newborn Nappers from $99 up to $199 (it’s a removable rocker!) depending on what features you prefer. Congratulations on baby #2!

  5. Dana March 7, 2012 at 5:11 am #

    My husband and I are trying to find a Playard that works well with our home decor as well considering it will be a permanent fixture for some time :)
    Its really tough to figure out the colours or how true the colours are on line….
    The Playards we are most interested in are:

    Flint – looks like a sand/tan colour and black mostly
    Vance – looks like black, dark greys, creme & tan
    Forecaster – looks like shades of brown & is the accent Red or Orange?
    Chadwick – in some online pictures it looks like browns with a touch of blue?

    If you’re able to confirm the exact colour patterns for each that would be most appreciated and helpful in making a decision :)

  6. Lauren Westin March 7, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    Hi Dana,

    That is actually very common and is one of the many reasons Graco offers such a large variety of fashions – we want every parent to find the perfect playard for them! Here are the answers to your color questions:
    Flint – light grey and black
    Vance – dark greys light grey, creme & tan
    Forecaster – browns and a darker orange is the accent color
    Chadwick – browns and beiges with a touch of light blue

    I would love to hear which one you go with!

  7. Steve October 3, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    My wife and I were lucky enough to find a brand new Pack ‘n Play Element Playard (Model 1761643”). Unfortunately our model does not include the “Newborn Napper” accessory. Our two month old son is nearly 15 lbs so we’ve stopped using the bassinet. Is it safe for our two month old to sleep overnight in the bottom of the Playard during overnight trips?

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  10. Rosalyn O. Reaves February 11, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

    My baby is now 3 months and this Pack n’ Play has been perfect! I’ve used the sleeper while he has stayed in my room. It’s so soft and warm he loves it in there. I also like the canopy thing because it helps block out all the light that comes when I have the TV on so it doesn’t bother him. The changing table is a little bit low for my liking, but i like that it’s there. I don’t use the sounds and music on it very much but it’s a nice little control to have when I’m trying to calm him down. I’d definietly by this over a bassinet any day. You’ll be able to use it lots longer!

  11. Angela T February 13, 2014 at 8:11 am #

    I am considering buying the Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard with Reversible Napper & Changer – Soho Square, however, I am a bit confused about the napper and bassinet. I thought the napper, with the cozy bed, would be where the newborn would sleep but from what I read, the newborn should be laying on the mat/bassinet level when the napper is taken off.

  12. Shannon Johnson August 27, 2014 at 2:51 am #

    I just bought a Graco pack n play, model number 9E14NOU, made in 2010, from a resale shop. I wanted to replace our older (now dirty and getting gross) pack n play. When I brought the new-er one home, I set them up next to each other to compare. This newer one squeaks a lot when you shake the side and the side rails “give” a lot more than the other model. The other model the side rails are very rigid, and it seems more stable. What I don’t know is if the “give” on the newer one is intentional or not. Perhaps it was made to move a little as a baby shakes it? I just don’t know.

    P.S. It looks like new, so it doesn’t appear like it was heavily used.