Set up Graco pack n play easily!

Susan Fernandez January 01 2022

What is a Graco pack n play?

Graco pack n play is a portable crib for babies, to be used at nighttime or when the baby is being watched by someone else. The Graco Pack 'n Play can also be folded up and carried with you to different areas of your house where you might need it.

Different types of Graco pack n play

Graco pack 'n plays are available in different versions. Graco is currently selling 4 basic types of the pack n play:

  1. The most basic version, which can be used when your baby becomes older (newborn to 5 months)
  2. The second version of the Graco Pack N Play can be used from newborn to 3 years of age. This one has a removable bassinet for newborn babies and an extra changing table/storage tray on top of its organizer panel.
  3. The third type of Graco pack 'n play is more or less the same as the second type, but it includes toys on the side for entertainment while you are taking care of your little one. It also does not have the extra changing table/storage tray on top of its organizer panel.
  4. The fourth type is basically an upgrade from the third one, more expensive but again includes toys, and does not have a removable bassinet or extra changing table/storage tray on top of its organizer panel.

What should you consider when selecting Graco pack n play?

Graco offers a lot of features and options, which can make your decision harder, but it's important to know what you're looking for. When selecting the right pack n play for your little one there are some important factors to consider.

  • Can you afford it? Graco pack 'n plays range from $80 up to $200 depending on the type and edition you choose. If money is an issue, don't buy one because your baby will not appreciate how much it cost if he/she won't be using it that much.
  • What age is appropriate? The most basic version can be used as early as 3 months or when the baby starts trying to roll over by itself (and stops doing so) but it's better to wait until the baby is at least 5 or 6 months old. This one won't have mobile, but still has a lot of other options.
    The second version can be used from newborn to 3 years of age, which makes it your best option if you're looking for something that will last longer and is very convenient, but remember that this one does not include mobile or entertainment items.
  • Do you want removable parts? This might not be the most important factor in selecting Graco pack n play, but it's good to know if you need them. If you want a removable bassinet for newborns or an extra changing table/storage tray on top of the organizer panel for older babies, consider the second or third type.

  • Do you want a lot of features? The fourth version might be your choice if you think the previous ones don't have enough features for your baby to enjoy, this one has a lot of toys and is generally more expensive than other types.
  • How often will you use it? If you plan to take the pack n play with you during trips, consider buying a model that can fold up and fit into a carrying bag (only the third and fourth types do). Also, choose one where all parts are easy to assemble/disassemble because nobody likes complicated items which require manuals to figure out how they work:)
  • What color do you like more? Graco pack n plays come in a variety of colors such as Taupe, White, and even Pink.

What are some additional options?

When you buy your pack 'n play, there are some additional items that might increase its convenience.

Graco Pack N Play Sheet - this makes it more comfortable for the baby and easier to clean when the inevitable mess happens

Graco Pack N Play Tent - provides an enclosed area where your baby can sleep or just rest without having to leave the play yard because it has mesh sides so the air can circulate well. Also, if you use it with a mobile, he/she will be able very easily look at them while laying down. This item is not included in all types of Graco pack n plays so make sure to check before buying one

Fitted Crib Sheets - using fitted sheets is a must if you want your baby to have a comfortable rest. They are easy to put on and take off.

Boppy Newborn Lounger - This is another way of having your baby sleep in the Graco pack n play or to give him/her support while he/she lays down, but the major difference is that it attaches easily to all types of Graco pack 'n plays, where the usual sheets need an extra attachment accessory that comes with them which isn't always included. Note: This one can be used until 6 months old max due to safety issues.

There you go! Now you're ready to buy your Graco pack 'n play depending on what features are most important for you.

Where to purchase a pack n play?

You can purchase a Graco pack n play at your local department store or online on Amazon, Walmart, or eBay. Prices vary from about $80 to $250 depending on the version you are looking for. A new Graco Pack 'n Play starts as low as around $100 for some versions and goes up to almost $200 for the version with all 4 activity panels included (2 electronic ones popping out on both sides).

How many children this pack n play can hold?

Graco Pack 'n Plays are able to hold up to 30 pounds (weight), which means that they can be used by one child only. Nevertheless, some people have been known to share it with their children because there is enough space for two kids to sleep in it without feeling too cramped. Your choice!

Easy steps on how to set up Graco pack n play painlessly

As we promised, here are the easy steps to set up a Graco pack n play quickly and without much effort. Just follow these simple instructions:

  1. The first step is removing all the plastic wrappings from your pack n play, this includes removing the stickers as well as unzipping pockets and unrolling mattress sheets. You can use scissors instead of pulling out those pockets if you do not feel like doing it with your bare hands.
  2. After you finish unboxing your new Graco pack 'n play, move on to inserting the support bars. Start by pushing them into each corner until they click into place. Make sure that both ends are attached completely or else you might find yourself trying to fix them later, which will be hard since plastic does not bend back easily.
  3. After fixing the support bars in place, you can now put your Graco pack n play mattress inside of it. To do so, lift up each edge and push it down to lock into position.
  4. The next step is setting up the side walls. There are two different ways you can go about doing this: 1) Put them on top of the frame without pushing them in completely 2) Put them on top of the frame but hold them in place while you lower it down all way until they click into place. You decide which method works best for you!
  5. The final step before using your newly bought Graco pack n play is unfolding its organizer panel. Start by pulling out both ends until its legs fully expand. (Some people recommend starting by pulling out one end and then the other, up to you).
  6. When the organizer panel is fully expanded, pull on each side gently until all four legs lock into place. Now your Graco pack n play is ready for use!

So, you finished ith this task! Your child is happy as well as you, but there is another question to meet...

How to take it down?

After a few months or maybe after you moved to a new house, your Graco pack n play will have to be taken down. It's so easy and fast, it takes about 3 minutes to take down the whole thing!

  1. The first step is removing any toys from the organizer panel. You can either strap them into their places or leave them on top of the frame completely. Either way works just fine.
  2. Next, push both ends slightly until they click into place which will unlock its legs and allow you to lower it all the way until its legs are close together. This will not damage or harm your pack n play in any way!
  3. Now that your pack 'n play is unlocked, you can now pull on each side of both walls until they come off completely. You can then remove support bars by pushing on the buttons located on the inside of its corners.
  4. Once you finish taking apart your Graco pack n play, fold it up in order to prepare it for storing or moving out. Follow these easy steps: 1) Open the mattress sheet 2) Grab all four corners and tie them together 3) Fold it in half 4) Tie one end to another 5) And Voila! Your baby furniture is ready for storage or transportation!

How can you maintain Graco pack n play?

Ok, let`s talk about cleansing and maintenance. Cleaning it is pretty easy, but there are a few things you should know about it. The first thing you have to do is remove the mattress from its frame and take out all four sides of your pack n play. After that, open up your Graco pack 'n play flat on the floor and clean every single part with a baby-safe wipe or antibacterial spray.

But if you want to take mold off your Graco pack n play, scrub them with a sponge and a mixture of warm water and dish soap! When you finish cleaning all parts, be sure to let them dry completely for at least 4 hours before putting them back together again.

One more thing: if you want your Graco pack n play to look brand new for years to come, keep in mind that you should never machine wash it! Instead of washing, just use antibacterial wipes and spray every part of the pack 'n play until they`re sparkling clean and smelling fresh as ever!

How can you clean the netting?

Even though netting is made of strong material, it can still wear out and tear off after years of using it. It happens to everything! But if your Graco pack n play's netting somehow gets loose you should know what to do.

First thing first, remove all sheets and wash them separately in a washing machine on a warm setting with hot water. After that, put them back on the frame and close the safety belt. If this doesn't fix your problem and your Graco pack n play's net isn`t ripped apart entirely but only detached from its frame, don't worry because there is another easy solution for you:

Grab a needle and any thick thread (we recommend dental floss) and tie up the loose parts by sewing them back onto the frame. Now your Graco pack n play's netting is as new as ever!

Bottom line

All in all, your Graco pack n play is a great place for your child to rest and play. You can easily fold it up and store it away or move it out by yourself without any help. And you don't have to worry about cleaning and maintaining because there are so many helpful guides and tutorials on how to clean and take down the pack 'n Play.