Pack and plays are great to have around the house. You can put your baby down knowing they are in a safe environment and able to play. They are also great to have whilst travelling on holiday, or for going to see family.
They really are a must have baby item on every parent’s shopping list. Baby bouncers and play mats are great, but they are not ideal when your baby wants to explore more and starts being able to roll over.
Because of pack and play’s versatility. You can not only use it for your baby to play in, you can also use it to sleep too.
You can also use to go get some housework done, like cooking, cleaning, washing, or anything that requires both hands!
Some pack and play’s come equipped with wheels, storage space and a changing pad.
However, because of their versatility, they are likely to become dirty. Keeping your baby in a clean, and safe environment is so important for your baby’s health and development. This article will unpack how to clean a pack and play.
Luckily a lot of pack and plays are designed to be cleaned regularly, we will go through the best way of you cleaning your pack and play so you can get the most out of it.
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It is strongly advised your pack and play is cleaned regularly, this is to help stop the growth of bacteria or mold inside it. A lot of them aren’t machine washable which makes cleaning slightly more of a chore, but the usefulness of them outweighs the chore of cleaning!
Babies often dribble in them, vomit, or have leakages from their diaper in them which can result in bacteria spreading or make stains particularly tough to remove. First off, be sure that the cleaning products you are using will not be harmful to your baby. Avoid using substances like bleach, or strong disinfectants. The safest thing to use is hot, soapy water, or baby safe laundry detergent.
- Remove the mattress from the pack and play first.
- Take a soft bristled brush and start washing the material. Be careful of any metal parts to ensure they do not become eroded. Be sure not to soak the material.
- Take a kitchen towel and wipe off any excess water, soap or detergent.
- If you can, leave it to dry outside, if you don’t have an outside area, inside will be fine too.
- Do not submerge the mattress in water as this will ruin the mattress.
You can use a pack and play virtually anywhere. You can even take it to the beach! If you do happen to take it to the beach, remember sand can get absolutely everywhere! Ensure you clean your pack and play thoroughly, making sure there is no sand left before putting your baby in it again. Not only can left over sand introduce bacteria to your baby, it may also irritate their skin.
It may be easier to use the bath tub to clean your pack and play. You may be surprised to see the color of that water when you are done! If you need to do a deep clean wash a slightly different method is advised. This is a good way to get an older pack and play ready for a new baby.
Deep clean wash
- Use half a cup of baby safe detergent, a quarter of a cup of baking soda and a quarter of a cup of vinegar. The bath tub is the best place to do this.
- Fill your bath tub with warm water and fill it approximately a quarter of the way full, to half full.
- Mix in your cleaning ingredients until mixed in the water well.
- Put the mattress in the water, but check whether your mattress can be safely submerged in water.
- Allow the mattress to soak for at least an hour changing sides. The longer you can leave it in the water for, the better results you will achieve.
- Now leave your mattress to dry either outside, or in a ventilated area outside. Lie the mattress flat to avoid it losing its shape.
The best way to keep on top of your pack and play is just to spot clean regularly, or clean after use. Ensure it has dried properly before using and you will get the most out of your pack and play. Each manufacturer also provides guidelines on the best way to clean so ensure you follow those too.
Our Recommended Pack and Plays
Can my baby sleep in a pack and play?
Pack and play’s work well as travel cots and babies can sleep in them. The material around the pack and play is designed to provide adequate ventilation for your baby. The fence is also high enough so your baby will not be able to climb out of it. If you are going to be leaving your baby unattended while they sleep, ensure any toys, soft toys, and blankets are removed. This helps to reduce the risk of choking happening or suffocating.
When should my baby stop sleeping in a pack and play?
It is advised that your baby should stop sleeping in a pack and play when they reach 30 pounds or are 2-3 years old.
What shall I use to clean a pack and play?
Use baby laundry detergent, or hot soapy water, and a soft bristled brush.
Can I use bleach on a pack and play?
Using bleach is not advised on a pack and play as bleach is harmful to your baby. Use safe substances such as baby laundry detergent or hot soapy water.
Can I use my pack and play on the beach?
Yes, you can us your pack and play on the beach. Ensure the pack and play has had a thorough clean when you return from the beach, as sand can get in lots of nooks and crannies and get caught in material. This could introduce bacteria or irritate your babies skin or eyes.
Do I need a pack and play for a newborn?
If you are planning on travelling, going on holiday, or visiting friends and family then pack and play’s are a great idea. Especially if you will be staying overnight as you can use them to sleep in too. If you do not plan on travelling around very much with your new born, then they are not a necessity. They are however, useful to have in the home so your baby can sleep in different rooms with ease, or be put down in a safe place.
How much are pack and play’s?
The price of a pack and play varies greatly. A basic pack and play starts at around $58. The more expensive pack and play’s with extra storage and specifications, you can expect to pay up to $300.
Are pack and play’s safe?
Pack and play’s are a safe environment to be able to put your baby down and let them sleep, or even just to give you a rest. Your baby is unable to roll out thanks to the material based sides.
What shall I use to perform a deep clean on my pack and play?
Use half a cup of baby safe detergent, a quarter of a cup of baking soda and a quarter of a cup of vinegar. Fill a bath tub up to half way as a maximum level. Then mix the ingredients in the water.
What should you look for in a pack and play?
What you look for in a pack and play, depends what you are looking for. If you are looking to be able to move it easily between rooms, look for ones with wheels. If you would like to be able to store things with it like toys, diapers and wipes, look for one with storage compartments.
What should you look for in safety considerations with a pack and play?
Ensure your pack and play has been awarded the appropriate safety certificates. Pack and play’s are very safe, but should also have been regulated and be safety certified.
Can I add blankets to my pack and play?
It is not advised to add blankets to your pack and play. This is due to a suffocation hazard that can be posed to your child. Ensure your child is not left on their own with toys that they could choke on.