Bringing your new bundle of joy to the world gives you immense pleasure, but with a baby comes new responsibilities. Responsibilities so great you wouldn’t have even imagined. One of these responsibilities is figuring out where to put your baby to sleep. The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends co-sleeping with your baby in the same room, but not on the same bed to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Keeping a full-sized crib in your room can cause inconvenience or lack of space in the room, so a full-sized crib is probably not your baby’s first sleeping place. Save those for nurseries and when the baby is older. To solve this problem, you can either invest in a bassinet or get your baby to sleep in their Pack n Play to reduce the expense of buying a bassinet.
Pediatricians consider Pack n Play (or Play Yards) a safe place for babies for every night’s sleep. These days, Play Yards are subject to a new Consumer Product Safety Commission standard approved a few years back, and thus they might be the safest choice in this situation. Play Yards come with breathable mesh sides and a thin mattress that meets the guidelines for SIDS prevention. Use only the fitted sheets specially designed for Pack n Plays. Some Play Yards also come with a removable bassinet feature so you can buy get two baby gadgets in one. While using Play Yard, you should be careful and avoid these things.
- If you are using a second-hand Play Yard, make sure it is not unsteady or worn out. It should be up to date with the latest federal standards.
- Don’t use any other mattress instead of the one that comes with it. Babies can sleep on a firm surface and mostly do fine (until their preference leans towards the softer mattresses, so try not to introduce it. Even if you do end up purchasing another mattress, make sure it is firm and fits perfectly in the Play Yard without leaving any space.
- Don’t use any dangling toys that aren’t properly attached to the Pack n Play because then can fall in the yard and hurt the baby and can also increase the risk of suffocation.
Now that it is clear what should be avoided while in a Play Yard, here are some tips that will help you in getting your baby to sleep in their Play Yard.
Tips to get your baby to sleep in a Pack and Play
- Create a familiar sleep environment for your baby. Follow any bedtime routines you may have established for your baby and instead of putting them to sleep in their usual place, try making them sleep in their Play Yards.
- Make them familiar with a Play Yard by having them play there for some time by offering them their favorite toys. This way they get used to being in one and even start enjoying it. Baby will also learn to play independently, thus giving you the freedom to do household chores.
- Buy a Pack n Play with vibration and sleep music features. The vibrations are synchronized to soothe the baby which will make them fall asleep right away.
- Wait till the baby is fast asleep and slumbering deeply, then put them down in the yard gently without rousing them from sleep.
- Try to make the Play Yard a comfortable place for your baby to sleep in by placing a high-quality Pack n Play mattress in there for your little one. Do your research before buying one and once you have decided which one to buy, inspect it thoroughly before making payment.
- If you can’t afford to buy a Pack n Play mattress, then make your own by cutting a foam pad into equal parts that can cover the entire area of your Play Yard. Place the cutouts on the playmat and then cover it by using a nicely fitted Play Yard sheet. Place your DIY mattress in the yard.
- Swaddle them to keep them warm and snuggly and offer a pacifier if shifting to the Play Yard wakes them up. This will soothe the baby and put them right back to a peaceful sleep.
- Be patient and keep trying, they will learn to sleep in there when they are ready. Remember, this world is a new and scary place for a newborn, thus they constantly seek comfort from the person they trust the most, which is you, their mother. So, let them sleep with you for some time if they are getting upset with the Play Yard and try again later when they have learned to trust it.
It is time for your baby to sleep in a Pack n Play
Above are excellent tips you can use to get your baby to sleep in a pack and play. Ensure that the Pack n Play is comfortable and safe. It should not pose any suffocation risk to the baby. Since your baby will use it for sleep too; you don’t want to take any risk of causing an accident. Use a fitted sheet, keep the sleeping area clear, make your baby wear appropriate clothes according to the temperature so you don’t have to use blankets and if you use any other mattress, make sure it is firm and fits perfectly in the Pack n Play without leaving any gaps.
This will reduce the risk of SIDS greatly, and you will not have to worry about checking on baby now and then. Parenting is hard work, and naptimes can get difficult if your baby is not used to sleep anywhere other than beside you in bed. A Pack n Play is a great sleeping and playing area for babies. With a little practice, they will learn to sleep in there. Even if it is just being used for play once the baby gets comfortable in there and learns to trust it, then they can surely take naps in there as well. Getting your baby to get used to Pack n Play and sleep in it sooner rather than later will seem worth the wait and shot.