Is this new Pack n Play from great Graco an improvement on other past models?
Graco playards are some of the most registered for and top-rated pieces of baby equipment. Graco is keeping up with the times by updating and altering an older style playard to create a new playard that includes their Quick Connect technology. With features like a portable baby napper, a diaper changing insert, an infant bassinet, and the playard itself, it is attractive to both new and seasoned parents alike. Although tough to put together and a bit heavy to lug around, the Graco Quick Connect Pack n Play Playard with Portable Napper is a winner!
The New Quick Connect Napper
Graco has an older version with some similar features. It’s highly rated, so what would they want to change about it? Well, they updated it to include their Quick Connect feature for the improved portable napper.
What’s Quick Connect?
Graco likes to make sure that it’s easy to tell when something is secure. And the new portable napper is no different. It’s easy to remove and tote around in one easy step and, like the name suggests, it’s quick to connect back on. You just push a button and pull the napper up to go move it to where you need it. When you want to put it back, just click it into place. So great for when you need to move baby but don’t want to wake them!
The napper has 4 little legs that fit into the infant bassinet and there and handles on the front and back. It’s really sturdy and sits up high enough that it won’t be laying right on the ground, so you could potentially take it outside, which I love. It also has a nice big canopy to help block out light. They thought this design through so that the canopy doesn’t get in the way of laying baby down in the bassinet. No funny maneuvers to get around the canopy with a sleeping baby. Plus, the fabric is nice and soft. I have no doubt that a sleeping baby would be content here.
Diaper Duty Headquarters
The napper takes up half of the pack n play, but the other side isn’t wasted space. It’s occupied by a very useful diaper changer. This turns the pack n play into an ideal place to change all those dirty diapers.
The Baby (Game) Changer
If you have a home that has stairs or has spaced out bedrooms, you’ll understand the inconvenience of having to go for a hike to baby’s room to change every diaper. Hike no longer! With the Graco Quick Connect Pack n Play with Portable Napper, you can let baby sleep, get diaper changes, and play, all in one spot! The awesome diaper changer here features fabric that’s waterproof and easy to wipe down.
I still lay my little one on a blanket, as the plastic material can get a bit chilly and let’s face it, diaper changes are uncomfortable enough for baby as is. The changer will support a baby up to 30 pounds, so you can actually use it past the first 3 or 4 months! This mamma of big babies is very thankful for that engineering bonus.
Finally, the changer is easy to remove. It has that same Quick Connect feature that allows you to remove it in one simple step. It clicks into place so you know when it is secure. I love that you can easily take the changer on and off. I used a different model when my son was smaller, and you had to buckle and zip the changer on and off. This made it difficult when we wanted him to sleep in the bassinet in our room, but he needed a quick late-night diaper change.
We eventually gave up on using the changer altogether and made the hike into his room to change him. With this Graco Pack n Play, you could simply store the changer under the pack n play until you need it. Click it on, change the diaper, click it off, and store it. So simple.
I love that there is usable storage to compliment the diaper changer. Although it’s just a simple plastic compartment on the side of the pack n play by the changer, it makes life easier. You have enough room for a small container of wipes, a couple of diapers, and a tube of diaper rash ointment. But, that’s about it.
In my house, we go through a lot of diapers and we would constantly have to be refilling the storage compartment. Also, it’s not so good for those of us who like to separate and organize, since it’s all in one compartment. It’s removable, which is another redeeming quality.
Video: Product Overview
From Itty Bitty to Big Kid
The lovely thing about this playard from Graco is that you’ll get many years of use out of it. It will make baby care a breeze when you are at home. It will also come in handy for travel through the toddler years.
The Three Stages
A great pack n play is a must have for any parent, and this pack n play will grow with your child. It has 3 distinct stages: newborn stage, with napper and changer; baby stage, with infant bassinet and optional changer; and toddler stage, with a simple playard. We’ve already covered the features that make that first stage so easy with this pack n play. But what about as baby grows up and out of the portable napper? Well, then you can place them in the removable infant bassinet.
Once baby can sit up and starts to pull themselves up, you can take out everything else and place them in the toddler playard. Here, they can be safely contained for a nap or some play time. Baby has a safe space to sleep and play well into their second year.
Besides offering a baby care station in the home, the entire point of a pack n play is to make travel easier. It’s a place that can be packed up and carted around with you and baby to help meet all sleeping, diaper changing, and playing needs on the go. This pack n play does a great job here!
While it is easy to disassemble for travel, it does take a few minutes to do so, especially if you are using the changer and portable napper. Once loaded up into the carrying bag, it’s pretty easy to haul around. I do use the term haul, because at over 30 pounds, it can be a challenge to move around. My husband wasn’t phased by this, but I wished it could be lighter for travel.
Bonus Question: Is the Deluxe Version Worth the Slightly Bigger Price Tag?
I’ll cut to the chase- the Graco Quick Connect Pack n Play Playard with Portable Napper is worth it! Why?
- The portable napper vibrates. If your baby likes movement, then it’s worth it to have this feature as an extra tool to battle fussiness.
- The portable napper is much, much more soft. The fabric is higher quality and definitely more plush. Not a huge deal, but it makes me feel better about baby’s comfort.
- The storage compartment is so much better! It’s wider and longer. So instead of sticking everything in one compartment, you can add more things and keep them organized. So great if you are exclusively using this as baby’s care HQ.
- There’s only a $20 difference! I’ll pay $20 more to have more comfort and convenience any day. Granted, the regular model goes on sale more often than the deluxe, so the price gap might be more like $50 at times.
- 4.9 stars, 33 reviews- Target
- 4.8 stars, 38 reviews- Babies R Us
- 4.7 stars, 10 reviews- BuyBuyBaby
- Portable napper is amazing!
- Changing table goes on and off easily
- Included storage compartment
- Grows with baby for many years of use
- Makes traveling much more convenient
- Takes time to put together
- Heavy to haul around
- No vibrations, sounds, or toys
This pack n play just makes life easier on us mammas. It gives us a place for our babies to nap, get their diaper changed, sleep at night, and play. I love that it’s from Graco, so I know it’s well-made and will last through its many years of use. The Quick Connect feature on the portable napper and the diaper changer make using these additions a breeze! The extra storage compartment doesn’t hurt and makes diaper duty a bit more manageable. This playard does take some time to put together and tear apart for traveling. Once all loaded into its travel bag, it’s kind of heavy, too. But, all in all, I would easily recommend the Graco Quick Connect Pack n Play Playard with Portable Napper to any mom, new or seasoned.