How To Clean A Pack And Play – A Complete Guide

Pack n plays, travel cribs, and play yards are great for babies who need a safe space to play and sleep, but they are also an easy target for germs.

In order to keep them clean, you must take care of them properly. Wash them regularly, and disinfect them when necessary.

How To Clean A Pack And Play – A Complete Guide

Every parent needs a pack n play because it is not only a great space for their baby, but it also gives them a break. A pack n play is used to provide safety and comfort for babies and toddlers.

The name of this product comes from the fact that it folds up into a portable package that fits easily into the trunk of a car or into a suitcase.

In this article, we will explain, in great detail, exactly how to clean a pack n play. By showing you all three daily spot clean, scrub down, and deep clean methods, you will have confidence in your ability to keep your pack n play clean and your baby safe. 

What Is A Pack N Play?

New parents soon learn that babies come with a whole bunch of stuff. That’s why multi-functional items like these are so important for saving space and sanity!

These portable, folding devices have a solid and sturdy perimeter with mesh sides that are airy and allow for easy viewing.

Some have an attachable bassinet for those early newborn days, and/or a changing station for an all-in-one functional item. This makes them great for traveling, day trips, or using around the house.

What Are the Benefits Of A Pack N Play?

Pack n plays are great for busy parents with babies who are learning to crawl and walk. A pack n play does not have to just be a daytime distraction zone; some parents also use them for nighttime sleep.

A pack n play takes up much less space than a full-size crib so if you live in an apartment, share a room with multiple children, or simply don’t want to dedicate an entire wall to a huge crib, a pack n play can be a big space-saving alternative.

Also, if your baby will sleep at another house while you’re at work, it might be better to have a pack n play serve as a portable crib when your baby is elsewhere.

It’s the perfect way to give a baby a consistent and familiar sleeping environment away from home without having to ask other caregivers to permanently keep a crib at their house.

Pack n Plays are also great for traveling. They’re easy to fold up and carry around and they’re designed to make sure your baby sleeps better.

Pack n Plays are made out of soft fabrics and padded corners. They’re easy to put together and easy to clean.

Why Is It Important To Clean A Pack N Play?

Pack n plays are designed to make life easier for parents when it comes to traveling with babies. They are both easy to use and convenient to store.

However, if left unattended, mold could grow and become a persistent and ongoing problem. Cleaning your pack n play regularly will help to prevent this problem.

There is a chance that mold may build up over time if the pack and play isn’t properly sanitized. It could get stained if you don’t stay on top of spills and baby messes.

It may be hard to keep it spot cleaned regularly, but in order to avoid worse problems with the cleanliness of the pack n play, you should try to keep up with maintenance.

AAP recommends cleaning your baby’s playpen at least a couple of times per week. This includes washing the mattress inside the playpen. Cleaning the mattress helps prevent mold and mildew growth.

Mold and mildew can cause health problems for the baby. In addition, discoloration of the mattress can also occur.

If you do not treat stains on your pack n play’s mattress right away, then the stain could become permanent. Therefore, you must wash your pack n play mattress thoroughly with a detergent solution.

What Is the Best Way To Clean A Pack N Play?

Parents use these products because they’re convenient, portable, and safe places for babies to play. But they also collect tons of dirt and grime. To make sure that your baby doesn’t get sick, you need to clean your pack n play. 

You can use different cleaning methods such as soap and water or using a wet washcloth. Below, we have listed three tried and tested, fool-proof methods for keeping your pack n play as clean as can possibly be. 

Scrub It Down

You should take your pack n play outside or into your bathroom to do this. We would recommend that you take the whole thing outside if possible. Wash the entire pack n play with a half cup of mild, baby-kind detergent mixed with a bucket of warm water.

Use a soft bristle scrub brush to scrub everything down. Rinse the whole design to get the remaining detergent off. You can use a hose or your shower. Then, leave everything out to dry.

Deep Clean Wash

Deep Clean Wash

If your baby has been making a particularly large or thorough mess in his or her pack n play, you may need to do a more extensive clean. Regardless, though, it might be worth getting in a good deep clean every other week just to keep things fresh.

Baby-safe detergent should be used when deep cleaning your pack n play. Baking soda and vinegar are added to ensure the safety of your baby.

For this method, fill a bathtub with warm to hot water and add detergent, baking soda, and vinegar to the tub.

Mix thoroughly and make sure there aren’t any lumps. After mixing, let the mixture sit for about 2 minutes before scrubbing.

Then add in the mattress and scrub. Rinse and repeat until the entire surface is cleaned.

Mattresses need to be soaked in water and solution before being placed in the bathtub. After soaking, fold them up and put them in the tub. Allow them to sit in the tub for an hour or more. Take them outside and let them air dry in the sun.

Regular Spot Cleaning

The third way to keep your pack and play looking new and pristine is probably a given. However, it might be the easiest method for ensuring that your whole pack n play is always kept in its best condition.

Spray bottles are great for keeping babies’ toys and furniture clean. Make sure you use a baby-safe cleaner to avoid any harm to your child. White vinegar is also great for cleaning. First, you should spot any stains, marks, or spills on your pack n play.

Then, dab the surface to soak up the liquids, and spray the area with the white vinegar and clean water solution. After you’ve done this, you need to wait a few minutes before you dab the area again.

This time, you need to use a cleaning solution to get rid of the spilled liquids. Make sure that you’re using a product that’s safe for your baby.

A natural cleaner like Better Life’s Natural All-Purpose cleaner is probably a better option than any other cleaners because it doesn’t contain harsh chemicals.

It cuts through grease and grime effectively. It works well on toilets, counters, appliances, upholstered furniture, walls, floors, basements, vehicles, sports equipment, toys – anything really!

How To Clean A Pack N Play Mattress?

Cleaning your Pack n Play mattress isn’t difficult. You’ll need some basic cleaning supplies and tools. First, wash the mattress cover with warm water and soap. Next, use a damp cloth or sponge to gently wipe down the mattress.

Once done, lay the mattress flat on a towel. Use an old toothbrush to scrub any stains off the surface. Make sure to avoid using abrasive products such as scouring pads or steel wool.

Finally, dry the mattress thoroughly by placing it inside out outside on a clean surface.

What To Do If Your Mattress Has A Cardboard Base?

A pack n play mattress that has a cardboard backing won’t hold up well when submerged in water. You should avoid getting a mattress like this too wet when cleaning it.

However, there is an alternative solution. Scrub the mat down with a little soap and a touch of water to remove any dirt (remember to be sparing).

Then, spray it with a disinfectant such as Lysol. Let it sit for about 30 minutes before rinsing off with, again, a touch of warm water.

A pack n play sheet set is a great way to keep your baby’s bedding clean. You can wash this sheet set to remove any stains. Most of these sheets are machine washable.

They are very durable, so you can use them after several washes, and ideally they should last the lifetime of the pack n play.

Replacing A Pack N Play Mattress

There are two ways to get a new mattress. You can either purchase it directly from the company or buy it online. Make sure that you get the right size for your pack n play.

Also, make sure that the mattress is compatible with the pack n play. It is typically cheaper to order a replacement mattress instead of buying a new pack n play.

How Do You Clean A Pack N Play’s Frame?

Cleaning the frame of the pack n play is also quite easy. Using a scrub brush is easy and safe. After that, use fresh water, and add a few drops of lemon essential oil to remove the smell of vinegar.

What Do You Need to Clean Your Pack N Play?

A baby laundry detergent can be typically used to clean the pack n play and the mattress. Fill a spray bottle with water and spray over the pack n play and mattress. Then use a sponge or scrub brush to remove stains from the pack n play and mattresses. 

Next, pour a little bit of cleaning vinegar into an empty spray bottle and shake the bottle until the liquid is clear. Then add a few drops of lemon essential oils to the bottle and shake the bottle again.

Finally, then add some more warm water into the spray bottle, shake and spray it again onto the mattress gently scrubbing the surface. Then rinse all the mattress area with clean, warm water.

What Are Useful Ways To Use A Pack N Play?

Pack n plays are very useful when you want to take your baby out for some time, but you need a bit of time to get other things done.

A pack n play gives you an opportunity to do other things while your baby is sleeping inside. This helps you to relax and enjoy your free time.

Pack n plays can be used in a safe and secure manner to your advantage in a variety of ways. We have listed the most useful ideas below.


Pack n plays are great for toddlers who also like sleeping in different places outside of their crib. A pack and play will allow your child to be comfortable while sleeping in different locations.

Independent Play Time

Pack n plays allow babies and early toddlers to safely play by themselves. They also have mesh sides so parents can always see what’s going on inside. Tummy time inside your pack n play is a great idea for babies to play and learn about themselves. 


A pack n play can also keep children safe when playing outdoors. Some play yards also include toys and other items that help encourage creative play.

Beach/Park Trips

Pack n plays can be a useful tool when heading to the beach or park for the day.

Although it may seem like a lot of effort to bring, it will be totally worth it once the pack n play is set up and you can enjoy yourself with friends knowing your baby is safe and secure.

Because, as we all know, there’s nothing more annoying and back-breaking than carrying your baby around all day. 

How Long Can Babies Safely Sleep In A Pack N Play For?

How Long Can Babies Safely Sleep In A Pack N Play For?

A baby should be able to fit into a pack n play until he/she reaches approximately 30 pounds and 35 inches tall. This may happen as early as 6 months old. Newborn babies should have no problems sleeping in a pack n play.

Older babies can also sleep inside a pack n play, but make sure they aren’t too squished because this can affect their development. 

How To Make Your Pack N Play A Safe Environment for Sleep?

Pack n plays come ready-made as a safe sleeping place. Parents don’t need to make any adjustments. As long as it meets the newest consumer product safety ratings, it’s fine for sleep.

A parent shouldn’t change the mattress that came with the pack n play to something softer and seemingly more comfortable. Safety should always take priority over comfort!

The mattress is supposed to be a little firm for the safety of your child. The sheets should be securely fitted too, without loose sections.

It’s also important to note that you should follow all AAP recommendations for safe sleep in cribs for your baby’s pack n play.

This means you shouldn’t add anything like blankets, pillows, or stuffed toys, no matter how cute your baby may look snuggling up to them, as this poses a suffocation risk and increases the likelihood of SIDS.

Always place your baby on their back and keep the sleeping surface clean and flat. Follow instructions for care, use and cleaning for your pack n play according to manufacturer guidelines.

Even though most babies don’t roll over until they reach somewhere between four to six months of age, an agile baby could do it in the bassinet sooner.

Experts say that even if you’re careful, you need to be alert when using a play yard because some accidents happen quickly. You should watch your child closely while they play.

Popular Pack N Plays That Are Easy To Wash 

If you’re not quite sure which pack n play is the best fit for you and your baby, we can put your faith in the pack n plays below. Each of these pack n plays have been tried and tested in the marketplace and have fared very well.

They are equipped with everything you will need to live your best portable-crib life. Oh, and, of course, they are easy to deconstruct and give a good and proper wash.

Graco Pack And Play Crib

Most parents know enough about this pack n play to know that it’s one of the top affordable choices as a portable playard and portable crib mattress.

There are two wheels attached to two of the legs to help you roll it around your house as needed. But thanks to the other two legs, the pack n play stays in place easily without rolling involuntarily.

The yard has automatic folding feet to help you travel with the pack n play. There are also a number of different colors and designs available to match with your home decor.

Joovy New Room2 Portable Playard

This playpen is very large, but it’s still portable. You can roll it around easily if needed. It has four mesh side panels for ventilation and visibility.

Unfortunately, this playpen doesn’t come in a lot of different colors but this may be fine if you are looking just for a neutral-looking, large plack n play.

4Moms Breeze Go Portable Playard

The 4Moms Breeze portable playard has an easy opening and closing method. It also comes with a convenient travel bag.

This playard is fairly large, but it can be used for traveling. I looks sturdy and for the higher price tag, you get a lot of features, so there’s little reason not to want this play yard if you’re going somewhere with your baby.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can You Make A Pack N Play More Comfortable For Your Toddler?

If you want to make a pack n’ play more comfortable, then using padded sheets is probably the best option.

Some manufacturers, such as Graco, make a thicker, quilted pack n play sheet that fits perfectly over the mattress pad of all Graco pack n play models.

Can Your 2-Year-Old Sleep In A Pack N Play?

A pack ‘n’ play works for various age groups, from babies up to toddlers up to around 30 pounds. You can set them up anywhere – even in the park, beach or a quiet corner of a hotel room.

Can I Use Pack N Play Instead Of A Crib?

Yes, you can use a pack n play for your baby to sleep in. Similar to cribs and bassinets, they are regulated by law to ensure the safety of your baby.

Some pack n plays also come with a seperate bassinet which splits the sleeping area from the baby’s play area.

What Can You Do With Your Old Pack N Play?

If your child grows out of his/her playpen, but it’s still in good condition, then throwing it away isn’t the best option because it could be used again.

Playpens can be donated to daycares, nurseries, churches, or your local charity if they’re in good condition.


There are many benefits of having a pack n play.

Not only does it allow you to provide your baby with a safe place to rest, but it allows you to keep a watchful eye on your child while they play, so you don’t have to worry about where they will wander off to and the mischief they will find. 

We hope this article has been a helping hand in understanding the different ways in which you can wash your pack n play.

Whether you are only going to use your pack n play on travel trips, or you are thinking it could be a useful tool for everyday naps, a clean environment is a safe environment for your little one.