View Full Version : To pack and play or to not pack and play

04-15-2014, 11:38 PM
Hi everyone! We have been matched with a lovely set of birth parents a 10-hour drive and several states away, in an open domestic infant adoption plan. The baby is due in July! Luckily that gives us some time to plan.

We have some truly wonderful friends who have a 9 month old and a 3 year old, and have offered us so many hand-me-downs. We are so fortunate! Among these is a rock and play.

Given that we will have to spend 10-14 days away from home in a hotel with a newborn, and that we have told our friends and family to please hold off on a shower until we return home, we are riding that thin line. On the one side, buying too many things - on the other, being stuck far from home without enough.

I had originally thought we should get a pack and play for the hotel. It seemed like a good plan for the temporary time, with a proper crib waiting at home. But some people extol the virtues of the rock and play, and I am wondering if anyone has opinions to share on the subject.

Basically: is the rock and play enough? Will it get this new baby through a couple weeks until we can get home to the complete nursery? Or should we suck it up and get a pack and play with all of the bells and whistles (chiefly the infant sleeper and changing area) to make sure we are set?


04-15-2014, 11:48 PM
Hi! Welcome to the board! And congratulations on a match!

If you're going to be in a hotel in the US, most major hotel chains will provide you with a pack n play (you can call and ask to be sure). We've never had a problem with them. The sheets might leave something to be desired (we've usually been given a regular twin sheet folded over the mattress), but you could always just get a pack n play sheet if that's the case.

I personally never used the infant sleeping part or the changing area; I wouldn't go out of my way to have those features.

My two cents; unless the hotel is in a very isolated area, I'd wait and see what you feel you need for the hotel stay. You can always run out to Target and pick something up if you do feel you need a pack n play. Newborns really don't need much at all!

04-16-2014, 12:01 AM
Yes, absolutely the rock n play is enough for the first few weeks. It was my ds's bassinet for his first three months!

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04-16-2014, 01:23 AM
DD2 slept in the rock n play exclusively for the first 3-4 months of her life :)

Congratulations on getting matched!

04-22-2014, 07:29 AM
Thanks for the welcome and information! We will be near civilization, so I think we will go with the rock and play until or unless we decide we need something else. Thanks again for the help!

Ms B
04-22-2014, 09:42 AM
I have one word on hotel cribs/pack n plays -- ICK. Our experience was that they were rickety and, in one case, not up to current codes. The sheets did not fit and moved around, which is a hazard.

We bought a Phil and Ted Traveler as one of the few items we acquired before we matched/took custody (along with the carseat and a carseat bag, a half dozen bottles and nipples and a bottle brush, a few blankets, some clothes, and a small pack of diapers -- we bought everything else either on site after taking custody or once we got home). The Biscuit had no problem sleeping in it at the hotel in our match area and then on the way home (which took a lot longer than you would think). We still use it for travel, although I think we will have to give it up after the end of this year because he will have outgrown it (he is giant, so YMMV - I have friends that used it until their DD was five). The pro of the Traveler is that it folds down really small into its own bag and weighs about six pounds, so it does not take up a lot of space in the car and it very easy to carry and pack.

Make sure that your hotel has washers and driers and bring a laundry bag, a mesh bag (for the little sockies and mittens), a bottle of appropriate detergent (we used the Method Free and Clear for travel because the bottle was small), and a couple rolls of quarters. FWIW, we had good luck with Residence Inns. They all have dishwashers in the room (key with the bottles), fridges (same) and hot breakfasts. Some also have light evening meals included. Those were a lifesaver for me when DH had to return home for a few days when The Biscuit was two days old -- it meant I did not have to leave the hotel if I did not want to (or have the energy to).

Congrats and good luck!

04-22-2014, 10:36 AM
I don't have much to add but wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS!!!

04-22-2014, 10:56 AM
congratulations!!! so exciting! we loved the rock 'n play and also used it pretty much exclusively for the first couple months. I also would not use a hotel pack 'n play.

04-22-2014, 08:57 PM
Congratulations! I love the Rock n Play, but if you have the budget for it I'd highly recommend the Guava Lotus Crib, and they have a bassinet option now. You could buy the bassinet now and upgrade later to the crib part. It takes 2 minutes to set up/take down and fits in a backpack. I first learned about it here and it's one of my favorite buys.

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04-24-2014, 10:18 PM
I have a couple of suggestions from our adoption experience a few years ago.
1. If at all possible, try to rent a condo. We had to be out of state with a newborn 10-14 days, and I can't imagine having done it without a kitchen and laundry room. We were able to get a discount on the rate when we told the owners why we were there.
2. I suggest a pack-n-play, especially one with the bassinet insert and changing table feature. Both will come in handy in either a hotel or condo setting.
3. Enjoy your time bonding with your new baby! My husband and I fondly look back on those first 10 days when it was just the three of us together.

05-01-2014, 09:43 PM
Thank you all again! Everyone here is so nice.

We have found a long-term stay hotel type place with a small kitchen - including dishwasher - in the room. Thanks for all the tips of things we will need, and for the warnings about hotel cribs!