Review: Graco Pack ‘n Play Element Playard


A solid, reliable play yard from birth to first bed

This is an excellent, compact playard (one of Graco’s top-selling playards) that your baby can sleep in from birth until they grow out of it and are ready to move to their first bed. It also works as a secure play area and can be packed up for taking on trips.

A two stage sleep solution

Like all Graco Pack ‘n Plays, the Element has both a removable full-size bassinet for newborns and babies up to 15 pounds and a quilted mattress pad at the base for the infant phase.

The bassinet sits inside the playard at the top and is safely clipped on all four sides. It provides a convenient and safe place for your newborn to nap without you having to lean in to the bottom of the cot which is hard on your back plus there’s more chance of a sleeping baby waking up. It clicks in to place easily and can be folded down with the rest of the cot.

It is good until baby reaches 15lbs or starts to push up on hands and knees so you should get a few months out of it. After that, you just remove the bassinet attachment and place baby on the lower level padded mattress to sleep.

A three stage sleep solution

Graco Element with stages
If you like the idea of the bassinet, you can get a little extra mileage out of it by going for the Graco Pack ‘n Play Element Playard with Stages & Playard Sheets. With this, the bassinet can be placed at the higher level for newborns plus at an intermediary level that is recommended for babies weighing up to 20lbs.

A safe play area

The playard itself is constructed of a sturdy metal frame with large mesh openings on all four sides so once your baby can sit up it can be used as a secure play area. It’s robust enough that it can’t be toppled over easily and the mesh allows for maximum ventilation plus you can keep an eye on Graco playard>your little bundle of mischief. The manufacturer recommends use for children unable to climb out, under 35″ tall or up to 30 pounds in weight.

Handy diaper station

The wipe-clean changer and diaper storage area save you having to march to the nursery every time baby poops, which is quite a lot for newborns! The changer is good and sturdy, attaches at the side and can be removed with the push of a button.

Watch this short video to see all the main features

Good for car travel

Although this playard is quite heavy for traveling, if you are going by car it’s not a problem.
To collapse and get in the bag should take about 10 minutes once you get the hang of it.
Graco folded
You’ll need to remove the changer first, then press a push button on the top bar and pull on a cord in the base of the cot, then fold the whole thing together pushing on the side metal bits. The bassinet will fold down with it. The feet and wheels fold in automatically, then once it’s in a neat bundle you wrap the mattress pad around it and the whole thing slips in to a carry bag.


Weight: 31.1 lbs
Dimensions: Height: 33.3″, Width: 28.5″, Length: 40″

Optional bells and whistles

The Element playard comes in the following variations:

Graco Element Pack n Play – Erin
at $145.99 has built-in storage shelves

VIEW ON AMAZONGraco element playard Erin

Graco Pack ‘n Play Element Playard with Stages – Oasis (also Lexi) at $109 – 120 has the two stage bassinet and a musical mobile with toys
Graco element playard oasis

Graco Pack ‘n Play Element Playard with Stages – Metropolis
at $99 has a musical mobile with toys, songs, sounds and night light plus a parent organizer
Graco element metropolisVIEW ON AMAZON



Alternatively, other cribs I recommend

That’s smaller… Graco-Travel-Lite-playard200x149Graco Travel Lite crib
That’s more for travel…Koo-Di-Bubble-travel-cot200x149Samsonite Koo-Di cot
That also has a napper…pack-n-play-playard-with-newborn-napper200x149Graco Pack ‘n Play with Napper

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