How to Set Up a Pack & Play

By Gabrielle Black
baby image by Olberto Mejia. from Fotolia.com

The Graco Pack 'n Play play yard comes in a variety of styles and are similar to many other playpens on the market today. Most of them are designed to be set up and taken down the same way. Many new parents find their first encounter with setting up the Pack 'n Play a bit daunting, but once they practice it a few times, it becomes second nature.

Setting Up a Pack 'n Play

Unzip the travel bag and remove all of the accessories. If your model includes more than the standard playpen, set accessories aside. These may be items such as a bassinet, changing table, canopy or mobile. Follow specific instructions in the manual to install these items once the Pack 'n Play has been correctly set up.

Undo the Velcro which holds the mattress around the playpen in its travel/storage mode. Set mattress aside.

Remove any loose poles that may have been inside the mattress and set them aside. These will be used for the various accessory items.

Stand the Pack 'n Play upright with the feet on the floor. Spread feet out slightly to allow the play yard to stand with little assistance. The Pack 'n Play will be very wobbly in this state and may fall over if you don't keep a stabilizing hand on it. Pull up briskly on the center of each side. You will hear a loud "click" when the side is locked. All four side poles must be locked into place before pushing the center pedestal down, or the Pack 'n Play will not be sturdy. Check each side to make sure that they are secure and locked. Failure to do this properly will result in a child safety hazard.

Push the center pedestal down toward the floor. Listen for an audible "click" from the pedestal to ensure it is locked into place.

Place the mattress on the bottom of the playpen. Make sure the Velcro straps are tucked under the mattress to prevent a child from reaching them.

About the Author

Gabrielle Black has been a professional writer, artist and designer since 2002. Her theatrical designs, puppet design and construction have been featured in "Theatre Design & Technology" magazine and she has written numerous articles for various websites. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Luther College and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Idaho, both in stage design and painting.