When you have a child, you can’t hold them in your arms 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, though you may want to. Because of this, many baby manufacturers make playards that can include a bassinet, a changer and a napper, all to give your baby a place to relax in comfort. However, when you look at all the options out there on the market and the different features that come with those, how do you know which is the best playard or pack n’ play to fit not only yours, but your child’s needs.
With that in mind, we decided to do some shopping for you and compile a list of our 10 Best Play Yards in 2018 to give you some ideas of the options out there for you and your little one.
We hope that with the recommendations on our list, we can make the process a bit easier for you so you can spend your time focusing on your little one and not where they nap.
Ready? Let’s get started.
How To Choose A Play Yard – Buying Guide
Choosing the best play yard for your child shouldn’t be one of the hardest decisions that you have to make during your day. To make it much easier, when we were compiling our list of the 10 Best Play Yards in 2018, we looked at certain criteria in order to make sure that the ones we are recommending, live up to standards that many parents might have for their child’s things. Our criteria included:
Removable bassinet and changer
Buying many different products for your child can get expensive very, very quickly. Having a play yard that not only provides your child with a bassinet for them to sleep in and a changing table to handle lots of dirty diapers can make all the difference if you’re traveling or at the grandparents house and don’t have access to the standard furniture that may be found in your child’s room.
The biggest difference between your child’s crib and their play yard is that a play yard may come equipped with wheels. Wheels allow your child’s play yard to be a mobile device, moving from room to room as you need it to. With these wheels however, you will want to make sure that you look for lockable wheels in case you happen to be on a sloped surface.
Easy folding mechanism
Have you ever watched a parent try to unfold and collapse a play yard? It can be funny and painful to watch a parent struggle to set up and then take down their child’s play yard. While it’s not possible to try the folding mechanism in the store, you can read reviews from other parents who have bought the product to get an idea of how easy it is to fold the play yard.
Double strollers are very similar to single strollers for your child. They come with wheels, brakes, seats and restraints for your child. Basically the same thing, just bigger. However, looking for specific features like a removable seat cushion for easy cleaning or an activity center in front of your child for them to play with are things that parents may look for as an added feature when buying a stroller.
When looking for a play yard for your child, finding one that has received a certification stating that the play yard was tested for quality and safety by and independent source is something that parents should definitely look out for. This seal is provided by the JPMA or Juvenile Products Manufacturing Association. Through this Association, products with this seal are some of the best quality and safest items on the market.
Benefits of an play yard
A Lot of the features that can help make your child’s play yard an important purchase can also be major benefits of not only owning a play yard, but using a play yard to help you raise and care for your child. These benefits include:
Having a bassinet that your little one can take a nap in can be useful and can come in handy almost all of the time whether you are home or out at the grandparents house for the day. Providing your child with a nice, comfortable place to take a nap, having one that securely fastens to the play yard while in use and isn’t easily disengaged by other children by accident is a great benefit and a safety benefit as well.
Let’s face it. Babies and dirty diapers are synonymous with each other. When you’re out with them at a family reunion, you’re not likely to have their changing table with you and crawling around on the floor might not always be the best option. A play yard that comes with a changing station attachment can make changing your child’s diaper a much easier process, keeping everything in one place and making it much easier not only for you but for your child as well.
Many manufacturers have realized over the years that a play yard isn’t going to just be used in a parent’s home and remain stationary. Parents will take their child’s play yard just about anywhere they can. With many play yards offering an option of portability, many choose to take it with them on trips to the grandparents’ house, giving their little one a place to sleep or even at their own home outdoors, which allows a backyard napping place for their little bundle of joy.
How many times have you seen it? Either in a park or at a family event, that one parent who spends way too much time struggling to collapse their child’s play yard and once they get it done, they look like they just did the hardest workout of their lives. The better the foldability, the easier it can be for you to set up and collapse quickly so that your little one has a place to themselves to play or sleep or set up quickly so you have a place where the sleepy baby in your arms can take a nice long nap.
A play yard isn’t designed to be as heavy or as bulky as a typical stroller. Because of this, many play yards often come with a set of lockable wheels or swivel casters as a standard to make moving the play yard around the house much easier. Finding a play yard with easily locked wheels is a plus as is a play yard that can roll once folded.
For many parents, a play yard is the perfect solution to use when you’re outside with family and your little one is ready for a nap, but you want to still keep them close. This is great, but on a sunny day, unless you have an abundance of shade, mother nature’s bright light is going to be shining on their little face. To combat this, a lot of manufacturers offer a detachable canopy to keep them protected. When the bassinet is no longer in use or the sun decides to hide, simply remove the canopy.
If there is one thing that all parents can most likely agree on it’s this: kids have a ton of stuff. Clothes, diapers, bottles, toys, wipes and on and on. Many play yard manufacturers agree with those parents and have built play yards with storage built in. This can be great for extra diapers, wipes, clothes, blankets or anything else your little one may need when they are in their play yard.
With a lot of play yards on the market, many manufacturers have started adding additional features that can help entertain their child while they are spending time in their bassinet. Mobiles with suspended toys or a detachable baby gym can be used as a mat on the floor for tummy time. The more extra features that the pack and play comes with, the more the play yard will cost to buy.
Different types of Play Yards
Like any other product for your child, there may be some variations between the products that you can buy and play yards are no exception. Depending on what you are looking for, there is sure to be an option on the market for your needs. Some examples include:
Like its name, a basic play yard doesn’t comes with all the bells and whistles that a deluxe model might. These types can be described as a utility play yard, built to be moved from one room to another or packed up and transported in the back of your vehicle. Typically, these will come with mesh sides for breathability and a travel bag for easy transportation.
At the higher end of the pricing scale, deluxe play yards will come with much more interactive and add-on features. These tend to be bigger play yards than a basic model, so transporting the play yard may not be as easy. All of the add-ons that come with this model will increase the price of the play yard accordingly.
My Babies Planet Overview
Choosing the right play yard is much more than choosing a place for your child to play and sleep. Both they and you need to be comfortable spending time using it. Finding one that has the comforts for them and features for you to help take care of your child can be daunting.
But as with any product that you purchase for your children, all the options and features will boil down to your personal preference and what you are looking for in a play yard.
Our hope is that with our list of the 10 Best Play Yards in 2018, our recommendations have given you an idea of what to look for when choosing a play yard for your little one.
More Baby Reviews:
- Baby Double strollers
- Changing Tables Pads
- Baby Disposable Diapers
- Baby Swings
- Baby Bassinets
- Baby Mattresses
- Infant Car Seats
- Baby Wipes
- Baby Pools
- Baby Walkers
- Baby Play Mats
- Baby Floats
- Baby Jumpers
Do you have a Play Yards on our list? Let us know how you like it in the comment section below.
My Babies Planet Play Yards Review