Even if you have babyproofed your home, there will be times when you need to do something that is not safe for a baby. For example, you might need to open the oven. In these cases, a player can be beneficial. A player is like a small enclosed area that keeps your baby safe and gives you peace of mind.
What Is a Playard?
Playards are framed enclosures with mesh or fabric walls and a floor. They are foldable and portable. They can be used when parents need to keep their baby safe on trips or when their hands are full at home.
The players are designed for babies less than 35 inches tall and can’t yet climb out of them. If your kid can climb out of the playard, remember that you must never leave them unattended.
Do You Need a Playard?
It is possible to live without a Playard, but many families choose to buy one. For new parents, the independence and peace of mind they may bring are tremendously valuable.
If you don’t want to buy a player, you can use a baby swing or high chair to keep your baby close while doing things. You can also put your baby in their portable crib, but some parents don’t like to do this because they think it will make their baby think that sleeping in their crib is not what they’re supposed to do.
When Can You Use a Playard?
A player can be used from the very first days after your baby is born. Some parents wait until their child is a little older, but it serves as a safe place for your little one.
When using a Playard, don’t forget that keeping a line of sight when your baby is inside is safest. And, even if you are occupied with cooking or emails, you always want to be able to hear your baby.
What to Look for in a Playard
Trying to find the perfect Playard? You’ll want to consider the following:
- Buy new(ish). Some recent hand-me-downs from friends and family might be safe, but you should scrutinize them before using them. It is because of safety standards protocol changes and the chance that an older playpen has been recalled. It’s best to avoid ancient garage sale finds or your childhood hangout.
- Add-ons. Playards can have different features, like a canopy or a changing table. It is essential to consider how you will use your Playard and what features your family might need.
- Price. The Playard you choose must fit your budget because a player is not essential.
- Portability. If you intend to travel with your Playard or move it around the house frequently, you’ll want to ensure that it folds easily and is not too heavy.
Best Playards For Babies
Summer Pop’ n Play Portable Playard.
This Summer Playard is a lightweight and simple option used indoors or outdoors. It is easy to set up and take down, and its large size can accommodate more than one child. Some parents have handled this by flipping their canopy upside down and placing a blanket on the ground.
If you’re planning to have your child sleep in their Playard, remember that this one doesn’t include a mattress. It’s best used on carpet or grass because they provide some natural cushioning.
The cost is among the lowest on our list.
It has a lot of playrooms and can fit multiple kids — even adults — within.
- The Playard comes with a carrying bag that may be slung over your shoulder.
- It doesn’t come with a mattress.
- It doesn’t include a canopy.
BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light
This babyBjorn travel crib light is a good option if you travel frequently. It is lightweight and portable, and it is machine washable. One parent says that they can set it up in 15 seconds. The price tag is expensive, but this Playard is built to last many years. It has a modern, sleek design that will fit well in many different rooms.
However, the provided mattress isn’t a regular size, so you’ll need to purchase their specially sized sheets (sold separately).
- It can be machine washed.
- The sleek design complements a variety of aesthetics.
- It comes with a mattress.
- The mattress isn’t standard, so you’ll have to buy their specifically sized sheets.
- It’s not the most budget-friendly option.
Pack n Play Travel Dome LX Playard by Graco
This Playard grows with your child! The bassinet feature lets your baby sleep peacefully, but you can remove it when your child is ready to roll and pull up. The diaper changer can be used on the Playard or removed anywhere else. It also has space to store diapers, wipes, and creams.
This Playard is heavier, but it has more features. It might be harder to fold, but it is worth it because of everything you can do with it. Furthermore, it represents good value for money.
- The attached newborn bassinet fits on top for convenient viewing.
- It consists of a changing diaper pad that can fit on top or be removed for use elsewhere.
- It includes a separate carrying bag for the bassinet when you want to take it on trips.
- This Playard is heavier than other options.
- It can be trickier to fold up and fit in its bag than other options on our list.
Evenflo Play-Away Portable Playard Deluxe
This large Playard is perfect for indoor or outdoor play. It’s easy to assemble and can be taken wherever you go. The entire canopy can be used as a full dome or half dome, depending on the weather and shade. Fans of this Playard claim it’s ideal for keeping their child safe and sheltered at the park or beach. According to one mother, she enjoys utilizing the attached tablet sleeve to play music and cartoons for her child.
- It’s one of the less expensive Playard alternatives on our list.
- This Playard comes with a canopy that may be used as a whole or half canopy.
- It has ample space inside for numerous children to play.
- It must be hand cleaned, and air dried when filthy.
- It does not include a mattress or thick cushioning.
Cosco Funsport Playard
This Playard is a good option if you’re looking for something affordable and doesn’t have a lot of extra features. It is sturdy and includes two wheels, making it easy to move around and a bag.
Although some parents worry that the cloth is not machine washable, many others claim it is simple to use and a nice Playard.
- It’s an affordable option.
- It’s simple to set up.
- The player has two wheels that allow it to move about the house.
- The cloth cannot be machine washed.
- Some claim that it lacks the bottom padding in other similar alternatives.
Nuna Sena Aire Travel Crib
This Playard is an excellent choice if you want top-of-the-line features and comfort for your baby. It has a high price tag, but it is well worth it due to its extra features. It is simple to set up and take down and is Greenguard Gold certified.
The integrated vented mesh mattress is simple to disassemble and clean. The cover is machine washable and dryable. The upper cot attachment means you don’t have to strain your back when placing your little one near the floor. Plus, the simple, sleek design will fit nicely in most rooms.
- It has Greenguard Gold certification.
- Deep cleaning is simple, and the cover is machine washable and dryable.
- It has an upper cot attachment and is certified organic by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).
- It’s not the most budget-friendly option.
- The changer accessory is sold separately.
Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib
This Playard is perfect for small spaces like New York City apartments or when you need to use the limited space in your hotel room. It will give your infant or toddler a place to sleep and play without too much space.
This Playard is very light and easy to carry around. Some parents say that folding it back up is not as easy as setting it up, but it is still manageable. Reviewers also note that you must be careful with the straps when folding the Playard into its backpack shape, as they have been known to rip off.
- It’s Greenguard Gold certified.
- It has a side zipper door.
- It includes a 2-year warranty.
- Several customers mentioned that folding back into the carrying case was challenging.
- The mattress is thinner than that of some comparable Playard choices.
Chicco Lullaby Zip All-in-One Portable Playard
Are you seeking ways to keep your baby entertained in their Playard? This one includes a toy bar with detachable toys that hang from it. It also has soothing melodies and nature sounds that can play for your baby.
This Playard is easy to keep clean. It comes with a machine-washable fabric and a removable changer. You can also use the changer to store diapers and other supplies. The Playard is heavier, but it has wheels to help you move it around.
- The detachable toys on the toy bar can play calming melodies and nature sounds.
- It’s made of machine-washable materials.
- It includes a detachable changer and a parent organizer.
- It’s one of the heavier Playards and not as portable as other possibilities.
- There are less expensive Playards.
Bugaboo Stardust Playard
A zip-in adjustable height mattress is included with this Playard. While some people took a little while to get used to it, most people found adjusting to the new height quickly.
As long as the newborn insert is not used, parents appreciate that it can be folded up with the mattress inside.
People adore how simple it is to assemble and collapse this Playard. It fits under many couches and beds and comes with a travel bag. Remember that this Playard is expensive, so you might need to buy sheets for it.
- It comes with a zip-in adjustable-height mattress.
- It folds up flat and fits within the accompanying travel case.
- The fabrics can be machine washed.
- It’s a pricey alternative; the sheets must be purchased separately.
- It does not contain a canopy, diaper changing mat, or storage sleeve.
Graco Pack’ N Play Playard with Dual Bassinets
If you have two babies, you will need a lot of space. A player like this Graco one can help. It has two bassinets, so your babies will have their own space.
The bassinets can be removed from the Playard so your children can play in it. It is easy to put the sheets on and take them off. Some people don’t like that the mattress is not quilted, but others like that.
- There are two bassinets with canopies included.
- It features wheels to make it easier to move around the house.
- The mattress pad has a quilted design.
- Some users reported that installing and removing the bassinet sheet was difficult.
- The bassinets can only be used until infants weigh 15 pounds or can push themselves onto their hands and knees.
How to Choose the Playard for Your Baby
Wondering how to select the ideal Playard for your child? You’ll want to consider:
- The size. Playards come in different sizes and shapes. You want to find one big enough for your child to move around and sleep in.
- Ease of setup and fold-up. Do you need a Playard that can quickly and easily, even using one hand? Do you want one that collapses with a single button press? Maybe wheels are more important to you if you plan on using them mostly indoors.
- Special features. Is there a canopy to protect your baby from the sun when you’re out? Are a bassinet and changing pad included? Do you want a zippered side door so your infant can crawl in and out?
- Weight. It may not be a significant issue if you want to use your laptop at home. But if you want to use your laptop while you’re on the road, you may wish to acquire one that is lighter and more portable.
- Price. Playards can cost anywhere from less than $100 to over $300. You’ll want to think about how much you’re willing to spend and how often you think you will use it. If you’re trying to save money, keep an eye out for sales and other deals that might make your dream Playard more affordable.
It is essential to check a Playard for any holes or rough edges before using it with your child. Additionally, you should make sure that the mattress fits appropriately.
Playards can be convenient if you need somewhere for your baby to play or sleep. There are different types and prices, so there is one that will fit your needs.
Read more: Making Playgrounds a Little More Dangerous
Frequently Asked Questions About Baby Play Yard
Are Play Yards Good for Babies?
You can use a Playard from the very first days after your baby is born. Many parents wait until their child is a little older (i.e., rolling around or crawling), but it is just a safe place to put your little one. Playards are great because they have a lot of features that can help make your life easier as a parent.
Are Play Yards Safe?
Mesh baby playpens are a safe space for babies when their parents aren’t around. But sometimes, things can go wrong. Never leave the playpen’s side down to prevent this from happening so the baby can get out.
How Long Do Graco Pack N Plays Last?
A pack-and-play is a good place for a baby to sleep and play. It can be used from the first day your baby comes home until they are about three years old. The bassinet attached to it makes it perfect for newborns.
Are Baby Playpens a Good Idea?
Today’s best baby playpens give you a safe space to keep your child while you answer the door or do some chores. Some experts feel that playpens can restrict children, but they have been overused in the past.