The best play yards you can buy for your baby or toddler
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- A reliable baby play yard creates a safe space for your little one to play, nap, or sleep through the night whether the family is home, visiting friends or relatives, or traveling hundreds of miles from home.
- The 4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard is our top pick because it can be set up in about 10 seconds with one hand.
First, let's clear something up here. While the term Pack 'n Play is oft used to describe baby play yards from all sorts of different brands, it's actually a brand-specific name licensed by the good folks at Graco. Much like calling any tissue a Kleenex or any cotton swab a Q-Tip, the term is casually bandied no matter which brand or product is being discussed. But not here, people. Here, we'll be using the proper terminology, which is... playard? Play yard? Travel crib? Folding bassinet? Mobile baby maintenance station?While as far as I can tell there's not one generally accepted name for the hardware we're discussing today, the general consensus among parents is that a baby play yard is an essential piece of family gear. With a play yard, you can establish a safe place for a newborn to nap, a baby to rest, or a toddler to play, and you can create that space just about anywhere and any time.
While different play yards have different attributes and features, they all share a few common features that establish their value. These include portability, collapsibility, ease of setup and take down, and the ability to safely contain kids from the newborn days into the toddler years.
I've personally set up easily a dozen different play yards in my day - as with car seats, high chairs, and other baby hardware, once word gets out that you're handy with constructing, installing, and using baby gear, you get inundated with requests to help. Many I've dealt with are fantastically frustrating to deploy, and won't be found on this list. Others lack the versatility to keep the relevant for more than a single phase of a child's life and are also excluded.
Ah, but included you'll find one play yard that, with a bit of practice, I learned to set up in about ten seconds, even if I had a baby in one arm. Another packs away so small you can tuck it under the bed, on a shelf, or just about anywhere else. And you'll find one that can be adapted in so many ways it really is like a mobile baby maintenance station.
Here are the best play yards you can buy in 2019:
- Best play yard overall: 4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard
- Best multifunction play yard: Safety 1st Prelude Play Yard
- Best budget play yard: Graco Pack 'n Play On the Go Playard
- Best travel play yard: Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Baby Playard
- Best compact play yard: BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
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