Portrait of happy baby in playpen

Play Yards

Today’s playpens are called “play yards”.

Play yards offer a safe place for infants and young children to sleep as well as play at home or even when traveling. Play yards are sized just for little ones and are handy to have on hand when parents are trying to get things done.

Types of Play Yards

For the most part, play yards do not vary significantly from one another however, each model offers different features which distinguish them from one another. The basics of all play yards are the same: providing a safe place for a child to sleep or play. Standard features include attractiveness, easy to fold, and versatility.

Play yards are supposed to be easy to move from room to room, allowing them to be rolled into different areas of the house for naps and playtime. They are also convenient as beside sleepers for nighttime feedings.

Play yards typically vary in features that are or are not included such as canopies, changing stations, bassinets, sleeper chairs, toys and other accessories. Canopies are especially useful for play yards used outdoors to protect little ones from the sun as well as other elements. Changing stations are also incredibly useful especially when babies are using the play yard to nap. Caregivers can store the diaper essentials with the play yard which is very convenient. Bassinets allow infants a place to sleep and are typically included in many of the play yards. Sleep chairs are fairly new additions to play yards. These chairs allow newborns a place to sleep in the play yard that is small and safe. Toys, music, night lights, and bedding are all accessories that differ between play yards.

Whatever kind of play yard is chosen, safety must be a top priority. New play yards must meet stringent safety guidelines so it is important to ensure these guidelines are met if not buying new play yards. Regulations surrounding secure locking have been put in place to keep small children safe.

Brand Names of Play Yards

Play yards differ in the features that they offer as well as attractiveness depending on the brand. Graco, Baby Trend, Evenflo as well as Joovy are all popular brand names of play yards.

Graco is a very popular brand name of play yards. Often their play yards are part of a baby gear collection that all match. One collection is Disney’s Minnie Mouse for little girls. Graco has a luxury play yard that includes a “cuddle cove”. This chair is for very young infants that is portable and is designed for the needs of newborns.

Baby Trend offers a variety of play yards. Their play yards are luxury ones that include other features than just the basic features. For instance, the Baby Trend Mini Nursery includes a removable bassinet that can be attached to any bed. Some models include a mobile and changing station.

Evenflo produces a smaller selection of play yards than other brand names but they are quite popular. Evenflo’s “BabySuites” are great for traveling, offer changing stations with storage space for diapers and mobiles.

Joovy is a somewhat popular brand name of play yards that can be found in children’s specialty stores. Joovy play yards can come basic without the bells and whistles such as changing stations and bassinets. The play yards come in different sizes. Some models come with solid side panels to protect against wind and so on when used outside.

Price of Play Yards

Play yards can start at about $50 for a basic, standard play yard that just offer a safe place to play and sleep. These play yards are quite basic with four mesh side panels and do not include any extra features such as changing stations, diaper storage and mobiles. The only other piece that comes with these play yards are storage bags which are perfect for traveling.

Play yards can range up to over $300 for those with all the bells and whistles. These additional features include sleeper chairs, mobiles, hanging storage areas, night lights, music and vibration boxes and so on. These play yards are often part of a collection of other baby gear pieces that match.

When purchasing a play yard consider that features that will be used. Not all play yards are necessary for everyone – it depends on the needs of the child.