As you’re probably noticed during your search for baby items, the industry is overflowing with choices for every single type of baby-related option possible; play yards included.
When it comes to choosing the best baby play yard, what should you look for? What makes one better than another.
We’ll answer all of these questions and more in our guide below in order to help you understand the differences between play yard models. Useful info that makes shopping for one much easier!
How to Choose
Since there are so many choices out there, here are a few things to take into consideration that will help you find the best baby play yard for your little one:
- Meets Current Safety Standards. If you plan to purchase a used play yard or if you’ve been given one that’s a few years old, check to make sure that it meets all current safety standards.
All of the models below are new and meet current safety standards.
- Features. Play yards have become very multi-functional (compared to models of decades past), so you have more options when it comes to choosing one.
Do you want a play yard/changing table/bassinet all in one? Just a play yard and bassinet? Play yard only?
If you’re limited on space, we suggest you get something like number 6 below.
- Where/When You’ll Use It. Do you want something to use outdoors in the summertime or will you only be using it indoors?
Do you need something compact that’s easy to travel with or will it be staying in your home?
Top 6 Baby Play Yards Table
Check Weight and Age Limits
If you have an older baby, you’ll need to make sure that they haven’t already exceeded the recommended weight and age limits. This goes for both the play yard itself and the bassinet and/or changer if your play yard came with them.
Based on experience and by trying a variety of models, here are what most parents appreciate about the play yard they love:
- Wheels. If you want to move the play yard from the living room into the nursery once baby has fallen asleep, wheels make the task a breeze!
In general, they’re a handy feature to have but not essential for everyone.
- Music/Vibrating. Anything that will help soothe baby so they can drift into a peaceful sleep is much appreciated.
If you don’t want to purchase numerous gadgets separately, then look for a play yard that comes equipped with these features.
3 Best Baby Play Yard Reviews
The Lotus Travel crib is ideal for any parents who need a multi-functional option that is easy to set up, take down and pack in the car, whether it’s for a trip to grandma’s house or a trip across the country.
You can use it as both play yard and bassinet and, unlike many other play yards, it has a zip window on the side that makes it easy for you to place baby in from the side rather than the top. Once you close the zip, you can secure it with a fastener so that baby can’t accidentally open it. The window is also handy for toddlers who would like to use it as a private play area (almost like a tent or a fort) that they can enter and exit at their leisure.
It has been thoroughly tested for chemical emissions (and even received the Greenguard Gold certification), so you won’t find any flame retardants, PVC, phthalates, lead or heavy metals.
Safe for your baby to use and easy for you to set up.
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, this play yard/bassinet from Graco is a parent-favorite.
It features folding feet, two wheels so you can easily move it around your home, a toy bar, carrying bag, storage pocket on the outside and it is also quick and easy to set up/take down when you’re on the go.
The bassinet is safe for babies under 15 pounds and the play yard can be used for little ones less than 35” tall/those who are unable to climb out.
Higher in price but also in quality is the BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light. It only weighs 11 pounds!
While it is marketed as a crib, this can be used as both a play yard and a place to sleep when you’re on the go. Set up is also quick and easy with legs that unfold automatically along with a soft mattress that has a built-in base plat to keep the play yard standing firmly on the floor.
It’s also easy to clean since you can remove the mattress cover and crib material and throw them in the washing machine.
Expensive, yes, but it’s one of the best baby play yard choices in terms of quality and worth the investment if you’ll be using it for multiple kids!