Taking care of babies and toddlers is no easy feat.
Babies are completely dependent on you, and it is your responsibility to ensure that they do not find themselves in the line of harm at any given point.
It is not possible for parents to carry their baby with them at all times.
This is why a Pack and Play (or also called as Playard) would prove to be beneficial for you. However, there's one BIG problem. Finding the “Good” pack and play isn’t an easy job. That's why we have created this in-depth buying guide for you.
Play yards for toddlers are basically designed to ensure that babies can be left in them to amuse themselves while you do your work. They are surrounded by high boundaries, which ensure that the baby does not fall off while playing.
The reason that a play yard would be such a good option is that your baby will have familiar surroundings to nap and play in even when you take them out. This is the reason that pack and play playard proves to be a better option as compared to cots.
The pack and play ones are compatible and can be folded, ensuring that you do not have to worry about them taking up a large amount of space in the room. You can take them out and use them as per your requirement, folding them away when they are not needed.
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The Difference between Playpens & Playards
Most mothers struggle with leaving kids unsupervised even for a little while. At such times, they endeavor to make sure that they have left their kid in the realms of safety.
When we talk about options in this regard, there are three that you can consider. Due to the similarity that the three have to one another, people often tend to be confused about the option that they should go for.
Playards are normally referred to as the updated version of the playpen. They have an ample amount of features and are not just meant to be used when your child needs to be kept in a place where he would be safe unsupervised for a while.
Playards have bassinets for sleeping, shelves, organizers and so on. You can think of a playard as a portable nursery.
A pack and play playard is basically one that is compatible and that you can fold and carry around with you as per your requirement. It can be thought of as the combination of playpen and bassinet.
Playpens are lightweight and small play areas that are meant to keep your baby safe. They are devoid of all the extra features.
Types of Pack and Play
If you are contemplating getting your hands on pack and play, you will find that there are two types that are available in the market, and you have to select one that suits your requirement.
You can either opt for the Basic Pack and Play or you can go for the Deluxe Pack and Play. While getting play yards for infants, you would want to ensure that you opt for the best option, so you need to get complete information about the two types.
The Basic play yard for baby has all the standard features that you can expect to find in play yards. With a removable bassinet and storage pockets, it is light in weight and proves to be easier to transport. It is less in terms of price as well.
It is also in line with the standard requirements that you are likely to have with regards to Pack and Play Playards.
The Deluxe pack and play, on the other hand, constitutes some premium features as well. It is larger in size and heavier too, so you will have to face some difficulty in carrying it around.
Furthermore, it would be slightly expensive as well. It has features like baby massage chairs and electronic entertainment availability for children.
Basic Type Pack and Play
If you are looking for play yards for baby that would not only keep him safe and secure but would also not prove to be a burden on your budget, this is one that you should take a look at.
The basic play and pack playard contains all the standard features that you would want. It is equipped with a removable bassinet, changing table, and storage pockets in which you can keep things for your baby.
You will find this type of playard to be light in weight and equipped with a carrying bag, which makes it easier to transport it.
When we talk about cheap play yards, one would expect that some sort of compromise would be made.
However, you will find that not only is this option affordable, but it also serves to fulfill all your requirements. If you wish to ensure the safety of your baby, this type would certainly not let you down.
Deluxe Type Pack and Play
Deluxe Pack and Play, as the name implies, takes you one step ahead from the basic type. While it has all the features that form part of the basic model, it has much more to offer.
You will find that it has a larger bassinet with luxurious mattresses that ensure that your baby is provided with optimal comfort. This playard for babies would keep them entertained and comfortable to the maximum.
It is sometimes even equipped with massage chairs for babies and also contains electronic entertainment for them. It’s easy to understand why most customers choose this type of playard for their little ones. However, you have to keep in mind that it will be bulkier and more expensive as well.
The features that it is equipped with certainly make it worth every penny that it comes at, and you can be certain that this playard would keep your baby safe, entertained and comfortable.
Which One Should You Choose?
This is the ultimate decision that you will have to make. Which one would prove to be a better option, basic or deluxe? It is usually the budget that plays a pivotal role in helping people come to a decision in this regard.
If someone is looking for a cheap pack n play, the basic type would be his choice, while if there is someone who does not care about the money but just wishes that his kid gets one of the top play yards possible, he would naturally think it better to opt for the deluxe option.
For families working on a budget, the basic type would suffice. There is a common misconception that the basic type is somewhat inferior as compared to the deluxe in terms of quality.
However, this is far from the truth. You will find that the basic type is quite equipped to provide your baby with optimal comfort. The pack and play with bassinet will prove to be perfect if you are looking for something that would have to be carried around.
If you have to leave your baby in the playard for a long time, perhaps the deluxe type would prove to be a better choice. This is due to the fact that the deluxe type has better features to keep your baby entertained for long hours.
At the end of the day, it is your usage and budget that would decide which option would suit you better. Ensure that you weigh both options carefully.
Why Should You Buy a Pack and Play?
There are quite a few benefits that you stand to gain if you get your hands on the great play yard for babies.
While parents tend to ensure that they keep their eyes on their babies at all times, sometimes, it is not possible. They need to run some errands and complete some chores or simple tasks such as bathing.
At such times, you would want to ensure that the baby is safe and sound. This is where the Pack and Play playard proves to be the perfect option.
You can leave your baby unattended for a while as you go about your work and you would not have to be worried about his safety.
Often, parents take their babies to vacations or on trips, but babies tend to have a difficult time in sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings. They get fidgety and irritable if they are taken to a new environment.
With Pack and Play, you can be certain that they would feel at ease and not trouble you during the trip as they would be in a familiar place.
To take care of babies, you need to ensure that you are able to carry everything that he might require wherever you go. The pack ‘n play offers you this feature as it is portable and compatible so that you would not face any trouble in taking it around with you.
There are quite a few items that babies require. The pack and play playards come with spaces to keep such items, making them a rather convenient option.
Most pack and play playards are equipped with soft toys and other modes of entertainment for kids. Thus, you do not have to worry about the baby as he would be kept occupied and entertained.
There is no denying that you stand to gain quite a bit of benefit with Pack and Play playard. However, which pack n play to buy is something that you would have to pay attention to.
You need to conduct research so that the one you purchase would be suitable for your kid. Try to find out more about which are the top rated pack and play playards so that you would be well aware of your options.
Quality is something that you should never compromise.
Get Pack and Play With The Best Features
Pack and play yards are something you must have, if you have children. They offer security and fun to your loved ones. On the other side, they don’t cost too much.
The best benefit is that it allows your child to play safely and comfortably. This benefit alone makes it perfect choice for stay-home and busy moms.
- Pack 'n play with Bassinets
The bassinet has an important role in calming your baby. They are more than useful, especially when traveling. Most parents claim that the good play yard for baby should have this feature.
In general, it makes your baby more comfortable, and makes sleeping much better. Also, it protects your baby.
Keep in mind that you can get a pack and play with removable bassinets, which is the best choice. The high-quality playards with bassinet should be your first choice, simply because it offers more features than conventional playards.
- Changing table Benefit
Cleaning your pack and play is much easier if it has this feature. Keep in mind that this feature is not offered by all play yards for sale. It is reserved for some high end products, but it is more than needed.
In essence, it reduces the time, needed for changing dirty diapers, so you will be able to play with your baby much sooner. This feature doesn’t increase the price of the pack and play product.
A useful addition is the ability to replace the fabric in a few seconds, so these products are far more practical than a pack and play without it. It is definitely an addition that you want.
- Easy to Carry & Storage
Good playard must be light. Although, this sounds like something irrelevant, you are going to carry the playard, so the weight can be an issue.
Some of the latest products have a weight of less than 20 pounds, which is very good. Thanks to the low weight, you will be able to carry your playard longer and your hands won’t hurt after.
This feature is more than needed to you and your baby, if you travel a lot. Despite the fact they are light, these products must be made from high-quality materials, and they must offer a lot of space.
The most important addition in this case, is to get small pockets, where you can store essentials. The size is equally important in this case and you will need a playard that has small dimensions, but your baby has a lot of space.
Maybe sounds contradictory, but there are a lot of playards with these benefits. In addition, a folding feature is extremely useful. It allows you to store the playard everywhere you want and in a couple of seconds.
On the other hand, anytime you need it, it will be ready in 2-3 seconds.
- The cost of Pack 'n play
When it comes to the price of your new pack and play, the situation cannot be defined. There are a lot of products and all of them have different prices.
An interesting fact is that the price has a huge range. Play yard for toddlers can cost from $50 up to $200. Although, more affordable products have all features you and your baby are going to need, they have lower quality and they don’t have the latest additions.
The most expensive products have everything you need and they offer high quality. However, these products may be heavier and they have too much details, additions and features, so they are heavier and more complicated to use.
In addition, you get a lot of features that you are not going to use, ever. The ideal price range should be between $60 and $150.
For this amount of money, you get everything you need, but not more or less. Keep in mind that additional $10 or $20 are not an issue.
- Safety First
As you can imagine, the most important thing, with all items that are related to children and babies is the safety. When it comes to pack and play items, you should pay attention to the build quality.
You need an item that is made to last, so it won’t break or get damaged after a few months of use. Also, all edges and rough materials must be isolated, so a baby cannot get in touch with them.
Additional security precaution is the size of the fence. Some products may have a fence that isn’t very tall.
These products should be avoided, especially if your baby is 10-12 months, or more, old. The ones with the highest fences are the best choice, simply because they can prevent your baby from falling from the pack and play.
On the other hand, the products that are too soft, aren’t the best choice as well. They may have a negative effect on the bone development of your baby.
Of course, too hard products are not a wise choice as well. The best ones are just soft enough.
- All about Fun
Pack and play are designed to offer numerous possibilities to your baby. One of them is the entertainment.
Although, these products don’t usually come with toys or something else, they must have space for favorite toys of your baby. Keep in mind that every baby has one or two, favorite toys.
They must be carried on travels, due to the fact they will keep a baby calm and relaxed. Playards with space for more toys are much better. In essence, they are the top choice, simply because they offer the highest level of practicality, but their price isn’t much higher than other playards.
At the same time, these products are softer and they have the bouncing effect. All babies like this, so they are the most common choice.
After all, you definitely want your baby to have a lot of fun, while traveling or spending a lot of time in your living room.
Looking through this guide, you will probably realize by now that there are quite a lot of things to consider when buying your first playard for your baby.
However, if you consider all the comfort and benefits you and your baby will get, you will realize that it is worth all the effort.
Graco Pack N Play Playard with Reversible Napper and Changer - Editor's Choice
After carefully comparing all Pack N Play available on the market, we've decided that the Graco Playard with Reversible Napper and Changer is the best model. Not only the setup is completely easy, but also the price is very affordable.