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A List of The Best Toddler Play Yards

Toddler play yards are not just for entertaining toddlers in an enclosed place. They also function as a napping and changing station. Choosing a play yard for your toddler is as important as buying other toddler gears. Here is a list of the best toddler play yards that have earned the approval of parents and safety experts.

Graco Pack N’ Play Element Play Yard

Graco has been the leading brand of toddler play yards for a very good reason. The Graco Pack N’ Play Element has been a bestseller for years. Why? Because this toddler play yard is sturdily constructed, has an easy to fold mechanism, a bassinet, toy bar and a diaper changing table. It only weighs 21 pounds which makes it very lightweight and a perfect traveling companion. It only costs $120 to $150, perfect for parents who are looking for an affordable play yard that is packed with features.

Chicco Lullaby LX Play Yard

Chicco Lullaby LX is also considered as one of the best toddler play yards because it has plenty of features. It is thickly padded to keep your toddler comfortable, has a toy bar that can be used inside or outside of the play yard, a night light and a music unit with vibration, a bassinet with a removable and machine-washable mattress, a handy changing table that folds down when not in use and can accommodate toddlers up to 30 pounds. You can easily collapse it using the push-button fold for easy storage. In addition, it comes with a traveling bag and has wheels that protrude through the bag so you can roll it around for travel instead of carrying it. The Chicco Lullaby LX is a little expensive (sold for $190), but because of its functionality and versatility, this play yard is a steal.

Graco Pack N’ Play TotBloc Play Yard

This Graco model is highly-rated because of its big size (allows more room for playing). It is a basic toddler play yard with four mesh walls that feature a happy sun, interactive bugs and toys that crinkle and squeak. Its padding at the bottom is larger and more durable than that of the competition. What makes this toddler play yard even more popular is its ease of set-up – you can just unfold and go. It will take up more space in your home but you can just simply store it when not in use. You can get this colorful play yard for only $99.

Safety 1st Travel Ease Elite Play Yard

Another option of toddler play yards for parents on a budget is the Safety 1st Travel Ease Elite play yard. It is priced around $100 and is packed with almost every feature you could want. It has a bassinet insert, changing table, toy bar and a storage basket which you can hang on the side for easy access to diapering essentials. This play yard is available in different color schemes and is narrow enough that you can maneuver it through most household doorways.

Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light Play Yard

If you have a family who is constantly on the go, the Travel Crib Light play yard by Baby Bjorn is perfect for your little one. It is a play yard that doubles as a crib so you no longer have to bring a crib with you when you travel. It is more expensive (costs $250) as compared to other toddler play yards, but since you get two toddler gears in one plus excellent safety features (flame resistant and waterproof lining), this play yard will be worth every dollar.

Joovy Room 2 Ultralight Play Yard

The Joovy Room 2 Ultralight (sold for $215) was awarded as one of the top toddler play yards in 2012 because of its overall durability, bigger space for play, modern design and cool color selections. It only weighs about 21 pounds and has a mattress that lies flat on the floor which parents like because it gives them reassurance that their precious ones will stay safe on the ground.

There are thousands of toddler play yards available in the market today. But the play yards above are the best among the rest.

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Tips For Buying A Toddler Play Yard

A toddler play yard is not as essential as a toddler bed or stroller. But, a toddler play yard can fill a need you might be unaware of until you start using it. If you plan on buying one, make sure to keep these tips in mind.

Consider Your Purpose

Why do you need to buy a toddler play yard? The first thing you have to consider when buying a toddler play yard is the main purpose that it will serve. If you want one for travel or you are on a tight budget, go for a portable play yard. It is affordable, folds easily for hassle-free storage and can fit snugly in a travel bag. If your toddler will be using it on a daily basis, an entertaining play yard would be your best option. It is more stationary which is great for indoor and outdoor use, foldable (but requires more room for storage) and has toys attached into the walls. If your little one will spend most of his time outside, choose an outdoor play yard which is made of durable plastic that is easy to clean.

Think About The “Look”

A wooden and neutral colored toddler play yard will complement most home decors. A play yard with contrasting colors will make it stand out. There are also gender-specific color choices such as pink polka dots and plaid. Your toddler will not care what his play yard looks like, but you might, so choose one that suits your taste.

Check Manufacture Date and Packaging

Go for a toddler play yard with the most recent production date. See to it that the model has a certification sticker from JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) to prove that it has been tested and passed the current ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) standards. Bear in mind that safety should be your utmost priority and seeing a JPMA seal will give you some assurance that the play yard is sturdy and has no defects such as protruding objects, chipped paint, cracks, sharp edges, uneven rail slats which can trap your toddler and an inadequate locking mechanism that can risk a toddler’s security.

Make Sure It Is Appropriate For Your Toddler’s Age

            Just like any toddler gear, pick a toddler play yard that is appropriate for your child’s age. Read the label or ask the salesperson the maximum weight and height recommendations. Getting one that is too small for your toddler will make it easy for him to access the lock from the outside and go out without you knowing it.

Opt For Extra Features

If you want a toddler play yard that will keep your child entertained for hours on end, look for one with fun features such as a slide, a swing set or an activity board with toy accessories (rubber animals, spinning ball, play phone, mirror, picture house, light-up musical keyboard, etc.).

Get One That Is Easy To Fold

There are play yards that are very difficult to collapse so make sure you stay away from them. Practice assembling and disassembling the play yard in a store. If you can do it with one hand, then you know it is a good one.

Buy Brand New

Never buy a used toddler play yard. Older models might have been recalled and have design problems which can collapse and injure your little one anytime. Purchase a brand new toddler play yard. You might have to shell out more bucks but at least you can see to it your little one can stay and play in his play yard safely.

A toddler play yard is not just a place for playing, it can also provide your toddler an enclosed place for napping and a space where you can keep him safe and under your watchful eyes while you answer the phone or clean the living room.

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