Traditionally known as baby playpens (to families of the 20th Century), today’s playards have brought a new dimension to the playpen model by adding a mattress to the playpen model--allowing for both an enclosed area in which to play, as well as a great place to take a nap. The ultimate babysitter when parents need to run to the bathroom, the playard is an ideal addition to every new family’s collection of baby gear. Furthermore, today’s playards are easy to pack up and take along to grandma’s house and even fit comfortably in hotel rooms.
No matter where you set them up (they can be used room to room as they take only a few minutes to set up and break down), the playard provides a safe place for baby to play without the need for unrelenting supervision. (You still need to supervise your child in the playard, but it’s nice to know that all the toys in the playard are part of a safe space for your baby vs. your child exploring the floor of the living room).
We only select playards that exceed safety standards. We know the challenge of navigating hundreds of baby brands and products, and that doesn’t mention the used market (it’s not recommended to parents to purchase used baby equipment for their child). To make it much easier for you, we carefully select every model we sell, as our commitment is to fellow parents. We’ve been doing this for nearly a century as a family-owned business, and we continue to select the best products for new moms and dad.
When you get your playard, be sure to send in the registration card that came with your product. There’s a small and unlikely chance your model could be recalled, and if that is the case, you’ll want the manufacturer to be able to contact you right away.
There are some important guidelines to keep your child safe in a playard:
Remove all potential entanglements--toys and ties that can easily be strangulation hazards should be removed from the playard. If there’s a hole in the fabric, one that can even capture a toe or finger, it should be repaired, or the playard should be replaced.
Eliminate empty pockets--if your playard has a bar that can be lowered, do not keep it in the lowered position. If there’s a changing table as part of your playard, remove it.
When your child is big enough to climb out (or potentially a few weeks before that, as you never want to be surprised), remove any toys or boxes that would provide a means for your child to climb and escape the playard on their own.
If your baby is napping in the playard, remove all toys and other items first. Also, do not add extra padding or mattresses.
Choosing Your Playard
When you are ready to purchase a playard, you’ll want to anticipate your needs. Do you plan on taking this along with you to a hotel or a vacation condo (the vacation condo has a lot more room)? Do you often travel to and stay at family and friends’ houses? Do you have plans to have several kids? What is your day like/how will you utilize your playpen? Will your baby spend a few minutes a day in the playard or several hours? Will your baby nap in the playard or the crib?
Some playards come with additions like a bassinet or a changing table, which is quite helpful for parents who travel a lot. Additionally, some are lighter than others, so if you are going to be setting the playard up and taking it down constantly, you may want to consider the weight. If you are going to use your playard outside, you will likely want to consider a cover of some kind to protect baby from sun and bugs or choose an outdoor playard instead.
Our Favorite Playards
We’re confident you will love all the playards that we have selected for you. So this section is almost like asking a parent which child is their favorite. With that said, there are a few items we’d be glad to call to your attention due to their special features or overall quality:
We’d be remiss to not mention the Graco Pack 'n Play Portable Playard. It’s a part of most parents’ standard baby gear kit. It's perfect for travel with folding feet and wheels, and you’ll love the signature Graco push-button fold that allows you to break it down quickly and without hassle.
The Nuna Sena Aire Playard makes our list for quality construction. The skid-proof feet, ventilated mattress panels, and high-quality materials add a touch of luxury to the playard. The Sena also folds easily with one hand, even with the bassinet inside!
The Joovy Room Playard is a full-featured nursery center. If the space in your home (or hotel) is tight, the Joovy Room offers the most necessary conveniences in one product built for space efficiency. This is a favorite of grandparents, too, as it doesn’t take too much space but is perfectly equipped and waiting for when grandbabies arrive.
Playard Deals at Albee Baby
If you’re looking for the best value on your first or next playard, look no further. We select the industry’s leading playards that are loved by parents and babies alike. We have great relationships with the manufacturers and distributors of the top baby brands, and we’re glad to bring you playards that fit your budget and deliver incredible value.