Play Yard Basics
Most play yards share similar characteristics:
- The average play yard is 28 inches wide and 40 inches long.
- The box frame is made of metal tubing that runs underneath the play yard and forms four-corner posts and finally the top railing.
- The sides and bottom are fabric. Sometimes all four sides are mesh, while some models may have a combination of mesh and fabric.
- The removable bottom is made from masonite board with about one inch of padding covered in fabric.
To fold the crib, the bottom part is usually removed and the play yard collapses in certain steps—first you pull a tab or handle in the middle of the play yard's floor base before unlocking the railing sides. (You can neither set up nor take down the portable crib without doing it in a certain order.) The play yard folds up to fit into the box created by the bottom mattress. Basic models weigh between 20 and 25 pounds, and additional options add weight, says the Consumer Reports review.
You can see why play yards are popular—going from compactly designed boxes to a portable cribs in a matter of minutes makes giving your baby a safe place to play or sleep a breeze.