Play Yard Options
Before you decide on the decked out, all-inclusive play yard, make sure you really need all the extras. Basic play yards are relatively inexpensive, easy to set up, and lightweight; whereas additional options mean more cost, more parts to keep track of, and a heavier play yard.
Here's a look at common options:
- Canopies: These provide a tent for your baby to shield him from the sun if you're using the play yard outside.
- Storage Pockets: You can stash diapers and toys in these pockets on the sides of the portable crib.
- Bassinets: If you're looking to use your portable crib for an infant and you want the convenience of not bending over to pick her up, bassinets attach to the sides.
- Co-Sleepers: Designed to go next to your bed, co-sleepers allow easy access to Baby from your bedside.
- Changing Stations: Changing stations offer versatility, letting you change the baby in a place that fits snuggly into the top of the play yard.
- Wheels or Casters: Locking wheels on play yards make it easy to move the portable crib from one room to another and then lock it into a temporary spot.
- Roll-up Sides: Some portable cribs have fabric that you can roll up or down to cover the mesh siding.
- Toy mobiles: Mobiles adorn some play yard models with animals, lights, even music.
Keep in mind that you can only use the add-on bassinets and changing tables when your baby is small. You should stop using both when your child can roll over (at about three months) according to a 2004 Consumer Reports article.