New parents know the value of a quality playpen. These versatile play yards create a safe environment for your baby to play independently near you or double as a portable crib when you travel. But finding the best playpen for your child can feel overwhelming with so many products on the market. We narrow the list for you, spotlighting the best playpens for babies, known for quality and safety.
Are Playpens Worth It?
Whether a playpen is worth it depends on individual needs and preferences. Here are some potential benefits of using a playpen:
- Safety: A playpen provides a safe and secure play area for babies where they can play and rest.
- Convenience: Playpens are portable, making it easy to move them from room to room or take them with you on trips.
- Versatility: Some playpens come with additional features, such as a built-in changing table or storage compartments, making them a multi-functional item for baby care.
- Independence: Playpens give babies a safe and contained space to play, which can encourage independent play and exploration.
- Peace of mind: Playpens allow parents to attend to other tasks while still keeping an eye on their baby.
You’ll want to consider cost, safety, and the specific needs of your baby when determining if a playpen is worth it for your family.
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5 Best Playpens for Babies: Play Safely
Here are five playpens that are highly rated and popular among parents:
1. Best Overall: Graco Pack ‘n Play Travel Dome LX
Graco has been in the baby business for a long time. They understand babies and parents better than most. Their Pack’ n Play Travel Dome LX is the highest-rated, best overall playpen for babies. This playpen has it all when it comes to ease of use, easy cleaning, and loaded with extras to grow with your baby. Built to last, the Pack ‘n Play Travel Dome LX will be a trusty playpen for all your children.
- Easy clean
- Bassinet, changing pad, bassinet insert, and wipe holder accessories
- Comfortable mattress
- Harder to collapse than others
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2. Most Affordable: Regalo My Portable Play Yard
The Regalo My Portable Play Yard offers one of the largest playpens on our list. This playpen is one of the most affordable and well-trusted brands for travel cribs. The My Portable Play Yard has a waterproof base that can rinse easily. It also sports a lightweight design for convenient travel and can handle the outdoors. And for under $50, this play yard is a must when you’re on the go.
- Large play area
- Easy clean
- Very affordable
- Well rated
- Indoor and outdoor capable
- Not as durable
- Not meant for heavy use
3. Best for Small Spaces: Bugaboo Stardust
Luxury Baby brand Bugaboo offers a top-of-the-line playpen, The Stardust Playard, designed specifically for small spaces. Whether you’re traveling or have a smaller baby room, the Stardust delivers quality and sleek design. This playpen collapses like an accordion, allowing you to store it upright and pull it out quickly for easy access. Relatively light, this no-frills, high-quality playpen is the envy of many.
- High quality
- Unique design for easy access
- Compact and lightweight
- Bassinet insert
- Very expensive
- Not too many features besides the playpen
4. Best Playpen for Travel: Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib and Play Yard
Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib and Play Yard is an ultra-light playpen designed for traveling. One of its best features is that it folds into a backpack for easy transport. The playpen also has a zipper side door, allowing you to lie with your baby to nurse or cuddle and then zip it back up so they can’t escape.
- Backpack compact for travel
- Zipper side entry
- Simple design
- The mattress is very thin
- More expensive
5. Easiest Playpen to Set Up: 4moms Breeze Plus Playard
4moms Breeze Plus Playard understands the pain of playpens. They designed the easiest playpen to set up a playpen with one hand pushing down on the center. No more fuss with the side rails, The Breeze Plus Playard is a thing of beauty. It also comes with a removable side-by-side bassinet and changing station, making it a one-stop for convenience and ease.
- Easiest setup and take down system
- Side-by-side bassinet
- Changing station
- Water resistant mattress
- Playpen grows with the baby
- Heavier than some models
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Are Playpens Safe for Babies?
Playpens can be a safe and convenient place for babies to play and rest as long as you follow safety guidelines. Here are some safety tips when using a playpen for your baby:
- Always supervise your baby while they are in the playpen.
- Make sure the playpen has a sturdy, adjustable safety gate with no more than 2 3/8 inches of spacing between the bars.
- Place the playpen on a flat, level surface, away from any hazards.
- Avoid placing soft objects, such as pillows, blankets, or toys, in the playpen with the baby.
- Keep the playpen away from windows or other places where the baby could reach potential hazards.
How Do I Choose a Baby Playpen?
When buying a baby playpen, you should consider the following:
- Safety: The playpen should meet current safety standards and has a sturdy, adjustable safety gate with no more than 2 3/8 inches of spacing between the bars.
- Size: Consider the size of your home and the available space you have for the playpen. Some playpens are designed to be compact and portable.
- Material: Choose a playpen made of durable and non-toxic materials.
- Ease of use: Look for a playpen with easy set up and take down, and can be adjusted to fit your baby’s needs as they grow.
- Price: Baby playpens can range in price from less than $50 to over $200.
- Additional features: Some playpens come with additional features, such as a built-in changing table, storage pockets, or toys.
It’s important to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for assembly and to supervise your baby at all times while they are in the playpen.
At 123 Baby Box, we are committed to helping to boost your baby’s development and growth. We curate a monthly subscription baby box that includes the best baby products for your baby’s growth stage.Related Link: Best Activities for 12-18 Month-Olds: Play Ideas to Help Build Their Developmental Skills