Best Playgrounds for Babies 2021

Best Playgrounds for Babies 2021

Whether you work from home or travel with your baby, you need a safe space for your baby, you want to keep an eye on your baby. However, it is impossible to watch your baby 24 hours a day. From time to time, you need time yourself to relax or unwind. At this moment, play yard will be your best solution. Also called a playpen or travel cot, the best playpen is a great piece of baby equipment for all new parents.

You can find many designs of play yards come in various styles, sizes, features, and accessories in 2021. You need to know everything about the best baby play yards, which keep your baby safe while they play or take a nap.

Do you need a playground for babies?

While you run errands around the house or work from home, you will know the play yard will create a safe area for your baby to play. With a portable travel cot, you can be sure your baby is happy wherever you go. Playpens are multi-purpose and can become a secondary changing station or a baby gate.

How long to use a baby play yard, playpen, travel cot or portable cot?

Play yards are for babies who are less than 35 inches tall and cannot leave the playpen. Also, play yards have a weight capacity limit. Some allow the play yard to be used until the baby weighs 30 pounds, but not less than 15 pounds.

Importance of choosing non-toxic playground materials

Playgrounds, which contain flame retardant chemicals, are highly toxic and dangerous for your baby. Chlorine or bromine-based chemicals are harmful to your baby’s health.
Flame retardants such as TBC, HBCTD, UBC, TDCPP, and TCPP are carcinogens, developmental toxins and hormone disruptors. Always check to see if your chosen playground equipment contains flame retardant chemicals and is BPA free.

Best Playgrounds for Babies​ - Best Baby Play Yards and Travel Cots 2021

Better overall:

1. Lotus Travel Crib – Backpack Portable, Lightweight

The Lotus Travel Crib is an ultra-lightweight Playard, which folds into an easy-to-carry backpack case. It provides high-quality airflow thanks to the mesh. The zippered side door allows you to lay your baby down and snuggle them to sleep. This GreenGuard Gold Certified is free of phthalates, heavy metals, lead and BPA.

Lotus Travel Crib comes with a comfortable mattress with a thick pad and soft foam for newborns or babies. You can easily set up the cot in 15 seconds.

What I like about it:

  • It is ultra-lightweight.
  • Lotus Travel Crib is safe for your baby’s health.

Something to keep in mind:

  • You can convert the cot into a bassinet, but you will need an additional kit.

Additional features:

  • Weighs 13 lbs packed.
  • Lotus Travel Crib item Dimensions are 45.5 x 31.5 x 25.5 inches (LxWxH)

Better non-toxic:

BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light

The BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light is a super practical play yard, which opens with a simple sweeping motion. This travel cot is one of the best play yards for babies, safe for your baby to play or sleep in the play yard, and this is made from non-toxic materials. The cot is easy to clean, as you can throw the fabric and carpet in the washing machine. The built-in base plate of the mat ensures that the play yard rests firmly on the floor.

What I like about it:

  • Made from top quality materials.
  • Safe and solid.

Something to keep in mind:

  • The play yard does not convert to a bassinet.

Additional features:

  • Made for babies up to 3 years of age.
  • The product weighs 13 lbs.

Best easy to assemble:

4moms Breeze GO Portable Travel Playard

The 4moms Breeze GO design is really easy to use; you can move this baby playpen into position with one hand. Just one press opens it, and one press closes it. The whole thing fits into its bag, ready to take with you. A nice padded mattress forms the base and is waterproof and easy to clean. Your baby can easily see through the mesh sides.

What I like about it:

  • It can be opened with one hand.
  • Mesh sides for ventilation
  • Easy to use design
  • The mattress folds flat for transport.

Something to consider:

  • It has a simple, practical look.

Best value:

Portable Playard Play Pen for Infants and Babies

The Babyseater portable playpen is a great value and has all the features required of the best baby play yard. It is a sturdy 6-sided playpen that folds out like a camping chair. There is plenty of room inside for several babies to play together. A zippered door allows babies and toddlers to get in and out when open or stay safely inside when closed. Lightweight and easy to carry, it is an ideal portable playpen to take to the beach or park.

What I like about it:

  • Large area corral.
  • Machine washable lining.
  • Strong mesh on the sides
  • Carry handle

Something to note:

  • The base mat is not padded.

More durable:

Milliard Playpen Portable Playard with Cushioning for Safety

If you are looking for the best baby playpen that will last for years to come, this is the one to choose. Milliard Playpen is made with a steel frame and well constructed. It has 5 safety buckles to ensure that the frame does not accidentally fold down. This is a large playpen with 16.25 square feet of space. Folding it up for storage only takes a few minutes, and it comes with a handy carry bag.

What I like about it:

  • Foam padded steel frame
  • Large 6-sided playground
  • Colourful base mat
  • Water-resistant carpet

Something to keep in mind:

  • The carpet has almost no cushioning

Best lightweight:

Summer Pop ‘n Play Portable Playard

A very lightweight playground, the Summer Pop ‘n Play weighs only 12 pounds, making it ideal for portability. It comes with its travel bag and strap that is ideal for carrying. The baseliner is brightly coloured but does not offer to cushion. This baby playpen has a canopy to protect little ones from the sun. It is not included and is sold separately. Check out the Summer Pop ‘n Play SE Hex Playard, 6-Sided, Sweet Life Edition from summer infant for a very similar product.

What I like about it:

  • Weighs only 12 pounds
  • Spacious hexagonal shape
  • Easy to lift and fold

Something to note:

  • Some users added extra padding to the crossbars.

More affordable:

Regalo My Portable Play Yard Indoor and Outdoor

This portable playpen is one of the most popular playpens available. It has a sturdy steel frame that slightly raises the base off the ground. The liner is made of wipe-clean nylon and is water-resistant for outdoor use. Installation takes just seconds, and it can be locked into place using a foot pedal. It is spacious enough for two babies. See also the My Play Deluxe extra large portable play yard.

What I like about it:

  • Popular model and brand
  • Additional security locks
  • Carry bag included
  • Popular model with parents
  • Space for more than one child to play

Best for outdoors:

Baby Delight Go With Me Eclipse Portable Playard

The Baby Delight Go With Me Eclipse weighs only 12 pounds and comes with a carry bag, making it easy to take on day trips. The base is waterproof for easy cleaning, and the entire playpen assembles in seconds. At 49 inches wide, this playpen is a little smaller than some others, but not by much. A canopy is included that attaches to protect your baby from the sun. Perfect for camping trips.

What I like about it:

  • Very light to carry
  • Canopy included
  • Secure locking system
  • The brightly coloured base mat

Something to note:

  • The mesh is less robust than others

Better with Canopy:

Evenflo Play-Away Portable Playard Deluxe 

Play-away Portable Playard Deluxe comes with additional useful extras. The canopy is dome-shaped and covers the entire top with no gaps. This canopy can be removed in half for partial shade or completely removed when not needed. The sides roll down individually for wind protection. A pocket with a transparent side is perfect for holding a tablet showing cartoons. This playpen folds into a travel bag for easy transport and pops up in seconds when assembled.

What I like about it:

  • The canopy has SPF 50 protection
  • Easy to assemble with one hand
  • Lockable latches for added security
  • Ideal for outdoor travel

Best Portable:

10 Joovy Room-Playard, Portable-Playard, Playpen, Charcoal 

The Joovy Room portable play yard, Playpen, offers your baby 10.5 square feet of space to nap or play. It is a simple play yard with clean lines and a minimalist design. The side of the play yard comprises a mesh, which provides high-quality ventilation. It is one of the best baby play yards available and includes two wheels, making it easy to move around.

In addition, it is made for babies up to 35 inches tall, and it also comes with a 2-years warranty. You can easily install or store the product.

What I like about it:

  • Spacious, and you can use it for multiple babies.
  • It’s sturdy and strong.
  • It is made of safe materials and is BPA free.
  • The product offers excellent ventilation.
  • It comes with a 2-year warranty.

Something to keep in mind:

  • Minor design flaw: there is a ridge/bulge in the middle.

Additional features:

  • Product dimensions are 39.80 x 31.00 x 39.80 inches (W x L x H).

What is the difference between playgrounds and playpens?

Playgrounds and playpens are very similar in design and function. Playpens are the modern equivalent of a playpen and usually come with a base attached. The best playpen for babies is easy and quick to fold up. Playpens sometimes come with a basket and can be used as a travel cot.

What should I look for or avoid in a playground?

You need to look for the right size when choosing the best baby play yard. Some of the play yards are compact, and others are larger and ideal for more than one baby. Baby can’t climb out of the sides should always be more than 20 inches high.

A play yard design easy to open and fold up that will make life with a baby. If you need to spend a lot of time setting up the playpen, you are less likely to use it regularly.
Make sure you can see your baby easily from all sides. Mesh walls are ideal for this. The baby can also easily see through the mesh.

If you plan to take your play yard on a trip, a lightweight model makes it easy to transport. The best playpen for babies has a padded base for extra comfort; you can also use the playpen as a travel cot.

Safety tips for playgrounds and parks.

  • Never depart your baby unattended, even in a baby playground.
  • Make sure the playpen has a locking system to keep it sturdy when in use.
  • Check the safety certificate and look for non-toxic materials.
  • Make sure any mesh material has holes less than ¼ inch wide.
  • Refer to instructions for proper playground use
  • Install the play yard on a level surface.
  • Place the play yard away from heat sources or drafts.
  • When used outdoors, make sure your baby is protected from the sun’s UV rays.


Experience with Play Yards

Play yards are essential when your baby starts to move around and explore. I found I used mine more when my little treasure was content to play independently, which gave me time to get on with some nearby chores. Keep all toys were also kept within reach. Nothing was taken away during play. When visiting family or places that were not safe for babies, a playpen helped me have peace of mind.

Frequently asked questions

Q: Are parks and playgrounds good for babies?
A: Yes, parks and playgrounds are great for babies. Your little bundle of joy can play safely in the playpen or playground and fall asleep without the risk of cot death.

Q: What age is a playpen for the baby?
A: A playpen is excellent for babies between 4 and 10 months. Babies can learn that the playpen is safe when their age of 4 months. As they grow, babies begin to learn to play with toys and can crawl.

Q: Can babies sleep in a playpen?
A: Yes, babies can sleep in a play yard. The play yard surface is sturdy and reduces the risk of SIDS.

Q: Does a baby need a play yard?
A: Yes, a baby needs a play yard for safety reasons. Your baby can play safely in the play yard and fall asleep when tired without risk of harm.

Q: How do you anchor a baby play yard to prevent it from moving?
A: Baby playpens usually come with rubber feet installed on the bottom of the panels to prevent them from moving. The rubber attachments prevent your little one from moving the entire play yard across the floor.

The final result

A play yard is an excellent addition to your baby product collection. It helps to meet many needs and make travelling with baby easier. The best baby play yards are multifunctional, safe and portable.

Before choosing the best playpen or travel cot, consider your baby’s height, the playpen’s material composition and structural features.

Playpens have different weight limits and should not be used when your baby reaches that limit. Playpens are portable, but some are easier to travel with compared to others. Also, some playpens come with accessories such as toys or relaxation systems so your baby can relax.

Want to know some more great safe baby gear for you and baby? Read our shortlist of Best Tactical Baby Gear for Fathers, Best Umbrella Stroller to Travel, and Best Organic Hiking Carrier.


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