The early years in a baby’s life are very important in terms of development. They say that babies and toddlers learn the most through play in these stages and because this early development is so crucial for laying the foundations for a healthy life, it is very important that parents use the right materials and toys to keep their children positively engaged during this time.
It is also very important that parents create a play area for their baby or toddler that is a safe place. Play pens and play yards are a great way to give your child the space they need. However, as with all baby accessories and products, it is only sensible to do exhaustive research before purchasing a play yard.
The biggest concern for any parent is to ensure that any product they purchase for their child is safe for them while providing entertainment or fun. Here comes the thin line of budget versus quality and affordability. With younger children, we just cannot afford to cut corners because budget friendly varieties may not always provide the safety features your child needs. To help you choose the best play yard for your child, we have highlighted some of the important features you should look for in order to make the best choice for your children.
There are strict guidelines that govern the safety regulations when it comes to manufacturing products for children. Most countries follow these strictly, but unfortunately there are still some third world countries that are quite lax when it comes to these rules for child safety. While products being manufactured in such countries may be lighter on the pocket and look almost the same as other similar products, they might not meet safety regulations. Always check for the safety certification seal. Products that have certifications from Korea, America, or Australia are considered high quality as these countries have some of the highest standards of child safety rules.
Play Yard Accessories
Too many intricate and fancy accessories on play pens and play yards can be a hazard as these accessories can potentially be a small part haven. Too many accessories also increase the ratio of protruding edges and corners that may hurt your child if they fall or stumble, especially when they are learning to walk or crawl. Try buying a play yard with minimal or no loose pieces and sharp edges.
Child Proof Door Panel
Toddlers love to explore and engage with their surroundings. If the play yard you have chosen for your child has a door that can be easily opened by your toddler, that rather defeats the purpose. If your play yard or play pen isn’t well-secured, your child may just wander off unsupervised. Ensure that the play yard you select has a child proof door lock that won’t let the kids escape away from the safe zone.
Colours and Design
In addition to the typical boy blue girl pink colour options, there are many other designs and colours available that you can choose depending on the aesthetic of your home. There are many styles that you can choose from in addition to colour options like traditional, modern, etc. Depending on where you plan to put the play yard, choose something that fits the rest of your surroundings.
It is extremely important that you review the material that the play yard is constructed out of. Ensure that it is made from Non-Toxic, Baby-Safe materials. This is doubly important because babies and younger children often have the tendency to lick or chew on things. It is preferable to buy children’s products that are made from completely new and fresh materials. Old recycled materials like plastic etc are much cheaper, but have been known to have toxic impurities that can pose a serious health threat for kids. Some of the more popular materials used for play yards are metal, wood, plastic or polyethylene.
This is an important consideration especially if you move round a lot. If you and your child have a pretty stable routine, then you might want to invest in a sturdier, fixed play yard. However, if you don’t like to devote a large chunk of space to a fixed pen, or if you like moving it from one space to another, you should look for options that are easily assemble and disassembled.
This is also a great feature in you live in a smaller space. Another feature that promotes portability is having wheels on the bottom. Some play yards are built with wheels so they can be moved easily. However, portability comes with the downside that most portable playpens are shaky and unstable because of their light weight.
Make sure you secure such yards well. It is not important whether you intend on moving your child’s play yard frequently to different locations, or whether you want it to be a permanently fixed in one place in your home, what is important is that you choose wisely based on your preferences.
Children are messy creatures. This makes it extremely important that you choose a play yard that can be cleaned easily so it is easy to maintain. This way you can encourage them to express their creativity and make all the messes they want. Easy to clean play yards are ones that have easy assembly procedures and are made of washable surfaces. You should either be able to sponge down the walls or throw soft walls and features into the wash. Plastic is among the best materials as it can be wiped and cleaned with ease.
Based on the needs of your baby, toddler, or child, you should choose something that fits those as well as the safety requirements. After you have read through features we have discussed earlier, I think you will be in a better position to make a decision about what a good play yard is and what you should look for an consider. We hope this guide will help you make the best decision for your child.