Graco Pack & Play Compact Fold Portable Playard
Last updated date: September 17, 2020
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We looked at the top Playards and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Playard you should buy.
Editor's Note September 17, 2020:
Checkout The Best Playard for a detailed review of all the top playards.
Available in a variety of designs, this playard has feet and wheels that automatically fold to make it easy to transport. An insert lets you raise the sleeping surface to a level more easily reachable, and mesh sidewalls keep airflow moving through the playard. The mattress is held in place with fastening straps to give you the peace of mind of knowing your baby will stay firmly in place.
In our analysis of 52 expert reviews, the Graco Graco Pack & Play Compact Fold Portable Playard placed 2nd when we looked at the top 6 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
When your little one needs a place to nap or play right away, there's no more convenient solution than our Pack 'n Play Playard. Its durable frame makes it perfectly suited for travel. The signature Graco push-button fold allows you to break it down in seconds, and the automatically folding feet and wheels make it amazingly compact when folded. At home or away, your young one will have sweet dreams and comfy surroundings. No bleach. Clean with household soap and warm water/drip dry.
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An Overview On Playards
You can’t keep eyes on your baby 24 hours a day. Infants and toddlers need room to play and move around and doing so can easily get them into trouble. Even if you’ve baby-proofed your house, things can happen.
That’s where a playard comes in. Earlier generations called them playpens, but a brand called Pack ‘N’ Play, manufactured by Graco, transformed the concept of a playpen. Instead of being confined to your home, Pack ‘N’ Plays allowed parents to fold up their playpens and take them on the go. But today, Graco isn’t the only manufacturer making this type of product, so to get a true picture of the market, you’ll need to use the product name “playard.”
Like a playpen, a playard gives babies a small, safe space for them to play freely. Think of it as a gated area, only the gate is a soft, safe mesh, and instead of crawling around on the floor, babies get a soft flooring to crawl around on. But perhaps the best thing about playards is they don’t limit you to one small area of your home. They’re built to easily fold up so that you can take them on the go with you.
You aren’t limited to inside play areas with playards, either. You can find some that can be used either outdoors or inside, making them much more versatile than the playpens your grandparents and their parents used. The mesh walls of playards also ensure airflow gets through, which keeps your little ones from being confined between walls that restrict the oxygen they breathe.
But as with almost every other baby product, playards come in a wide variety, with each offering its own unique features. You may find you love the ease of cleaning one playard, only to discover that a competitor has a more comfortable mattress or better safety features. That’s why it’s important to shop around until you find the playard that has everything you need.
The Playard Buying Guide
- One thing many playards offer that playpens didn’t is portability. You’ll find most fold down, with some even coming with storage bags that you can use for carrying. Look at the folding mechanism. The best ones make it easy to set up and break down, taking mere seconds. Some even let you do the setup and breakdown work through the use of a foot pedal, which comes in handy if you’re holding a baby.
- If you opt for a playard with a storage bag, make sure it has a storage strap that makes it easy to tote around.
- Some playards have something called a “bassinet feature,” which simply means you can lower and raise the sleeping area by adjusting it. This can make it easier to pick up and put down your baby.
- If you plan to regularly take your playard on the go with you, look for one that has a changing area built in.
- Safety features are important with any product geared toward children. Check to make sure the mattress will be secure and that all parts of the frame are sufficiently padded to reduce the risk of injury.
- As useful as playards can be, it’s still important to keep an eye on an infant or toddler, even when in a confined area.
- Durability is important, too. The frame needs to be built to last. If you plan to use your playard outside, make sure you buy one that can weather sun, humidity and even a surprise rainstorm.
- You’ll need to clean the playard. In fact, you’ll probably find cleanup is necessary on a fairly regular basis. Having one with a cover for the mattress area can be valuable since you can simply remove the cover and wash it as needed. But it can also be nice to have one made of material like nylon that can simply be wiped down with a damp, slightly soapy washcloth when needed.
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