Ever had to juggle washing the dishes, taking out the laundry, preparing dinner AND making sure your child doesn’t hurt himself around the house? Parenting is no mean feat, and that’s way Playards come to the rescue! Well, sort of. Also known as playpens, these mini structures demarcate a safe area for your toddler to play in, while you busy yourself with the thousand other errands that are screaming for your attention.

Playards come in different varieties, and tend to be angular in shape. Modern varieties are formed with soft mesh for visibility. These offer you a variety of benefits, and can serve multiple functions like a diaper changing station, portable crib or a handy bassinet. Playards are ideal for toddlers below 35 inches tall, after which you can consider their tour of duty done.

We love the usefulness that Playards offer, so we’ve checked out what’s trending among moms right now.

1. Summer Infant Pop ‘n Play Playard

Summer Infant Pop and PlayWell, this one’s a real darling. Not only is it light, the set-up and disassembly is so simple that it can be done within seconds. The sides are made from an airy mesh material, and the base of the Summer Infant Pop'n Play Playard is water-resistant, meaning this is the perfect Playard for picnics and escapades to the wild outdoors! The entire Playard can be safely tucked into a travel bag, making transport so convenient. However, there is no sunshade included, so take care to place the Playard in a shaded area.

2. Nuna Sena Playard

nuna sena infant playard

Aesthetically pleasing, this does look more like a cot than your typical Playard, but this doesn’t mean it can’t be just as effective! Easy to set up, the Nuna Sena fits perfectly into a travel bag that comes with an easy-carry handle. It also comes with a bassinet which is great for younger babies, and the bassinet is even foldable together with the Playard. 

Material wise, the Sena is definitely not lacking, with a soft, breathable fabric supported by sturdy aluminum frames. However, this makes it a tad heavier, although it doesn’t compromise on its space-saving and portability features. Functional and stylish, this Playard would be a fine addition to any nursery, up till your baby is 3 years old.

3. 4moms Breeze Playard

4moms breeze playard

If you’re familiar with the 4moms brand, you’ll know that their products are designed for simplicity and one-step action. This Playard is no different, and the 4mons Breeze opens and closes in ONE STEP – push down to open, pull up to close, with automatic latches. Voila!

The Breeze also comes fitted with a leak-proof changing pad that doubles up as a changing table. That’s super handy for outdoor fun. The Breeze Playard can also cater for younger babies, and you could easily set up the infant bassinet by sliding clips around the Playard’s edge, and placing the infant mattress on the base. Well-made, sturdy and safe, the Playard is a strong contender in this section, except that the Breeze is relatively heavy, and comes with a higher price-tag, which should not be a surprise to any loyal 4moms fan.

4. Graco Pack ‘N Play

Graco Pack and Play

Hurray for the Graco Pack ‘N Play, because it combines multiple essential functions into one! Diaper changing station, newborn napper, infant bassinet, toddler play area, and even a standalone nursery for smaller apartments. This, of course, means that it’s larger than its rivals, and would not be a space-saving option.

 The newborn napper attachment is cozy, functional and machine washable, and can even play a soft, soothing tune with an accompanying nightlight. Set up, however, has been known to be rather cumbersome, so take note before going for this option. Otherwise, there really isn’t much complaints about this multifunctional nursery piece.

5. Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light

Yep, as its name implies, this Playard/Crib is light, portable, and well-constructed. The sides are made of machine washable, breathable mesh. Weighing in at a light 5kg / 13lbs, it boasts an easy-to-erect design and a mattress with a built in base. However, it doesn’t come with an infant bassinet, so it’s not suitable for younger babies.

Baby Bjorn Travel Light

The angled sides allow the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib to fit into smaller spaces, and the soft cloth edges on the inward sloping sides offer a snug cozy place for your baby. You can choose to purchase an extra mattress to provide additional padding and cushion for your little one.

And there you have it! We hope this helps to simplify your options if you’re considering buying a Playard, or else, if you’ve read this far, we hope it was an entertaining read! This is an article in our series of Top 5 Picks, and you’ll find the other Top 5 Picks here - Top 5 Activity Gym Picks, Top 5 Breast Pump Picks, Top 5 Baby Carrier Picks, Top 5 Electric Sterilizer Picks, and Top 5 Stylish Diaper Bag Picks.

Happy Toddling!