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  1. #1
    CPS Technician kidzndogz's Avatar
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    Are play yards worth it?

    Every time I'd see one on someone's registry I'd roll my eyes because they have all these crazy attachments that completely defeat the purpose of them being "portable". And I never understood why you couldn't just put the baby on a blanket on the floor.

    My mom saw this play yard thing at BRU that is a bassinet and play yard in one like all of them are these days, but it also has an attachment to be a cosleeper. She's just so convinced I NEED this thing and dragged me to BRU to look at it. http://www.toysrus.com/product/index...ductId=3904357

    It actually is kind of cool, the co-sleeper just lifts off and you can use it around the house as a place to lay a tiny in. The whole yard easy to take apart and put up.

    She wants to get it for me for my shower but I'd rather have the crib set she was originally going to get for me.

    But it still leaves open the question of where this kid will sleep. i was going to get one of those First Years cosleepers that go in bed with you, but there is no way it'll fit. Our bed it just too small. Shaun is such a heavy sleeper that I'm afraid of just having the baby in bed without any kind of surrounding. An Arm's Reach is the same price as that play yard, and at least the play yard converts to something we'd use later when at other people's houses. And it's a convenient thing to have in the living room I guess instead of laying the kid on the floor...keep the dog out of his face and stuff. And something to take camping (which we do a lot) and take to other people's houses.

    Meh. I just don't want them to spend money on something that will end up being a waste, and I don't know enough about having kids to know if it will or not.
    -Alicia, CPST, RN!-
    Lady to the Mister, mama to my little Shrimptastic birthday present, Liam (7/29/10), and my v2.0, Declan (9/14/13). Rockin' a Nextfit, BeLogic, and Aton2.

    http://ashortstorymadelong.blogspot.com

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician
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    Re: Are play yards worth it?

    We side car the crib. Before that we used a play yard w/a bassinet on it. We rarely used that though. The play yard itself is nice when you go to someone else's house w/a mobile child and don't want them all over the place at night.
    Janice, no longer a CPST, and now a single Mommy to C, 10 and big enough to pass the 5-step test and S(born 12/9/09), in a Roundabout 50.

  4. #3
    Moderator - CPS Technician BookMama's Avatar
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    Re: Are play yards worth it?

    You could probably get a decent one on Craigslist for pretty cheap. That might be a good way to go if you're just not sure whether you want one.
    Andrea, CPST, Tech proxy, special Needs trained
    DS 4/01 - Seatbelt * DD1 11/05 - Oobr, PWSGL, Performance Booster
    DD2 10/09 - GN SS/Argos
    Plus a plethora of "spare" seats for everyone.

  5. #4
    Senior Community Member aeormsby's Avatar
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    Re: Are play yards worth it?

    We got the most basic pack & play I could find. The only thing I wanted was the bassinet. We used it kind of like a co-sleeper for the first 4-6 months with each baby. We use it when we go to friends houses so we could stay later than LO's bedtime (worked better before we had 2 kids), and for traveling (driving trips when we stay in hotels or condos). It's also handy to have for when friends or family visit with little ones. We went pretty light on 'baby gear' but this was one of the things we got and have gotten our use out of.

    We actually had 2 for a while. A friend gave us an OLD one that we used when we went camping. It was nice to have something to set up outside so we could cook/pack/whatever and not have to worry about the LO getting away.
    Ann

    DD - 1/06 - 5-stepping
    DS - 12/07 - Incognito, Recaro Performance Booster & Harmony Literiders
    And a Bubble Bum for backup/travel

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy rochelle's Avatar
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    Re: Are play yards worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by kidzndogz View Post
    She wants to get it for me for my shower but I'd rather have the crib set she was originally going to get for me.
    And something to take camping (which we do a lot) and take to other people's houses.
    If your parents are going to get you both the play yard and the crib you wanted than I would go for it. Its really convenient to have a play yard for camping, other people's houses, hotels and what have you. Quite alot of my friends had use their pack-n-play for road trips until their kids are almost three.

    If its the crib or play yard, than its your personally preference.

  7. #6
    CPS Technician fyrfightermomma's Avatar
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    Re: Are play yards worth it?

    It is nice for traveling or others houses.

    I also use it to contain baby and protect baby from its siblings while I shower. I use the bassinet part first and give baby a soft taggie to play with while I shower/put big kids to bed etc. When bigger I put baby in the big part with some toys/show for when I shower. My kids used it for my morning routine till they were responsible enough to stay in one room while i showered and sit and play, which was about 2 for them

    just get a cheap one or a craigslist one. You dont need anything fancy

    E 8y 43 lbs 58" Harmony NBB
    S 7y 52 lbs 54" Harmony NBB
    J-4y 38 lbs Graco Headwise 70 Britax Roundabout 50

  8. #7
    Carseat Crazy skitle1802's Avatar
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    Re: Are play yards worth it?

    I love my pack n plays!!! I have one in the living room with the higher changing table attachment (I don't use this as a portable pnp) although I can roll it out the sliding glass door onto the patio. I have 2 at my mom's house, their house is 2 story and we usually sleep upstairs, so both DD2 and DD3 have their own bed and even though DD2 can climb out, its still nice to know she won't be sleep walking down the stairs. And then I have one at my parents "vacation" home (its the house my dad grew up in, built 1932), that one is the oldest and most beat up, we use it outside when we have big family bbqs up there. In the 5 I have owned, we used it as a playpen the most, bassinet for the first few months until we were comfortable with the baby being in the same room as the older kids (they only slept in them like 30% of the time, but I was still glad to have it) Never used the mobiles, or vibration/sound unit. I have only used the diaper changer on this last one because it is higher and doesn't kill my back leaning over. My first 3 didn't have changers.

    Overall, I loved all of mine. But...if you want the crib set, tell your mom to get you that and then maybe later on (or for christmas) you may like the PNP.

  9. #8
    Ambassador jess71903's Avatar
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    Re: Are play yards worth it?

    We have 3 sets of grandparents who all live at least 3 hours away, and the Pack-n-play has been invaluable to us. DS slept in it in our room until he was 6 monthns, and until he was 2 when we would go out of town. DD sleeps in it in our room now. I have only ever used it as a portable bed, though. Never a place for baby to play.

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  10. #9
    CPS Fanatic mom2juliarose's Avatar
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    Re: Are play yards worth it?

    With DD having a Pack N Play was necessary because I brought her to work with me, and she would nap in it. With this baby, I'm considering a Pack N Play to keep downstairs so that if I'm in the kitchen or something and baby is sleeping I can have him/her nearby. That being said, the Pack N Play I prefer is the one that is just bare-bones and has a full-sized bassinet instead of the half-size one. DD would have been too long for a half-size bassinet before she hit the weight limit for the full-sized one (she was long & lean).

    We also did use our Pack N Play a lot for traveling.
    Anne, driving a '13 Odyssey and an '05 CRV

    DD-Julia 9/04 (5 stepping now!)
    DS1-Luca 11/10 (Graco Wayz and Graco HB Turbobooster)
    DS2- Enzo 7/15 (Chicco NextFit and Diono R100)

  11. #10
    CPS Technician christineka's Avatar
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    Re: Are play yards worth it?

    We've only ever used the pack 'n play as a portable bed. I did try to put my baby in the pack 'n play to play while we were visiting my parents. (They had animal fur and dirt all over the house.) Baby just got upset while in it.
    Christine *mom* to

    Dd1 age 17 (seatbelt), Dd2 age 15 (seatbelt), Ds1 age 14 (seatbelt), Dd4 age 12 (Seatbelt), Ds2 age 10 (Probooster), Dd4 age 7 (rstv), and dd5 age 1 (rfing Pria)

  12. #11
    Carseat Crazy kaysmom's Avatar
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    Re: Are play yards worth it?

    I'll say that I used our PNP MUCH more than I used our crib set. I pretty much put the set in the crib, took some pics and then took it all out and got a breathable bumper and that was all that was ever in the crib. The set was pretty much a waste for us anyways

    We use the PNP when we got to hotels, camping or visiting friends. We also used it in our room for awhile when DD got too big for the bassinet as there is NO way her crib was fitting in our smallish bedroom. I think if the one you are looking at has a co-sleeper capability that's all the better, I may have to check out the link and think of gettin one myself!! Anywhoo, yes it sits in the closet a lot, but there were definitely times that it served it's purpose, like when you want baby to take a nap and not have to worry about him rolling/crawling/walking away when your not at home, ect. For me that part alone was worth it.
    DD: 3/08, 47 lbs riding FF in a Nauti and Maestro
    DD2: 11/10, 27 lbs riding RF in a Britax MA and Diono Radian

  13. #12
    CPS Technician mamajava's Avatar
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    Re: Are play yards worth it?

    Miley slept in her pnp until she was 7 months old. Mainly because the master bedroom is on the main floor and the other 3 are upstairs and steps at 3am was not in my agenda.
    Then DH parents have one, my mom has one at her house and at the lake cabin. And we have one at the lake cabin and one that stays on the pontoon. They are pretty good gadgets but all you need is a simple one. Out of the 6 we have, only 1 has all the bells and whistles. But I got that only because it had a higher changed table on it than most, and I needed it for my back.

    With Anna, I never bought one until she was 9 months old.

    Bella: 3/17/05, 110lbs, 5 stepping!!
    Miley: 7/17/08, 70lbs, Diono Cambria
    Baby Levi: 3/15/16, Nuna Pipa

  14. #13
    CPS Technician Holly's Avatar
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    Re: Are play yards worth it?

    When Hannah was a baby, we had our play yard at my mom's because she babysat her every day when I went to work. We didn't think we'd use it anymore after we moved away from my mom's, but we bought the Graco Tot Block when Abby was a little baby.

    We use it as a bed when we go camping or when we go to my parents. We used it as a place for baby to play and sleep without being bothered by the bigger kids (at my parents) or their dog.
    We had it set up in our living room in our old house when Josh was really little, he'd take his naps there (at the time his crib was in the girls room and I didn't want them all 3 napping in the same room because they would bother him or he'd wake up before them and I didn't want them waking up too early.)

    We also used it the day we moved. We couldnt have Josh all over the place getting in the way of the guys taking furniture and stuff outside. Josh played in it in the kitchen while my mom and I packed up and cleaned.

    ETA: we also used it when we went to the lake when Abby was a baby. we had it down by the water. She could play or sleep while we watched her without having to worry about her getting in the sand or crawling out into the water.
    Mom to:
    Hannah 11 Graco Connext, Abby 10 Graco Connext, Josh 7 Recaro Performance Booster, and Zach 2 1/2 Sunshine Kids Radian 80.

  15. #14
    Admin - CPS Technician LISmama810's Avatar
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    Re: Are play yards worth it?

    With DS we used it a little. I'd stick him in there if I needed to take a shower or something. We also used it a couple times on overnight trips.

    With DD...umm, it basically serves as a giant toy box. When she was teensy, I'd put her in on the floor, in her crib, or in her bouncy seat if I needed to put her down. She currently goes in an exersaucer in our bathroom when I shower. She has never slept during the night anywhere but with me, so we have no use for it for overnight trips.

    Everyone's situation is different, though. Do I feel it's an absolutely necessary item to have? No. Is it nice if you have one? Sure.

    I'm a big help, huh?

  16. #15
    CPS Fanatic
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    Re: Are play yards worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by BookMama View Post
    You could probably get a decent one on Craigslist for pretty cheap. That might be a good way to go if you're just not sure whether you want one.
    But make sure to check recalls. Some badly designed ones have killed LOs.

    I check recalls on everything I get used and I'm on the email lists to receive new recalls. I highly recommend it because recalls are issued frequently and some for very serious reasons. These email lists were one of the most useful bits of info I learned about when I had kids.

    Whether you NEED a pack n play, it totally depends on the family and on the baby. We used ours a lot. Our kids slept in them in our room when they were little (sometimes in our bed, but often in the PnP) and it was a safe place to put baby #2 to keep DD1 from stepping on her when DD1 was only a toddler herself. It is great for little trips or overnights. I am so glad we had it. But it depends on your situation. The reality is that you will probably end up with baby gear you thought was necessary that your baby doesn't like. For us, that was the bouncer, but the swing we tried not to buy it turned out we could not have survived without.

  17. #16
    CPS Technician CommMom's Avatar
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    Re: Are play yards worth it?

    We registered for (and got) one of the fancy ones with the changing station and basinette attachment and the more "modern" shape. DS hated it. He would fuss and fuss in the thing. (Wanted to sleep in his crib in his own room or on his daddy's chest...no other location was acceptable to him for nightime sleeping.) So we ended up returning it and we got one of the cheaper, no-frills ones instead. It was the plain old rectangle, but still had the basic basinette part. We never used the basinette attachment, but we do use the PNP when traveling. DS is still a bit small to sleep in a regular bed on his own (I don't trust hotel cribs and he won't go to sleep in a bed with anyone else), so it's great when we're going someplace that doesn't have a crib for him.

  18. #17
    Senior Community Member natysr's Avatar
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    Re: Are play yards worth it?

    We had both a crib and a pack n play for Jordan. He almost never slept in the crib. We loved the pack n play. We still co-slept. But when we moved him out of our bed from time to time, he slept better in the pack n play.

    This time around, we decided to completely nix the crib altogether. It really isn't needed...for us.

    We got a full sized Arm's Reach off craigslist for $100. It included the foot extensions and 2 sheets. It fits nicely next to our bed. We will probaby still bedshare much of the time, but I wanted a place to move him to for times when we just need our space in the bed.

    The Arm's Reach is set up already, and Jordan slept in it himself for several weeks after we first set it up. The weight limit on the bassinet portion of the Arm's reach is much higher (30 pounds). Jordan is 34 pounds and it is plenty sturdy enough for him.

    We expect to use the Arm's Reach as Trevor's main sleeping place for 2-3 years. By that time, he would be big enough to move out of a crib anyway...hence...no need for a crib at all.

    Now, the Arm's Reach is a BEAST! It is the same size as a pack n play, but it is very heavy. I'm actually considering looking for a used pack n play on craigslist, just to keep in the garage for "on the go" so that we won't have to take apart the Arm's Reach if we want to bring a playyard with us somewhere.

  19. #18
    Senior Community Member Melizerd's Avatar
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    Re: Are play yards worth it?

    I used mine once. We aren't co-sleepers but we had a bassinet in our room first. The PNP is convienent if you travel a lot, so you can use it at other people's houses. We had a basic one with no bassinet on it even and it folded up and went into the bag pretty quick once you knew what you were doing. We carried it with us alot DS just never used it because he wouldn't sleep ANYWHERE else but his own bassinet.

    If you're mom is hell bent on adding that to your crib set then smile and let her. If it's an either or option then stick with what you want for the crib.
    Mel,RN
    Married 13 years to a wonderful DH and mom to an amazing 8 year old boy.

    Living the dream...Blogging about love, life and family

  20. #19
    Senior Community Member Spam's Avatar
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    Re: Are play yards worth it?

    With Austin I got the first fisher-price aquarium one, it has a bassinet but no changing table, I didn't think I'd use it much.. but we have. He slept in the bassinet part for a long time, and he's still sleeping in the playyard part.. well he's been sleeping in it since about Christmas, but I'd like to get him back in his room. Ya kinda of have to check weight limits on the bassinets, a lot of them are 15lbs. I'm planning on getting this one http://www.target.com/Bright-Starts-...3&searchPage=1 the bassinet is already attached and doesn't have to be removed to fold down the playyard, and it has a higher weight limit. I thought I'd just use A's again, but since I'm still using it for him and will most likely be watching my niece this summer as well, I'm pretty having two will be a good thing.
    Austin 06/30/08 Tucker 07/30/2010 Elias 11/09/2011
    Brody 03/30/2013 ^Jamie^ 04/01/2015
    Rainbow coming February 2016

  21. #20
    CPS Technician kidzndogz's Avatar
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    Re: Are play yards worth it?

    I have an old school pack n play from like, the 90's that works fine as a playpen. It's been through 5 kids (daycare) and numerous foster puppies (I'd keep them in that when they'd been spayed to keep them from jumping around) but it still is sturdy and does it's job. It's pink though.

    I know I can get a new play yard for cheap...but it was the co-sleeper thing that's the perk of this one. I'd *use* a bassinet/changer/whatever thingie for the living room and other people's houses, but I didn't consider it a necessity so I wasn't going to get one.

    But this kid needs a place to sleep anyway, and if I'd use the rest of it maybe it will be useful...? It's too new to find on CL right now.

    He has a crib Shaun bought. It's an Ikea one we did get off CL. So my parents were gonna get us the crib set as a gift.
    -Alicia, CPST, RN!-
    Lady to the Mister, mama to my little Shrimptastic birthday present, Liam (7/29/10), and my v2.0, Declan (9/14/13). Rockin' a Nextfit, BeLogic, and Aton2.

    http://ashortstorymadelong.blogspot.com

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