A portable play yard that acts as a combination playpen and bassinet is not an absolute must when it comes to baby gear. But it definitely makes traveling easier. Whether it’s a quick afternoon trip to a friend’s house or a week at the beach, play yards give babies a comfortable place to sleep and play.
“Often when parents leave the house they don’t have access to a safe crib at a hotel or the grandparents’ house,” said Inez Tenenbaum, chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. “Play yards are a very popular alternative to a crib. It’s a safe option.”
New safety regulations governing the manufacture of play yards went into effect in February, Tenenbaum said. The updated standards ban play yards with side rails that make a sharp “V” when the unit is folded; require stronger corner brackets to prevent collapsing; and strengthen the attachments that keep the mattress from moving around, Tenenbaum said.