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Friday, August 24, 2012

Buying a Playard

Graco Element Pack N Play, Oasis
There are Two Types of Playards: Care Stations and Play Areas.

Care Station Playards
  • Playpens still come as low, netted beds used to keep babies safe from harm. However, many these days now come as care stations. 
  • Care Station Features: 
    • Bassinet feature 
    • Changing table 
    • Vibration and music settings 
    • Attached diaper stacker 
  • Since the AAP recommends keeping baby in the room with you for the first few months, many parents use the bassinet feature of the play yard for nighttime use, and the attached changing table saves you a few midnight trips to baby’s room. 
  • Play yards also make great travel beds, because they fold up to the size of a stroller (though, unfortunately, the changing table does not fold) 
  • Play yards are also a great thing to keep at the grandparent’s house so they have somewhere for baby to sleep and be changed when they visit 
  • People with limited space sometimes use play yards instead of cribs altogether. Though, play yards do not have to go through the same kind of testing that cribs have to.
Play Area Playard:
  • Play area types of play yards are used not for sleeping, but rather for keeping baby from harm. Usually from older siblings poking or the dog’s licking. 
  • Also used outside to keep baby off the ground, or a toddler out of the streets. 
  • These are brightly colored (not at all conducive to sleeping) and often feature toys attached.

Here is a piece of an article from PEDIATRICS regarding safety in using playards or bassinets for infant sleep:
"If a portable crib/play yard or bassinet is to be used, it should meet the following CPSC guidelines: (1) sturdy bottom and wide base; (2) smooth surfaces without protruding hardware; (3) legs with locks to prevent folding while in use; and (4) firm, snugly fitting mattress.121 In addition, other AAP guidelines for safe sleep, including supine positioning and avoidance of soft objects and loose bedding, should be followed. Mattresses should be firm and should maintain their shape even when the fitted sheet designated for that model is used, such that there are no gaps between the mattress and the side of the bassinet, playpen, portable crib, or play yard. Only mattresses designed for the specific product should be used. Pillows or cushions should not be used as substitutes for mattresses or in addition to a mattress. Any fabric on the sides or a canopy should be taut and firmly attached to the frame so as not to create a suffocation risk for the infant. Portable cribs, play yards, and bassinets with vertical sides made of air-permeable material may be preferable to those with air-impermeable sides.122 Finally, parents and caregivers should adhere to the manufacturer's guidelines regarding maximum weight of infants using these products.122,123 If the product is a combination product (eg, crib/toddler bed), the manual should be consulted when the mode of use is changed."

Published online October 17, 2011NEOREVIEWS Vol. 128 No. 5November 1, 2011
pp. e1341 -e1367
(doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-2285)

These are safety tips from HealthyChildren.org, their source is: TIPP—The Injury Prevention Program (Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics, Updated 9/11)
  • Never leave the side of a mesh playpen lowered because a baby can become trapped and suffocate.
  • When your child is able to sit or get up on all fours (or when he reaches 5 months), remove any toys tied across the top of the playpen.
  • When your child can pull himself to standing, remove any large toys that could be used as steps.
  • Check the top rails for tears and holes because teething children often bite off chunks of the covering. If the tears are small, you can fix them with heavy-duty cloth tape. If the tears are large, you may need to replace the product.
  • Make sure that there are no tears, holes, or loose threads in the mesh and that openings are less than 1⁄4 inch across. Make sure the mesh is securely attached to the top rail and the floor plate. If staples are used, make sure they are not missing, loose, or exposed.

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