Choosing and Using a Play Yard

Play YardIn the opinion of pediatricians, child psychologists and even parents, a play yard is a baby care item whose usage bears strong consideration but has both positive and negative aspects.

What is Play Yard?

In the USA, the term play pen connotes a piece of baby furniture designed for the purpose of providing a safe and stable environment for babies and toddlers. Originally made of wood for both the sides and bottom surface, play pens were square shaped with a pad placed across the 4-by-4 foot bottom surface. As time passed and expense became a consideration, while still square shaped, play pens were made from a mesh-webbing fabric which ultimately gave the play pen less of a fenced-in aura.

The majority of play yards are larger than play pens and afford a variety of shape options. Play yards consist of four to six heavy-duty plastic panels that lock together in either a rectangular or hexagonal arrangement.

While pack & play is a brand name associated with a particular, well-known baby care furnishings company, basically, they are a combination of a play area and a bassinette.

Advantages Associated With a Play Yard

The overall purpose of these items is to provide a safe and stable environment for infant development. Whether wooden or mesh, they are designed to enhance muscular coordination as babies learn to roll over, sit erect, stand and take those first steps. From the viewpoint of pediatricians and child psychologists, the usage of one of these items contributes to the capacity for self-entertainment derived from toys and other educational items placed within them.

Irregardless of its size and shape, the usage of one of these items avoids the possibility of contact with electrical outlets, sharp corners on furniture and cords attached to TVs and other items that could result in serious injury or a fatal accident.

Some Negative Connotations of a Play Yard

If baby falls asleep while occupying one of these, for many child caregivers, there is the temptation not to chance waking the child in the process of moving him or her to a crib or bassinette to continue napping.

From the viewpoint of modern day pediatricians, child psychologists and parents, the usage of one of these items, places restrictive limitations on freedom and on cognitive learning and development derived from the ability to explore the world around him or her.