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If you are a new parent, excitedly waiting for the arrival of your little one, you may be overwhelmed by all the things you are going to need. There are a lot of baby products on the market so it can be hard to distinguish between what you really need vs. what you really want. One of the most important things you will purchase for your baby is their sleeping area. Along with the many types of cribs to choose from you also have the option of buying a play yard. You may be wondering which ones to choose and what will work best for your family. Here are 8 things to consider:
1. What is your space like? Whether you have a large room to transform into a nursery or if you are carving out space in your current bedroom, you may or may not have the room to fit a crib. If your space is small, a play yard may just be the perfect item to purchase for your baby. But if you have the space for a crib, that piece of furniture might be the best for you.
2. How often will you travel with your baby? If you are planning to travel often with your little one, having a play yard is very convenient. Not only are they easy to fold down but they are easy to assemble back up when you get to your destination.
3. Where do you want your baby to sleep in relation to you? During the first few months, nightly feeding sessions are inevitable. A play yard is perfect for this because you can temporarily set them up near your bed. When they start to finally sleep through the night, they can go to their crib in their own room.
4. What is your budget? A crib generally tends to be more costly than a play yard. If you are trying to keep costs low, a play yard will probably be the best choice that fits your budget.
5. How long do you want your item to last? If you are looking for a bed that will grow with your child, a convertible crib will be able to do just that. There are many cribs that you can purchase that have the option of converting into a toddler bed as well as a twin bed. A play yard has a life expectancy of about a year to a year and half until your child “outgrows” it.
6. Do you plan on having more children? If you are planning to have more children, having one of both may be very helpful. Your older child can move to the crib while your newborn will be perfectly happy in the play yard.
7. How mobile do you want it? A play yard is great if you want the option of being able to move your baby’s sleeping place. Many times if there are two children sharing a room, they may do just fine sleeping together at night but have difficulties transitioning to sleep during the day for a nap because they are just playing with each other. Having a play yard allows you to put a sleeping place temporarily in a different room during the day for naps.
8. Do you need it to double as a play pen? Maybe you just need a place where you can put your baby in to play without worrying that they are crawling off and getting themselves into trouble. A play yard is perfect for this. You can take it outside to garden and your little one can play in it while still being close to you and not getting into things they shouldn’t!