Dads cook while their baby plays in a travel play yard

How to choose the best travel play yard for your baby

With your child along for the ride, life doesn’t stop — it just gets more fun. A travel play yard is the perfect companion to keep both of you on the move without skipping a beat. If you’re searching for the perfect travel play yard that’s both safe and easy to manage, we’ve got you. 

In this article, we’ll cover several tips for choosing the best travel play yard that keeps you and your baby happy. But first, let’s answer one basic question: What is a travel play yard? 

What is a travel play yard?

The Bugaboo Stardust travel play yard dimensions

We know that there are lots of baby products, gadgets, and gizmos on the market. Sometimes, it’s hard to know what’s what. So, what exactly is a play yard?

First of all, it doesn’t replace your baby’s everyday crib. Nor is it a substitute for interactive playtime with you!

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a travel play yard is “a framed enclosure with a floor and mesh or fabric side panels” that provides a place for your baby to sleep or play. 

Another important aspect is that it can be folded and stored. That’s the travel part of a travel play yard. 

If that sounds like what you’re looking for, read on for tips for choosing the best one for you and your family. 

Tips for choosing the best travel play yard

Parents lounge on the deck with their baby in a travel play yard

Consider safety

Safety first. Your travel play yard should be up to snuff when it comes to the latest safety standards. Check the manufacturing information against your local guidelines to make sure the play yard meets all safety requirements. 

That’s the first step to making sure it’s a secure place for your baby. But even if a travel play yard is compliant with safety standards, it can still be dangerous if you aren’t using it properly.

That leads us to our second safety tip (that’s equally as important): Make sure you always follow safe sleep practices when you put your baby down for a nap in the travel play yard. And stop using the play yard as soon as your child exceeds the size and weight specifications. 

Here are a few more tips:

  • Set it up so cords, blinds, and curtains are out of your child’s reach.
  • For naps, use only the mattress that comes with your play yard. Don’t substitute or add pillows or blankets when your baby sleeps. 
  • Always put your baby on their back to sleep. 
  • Check the mesh siding frequently to ensure there are no holes.
  • Keep large toys out of the play yard so your baby can’t use them to climb up and out.

Look for high-quality materials

When shopping for a travel play yard, look for high-quality materials that will hold up to the wear and tear of travel and lots of playtime! 

We just mentioned frequently checking for holes in the mesh siding. That’s a great example of the importance of durable materials. A play yard should last.

To provide the best environment for your baby, we also recommend choosing play yards made with chemical-free fabric. The Bugaboo Stardust play yard is made with durable, chemical-free, high-quality fabrics and all-around mesh panels. 

All of our products are made with fabrics that are soft to the touch as well as robust parts that are lightweight and easily replaceable. Our goal is to create long-lasting products that perform just as brilliantly as they look.

Plus, the breathable mesh used on our play yard allows increased airflow and means that your baby will always be in full sight so you can stay connected to your child at all times. 

Remember that even when your baby is happily occupied in the play yard, you’ll need to keep an eye on them.

Opt for portability

Baby sitting on the floor in a living room

Since a travel play yard is made to move, choose one that’s highly portable. That means it should be lightweight, easy to carry, and come with a bag or wheels. 

For example, the Bugaboo Stardust is made with straps that keep it closed, and it comes with a carry bag for easy transport. This play yard weighs only 17.2 pounds and measures five and a half inches wide when it’s folded. Talk about light and slim!

Speaking of folding your play yard, that brings us to the next point. Ease of transport is important, but so is foldability. No one wants a play yard that’s easy to transport but takes half an hour to set up and break down! 

Check for foldability

Mom folds the Bugaboo Stardust travel play yard

Take our word for it: No matter how much you like a travel play yard, if it doesn’t fold and unfold easily, don’t buy it. 

We’ve made the Stardust so that it unfolds in one second. No joke. All you have to do is pull sideways to open. Then, fold it in three seconds by reversing the move you used to open it and using your foot to close it.

When you’re using the Stardust play yard without the newborn insert, it folds with the mattress inside and requires no bending over. Now that’s a win.

Ensure that it’s easy to clean

A travel play yard is meant for sleeping but also for play! Messes are part of the process. That’s why we think it’s especially important to find a play yard that’s easy to wipe clean with a cloth. You’ll thank yourself later.  

Choose your aesthetic

In addition to planning for messes, your travel play yard should fit your family’s shape and size, too. We think that what you use daily should reflect your family’s groove and style! 

Consider the color and design that suits your family. With the Bugaboo Stardust, choose from three sleek, stylish colors: gray mélange, black, or steel blue.

And if earth-friendly is your style, we’ve got you covered there, too. We believe it’s important to treat the planet with the respect it deserves so that future generations can also discover the world together. 

We’re working toward sustainability so that by 2023, all of our polyester fabrics will come from recycled PET bottles and, by 2025, all of our single-use plastic packaging will be eliminated. 

Look for adjustable mattress heights

Baby lounges in a travel play yard with their dad close by

Since your baby will be snoozing in the play yard, look for one that offers two mattress heights. 

For a newborn who isn’t rolling over yet, a higher sleep surface makes it easy for you to put your baby down and lift them up without bending over. Then, once your baby has grown a bit, an adjustable mattress allows you to lower it for safety. 

The Bugaboo Stardust offers this flexibility with a zip-in bassinet bed for newborns.

Decide on accessories

Last but not least, decide on the travel play yard accessories that are must-haves for you and your baby. There are so many options!

For example, some travel play yards come with an attachable bassinet while others offer accessories such as a mobile, canopy, or wheels. 

Just keep in mind that certain accessories could impact how easy it is to fold, transport, or store your play yard. 

A travel play yard for fun on-the-go

Dad looks loving at his baby while listening to records

You bring your tiny adventurer along with you everywhere you go. So, provide them with their very own portable space that’s perfect for both nap time and playtime — hello, travel play yard. 

Use the tips we mentioned above to choose the ideal play yard for your child. Keep safety as the first priority, then look for high-quality materials, portability and foldability, the right aesthetic, and an adjustable mattress. 

Ensure that it’s easy to clean, too, so you can clean up and carry on!

With its unique, all-in-one design and patented aerospace technology, the Bugaboo Stardust is a genuine game-changer, unfolding in one second and folding back together in three seconds. We’re convinced it’ll change the way you think about bedtime and playtime for good. 

With the perfect travel play yard, easy-peasy fun and naps are within reach!