4 Best Non-Toxic Play Yards/Travel Cribs for Babies and Toddlers
All mothers deserve time to unwind. Here are 4 best non-toxic play yards/travel cribs that are safe enough to leave your baby inside while you do other chores (or relax!!).
Play yards becomes a necessity when your baby gets mobile. It is a safe space for a baby when you quickly want to finish the chores or need a break.
There are a variety of play yards available in the market. The most popular brands contain toxic chemicals and few of them have flame retardant chemicals in it.
And the ironic part is, it is impossible to find out whether the play yard contains flame retardant chemicals or not unless you email the brand.
When it comes to your babies’ safety, non-toxic play yards -free from flame retardant chemicals, BPA, PVC, Lead, Phthalates, and heavy metals are your best option.
I have spent many hours researching the best non-toxic play yards/travel cribs, so you don’t have to! These non-toxic play yards are lightweight, free from chemicals, and easy to travel with.
So, Without further ado, here are the 4 best non-toxic play yards/travel cribs for your little one. Also, don’t forget to check out these non-toxic Montessori toys for babies and toddlers to keep them entertained while they are in their play yard.
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What are Play Yards?
Play yards are pretty much a life-saver for a mom when you need a little time to yourself. It is a safe place for your baby, where they can be contained, while you go to the bathroom or finish your chores.
Play yards are also known as Pack n play, travel crib, portable crib, or playpen. The great thing about play yards is that they are portable, and you can carry them with you wherever you go. It becomes a place for your baby to sleep and play when you are traveling.
Having a portable play yard with you is a blessing when you are traveling via air and you have a long layover between flights. I have traveled with my infant via air and I can’t express how glad I was that I had a portable play yard with me!
Why should you consider a Non-toxic Play Yard/Travel Crib?
A play yard is something that most parents invest in when they have a baby. It becomes a safe place for their babies to hang out on a day-to-day basis. So, something that is used frequently should be safe for your baby, right?
Unfortunately, like many other baby products, some brands of play yard contain toxic chemicals like BPA, phthalate, PVC, lead, and heavy metals. Even after increased regulation on using flame retardant chemicals in baby products, some brands continue to use it in making baby products, including play yards.
Flame retardant chemicals are very harmful to the health of the baby. Chemicals that are used in the making of flame retardants are known to be a carcinogen, developmental toxicants, and hormone disruptors.
If you are wondering how flame retardants can reach your baby, we have an answer for you.
Flame retardant chemicals emit volatile organic compounds that slowly leach from the play yard and settle into the air like dust.
So, while your baby is playing or sleeping in the play yard for hours, she is breathing toxic air or licking chemicals settled on the play yard or touching the surface of the play yard and putting hands in her mouth.
Your baby is going to spend a lot of time in a play yard and to keep the environment as safe as possible, avoid flame retardant chemicals, BPA, lead, polyurethane foam, PVC, phthalates, and heavy metals.
How to choose the best Non-toxic Play Yard/Travel Crib?
Now that you have a good idea of which chemical to avoid when you are shopping for a non-toxic play yard, let’s look at what features to look for in a play yard.
1. Sturdy yet Lightweight
The play yard should be sturdy enough to withstand all the jumping and rough playing by your baby. At the same time, it should be lightweight enough for you to carry it from room to room, especially when you are traveling.
You are going to move your play yard from one room to another, upstairs to downstairs a lot. Having an EASILY foldable play yard, makes all this moving a lot easier.
Also, if you are in an apartment or condo where space is constrained, the foldable play yard is a blessing. You can fold it and store it under the bed and take it out when you need it.
3. Extra Features
Many play yards come with extra features like a newborn insert or add-on bassinet, or a diaper changing and storage space. These kinds of multi-functional play yards are great if your space is constrained.
4 Best Non-Toxic Play Yards/Travel Cribs
When it comes to finding non-toxic play yards or playpen or travel crib, there are not very many options you have. Here is the list of the 4 best non-toxic play yards,
1. Guava Lotus Travel Crib
My First choice for a non-toxic play yard is Guava Lotus Travel Crib! This non-toxic travel crib is made by the Guava family. Their safety standards are pretty high and it is apparent by a raving review of this product.
You will be surprised to know that Guava Lotus Travel Crib is the only play yard in the market with GreenGuard Gold certification. It simply means that the product is free from all the toxic materials like phthalate, BPA, Lead, heavy metals, PVC, and flame retardant.
The Guava Lotus Travel Crib is ultra-lightweight, yet sturdy enough to withstand all the jumping and cruising from the baby.
This travel crib is easy to set it up and put away. It comes with a carry bag (can be worn as a backpack too!), that can be used as a carry-on language when you are traveling by air.
The Lotus Travel Crib is easy to travel with because it only weighs 13 pounds. The sturdiness of this travel crib is owned by its aluminum legs.
This travel crib comes with a comfortable mattress made of insulated foam and it lies on the floor. Also, you don’t have to worry about air circulation because the entire crib is made of mesh fabric.
What I love the most about the Lotus Travel crib is that it has a side zipper door to allow you to soothe your baby. The opening is wide enough for you to lay down with your baby in the crib for quick nursing.
- Weighs-13 pounds packed
- Dimensions – 42 x 32 x 25 inches (L x W x H)
- GREENGUARD Gold-certified
- Side zipper for easy access
- Full mesh sides for ventilation
- You can carry it as a bag or wear it as a backpack when travelling
- Some parents found the mattress pad too thin and hard to attach to the bottom of the crib with Velcro.
2. BABYBJORN Travel Crib
Another one with similar features as the Guava Lotus travel crib is the BabyBjorn travel crib! Both cribs are almost identical in terms of weight and overall design of the play yard.
Just like Lotus travel crib, BabyBjorn weighs 13 pounds, mattress sits on the floor, and has side mesh fabric. If you are torn between Baby Bjorn and Guava Lotus travel crib, here are the differences that can help you make your buying decision.
- Guava Lotus mattress pad is secured via Velcro tabs located underneath the pad which is little difficult to secure it through the slots on the bottom of the crib. For Baby Bjorn, the mattress pad is secured via a hook-loop mechanism which is relatively easy to work with rather than Velcro.
- Baby Bjorn mattress is double in thickness then Guava Lotus crib mattress.
- Lotus crib has a side zipper for easy access to the baby.
- Lotus Crib comes with a carry bag which can be worn as a backpack too when travelling.
Baby Bjorn play yard is a JPMA certified and Oeko-Tex certified product, which means that this travel crib has been tested by the independent facility and met the safety standard set by ASTM,, and the fabric used in making this product is also tested and free from toxic chemicals.
Another feature that I like about Baby Bjorn Travel Crib is that you can detach the paly yard from the legs easily and the machine washes it to keep it clean for your baby from time to time.
- Weight: 13 pounds
- Dimension: Assembled 82 x 112 x 64 cm
- JPMA certified and Oeko-Tex certified
- Breathable full mesh sides
- Easy setup
- Removable and machine washable crib fabric
- For shorter parents, it may be difficult to lay sleeping baby into the crib because of the height.Pricey
- Hard for baby to turn the wagon
3. Nuna Sena Aire Play Yard
If you are looking for a modern play yard to go with another décor in the house, Nuna Sena Aire Play yard is for you!. This functional play yard is another safe playpen available in the market.
Nuna Sena cares for its customers and goes above and beyond to provide a product that is free from flame retardant chemicals, BPA, Lead, PVC, and phthalates. The play yard fabric is also certified by Oeko-Tex and is the only travel crib that comes with a polyurethane foam-free mattress.
The unique feature of Nuna Sena is its one-hand one-step setup and dismantling capability owing to its central push/pull mechanism. This easy setup comes in handy when you are holding your baby in one hand.
The sturdiness of this play yard comes from its four strong aluminum frames and non-skid feet. Unlike other play yards listed above, the crib mattress does not lay against the floor. This makes it easier for shorter/average parents to lay a sleeping baby in the play yard.
The Nuna Sena Aire Play yard comes with a bassinet attachment and a GOTS certified fitted sheet that you will otherwise end up buying for other play yards.
It is also well ventilated with mesh fabric on all four sides. The only downside to purchasing this crib is it weighs 25 pounds, considerably heavier than Guava Lotus and BabyBjorn play yards. This is something that you should keep in mind if you are planning to travel with it.
- Weight – 25 pounds
- Dimensions – 38.5 x 14 x 11.5 inches
- Modern look
- Oeko-Tex certified
- One hand one-step set up
- Comes with a bassinet attachment
- Comes with GOTS certified fitted sheet
- May not be suitable to carry while travelling
4. 4moms Breeze GO Portable Travel Playard
Another high-end brand that you can trust for non-toxic baby items is 4moms. They offer a range of play yards from classic to multi-purpose (removable bassinet, changing station, or storage) depending on your need.
Any range of 4moms play yards is safe for babies as they are free from flame retardant, BPA, PVC, lead,, and other heavy metals.
The features of the Breeze play yard are comparable to that of Just like Nuna Sena play yard. Just like Nuna Sena, Breeze goes portable travel play yard has one hand one-step simple mechanism for set-ups and put aways and the mattress does not touch the floor.
Also, 4moms Breeze travel play yard weighs 23 pounds. This could be something that you need to consider if you are a frequent traveler.
- Weight- 23 pounds
- Dimensions- 43 x 30 x 29 inches
- Single hand set up and put away
- Free from toxic chemicals
- Comes with a travel bag
- Hard for baby to turn the wagon
At what age can my Baby use a Play Yard?
Babies can use a play yard as soon as they are born up until a child is either 30 lbs, 35 inches tall, or climb out of the play yard on their own. Many brands of play yard come with newborn inserts. Even without a newborn insert, babies can lay in their play yard.
Although, not convenient to use when you just bought your newborn home from the hospital. Bending over to access your baby in and out of the play yard is difficult when you are recovering from birth.
Usually, the play yard is no longer safe for babies when they start climbing out of it or cross their recommended weight and height limit for the play yard, which happens at around 18 months or earlier.
Are Play Yard Safe for Babies?
Yes, Play yards are made following a specific standard set by CPSC. Before you purchase a play yard or anything for babies, make sure to check out the CPSC website for any recall information. Many baby products get recalled and you don’t want to use those unknowingly. Here is where you can check for recalled baby products.
If you are considering buying a used play yard, make sure it is not older than 2-3 years and it has not been recalled.
Are Play yards only for play or can they be used for sleep too?
Play-yard can also be used for your baby to nap or sleep. Before you lay your baby for napping in the play yard, make sure you clear all the loose items like toys, blankets out of the play yard as they can be a hazard to your sleeping baby. You can put your baby in an organic sleep sack to keep your baby warm for her nap without a blanket.
Also, if you are using sheets in your play yard, ensure that it fits well and is not too loose.
Unlike cribs, play yards are portable and you can carry them with you when you are traveling, and it can be a perfect bed for your baby wherever you go.
Related Read: How to Sleep Train your Baby without Crying?
I hope this article has helped you make a buying decision for the best non-toxic play yard/travel crib depending on your family’s need. Safety-wise, you can pick any non-toxic play yard from this list and you won’t be disappointed.
Overall, I highly recommend Guava Lotus Travel Crib or BabyBjorn Travel crib. Both are equally good in design and functionality. But depending on your family need, pick what is best for you!
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