Play yards and play pens
- Buy a new play yard or play pen if at all possible. If you must buy a used one or are using one in a day care, make sure it was made in 2000 or later. Look for the manufacture date on the bottom of the play yard or on a tag.
- Look for a sticker from JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association). The sticker tells you that the play yard or play pen at least meets voluntary safety standards.
- Make sure the pad is no more than 1 inch thick. It should be firm and fit snugly. Do not use a pad that was designed for a different play yard.
- Make sure the holes in the mesh sides are smaller than ¼ inch. Your baby’s fingers can get caught in larger holes.
- Follow the directions for setting up the play yard or play pen. Check that all the latches and hinges are tight. Listen for them to click into place. Apply downward pressure to make sure they are truly locked.
- Don’t throw the directions away. A baby-sitter or grandparent may not know how to open the play yard, and you want them to do it correctly.
- Always keep the sides up when your baby is in the play yard or play pen.
- Always keep your baby in view when she is in the play yard or play pen. Never leave her unattended.
- Place the play yard or play pen out of reach of window-blind, curtain, or electrical cords.
- Once your baby can stand up, remove toys that she could use to climb out.
More safety tips
- Do not add blankets, soft bedding, padding, or extra mattresses. If it is cold, dress your baby warmly.
- Do not place the play yard or play pen anywhere your baby will be exposed to heat or wind, such as near a stove, fireplace, campfire, or drafty window or door.
- Do not put two babies in a play yard or play pen made for one baby.
- Do not use a play yard or play pen that has broken latches, hinges, or rails, rivets that stick out, or tears in the mesh. Do not try to repair tears.
If you use the changing station
- Always use the safety straps.
- Keep your hand on your baby at all times.
- Remove the station when your baby is in the play yard or play pen.
If you use the bassinet
- Put your baby on his back to sleep.
- Stop using the bassinet when your baby is 3 months, weighs 15 pounds, can roll over, or can pull herself up.
For more information, visit Babies & Kids on the Consumer Reports website.
Copyright 2008, Consumers Union of United States, Inc. All rights reserved. No redistribution allowed.