Updated: Mar 29
Play yards provide a safe place for your baby to play, which is much appreciated when you need some time to clean up the house, do some cooking or a quick shower.
When baby A turned 6 months, he started to crawl and I was thrown into a panic mode as I know that he will be exploring the house very soon. I started to baby-proof the house and contemplated to buy a play yard to keep him in a safe area.
After some research done on the play yards, I have decided that the pros of getting a play yard does not outweigh the cons.
1. It is safe
Most of the commercially available play yards are made of baby-safe materials and do not have sharp corners. Keeping the baby in a cordoned off area means that most of the dangerous items in the house are out of reach.
2. Good for messy activity
The cordoned off area can be made into a ball pit and you do not need to worry about picking up balls around the house.
1. Will not last very long before your child hates it
Most babies will not want to be in a play yard once they start walking. This means that the play yard is only useful for a couple of months, from crawling to walking stage. Most babies will not need a play yard by 18 months old.
I know that baby A will probably hate to be in a play yard as he hates to sleep in his cot. True enough, when I tried putting him in a play yard at a friend’s house, he got bored of it and attempted to climb out in less than 30 minutes. This is despite him having a mountain of new toys in the play yard with him!
2. You will most likely end up sitting in the play yard with baby
Building on the first point, most babies do not want to be in the play yard as their inquisitive nature makes them want to explore the place. At this age, most of them have separation anxiety and would want to stick around with an adult. If the main reason for getting a play yard is to buy some personal time and space, you might be disappointed as most babies would want an adult to sit in the play yard with them.
3. Restricts the freedom of movement which limits exploratory learning
Imagine that you are lock up in a jail, would you be able to learn more than when you get to travel around the world?
It is indeed tiring to monitor a baby’s movement. But the best way to teach a baby the different objects and places in the house is well, to get around and explore the house.
4. Babies learn about safety best from experience
Babies learn about safety best from experience. A little knocks and bruises won’t harm the baby. It is however, quintessential to child-proof the house by
- Locking the window grilles
- Locking the drawers or cabinets with chemicals/ medications
- Remove any pails with water
- Cover electrical sockets
- Cover sharp corners with protector
5. Limited living room area
My apartment is really small (92 square metres) and if I were to put a decent size play yard that would not coop up the baby, it would occupy almost the entire living room. I didn’t like the house to be full of clutters and I believe that children learn by modelling. If I were to get a play yard, I will probably be less diligent in clearing up the toys in the play yard.
It has been 8 months since baby started crawling and 2 months since he started walking. We are still doing great without a play yard.