A baby play fence is the building block for different layouts to help you baby-proof your house. It can most commonly be assembled into playpens, also known as play yards, which are an enclosed safe area where your baby can play without the risk of injuries or choking on small objects lying around your house.
Moreover, it can be built into a barrier that prevents your child from wandering around dangerous areas of your household.
In this guide, we managed to put together a list of different baby fences that cover a broad spectrum of usage scenarios. Read until the end to decide on the most efficient way to create a safe environment for your baby.
At a Glance:
- Summer Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate – Best Standalone Gate
- Regalo Adjustable Baby Gate and Play Yard – Best for Indoor Use
- Toddleroo by North States Superyard Colorplay 8 Panel Baby Play Yard – Heavy-Duty Fence
- Summer Pop ‘n Play Portable Playard – Best for Travel
- Gupamiga Baby Playpen Kids Activity Centre Safety Play Yard – Best with Activity Board
- Delta Children Playard – Most Compact
- Skip Hop Baby Gate: Expandable or Wall Mounted Playpen – Best for Hot Weather
The 7 Best Play Fences You Can Pick in 2023
1. Summer Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate – Best Standalone Gate
Summer Multi-Use Decorative Extra Tall Walk-Thru Baby Gate, Metal, Bronze Finish - 36” Tall, Fits Openings up to 28.5” to 48” Wide, Baby and Pet Gate for Doorways and Stairways
The Summer Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate is a good start to seal off doors and staircases. Its selling point is its 36 inches height that babies won’t be able to climb over. Not to bombard you with all those measurements, but it’s good to know for you to plan ahead that the gate can seal openings between 28.5 to 48 inches wide.
You can mount the gate easily in your doorway with the included kit that requires no drill or tools, making the installation process really simple.
The Walk-Thru Gate offers a bunch of hallmarks that will make your life easier. It comes with a safety feature that allows a hands-free closure of the door behind you. Moreover, a removable stopper prevents the gate from swinging over the stairs and prevents potential injuries.
It’s worth mentioning that if you’re looking for a confined playpen, you’re out of luck. Nonetheless, this standalone gate can help you have more control over your house and create safe rooms and areas for your kids.
The Summer Walk-Thru Gate is a convenient option to up the safety standards of your house to meet the youngest member of the family. If you have toddlers crawling all-around your home, there is no need to worry as its height makes it impossible for them to climb over.
2. Regalo Adjustable Baby Gate and Play Yard – Best for Indoor Use
Regalo 192-Inch Super Wide Adjustable Baby Gate and Play Yard, 4-In-1, Bonus Kit, Includes 4 Pack of Wall Mounts
The Regalo Adjustable Baby Gate and Play Yard is all about giving you options. It can be assembled to form an 8-panel playpen or stretched into a super-wide barrier to define any particular area in your house.
The fence is configurable and can fit almost any opening up to 192 inches wide. It also comes with four wall mounts that, when placed strategically around your house, can allow you to make adjustable partitions easily.
Included in the box is a gate panel that makes navigating through the fence a breeze. You can open the gate with one hand, allowing you to carry the baby’s stuff with the other.
By now, you already know what to expect from the fence set up, but what about using the Regalo panels as a playpen?
The infinite adjustability that defines Regalo is that the fence translates well into the playpen set up. You get a 19 square feet playing area that can be shaped as you please. If you need a bigger playpen, you can add an extra set of panels and build a larger playing area.
Regalo Adjustable Baby Gate and Play Yard is built with safety and durability in mind. It has an all-steel body that is entirely PVC-free, meeting the current US safety standards.
The assembly process is a straight-forward one; you don’t need any tools to get the panels together. Moreover, the panels fold easily on one another, so it’s not a hassle when it comes to storage as it only takes a small space.
Regalo Adjustable Baby Gate and Play Yard is a versatile product that gives you a 2-in-1 package; it can be assembled as a playpen or adjusted to form a barrier around a particular area. It is well-suited for wide indoor areas thanks to the super-wide panels and the included wall mounts.
3. Toddleroo by North States Superyard Colorplay 6 Panel Baby Play Yard – Heavy-Duty Fence
Toddleroo by North States Superyard 6 Panel Baby Play Yard/Barrier with Wall Mount Kit, Made in USA: Extra wide barrier or safe play area. 38.5" - 201" wide, 18.5 ft. enclosure (26" tall, Gray)
This baby play fence is designed for both indoor and outdoor use. The panels snap strongly to one another, giving you peace of mind that no matter what your baby does, they won’t collapse.
This baby fence is all about heavy-duty use thanks to its durable hinges. The panels snap in place with an audible click and can be shaped in various ways. They also come with non-slip padding at the bottom that keeps the playing area steady and protects your baby from falls resulting from holding on a slippery fence.
The colorful panels provide continuous sensory stimulation to your baby and help in their cognitive development. The colors also create an inviting, warm environment for your baby to feel comfortable even when they don’t directly see you.
Toddleroo is built from the ground-up for outdoor use as well. The panels are made of sturdy plastic that is lightweight and easy to carry thanks to the included straps. It is also weather-resistant and can be cleaned with soap and water after a long day outdoors without being damaged.
If you’re worried that your baby will knock down their playpens, the Toddleroo Colorplay Superyard is for you. It’s designed for heavy-duty use thanks to its durable, tough plastic panels that interlock securely and come with non-slip pads for extra stability.
4. Summer Pop ‘n Play Portable Playard – Best for Travel
Summer Pop ‘n Play Portable Playard, Green - Lightweight Play Pen for Indoor and Outdoor Use - Portable Playard with Fast, Easy and Compact Fold
Summer Pop ‘n Play Portable Playard is a perfect companion on vacations and outdoor picnics. It comes in a lightweight metal frame that weighs only 12 pounds and features an innovative folding design for easy setup and convenient storage.
When unfolded, it provides 14 square feet of contained playing area with ample room for your baby and his or her toys. Moreover, it’s 26 inches tall, which is more than the recommended safety height to prevent your toddler from climbing out.
You’d be pleased to know that the floor is completely waterproof, so you don’t need to worry when using it outdoors and place it on damp grass. It also comes with mesh sides that offer extra visibility and allow you always to have an eye on your baby.
A nice addition in the box is the inclusion of a travel bag with straps that provides seamless portability making it the most compelling baby playpen to hit the road with you. Summer Pop ‘n Play Portable Playard will be a game-changer on your next vacation.
If you’re looking for a travel-friendly playpen, Summer Pop ‘n Play Portable Playard is an excellent choice for its compact, lightweight foldable frame. Another distinctive feature that can make you pick it over other alternatives is its waterproof floor.
5. Gupamiga Baby Playpen Kids Activity Centre Safety Play Yard – Best with Activity Board
Baby Playpen Kids Activity Centre Safety Play Yard Home Indoor Outdoor New Pen (Multicolour, Classic Set 14 Panel)
Gupamiga Baby Playpen Kids Activity Centre Safety Play Yard provides your baby with fun activities to engage in while offering all you’d expect from a classic baby play fence. It’s easy to set up and can be folded for efficient storage, in addition to being adjustable into different shapes to fit whatever free space you have.
Out of the box, you get 14 colorful panels that feature animal shapes to capture your baby’s attention. It also comes with an activity board with spinning balls, a play phone, and other interactive toys your baby can experiment with.
The panels are all made of high-quality, BPA-free, non-toxic material that doesn’t have an odor. They also come with rubber suction cups that prevent the playpen from sliding. Moreover, an included door panel can make it easier for you to get in and out of the playpen without stepping over the panels.
Gupamiga Playpen plastic panels are hollow. Though this makes them light and easy to move around, they can be knocked over when pushed hard enough by your baby. As with all the other playpens, your supervision is required to ensure the safety of your baby.
Gupamiga Baby Playpen Kids Activity Centre Safety Play Yard offers an engaging fun environment for your baby with its activity board and colorful panels, all in a safe, non-toxic plastic body.
6. Delta Children Playard – Most Compact
Delta Children Play Yard, Safari Fun, 36" x 36"
Delta Children Playard takes a different approach than other entries on our list. It aims at providing enough space for your baby to play in while maintaining the most compact form factor possible. This makes it the perfect baby fence for parents who don’t have much free space in their homes.
It achieves the compact form factor by adopting a square shape, unlike many playpens on the market that come in pentagonal or hexagonal shapes with many angles. The latter playpens end up occupying more space, which makes navigating around them a bit of a hassle.
A unique feature of Delta Playard is the included mattress out of the box, which makes it perfect for naps.
It’s worth noting that your baby can outgrow their playpen sooner than later, as it’s recommended for babies under 30 pounds and up to 35 inches tall. Bigger babies can climb their way out of the playpen, which can be a risk for falls and injuries.
As for the portability, Delta Playard is on the heavy side. It weighs around 30 pounds, which makes it hard for some parents to move around. On the other hand, it can be folded and become small enough to be stored in a closet; here, the compact form factor shines once more.
Delta Children Playard is perfect if you have only tight space to work with, and you’re looking for a compact playpen that still provides enough room for your baby and doesn’t become claustrophobic.
7. Skip Hop Baby Gate: Expandable or Wall Mounted Playpen – Best for Hot Weather
Skip Hop Expandable Baby Gate, Playview Enclosure, Silver Lining Cloud
Skip Hop Baby Gate: Expandable or Wall Mounted Playpen has a unique material choice. The side walls are made of cloth mesh that provides excellent breathability and makes this playpen perfect in summer as it doesn’t get too hot compared to plastic or metal fences.
It features a detachable, clip-on play surface with eight activities your baby can engage in while standing or seated. It’s always a welcome addition to make the playing environment more inviting and less intimidating for your baby.
Like other entries on the list, Skip Hop Baby Gate: Expandable or Wall Mounted Playpen can be used as a barrier as well to seal off certain areas thanks to the included wall mounts.
The breathable cloth playpen is not the strongest or sturdiest baby fence you can get, but we have to admit that Skip Hop is offering something unique here and opens up a new use scenario we didn’t think we wanted. Next summer will be much more fun for you and your baby!
Skip Hop Baby Gate: Expandable or Wall Mounted Playpen is versatile and can be used as a barrier or assembled into a playpen. Thanks to its breathable cloth sides, it’s perfect for summer.
How to Choose a Baby Play Fence
The first question you need to answer is where you will be using the play fence the most. If the answer is your house, then you don’t have to worry about its weight or how little space it can occupy when folded.
If you plan to travel with your play fence, then portability is a priority. Pick one that can be folded into a compact form factor and has a lightweight body. Weather-proofing is a cherry on top that adds more versatility and allows you to use the fence outdoors without worrying about it getting damaged.
Baby fences come in a variety of sizes that you can choose from. You need to get one that fits in your home without any troubles and at the same time, offer enough space for your baby and their toys.
Your choice can also be influenced by how many children are using the play fence at a time. If you intend to allow the baby’s older siblings to join them in the playing area, you should consider getting a bigger one.
Generally speaking, we recommend you pick up a fence that is at least 22 inches tall. Even if your baby is too young to climb out of the playing area now, the day will come, and their range of movement will expand enough to enable them to climb their way out of it.
Some baby play fences come with a gate, which is extra useful, letting you quickly get in or out of the playing area. Also, if you have older children that want to spend time with the youngest member of the family, the gate comes in handy.
On the other hand, the gate can create some inconveniences. Toddlers and older children can figure out how to open it, so your supervision is very crucial.
You need to do your research and make sure that the play fence meets your safety standards. Your baby will be spending a lot of time in the playing area, experimenting and touching whatever piques their interest. Check the safety ratings for each product and pay close attention to the materials used.
Moreover, you need to make sure that the product doesn’t come with any small parts that your baby might choke on.
Play fences are as versatile as you want them to be; they can be put together to form a playpen or arranged like an actual fence. The fence setup can be used, for example, to seal a doorway or a staircase and prevent your baby from getting injured.
6. Ease of Assembly
One of the most critical aspects that are often overlooked is how easy it’s to assemble or disassemble the playing fence, especially if you don’t intend to have a permanent setup and want the convenience of moving your play fence around or take it with you while traveling.
You should pick one that is simple enough to install, comes with an intuitive, user-friendly guide, and doesn’t require any tools to assemble.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are Baby Fences Beneficial?
Yes, they are good for you and your baby. They allow you to keep your baby in a safe environment while attending to your daily chores. They still require your supervision, of course, but it’s way easier to handle your baby in a playpen than when they crawl or run around your whole house.
Your baby benefits a lot from the playpens as well; they can learn how to crawl and walk while trying to reach out for a toy on the other side of the playing area. Also, the colorful, engaging panels help develop your baby’s cognitive skills and feed their curiosity at a young age.
When Can My Baby Start Using a Playpen?
Six to eight months is the ideal age for your baby to start using a playpen. At this age, they can sit up and reach for nearby toys. They also begin to develop some sense of independence and won’t have a problem being on their own for some time.
Newborns shouldn’t be put in a playpen as they need to connect with their parents more at this age. Their sight is still not good enough, so if you keep them in the playpen and come over to play with them, this might not be a good enough stimulation because of the large distance between you and your newborn.
Parenting is not an easy task; you sign up for a big responsibility that keeps you on your toes all the time, making sure that your child is safe and sound can take some of the parenting stress away. And here comes the role of baby fences, they can prevent severe injuries by keeping your baby away from harm’s way.
No matter your budget or the space you are working with, you will find the best baby play fence for you. We hope our in-depth reviews have put you on the right path to baby-proof your house and maintain your baby’s safety.