Too much time in playpen for toddler?

(722 Posts)
lexiss Sun 25-Nov-12 11:25:11

This morning DS 17 months woke up at 6am. I got up bf him and put him in the playpen. It is one of those extra large, hexagonal playpens.

Around 6.15 I gave him some water and changed his nappy. Then I went back to bed after making sure the playpen had only safe toys and the baby monitor was plugged in.

I fell asleep and woke up at 8.30. I went out to see DS and he was happily playing with this toys. He is very into small manipulative puzzles, shape boxes, stacking cups etc at the moment and he was busy playing with these.

He had been in the playpen for nearly 2.5 hours! Is this too long? Is there a problem that he plays happliy for this length of time by himself?

Most days I have a nap during the day for an hour or so and DS spends this time in the playpen but I have never left him for 2.5 hours before.

What do you think about this?

frootshoots Sun 25-Nov-12 11:28:36

I wouldn't. Accidents still happen, even inside bars. 2.5 hours is a long time for that age.

lexiss Sun 25-Nov-12 11:29:15

Even with the baby monitor plugged in?

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 25-Nov-12 11:29:41

I think a half hour nap in the same r

lexiss Sun 25-Nov-12 11:30:17

I had thought he would start shouting for me after an hour which is why I was so shocked that he was in there, still happy 2.5 hours later.

RedHelenB Sun 25-Nov-12 11:30:32

I wouldn't either unless the playpen was in your room.

frootshoots Sun 25-Nov-12 11:30:37

Yep. I'm sure he is fine in there, but it just wouldn't sit right with me. Maybe it's the length of time, maybe it's that you were asleep... I don't know.

justabigdisco Sun 25-Nov-12 11:30:41

It's probably too long if you plan to do it everyday! But these things happen, baby is fine, you're less tired, don't stress! smile

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 25-Nov-12 11:31:16

I think a half hour nap in the same room is ok, but separate room and 2:5 hours is slightly to much when your asleep.

lexiss Sun 25-Nov-12 11:32:05

Is an hour too long then?

What if I had a nap next to the playpen, would that be considered less neglectful?

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 25-Nov-12 11:34:12

In the same it's fine IMO but you can have your opinion without it being a bun fight. I'm thinking of it like what if he was sick or got stuck but didn't cry.

scuzy Sun 25-Nov-12 11:35:06

oh christ i couldnt do it. cant you nap near him? anything could happen. not saying dont nap just dont leave the room. i suppose depends on how heavy a sleeper you are. its not how long he played in it its how long he was technically on his own. nap on couch. but he is fine so dont beat yourself up over it. but the older he gets the more chances he can get out of it or do damage to himself as he explores it even more.

Goldenjubilee10 Sun 25-Nov-12 11:35:30

I used to nap on the sofa (after night shift) with ds1 in the playpen next to me when he was that age but he could have reached out to touch me had he wanted to. I don't think I could have left him in another room. Ds's 2&3 wouldn't have let me nap!

frootshoots Sun 25-Nov-12 11:37:48

Just out of interest, why do you need to go back to bed in the morning and nap during the day? Do you not sleep well at night?

ImagineJL Sun 25-Nov-12 11:38:10

Why do you need a nap in the day? And surely you could do that while he's having his nap? I may get flamed for this but I think it's totally wrong to leave a toddler awake and unattended (albeit fenced in) for 2.5 hours on occasion and an hour or so every day. If you can't stay awake to look after your child you should arrange alternative child care for when you need to sleep. And I say this as a single working parent of two young children who have always been poor sleepers, so I know how tiredness feels. What time do you go to bed?

scuzy Sun 25-Nov-12 11:39:24

i agree wholeheartedly with Imagine's post i was just trying a more softly softly approach but valid points were made.

Gilberte Sun 25-Nov-12 11:39:32

I am amazed you have a baby that occupies himself for more than ten minutes on his own! I haven't had a lie in for two years let alone been able to nap on the sofa whilst Dcs are awake!

And yes I personally think that's a long time to leave a baby but then you are blessed with a resourceful non clingy child. He would have cried if he'd needed you presumably.

squeakytoy Sun 25-Nov-12 11:39:50

I thought playpens were for keeping the baby safe while you got on with tasks around the house. I couldnt sleep knowing a toddler was awake and on their own playing with small toys..

scuzy Sun 25-Nov-12 11:40:29

but Gilberte what about choking on something or being sick. couldnt cry out then.

Runningblue Sun 25-Nov-12 11:40:43

On a separate note I am amazed your dc plays solo for that long! I wouldn't be able to leave him that long as he'd be demanding attention after,abouT 10 minutes - he's 3.5..

Gilberte Sun 25-Nov-12 11:41:25

I should add I do feel uncomfortable about this

KermitRuffinsTrumpet Sun 25-Nov-12 11:41:37

Does he not nap? Can't you nap when he does?

lexiss Sun 25-Nov-12 11:42:20

I have often have insomnia and DS still wakes in the night so I am often tired.

I do try and nap when he's napping but sometimes when he is playing by himself I think what is the harm of going back to bed for a while.

I will try to nap next to him in future. I just wanted to gauge people's thoughts on this and it seems I was wrong.

Gilberte Sun 25-Nov-12 11:43:03

scuzy I realise that. I was trying not to judge but I will say that I don't think you ought to be in a different room. It sounds as if you were sleeping heavily so might not have woken in any case.

LoopsInHoops Sun 25-Nov-12 11:43:19

Sorry, but I have to agree with the others. Playpens are for when needed to do stuff for short spells, not instead of parenting. They can still get into mischief in a cage!

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