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PLAYPENS - are they worth it?

(23 Posts)
Holymoly321 Sun 04-Jun-06 18:53:26

DS is now 8 and a half months and is starting to crawl around everywhere. Obviously I can't watch him 24/7 and am wondering if we should get a playpen so that I can at least go to the toilet without wondering if he's going to start causing mayhem in my absence! Thing is, the ones I've seen look like cages! What do other mums think? What did you do with your LO's?

TheLadyVanishes Sun 04-Jun-06 18:59:09

yep i would say so, we bought one (actually its a travel cot) when dd was 5 months and she is 11mths now, initially we filled it with those soft balls and dd loved it. We now store toys in it and it will be used for when we go away

FrayedKnot Sun 04-Jun-06 18:59:30

DS would never stay inside one with the gate shut (screamed the place down) but it was a useful place to store toys, or for those situations when 2 mins screaming was better than no shower all day. Etc.

Mazzystar Sun 04-Jun-06 19:01:13

I'd say no. We bought one, the biggest we could find, DS was furious at having his freedom curtailed and burst into tears when we went near the damn thing.

Aero Sun 04-Jun-06 19:13:06

I've never had one - never seen the need really. Couldn't you pop in in his cot while you use the loo? Any children I've looked after in the past that have used them very quickly realised that they were a freedom restriction and cried after a short time in them.

Useful for safety reasons I guess if you're cooking or whatever, if your child is content to play in them, but I've never known one who is happy in one for more than a few moments once they get to the crawling stage.

wannaBe1974 Sun 04-Jun-06 20:14:15

I had one and my ds loved it. But I did put him in it before he learned to crawl so he never really got that it was a freedom restriction. he was happy to go in there up till he was about 18 months old. It was one of those ones which can also act as a room divider so was a big one, but I'd definitely say it's worth while getting one, although as your ds is already crawling might not work as well as if you'd put him in there before he learned to crawl

nicnack2 Sun 04-Jun-06 20:22:13

yes to lock myself in it didnt by play pen but bought a travel cot which has been used for both purposes

MitchMatch Sun 04-Jun-06 21:33:37

We bought one and when we put DS in it, I was the one the cried. So we've used ours as gates and guards as you can use one or all sections and the section that opens is too difficult for a toddler to open so is very toddler proof.

PrettyCandles Sun 04-Jun-06 21:42:17

They're very worthwhile, and the best ones are the ones that look like cages! That's because teh child can use the bars to pull themselves up, and to cruise. Ds loved our old playpen, but was never quite as contented when we used the travelcot as a playpen. You could see him struggling to get up, then giving up and resigning himself to playing with the toys inside.

We put our children in the playpen from very early days, even before they could sit, so that they would be used to it and enjoy it. It worked particularly well with ds becuase I positioned the playpen in the livingroom looking through the door into the corridor, so that whereever I was he could either see me or see me passing by. With dd it wasn't quite so simple, as the playpen had to be in the same place, but ds often played in his room and dd wanted to be with him. It was still worthwhile though, and I'd hgihly recommend using a playpen from as early as possible.

In fact ds loved the playpen so much that he remembered it when we got it out again for dd and would often ask to go in it.

bluebear Sun 04-Jun-06 21:44:27

I used to take mine to the bathroom with me and put them in the (dry) bath, when I went to the loo. (neither of mine were 'playpen friendly' children, but plenty of children are fine with them)

biglips Sun 04-Jun-06 21:46:57

yes yes yes!!! as they are brillant esp if you need to wash those dishes or hoover up so you dont need to worry about where is your little one is!

Surfermum Sun 04-Jun-06 21:49:59

DD would play very happily in her playpen while I showered, unloaded the car, cooked, or whatever. I had a Babydan - which we nicknamed "the cage" and found it invaluable.

MagicGenie Sun 04-Jun-06 22:05:20

DS wasn't keen on his (actually a travel cot that we decorated with loads of toys) but was indispensible for doing odd jobs/going for a wee!

Piffle Sun 04-Jun-06 22:05:46

never used it, was great for the dog though

imaginaryfriend Sun 04-Jun-06 22:08:10

Barely worth having. Except for another handy surface to practise pulling up on for dd! I thought I could use it to put her in when using the bathroom or doing something for which I needed her out of the way. I found it was always easier to just bring her with me and let her 'help' in some way as being put in the playpen and me leaving the room was like torture for her.

cat64 Sun 04-Jun-06 22:12:43

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saadia Sun 04-Jun-06 22:32:02

We had one of the travel cot ones and found it very useful for ds2 who was happy to play in there for short bursts and longer bursts if ds1 was in there with him.

I found mine very useful indeed, especially when cooking as I kept it in view of the kitchen and kept chatting to the boys while I cooked and could see what they were up to.

Obviously no child will want to be in there for long periods but I would definitely recommend them.

PrettyCandles Mon 05-Jun-06 19:20:29

BTW, if you only ever put the child in it when you leave the room, then they may associate it with being abandoned. We used to make sure that the child had some time in the playpen every day, even when it wasn't necessray, so that it became just another play-space.

cat64 Mon 05-Jun-06 19:42:02

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MadamePlatypus Mon 05-Jun-06 20:36:24

Depends on your house. We were still doing building work on our house long after having DS, and there were loads of things like dodgy floorboards until quite recently. Now that we have lovely new floors and are all stairgated up and have got rid of any long cables/moved power points I probably won't bother for number 2.

MadamePlatypus Mon 05-Jun-06 20:40:33

DS was happyish in the playpen at our house but hated the one at my parent's house. I think the reason was that I spent quite alot of time with him in the playpen - if you only ever use it as somewhere to leave them, they will hate it (although still useful if you need to answer the door etc. etc.)

summermummy Mon 05-Jun-06 21:32:18

DD is 12 mpmths and we just got a 'cage' (was seriously frazzled trying to live without one) and she loves it. Its packed with her toys and we've got lots of stuff hanging from the rails and when I don't need to shut the gate she can wander in and out as she pleases. Obviously she would still prefer to be fiddling with the TV or climbing into the fireplace or teasing the dog but she does see the playpen as her little place and only gets upset if she watches us leave the room but she soon gets over it.

Depends on the child I suppse although we got one after seeing most of our friends kids using it the same way (if you get a babydan, the white one looks like less of a cage!)

Twiga Mon 05-Jun-06 21:55:46

Smiling, our dd is about the same age as your ds and we've just got a playpen. It's been a life saver, dd isn't crawling properly yet but has been pulling up on furniture and been able to get across room through various moves for a while - I can now leave the room to put the kettle on without having to cart her with me, can iron during the day coz don't need to worry about her grabbing flex etc. She seems to really like having her own space and is using the bars to practice standing/cruising. We've got the babydan one and it's fab, it has a gate opening which saves your back as don't need to lift in and out. We're thinking about getting the tent thing to go over the top when she's older to convert it into a playhouse - extend the useage time. She thinks it's ver funny when I sit in with her to play - we by no means have her in it for huge ammounts of time but it's been great for peace of mind having such a curious and determindly mobile dd.

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