Playpen pros and cons please(28 Posts)
My parents have offered to buy me a playpen.
I don't want them to waste their money, so before accepting, I'd like to know how much use you think they are.
What are your experiences?
i think it depends on your house. i found it good for a few months only, but then i bought mine second-hand and so didn't feel ripped off.
All mine were FURIOUS as the proposition of being put in a playpen.
Most of my friends just seemed to use theirs as a giant toy basket. Rarely or never seen a kid in one.
Similar experience as mazzystartled. We had one of the Babydan ones and it was huge and frankly pointless. My daughter was never so hysterical as when I tried to put her in there. In the end we gave up and reclaimed the space.
I thought it would be a great idea. DD would play happily in it whilst I was in the room but cried when I went out - so no point really. It ended up being a huge toy storage area till we finally sold it.
we used a travel cot as a playpen,our ds wasnt quite walking it meant he could enjoy the fresh air in the garden with his toys while i cut the grass/washed the car etc.
our other 2 didnt use one as they both learned to walk in the winter,so it was a bit cold outside for it.in the house they both had one of those entertainer thingys they sit in,fab for when i was tidying up/ironing/nipping to the loo,as i knew they were safe and couldnt escape!!
DD was quite happy to go in the playpen. And it was really useful for a while, when she first started crawling. But we didn't use it for all that long, just found it easier to baby-proof the house and give her a bit more freedom. I think it depends how easy it is to make your house reasonably safe- at least enough that you can pop to the toilet or whatever.
Do you have or could you use a travel cot instead? Might get more use out of that?
My 2 HATE the playpen.. just being held near the airspace of the playpen is grounds to kick off
HOWEVER... I am on my own with the two of them and there are times I NEED to know they are safe... I refuse to use their cots / bedrooms, as I'm paranoid of giving them negative vibes about their sleeping arrangements... so I have a play pen.
I also use it for DS (27 mo) time out - he really does hate it that much.
But, whatever you do, get it second hand... In fact, if you are near Herts, I have one you can have FOC
I used to put the baby in the playpen when he/she was litte (pre-rolling around) so that the toddler could charge around the rest of the room without accidentally squishing the baby.
Later, we used it to fence off part of the room (BabyDan one here too). The fenced-off bit was my office. I used to work in there while the children had the rest of the house . It meant I could leave papers etc lying around and know they wouldn't get eaten.
we have a travelcot/playpen up all the time (admittedly it was given to us 2nd hand) that 6 mo dd will sometimes play in happily (and sometimes not!. I find it really useful if I need to do bottles/ cook/ wash up etc as I know she can't get herself into trouble.
We also live in draughty old farmhouse with stone floors so i know she's not at risk of rolling anywhere!
She has even had daytime naps in there as I've put a soft rug in it to make it more comfy.
I agree with Aitch though, it depends on your house. for me its invaluable but for others may not be!
Yes, huge toy store here, also v useful for laptop bags etc. Most used as a fireplace area fence thing (never had a fire in this house, but it's sooty and it's a good place to put the wheeled things that I only let her have one out at a time). Eventually though bought a proper fireplace fender thing.
Did we put the christmas tree in it the first year when dd was crawling/almost pulling up? Or was that a dream?
My parents seemed to think it essential so I let them buy me one. No idea why really.
agree. i think if you use it as a toy store it is a messy, intimidating place. dd1 in particular used to like going into it with just a couple of things, she saw it very much as her place to chill out imo.
I think it depends on how little your baby is when you introduce the playpen.
We've used a travel cot / playpen since dd was four months, and it was the first place she was put down with no constraints on her (straps, belts, etc). She was slightly freaked by this at first but soon seemed to love the freedom of it. She's 7 months now and still loves it even though she's pretty mobile and allowed down on the floor when we're in the room. When we need to be out of the room though, to make up bottles, tidy before company, go to the bathroom etc., it's the handiest thing ever to be able to leave her somewhere completely safe rather than lugging her around and doing it all one-handed.
I don't know how much longer before she associates the playpen with confinement rather than freedom, but right now it's probably my favorite thing in the house.
That said, I have a friend with a baby of similar age who tried to introduce a playpen at six months after her dd had already had a taste of being down on the floor, and it didn't work for them at all. It's a giant toychest in their front room.
Ds loved his. We had a 1" thick foam mat in his as well (PFB alert) so he didn't hurt himself when he fell over. Ours was made from the bar sides of 2 cots, reclaimed from a skip
He had his toys in there in a square bucket and would quite frequently end up strewing the toys all the way across the play pen; he also had another bucket which just had ballpool balls in it. He had a lot of fun and learnt to cruise around inside it.
We had it in the sitting room but I couldn't leave the room for very long while he was in it without him whinging about it. Long enough to go to the loo, get stuff, make lunch etc. but not really longer than that. Ours was quite big; when we visited MIL, she had borrowed a bought one and it was a fair bit smaller than ours. Maybe that made a difference as well.
My DS is now 4 months and he has been using his playpen since birth. We find it the most useful baby related thing we've bought so far. He is very happy playing in it with his toys for reasonable periods at a time. The bottom of the playpen can be set high, so when he's in there he is at the same level as the sofa so he can see what is going on in the room. I much prefer it to him being on the floor. I don't know of course how he will feel about it once he starts crawling.
DS is nearly 8 mo and has been in playpen since birth (not constanstly , we let him out occasionally!!) got it primarily as we have a dog so that I knew if I have to nip to the loo or something ds and the dog can be separate but I love it and DS loves playing in there, its great to plonk him in at 6am after a milk feed while I have a coffee on the sofa and come round and also love that its a good place to store his toys without actually having to tidy them up at the end of every day!! However I don't like him being there all the time, so do make sure he plays on the floor most of the time so that he can have a good roll around! X
I bought my playpen to keep my premature dd out of ds 18mths' reach. The one i got is octagon shaped but can also be opened out and used at a right angle to corden of a corner in a room or it opens straight out and used as a room divider. I found then it could be as restricting as needed. I also used it outside. Think tesco and argos does that one
what other people said - we just had a travel cot up which I used around the year old stage at times when I wanted to be sure DD was safe. I kept a couple of toys in the travel cot that only ever lived in there, to make it more of an attraction.
My dd was not keen on it and I only used it if I really needed to quickly do something and needed to have a safe place for her. In the end I positioned it so she could see a fish tank which she liked. But it was really only used as a safe place for a short period of time.
I bought ours on eBay (in case we didn't use it) and I've found it really useful. We have a hexagon Lindam one. We can't fully child proof our lounge so DD goes in it when I need to get things done and can't watch her constantly. She's only just toddling so I expect she'll get frustrated when she's more mobile. It's also been useful for separating a younger DD from bouncy toddlers too.
Either buy one secondhand and sell on if you don't use it or maybe borrow one from a friend before buying your own.
vesela what a great idea about playpen-only toys! I'll be starting that from today, thanks =)
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A travel cot is useful for when you have to keep them safe and close for a short while. And it folds away nice and small.
I loved our playpen, but ours opened out so I used it as a room divider rather than a small pen, it meant my DD was in a safer part of the room and had freedom to move around without venturing out into the rest of the flat
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