Play Pens aren't popular anymore?

(108 Posts)
PlanetTeaTime Thu 14-Oct-21 20:22:50

I've had a few people say to me that play pens aren't in fashion anymore (people whose kids have grown up and started having their own kids)

And I just wanted to know if that's true?

My baby isn't crawling yet so it's been a non issue for us but I'm really curious as to why they aren't popular now?

OP’s posts: |
Doyoumind Thu 14-Oct-21 20:30:58

Because they are like little cages.

MeadowHay Thu 14-Oct-21 20:31:55

I'm in my 20s and when my toddler was a baby I used a playpen - it was the one my DPs used for me and my siblings! grin I'm about to have DC2 and unfortunately won't be using it again purely because we no longer have any space for it now that the room it was in is filled with large items for DC1!

tiggerwhocamefortea Thu 14-Oct-21 20:33:54

Funnily enough Ive had my finger hovering on the checkout button for the last couple of weeks now for a playpen but still haven't gone through with the Order...I still can't decide about one. BUT I do have twins 😂
Plus my house isn't very big and largely open plan so the babies aren't really out of sight much

I never bothered with my older child but she was as good as gold - didn't need to baby proof the house at all - no locks on cupboards etc and a simple "no" and she stayed out of the utility where the non child friendly things are kept.....but I'm realistic that with the twins highly unlikely to get lucky again

I think previous generations needed play pens more as they had open fires and things like TVs within grabbing distance instead of the wall?

But If I do get one then at least It can double up as a travel cot?

One twins is crawling and the other way off and neither can sit upright unaided yet - It seems a bit unfair to stick them in a restricted playpen when they just want to roll about the floor

Fallagain Thu 14-Oct-21 20:34:14

Lack of space and babies need space to roam around.

BertieBotts Thu 14-Oct-21 20:34:34

We have one to put the baby in to keep it safe from the toddler grin

I've never found them necessary or useful for the toddler phase. Just babyproof the house and don't expect a toddler to entertain themselves for hours every day I suppose?

Wagglerock Thu 14-Oct-21 20:35:55

Popular in my house - we call it the baby jail!

Open plan living space with no way to baby proof so it's the only safe way to go for a wee without having to take baby with me.


Gingembre Thu 14-Oct-21 20:40:05

I was given one and DC spent his time trying to climb out if it. So then I put it around the stereo and other things I didn't want him to touch. Was very useful that way!

You can also get ones that are like a series of fences so you can make them in different shapes, meaning you can make it straight and section off half of the room. That might be another option.

toolazytothinkofausername Thu 14-Oct-21 20:41:12

Play pens are bloody expensive!!! Ours in 2012 cost £80. We only bought one as when I needed the toilet I had to stop DS2 sitting on DS1. No, that is not a typo. My 13mo would push over and sit on my 32mo when I left the boys alone shock

JC12345 Thu 14-Oct-21 20:43:16

We had one so my eldest could play with his train set in it without it being destroyed by the youngest. Was great until youngest learnt to climb over the sides.

dreamingbohemian Thu 14-Oct-21 20:43:18

MN is this weird universe where everyone complains about not being able to wee or shower or run the kettle because they have a crawling baby, but god forbid you just get a playpen and get on with your life

We had one, was really handy when I just needed to do something for 5-10 minutes, and DC was perfectly happy in it

alphabetspagetti Thu 14-Oct-21 20:44:10

We referred to it as the cage!
For DC1, we set it up with various books and things in and she'd often crawl in of her own accord and try and shut the door behind her. 2.5yrs later, DC2 was having none of it (a very Velcro baby) so set it up so that's where DC1 had her Happyland or train stuff and then the crawling baby couldn't interfere. That time around, DC1 would pretty much run in and slam the door bit behind her.
I also used reins...

Standrewsschool Thu 14-Oct-21 20:45:41

We had a playpen for dc. It was fab. We could safely put him in it and get on with jobs. He would have his toys in there and was happy. It helped him to learn to entertain himself. We had a Babydan hexagon one.

DonGray Thu 14-Oct-21 20:45:46

They have fallen out of fashion. We had a great one from JL that folded for storage

MoreRainbowsPlease Thu 14-Oct-21 20:45:50

I also used a playpen to protect DS2 from DS1. I wouldn't have been able to go to the toilet otherwise. My house is open plan downstairs and whilst we did babyproof, my children managed to injure themselves on chairs, shelves and other things that we had to have out. They could roam the house when I supervised them, but went in the playpen when I needed to cook or go to the toilet or something like that. My nephew has a baby now and was horrified when we suggested a playpen or stairgate to stop his child from hurting themselves, so I think they have fallen out of favour.

schnubbins Thu 14-Oct-21 20:45:55

I was a paediatric nurse and saw so many children with burns , scalds from accidents in the kitchen.It was the reason I had one when my kids were babies ( over 20 years ago)in order to keep them safe while I cooked or went to the loo.They could see me from the play pen and never had a problem with it .My eldest loved it as we had a long window sill and in the mornings when doing my housework I used to push the playpen over to the window so that he could look out .He would line his trains up on the window sill and play for ages quite happily.

CrazyOldBagLady Thu 14-Oct-21 20:46:05

I used one when my first was crawling and I was on my own with him during the day. I just popped him in it when I had to nip outside to get the washing or empty the bin or something. He didn't stay in there for more than a few minutes.

When number 2 starts crawling I might actually put the older child back in it to play with his assortment of choking hazards that I don't want the baby to get hold of.

bookish83 Thu 14-Oct-21 20:46:09


MN is this weird universe where everyone complains about not being able to wee or shower or run the kettle because they have a crawling baby, but god forbid you just get a playpen and get on with your life

We had one, was really handy when I just needed to do something for 5-10 minutes, and DC was perfectly happy in it


We had a huge pen and it was wonderful. Hardly a battery hen hmm

DonnatellaLyman Thu 14-Oct-21 20:47:39

I live in london, most people I know live in flats and a playpen takes up a huge amount of room.I think in general families live in smaller properties than our parent’s generation.

I put mine in the cot with toys if I needed to do something and for them to stay safe.

PurBal Thu 14-Oct-21 20:48:04

We have just bought one for £30. Our house is a fixer upper, just not safe for a little one.

olivehater Thu 14-Oct-21 20:48:15

We had a travel cot up for a while. Much better purchase. Multi use. Sometimes they help for 5 min.

3cats4poniesandababy Thu 14-Oct-21 20:54:54

We didn't have one partially because of room and also my LO would have hated it.

If I need to put him someone for a few minutes he has a cot. Why buy more stuff....

And for a the peeing thing I just went quickly while he was free range in the living room.

Madwomanuptheroad29 Thu 14-Oct-21 20:58:56

We had several over the years and they were great (5 kids over a couple of decades) especially the hexagonal ones with a door which we had for the youngest one. She was mobile quite early and used to love pulling herself up on the bars and walk along it.
We did refer to it as the baby jail but I think that is more adults feeling uneasy about the idea of a cage. My children seemed to see it more as a calm contained space.

eurochick Thu 14-Oct-21 21:01:38

They do seem to be out of fashion. We used a travel cot to stop ours coming into the kitchen area (open plan) when we were cooking. We called it baby jail but she was quite happy in there.

popcorndiva Thu 14-Oct-21 21:10:12

Yeah we used a travel cot for emergency trips to the loo. We filled it with balls as well to make a ball pit in other times.

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