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to not understand the issue with baby in a playpen??

136 replies

Peaches44 · 04/07/2017 12:52

I have two DDs, the youngest is 11 months, not yet walking but into everything. I am seperated so a single parent to the both of them, they see their father at the weekend.

When DD2 was smaller, she loved the jumperoo and this was ideal for me to shower/get DD1 ready for school/cooking etc. but she is getting bored and cries.

I have babyproofed the front room but there are obviously still a few unavoidable dangers and because of the age gap between the two of them DD1 sometimes has inappropriate toys so I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving the room to say go to the loo.

I was looking at playpens, which I could then fill with her toys and she would be happy and safe for the times I need to leave her unattended.

I mentioned this to my DM who said "why do people need to cage their babies?!" I ignored her but mentioned to my ex and he said "like a baby jail?" Confused

It seems to be a no no. Why?! Seems a perfectly safe happy environment and will only be used when it needs to, I wont be plonking her in 'jail' to sit and read a book for goodness sake.

OP posts:
SpaghettiAndMeatballs · 04/07/2017 12:56

I confess, we called it the baby cage. It was mainly used by DS1 so he could play with his stuff without DS2 interfering though!

I have some adorable pics of me in my playpen when I was a kid too - can't see the issue. It's basically just a larger cot or extended stair gate and no-one would think twice about those.

WashBasketsAreUs · 04/07/2017 12:56

Go for it. I had a three year old and then twin babies. Fine when they couldn't all walk, can you imagine what it was like when they all did? Try putting shopping away, feeding the dog, having a wee etc.
I had a massive one, best thing ever. If i got fed up with them I'd get in there with the paper! Mine have grown up fine, about 5 degrees between them all so it's not stunted their intelligence at all!

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy · 04/07/2017 12:57

Rather extreme reactions. I think you're being sensible and wanting to keep DD2 safe! Ignore them and do what you think is right. Grin

Justhadmyhaircut · 04/07/2017 12:58

We had one and I remember putting the Xmas tree in it so the dc couldn't wreck it!!

Gileswithachainsaw · 04/07/2017 12:58

Sounds sensible to me. It's not like you can just stop peeing.

grasspigeons · 04/07/2017 12:58

We used a play pen. It was a great solution. You don't leave them in it all day every day. The only thing we found was the elder one would throw toys in to be helpful or try and climb in.

TeaBelle · 04/07/2017 12:59

We did call it baby jail too! But not in a bad way, we used ours a bit, would have used it more if dd had been happier in it. I don't see any problem in using them for those times you mention. All day every day is a different story

Moanyoldcow · 04/07/2017 12:59

We had one and I'll be dragging it out for the next one too. They are extremely useful for all the reasons you say.

Ignore and buy one.

I recommend the big Baby Dan one.

blackteasplease · 04/07/2017 12:59

Of course they are fine. The baby's safety is more important than ideas of it being "like a cage" and you will need to get on with things at some point.

Just please don't tell me your DH is also one who complains that you haven't done housework if he complains about the pen!

I didn't have one but we sometimes used the travel cot as a playpen.

We didn't have one because I didn't want to spend the money or have it take up room, especially as we had a travel cot to use as one.

blackteasplease · 04/07/2017 13:00

Oh yes, and some people do say baby jail in a light hearted way, so perhaps your DH was joking?

Whitelisbon · 04/07/2017 13:00

We called ours jail Blush
I used it all the time, sometimes to seperate the dts to stop them fighting over toys!
And, Yes, we had the Christmas tree in ours too.
They're a godsend, get one.

Angrybird123 · 04/07/2017 13:01

Worked for me. Had a nice big wooden one from ebay John Lewis and it was great. Used it in our kitchen / diner to keep dd with me but not underfoot

PsychoPumpkin · 04/07/2017 13:01

They're being daft. Baby might not be on the move just yet but will be soon & it means you can make a cup of tea knowing your baby isn't getting into trouble. If you left the baby in the pen all day it'd be a jail but I assume you won't be doing that!

LongLostCherub · 04/07/2017 13:03

Get the playpen and put her in it. If others don't like it they don't have to do it do they? I have no patience with these same snotty attitudes, for no good reason I've ever heard, that people have about reins. Why would you put your child on a leash/in a cage? Because you want her to be safe. No one else's business how you choose to parent.

TooGood2BeFalse · 04/07/2017 13:05

Ignore em OP, they are so useful. My 11 month old is never in it for more than 10 mins at a time anyway before he starts complaining, but it's so useful if I need to leave the room briefly so I don't worry about our dog (although he is lovely..but still a dog)

Gileswithachainsaw · 04/07/2017 13:06

I expect they are the same people who complain that they never get a shower or to go to the bathroom alone. I happen to think it's more ridiculous to shower in luke warm water with a baby screaming in the shower tray than put baby in a play pen or cot for 5 mins.

ASatisfyingThump · 04/07/2017 13:06

We've got one, it's big enough to give DS2 space to explore and learn to crawl, and ours has toys built into the sides. He loves it! It's just a space to play, not a prison - DS1 plays in his room, it's not really any different to that.

Iknowacrackingowlsanctuary · 04/07/2017 13:09

We call ours baby prison but in a lighthearted way Grin

They are ideal for popping baby in while you go to the toilet or hang washing out. You won't leaving your baby in there all day!

Anatidae · 04/07/2017 13:09

We loved our baby jail. And we called it that too :)

It was big enough for me to lie down in. At the time ds wasn't sleeping at all and I was so exhausted I was passing out on my feet. I could lie in it and let him safely rampage, or put him in it for two mins while I peed or cleaned or cooked.

It wasn't something we used for long but it was bloody useful while we did.

Like all these things it's how you use them. If you shove them in one and ignore them for hours that's a problem. Ten minutes while you get dinner on isnt an issue.

Just like TV/bouncers/jumperoos/iPads. As a brief safety measure/distraction it's no problem at all. Using for hours on end isn't good.

Yoshi1701 · 04/07/2017 13:11

Do what works for you! Every child and family are different. A play pen wouldn't work for us as DD loves exploring and would scream the house down if confined! But other babies would be happy sat playing with toys for a bit.

CupOfTeaAndAGoodBook · 04/07/2017 13:11

Do your ex and your DM have a suggested alternative for when you need to go to the loo / shower / cook etc?

Of course it's fine OP. I wouldn't be without the playpen for my 16mo, it's invaluable. And I freely confess, sometimes he's not happy in there and he's crying until I get him out again. Unfortunately I don't have a bladder of steel, but a few minutes' upset won't kill him.

Polly2345 · 04/07/2017 13:12

What does your ex do when he has them? How does he keep then safe? If he doesn't like playpens can he suggest what you should do instead?

We managed to conceal a few things we couldn't move with cushions when we were going through that stage but I can imagine rooms and babies where that might not be enough!

Foinavon · 04/07/2017 13:13

My DS loved his playpen, I made it cosy with a colourful blanket inside, and had a couple of baby toys on rotation in it. It gave me peace of mind when the dog was wandering around and was very handy if I needed to put something in the oven, hang up washing and so on. I never left him in it for very long though, unless he fell asleep in it! Ignore DM and ex.

Allthebestnamesareused · 04/07/2017 13:14

People moan about playpens, reins etc (cages/leads etc)

As a lone parent you do what you can to keep your child safe and ignore them!

Honestly do what works for you (or tell them you having a shower at this time so if they want to be there to keep an eye on the baby that is ok too!)

MaryTheCanary · 04/07/2017 13:14

Some people just call it the baby jail as a joke.

If they are being serious... I'd be tempted to ask them, so are you volunteering to come round and babysit when I need to get things done in the house? to shut them up.

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