Is using a Baby Playpen a Good Idea?

Little girl inside a baby playpen

The baby playpen is nothing more than a container, a semi-closed space with side walls and a base, sometimes padded to cushion possible falls. 

It can have various shapes and different sizes based on the age group, the child’s size, and the available space in the room.

But the question is: Do I really need a playpen for my kid? 

Read on to know more about:

  • The importance of using a baby playpen.
  • The proper age to place your baby in a playpen.
  • What to consider when your baby is inside the playpen.
  • Lots more…

Whether the playpen is useful or not is up to the parents to decide. What is certain is that it offers several benefits, not to be underestimated. 

So let’s see when to start using it and what to pay attention to before making your purchase.

Related: Top 7 Baby Gates To Keep Your Baby Safe At Home

Are baby’s playpen Really Helpful?

The playpen usually boasts a straightforward structure with a rigid base. Some parents equip it with a padded blanket to cushion any blows, iron or wooden bars, and a net on all sides.

This is why a 1-2 month-old baby or even a 3-month-old baby will not make the most of this space, and he doesn’t even need it, just as parents don’t. In this early phase, your baby can at most manage to stay on his tummy and up; at most, he will be able to roll over with extreme fatigue!

Thus, using tummy mats is the best during the early stages.

Later, when your kid begins to strain to get on his knees or to start crawling and sitting, having a playpen would be a perfect idea to get him used to the independent playing experience. 

Related: The Best Sensory Toys For Babies & Toddlers 2022

Restrictions When Using Baby Playpens

a cute boy inside a baby playpen

We have already mentioned that the playpen is helpful for children and parents. Imagine having to cook, answer an urgent business call, or even run to the bathroom with a crawling baby around..

In such scenarios, having a safe playpen might be the right solution! 

Your little one inside will have limited space, will not get hurt, and will allow you to do some things properly and easily.

However, it is essential not to abuse the playpen because it limits your kid’s movement and ability to use his skills and explore other things. 

In addition, it can be risky if it is not exceptionally stable or the child is restless. Furthermore, there is a risk of overturning, so it is always important to stay around and never leave your baby inside for too long.

It is then necessary to pay attention to the materials so that they are actually safe. Plus, cleaning the surfaces continuously is a must to avoid the accumulation of dust and dirt. 

Related: Best Toys For Babies 0-12 Months Old

Baby Playpen FAQs

Q1: When is the baby too old for a playpen?

Once your baby (generally around 12-18 months) has reached autonomy, such as being able to walk alone, he will no longer want to be inside the playpen unless it is a very large and openable model. Once he is around 2 years old, your kid will be interested in more interactive toys and tools than a playpen.

Q2: How long to leave a baby in the playpen?

It depends on the baby’s age. Infants are not recommended to stay inside the playpen, a 6-month baby might stay inside for no more than 5 minutes, and a one-year-old kid is comfortable staying in the playpen for 15 minutes. The period goes up to 20 minutes for babies 18 months old, and once the kid is 2 years old, he will enjoy the playpen for 30 minutes. 

Q3: What to put in the baby playpen?

If you want to entertain your kid more while sitting inside a playpen, you can put some safe toys -like small balls- and books that will make your kid more busy and happy. 

Q4: What age is a playpen suitable for?

The playpen is a useful and comfortable tool for the very first part of the baby’s life. It is not recommended from birth but can be used as early as 6 months. Most of the models have a limit of 0-15 kg, so it would be easy to imagine that from the very beginning, children can use this small closed space, just like that of a mesh box but without a lid.

The Takeaway 

Obviously, the success of the “playpen experiment” depends a lot on the child’s character; those who are calmer and who love to touch and observe objects will feel at ease in this space. They will play with what you put inside and enjoy whatever toys or objects you put inside.

On the other side, kids who love to move a lot and have already experienced the first free move -like crawling on the floor- will feel forced to go inside the playpen and may never accept it.

And this is where your common sense as a mother comes into play!

Remember: never force a child to stay in the playpen and never put him in there angry, as if it were a punishment for something he has done. You will only increase his insecurity about this experience and foster a feeling of abandonment on your part.

Related: 10 Best Toy Boxes: Let’s Keep Them In Place!