A playpen or play yard is a portable enclosure or a piece of furniture for babies where they can play safely without the direct supervision of their parents or other family members.
They are made up of different materials. You will find playpens made with plastic, wood, metal, or fabric. It all depends on your choice, but the most popular and the safest type is the plastic playpen.
It is really hard for a mother to do all the household chores while keeping an eye on the little one. There must be some space vacant for the baby where he can spend his time safely so that the mother can easily do some housework without any worries, and here these playpens come in handy.
But different experts and parents have different opinions about playpens. According to some experts, playpens limit the activities of a child and freedom, and they can’t be an alternative to adult supervision. On the other hand, some experts say that playpens are beneficial for children as well as adults and are safer than the playpens of the past.
If you don’t know whether the playpen would be beneficial or not for your child, this article is for you. Here we are going to discuss its usage and cover the advantages of disadvantages of using a playpen.
Playpens are ideal for babies aged four to eight months. It is suggested not to keep newborns in the playpens neither children aged between nine and twelve months.
It is hard to limit a crawling or a walking baby in a playpen; therefore, playpens are not ideal for growing kids. Also, it is not correct to put a newborn baby in a playpen for long. For little time periods, you can.
Playpens are not only used at home to keep your children safe and help them play and experience things independently. These play yards have many different uses as well.
- First of all, playpens can be used for sleeping at night or napping in the daytime. If you have a small bed and can’t share the bed with your baby, use the playpen to put your baby in. Or, if you have more kids, you can place the playpen in your kids’ room to allow your baby to nap.
- Portable playpens help you visit your family and friends without any worries. While eating dinner or staying at someone’s place, you can put your baby in the playpen to play or take a nap without any disturbance.
- When traveling and living in hotels or airbnbs, keep the playpen with you so that you can keep your child busy in play. Also, you can use it as a bed so that your baby can sleep at night. Many things in the hotels and Airbnb can attract your toddler; therefore, it is best to put him inside the playpen to avoid spending time supervising your child.
- You can also carry playpens with you to use at camping, beach trip, or a picnic. This will allow you to do different activities and enjoy up to the full extent without worrying about your baby.
- Moreover, a playpen can also be used as a baby gate to keep your little one away from things that might be dangerous for him.
Advantages of Playpens for Babies
- The biggest advantage of keeping your baby in a playpen is that it can save your baby from eating different things at home or inserting fingers in the electrical outlets. Your kid can eat small objects lying under the table, sofa, bed, or any other place if he is roaming freely in the house without direct supervision.
- Playpens are quite safe for your children. Most of them are made by keeping the child’s safety in mind. Your little one can easily and safely play or spend time in a playpen. Also, you can add a safety mat to save your child from injuries from a fall.
- They provide shelter to your little ones during outdoor activities and gatherings. For example, if you are going for a picnic, a playpen will act as a shelter for your baby where he can play, nap, and change his diapers without any problem and discomfort.
- Playpens help children explore the play area on their own. They can play independently without any distraction in their own world that allows experimentation and promotes healthy growth.
- They are portable and multi-purpose. You can easily fold and keep them with you while traveling in your car. Also, they can be served as a child’s gate, napping, or a changing station.
- They are durable and light in weight. No matter how naughty and playful your kid is, the playpen will remain safe and keep your baby safe. Also, many playpens are easy to assemble.
Disadvantages of Playpens for Babies
- Playpens do take space, so they are not ideal for small homes, cottages, or rooms.
- They can restrict your baby’s movements like crawling or walking. Some playpens are like baby jails where the natural movements of your baby get restricted.
- Not all babies like playpens, so buying one might waste your money and time.
- Playpens can give your child a sense of isolation that can affect his or her mental and emotional development.
- Deaths are also associated with playpens where the soft bedding, mattresses, and cushions may lead to a child’s suffocation and death.
Playpens can be advantageous or disadvantageous for babies. It all depends on how you use a playpen for your baby and the type of playpen you choose. Buying a playpen that meets the safety standards is very important. Never try to put your baby in the playpen for long without any supervision. Also, avoid adding too many pillows and cushions that might suffocate your child.