Buying the right baby playpen
Why buy a baby playpen?
As we all know babies are incredibly curious and eager to make new discoveries around the home. Every nook and cranny is a new adventure especially once they start crawling! And of course with all of this new adventuring there’s also an element of danger. Bumps, scrapes and falls are enough to cause any concern for parents, but then add in the fact that anything baby tends to find goes in it’s mouth and it’s no wonder as parents we get stressed!
That’s where baby playpens come in. They aren’t always considered as a necessity, however they can be a big help when it comes to making parenting that little bit more stress free. Playpens are often gated play areas that your little one shouldn’t be able to “escape” from, leaving them to play safely within.
Which baby playpen should I buy?
So if you feel that a playpen could benefit your child, the first question you’ll have is which one? Well that’s completely down to you, the space you have available, and most importantly what you want from your playpen.
Firstly you’ll want to decide what material you want your playpen to made from. Many playpens are often made from a plastic, metal, fabric and wood. Each of these materials have pro’s and cons that depending on your needs make them more suitable than the others, although wooden playpens have similarities with metal playpens.
Different types of baby playpens
Often considered the most popular type. Plastic playpens are not only lighter than it’s wooden and metal counterparts but it’s also often a little bit more fun. This is mainly because you can do much more with plastic, the designs and colours are often more intricate and colourful and toys can be incorporated into the panels with ease.
Even though plastic is much lighter than metal and wood when used over a larger area the interconnecting panels are equally as sturdy and heavy once the playpen is fully assembled, and more than enough to keep baby penned in.
They’re also great for outdoor use, so in the summer months your baby can enjoy safe play in comfort in fresh air.
The one slight drawback to plastic playpens is their height. Most plastic playpens are are shorter than 65cm so if your little one is a “climber” then you may want to consider a fabric playpen instead.
Fabric playpens are perfect for parents looking for a portable and pop-up kind of playpen. They are incredibly lightweight and tend to be much easier to store away than other playpens. The fabric sides also prevent little ones from climbing and offer a softer landing if they do happen to fall into the walls when toddling, and they do tend to be a little bit more comfortable than metal playpens. Of course there are drawbacks and they mainly come down to the lack of fun elements on the playpens.
Usually made of steel, metal playpens designed to be more rigid and practical solution for keeping your baby safe. Their main feature is as you’d imagine their stability and strength, the bars are often very strong and should really stand the test of time when it comes to everyday use, and due to their weight should be able to support your child if they are getting to grips with standing and balancing. A good metal playpen should also be able to double up as a room divider or stair gate when needed so if you need versatility they are a great option. The main drawbacks tend to be down to weight and the overall area that they can cover as they can tend to be small.
Choosing your playpen
What should I look for in a playpen?
Once you’ve decided what kind of playpen you are looking for, you’ll want to identify the right playpen for you and that it meets all of the requirements a playpen should meet. When considering each playpen be sure to look out for;
- Make sure the playpen will fit into your space. Measure your room and ensure you have plenty of room, some playpens are much larger than others so size is an important factor.
- Stick to playpens that are certified and tested with according to British Standard BS EN 1227 EN 71 this means has been tested to the latest safety standards.
- If you intend to take the playpen up and down consider how easy the playpen is to dismantle and assemble, as well as how easy it is to store.
- Make sure the playpens suits your little ones needs, if they’re a climber consider any points they could use as a step.
When age can a baby playpen be used from?
As with many baby related products it depends on the item, many baby playpens are suitable from birth however in terms of the overall usability of a playpen it’s probably only going to come into use from when your baby begins to crawl and can sit up unaided.