Your baby is sleeping and playing in the same place that is also safe and comfortable.
What else can you ask for as a new parent? Well, nothing more. And playpen is the place where you can leave your baby for sound sleep and cheerful playing time.
Popularly known as Pack ‘ N Play, the playpen makes life easier for almost every parent in the country. However, you can’t rely on it forever. There is a time when you have to say this extraordinary baby device goodbye. Besides, you may face some challenges while using a playpen.
We have compiled every tiny detail about how long you can use a playpen and its pros and cons here. If you want to make the best use of this device, be with us.
Table of Contents
What is Playpen aka Pack ‘N Play
Someone is at the door or on the phone, and you are not sure whether to leave your little one unattended or not. A playpen is a savior in these situations. The furniture is safe and keeps your baby in a confined place so they can’t do anything to harm them.
The first citation of the word playpen was in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1902. It was a piece of wooden furniture with a solid base and vertical bars in the early days.
However, modern playpens are far more diverse than that. It comes with a detachable bassinet on the top. Now you can have a playpen and a bassinet at a time. How cool is that?
Of course, the furniture comes with numerous other benefits such as a diaper holder, a wipe counter, space for keeping the toys or extra clothing, and many more. You can call it a complete package to keep your baby safe.
What to do if our baby is too big for a bassinet but not fit for a crib? Find the answers here!
How long can you use a playpen?
Every baby is different. Thus, it is not easy to narrow down a particular time to stop using the playpen. You need to consider at least five factors before you decide to remove that multitasking furniture from your baby’s room.
We have interviewed veteran parents, child development specialists, and of course, a few “babies” to find out the optimum combination of those five factors.
According to the parenting coaches and doctors, between six to eight months is the best age for the baby to use a playpen. After this age, your baby will start crawling and pulling them up. So, putting them in the playpen won’t be a safe idea.
The playpen is not suitable for infants. You need to wait until your baby can roll over or at least crawl. During infancy, babies require a lot of interaction and stimulation from their parents and people visiting them. Higher boundaries and more coverings of the playpen do not allow this connection between the baby and parents.
Is a stroller the best option for taking your baby grocery shopping? Check it out.
The playpen is designed for babies who need limited space to entertain themselves. It may not be suitable for newborns, but right after your kiddo can roll over, you can think about getting a playpen.
Babies get longer fast. So, you have to keep an eye on their growth. If your little one is feeling congested and not feeling comfortable, it’s time to think about the alternatives.
Weight is another factor that you need to consider seriously. Modern playpens are mostly made with lightweight metal structures and fabrics. Thus, it is obvious that light-structured furniture won’t bear it when your baby is growing and getting a healthy weight.
A playpen is not for super active babies. Period!
As long as your kiddo is rolling over and smiling at you, relying on the safety net of the playpen is perfect. However, when you find a crawler in the making or someone too keen to climb up, perhaps the playpen is not safe enough.
If you are considering installing a baby monitor, make sure to consider the following safety factors beforehand.
Children grow fast and learn new activities even faster. As a parent, you will be delighted to see them move more and get active. But, a playpen may not be that happy about it as it cannot accommodate babies that can climb over it.
A playpen is a relatively safe piece of furniture for babies. As long as they can’t climb over it, this century-old baby device will offer you all the peace of mind.
However, we have found parents who are super anxious about the baby’s safety and spend sleepless nights staring at their sleeping bundle of joy. Yes, you ensure a good night’s sleep for your child but perhaps put a lot of stress on yourself.
If you are not confident about the safety of the playpen and about sacrificing your sleep, it’s better to switch to an alternative option. Why don’t you check some of the best baby bassinets as an alternative?
Modern playpens are both flexible and durable. They mostly use lightweight metal structures and fabrics to make the playpens.
Nevertheless, how long the furniture will survive depends on its use. Any rough handling will damage the structure and shorten its lifespan. Besides, if you get a used playpen there will be some issues with it.
Baby Proofing experts advise monitoring the condition of the furniture frequently. If you notice any deformity or damage within the playpen, it’s better to replace it. Applying any DIY tips will put your child in danger.
Benefits of Playpen
- Safe playing environment for babies
- Allowing parents to do chores
- Versatile use
- Immediate shelter
- Easy to clean
- Easy to assemble
Disadvantages of Playpen
- Not suitable for infants
- Not ideal for growing babies
- Lightweight structure
- Can’t use for too long
Is it safe for a baby to sleep in a pack n play every night?
Yes, it is safe to put your baby in a pack n play for sleep. A pack n play is made with all the safety regulations, so you can be sure of your baby’s safety as long as there is nothing else on the playpen.
You may be feeling an urge to change the mattress and put on a colorful one. However, it is recommended not to change it. The mattress is designed to offer maximum safety while your children are on the playpen.
Kids love to look at and grab soft toys. But those are for the play areas. Don’t put any soft toys or pillows for your baby’s amusement. They can become the cause of a severe injury or suffocation.
So, if someone asks you how long you can use a playpen, your answer should be as long as the baby can’t climb over it. A playpen is an excellent option for babies who can only rollover but not for those getting ready to face the world!
Pick the suitable playpen according to your baby’s weight, height, and activity level. And you have the peace of mind to complete any chores or even take a nap.