Playpens: The Pros and Cons

Last Updated on 15th November 2022

Parenthood is both exciting and exhausting. From the moment you get pregnant to every step of your child’s growth, you’ll have to make crucial decisions about how happy, healthy, and safe your child will be. 

You’ll have to make one of these decisions about whether a playpen is suitable for you and your child. Playpens have gone in and out of fashion over the years. Its purpose is simple; it is intended to be a place where a crawling baby or a smaller toddler can be placed to prevent them from hurting themselves and be safe, knowing that the baby cannot climb onto the sofa or get hold of any dangerous objects. The parent or carer can perhaps cook a meal, visit the bathroom or answer the doorbell. 

Playpens have been used for many years but have fallen out of fashion when parenting experts advised against them after some neglectful parents used them to coop children for hours. They have become popular again as parents realize that if used for short periods, playpens can give parents a few minutes of respite and leave a child safe. 

There has been a debate on the viability of using a playpen. Let’s take a closer look at some of the pros and cons of having a playpen at home:


The Pros

Safety

This is the primary and perhaps indisputable advantage of having a playpen. You can put your child in it and have him play so you can do your chores while he’s insight. This can be especially useful as your baby gets active and would want to explore more because he has more space to move around while you’re nearby. 

Independence

It also provides your child with a safe area that is their own and is ideal for independent play. Here are some reasons why independent space is essential for your child. (Add article URL for independent play)

Convenience

Many playpens available in the market today are “multi-purpose.” It can easily be transformed into other pieces of gear, like a changing station or a baby gate, and most can easily be folded down or broken down flat for traveling. 

Comfort

Unlike a crib or a stroller which is a lot smaller, your baby will feel more comfortable being in a playpen where he can have toys to play with and still have enough space to crawl, lie, or even walk. 


The Cons

Space

Playpens take up much space, so they are not ideal for small homes, cottages, or rooms.

Physical Restriction

Playpens may look like a baby jail, and your baby may feel their freedom is restricted. It may limit your baby’s natural movements, like crawling or walking. 

Emotional Isolation

The argument against playpens is that it harms a baby’s emotional and mental development caused by isolation and restriction of freedom. 

However, if you use the playpens for short periods and ensure that your baby has plenty of entertainment, they will be perfectly safe. The important thing is that the baby is not left in the playpen for extended periods.


List of playpens available

And yes, there are thousands of available playpens out there that you can possibly purchase; fortunately, you’re reading this article, so to begin with, here are some helpful information on the various types of playpens that are available, as well as some essential details about each option:


Evenflo Versatile Play Space

18.5 SqFt  / 16.88 lb

This playpen has an area of 18.5 SqFt, is made of plastic, and weighs about 16.88 pounds. It’s best for kids up until three years of age. What’s best about this is that its webbing is a rounded age and not a sharp plastic age making it very kid-friendly!


ANGELBLISS Baby Playpen

20 SqFt  / 15 lb

This playpen is made of Alloy Steel and has a safe space to play and explore. It has an area of 20 SqFt and can hold many toys, friends, and even adults. It is also designed with simple and easy to disassemble and assemble effectively.


Dream On Me Onyx Playpen

19.88 SqFt / 13.5 lb

This aluminum-made playpen has an area of 19.88 SqFt and weighs about 13.5 pounds; and can be used by kids up until they are 35 pounds. This playpen is most notable for its quality tent bottom.


Todale Baby Playpen

8.33 lb

This alloy steel playpen weighs about 8.33 lb and can bear the maximum weight of 150 pounds. It is safe with no gap and has wear-resistant, tear-resistant cationic fabric and strong pipes.


Hiccapop 53″ PlayPod Outdoor Baby Playpen

16.57 lb

This playpen is made of nylon and metal and weighs about 16.57 pounds. It is big enough for a baby with its size. What’s great about this item is that its canvas comes off and is machine washable!


Fortella Cloud Castle Foldable Playpen

25 SqFt / 34.9 lb

This playpen requires no tools for assembly. It is bulky with a floor area of 25 SqFt but not heavy enough with its High-Density Polyethylene, Polyvinyl Chloride materials at about 34.9 pounds. It can be used by babies from 6 months old to toddlers at 3 years old.


Joovy Room²-Playard

9.51 SqFt  / 29.6 lb

This Playard is made of cotton and is a bit heavy at about 29.6 pounds. It is made of cotton and is best for babies. It is roomy for a portable playpen with a floor area of 9.51 SqFt. It also has wheels that can make moving easier even without help!


Babyseater Portable Playard Playpen

14.72 lb

This playpen is made of metal and weighs 14.72 pounds. It’s best for kids up to 3 years old. Its most notable feature is a zippered door – your kid won’t need to climb over it!


Cosco Funsport Compact Playpen

20.1 lb

At 20.1 pounds, this playpen is best for infants. It has a straightforward setup that takes just a few seconds. Baby can play or nap in lots of room.


Some Considerations When Choosing a Playpen

Playpens and play yards come in various styles. They also offer many different features that may come in handy for your situation. Before choosing the playpen of your choice, you should consider the following factors.

  • Look for a certification label for your product, meaning the playpen was designed to meet safety standards.
  • Ensure the playpen is tall enough to prevent your baby from crossing it. This will help your baby remain inside the playpen. 
  • Durability is also an essential factor to consider when buying a playpen. Make sure that the materials used have no health hazards for your baby.
  • Playpens are available in various kinds of dimensions. You can find different shapes like rectangular, square, and oval playpens. Go for a build that suits the space of your house.
  • Make sure it is easy to clean as playpens for kids/babies come in contact with bacteria every moment. 
  • You should also look for a playpen with pads on the top of its rails to keep your baby safe from bumps and that the hinges and supports are strong and well protected.

If you buy a playpen for your kid, ensure it is safe. And, use the playpen only when it’s necessary and never leave your child unattended. A playpen should never be a substitute for adult supervision.


Like everything else, playpens have pros and cons; the good outweighs the bad. Like in so many things in life, moderation is key. A playpen is not a place to dump your baby while you lounge around drinking wine. Use your playpen for short periods to allow your baby to play in a secure and safe environment when you cannot be as hands-on as you need. You won’t regret adding one to your home.


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