What Should You Look for in Baby Playpen?


    Playpens are offered in several styles and variations. They come with a variety of customizable options. Use a playpen to confine your infant while you attend to other tasks. They are available in a range of shapes and sizes. You can select a playpen based on the size of your house and the number of times you plan to use it outdoors. A few playpens include bassinet inserts that make it easy for the infant to slumber after playtime.

    What exactly is a playpen?

    A playpen for infants is a piece of baby furniture. During the child’s years of rapid development, when safety becomes increasingly crucial, you should get a playpen. It creates a specific play area for the child. It is also highly useful for parents, who may leave their child in it while they cook, clean, or even take a phone call. Some feature vertical bars, while others, if constructed of cloth, may have little side windows. This allows the person maintaining watch to see through it and observe the child’s activities within. It is enclosed on all sides, requiring the infant to remain within the constrained play area. There are numerous types of playpens from which to pick. 

    A baby boy inside a wooden playpen

    Considerations When Selecting the Ideal Playpen for Your Infant

    1. Budget

    Depending on the size, material, and presence of additional or detachable components, there are both inexpensive and costly playpen versions.

    Playpens for infants range from $40 to $100 and can go higher. These playpens are often compact and equipped with simple features, such as a mesh wall or movable panels. Models priced between $100 and $150 or more and include additional options such as a bassinet or canopy. They are also often larger in size. Playpens that cost more than $150 include a variety of functions such as gates, play toys such as balls, and adjustable panels.

    Determine what type of playpen you desire according on your budget. Choose a premium model if you plan to use it for an extended period of time.

    2. Durability

    Your playpen’s durability will rely on its construction quality and the materials utilized. Different varieties of playpens are available based on the material utilized. If you intend to use the playpen outdoors, you must also give careful thought to weather-resistant materials.

    Typically, panel playpens are composed of durable plastic. They will endure a considerable amount of time and are adequately durable. Pop-up playpens built from durable mesh fabric are known as such. They are less durable than panel playpens because they lack a sturdy support structure, but they are considerably easier to assemble.

    Playpens made of wood are fairly solid and durable. If properly maintained, they will survive for a considerable amount of time.

    3. Maintenance

    Playpens should be simple to clean and maintain in order to eliminate any germs that may collect over time. Babies are quite busy; therefore, the playpen can quickly become soiled. Constant exposure to and inhalation of pathogens can compromise your infant’s immune system. Make sure you select a playpen that is simple to clean. Check to see if distinct sections may be easily detachable for separate cleaning, if applicable.

    4. Physical Measurements Based on Your Baby

    When purchasing a playpen, you must take into account your child’s height and weight. Some playpens include flooring, so you must ensure that it can sustain the baby’s weight. The playpen’s sides should be at least 50 cm tall. You should also ensure that they are taller than the baby so he or she cannot escape. A huge baby playpen will provide the infant with more area to move.

    Happy little baby standing in his pen

    5. Form and Transportability

    Playpens are offered in numerous shapes. The most frequent shapes utilized for baby playpens are rectangular and square. They are simple to assemble and include panels that may be simply linked to one another. These shapes also tend to offer your infant greater space for movement. There are also hexagonal and octagonal playpens available. However, they are typically more compact and enclosed. There are larger varieties available, although they can be fairly costly.

    Check the portability of the playpen in case you need to move it from one location to another. Some playpens are cumbersome to maneuver, so choose wisely.

    6. Security Measures

    This is a crucial thing to consider when purchasing a playpen. Your baby’s safety should be your top priority, so you should avoid playpens that appear unsafe. Here are few safety features to consider.

    • The playpen should not be very restrictive. 
    • It should provide adequate ventilation via holes or small openings between the bars.
    • Ensure that the flooring is plush and well-cushioned. Babies are prone to falling, thus the landing area should be soft to prevent injury.
    • The playpen’s sides must be sturdy, solid, and tall, or your child will simply escape.

    NOTE:  Always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use. 

    What to Avoid

    • Parts or objects that are small enough to be breathed or ingested.
    • Sharp edges, corners, and points.
    • Projections that can cause injury to children if they collide with them.
    • Protrusions and apertures that can entangle a child’s clothing and pose a strangulation risk.
    • Openings and spaces that could trap a child’s finger, limbs, or head. Gaps should be between 50mm and 95mm, or between 12mm and 30mm; greater gaps can imprison a child’s head.
    • Moving or rotating parts that can damage a youngster if he or she becomes entangled in them.
    • Footholds for a toddler to utilize to escape.

    Different Types of Baby Playpens

    father and daughter playing

    Once you have determined which characteristics are most important to you, you may study the available models to determine which ones meet your requirements. There are three primary varieties of playpens available for purchase.

    1. Standard Playpen

    A basic playpen may be the ideal option if you need a playpen for your child to use as an occasional indoor play place and do not need something that doubles as a crib or a changer. This sort of play yard, which consists of a raised floor and mesh sides, lacks the other features that can drastically increase the price. It is one of the most economical alternatives available, typically costing between $75 and $175.

    2. Playground Equipment Without Floors

    Some playpens have no flooring and are referred to as baby playpen gates, allowing you to set them up in a corner of the living room or on the lawn. This sort of playpen typically offers more space than conventional or travel options, but it cannot function as a bed. Instead, its primary role is to confine your child safely while you perform other duties. Some of these versions contain built-in toys to assist engage the baby, while others are more basic. Expect to pay between $65 and $200 for a playpen for toddlers of this type.

    3. Portable Play Yards

    If you intend to travel extensively and require a baby bed, there are several excellent solutions available. In general, these playpens are smaller and fold up more compactly than those of other varieties. Depending on the features you require and the size of your child, this type of playpen might cost between $70 and $250.

    To summarize

    In terms of preparing for your child, a playpen or play yard is not required. However, this useful piece of baby equipment is a must-have if you frequently travel or have multiple young children. The proper playpen can safely confine your infant while you attend to other responsibilities, and many types double as travel beds.

    Choosing a baby playpen comes down to evaluating your needs, finances, and other considerations. The ideal play yard for you may be a portable model, an indoor/outdoor enclosure, or a simple and inexpensive choice with a compact folding design. No matter whatever model you choose, conducting research will help assure your satisfaction with the ultimate product.


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