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Playpen Yes or No??

Amanda - posted on 11/22/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )

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Ok so basically I'm exhausted. my toddler is 14mnths and full of energy, and i'm 18 weeks along in my pregnancy. My husband is across the country (work) and i'm with my parent but both are at work most of the time so it's pretty much just me and the lil guy. Used to during nap time i would cook clean shower etc. but anymore i'm so super tired that i can't keep my eyes open if my life depended on it so i use that time to nap. which then leaves me trying to completele my adl's while chasing around my super active son. and don't get me wrong he's a good boy so this question isn't for everyday just on the super hectic days when he does get those trouble maker tendencies and there's just no re-directing him.

So today i thought about setting up the playpen, however i really don't know how to approach the issue if at all. Do i use it as a time-out just for when he's being overly rambunctious, or do i introduce it as an alternate play area so he doesn't feel he's being punished becuase i'm tired?? is this a bad idea all together, and if so does anyone have any non-caffeine reccomendations to keep up my energy, because i know from excperience that I'm only gonna get more fatigued as the preegnancy goes on..... so how are other prego mom's of toddlers doing it????

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User - posted on 06/16/2013

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My 21 month old grandson is locked in the living room, away from the rest of the family, for most of the day. He hates it, throws tantrums, isn't talking, and displays behaviors that concern me terribly. All this so the parents won't have to actually parent him and teach him the meaning of "no", and keep track of him in the rest of the house. I am fraught with worry over this little guy, and have literally seen him walking in circles in this closed off area, not even acknowledging my presence. I don't know what else to do, as I've brought this up repeatedly. He loves going outdoors at my house, and running to and fro in the house, bringing me things. I feel like I'm heart broken for him.

Marina - posted on 12/27/2010

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I still use a play pen with my 18mo son and he can get out but doesn't. I put a few toys he likes in there and keep it in the same room I'm in so I can talk to him. I used it with my 3.5 year old son too. I don't use it as a timeout, just a safe spot when I need to grab a shower or something. He is used to it so it's not a big deal for him. Most of the time he runs free but us Momma's need a minute here and there!

Sarah - posted on 11/23/2010

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I know how you feel! i usually use baby gates. Either lock them in a room with me if I'll be in there a while doing something, or lock them in another room with toys to play with if I'm going to be going back and forth a lot, so that they're not following me creating a tornado of mess behind me. lol
Definitely nap as much as you can, there will be a time in the future when that is impossible :)
As far as using playpen as timeout or play area, I don't think its a terrible idea. lol I know supernanny says kids don't really understand disciple til they're about 2, but I personally don't think its ever to early to start showing that there's consequences for bad actions. If he's breaking one of your rules, by all means put him in a time-out. It may make more sense when he's older, but hes not dumb, enough times of being put in there specifically when he breaks a certain rule, he'll figure it out. lol
Good luck and hang in there!

Cindy - posted on 06/17/2014

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I reared 3 children and used a playpen (not a pak n play but large square playpen to give me a safe place for them when I had to shower, get dishes done, etc.)... my husband was deployed as a career Naval officer 2/3 of the year for 15 years of his career and we did not live near family but moved all over the country. This belief that it will damage children mentally is ridiculous. Anything done in excess will damage a child. My kids are all very intelligent, creative independent adults who spent time in a playpen when growing up. My eldest just gave up a 6 figure job (to stay home with her children and be a pastor's wife) as a strategic planner for an ad agency and has won national awards and was a well trained dancer in high school. My middle daughter is a registered dietitian at a hospital, an artist, and on a Seal Team PT team, my son is a civil/environmental engineer, played in the marching band, played every sport throughout school and is in amazing physical shape. I don't think they were harmed in ny way by my use of the playpen. What I see are moms carrying thir kids today wy too much or plopping them in exercausers which is far more confining. As a result they are slower to sit up, crawl, and walk. My three all crawled arounf 7 monthsand walked around 11 months.

Dawn - posted on 01/22/2014

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Okaaayyy...I dont think she wants to lock him in the plan pen 24/7!!!! But yes I think its a great idea.I do it with my 14 mth old.whenever I need to clean...they also like their time to themselves.and when I shower ill put her in her boucer seat belted in in the bathrm in the doorway with the door opemed so I can see her.and dont worry your child will not be affected by it.I did the same with my other child who is 6 yrs old now.and she turned out normal :-)

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Jessica - posted on 01/27/2014

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I say you get one of those play areas like on the Rugrats so he doesn't feel trapped in a tiny little play-pen. I'm 22 weeks and 5 days pregnant with a almost 2 year old. He came out of his room with a literal beard drawn on his face from a black pastel. I know the exhaustion sucks but you knew what you were taking on when you got pregnant with your second child. It's not your first rodeo. I just take breaks when I can. I don't do everything in one day. A load of laundry, do the dishes, and vacuum. Keeping his room clean and the main areas pretty clean or without stuff all over the floor.

Your fatigue actually doesn't last your entire pregnancy. With my first son I was actually quite awake ALL the time. I never really slept. So that's a illusion. You feel tired now but you won't be forever. You just have to manage yourself and nap when your son does (which he should still be napping at 14 months) otherwise you need to be awake with him. He shouldn't be trapped in his playpen while you go take a nap. It's the bittersweetness of expecting and having a child. It's only preparing you for your everyday life when the baby is out. You think you're tired now? Lol. When you have a newborn who needs and depends on you for everything and a jealous toddler? You're only getting started sweetheart.

Better get used to the no sleep and being exhausted all the time thing now. It's what us mothers do. It will end.

Liezl - posted on 05/23/2013

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Don't use the playpen all the time; it is important that your LO gets to move around and explore, but of course you need some down time (or a shower!) as well, so of course it's okay sometimes. The best thing is to make sure that your living room (or his play area) is properly baby-proofed, so that you don't have to run after him all the time and so that he can explore without hearing 'no' all the time. In the end, just use moderation and use the playpen as a 'special' place for when you really need to do something else.

Karen - posted on 05/14/2013

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I say no
A Pandora's Box of maladies
Neurological dysorganization, decreased manual dexterity, impaired balance, and problems with vision, reading and speech abound when children are not allowed to develop naturally and are confined to a playpen. Stifling the development of mobility will impair development in the 5 other areas of brain development, involving seeing, hearing, sensation, language and manual dexterity. A child will, comparatively speaking, minimally develop the natural talent and grace he is potentially endowed with when he is prevented from crawling and creeping. In extreme cases where psychotic parents or caretakers chained children to bedposts or locked them in closets, the children became idiots and only grew to half their normal size.

[deleted account]

I used a playpen as an alternate play area with my son until he learned how to climb out. Now that I'm pregnant with my second this dilemma has become a concern as well. As it stands my hunni helps when hes around by occupying the destructor but when its just my son and I we just go about our business and worry about the housework later. I get done what I can but really just try and focus on my son and rest when I need to for baby #2. The dishes will still be there the laundry isn't going to run off (unfortunately lol) and I've been teaching my son how to help with things like putting groceries and toys away, washing tables and sweeping. The thing to keep in mind is if it's going to get undone in a second anyway its better left till bedtime and if you stay well-rested you can afford to stay up an extra hour afterwards to just whip through and get everything tidy. You need to conserve your energy while you can and encorporate the chores into your regular day so your lil one can learn to help instead of demolish. You really just need to find your own niche which takes time but the thing that matters most is that you and your child(ren) stay happy and healthy, that includes rest!

Cara - posted on 12/23/2010

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I have a now 2 yr old and am due in feb with my 2nd. I couldn't do the playpen as she would have just climbed out of it anyway. She started getting where on some days she just will not take a nap which is hard when you are sooo tired. I started with rather than "Nap time" she has "rest time" so mommy can have a break. She stays in her room for about an hour (possibly a little longer if she does fall asleep) and she's in a room where I know she is safe and can't get hurt on anything. That gives me a chance to take a short nap on days I feel really tired and just plain time to myself on days when I'm not as tired. Sometimes use the time to clean, shower, read...etc, other times to take a short refreshing nap!

Ashley - posted on 12/20/2010

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Playpens are great. It's not that you are disciplining them, you are just giving them a smaller space to play. Another thing that works is making their room the play area when you try to get things done. Put a gate in their doorway and they have their entire room to play instead of a playpen.

Sarah - posted on 12/12/2010

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alternate play area is a great way but he may not like it... i am 14 wks pregnant with a 13 month old and i swear without the playyard i would lose my mind we just moved and have stairs and she loves them. so i think if it helps you its nevver a bad option just be careful not to overuse it :) and exercise should help boost your energy level a walk or a pregnancy workout video in the morning does wonders for me if i get used to it :) hope that helps :)

Jessa - posted on 12/06/2010

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My first 3 kids played in a playpen while I did my household chores and sometimes even when I needed to just rest a bit on the couch during my pregnancies. They all played fine and didn't seem to mind it one bit. I'd put them in it with toys they hadn't seen in a while and go about what needed to be done.

My 4th however, well there isn't a cage or tie that will hold the lil stinker. He has managed to get out of every crib or play pen we have tried, he climbs over the couch and out of the room if we try to gate him into the living room. He has been this way since he was 8 months old and is now 16 months, he is strong and can push through most anything as well, even moving furniture if he can't climb it!

If you are able to get your little one to play in the playpen for a while, go for it! It won't hurt them one bit to play in it as part of their regular routine and it will give you a much needed break. (Which being pregnant with my 5th I completely understand...my oldest by the way is 6) And if you find you have the same problem I have with my lil guy, well the household chores will always be there later, lol. Some days I get more done than others and I have had to learn to live with that, hopefully he will outgrow his escape artist stage!

Good luck to you and enjoy your kiddos!

Kelly - posted on 11/30/2010

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I had the same problem. I used a baby gate on her bedroom. I have also found Zumba to be helpfull. It ok to do while preggers and you walk away with so much more energy. Plus its a great time to be an adult and not just 'mum' all the time. I go twice a week and seem to only need about four hours sleep a day these days. Its fantastic. Baby gates are great when you need to shower or clean. good luck.

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my son is only 16 months but if i put him in a playpen he would just climb out. try getting one of those play yards that has like six sides that may work better. I have my house blocked off so he can only go in his room and the living room which are both super baby proofed I admit I have dozed off on the couch more than once this pregnancy.

Kayla - posted on 11/28/2010

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i am 29 weeks now along in my 2nd pregnancy my son will 18 months next month and in the beginning it was extremely difficult cuz he has just learned to walk and was getting into everything. my bf and i did make use out of the playpen a LOT. mainly when yes he was being extremely rambunctious or when he would get into something he wasn't suppose too..just cuz baby gates are expensive and to get enough to block all openings would be ridiculous. but yeah don't feel guilty at all for shoving your hyper child in the playpen..now we don't use it all anymore haven't for like 2 months now cuz i have my energy back. but if you have it use it! just don't make a habit of it.

Alecia - posted on 11/23/2010

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i used my daughters pack n' play for awhile with her and she loved it. when hanging out in our room we would use it, so that she could have a safe play area. she is 14 mnths old and we still use it sometimes. its not a bad thing if u have something to do and feel he would be safer in it. as long as he isnt in it 24/7 its not a big deal at all. they can be very handy.

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