September - posted on 01/12/2010 ( 28 moms have responded )




We've never used a playpen with our son. I have a weird feeling about them for whatever reason. I guess I feel like I’m confining my child and for some reason that just feels wrong. How do you feel about playpens? Do you use one and if so why?

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[deleted account]

We had one handed down to us and I kept it in the kitchen thinking that it could be a good safe place for my son to hangout close to me while I was making supper. Well, my son never liked being in there. He hated it actually. So we only put him in it a handful of times. It stayed in the kitchen and became a giant toy bin up until yesterday when I decided I was sick of looking at it hehe:)
My mom has one at her house and that's where my son naps when we're over there. But that's the only time he goes in that one.

[deleted account]

The only time I ever used one of those things (other than for them to sleep in at relatives' houses) was when my daughter was little. This was before I married my husband, and moved away. I was working on my family's farm and going to school. One of my main jobs was to take stuff from our farm to the farmers' market and sell it.

After my daughter got mobile, she did hang out in her playpen at the farmers' market because I couldn't chase her around and make sales at the same time, so she had to be contained somehow. She didn't have to sit in there all morning or anything, because our friends would always come by and get her out of there, but she did spend SOME time playing in her playpen. In that case, it was really the safest thing to do with her.

After I got married, and we left the farm, I never used a playpen again, other than for her to sleep in at relatives' houses. For our son, he has only ever used one for that purpose.

[deleted account]

We didn't have one, but I think they're ok providing they don't replace parental interaction. This could also happen with baby swings, baby walkers, stations/saucers and the TV. All things are ok in moderation.

Melissa - posted on 02/11/2010




We have a pack'n'play. But we use it as a portable crib. He has never been in it for a reason other than sleeping. It has really come in handy. Our family cabin, as well as the resort we stay in every year, and our out of town relatives don't have cribs, so this works perfectly for us to bring places so he is sleeping in a restricted space and not rolling all over the place in the night.

[deleted account]

we bought one when we were in the remodeling phase of our house so she could be in the same room with us as we worked and she was in no we use it for sleepovers at her grandmas house or we love to go camping at the lake almost every summer so we use that for her to sleep in out there when it is nap time or time for bed in the tent...

Mikenleigh - posted on 01/19/2010




we loved our play pen...she liked to be in it even when there wasn't a reason for her to be in was my extra set of hands while my husband was in Iraq and I desperately needed a shower or a spare minute to fix dinner...

Rose - posted on 01/19/2010




I used one with my daughter and plan on it with my next one. I only use them for to sleep. Except when i took her to work with me i put her in a play pen cause she very well couldn't just run around the office all day. She didn't seem to mind it much and it was only for until she started walking at 9.5 months. I don't see them as a problem. Now i have seen parents use them cause they are lazy and don't want to chase after them i think that is absurd how are they going to learn to crawl and walk???

Mary - posted on 01/15/2010




Wow...I'm mostly amazed (and perhaps a tad envious) that a baby or toddler will do anything other than sleep in a playpen! We have one at my parents for her tp nap in (although she usually ends up napping in my dad's Lazyboy w/him) and one that we use for overnight travel. She's never tolerated it for anything other than sleeping in - and even that is a bit of a challenge - she really only sleeps "well" at home, in her crib. If I tried to confine her in one to play so I could get stuff done, she'd scream bloody murder until I took her out. She's a bit opinionated like that. Even the baby gates piss her off sometimes, especially if one of the dogs is on the other side!

[deleted account]

We call it "baby cage" and only use it when our 11 month-old is REALLY in the way or I am doing something where having her underfoot is dangerous. For example, I was making candy the other day (yes, from scratch) and I was getting ready to pour the SUPER HOT boiling mixture into the lollipop molds to set when Ellie (the 11 month-old) comes crawling into the kitchen. Before, when I was just cooking the mixture, I didn't mind that she was in the kitchen with me. It's babyproofed so she can't get into anything. BUT I did not want her hanging onto my legs and such while I was pouring such hot liquid out of the super hot pan. She has done that before (I was draining pasta) and I had to grab the pan with my bare hands to stop it from falling on her head. Since then, I set up her "baby cage" at the enterance to the kitchen (so she can still see me and chat) while I do stuff like that. It gives me such peace of mind and more freedom to do stuff like that other than her naptime.

Another example was when I was putting together a large and cumbersome bookshelf the other day. It was big and heavy and Ellie wanted to help :P Of course, I didn't want to leave a project half finnished, so I put her in the playpen with some toys and Cheerios while I finished it up. She was parfectly happy and content in there the whole time.

I think they can be overused though. I ONLY use mine in cases where my baby would be in danger otherwise, NOT when I am just sick and tired of her being underfoot.

Heather - posted on 01/13/2010




I use a play yard, and it totally saves my back. My almost 9 month old is so heavy, and if I want to get anything done, I have to hold him or put him in his play yard because there are certain things I am not able to block off, and If I am trying to do things, I cant leave him unattended on the floor. I think putting him in a play yard is much better than sticking him in a bouncy seat, or exersaucer, or walker....he can move and play as he pleases, he cruises the sides of it, and he loves being in it.

Christy - posted on 01/13/2010




i didn't use one with my daughter but i have no problem with them being used properly. my main reason for not using one with my LO was that my boyfriend has a family member whose daughter was in the play pen more than she was out of it until she was 2. it was ridiculous, they would put food in there with her like she was an animal and even when the padding was starting to come apart to where the little girl could put the stuff in her mouth they still kept her in there. the whole experience of this just left a bad taste in my mouth towards the things that i couldn't quite get over when i tried to put my daughter in one.

i did however have a pack n play that had a bassinet part when my LO was teeny tiny and we used the regular part as her bed when we lived with my boyfriend's parents for 6 weeks.

[deleted account]

We have a pack 'n' play. We use it for sleep when we're traveling. I've also put her in it when I need free hands for a minute or two (like to go to the bathroom or answer the door...). I don't just leave her in it. She's pretty mobile now and I don't like leaving the room while she's free on the floor.

Johnny - posted on 01/13/2010




My parents have one at their house for her naps which we take with us when we travel for her to sleep in. We've never put her in it otherwise though. She's just not the play pen type of kid, very on the go. I think some kids are happy to play in them, but mine would go nuts, and there's no point in imprisoning her. I've got our main floor well baby proofed, so it's just not necessary.

C. - posted on 01/13/2010




I use a Pack'N'Play right now. At this point it is for my son to sleep in since we don't have enough money to buy another crib (long story).. I do occasionally use it when I have to go to the bathroom and my son's awake and no one else is home that can watch him. I used to use a play gate a lot, but i usually went in with my son and played with him and his toys in the gate. If I wasn't in there with him, I was putting laundry in the washer/dryer, going to the bathroom or getting us something to eat. There are times that playpens and play gates are helpful, but I don't think anyone should leave their baby in the playpen or gate all day long for no reason.

Lindsay - posted on 01/13/2010




We had a pack 'n play that was often used for beds while traveling or if we were going somewhere and one of the kids would need a nap while we were there, we'd throw it in the car. We still use it for when my brother and SIL come in town as a bed for their daughter. We never really tried it for playing in because they typically would play on the floor, exersaucer or in the swing. But it was very useful for us to have.

Amy - posted on 01/13/2010




We have play pens at both parent's house. We use them just for sleeping, as they are a safe, cheep, small way to confine a child when not at home. Play pens are nice because they are mesh instead of the wood, so for us our son can't crawl out of them yet (my guess by 2 he'll be able to get out of it). I would say on average at lest once a week our son is in one.

We have also used baby gates with much more space. Our son would just cry if he was in it, so it was only used when needed (like running to the bathroom quickly when he was really into getting into trouble).

Brandy - posted on 01/12/2010




We have one but mostly just used it if we were staying at a family members for a bed and a couple times outside because it was very hot and sunny so we put her in with some toys and covered it over with a blanket for shade. We never used it for play because my livingroom was childproofed except for plants but we taught her to never touch them at a very young age and we had a baby gate so she couldn't climb the stairs so I guess I just never had the need to put her in it to play really.

September - posted on 01/12/2010




Quoting Veronica:

I used one for sleepfor my son. But I did have a play yard it was three times the size of a playpin and we set it in the living room and attached it to the sectional sofa to keep him in the area it was huge. He stayed in it till he was learning to craw on the couch and over it. He was about 15 months. We had a big house so it worked out well I have a in home daycare now I only use them. If I am puttin the child down for a nap or I have to go pee and need a safe place to put the child. If you are cooking and your child does not want to sit in the high chair or bouncer. I tink it would a nice idea to put them in one in the kitchen if you have space.

We do have space however when I'm cooking my husband is the playpen LOL. When my husband is not available our son is in the living room playing with his toys or reading his books. Our son tends to be a great self-entertainer when need be :) I just don't see the need for one personally.

Veronica - posted on 01/12/2010




I used one for sleepfor my son. But I did have a play yard it was three times the size of a playpin and we set it in the living room and attached it to the sectional sofa to keep him in the area it was huge. He stayed in it till he was learning to craw on the couch and over it. He was about 15 months. We had a big house so it worked out well I have a in home daycare now I only use them. If I am puttin the child down for a nap or I have to go pee and need a safe place to put the child. If you are cooking and your child does not want to sit in the high chair or bouncer. I tink it would a nice idea to put them in one in the kitchen if you have space.

[deleted account]

I use one for sleep when we travel or when my daughter stays with grandparents. I also keep another child a few days a week and she sleeps in our playpen. Never used it to contain her while playing. Although I don't think its wrong if you have to go to the bathroom or take an important phone call or something. I wouldn't keep a kid it one for an extended over 20 minutes unless they were sleeping.

Carolee - posted on 01/12/2010




I used one when my son was really little, but mainly I used it for when he slept while we were visiting other people. I don't see anything wrong with them.

Krista - posted on 01/12/2010




We keep one at my in-laws' house to use as a bed if Sam needs a nap. Once he starts crawling around, we'll likely bring it home. I can see needing to use it if I have to go downstairs to put more wood in the furnace -- obviously not a safe place to bring a baby.

Plus, my main floor is very open-concept, so if I'm cooking dinner, I really won't be able to gate him off, and it's not safe to risk having him crawling around underfoot while I'm at a hot stove or handling knives.

Where he's already used to the playpen, I'm sure he won't object to being in there once in awhile. But he'll only be in there if I have to put him somewhere safe while I'm doing something dangerous, not because I just don't feel like dealing with him.

Jane - posted on 01/12/2010




I just started using a playpen last week, my son is 9 months. Up until then it was only used for a bed when we went somewhere. The reason I started using it is because my treadmill is downstairs & it's just not safe for him to crawl around down there & not safe for me to keep jumping on & off my treadmill to chase him LOL! He gets put in it for about a half hour to 45 mins when I'm running & sometimes when I fold laundry down there, I also have a highchair I put him in that's in the basement as well. I'm not sure if I over use it, I don't think that I do & I do play w/ him lots thru the day along w/ my hubby & 13 yr old son. My husband does call the playpen "baby jail" which makes me laugh but it's the safest place for him in those situations.

[deleted account]

We had one when the girls were babies. Didn't use it very much. Mainly as their bed when we had family visiting (family was in their room, they were in the living room) and as the bed for one of them when we seperated them until we bought a mattress for the other crib.....

I'm not against playpens in any way. They can be great for keeping your kid safe and contained for short periods of time. Overuse I have a problem w/ though....

Kelsey - posted on 01/12/2010




Im not going to use a playpen, but I will be putting a couple gates up so I wont have to chase her around the house all day. I feel cruel putting her in a "cage" as well. I feel like when you are sitting in the same room with her, its just lazy, and it cant make them feel very good that their parents are esperating themselves from him/her. Thats not much of a self esteem booster. If your busy, and not in the room, take them with you and give them a special toy, and use a gate if you have to. There really isnt a good enough reason to cage them up in my opinion, unless you are going somewhere like the basement that isnt suitable to bring them along, and wont be gone long, or neglecting them, then sure. I think too many people use playpens to babysit their baby and can go overboard with its convenience and neglect their child. Not that all playpen users are neglectful, or lazy, but it just seems so inhumane to me. It has to have a negative effect on their emotional development when they spend so much time seperated from the rest of the world.

Ashley - posted on 01/12/2010




My son has one...but it is at my parent's house and we have only used it for a bed...we all love playing with him so much that we never needed it for anything else! When we eat over there, he either sits in his highchair or he is in his bouncer.

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