Your baby will have changing needs as he grows up. During infancy, the crib is the best place to have him lie down while sleeping. However, when your child grows to be a toddler, you would want a space to contain him when you’re busy doing other chores at home. Place him in his playpen.
Not all playpens are built the same, though. You can buy a commercially-sold and branded playpen for a few hundred dollars, and these will have a few bells and whistles. However, if you are fond of DIY, you can create a playpen yourself. You might even want to construct a playpen outside, on your yard. Here are your options.
Choosing a playpen
- Choose a brand you trust. You might already have a crib, stroller, diaper bag, and accessories from one brand. In some cases, same-brand baby cribs and playpens share a single platform, so you can easily interchange their accessories. In some cases, you would want matching fabric designs and colors.
- Choose a sturdy playpen. Some playpens have bases that are assembled out of a few boards. Make sure you test the sturdiness of the base. Your baby or toddler will be walking and even jumping around in his playpen. You want something durable, and something that will not collapse when your child jumps on it.
- Consider portability. Most store-bought playpens are foldable. You can fold the base, and you can collapse the frame. This makes it easy to transfer the playpen from room to room. You can easily bring it along in the trunk of your car or the back of your van.
- Consider ease of washing. You can expect your child to make a lot of mess in his playpen. How easy is the material to clean? Can you dismantle the fabric and toss it in the washer? Or can you just brush off dirt easily?
Constructing your own playpen
- You can create your own playpen by using an enclosure with fencing material. Just be sure it’s sturdy enough to enclose your child. Some baby specialty stores sell plastic and wooden material that expands and encloses a space, where your child can play.
- You can also construct this playpen outdoors in your yard. You will need to anchor down the fencing material firmly, so your child cannot easily get out.
- If you can child-proof your child’s nursery or any room, it can be one big playpen. Just make sure you can enclose your child in the room safely.
You can expect your child to spend a lot of time in his playpen, especially during those stages in which he will be acquainted with toys and activities. Your child can even play with other kids his age, if you have friends or relatives who can come over. Playpens can be great tools that can help enhance the development of your child. Playpens are also helpful in that they give your child some space he can play while you do other important tasks at home.