When you have a playpen, it’s simple to keep your baby contained wherever you go. However, they can become quite grimy as time goes on. This makes it all the more important to know the proper way to clean a playpen.
Due of its size, playpens cannot be washed in a standard home washing machine. Still, that’s no excuse to let your baby’s playpen collect dirt and grime. Your baby will have a clean, safe place to play if you frequently thoroughly clean the playpen in addition to doing quick spot cleanings as needed.
In what ways might a playpen be improved for the comfort of its occupants? Even if a playpen’s use is sometimes required, it might make your kid feel confined and afraid. The good news is that there are strategies to enhance everyone’s participation.
What is a playpen?
A playpen is a tiny, portable enclosure with bars or a net on the walls and an opening on top, where a baby or toddler can play and be occupied, typically while the parents are busy or out of sight.
Most playpens are constructed out of wood furniture for portability and versatility.
Wood is also favoured because it is lighter in weight, more adaptable in design, and safer.
It’s a place where kids can be themselves, free from the pressures of adulthood and technology, and have fun.
A playpen is not the same thing as a crib since a playpen is often made of lighter material and can be moved around more easily.
Various ages that are suitable for playpen;
- A infant should be introduced to a playpen between the ages of four and six months, with the goal of creating lifelong positive associations with the play space. The infant may feel unsafe in an enclosed setting, which could cause anxiety in the event of a later introduction.
- Between the ages of six and eight months, a baby is developing several important skills, and the safety and comfort of a playpen make it the perfect environment in which to do so. To encourage independent movement and development, new toys should be introduced while in it.
- The youngster can now crawl or stand up between the ages of eight and 10 months. They might lose some of their sense of adventure if you lock them up. There should be room for them to roam, so a playpen might not be the ideal idea.
Several Functions of a Playpen
When it’s sleep time for the little one, the playpen comes in handy.
The benefit here is that a kid isn’t tied down to his or her bed and can learn to fall asleep pretty much anywhere.
When it’s time for the youngster to play alone, parents and caregivers can leave a selection of toys in the playpen.
A playpen is helpful for travel because it frees up your hands from carrying the infant.
The infant can play or nap in the playpen, giving the parent some time to get other things done.
In situations where space is at a premium, parents or guardians can use the bed while the infant is safely contained in a playpen.
A playpen should be used in areas of the home where children could be injured by, or exposed to, hazards, such as areas with exposed electrical cables or outlets and areas with dogs (infections).
Considerations like the baby’s weight must be made prior to the acquisition or purchase of a playpen.
A sturdy playpen that won’t give way under the baby’s weight is essential for use during playtime and naps.
Consideration should also be given to the infant’s size.
The ideal dimensions of a playpen allow the child or toddler to move around freely while playing.
The playpen should be built so that it may be moved about with minimal effort.
The playpen should be easy to fold up or hang up when not in use.
A second crucial consideration is the size of the specified space in which the playpen will be installed.
If one’s home is already cramped, it’s not a good idea to buy a huge playpen that would take up even more room.
The playpen’s additional features, such as wheels for easy mobility, a place to stack diapers, and storage for baby gear, are also important to consider.
If you wish to rock a baby to sleep, a stroller accessory is a great investment.
Since a playpen isn’t meant to last forever, it’s important to think about how much money you have to spend when shopping for one.
There are some different types of playpens
1) Standard playpen
This is a child’s indoor play structure, with an elevated floor and open sides so that the child can interact with its supervisor.
2) Playpens Gates
Some playpens, also known as playpens gates, don’t have flooring and can be placed on a lawn or in a corner of a house.
Even though it can’t be utilized for transportation, it’s roomier.
3) Travel playpens
They fold up nicely and are quite portable.
To put it simply, they are utilized for napping infants in transit.
When a baby is able to crawl, usually around six months, it is time to introduce the playpen.
It’s best to get one before your baby starts to crawl or walk so that it doesn’t feel trapped.
If a child’s playpen is dirty, has holes in it, or is broken in any way, it should not be utilized.
To prevent injuries, do not hang anything from the ceiling that a baby could pull on, such as a rope or ribbon.
Playpen has its pros and cons;
When a parent or guardian isn’t nearby, the infant can be in this space and not worry about being harmed.
A parent or guardian will have plenty of time to get everything done around the house without interruptions.
When the little one has had enough of playing, the playpen may be converted into a cozy bed for a good snooze.
Playpens are great for teaching babies how to sit up straight since their backs are supported by the walls.
Babies learn to walk at an early age because they can gain and maintain balance by holding onto the hand-holds as they explore their environment.
When a baby is left in a playpen for lengthy periods of time, the parent or guardian can become emotionally distant from the child and, in turn, may become too indolent to provide the infant the attention and care it needs.
A child’s physical development may be negatively impacted by spending too much time in a playpen, according to several theories that have not been proved.
Here are some ideas on how you can do that
Covering the floor with a rug is the first step in ensuring their safety in the event of a fall while playing in the area. Keep in mind that your baby will eventually learn to crawl and roll, so avoid putting anything hazardous there.
Use drapes over the top of their pen to keep out light and noise if they need complete darkness at night or to let them slumber during the day if they need to.
Putting Stuffed Animals Inside the House (Tip No. 3) – Putting your baby’s favorite toys in the playpen is a terrific approach to make them feel safe and comfortable. It’s a good idea to throw in a couple throw blankets, too, since people often use them in place of their own arms when they want to be hugged.
Why You Need to Clean Your Baby’s Playpen
Recent research has shown that infants who are exposed to common household bacteria and pet dander are less likely to develop allergic reactions or asthma. The value of these opportunities, however, quickly diminishes after the first year.
Babies who are raised in too sterile conditions may eventually develop severe allergies. But that doesn’t mean parents shouldn’t clean playpens and other items young infants use frequently.
So, how can you keep your child’s playpen germ-free without jeopardizing his or her developing immune system? It should be spot cleaned, washed with a mild detergent, and never disinfected with strong chemicals.
What kind of detergent is best?
Choosing the right kind of detergent is crucial when learning how to clean a playpen effectively.
Dissolving oils and greases, detergents are chemical compounds. Surfactants are the active components in most detergents.
By lowering the surface tension of water, surfactants facilitate uniform fabric penetration throughout the washing process. Water molecules can be attached to grease with the aid of surfactants. The cleaning process would not be complete without this step.
However, besides the ingredients listed above, many commercial detergents also include other compounds. Common additives include bleaching agents, enzymes, and fragrances. Baby’s sensitive skin may be irritated by the chemicals used to brighten colors, remove stains, and freshen clothes.
Look for a non-biological detergent that does not have any added perfumes or brighteners to clean your playpen.
The concentrated detergent by Babyganic is safe for the environment and has been approved by dermatologists.
You can use washing soda as a base for homemade detergent if you like. DIY ultra-gentle detergent: four parts washing soda (sometimes called sodium carbonate) to four parts baking soda to one part mild castile soap. Utilizing a food processor for the blending of the ingredients speeds up the procedure significantly. Keep sealed for maximum freshness.
How to Clean a Playpen
In case you’re wondering what the best practices are for cleaning a playpen, we’ve compiled a short list.
It’s evident that playpens are too big to fit in a standard washing machine, therefore the first line of defense is spot cleaning.
Second, a playpen can be cleaned, but only in a bathtub.
Moreover, many playpen mats are constructed with a sturdy cardboard bottom. A mat with a cardboard backing can distort if it gets wet, so be sure to dry it well after washing.
How to Clean a Playpen: Spot-cleaning
Spot cleaning is a useful method, especially for recent spills. This method works wonderfully for both baby food and formula.
First, wipe the stain to remove excess liquid. If the incident is recent, you can soak up most of the liquid with a dry towel or some paper towels. Then, saturate the stain with a cloth or sponge that has been dipped into a weak detergent solution.
2. Flush with water
You should then flush the stain with cold water. If the stain can’t be placed under running water, soak a sponge in clean water and blot it. The objective here is to eliminate any trace of detergent. You can proceed to the following stage once the suds have disappeared and the water runs clear.
3. Let dry
Playpen spot cleaning is finished after the affected area has dried fully.
Try to avoid the usage of a hair dryer at all costs. The heat could permanently set the stain if it wasn’t completely removed after the initial round of spot cleaning.
How to Clean a Playpen: Deep-cleaning
Unfortunately, there are situations when a simple spot cleaning won’t do the trick. When a playpen develops a thick layer of grime or has simply seen a lot of use, it’s time to give it a thorough cleaning.
A bathtub or other large vessel that can accommodate the folded playpen is required for a thorough cleaning.
Check your playpen for any soiled areas and clean them up manually before you immerse it.
Then, pour some detergent into the hot water in your bathtub. In your bathtub, place the playpen’s mat first, then the folded playpen itself. Keep the playpen submerged as much as possible while opening the gate.
To avoid using store-bought detergent, you can make your own, as described above, or use a solution of vinegar and baking soda.
The playpen should be submerged for half an hour, flipped over, and submerged again for another half an hour.
The next stage in playpen maintenance is to give it a good swishing in the bathtub. You may let the wash water run through the cloth and pull away the filth without scrubbing the playpen.
After you’re done rinsing the playpen, you can get rid of the dirty water in the tub. Clear the mat and playpen of any debris by rinsing them in hot water.
The playpen may be cleaned with the help of a flexible shower head. Otherwise, you can make sure there is no trace of detergent left by filling your bathtub with clean water, agitating the playpen in it, and then letting the water run clear. Repetition is required until no more suds remain.
Playpen drying is the last stage.
Take the playpen outside and put it on a spotless, sunny surface if at all feasible. If that isn’t an option, choose a spot near a window where you can get some natural light.
Just make sure the surface stays exactly flat when drying your playpen. You can use the playpen’s side rails to dry the mat, but we recommend using a drying rack to prevent warping.
What Should I Look For in a Baby Playpen?
There are a few things you should look for in a baby playpen before making the investment. Please consider the following compiled list we have compiled to aid you in making your choice. The list of things you need to remember will grow.
Everyone doesn’t have infinite storage room, so a baby playpen that folds up is a terrific convenience. I would suggest getting one with this feature if you intend to keep it in the living room. This way, you may enjoy the area when it’s time to play, and then close it up again when it’s not. However, a playpen designed for a spacious playroom may never need to be disassembled and put away.
Really, though, it couldn’t be easier. More panels mean more ground can be covered. As needed, the playing area can be expanded or contracted by adding or removing panels. Therefore, if you value the ability to make adjustments after the fact, think about this before making a purchase.
Plastic, wood, mesh, and even steel are just few of the materials used to make playpens. The metal structure of the infant playpen with mesh panels ensures that it will last for quite some time. Think about if you want something for indoors, outside, or both when you shop for these. Plastic playpens will be easier to clean than those with mesh walls because the fabrics can be removed and washed.
As a parent, you probably don’t want to spend too much time disassembling and reassemblying the baby playpen each time you use it. You should pick something that can be folded up and put together quickly in case of emergency. As a parent, you know how precious time is.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Playpens
Children thrive on physical play and exploration. For their own protection, and to prevent them from getting into trouble, playpens are the perfect solution. I found out which ones were the greatest after doing research and reading about other parents’ experiences. Based on that research and my own observations with my own children, I have selected six playpens that may accommodate a variety of needs and budgets.
Our Top Picks for the Best Baby Playpens
#1: Fortella Cloud Castle Foldable Playpen (Best Overall)
The ease of assembly was a major factor in placing this item at the top of our list. Simply open the box and start using it. The fact alone makes it appealing to families. Lessening the demands on your time and stamina is like a weight being lifted off your shoulders. If you’re like me, you find it tedious to sit about and read directions while gathering a plethora of equipment and materials to assemble a single piece of furniture. When possible, I’d rather not have to take on extra duties. To find out why this portable device is our top pick, keep reading.
Easy to Put Away
It can be folded down to a mere 11 inches in width, making it easy to stow away practically anywhere. This simplifies things tremendously because it can be stored out of the way when it’s not in use. Folded, the device weighs around 36 pounds, making it manageable to carry.
Use Either Indoors or Out
It has nonslip pads built into the base, so you may use it indoors or out. That it folds up and transports conveniently is a fantastic feature. No matter where you chose to put it, it will keep your youngster secure. Furthermore, the bottom will not scratch your floor.
Handles that are built in
What characteristics allow something to be easily transported? Handles. The Fortella Cloud Castle’s panels have convenient carry handles for parents. Toss it in the trunk of your car, slide it under the bed, put it on a shelf, or transport it anywhere else with ease thanks to its lightweight and compact design.
Can you think of anything else this playground structure has to offer?
- Board and interactive display wall
- There are no rungs to grab onto when climbing.
- Constructing a simple and reliable safety gate
- BPA-free and made to food safety standards
- There are no points of sharpness.
- Conforms to the contours of the user’s body.
- The space it protects is 25 square feet in size.
- Cutouts to avoid arms getting caught
This is more expensive than some of the alternatives we offer. It’s the most expensive option we list at #3, but not by much. However, the above-mentioned flexibility and additional features make the investment worthwhile. Modify its form to make it suitable for the intended location. Your child’s imagination and motor skills can flourish with the aid of the integrated activity wall and whiteboard. As one might expect, this is especially important when one is young.
#2: Evenflo Versatile Play Space (Best Value)
This convertible playpen may be used both inside and outside, making it a strong contender for second place. This playard from Evenflo may be utilized indoors during a downpour or outdoors when the weather is nice. Although it is not as spacious as the Fortella at 18.5 square feet, it is a more economical choice and better suited to tighter quarters.
The Number of Panels Can Be Increased
When you buy it, you also get a handful of extra panels to make it even bigger. The baby playpen’s adjustable size increases its usefulness. This is something that can be useful if your outside space is larger than your internal space, or if the opposite is true. You may adjust it so that it fits the room perfectly. In what ways could this be improved?
Safe and sound inside and out
The hinge design makes assembly a breeze, and it comes with useful optional accessories that set it apart. Lawn stakes are included to keep it in place while the kids play outside. You can put your mind at ease knowing it won’t be bouncing about. There are pads you can use to protect your floor and keep the panels in place if you set it up inside your home.
Check out the other cool stuff the Evenflo Versatile Play Space has to offer!
- Panels with a 28-inch height
- The recommended age range is 6 months to 24 months.
- Compact and portable with a comfortable grip
- No tools required for assembly
- Resilient against the effects of ultraviolet light
- Shaped resembles a rounded hexagon
For both indoor and outdoor use, this is an excellent option. Adjusting the size of the play area by adding or removing panels is a novel feature. You’ll notice that the Evenflo is the only expandable playpen on our list. Being lightweight and simple to disassemble means that packing up and leaving your home is a breeze.
#3: Baby Care Fun Zone Playpen (Best for Large Areas)
We describe several different playpens, but this one is the largest and covers more than 30 square feet. This is a fantastic choice if your home features a dedicated playroom or other space for the kids to run around in. Although it may seem elementary, children really want the freedom to explore their environment. Just do it if you can. Even though it doesn’t have as many features as the Graco Playard, this playpen is still a great buy for your little one. If this is the best option, then why is it the best option? Let’s take it apart and see how it works.
Safer than ever before
It would be terrible if your infant or toddler were wounded while playing in the baby playpen. In case any of the panels are accidently touched, this enclosure is equipped with nonslip pads and place holders to keep it in place. The double-locking door is another safety feature that will help keep your child inside.
Panels that are Larger than Normal but Still Secure
All the panels on this massive playpen are double the standard size and made of strong metal. Your child’s arms or legs will not get caught in the slats. We all know that no matter what we say, our infants will insist on trying to accomplish this. So you can rest easy knowing they won’t get caught or gain enough traction to climb over the panels.
There are a few additional features that deserve attention.
- You can find a gym or play mat that precisely fits your space needs.
- Includes 4 color options
- Construction using only non-hazardous, chemical-free components.
- Simple, tool-free construction and disassembly
- Easily maintained
- In a square configuration
Although the huge playpen is the most expensive option we offer, it is well worth the cost if you have it in your budget. This is a fantastic purchase if you have more than one active child at home. It’s certain that they won’t get hurt, and they’ll be safe and sound inside.
#4: Babyseater Portable Playard Playpen (Best for Travel)
Babyseater designed this foldable playpen so that it may be taken almost everywhere with the baby. As a result of its lightweight construction, storing and transporting it is a breeze. It doesn’t take much to go somewhere else, whether it’s to see relatives or just to hang out in the backyard. Let’s have a look at the main advantages of this baby playpen.
This playpen is the only one on our list with a built-in floor, unlike the Graco Pack N Play which follows. The bottoms of the other ones are not closed. Baby will be protected from the hard ground or floor by the padding. The youngest infants who are just learning to pull themselves up and stand will benefit greatly from this. The peace of mind it gives anxious parents is greatly appreciated. In addition, it can withstand certain moisture.
With Detachable Lining
The lining is an additional perk of this playpen. As opposed to the others we’ve recommended, this one can be removed without any effort. As an added bonus, you can wash it in the washing machine. Babies drool a lot and have accidents occasionally. These items are designed for infants and toddlers who are still in the teething stage. You may rest easy knowing that their play area is always spotless and sanitary.
Here are a few more things that make this playground stand out.
- You can see your kid well through the mesh.
- The door has two locking mechanisms for further security.
- It folds with one hand
- Baggage service is provided.
- Weighing in at under 15 kilos, the weight limit is met.
This playground is ideal if you frequently travel with your family or just enjoy spending time away from home. Your child will have a place to play and run around in which they are completely safe. They need your independence wherever you are for optimal development. Because of its hexagonal design, it can be stored in virtually any room. You may rest easy knowing that your baby is safe in the play yard, and they will get plenty of use out of it.
#5: Graco Pack n Play Playard Reversible Seat and Changer LX (Best Playard)
The term “playard” is used to describe this type of playpen. This is so because of the numerous additional functions it offers. When I realized how much I like ours, I went out and got a second one. We had two copies, one at Grandma’s and one at home. They are so sturdy that they outlasted both of our children, and we were even able to pass one on to a relative. But why pick this particular playpen? Discussing why this is the best option for us is a good place to start.
What You See Is More Than a Playpen
Having a second diaper changing station in the house was a huge help. Due to its small footprint, we never had to store it away. Instead of bringing our baby back into the bedroom to be changed on the table, we kept ours in the living room and it was excellent for short emergency diaper changes. Immediately after use, dispose of the used diaper in the provided container.
You may quickly and easily take out the optional attachments and put your infant in there for some playtime. You can also put a sheet on top if you like, and there’s a pad at the bottom. Your kid can sleep there without fear. We were relieved to be able to leave our son to nap there undisturbed because children of his age tend to tire rapidly.
The Finest Infant Playards
It’s easy to transport the Graco Playard because of how light it is. The table may be folded down quickly and simply. You can roll it around the room without having to fold it up first. It can always be at your disposal. My favorite feature was the mobility ours provided. When our son wasn’t using it, we tucked all of his toys inside and pushed it to one side of the room. That’s a great example of something I really liked.
What other amenities does this playpen for infants have?
- Perfect for the time between having a newborn and having a toddler.
- Carrying compartments
- There is a special place for the youngest infants to play, in a newborn seat (also machine washable)
- Bag to transport items in
- A Bar for Playthings
- Airflow-enhancing mesh sides
- Simple to clean
This is a fantastic option for a kid-friendly playroom. It is reasonably priced relative to other playpen options. It’s a great place for your infant to play, but it’s also a lot more than that. Multifunctional baby goods are typically a huge bonus for busy parents.
These features distinguish it from our runner-up choice. On the other hand, if you’re willing to spend a little more, that one is fantastic as well. Continue reading to learn why we ranked Baby Care Fun Zone in second place!
#6: GrowthPic Baby Playpen (Best Low Cost)
This playpen is the ideal option for those on a tight budget, as it costs the least of the top options. Its dimensions are quite modest at 49 by 25.5 inches. However, there is still enough room for your infant to run around. If you’re in the market for a small and reasonably priced play area for your child, give this some serious thought. Let’s run through the main benefits of buying this item.
Towards the Interior Sloped Panels
The panels of the GrowthPic Playpen have an unusual inward tilt as a result of their design. This will ensure that the table won’t topple over. It is very common for infants to lean and push against the play area’s walls. This design ensures your child’s safety without taking up unnecessary room.
The GrowthPic has the smallest overall product weight on our list at at 6 lbs. A portable carrying case is included for portability. It’s lightweight and easy to transport from inside your home to the backyard.
What other reason might there be for include this item on the agenda?
- Your infant will not be able to escape thanks to the external zipper.
- assurance for a year
- Edges that are rounded off so as not to damage the floor
- Perfect for use both inside and outside
- Wire-mesh enclosures
- Fabric treated to repel water
This playpen is the greatest option if you want something that won’t break the bank (it costs less than $60), is easy to transport, and can be used both indoors and out. The price is the primary distinction between this product and our #5 best seller. The price of the GrowthPic is a little easier on the wallet. Although it is more affordable, the quality is not compromised, and your child will have a secure environment in which to play.
To clean a playpen is a simple task for a child. Use a mild detergent, and if you’re going to perform a thorough cleaning, see what the weather’s going to be like.
It makes sense to buy a high-quality playpen that you can either pass down to future generations or resell if you know how to keep it clean.