What Can You Put In Playpen Ideas

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
23 min read

Playards and playpens serve these functions in addition to their more common use as a portable bed for children during naps or when sharing a small bedroom.

Families typically use playards as a substitute for a regular bed for their infant or young child. Its compact design and folding option make it perfect for your baby’s first bedroom. In addition to being useful for naps and independent playtime during the day while you get things done around the house, every playpen has this feature. There’s no question why households require a playpen.

What is a playpen?

A playpen is a portable, small enclosure with bars or a net on the walls and an opening at the top where a baby or child can play and be distracted while their parents are busy.

Most playpens are made out of wood furniture for portability and flexibility in placement.

In addition, its light weight, malleability in design, and security make wood a popular choice.

Pin on Playpen

It’s a place where a kid can go to get away from the technology of the outside world and use his or her imagination in safety.

A playpen is not the same thing as a crib because a playpen is typically made of lighter material and can be moved around more easily.

Various ages that are suitable for playpen;

  1. A playpen should be introduced to a baby between the ages of four and six months, with the latter being the preferred age. The baby may feel unsafe in an enclosed space, which could cause anxiety in the event of a later introduction.
  2. Between the ages of six and eight months, a baby is developing some important skills, and the safety and comfort of a playpen make it the perfect environment in which to learn and grow. New toys should be introduced while they are in it so that they can learn to pull themselves up to a standing or sitting position by reaching for the toys.
  3. Eight to ten months; the baby can sit up or crawl at this point. It may seem as though confining them will curb their sense of adventure. They need room to roam, and a playpen isn’t necessarily the best choice for that.

Several Alternative Playpen Uses

  • Napping

A playpen is useful for nap time for a young child.

The benefit here is that a kid can learn to sleep anywhere and not just in his or her bed.

  • Playtime

There will be times when your child wants to play on his or her own, and that’s when it’s helpful to have a playpen stocked with toys.

  • Travel

A playpen is useful on the go because it reduces the strain on your arms from holding the baby the whole time.

While the baby is having fun or napping in the playpen, the parent is free to attend to other matters.

In situations where space is at a premium, playpens can “double” as a bed so that both parents can get some rest.

To protect children from potential harm or contamination (infections) from pets, a playpen should be used in areas of the home with exposed electrical cables or outlets and in areas where pets are kept.

The baby’s weight is just one of many considerations that must be made prior to the purchase or acquisition of a playpen.

It is important to select a playpen that won’t give way under the baby’s weight while he or she is inside.

The newborn’s weight is another factor to consider.

A playpen for a baby or toddler should be roomy enough so that they can move around and play without feeling confined.

The playpen needs to be lightweight and simple to set up and take down.

The playpen should be easy to fold up or hang up when not in use.

Playpen size considerations should also take into account the dimensions of the designated enclosure.

If one’s home is already cramped, there’s no point in buying a huge playpen that nobody can move around in.

You should also make sure that the playpen has all the features you need, such as wheels for easy transport, a place to store the baby’s necessities, and a place to stack diapers.

If you want to rock a baby to sleep, a rocking attachment is a great addition to a stroller.

Since a playpen isn’t intended for long-term use, it’s important to think about cost when shopping for one.

There are some different types of playpens

1) Standard playpen

To facilitate interaction between the child and its supervisor, this indoor play structure features a raised floor and open sides.

2) Playpens Gates

Some playpens are designed without floors so they can be placed on a lawn or in a corner of a home and are referred to as playpens gates.

It’s roomier, but useless for transportation.

3) Travel playpens

These can fold up into a smaller, more portable form.

They are commonly used for napping infants in transit.

Above six months, when the baby begins to crawl, is the ideal time to introduce a playpen.

If you want your baby to feel comfortable and free to move around, it’s best to get one before it begins to crawl.

If a playpen has holes, is dirty, or is otherwise damaged, don’t use it.

To prevent injuries, don’t hang anything from the ceiling that a baby could grab and use to hurt themselves.

Playpen has its pros and cons;


It provides a secure environment where a child can stay when an adult is not present.

It frees up the parent’s or guardian’s schedule so that they can get everything done around the house without interruptions.

The playpen can also serve as a sleeping area for the child when it gets too tired to continue playing.

The playpen has walls that help the baby learn to sit because the baby’s back is supported.

As a result of being able to walk with the aid of the hand-holds, a baby can learn to walk at an early age.


Parents or guardians who leave their babies in playpens for extended periods of time may become emotionally distant from them, leading the babies to feel neglected.

Some worry that keeping a child confined in a playpen for too long will stunt their physical growth, but this is an issue that has yet to be proven.

What Are Playpens Used for, and is It Really Helpful?

1. Napping

Nap time in a playard is ideal. Let’s say you and your baby or toddler need to take a nap while you’re at a friend’s house for the day or at your parents’ house for dinner. A foldable crib or bassinet would be ideal here.

In addition, many parents who have more than one child favor a quiet space for their infant to nap. This is especially true for siblings who must share a room. The youngest can nap while the others play with the toys.

In addition, it teaches your child to fall asleep in unfamiliar environments, which is useful whether you’re planning a trip or a simple sleepover.

9 DIY Playpen Projects - How To Build A Playpen

2. Sharing room

After giving birth, you and your partner will likely share a bedroom for a while. It’s helpful for nighttime feedings because it prevents you from having to get out of bed and move around the house.

But if your bedroom is already crowded, a playard is the perfect solution.

In addition, some variations of the pack ‘n play include a bassinet that can be adjusted to the same height as your bed. If you want to keep your baby close while you sleep, but don’t want to bother with co-sleeping, this is a great option.

In addition, having your child sleep in the same playard as you can help ease the transition to a separate bedroom.

However, a playard can also be used when siblings must share a room. The playard’s compact design makes it ideal for a nursery.

3. Playtime

Your child needs time to play independently to thrive. Therefore, the playpen is a great place for your kid to play independently (while still being under your watchful eye).

He can safely explore his environment by rolling and crawling inside the playpen.

4. Do chore around the house

There is no need to choose between your child and getting things done.

The playard will keep your child occupied with his toys while you get things done around the house. The playpen is an invaluable aid in the kitchen or at the laundry machine.

5. Small break

When you need a quick break, a playpen can keep your child safe and occupied. Especially when the UPS man comes knocking, Mom calls, another kid needs your attention, or you just have to go to the bathroom.

Many times throughout a typical day call for the use of both hands-free devices.

There are times when you need a secure place to leave your child so you can take a breather.

6. Deck, patio and balcony

A playpen can come in handy when you’re away from home and it’s not a good idea to let baby crawl around and explore.

Sure, you could put up a baby gate, but imagine having to remind your guests to close it every time they use the stairs. A catastrophic mishap might occur as a result of this.

Therefore, it is prudent to place the playard on the deck and supervise your baby’s playtime activities to ensure his safety.

7. Visting family and friends

Having kids isn’t an excuse to stay inside all day. As a result, bringing a playard along on visits with loved ones is the best option.

As a parent, I know how difficult it can be to get a child to fall asleep in a strange bed, so the requirement that they use their own playard has always been a relief. Whenever I went to a friend’s house for dinner or spent the night, my playard went with me. I even went out and bought a second pack ‘n play, which I kept at my parents’ house.

Also, when I have visitors over, I use our playard as an extra bed for kids. I could easily put it together in the guest room for parents traveling with a young child.

8. Hotels and Airbnb

You probably will stay in a hotel or an Airbnb while on vacation. However, not all accommodations will have a spare crib or toddler bed available. At this point, a playard can serve admirably as a makeshift bed on the go.

Essential for families taking a trip together.

9. Beach trip

Think about how nice it would be to spend some time at the beach, reading a good book and sipping a refreshing beverage. Now, give it a shot while holding your newborn! Maybe it’s working for you, but it’s not for me. Furthermore, my infant most certainly does not prefer to be held continuously. They’ve always shared a common desire to bolt at the first available moment. Now I know that my playard served a useful purpose on the beach as well.

I can leave my infant in the playpen while I make lunch or tend to my other child. The playard was also perfect for the afternoon nap that my infant required.

You need only look for a patch of shade large enough to accommodate the pack ‘n play. A large umbrella, tent, or all three are all possibilities. A blanket would work just as well as an alternative. Make sure your infant doesn’t spend too much time in direct sunlight. If not, the playard will turn into a miniature oven.

10. Camping

In my opinion, bringing a playard camping with a baby is a must. We try out different camping arrangements four or five times a year. Time and again, the playard has proven its worth, and now I’ll tell you why you should give it some thought, too.

To begin, camping in a tent or recreational vehicle can be both nerve-wracking and exhilarating. Therefore, the pack ‘n play may help your baby feel more at ease while sleeping. A young infant should not be left unattended in a tent with all the bedding, clothing, and other camping gear inside. The playard is the most secure sleeping arrangement for your child while you’re out in the wilderness.

You can also put your child in the playard during the day while you make hamburgers or assist another child.

Just make sure to cover the top of the playard with a mosquito net if you decide to use it outside the tent. A baby’s nighttime cries due to mosquito bites are the most heartbreaking sound imaginable.

11. Picnic at the park

Taking a blanket to the park and enjoying some snacks as a family is one of our favorite things to do. Babies, on the other hand, are naturally curious and will quickly learn to free themselves from the blanket.

A playard is useful for when your baby wants to play (or sleep). A playard is not necessary for a short visit to the park, but it can be very useful for an entire afternoon!

12. Improvise baby gate

Although this is probably not the safest option, sometimes you have to make do. Let’s say you’re renting an Airbnb with your toddler in tow and you notice that the place is filled with heavy books and a collection of glass. Your little explorer should not be allowed to climb the bookshelves or mess with the glass shelves. Placing the playpen in front of it may prevent an emergency room visit or costly furniture repairs.

But, as I’ve already mentioned, this is the absolute last resort in a life-threatening situation. The playard is not suitable for locking a balcony door or stairway. Even so, it’s a perfectly reasonable way to safeguard the Christmas tree or any other ornaments.

13. Safe storage

Keeping with the holiday spirit, picture your young child gazing in awe at all the brightly wrapped presents under the tree. The Christmas present could be hidden inside the playard as a quick fix to maintain the element of surprise.

Use a playpen to keep dangerous items out of your child’s reach.

Best Baby Play Pens

1.Graco Pack N Play

Baby must weigh less than 15 pounds and not be able to push up on hands and knees for the bassinet feature to be used. And here’s why: The adaptability of this Graco playpen is obvious. It can serve as a small playpen for your baby, a portable crib or bassinet, and it won’t break the bank. The mattress pad can be placed higher thanks to the bassinet attachment; however, if the attachment is removed, the pad can be placed lower, making the playpen more like a conventional one suitable for older infants.

Perfect for low-income families who need to stretch their playpen’s dollar.

2.YOBEST Baby Playpen

The YOBEST Baby Playpen has everything a young child could want in a playpen and more. This playpen is large, sturdy, and filled with soft padding. The plastic balls needed to make it into a ball pit are included. You can expect to get a lot of use out of this item because it serves as a safe and enjoyable play area for infants and toddlers of varying ages. You can either keep your baby contained by closing the zipper doors in the mesh side panels, which are crafted from all-natural, eco-friendly materials, or open them to let your baby come and go as they please.

Keep in mind that this playpen is on the bulkier side, so it might not be the best choice for taking on the road. Your infant or toddler will benefit greatly from playing in one of these at home.

Ideal for large rooms and active infants.

3.Regalo My Portable Play Yard

Why it’s so awesome: The Regalo Portable Play Yard is a convenient and portable playpen that can be set up in a matter of seconds. The included carrying case makes this playpen so lightweight and portable that you can easily toss it over your shoulder (even with a baby on your hip!) This playpen is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, thanks to its weatherproof construction. This playpen requires no assembly beyond unfolding and clicking into place, as all of its parts are already attached.

Keep in mind that this playpen is not appropriate for infants under the age of six months and does not last longer than twenty-four months.

Toddlers and older infants can benefit from this.

4.Toddleroo 8 Panel Play Yard

Why it’s so awesome: The Toddleroo 8 Panel Play Yard is a great way to give your baby a roomy, secure place to play. This enclosed playground is 34.4 square feet in size and can be installed almost anywhere. You can customize the size to fit your needs by choosing between an 8-panel or 6-panel configuration for the play yard. This playpen is portable thanks to its carrying strap, and it also features a sturdy construction and skid-resistant pads to ensure the safety of your child.

Keep in mind that this playpen’s large dimensions make it well-suited for placement in open areas like the living room or backyard. But if you have a compact apartment or house, it might not work out.

Fits: families with multiple young kids or toddlers.

5.Fisher Price On the Go Baby Dome

And here’s why: For parents with infants, nothing beats the Fisher-Price On-the-Go Baby Dome. This small, lightweight playpen can be set up anywhere and doubles as a sheltered spot for a quick nap. The hanging toys are great for sensory development. You can take your child with you wherever you go with this portable playpen. Put it outside so you can both enjoy some sunshine and fresh air; it comes with a canopy to protect your child from the elements.

Keep in mind that this portable playpen is intended for infants aged 0 to 5 months, so it is not a good option for older infants or toddlers.

Useful for active infants of a younger age.

6.Albott 14 Panel Play Yard

Why it’s so awesome: The versatility of the Albott 14-Panel Play Yard is one of its defining characteristics. Make it into a square, circle, hexagon, or any other shape that will fit in your room to keep the kids interested. This playpen is sturdy and secure because of the suction cup feature that helps the pieces lock into place. It’s pretty compact when folded up, so it’s not a hassle to store when it’s not in use.

This playpen does not come with a mat or pad, so make sure to place it on a carpeted surface or invest in a separate mat to use with your child.

Larger spaces and infants of all ages can benefit from this.

7.Hiccapop PlayPod

The Hiccapop PlayPod is a fantastic outdoor playpen for your baby or toddler because of its machine-washable cover and waterproof fabric. The fabric is tough and simple to clean, so you can use it without fear of wear and tear or soiled appearance. The playpen’s open layout and two large doors make it suitable for older children who prefer to walk or run in and out, rather than crawl. This playpen is great for both indoor and outdoor use thanks to its nonslip feet.

Keep in mind that this playpen, while great for babies and toddlers, isn’t as roomy as some other options, measuring only about 4.5 feet when set up. It’s a wonderful choice for traveling parents or those with limited space at home.

Useful for: Contained settings.

FAQs about Baby Playpens

1.Do I need to get a playpen for my baby?

There is no hard and fast rule about what a parent must do. However, a playpen is something that should be owned by every parent. Playpens are helpful to have on hand because they provide a secure area to leave your child in while you go do something else. Many playpens can be used for more than one thing, and you can find models that will grow with your child.

2.How much do baby playpens cost?

The cost of a baby playpen will vary greatly depending on the type of playpen you buy. Playpens can range in price from $70 to $100, with more expensive options reaching up to $200 to $300. It is possible to find a cost-effective solution that does not compromise on quality.

3.Are playpens good for babies?

It’s great to give mom and dad a break, and having a secure place to put the baby down so you can do so is a must. However, confinement for extended periods of time or when the baby is unattended is not something we advise. To keep your child safe while you attend to other children or pets, or to get something done around the house, a playpen is a great investment.

4.Which baby playpens are the best?

Your baby’s playpen needs will determine which one is the best. You might want to get something like the Graco Pack N Play if you’re in the market for a portable playpen that doubles as a crib when you’re on the go. In contrast, the Albott 14-Panel Play Yard is a good option if you need a larger play area at home.


5.Are baby playpens washable?

Again, the answer to this question will vary depending on the specific playpen in question, but in general, most baby playpens can be cleaned in some fashion. The covers can be removed and washed in the machine for some of the fabrics. You can use your preferred cleaning products on the plastic baby gate-style playpens. For detailed instructions on how to clean your baby’s playpen, please refer to the manual.

6.Are baby playpens useful for travel?

Yes! Having a portable baby playpen is a great convenience to have when visiting relatives or visiting new places. Hotels are not designed with babies in mind, so it is important to bring your own baby travel crib or playpen to ensure your child’s safety.


The market is flooded with baby playpens that meet all three criteria (good quality, reasonable price, and practical application). It’s true that picking the best option for your family’s specific requirements can be challenging, but there are many wonderful choices to consider. Think about the ages of your children, the size of your budget, and how you intend to use the baby playpen before making a purchase.

A safe and sturdy playpen is an essential item for any household. You may want to hold your baby constantly, but there will come a time when you need to put them down; in these cases, a secure, enclosed space will give you peace of mind.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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