What Is A Playpen? 7 Things To Consider When Buying A Playpen

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
26 min read

Additionally, playards and playpens can be used for napping and sharing a tiny bedroom, as well as for other uses.

Playards are mostly utilized by parents to provide their children with a place to sleep on the go. Small in size and collapsible, it’s great for sharing a room with your infant. Playpens are also great for naps during the day or for letting your child play independently while you go about your daily routines. There’s absolutely no doubt that parents need a playpen for their children!

To help you understand why you need a pack ‘n play playard, I’ll go over the various ways I used it with my children.

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

1. Napping

When it comes to napping, a playard is ideal. Suppose you’re at a friend’s house or your parent’s place for dinner, and your child has to take a sleep. In these situations, having a foldable pack ‘n play is a godsend.

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Having your kid nap in a peaceful section of the house is also something that many parents who have more than one child want to do. In the case of siblings who share a room, this is especially true. Your youngest child can rest peacefully while the room and its contents are open to others.

In addition, it teaches your child to sleep in different locations, a skill that will come in handy whether you’re planning a family vacation or a simple sleepover at grandma and grandpa’s.

2. Sharing room

It’s likely that you’ll be sleeping in the same room with your newborn for the first several weeks. It’s especially convenient for nighttime nursing because you won’t have to get out of bed and walk to another room to feed your baby.

However, if your bedroom is small, a playard is an excellent alternative.

A bassinet option is also available on some pack ‘n plays, allowing you to sleep with your baby on the same level as you. This function is very useful for nursing your kid at night without having to share a bed with them.

Because of this, it will be easier for your child to adjust to sleeping in his or her own room when the time comes.

It is also possible to share a room with siblings by using a playard, but this is less common. The playard is small enough to fit inside a child’s room, making it an ideal addition.

3. Playtime

Your child’s growth will benefit greatly if you allow him or her to play alone. As a result, a playpen is a great place for your youngster to spend time on their own (with your supervision).

He can comfortably roll and crawl about in the playpen without fear of hitting his head.

4. Do chore around the house

While you’re working on your to-do list, you can keep an eye on your child.

You can do your duties while your child plays with his toys in the playard. The playpen is a lifesaver when it comes to household chores like cooking and laundry.

5. Small break

When you need a little break, a playpen comes in handy. When the UPS guy knocks on the door, you get a phone call from your mother, another youngster needs your attention, or you simply need a bathroom break. Specifically,

Many times during a regular day, one or both of your hands-frees are required.

Sometimes, you just need a safe location where you can leave your child while you take a break and recharge your batteries.

6. Deck, patio and balcony

A playpen may be the best answer if you’re on the go and the area isn’t safe for your kid to crawl around in.

Yes, you could install a baby gate, but when you have guests walking up and down the stairs, chances are someone will forget to close the gate. This has the potential to lead to a serious accident.

It’s a wise decision to place the playard on the deck so that your baby may safely play with his toys.

7. Visting family and friends

When you have children, you don’t have to stay at home all the time. A playard is the perfect solution for taking a baby to see grandparents or other family members.

Having a youngster sleep in their own playard is reassuring when they are in a new area, in my opinion. Friends’ houses and parents’ houses were frequent locations where my playard was put to good use. There were even 2 packs ‘n plays that I stored at the grandparents place.

Additionally, our playard served as an extra bed for my buddies when they came to visit. In the guest room, I could simply set it up to accommodate parents with young children.

8. Hotels and Airbnb

A hotel or an Airbnb is almost always where you’ll be staying when you’re on vacation. Not every location, however, will provide a spare bed or cot for a child. When you’re on the go, a playard is the best option for a portable bed.

When traveling with children, this is an absolute must.

9. Beach trip

Relaxing on the beach while reading a book and sipping on a cold beverage sounds like a dream come true. Try doing the same thing with your infant in your arms, and see how it goes. For whatever reason, this isn’t working for you. In addition, my infant does not want to be held constantly. Both of them were continuously on the lookout for a way out. At this point, I understand how useful my playard was at the beach.

I put my infant in the playpen while I’m making lunch or taking care of my other child since it’s a safe environment. In addition, the playard was the perfect spot for my baby to snooze in the afternoon.

It’s as simple as finding an area with enough shade for the pack ‘n play. It could be a huge umbrella, a tent, or a three-person structure. Alternatively, a blanket can be placed on top. Just be cautious not to leave your kid out in the sun for too long. Alternatively, the play area turns into a mini oven.

10. Camping

Camping with a baby necessitates the use of a playpen. It’s not uncommon for us to go camping four or five times a year. Here are a few reasons why you should think about getting a playard for your child.

First and foremost, traveling in a tent or RV may be both terrifying and exhilarating. As a result, it’s possible that your kid will sleep better in his or her pack ‘n play because it’s more familiar. Having a young child alone in a tent, especially with all the bedding, blankets, clothing, and other camping gear, is not a good idea. While camping, the playard is the best location for your child to sleep.

It can also be used during the day as a safe play area for your child while you are making hamburgers or helping another youngster.

Make sure you acquire a mosquito net to cover the top of the playard if you take it outside the tent. Nothing is more heartbreaking than seeing a newborn cry in the middle of the night because of all the mosquito bites.

11. Picnic at the park

We enjoy having picnics in the park with our family and relaxing on a picnic blanket. As a result, it’s important to keep an eye on your baby when he or she sleeps.

A playard comes in handy when your baby feels like playing (or napping). An hour or two at the park may not be enough time to benefit from a playard, but if you plan to spend the entire day at the park, it is!

12. Improvise baby gate

Even if it’s not 100% secure, you have to be able to improvise from time to time. If you’re traveling with a young child and your Airbnb flat has a vast library filled with heavy volumes or a glass collection, you may want to reconsider your accommodations. You don’t want your child to climb the library or mess with the glass. By putting the playpen in front of it, you can avoid having to go to the emergency room or paying for broken furniture out of your own pocket.

In a non-fatal emergency, this is the last resort, as previously said. The playard cannot be used to secure a balcony or stairwell door. If you want to keep your Christmas tree or any other decorations safe, this is a perfectly appropriate alternative.

13. Safe storage

For the sake of argument, let us pretend your youngster is enthralled by the array of brightly wrapped presents that adorn the Christmas tree. The Christmas gift could be saved by hiding it in the baby’s playpen.

In addition to protecting your child from dangerous items, a playpen can also be utilized to keep them safe.

Choosing Safe Baby Products: Playpens

They are popular with parents since they know their children won’t be able to get out of the enclosed play spaces. Never leave a child unsupervised in a playpen, no matter how well-designed the playpen may be.

What Is A Playpen? All You Need To Know - Krostrade

What you need to look out for

  • If the playpen has a JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) certification, it signifies it passes the Consumer Products Safety Commission’s safety criteria. Check the label for this certification (CPSC).
  • The sides of the playpen should be at least 20 inches (51 centimeters) high, measured from the bottom of the playpen itself.
  • Because small buttons and fingernails can get caught in the mesh, the openings in the mesh should be no larger than 14 inch (0.6 centimeter). Maintaining the integrity of the mesh should be a top priority.
  • A maximum slat spacing of 2-3/8 inches (5.08 cm) should be used in a wooden playpen.
  • To avoid jarring your infant, look for padding on the rails’ tops.
  • Bottom of the playpen should have a 1-inch firm mattress or cushion.
  • If you want to lower one of the sides, be sure the locks that allow you to do so are out of reach of your child.
  • Make sure the playpen’s hinges and supports are well-protected.
  • When the top rails are raised to their regular position, a playpen’s locks automatically, so keep an eye out for that.
  • Examine the condition of the floor in a previously-used playpen.


  • You should never leave a baby in an open-sided mesh playpen. The mesh side of the floorboard could imprison the baby. Only one mattress should be used due to the risk of suffocation.
  • No bedding or pillows should ever be used in the playpen.
  • The mattress or padding in the playpen should never be replaced because it may not fit the playpen correctly.
  • All padded sections should be checked routinely for tears and repaired if necessary.
  • Make sure you go through the safety regulations with any babysitters or other caretakers to ensure they are properly setting up the playpen.
  • It’s best for your baby to sleep on his or her back at all times.
  • Avoid placing the playpen near a window. The cords on curtains and blinds can suffocate the child.
  • In the event that you have a baby, don’t utilize an old playpen that has a wide diamond-shaped entrance since a newborn’s head could get trapped inside.
  • Toys should never be hung from the playpen’s sides.
  • When your child can readily climb out of the playpen — when he or she reaches 34 inches (86 centimeters) in height or weighs 30 pounds — you should stop utilizing the playpen (14 kilograms).

7 Things To Consider When Buying A Playpen

Playpens come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can pick and select from a variety of options when using them. While you are occupied with other tasks, let your baby play safely in a playpen. They’re available in a wide range of styles and measurements. You can select a playpen model based on the size of your apartment and how often you plan to use the playpen outside. A few playpens have bassinet inserts that make it easy for the infant to take a nap after playtime.

Tips for buying a playpen

1. Duration of use

Buy a playpen after considering how long you’ll use it. Some types of playpens are weatherproof, so you can use them outside or when traveling through all four seasons. A playpen can be used to provide an enclosed area where the infant can play safely. Once your child is a toddler, you may have to cease utilizing the playpen.

2. Weight and height of the baby

It’s possible to find playpens in a number of styles. You can select a playpen based on the baby’s weight. It is possible to get a playpen that only has a wall, or one that has a floor. Make sure to select a playpen that is appropriate for the child’s weight. Compared to other playpen designs, the weight limit on a playpen that comes with flooring is lower, so it can be utilized as a baby grows into a toddler. A playpen should be taller than the baby’s height. The greatest type of playpen is one with vertical bars, so that the baby may stand up and play with the help of the playpen.

3. Material used for the playpen

When shopping for a playpen, it’s critical to consider how long it will last. Some individuals are also concerned with the playpen’s aesthetics, especially if it will be placed in their home. The most popular type of playpen purchased for a youngster is a wooden one. Because it’s made from natural ingredients, there’s no risk to your health. Additionally, you have the option of choosing between metal and fabric playpens.

4. Dimensions of the playpen

Many different types of playpens are available. The most popular and most frequently purchased playpen model is rectangular in shape. It is possible to select between playpens with hexagonal and octogonal shapes. Keep in mind that no matter what the size of the playpen you choose, make sure it has a lot of ventilation and takes up minimal storage space.

5. Detachable items

A playpen that includes a canopy, a detachable lid, and wheels is easy to transport and portable. You can keep your infant safe from the elements by bringing a canopy-covered playpen outside. The detachable lid of a playpen ensures that the baby is safe and secure inside the playpen. A playpen with wheels makes moving it around a breeze; look for one with this feature while shopping.

6. Easy in cleaning

Cleaning a playpen shouldn’t be a hassle. The immune system of a baby is boosted and protected by a playpen that is easy to clean. Cleanliness of the playpen is critical to preventing the spread of germs to the infant. Children have the tendency to put objects into their mouths. There is no risk to their health if they lick the easy-to-clean playpen. Pick playpen models and designs that are simple to clean. Complex playpen models are tough to clean due to dust collecting hard-to-reach spots.

7. Other features to look for in a playpen

A playpen with additional amenities such as music, toy storage, a bassinet attachment, changing table, and rocking attachment is an excellent choice for parents with a limited budget because it provides both safety and amusement for the baby. The cost of playpens isn’t prohibitive. Depending on your financial situation, you can select a playpen with a wide range of options. Some playpens have flooring, napper changers, and playards and playpens that are combined.

7 Best Baby Play Pens for Safe Fun (2022 Reviews)

Choosing the correct playpen for your infant is one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make. As a safe location to place your baby, a spacious play area, or even a travel crib, a baby playpen may serve many purposes. Baby playpens that we think are outstanding are detailed in the following section.

1.Graco Pack N Play

(Best budget — $$)

As a reminder, if your baby weighs less than 15 pounds and can’t push itself up on their hands or knees, the bassinet function isn’t for you! It’s fantastic for a number of reasons: Versatility is the name of the game when it comes to this Graco Playpen. It’s not only inexpensive, but it can also serve as a portable crib or bassinet, as well as a little play space for your youngster. As an option, the playpen can be converted into a regular playpen for older babies by removing the bassinet connection and moving the mattress pad down to its lower position.

Benefits families that want to make the most of their playpen’s limited budget.

2.SASRL Baby Playpen

(Best for play time — $$$)

Keep in mind that due to its size, this playpen may not be suitable for transport. Your infant or toddler will have a blast playing in it at home. It’s fantastic for a number of reasons: All babies will love the SASRL Baby Playpen. This comfortable, roomy, and robust playpen is perfect for your little one. A ball pit is even included with the purchase of this model. This item is well worth the money because it will be put to good use for a long time by newborns and toddlers of all ages. Each of the mesh side panels is constructed of environmentally friendly natural material that can be closed to keep your baby contained or opened to allow them in and out of the enclosure as they want.

Suitable for: Large spaces and active children.

3.Regalo My Portable Play Yard

(Easiest to set up — $$)

Keep in mind that this playpen is only advised for kids between the ages of 6 and 24 months, therefore it won’t be useful for babies younger than this age group. It’s fantastic for a number of reasons: The Regalo Portable Play Yard is a convenient playpen to carry with you wherever you go. It unfolds and sets up in seconds. The accompanying carrying case makes this playpen easy to toss over your shoulder (even if you’re carrying a baby on your hip) as a portable, lightweight choice. The water-resistant material of this playpen allows it to be set up both indoors and outside. Simply unfold the playpen and click it into position, and you’re ready to use it!

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Beneficial to infants above the age of one year.

4.Toddleroo 8 Panel Play Yard

(Most spacious — $$$)

Remember: Because of its extra-large dimensions, this playpen works best in areas with lots of natural light, such as the living room or backyard. Because of this, it may not work well in a smaller or more confined home. It’s fantastic for a number of reasons: Assists in providing your child with a large, secure play area in which to develop their motor skills. The 34.4 square feet of play space provided by this gated play area may be set up in almost any location. You may customize the size of the play yard to best match your area with the option to set it up as an 8- or 6-panel play yard. This playpen is convenient to carry anywhere thanks to the accompanying strap, and it’s secure for your child thanks to the robust features like skid-resistant pads.

Multiple children and toddlers are the ideal audience for this product.

5.Fisher Price On the Go Baby Dome

(Most travel friendly — $)

Keep in mind that this portable playpen is intended for infants between the ages of 0 and 5 months, so it isn’t appropriate for children older than that. It’s fantastic for a number of reasons: The Fisher-Price On-the-Go Baby Dome is a must-have for new parents on the go. This compact, portable, play area may be set up anywhere and can even be used as a safe place to slumber. Sensory play is aided by the hanging toys that come with the set. Traveling with a baby has never been easier thanks to the portability of this playpen. Outside, you and your baby may enjoy some fresh air together, thanks to a protective cover that shields your child from the sun and mosquitoes.

Younger babies that are constantly on the run.

6.Albott 14 Panel Play Yard

(Most sturdy — $$$)

As a result, you’ll need to either set up the playpen on a soft carpeted area for your kid or buy a separate play mat to place underneath it. It’s fantastic for a number of reasons: The Albott 14-Panel Play Yard may be set up in a variety of ways, which is one of its most distinctive features. A square, circular, hexagon, or any other shape that works for your room will keep the attention of the little ones. As a result of the suction cup feature, the pieces of this playpen are firmly held in place. When not in use, it can be folded down to a small enough size to be stored easily.

Sizeable and small areas are also suitable for this product.

7.Hiccapop PlayPod

(Best for outdoor use — $$)

Make sure to keep in mind that this playpen is ideal for toddlers and babies to play in, but it doesn’t have as much room as some other playpens. You can take it with you when you travel and utilize it in smaller dwellings. It’s fantastic for a number of reasons: The Hiccapop PlayPod is the perfect outdoor playpen for your baby or toddler, thanks to its machine-washable cover and waterproof fabric. With a fabric that is both sturdy and easy to clean, you won’t have to worry about it getting damaged or soiled. For larger youngsters who prefer to crawl in and out of the playpen, this one features two huge doors. Additionally, the anti-slip feet allow this playpen to be used indoors.

FAQs about Baby Playpens

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

You don’t have to do anything as a parent. It’s also a good idea to have a playpen for your infant. Having a playpen on hand is a good idea since it provides a safe place for you to leave your baby while you go about your day. Playpens can be used for a variety of purposes, and some alternatives can last for years.

2.How much do baby playpens cost?

The price of a baby playpen varies widely, so it all relies on the one you choose for your child. To begin with, playpens are available for from $70 to $100, with some going up to $200 or even $300. Yes, it’s feasible to save money without compromising quality.

3.Are playpens good for babies?

You and your infant will both benefit from some alone time, and having a safe location to put your child down is essential. While it is possible to leave your infant in a playpen alone for long periods of time, we do not suggest doing so. In circumstances where you need to leave your child alone for a short period of time, such as taking care of a pet or another child, playpens are an excellent solution..

4.Which baby playpens are the best?

Choosing the greatest baby playpen is a personal choice based on your family’s specific requirements. In the market for a playpen that can double as a travel crib, the Graco Pack N Play might be the best option for you. In contrast, the Albott 14-Panel Play Yard may be a better option if you’re seeking for something with more inside space for your own home.

5.Are baby playpens washable?

It’s a personal preference, however there is a technique to clean most baby playpens, depending on the model you select. Fabric options with removable coverings that may be washed in the washing machine are available. To clean the baby gate-style plastic playpens, simply use a damp cloth and your preferred cleaning agent. Seek out the user manual for your child’s playpen for more cleaning suggestions.

6.Are baby playpens useful for travel?

Yes! Traveling with a baby playpen is one of the finest reasons to acquire one. In order to ensure that your baby is secure when staying in a hotel, carry along a safe, easy-to-set-up playpen. It may also be used as a travel crib.


In the end, there are a wide variety of high-quality and reasonably priced baby playpens available. The ideal solution for your family’s specific needs is out there, even if making a decision might be challenging when there are so many great ones to pick from. Consider how you intend to utilize your baby playpen, the ages of your children, and your budget before making a purchase.

A nice playpen is a need for any household. There will be times when you need to leave your infant unattended, and having a secure space where you can leave them will allow you to do so with confidence.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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