Baby playpens are great for keeping babies entertained in safety while parents work or relax; they also encourage infants to crawl and explore their surroundings safely. But finding the perfect product for your child’s size and age can be tricky, and there are many factors to consider, such as size, portability and interactive features. This article will cover everything you need to know when choosing the appropriate age to introduce your child to a playpen.
What’s in this guide
What is a Baby Playpen?
Generally speaking, they are small enclosures designed to give babies a safe, independent place to play while parents work or relax. They are usually portable and foldable for easy storage – and are available in different designs, colours and panel types, including fabric material, plastic, and wood. You can maximise the fun levels by adding toys or coloured balls to the play area.
At what age should you introduce your baby to a playpen?
Playpens are a safe space where an infant or young toddler can grow and develop, and ensuring you introduce your baby to their new play space at the appropriate time is vital for them to flourish. Every parent should keep in mind that babies should never be left unattended whilst in an independent play area, no matter their age.
It’s important to understand that wooden, plastic and fabric playpens are not suitable for newborn babies; when a baby is very young, they require lots of stimulation from parents. These products do not encourage this because they can limit face-to-face activities. Also, newborns do not have the mobility to explore the play area fully.
The perfect age to introduce your baby to their new playpen is six to eight months old. Their fine and gross motor skills and spatial awareness will have developed to a level whereby a secure play area can protect them and allow them to crawl and enjoy their newfound personal space.
At this age, your child can also support themselves while sitting, grab and play with toys and express their joy through laughter, allowing the whole family to benefit from the interactive fun these products offer.
At what age should you stop putting your child in a playpen?
Generally speaking, when your infant reaches the age of 18+ months old, you should assess if a playpen is still suitable. Here are a few signs that suggest it may be time to stop using a pen for your child:
- They can easily climb out of the enclosed play area.
- Your child shows signs of frustration or crying when you place them in the enclosure.
- They have reached a height of 87 centimetres.