They say it takes a village to raise a child. You know what else it takes to raise a child? A good playpen, that’s what. A playpen keeps your child safe and occupied for at least a few hours, giving you time to do your job, get your hands on other chores, or have your well-deserved rest. Keep reading to find the best baby playpen for you and your baby.
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Best Baby Playpen for 2023 Review: Key Features, Pros, and Cons
You might not believe it but there’s a full discourse surrounding the use of a baby playpen. You may want to hear the key points being brought about on each side of the argument. Either way, if you’re doing 100 other things on top of watching your baby, a playpen will be a must-have — at least around the house.
There are things you need to check before buying one. We’ll tell you about those top considerations later. For now, here are our top 7 product recommendations. Scroll further down for an account about what we liked best and least with each one.
|Steel, Polyester, Plastic
|41” x 30” x 29”
|Hint of Mint
|46” x 21” x 26”
|28” x 40” x 32”
|40” x 40” x 31”
|Padded fabric, Industrial Grade Hardware
|31” x 10” x 10”
|75” x 63” x 27”
|39” x 28” x 30”
1. Baby Trend Nursery Center
Our baby loved this product! The bassinet was so soft that the day we got it for him, he just immediately fell asleep on it. He also loved the electronic music and the vibrations, but unfortunately, this product consumes batteries so fast, that the music and the vibrations stopped after around just two or three days. The Baby Trend Nursery Center is the best baby playpen overall because of its low price and the number of features it comes with.
2. Guava Family Lotus Baby Safe Travel Crib
At first, we were skeptical about getting this playpen because it’s actually a bit pricier than most. However, since it actually folds into a portable backpack, we’ve experienced very little hassle bringing it with us whenever we go on extended vacations.
Our son loves it a lot, mainly because of the side door. He likes pretending that he’s a king and that the side door is the gate to his “castle”. The mattress is also very thick and comfortable. For the quality of the product, and the number of features that come with it, I would gladly say that it’s worth the extra money.
3. Baby Trend Tanzania Baby Center
This playpen is really cute. There are colorful animals everywhere, and a toy mobile at the top. Aside from that, it’s also very sturdy and strong. The feet include lockable wheels that help you move it around the house. If you plan on bringing it with you during your travels, it also comes with a travel bag.
It’s much heavier than the Guava Family Lotus Baby Safe Travel Crib. We got into trouble setting it up and collapsing it back the first time. But a little bit of practice goes a long way!
4. Joovy Portable Playpen — Best for Infants
This playpen is really huge! It has so much space that you can probably fit two babies inside. However, this means that it’s also very heavy, and it’s really hard to move even with the wheels. It’s covered in fabric and mesh instead of bars, which help secure your baby. The bottom sheet is also waterproof in case your baby decides to pee or makes a mess of his liquids on it.
5. Hiccapop Outdoor Baby Playpen – Best for Outdoors
Hang out in the backyard with the Hiccapop Outdoor Baby Playpen. You don’t have to worry about your baby being exposed to the hot sun since it comes with a canopy that you can put above it.
Everything that comes with it — the roof, walls, and floor are all padded for your baby’s ultimate safety and comfort. It’s definitely the best baby playpen for outdoor use that we’ve ever tried. You can also bring it with you on your travels since it comes with a duffel bag to carry it in.
6. Angelbliss Extra Large Play Yard — Best for Playdates
It’s very large and contains a lot of space for toys and other things. Tiny friends and equally little, naughty siblings can fit in just as well. It’s high enough so that your baby can’t get out and stay safe inside. Even when your baby starts to stand or walk, you can have peace of mind. It’s also surrounded by oxford material that’s very easy to clean.
7. Lil Snooze Deluxe Nursery — Best Infant to Toddler
If you’re looking for quality to last for years, this one is it. This playpen is designed to house your baby from infant up to two years and beyond. We love that it comes with a diaper change station and a bassinet. Both of which are detachable. Simply take your baby outdoors to catch some morning sun in her bassinet. When your little one starts sitting up, you can just put her inside where she can play and practice standing up and walking around.
Best Baby Playpen: Top Tips to Shop & Buying Guide
So, okay, the question that’s you’re probably asking inside your head right now is, “what is the best baby playpen?” Instead of giving you just one, why give you 7? It can get absolutely confusing out there, most especially for a first-time mum or dad. But, the best product is really the one that best suits your needs and that of your baby.
However, there are a handful of product features you need to check out first before you buy. Here’s a short shopping guide we put together for you.
Whether you choose to get a playpen that stays in the house full time or one that you can travel with, weight is one of the most important factors when choosing a playpen for your baby. If you like traveling a lot, it’s better to get one of the lighter and more portable playpens available in the market.
If you plan to use the playpen at home, you can get some of the heavier ones. Just make sure that you won’t have a hard time when trying to move it somewhere nice your baby can play in, like the living room or the backyard. You do need to check the space where you’re planning to set up your baby’s playpen too. Pick up that tape measure if necessary.
This goes hand-in-hand with weight. If you plan on traveling with your baby, portability is one of the biggest factors you should consider. The Hiccapop Outdoor Baby Playpen is a foldable playpen that you can fold into an easy-to-carry duffel bag. It gives both you, and your back, a huge breather.
Whatever type of playpen for traveling you choose to get, make sure that it’s portable. Imagine trying to get a playpen as big as a zoo cage through immigration. Or fitting it into your car (not truck). Nightmare! And, even if you’re only planning to use it at home, you’ll need to clean up your baby’s space regularly so you will still need to move it or fold it up every once in a while.
Since we are talking about babies, you should definitely check what material the product you’re eyeing is made of. You wouldn’t want your kid to accidentally bonk his or her head on a metal frame. So, make sure that the playpen you plan on getting has sufficient padding. Make sure to also get a playpen that is free from toxic materials. The Lotus Baby Safe Travel Crib is BPA free, Lead-free, and Phthalate free.
You wouldn’t want to buy a playpen that your child can easily just toss around, would you? That’s why it’s really important for you to consider the durability of your playpen. After all, you probably want your playpen to last for years. If that playpen can survive your first child and still be good enough to be used by your next baby then that’s not bad at all! That would give you the best value for your money.
Don’t buy something that breaks after two weeks with your little troublemaker. The Baby Trend Nursery Center is made with a mix of Polyester, Plastic, and Steel materials, making sure that your kid would have a very hard time trying to break the thing.
Age of your baby
Another important factor to consider when getting a playpen is how old your baby is. Is your baby an infant? Does your baby sit up, stand, or walk already? Choosing the age-appropriate playpen will certainly determine your baby’s safety. After all, that must be the top reason why you’re shopping for a playpen in the first place.
You want to make sure your baby will stay secure inside. Bigger babies can crawl out of their playpens and that can be risky. The Joovy Portable Playpen comes with deep floors and high bars. It will be harder even for bigger babies to climb over — unless your kid is the baby from The Incredibles, that is.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the difference between a playpen and a crib?
A crib is like a baby’s bed, but with bars on the sides to prevent the baby from falling over or walking around the house in the middle of the night. A playpen is a portable play area that is also enclosed to ensure that your baby can play safely.
The main thing that differentiates a crib from a playpen is the intended purpose. The crib is designed to be slept in, while a playpen is designed to be played in by a baby. That doesn’t make the playpen off-limits for napping. When your baby is sleepy, any place is always a good place to doze off anyway.
Q: Can a baby sleep in a playpen instead of a crib?
Some parents choose one over the other and their babies are doing just fine. Yes, you can definitely let a baby sleep in his or her playpen instead of the crib. But, a playpen is just not as comfortable or safe as a crib when leaving your baby overnight.
When your baby takes a nap inside a playpen, just make sure that they always have someone to check that they are comfortable when they are sleeping. Removing toys and adding some cushion will usually be a must depending on the kind and make of the playpen you have. Remember to make sure that your baby can breathe properly, especially if your playpen has thick cushioning.
Q: Are playpens good and safe to use?
Many people look down on playpens, saying that it restricts their freedom and that it hinders their ability to learn and perceive their environment. There may be a substance of truth to those statements, and that keeping your child locked in an enclosed space for most of their toddler years may not be ideal. Still, there is a big difference between learning and perceiving their environment, and your child rolling down the stairs of your house. Keeping them in a playpen, especially if you’re busy doing something, is alright. Just remember to introduce them to the real world once in a while.
Q: When should you stop using a playpen?
You should stop using your playpen when your child becomes a toddler. However, some children may be taller or stronger than their peers, so make sure to stop using the playpen if your child is either 34 inches tall, or is 14 kilograms heavy.
Another reason to stop using a playpen when your kid is already a toddler is that, during a child’s toddler years, their imagination and creativity are developed. Let them walk around the house and play, just make sure someone is supervising them. You should also introduce some rules and start orienting your child about safety.
I bet you’re exhausted after reading that really long list, aren’t you? But, that’s what it takes for a meticulous parent like you to make the right pick. Be sure to refer back to the buying guide when you finally decide which playpen you’re going to get. The best baby playpen is the playpen that is safe, comfortable, and that your baby enjoys playing in. So go out there, and look for that playpen. Go ahead and let the little tike tag along and take the first dibs with you.