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To think playpens are a short term safety device and not a prison?

(34 Posts)
Atqui Fri 30-Aug-13 09:57:28

My dd is finding life hard with a 13 month old ,into everything baby, but won't have a playpen. To be fair it's not because she thinks its un pc but says it wouldn't work. Having spent time looking after DGD and of course our own children, I think they are a godsend. if only to be able to go to the loo without having to move everything and have the loo roll decimated.

Nonu Fri 30-Aug-13 10:05:52

I had them for my twins , and they were such a help , as one would go one way and the other the other way. Ekkk, still it was all good fun !!


Ana Fri 30-Aug-13 10:07:19

I agree that they can be extremely useful! My DD played happily in hers for, especially if she could see me, but I did start her from a very early age! Perhaps 13 months would be a bit too late?

felice Fri 30-Aug-13 10:27:24

I have one for my DGS, and couldn't do without it, I am partially disabled and for getting organised in the morning, and having somewhere to put him if i am trying to get us ready to go out it is a godsend, he is 18 months now and understands that it is only used for short periods. I am very naughty when he is in it and he gets to watch Tv at those times, god bless Mr Tumble.

Mishap Fri 30-Aug-13 10:32:39

I have one - but so far have never used it. I may resort to it when we start having our DGD regularly one day a week in December.

My Mum used to sit in ours to do her sewing!

gracesmum Fri 30-Aug-13 10:33:11

They are not really fashionable these days. That said, DD had one for DGS1 and he used to take himself off into it and shut the gate when he wanted his own "space. Great for the things you say, for keeping the toys in one place, plus you can have it outside, good for for keeping the dog away!! I have also heard of a mum sitting in it to do mending while the baby played around her(outside the playpen) !

gracesmum Fri 30-Aug-13 10:33:55

Mishap - our posts crossed! Did I know your Mum I wonder?

thatbags Fri 30-Aug-13 10:43:24

When DD2 was born, DD1 wanted to climb all over me while I was feeding the baby, so I got into the playpen and fed the baby there. My reasoning was: DD1 got her feeds in peace so it was only fair that DD2 did too.

When DD3 came along we got an openable system that you could fix to the walls to create a barrier. We made it into a fireguard and protection for the corner of the room where my harp was. This also meant I could play the harp without DD joining in. From being able to move at all (wriggling), she always moved towards the sound when I was playing, but it would have been very stressful to have her able to play near the harp without supervision. I looked on it as my harp insurance policy.

thatbags Fri 30-Aug-13 10:47:51

We also had three stair gates: one at the top, one at the bottom, and one across her bedroom doorway. That last was so I had somewhere safe to put her when necessary. She played happily in there very often and often fell asleep.

DD was talking about putting a cot up (she co-sleeps with GS2) just so she has somewhere safe to put him where he won't get trodden on or tripped over by GS1 if she needs to nip to the loo or something.

I can't imagine how people manage without something of this sort.

Don't know how people manage without slings and other baby-carriers either.

FlicketyB Fri 30-Aug-13 11:04:24

Both my DC hated them. DS just stood and cried until he was released. I used to put him in it while I cut the grass, it was 20 minutes of misery all round. DD just climbed out.

However it was really useful at Christmas. I stood the Christmas tree in it so that the children could not pull it over themselves or remove the decorations.

Elegran Fri 30-Aug-13 11:22:20

I can imagine it comes as a shock to them if they are put into one after they have been ranging free. I used to put them into it from the time they could sit up on their own, or even when they were sitting in their little bouncy seat. They would be near me with plenty of toys within reach and could see what I was doing and hear me speak to them. Much safer than having them crawling round your feet while you clean or cook.

Perhaps it is because children are usually more spaced out in age nowadays. My first two were eighteen months apart, and it would have been impossible to keep an eye on both of them while doing all the household things.

I think also that some young mothers have this image of a child stuck alone in a cage for hours on end with no contact with mother. The opposite is true - it is only for short spells at a time and if you can get on with the chores without interruption, you finish them faster and can then cuddle your child and play with them without worrying about everything else staying in chaos.

Eloethan Fri 30-Aug-13 20:02:51

I think they're very useful too.

I did mention once getting a playpene to my son and his partner and received a very withering look. But if a hard-pressed parent has to do a potentially dangerous chore - like ironing or cooking - they can get on and do it and still interact with the child.

Nonu Fri 30-Aug-13 20:27:21

I am at a loss to understand why the parents of today seem to think they are not a good idea . Heyho !!

susieb755 Fri 30-Aug-13 20:42:35

I think parents today are mad, I thought that 'play prisons' as i called them were great - rather a crying baby than a dead one I say- at least you knew they were safe when you needed the loo, grabbed the washing off the line in rain, cooked dinner etc

I used the travel cot as a play prison for my DGD - worked a treat smile

I crate my puppies, playpen my babies, and reward good behaviour with both !

whenim64 Fri 30-Aug-13 20:50:11

Both my daughters have used playpens. As nonu said, invaluable with twins. The one for my grandaughters was padded and one of them would grab her blankie and a cushion and fall asleep in there, with the gate open.

merlotgran Fri 30-Aug-13 21:06:53

My first two children are only 11 months apart. I was lent a huge wooden playpen by a friend's mother and I couldn't have done without it. DD1 was just pulling herself up and plonking herself down again and trying to watch her and feed DS at the same time would have been very difficult.

Caramac Fri 30-Aug-13 21:37:16

I bought a metal babydan playpen, secondhand, for DGC. Its a safe place to leave a little one whilst essential chores or loo visits are dealt with. I have always had dogs and whilst my dogs are extremely tolerant of little peeps, a metal playpen protects all concerned. One child and no pets present challenges, multiple DGC and pets present even more. Also useful if I haven't vacuumed!

Lona Fri 30-Aug-13 21:42:05

merlotgran Only 11 months between my two as well, and trying to feed ds while dd was clutching at my knee and screaming blue murder, was heartrending.
Thank goodness for a playpen!

j08 Fri 30-Aug-13 21:57:34

To be fair, I don't think you could suddenly put a 13 month old in one when he/she has been used to her freedom. You need to start at several months old, before they start crawling. Playpens can be good if they are loaded up with interesting and safe odds and sods, as well as toys. But not for too long at a time.

Elegran Fri 30-Aug-13 22:06:16

That is what I thought J08 If it is already a place where they are happy to sit, doze, play, then when they get more active they will pull themselves up on the sides and walk round it and return to their toys. If they are already walking arouind when they are introduced to it, it will seem like a barrier.

And not too long at a time. A change of scenery is a good thing.

We had a very low window when our first two were playpen age, with the pen near it. They could see out to whatever was going on in the street.

Penstemmon Fri 30-Aug-13 22:44:34

My DD had a wooden playpen..once she could 'cruise' she pulled herself up and walked about taking the play pen with her. For my next child I borrowed a playpen with a floor in it! Also used reins and mattress harness!

Atqui Fri 30-Aug-13 22:51:49

Thanks for your views everyone.

Flowerofthewest Fri 30-Aug-13 23:33:03

We always used one, I have even put a puppy inside playpen to avoid toddlers grabbing him.

Granny23 Fri 30-Aug-13 23:51:19

Like Susieb* I used a travel cot as a playpen for DGC when they were small. Kept all the best toys in there and they WANTED to be in it. Unfortunately DGC do not come neatly spaced agewise. With two of mine only 6mths apart, I needed somewhere safe for one while I fed/changed the other.

Deedaa Sun 01-Sep-13 21:18:38

I found a playpen an absolute godsend when my two were babies. My daughter never used one at all so my grandson always expected to be able to crawl and then climb all over our house when I was looking after him. I'm sure he enjoyed it but it was very wearing from my point of view!