Ultimate Guide to Shopping for the Best Baby Playpen

It is hard for every parent to identify the energy of a crawling baby. But a baby’s enthusiasm for crawling can kick anxiety into parents when they least expect it, especially if the baby is quite an adventure seeker at home. However, it's possible to keep your little ones busy with the help of child-friendly tools such as playpens and kids' slide & swing playsets. These will keep your child engaged in their gameplay in a safe place. And it is important to arrange a safe space for your little ones to help them live all their adventures without the risks of injuries. 

Referred to as play yards, baby playpens are convenient as well as handy. Most baby playpens come in basically square or rectangular designs. Playpens are available in different styles, sizes, and shapes, based on the needs of different children of different ages.

We hope this article will help you choose the best baby playpen for your little bundle of joy.

What is a Baby Playpen?

12 Panel Foldable Baby Playpen Yard Fence with Activity Wall.12 Panel Foldable Baby Playpen Yard Fence with Activity Wall.

The playpen is one of the first pre-educational tools for your little one. A baby playpen is a small, safe place for babies to play, eat, and sleep. It is a small containment system that enables parents to relax and enjoy their time without having to worry about the safety of their children. You must be wondering what a playpen really is. A playpen is just like a crib for the baby. The baby playpen provides a fantastic way to keep the young one safe when left alone. It prevents them from escaping and getting lost.

Is Baby Playpen safe for your little one?

Babies are always at risk of getting into dangerous situations whether in the home or outside. But with a playpen, parents can majorly cut down on this risk.

However, if a playpen falls over, collapses, or develops holes that trap a child’s fingers, limbs, or head/neck, it is likely to cause significant harm. It is therefore important to make sure to get a robust playpen that does not have any dangerous gaps or pinch spots.

Things To Look For in a Safe Baby Playpen

When shopping for fairly simple kids' furniture, playpens for toddlers offer a ton of benefits. While they are definitely not the cheapest investment option, they are one of the best-valued ones. Choosing playpens can often feel a bit overwhelming, but it is actually pretty simple. The major factors to consider in a playpen include style, features, price, as well as safety. 

1. Style

Some models of playpens come with all-in-one functions. They include an attached bassinet as well as a changing table. They also have a cushion on the actual play yard itself, making it dynamic and springy.

2. Features

Some of the important features to look for in a playpen for toddlers include collapsibility, weight, and quality of the mattress. Options such as materials including memory-foam, the size of the baby playpen, and sheet all play an equally vital role when considering the most comfortable baby playpen for your baby. Some playpens also have zippered ends, which makes it easy for the baby to get in and out.

3. Price

A good playpen for toddlers often starts from a medium price range and the price can go upwards from there. It is always advisable to make a purchase for a  higher-end and more durable option. The playpen can be selected based on its versatility, durability, and performance.

4. Locks

The locks of the playpen are considered the most vital feature. Parents often prefer having a playpen for toddlers without locks, while some prefer having them. This can be determined based on the child’s age as well as a level of maturity. If the child is more mature and understands safety, parents can opt for an unlocked playpen. But, if the baby is still in the learning phase, consider getting a playpen with locks.

Additional factors you should consider while looking for a baby playpen: 

  • Check for safety labels on the playpen. They often imply that the playpen meets all the safety standards issued by the consumer safety commission. 
  • The sides of the playpen should be at least 20 inches or 51 centimeters high when measured from the floor of the playpen. 
  • For playpens with mesh sides, the holes in the mesh should not be larger than ¼ inch or 0.6 centimetres. This helps in keeping small fingers and small buttons on clothes from getting caught. The playpen mesh should be securely attached and checked regularly for any repairs. 
  • If the playpen is made of wood, the spaces should not be more than 2-3/8 inches or 5.08 centimetres in width. 
  • The padding on the tops of the rails should be thick enough to protect the baby from bumps. 
  • Playpens should have a 1-inch firm mattress at the bottom. 
  • The locks on the playpen should allow the parent to lower a side so that they are out of the baby's reach. 
  • Ensure that the playpen has well-protected hinges and supports. 
  • Look for a playpen with top rails that can be locked automatically when lifted into the normal position. 
  • Keep a close check on the floor of a used playpen for any wear and tear. 

Benefits of Baby Playpen

  • Safety: Playpens have high-sided, enclosed play areas that are popular as it enables the parents to put their baby in one knowing that the little one can't wander off. 
  • Promotes Independent Playtime: In addition to this benefit, a baby playpen can promote independent playtime, encouraging your babies or toddlers to play and have fun. It is still necessary to keep an eye on the baby. 
  • Great For Outdoor Trips: Baby playpen can also be used outside for camping and beach trips. Feel free to add baby-friendly toys in the playpen, you can try adding kids' rockers in the area as well.

However, it is important to understand that a playpen is no substitute for adult supervision. Hence, it is always advisable to never leave a child unattended in a playpen.

Safety Pointers to Remember

  • Never leave the baby alone in a playpen with one of the sides lowered. There is a high chance of the baby getting trapped between the side and the floorboard. 
  • Do not replace the mattress or padding in the playpen.
  • Check all padded parts in the playpen regularly for tear or repair.
  • Playpens should never be placed near windows. 
  • Do not use a hand-me-down playpen with diamond-shaped openings. There is a high chance of the baby's head getting trapped in the large holes forming.
  • Never tie the toys on the sides of the playpen.

Final Thoughts

When making a purchase of a playpen, it is important to read the entire manual, which includes important details related to weight, height, and age restrictions for the product.  Because as we have already mentioned there are a lot of different types of baby playpens available in the market. They are made for children of different ages and have some restrictions, making it necessary to check these details. 

UrbanCart also has a great collection of baby playpens, made of high-density polyethylene plastic and a non-slip rubber pad on the bottom of the panel that makes it difficult to tip over and move. These are safe for your little ones. You can take your time and find one that fits your needs. Meanwhile, here are some key takeaways from this guide.

  • A playpen provides a safe space for babies as well as for toddlers to play, rest, and roll around without the need for full attention.
  • A good playpen is easy to set up anywhere and packs down easily for transport and storage.
  • Always choose a playpen that requires mere seconds to install and that is lightweight.
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