A playpen, also known as a play yard, is an essential part of standard baby equipment used by parents with toddlers and babies. It is a good place to put your baby in for moments when you need to restrain them temporarily such as during a phone call while preparing meals, or when doing housework. Find out more about playpens below.

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What You Need to Know About Playpens

Although having a child is a blessing, let us be honest; it can sometimes drive us to the brink of insanity too. The process of being a parent is at its hardest during your child’s early years as they are still incapable of being independent and are relying heavily on you as a parent for everything. For example, you will need to carry them around wherever you go, which can be a hassle, especially when you have other tasks at hand. This is where having a playpen can come in handy.

Functions of a Playpen

Playpens typically serve two important functions. First, it provides a safe space for your child to play in when parents need to be a few minutes away from the baby. It prevents your child from accessing dangerous items around the house such as electrical outlets, sharp objects, etc. It can also be used to keep pets away from your baby. Secondly, a playpen is also a great place for your baby to rest or to take a short nap where you can keep an eye on him while you complete any tasks at hand. However, do keep in mind that playpens are not intended to be used as a crib, so it is not advisable to leave your child in one for long periods of time or overnight.

Choosing a Playpen

As there are so many options available today, choosing one is not as easy as it seems. Moreover, as it concerns the safety and comfort of your baby, it is even more important to ensure that you make the right decision. If you do decide to buy a playpen, here are some points to consider:

Floor / Base

The floor or base of the playpen should be able to withstand at least 35 kilograms of static weight and 20 kilograms of bouncing weight to ensure that it can support your baby without giving way. It should also not have any small attachments and fixtures that your baby can pull loose and swallow nor should it have exposed bolt heads as your baby could fall on them and injure themselves if the padding falls out of place.

Frame

Another feature to look out for is the frame of the playpen. Serving as the primary support system of a playpen, the frame should be able to support at least 20 kilograms of weight without breaking or bending. The side railings should also be minimum 20 inches (50 centimetres) tall to prevent the baby from climbing out of the playpen. You should also make sure that the hinges will not accidentally cut or pinch your baby. As an extra safety precaution, it is best to look for one with a locking device to avoid the playpen from accidentally collapsing.

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