Create a Kid-Friendly Space With Baby Playpens
As a parent, there are times when you want to give your child the freedom to play alone — that’s where playpens come in. By creating an enclosed space, these products keep little ones safe and secure. With a wide range of sizes and styles, it’s easy to find the right indoor and outdoor playpen models for your family.What are some types of baby playpens?
There are two general types of playpens: soft-sided and hard-sided. Soft-sided playpens usually feature a rigid metal or plastic frame for stability and soft fabric or mesh sides. The fabric is strong but flexible, so your child can press against it or fall into it without getting hurt. Mesh panels also give little ones the ability to see into the room. Models with four mesh sides provide good ventilation and visibility. Hard-sided playpens use rigid materials to offer a higher level of protection and strength for active kids. Some models feature solid sides made from plastic; others use vertical bars to increase visibility into the room.Features to look for in a playpen
Some of the features you can choose are:
- Portability: Some playpens and baby play mats fold down into small, easy-to-carry packages for travel or outdoor recreation.
- Flexible configuration: Flexible playpens come with multiple side sections that you can arrange to fit your available space. Usually, these sections snap together interchangeably for easy assembly. In some cases, they can double as baby gates or room dividers.
- Weather-resistant materials: If you want to keep your child safe in the yard, look for playpens made from plastic or other water-resistant materials.
- Floor and ceiling: Some playpens come with built-in floors to keep your little one off of the ground or floor. Many are padded for extra comfort on little knees. You can also find models with play shades that block out the sun. It's a good idea to look for a model with a pad or a mattress that's firm and one-inch thick.
- Play equipment: Look for playpens with built-in toys, basketball hoops, balls, and kid-friendly doors.
Some brands include:
- Graco: This brand specializes in folding, portable playpens for travel and in-home use.
- Evenflo: Many Evenflo playpens feature rigid frames and soft sides; the company also offers several compact models for travel with built-in changing tables.
- Summer Infant: This company makes play yards, many with comfortable floors and removable canopies for easy outdoor use.
- Disney: If your child has a favorite character, a Disney-brand playpen is sure to be a big hit. Many of the company’s models include graphics and color schemes modeled after popular characters including Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.