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Is a playpen even necessary?

post #1 of 73
Thread Starter 
I was thinking about all the things I would need when I become pregnant and I was thinking about a playpen. I have a two story house and I thought it would make sense to have a 'sleeping and changing' area downstairs. But then I thought about how I really really want to sling my baby from the get go. Do most of you wear your baby all day, even during naps? I would love to do this, but I am just curious if even seasoned professionals (that would be you guys ) need a break and allow naps in playpens, swings, boppys, bouncers, etc. I am really beginning to think that all I need are a few slings, wraps!
post #2 of 73
Seems to me that you don't *have* to have one, but surely there will be some occasions when you are doing something that would require you to set the baby down, i.e. vacuuming probably wouldn't be very easy as vacuums are heavy anyway & you probably wouldn't want baby breathing in all the dust. Another example could be if you're sick and you don't want to cough/sneeze/etc on the baby. Also, I can't imagine trying to stoop down to put in/take out dishes from the dishwasher with a baby on you. I'd be afraid of hurting my back, or bumping the baby's head on something, or dropping the dishes. So, while it may not be needed per se, it's probably helpful to have just in case. I would be careful about what you buy though, it seems sooo many playpens are recalled.

Just my thoughts, but I'm sure people who are already moms will have better advice for you.
post #3 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by filiadeluna View Post
Seems to me that you don't *have* to have one, but surely there will be some occasions when you are doing something that would require you to set the baby down, i.e. vacuuming probably wouldn't be very easy as vacuums are heavy anyway & you probably wouldn't want baby breathing in all the dust. Another example could be if you're sick and you don't want to cough/sneeze/etc on the baby. Also, I can't imagine trying to stoop down to put in/take out dishes from the dishwasher with a baby on you. I'd be afraid of hurting my back, or bumping the baby's head on something, or dropping the dishes. So, while it may not be needed per se, it's probably helpful to have just in case. I would be careful about what you buy though, it seems sooo many playpens are recalled.

Just my thoughts, but I'm sure people who are already moms will have better advice for you.
I love this forum...what great advice! I never thought of all those occasions where I shouldn't wear baby...thank you
post #4 of 73
We've never used a playpen. I always found alternative places to sit/lay DS's down if needed. When they were babies I would put them in a bouncer if I was doing something I couldn't hold them or wanted to get something down quickly. Now that DS2 is older he loves to be put on the floor with some blankets down and explore.
post #5 of 73
We found ours useful, especially for shower time and when we were f=getting ready to leave the house. The one we found is a pack and play but it is square so its bigger than the triangular pack and plays.

I baby wear and did the same with my 1st one but I find/found that they like time to explore in a safe environment. This comes into play more with ds2 who I put in the play pen more for his protection. Tummy time can be dangerous with a 4yo and a sib. husky chasing each other around!
post #6 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Longhorn View Post
I love this forum...what great advice! I never thought of all those occasions where I shouldn't wear baby...thank you
Thanks LOL I tried. I mean, I'm not a mom *yet*, but I do have tons of childcare experience (both at peoples' homes and in a daycare setting). So I was just visualizing things that might need to be done throughout the day where it would make it awkward or potentially unsafe for a short time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jes View Post
We've never used a playpen. I always found alternative places to sit/lay DS's down if needed. When they were babies I would put them in a bouncer if I was doing something I couldn't hold them or wanted to get something down quickly. Now that DS2 is older he loves to be put on the floor with some blankets down and explore.
Oh, DUH! Great idea. Yes a bouncer would probably be best for a really young 'un, but a baby that is already sitting up & crawling might be happier in a playpen for awhile. Blankets would work great if you can be in the same room, but I'd be paranoid if I had to leave the room, especially since I have a cat (she's a very sweet kitty, but heck, baby could pull her tail and then she might retaliate with a scratch or nip lol).

I'm glad you asked this question! More for me to think about, too!
post #7 of 73
My dd slept in the swing or in a bean bag chair when I put her down. We used our pack-n-play... uh... twice? Actually, we did use it when I cut dh's hair a couple times, so she could be with us, but not in the hair. Not worth it at all for us, but, then, my dd didn't hang out much... she was always on the move if we put her down.
post #8 of 73
I have a thing against playpens. We never had one, dd was never put in one. We never missed it. Sure, I set her down a lot. Baby on a blanket on floor works fine.

-Angela
post #9 of 73
Thread Starter 
I have a cat and a dog and I worry about setting the baby down somewhere where the pets could get close. I know the dog will want NOTHING to do with the baby, but my cat is sooo sweet and uber affectionate and I know will eventually come close to the baby. So I go back and forth with getting a playpen. Its a nice placed elevated off the floor where I can put a tummy mat or a baby gym and I think it might work until atleast 6 months when crawl starts to creep around the corner. But on the other hand I dont want my living room to look like babies r' us threw up in there with baby stuff EVERYWHERE! So I try to see if things are actually necessary.....
post #10 of 73
Theres a time and a place for them I think. I find them particularly useful for times I need to put baby down (cooking by the stove, cleaning) and want them near by but also want them out of the reach of the other children.
post #11 of 73
i personally do not like them for our family, so we never got one. they're like little baby jails.: i can of course think of scenarios where they would be appropriate, but for most families imho it is not a necessary piece of baby equipment, they usually end up being large, cumbersome and expensive clean laundry basket or toy bin.

if you have animals, remember that you are not supposed to leave a baby and a cat/dog unsupervised for any length of time, anyway. and most cats that i know can easily get themselves into a playpen, so it would not end up being that safe haven from your feline family member.

best of luck in ttc!!
post #12 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post

if you have animals, remember that you are not supposed to leave a baby and a cat/dog unsupervised for any length of time, anyway. and most cats that i know can easily get themselves into a playpen, so it would not end up being that safe haven from your feline family member.

best of luck in ttc!!

Good point. I of course never intend to leave my baby alone with the furry friends, so I suppose I never thought about that and the fact that the main thing I thought I would need the play pen for, keeping the pets away, isnt really a problem at all given that I will be with the baby 24-7. I suppose a bouncer while I am downstairs cleaning is just fine.
post #13 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Longhorn View Post
I have a cat and a dog and I worry about setting the baby down somewhere where the pets could get close. I know the dog will want NOTHING to do with the baby, but my cat is sooo sweet and uber affectionate and I know will eventually come close to the baby. So I go back and forth with getting a playpen. Its a nice placed elevated off the floor where I can put a tummy mat or a baby gym and I think it might work until atleast 6 months when crawl starts to creep around the corner. But on the other hand I dont want my living room to look like babies r' us threw up in there with baby stuff EVERYWHERE! So I try to see if things are actually necessary.....
We have two cats. It was never an issue. Not once.

-Angela
post #14 of 73
Not necessary, but helpful sometimes. I got a huge wooden one on ebay for very little, and it survived a two-week camping trip where it was very handy.
post #15 of 73
I agree that it's not necessary, but can be really helpful. The bouncy seat was wonderful especially during shower time, but it only lasts for a short time. I think DS outgrew it by around 5 months. He figured out how to bounce it hard enough to flip it over. The swing lasted until about a year. I never put DS in it to contain him while he plays. It's more of an area where I put him while I'm cooking or unloading the dishwasher now. I use it about 10 minutes every two or three day, but it's great when I do need to get DS out of my way for a bit!
post #16 of 73
We chose not to have any baby gear-- no crib, playpen, swing, bouncer, exersaucer, etc. My baby started crawling and cruising at 5.5 mos. so they wouldn't have gotten much use anyway. Before that, when I wanted to put him down I used a blanket on the floor and he practiced rolling over and wiggling. But really, I can do pretty much anything with a baby on my back, and I was doing back carries with a mei tai before 2 mos. And the first 6 weeks you should be able to lounge around with the baby all the time, anyway.
post #17 of 73
Wearing your baby is awesome, and you can get more done than you'd think. You can always put baby on your back if you need more of your front, like cooking or something. The bouncy seat is great up till about 5-6 months or so for when you need to put baby down or absolutely cannot wear your baby, but want to keep baby close, like when you are in the shower. After that if you have been wearing your baby for any length of time, chances are your baby will not be happy in a pack n play or similar. Baby will want to be closer to you, even if it's on the floor on some blankets. Looking through the mesh of the pnp at you not holding/wearing her may just upset her. I really think these huge items are unnecessary. Even if you do use one, you probably wouldn't use it for long, certainly not worth the real estate it takes up or the expense.
post #18 of 73
Quote:
Is a playpen even necessary?
For us its never has been. We have 4 kids ages 7 yo to 4 months.

I dont know what we would us one for

Though i must say we are looking to a buy a house that is disgustingly dirty. I suppose it would be handy to have her in one to keep her off the dirt while we clean. She is not mobile yet so a play pen I guess wouldn't be necessary.

We have however done a room remodel that got the entire house dirty with another baby and we didn't need a play pen as once again the baby wasn't mobile yet.
post #19 of 73
IT really depends on your situation. I had one with dd#1 and she would scream the minute my hands left her in it. I, apparently, was exactly the same as a baby. So, we did not use ours and got rid of it. Used the bouncy and saucer much more and yes I wore/wear babies while napping a lot. I also put them down on a blanket, especially the play mat with the arches above for hanging toys. But, it depends on your baby and your needs.
post #20 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
if you have animals, remember that you are not supposed to leave a baby and a cat/dog unsupervised for any length of time, anyway. and most cats that i know can easily get themselves into a playpen, so it would not end up being that safe haven from your feline family member.
Aren't there screen-like covers you can purchase just like with cribs?
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