Is a playpen even necessary? - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-08-2007, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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!

7/09 at 7 weeks - love you peanut
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:37 AM
 
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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.

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Old 10-08-2007, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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

7/09 at 7 weeks - love you peanut
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:48 AM
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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.
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:54 AM
 
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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!
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:58 AM
 
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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.

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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!

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Old 10-08-2007, 12:08 PM
 
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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.

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Old 10-08-2007, 12:13 PM
 
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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
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Old 10-08-2007, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.....

7/09 at 7 weeks - love you peanut
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Old 10-08-2007, 12:19 PM
 
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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.
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Old 10-08-2007, 12:37 PM
 
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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!!
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Old 10-08-2007, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

7/09 at 7 weeks - love you peanut
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Old 10-08-2007, 12:41 PM
 
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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
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Old 10-08-2007, 12:44 PM
 
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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.

I don't come here anymore. MDC has become overgrown with ads & useless extra forums.
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Old 10-08-2007, 12:59 PM
 
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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!

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Old 10-08-2007, 01:05 PM
 
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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.
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Old 10-08-2007, 01:21 PM
 
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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.

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Old 10-08-2007, 01:28 PM
 
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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.
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Old 10-08-2007, 01:34 PM
 
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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.
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Old 10-08-2007, 01:34 PM
 
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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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Old 10-08-2007, 01:38 PM
 
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We had one, because my ex-mil got one from somebody she worked with for cheap. It didn't get used much. we tried using it as a portable bed but ds always co-slept so it just got lugged around. When he got older it ended up being his bed at mil's house for when he has sleepovers there. I wouldn't have bought it new, that's for sure.
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Old 10-08-2007, 01:53 PM
 
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We never had one with James, our first baby, but we got one for this baby. I figure there will be times when I have to set the baby down (play with big brother, clean, dishes, pee, etc) and since we will not have a crib at all I need somewhere safe to put her out of reach from the Toddler Monster (AKA- Big Brother)

As for it being a 'need' that depends on your definiton of 'need' for a first baby, I don't think I needed it at all, I could easily put him in the swing or on the floor on a blanket if I needed to put him down...when you add a Toddler Monster into the mix those low down places are DANGEROUS.

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Old 10-08-2007, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow that great responses! It looks like the general consensus is that it isnt needed, and those that did use one used it sparingly. One of the main appeals of it for me is that it has a diaper changing station but I can just buy a mat and do that on the carpet. And I plan on getting a swing and a bouncer so I'm sure when it isnt napping on me, it can nap in there. I want to use a sling and or wrap most of the time though. :

7/09 at 7 weeks - love you peanut
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Old 10-08-2007, 03:37 PM
 
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My mom thinks so. She put the Christmas tree in it so I couldn't pull it over on top of myself.

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Old 10-08-2007, 04:11 PM
 
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Didn't use a playpen. Used a bouncer if I needed to put her down.

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Old 10-08-2007, 04:46 PM
 
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All of my kids are older now, but I never had a playpen.

New signature, same old me: Ann- mama of 2 boys and 2 girls, partnered to a fabulous man.
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My mom thinks so. She put the Christmas tree in it so I couldn't pull it over on top of myself.

7/09 at 7 weeks - love you peanut
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:51 PM
 
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We have one as well, but it rarely gets used. Lots of time on a blanket when DS is not in my arms. He won't be in a sling in the house though. Somehow, he became convinced that slings are just for walking outside, we're working on that though...
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:52 PM
 
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For us, we got a co-sleep attachment for our bed, but then never used it, as we all fit in bed just fine.
Instead we converted it into the playpen you could also use it as. it gave dd a safe space to crawl in the kitchen while I cooked, and gave ds a safe place away form his sister when I had to put him down.
My kids never liked being slung all day. They were way too active. I don't think you NEED one at all, but for us, with the kids only 19 months apart, it was good to have a safe spot.

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
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Old 10-08-2007, 05:51 PM
 
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my MIL always urged me strongly to get a play pen and dismayed that I never did. I think they take up space. But that's just my opinion.
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