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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so, here goes- I never had a playpen or any gadget like that when DD#1 was a babe- she LOVED being held or hanging out in the sling... for the few moments she wanted to be down, we'd just put her on the rug, the bed, or the couch, etc.<br><br>
however, DD#2 is SO different. i have all those awesome carriers and slings, but since she was a wee babe, she loved having her own space. she loves lying on the floor or in her moses basket where she can see everything and have space to stretch. now that she's 4 months old and can roll over quite a few times, and all our floors are concrete or tile.... i think we need a playpen!! i never thought i would want a playpen. but. i believe attachment parenting consists of respecting our children's development and individuality. which means respecting my child's need for space.<br><br>
i do have a baby swing that's collecting dust in the attic. but since i know dd#2 will want to have quite a bit of time in her own space, i'd prefer her to be able to have full mobility which means a playpen rather than a swing or bouncer, etc. but gosh, playpens just make me feel like i'm caging up dd!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> i'm thinking it'll be really handy in the next few months when she's active but not active enough to crawl and sit up and not hit her head on the hard floors. yk?<br><br>
so, tell me about your experiences with playpens/playyards, tents, etc? i also garden and camp so it'd be handy to have something that'd be multifunctional... simple, portable, maybe with a nice SPF tent? suggestions? thoughts?
 

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DD1 was like your 1st, and DD2 like your second. I am still planning on picking up a play-yard, now that DD2 has outgrown her bassinet for hanging out in (and needs the rolling and sitting and pushing-up space), but haven't had a chance- instead for now we've got 4 2'x2' interlocking mats (making 4'x4' total) on the hardwood floor, and feel OK putting her down there (with DD1, we had carpeting to protect from headbonks at this age, on those rare occassions that she wanted down).<br><br>
I'd really like the <a href="http://www.jcpenney.com/jcp/Products.aspx?DeptID=0&CatID=021834&Grptyp=PRD&ItemId=0bb7dda" target="_blank">Graco Sport</a>, with a side-door for the kid(s) to come and go on their own when they're able, but mine will be a handmedown so I don't get to be choosey.
 

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I had a pack n play that I just used as a downstairs changing table for dd (my 1st). For ds, I used it as a changing station and as a place to lay him if I needed to go to the bathroom or put in a load of laundry, etc. I was afraid to leave him alone with dd until I was sure she wouldn't hurt him. It definitely came in handy for that. If a child likes spending some time in it to have a safe place to roll around and explore, I don't think there is anything bad about it. It's not like you're leaving her in there constantly with no interaction from you.
 

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I also find the playpen handy for 5 or 10 minutes handsfree to throw dinner in the oven or drain some boiling water. We have one in the kitchen that dd sits in while cooking or laundry. But sometimes she won't tolerate it and cries, other times she is content for 10 or 15 minutes at a time.
 

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We have the Graco P&P sport - the big one with the dome tent top... anyhow, it was on clearance at Target, great deal, couldn't resist. The bottom isn't padded or off the ground like traditional play pens are, so it won't protect from bumps and tipping over when learning to sit.<br><br>
BUT it's built like those camp chairs, it folds up into a bag and it's reasonably light weight (at least if you are "camping" at a camp site, not roughing it), and you can hose it out when it gets sand, dirt, baby goo, etc. in there.<br><br>
I've used it out in the yard while I garden, kept cool inside even in the sun, it'll make an awesome fort for toddlers to play in, and I think if we used it inside (no space right now) I'd either get those interlocking foam mat things for under or inside, and toss in a nice soft blanket or a small carpet.
 

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We have a Pack n Play also. It's mainly used to hold toys or as a cat bed, but I do put DS in it whenever I need to go into the garage to change the cat boxes. Whenever we go to observing sessions (amateur astronomers) we take it along in case DS wants to nap in it. We obviously don't need the SPF tent <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> but the mosquito net that fits over it comes in very handy!
 

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We have a P&P. With DD I used it as a changing table, a place to set her down to nap sometimes, and later I set up the activity arch over it for her to play as well. All this was with the basinett attached. With DS (due any day now) I envision myself using it a lot more as a place to have him nap or set him down since I will have to be careful of DD accidentally hurting him.<br><br>
We just went to babies r us and picked out the one that looked best at the time (It's an Eddie Bauer one) and I'm disappointed I didn't spend a little more time actually playing with it - I don't like the way the changing table hangs and it is definitely WAY heavier than I wanted. It is NOT portable - yes it folds, but it weighs a ton, it would be ridiculous to think we would use it much for travel. So my advice is to really make sure you pick up and set up and play with it before you use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
yeah- i was looking at the pack n play sport also, it looks nice and portable, and i was also thinking it'd be a fun tent too- dd could go in and play out of the sun if we were at the beach or something.<br><br>
owners of the pack n play sport or other unpadded playpens- what do you do indoors? the interlocking mat idea is pretty good...
 

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There is also a type at Toys R us that is a square....not a rectangle....so it is a little bigger inside.<br><br>
It still folds down like a pack and play.
 

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We have both a pack-n-play and a playpen. The pack-n-play hasn't been used much at all. The playpen (which is bright colors and square) gets used more often. I'll set it up in the garage or backyard and put DS in it while I pull weeds or something. I'd worry too much just having him run around, especially in the front of the house. So, this works well for us. The playpen folds just like the PNP.
 

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we use the pack n play with the bassinet attachment in our bedroom for our 4 month old son for his bed when he isnt sleeping with us. We got this one 3 yrs ago when we had our 3 yr old son he didnt care for it much so never used it. Our 4 month old loves to roll around in it.
 

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Willow is independent also, she loves to be held but when she wants down she wants DOWN! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> even at 2 or 3 months she was very outspoken about having more space, she loved to watch everything going on from the floor. i thought we'd use the p&p for when she started getting mobile, if i needed to do something without her. i ended up putting those colorful ABC mats on the floor, and that's worked well. we moved and now she has a "safe room" with two sets of mats, she's already rolling like crazy, sitting up and trying to pull up on some things. mostly i sit on the floor with her and play (it's fun! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">) but if i need to do something she so far seems to love having all the space! she yells "mamaMA!" the moment she needs me and i'm there. anyway, i'd use the p&p for safety if we were in a smaller place, but i have an aversion to cribs and playpens so i'm much happier with the safe room.
 

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For gardening I put my son in an exersaucer or hop-n-pop so he can see what's going on.<br><br>
I have the alphabet foam mats on his bedroom floor and carpets in the house for him to roll around on. He never really got the hang of the pac-n-play. He's been mobile since 6 months and rolling around before that. He has always been within boundaries though. I'm finding the pac-n-play is a great place to put the things I don't want him to get into. The trashcan in the office is in there, other things I haven't found a place for. I've always thought that small places like that could be a lot of fun though. Like a fort or play area. But I think babies may be too small to understand that.
 

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My last baby loved to be mobile! By 5 months, she was rolling and tummy-crawling all over the place. At the time, we were living in a big, open plan house, with lots of stairs and other dangerous features. We childproofed and gated a few of the rooms, but, when we needed to attend to things in other parts of the house, we'd bring her with us and put her in a playpen nearby.<br><br>
If you expect to be using the playpen for more than five minutes at a time, I'd strongly recommend getting a full-size one (40" x 40"), rather than a Pack & Play. Our favorite is the <a href="http://www.babysaurus.com/Playpens/simo_playpen.htm" target="_blank">wooden one</a> from Simo. It's attractive and sturdy, the sort of thing you can pass down to your grandchildren. The visibility is very good, too; the baby can get a clear view of everything that's going on, instead of having to look through mesh.<br><br>
The big disadvantage of a wooden playpen is its bulkiness, of course. It's too heavy to be moving it around the house on a regular basis. (It does roll, but it's too wide to go through normal doorways.)<br><br>
We also tried the Sport Pack & Play, but DD didn't like it at all, probably because it was hard to see out of. We ended up just unzipping the door, and using it as a toy bin. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br><br>
Edited to add: DD learned to crawl and walk on our bare hardwood floors, and she seems none the worse for wear. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> With concrete or tile, though, I'd definitely put down some kind of padding.
 

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We have a p&p that we've been putting dd in across the hall when we want some adult time. She also sleeps in one at both the grandparent's houses. It's nice, but too heavy if you want to move it often, so make sure you check the weight on them. I'd definitly go to a store & play with the demos rather than just order one on-line.<br><br>
Like mellybean we have a safe room for her to explore in. For us it's the living room. It's totally child proofed, area rug over the hard wood, and we can gate it off to keep the dogs out. I'm totally confident leaving her in there for 10-15 min while I make dinner or whatever. That said, we're moving & will be staying with my Mom while we do some renovations on our new home. I can definitly see us using the p&p as a playpen at my Mom's house because I don't know how well child proofed it will be. I can also see a lighter p&p being very handy when you need to do outdoors stuff that requires you not watching the kiddo every second.<br><br>
Holly
 

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We have the Jeep brand pack & play. We got it 2 weeks ago for camping (dd needed a place to crawl.) It has a full shade that covers it, which is why we got it.
 

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We have a P&P too. From your post, I think you'd want something that gives your kiddo a little more space to explore.<br><br>
With DD, we used it for camping as a safe place to watch everything while we set up and tore down. The rest of the time, we ended up using it as a storage space for our food boxes and stuff. I did use it a few times for her to sleep in the yard while I was weeding, not sure why I didn't just take a blanket out.<br><br>
DS is 3 months and we've never brought it out for him.
 

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We live in a small house and I never used a crib with my first (had one but never used it...she liked our bed too much) So I figured with the limited space we have and dealing with a new baby and all for big sis we'd put a P&P in our room so if we want adult time we can have it (and big sis doesn't have to share her room completely yet) and when she starts to get more mobile (as I type she's rolling from her back to belly over and over again and she's only going to be 3 months tomorrow....go figure) So since I have a bunch of overachievers as children we're going to us the P&P to keep her away from the dog and things that. But we'll also have a safe room too. Which will most likely be the living room since her best friend besides me is our gold chandelier. (it's sooooo weird...she'll have entire cooing conversations with it.) LOL
 
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