There are arguments for and against using play pens, but we’d like to posit the fact that they are of more use than they are detrimental. The main argument against play pens is that they are restrictive and that they make your child feel enclosed; thus uncomfortable. However, if you get the right play pen and use it correctly this is no longer an issue. The bars or netting of a playpen needn’t be a prison; they can be a safe place to play at the right time.
Make them comfortable
Many of the play pens on the market today are designed to be adjusted into room dividers too and this makes them look far less like mini prisons. When you petition off a room with one of these play pens you can fill it with toys and it doesn’t look much different. In fact it’s much nicer to use a playpen as it is or as a room divider than it is to close the door on your child to keep them in one place when you’re busy.
The important thing to do when you introduce a playpen to your child is to make them feel comfortable in it, no matter how you have it positioned. If you can fill it with their favourite toys and spend some time with them interacting you will put them at ease quite quickly.
The important thing is that your child has a safe place to play. If you need to go to the kitchen and make lunch or go outside to hang the washing, or even take a quick shower, you need to know they are in a place where they can’t harm themselves. If you allow your child to crawl or toddle around the lounge (or wherever) whilst you’re trying to get on with something, they are likely to find the only thing you never thought about and cause a problem. Not only do you risk their safety, you are also never going to get your work done.
Because a playpen allows you to leave your child unattended, it also helps them to become more securely attached to you. If you never leave your child or take them everywhere with you they are likely to become incredibly distressed when you eventually do try to slip away. It’s important to separate yourself from your child in order for them to get used to it and eventually understand that when you leave them, you are in fact coming back.
When you consider these points held against the age old argument that playpens in fact imprison your children, you can begin to understand that they are in actual fact an excellent safety device that have been around for centuries in various forms. As long as you don’t leave your child in the playpen for extended periods of time there should be no problem at all.