A baby playpen is a piece of baby furniture. During the child's fast growing years, safety becomes more and more important, and this is the time when you should invest in a playpen. It forms a precise play area for the kid. It is also very convenient for parents, as they can allow the child to be alone in it while they do other house hold work like cooking, washing or even attending a phone call. Some of them have vertical bars, while some others, if made up of fabric, may have small windows on the side walls. This helps the person keeping an eye, to see through it and know what the kid is doing inside. It is closed from all sides, making the baby stay in the confined play area. There are many varieties of playpens available to choose from. Each one has some unique features which might confuse you while choosing one of them. The following paragraphs deals with some of the ideal features that a playpen should have, which might help to do away with the confusion.
An Ideal Playpen
Though safety remains the most important factor, there are other significant characteristics you should look for, when buying a playpen which are as follows:
Traditional playpens were made of wood. Even today, they are very popular among parents because of their durability and elegance. The users feel, that the look that a wooden playpen offers to the room is not offered by any other variety. But, you should be careful that the screws and nails in it do not hurt the child. Other playpens like fabric and the ones made of steel are also in demand.
The structure of a playpen should fit in the following criterion:
Size and Shape
Usually, a rectangular playpen is preferred, since it provides a large area to move around comfortably. As I have mentioned above, it has vertical bars with 2 to 2 ½ inches gap between them to help in proper ventilation. The gap should not be wider than this, because it can trap the child's arms, legs or some other body part. It should be easy to fold into a compact form so that it requires a smaller storage place.
The walls or the sides should always be higher than the baby's height, to prevent injuries caused by climbing over its walls. If there are vertical bars, a child can take their support to stand and move around, but if it is made of cloth, it should have a rope or a handle on the walls to support the child.
This can be the most useful characteristic of a playpen because it serves the purpose of a baby bed too. When a baby wants to sleep, the playpen can be transformed into a crib, otherwise it can remain a play area. A playpen with this extra-ordinary feature can be extremely useful while traveling. Make sure that the bedding comes attached with the playpen, else they might ask you to pay extra for the crib.
Nowadays, most playpens have wheels. It becomes easy to move it anywhere in the house comfortably, without lifting.
Canopy and Detachable Lid
A canopy allows you to carry the playpen outdoors in the sun where the child can play without being bothered about sunlight or any other natural disturbance. The detachable lid is securely locked when the baby is inside, which prevents him/her from jumping out of the playpen. It also helps the parents to put in or get the child out of the playpen.
Cleanliness is very important when it comes babies, since their immune system is not yet well-developed. So the playpen should be easy to clean. You should avoid complex structured models which are difficult to clean.
Some amazing baby playpen designs include music and lighting, which can keep the baby entertained for longer without getting bored. In case of fabric models, there are colorful pictures painted on the walls as well as on the floor mat, to attract the baby. According to experts only infants and toddlers should be allowed to play in a playpen, because they are the ones who have developed their muscles to play, and can utilize the playpen to its fullest.
These are the important things to be considered before buying your baby a playpen. If you follow the above criterion, you will definitely have the best one for your kid.