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Whether your baby is training on how to crawl or take their first steps, they'll need a secure area to keep them from the harm’s way.
Toddlers are active beings and keeping an eye on them occasionally or consistently can be tough to busy moms because, one minute he’s with you, the next minute he’s in the other corner of the house.
A toddler playpen is the only solution to a crawling toddler and you can keep an eye on them while going on with your chores. The best playpen for toddlers and babies is spacious, tall and comes with an activity or animated panel to keep your baby cheerful and playful as you get busy with the routine chores.
Let’s take a closer look at the best playpen for babies that will take your baby’s security to another level to give you a peaceful mind when you’re cooking, bathing or attending some other tasks.
Quick Comparison Table
Best Playpen for babies
Measures 34.4’’ L by 26’’ H. 8-Panels. Lightweight. Foldable. Mesh sides
Measures 48” W by 26”H. 8-Panels. Steel frames. Mesh walls. Waterproof base. Foldable. Foot locks
Measures 18.5”W by 28’’H. 6-Panels. Non-skid. Foldable.
Measures 55.5”W by 68.9 H”. Spacious. Suction cups. Foldable
16-Panels. Hinged door. Lightweight. Foldable. Nonskid.
Measures 51.1x55.1x23.2. lightweight. Foldable. Nonskid.
Measures 59.1x59.1x23.6. Gate. Nonskid. Lightweight. Foldable
Measures 26”W by 23.5”H. 14-Panels. Hinged door. Suction cups. Foldable.
Measures 35.8Wx27.6’’H. 6-Panels. Mesh sides. Foldable. Hinged door
Measures 25”W by 24.4”H. 14-Panels. Nonskid. Foldable. Door. Lightweight
Best Playpens for Toddlers and babies (Reviews)
1. North States Superyard Indoor-Outdoor 8-Panel Play Yard
Best Playpen with a Gate
North States Superyard Indoor-Outdoor 8-Panel Play Yard is our top on the list for a variety of reasons. First off, it creates a secure enclosure for your child to crawl on and can be used both indoors and outdoors.
This playpen is made with 8-panels that can be configured into any shape to create a 34.4-square feet enclosure that is 26-inch high. The high height makes the playpen suitable to tall toddlers who may be tempted to climb out of short playpens.
We love that the playpen is simple to set up and bring down. We also love that the playpen is made with non-skid pads so the playpen does not scratch or slip off.
It's also lightweight and comes along with a carrying strap that makes moving the playpen anywhere a breeze.
There is also a gate that lets you and the toddler to get in and out of the playpen. The only downside is that the color may not be appealing to certain users.
2. Regalo My Play Portable Playard
Best Outdoor Playpen for Toddler
Like our first review, this playpen is made with 8-panels. It measures 48-inches wide with a height of 26-inches when it’s set up.
Regalo My Play Portable Playard boasts of an all-steel frame that makes the playpen durable to be used all through the toddler stage.
One important feature we love is the mesh walls that ventilate the playpen while allowing you to watch your baby from afar.
Another thing we love is the water-resistant nylon bottom that makes the playpen suitable for outdoor use. The nylon bottom is easy to clean and wipe with a damp clothing and mild soap.
This playpen for toddlers is easy to set up and bring down in a shorter timescale. The 6-panel playpen is easy to fold plus, it’s easy to carry with the strapped carrying case for outdoor use.
It's made with foot locks that keeps the playpen stable when they're pushed down. It's also spacious for the baby to move around.
3. Evenflo Versatile Play Space
Best Tall Playpen for Toddler
Like Regalo My Play Portable Playard, this one is made with 6-interlocking panels and creates an 18.5-square feet enclosure that is 28-inch tall. This simply means the playpen is smaller but taller than North States Superyard playpen.
The playpen is versatile and can be used at home or away. One important thing we love about this playpen is the outdoor stakes that keeps the playpen stable when used in a lawn or outdoor plays. The floor pads are also non-skid so the playpen does not slide off when used on interior surfaces.
We love the unique hinge design that makes putting together a lot easier with no extra tools required to disassemble the playpen.
It's portable and comes with a molded foldable handle for extra safety to parents who would love to use the playpen in outdoor occasions.
The baby playpen is spacious for the baby to jump around and keep themselves entertained while crawling and maneuvering within the enclosure, safely. The main complaint is that the playpen does not have an actual door however, any section can be unsnapped and converted into a gate.
4. Buckland Baby Playpen
Buckland Baby Playpen is made with a fence that is 26-inch high which make it taller when compared to average playpens. It covers 55.5 x 68.9 inches when it’s fully assembled.
Snapping the panels together is easy leaving no spaces that would grip their little hands. You can even purchase extra panels although there’s no need since the playpen is spacious.
The playpen is sturdy when it’s assembled and does not push or drag since there are suction base cups that sticks on any floor to keep the playpen in one place.
It is entirely sturdy and great in quality. Once assembled, this playpen will manifest an activity playpen panel to stimulate your baby’s curiosity and self-learning.
The size is versatile for babies who are 5-months to active toddlers who are up to 3-years. There’s also a sturdy door that is easy to swing to let the baby out of the playpen.
The overall appearance of the playpen is great with soft colors that are gender neutral. It is safe and adheres with the safety standards as set out by legal bodies. Unfortunately, you’ll need to purchase a play mat separately if you want to be ahead of others.
5. Ashtonbee Playpen Activity Center
Ashtonbee Playpen Activity Center is made with 16-panels that enclose together to form a safe area for your toddler to crawl and play. The good thing is you can configure the playpen to take either a rectangular, octagon, square or L-shapes.
It is quite large and can hold up to three kids comfortably while providing ample space for playtime. On the sides of the enclosure is a hinged door that swings to let the baby in and out of the playpen.
The material is sturdy and the pegs interconnecting the panels cannot break even when the child becomes more active by shaking the playpen.
It weighs light and easily collapses to make storage and transportation a breeze. Hence, the secured enclosure can be used to secure your toddler at home or away for outdoor adventures.
The pads are nonslip thus the playpen is stable and will not scratch the floor. Plus, it is adorable with bright colors presenting to parents an opportunity to teach their kids on how to name the colors.
Putting the playpen together is easy and there are no additional tools required to put the panels together. You only need to push the pegs into the holes and there you have a secured enclosure for your toddler.
6. Uanlauo Foldable Baby Playpen
This playpen measures 51.1 x 55.1 x 23.2 inches when it’s fully assembled. To reduce the playpen size, you can remove some panels to customize its size as needed.
The high sides and the hinged safety door will give you a peace of mind if you get busy since your baby cannot limb out of the secured limit. You can also can accompany your baby within since the playpen is spacious.
Assembling the playpen is simple. Folding the light baby playpen is fast for easy packing to use for outdoor purposes. The base is designed with rubber feet to keep it firm on any floor and will not get dragged by the active kids.
It is sturdy and will not pull along when a baby stands while supporting themselves with the panels. Thus, the playpen will not fall when the baby leans.
Additionally, the junctions are anti-trap to counter the risk of getting stuck at the panel junctions. The entire construction does not include toxic substances nor does it emit any odor that would affect your baby.
7. Gupamiga Baby playpen
The playpen takes a large area enough for your baby to crawl, play around or lay on as you clean up, cook or get along with other chores. It measures 59.1x59.1x23.6 inches when it’s set up.
The design allows the playpen to be customized into different shapes; and instructions on how to snap the pieces and the gate are pretty clear. The gate opens easily for both of you to get in.
When set up, this playpen is sturdy and will not slide around when the baby is playing and exploring since the playpen is made with suction rubber that sticks on the floor or carpet.
The height is high to shield your baby from getting out while standing to explore their surroundings.
Also, there are no sharp corners to hurt their gentle skin while the junctions are made with anti-clip designs to safeguard your kid from being stuck while exploring around.
It's cute with a bright colored design and animations to spontaneously ignite their curiosity and keep them cheerful. You can also provide extra toys or books to keep them productive within the playpen. The baby playpen is light for packing and use on the go.
8. Skip Hop Baby Playpen
If you’re looking for a naturally smaller playpen, then Skip Hop Baby Playpen is probably what you’re looking for. It is also the tallest (27.6-inches) when compared to other playpens we’ve reviewed.
This baby playpen is made with 6-mesh panels that create a 20-square feet enclosure which can be configured as needed. The mesh panels are printed to create a modern décor appearance that is eye catching for your baby’s mental development.
The playing surface which is the biggest selling point is provided with a cloud teether, light-up raindrop, plush cloud, reflective sun mirror, singing bird toy, rattle bead spinner, and shooting star clicking mover to engage your growing baby.
The entire playpen is solid since the panels are made with steel frames. It comes with a hinged door for entrance.
The one-handed door shows a red indicator when the door is open.
It is adorable and super easy to assemble. Instructions on how to snap the panels and the gate are very clear and simple to follow. It is also safe and there are no protruded edges or space that would grip the tiny arms and fingers.
9. INEX Life Baby playpen
The 14-panels playpen is convertible into rectangular, hexagonal, octagon or square shapes. These panels create a playing area of up to 26-square-feet although you can reconfigure the playpen to take your desired size.
Putting the panels together is pretty easy and you won’t require extra tools to join them. When assembled, this playpen has a height of 23.5-inches hence a toddler cannot climb out when you’re busy with household chores.
It can accommodate up to 3 kids with enough space for them to stand, crawl and lay down when a soft play mat is laid on its surface. Plus, it is gender neutral to accommodate a baby girl or boy.
To let the baby in or out, the playpen is made with an entrance door that contains a child-proof safety lock. On the base is rubber suction cups to stabilize the playpen on any floor by preventing the kids from dragging or pushing the playpen.
The baby playpen is adorable and is a great way to stimulate your baby early learning on vocabulary or to increase their curiosity. It is a great place for tummy time and to develop their motor skills and other cognitive abilities.
10. Cloud Castle Foldable Playpen
.The Cloud Castle Foldable Playpen creates a 25-square-feet spacious and secure surface for your toddler’s safe play. It has a height of 24.4 inches when it’s set up.
The secured enclosure is firm and will not lose its shape since the hinge connectors are strong. Also, there are anti-slip pads to keep the playpen in place.
You can customize the playpen into a small size by removing some panels or make it larger by adding additional panels and tightening the hinges for stability.
Putting the panels together is straightforward and you won’t require any tool to set up the playpen. Folding the playpen is also simple, plus it’s portable and lightweight for use either in outdoor or indoor surfaces.
The outdoor baby playpen comes with a hinged door to secure babies who are 6-months up to 3-years. On the door panel is a whiteboard to stimulate your baby curiosity and creativity.
The panels have no big spaces or sharp corners when interconnected that would trap and injure your baby’s arms. This playpen is made with materials that are eco-friendly, food grade, odorless and non-toxic. It also comes with a 2-year warrant and assurance of lifetime support.
Factors to Consider When Looking for a Playpen for Toddlers and Babies
Size of the Playpen
If the playpen is too small and restrictive, it will outgrow your baby sooner and that’s why you should look for a large playpen from the onset. A large playpen for toddler is ideal even for an infant since you’ll also be spending tummy time with your baby within the playpen.
The best playpen for toddler is designed with a gate. Others can be unsnapped at any section to create an entrance into the playpen. Just make sure the unsnapped section does not interfere with the stability of the playpen.
Light Weight and Portable
The best toddler playpen is compact when folded for outdoor adventures. For parents who would want to use the playpen at the beach or in any outdoor play, consider if the playpen is light in weight and foldable. The best one is accompanied by a strapped case for easy travelling.
Foot Locks or Outdoor Stakes
These features are vital in enhancing the stability of the playpen. They are pushed to the ground, floor or carpet to maintain the playpen in one position.
Different Ways to Use a Baby Playpen
Apart from using a playpen to baby proof a crawler, a baby playpen can be used in the following ways:
1. Playtime, Early Learning and Tummy Time
Sometimes it’s good to allow kids to have independent time with themselves. By providing them with toys, your baby will have some cheerful moments in the safe place.
A baby playpen is also a good place to stimulate their early learning. This can be achieved by purchasing a playpen for babies that is animated with vowels, colors, pictures and more. You can induce the early learning by training them on how to name the colors, vowels and much more.
It's also a great place for tummy time where as a parent you’re supposed to help them familiarize with the external surroundings or stimulate their motor skills.
2. Diaper changing
Aside from using a baby changing table, a playpen is a great alternative for diaper changing. The good thing about a playpen is that it is portable and multipurpose. And that means you can use it both for playtime, diaper changing and naptime on the go.
You can also use it to change the diapers if your toddler sleeps in the same room with their sibling. Set it in another room for occasional change of diapers.
This way, your baby will get accustomed to changing naps in a secluded place, and recognize that diaper changing should be private. This will make diaper changing away from home a lot easier.
3. When You Want to Have a Minute with Self
Sometimes you’ll want to have a minute to do laundry, cook, shower, take a call, relax. Whatever. A baby playpen is a safe place to leave a crawler.
You’ll have a peaceful mind knowing your baby is safe while all the other tasks are attended to. You only need to monitor them at times to ensure they’re well.
4. For Beach Trips
There are other items you could use for beach trips like a beach wagon but a baby playpen is the most ideal. A folding beach wagon may do but may not be comfortable for a toddler when it comes to napping.
Also, if the baby is yet to walk, holding the baby all the time will reduce the fun that comes with beach trips. Carrying along a playpen will be worth it to rest the baby as you burry yourself with beach sand.
5. For Sleep-Overs
Having a playpen in the house is good for babies on impromptu visits who are too small for large beds. You can put it in a separate room together with a large bed for visitors with babies.
A playpen is safe and a baby cannot roll down at night. Additionally, a baby would take a space that would be used by an extra visitor if you happen to have more visitors than expected.
6. For Newborn Sleeping
As a mom, waking up at night to nurse your newborn in a separate room could be overwhelming. Placing a toddler playpen in the same room with you will save you a lot of time as you can stretch out and pick your baby for nursing; and you won’t catch cold that would render you sleepless the entire night.
While a crib bed would do, a baby playpen is the best in doing the magic. It does not take a lot of space and is pretty comfortable when compared with a crib bed.
Safety Tips When Using a Toddler Playpen
Although baby playpens are safe, they can turn out to be dangerous if certain measures are not adhered to. Consider the following tips when using a playpen:
- Do not set the baby playpen close to windows, drapes, or on a raised place
- Do not leave the baby in the playpen when the mesh is lowered. A lowered mesh creates a pocket like structure that can trap or suffocate an infant
- Always check the baby periodically. Do not leave them for long periods as something unexpected or accidental may happen
- Occasionally check the playpen parts to see if they’re intact. Check the vinyl covers and plastics that cover the rails to see if they’re worn out and repair them with a cloth tape. Teething babies can bite them, so it’s important you repair them as soon as you spot them
- Never leave your baby with any bedding or pillow while in the playpen unless you’re monitoring their actions. The bedding would pose a serious suffocation hazard
- Ensure the playpen panels do not contain big holes, gaps or protruded corners that would get them stuck or injured. The mesh should be tightly fitted from top to the bottom floor plate
- The height of the playpen should be high enough to shield your baby from climbing out. Additionally, the playpen should be free from boxes or big toys that the baby can use to climb out.
As the baby grows, they become more active and crave for more space to explore their environment around. During those stages, a baby playpen will be a life saver.
The price of best playpen for toddlers and babies may seem outrageous at first, but nothing compares to the safety that comes with it. Furthermore, you’ll find the price worth it considering the playpen will be usable all through the newborn and toddler stages.
It's a prerequisite if you want to be at peace since your toddler will be in a secured place having fun, napping or simply engaged as you get busy at home or away.
You’ll feel at peace knowing you can go on with your chores while the baby is crawling, jumping and playing safely within the secured limit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a playpen safe for a baby? sure it is. Nowadays, a playpen is safe than ever before. It is solid with side protection to prevent the baby from climbing out. You can rest the baby as you attend the household chores, take a shower, pick a call and more without any anxiety. You can even fold and pack for use on the go.
Can you sleep the baby on a playpen at night? In the past, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported death to babies who were slept on playpens. According to the report, deaths were closely connected with soft bedding and improper use of mattress. If you are to sleep the baby on the playpen, make sure the mattress is firm to avert suffocation and SIDS risks. However, we suggest a crib bed as the best alternative to playpen.
At what age should I stop using a playpen? Well, there are lots of models in the market but the most important thing is to think about how long you’d like to use the playpen. In most cases, a playpen is used for crawling babies at around six months after birth. There are tall baby playpens for big toddlers as well. However, if the toddler is tall enough to climb out of the playpen, then it makes sense to discontinue using the playpen.