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Baby playpens

Advice on the features to look for when choosing a playpen for your baby's nursery, plus the opportunity to purchase a range of wooden and inflatable baby playpens.
A playpen provides a safe place to contain your child for a short period of time. Whether you need to answer the door, do the ironing or your circumstances at home mean you need somewhere safe that the baby can be popped into for a short while, a playpen may be invaluable.

Experts have commented that playpens can restrict children, however so long as you use the playpen for short periods of time, your playpen can be a real benefit. Try keeping certain toys inside so that your child associates favourite toys with being in the playpen.

Think about how you will use your playpen and in which areas of your home before purchasing. A playpen may be useful when your child is just beginning to crawl at about six or seven months. You may also find it useful for brief spells when your child is really running at about two years old. Today's playpens fold quickly and compactly, and most come with a lightweight tote bag for easy portability.

  • A floor that covers the whole base area to prevent your child's head, arms, or legs getting trapped.
  • A little extra in the price buys you more attractive fabrics, a sturdier tote bag, and extras such as wheels, or a canopy.
  • Sides that are at least 600mm from the top edge of the playpen to the floor
  • Bars or slats that are vertical to prevent a child climbing out
  • Spaces between the bars that are 50mm to 85mm wide to prevent your child's head, arms, or legs getting trapped.
  • A strong stable frame so it won't tip over if your child leans against the side.
  • Compliance with a British (BS), American (ASTM or CFR), European (EN) or Australian/New Zealand standard (AS/NZS) manufacturer's instructions for use.

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