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  • Choosing the right playpen to keep your toddler safe

    January 08, 2024 3 min read

    Choosing the right playpen to keep your toddler safe - The Nappy Shop

    Choosing the right playpen to keep your toddler safe

    Toddlers are surprisingly fast. One minute you can pop your baby sitting up amongst their toys as you reach over and have a sip of tea, knowing they will still be there when you look up, the next minute any break in eye contact and they are heading to the nearest stairs or electricity plug. It can be a very tricky time because you want your child to explore and have fun, but you also want to ensure they are safe. Fortunately for parents everywhere, playpens in a range of shapes, styles and sizes are available to allow even the most energetic of toddlers to unleash their curiosity without compromising safety. Here are some key considerations to make sure you choose the best playpen for your little one.

    Safety First

    When it comes to toddlers, safety is non-negotiable. Look for playpens that meet safety standards and are certified by relevant authorities. Check that the materials are non-toxic, sturdy, and don’t have any small parts that could pose a choking hazard. It is also important to remember that toddlers can be ‘little Houdinis’ given the opportunity, so ensure the latches are secure to prevent accidental opening (and escape).  See the ACCC product safety website for a full guide on potential risks and injuries to consider

    Size and Shape

    Playpens can take up a lot of room so consider the available space in your home and choose a playpen size that fits comfortably without requiring you to step on to furniture to open the front door. As playpens come in various shapes, including square, rectangular, and hexagonal you can choose one that creates the best use of space for you and your child. Keep in mind it might not always end up where you think it is going to go, you might find in reality it gets more use in a different room, so explore your options.

    Movability and Storage

    If you envision moving the playpen from room to room or taking it on trips, portability needs to be considered. Some of the more sturdy versions can require quite a bit of dismantling and reassembly, so look for playpens that are easy to fold, lightweight, and equipped with carrying cases. Also, consider the size of the packed playpen for travel and storage. If it is still the size of a small car when it is fully folded up, it might not be the ideal playpen for putting in the car on holidays or popping in the cupboard when not in use.

    Ventilation and Visibility

    A good playpen strikes a balance between safety and allowing your toddler to see what is going on. The original playpen style was generally all wood with vertical slats to allow you to see and interact with your baby. More recent models are made with mesh sides that offer full ventilation while allowing you to keep an eye on your little one. Mesh sides can also prevent your toddlers from injuring themselves by reaching outside of the bars, however, some children find the fact that they can see through the mesh but not reach through it quite upsetting, so it as always depends on what suits your little one.


    Easy Maintenance

    Toddlers are notorious for making messes, so choose a playpen with a simple and easy-to-clean design. Removable and machine-washable fabric components or wipe-clean surfaces can save you time and effort when keeping the playpen hygienic for your little one.


    Toddlers are also alarmingly strong, so investing in a durable playpen ensures that it will withstand the rigours of toddler play. Look for sturdy materials and quality construction that can withstand the inevitable bumps and tugs. Choosing a playpen with adjustable height settings can also extend its usability as your toddler grows.

    So there you go, you are all set to find a secure space for your toddler to play that also seamlessly integrates into your home and daily routine. As your little one explores the world within the confines of their playpen, you can have peace of mind knowing they are both safe and happy. Now where is that cup of tea?