Basically, our entire homes will be our babies’ playgrounds as soon as they learn to self-transport. At the same time, our homes will also be like a building with dangerous stuff inside. This means that our nooks and crannies may pose any type of hazard toward our babies. As innocent little beings, they will grab anything and put it in their mouth, risking a choking hazard, for instance. Thus, we need to keep our babies contained, to play only in the best baby playpen.
Generally, the best baby playpen is one that functionally serves as a sturdy enclosure. It should keep our babies in and away from harm, including that of active house pets. But beyond that, playpens now also serve the functions for travel and babies’ development. They are now significantly compact and portable and designed in fun colors and with fun activities sometimes.
These are the best baby playpens with most of those features:
1. Toddleroo by North States 8-Panel Colorplay Superyard
2. Summer Infant Pop N’ Play Portable Playpen
3. Graco Pack, Play, Change, and Carry Playpen
4. Regalo My Play Portable 6-Panel Aqua Playpen
5. Delta Children Playpen
6. Evenflo Versatile Playpen
7. Gupamiga 14-Panel Kids Activity Center
8. Baby Care Playpen
9. 4moms Breeze GO Travel Playpen
10. Kidzone Interactive 8-Panel Safety Playpen
11. HALO 3-in-1 DreamNest Bassinet, Travel Cot, and Playpen
12. Guava Family Lotus Travel Playpen
Unless we can keep our eyes only at our little ones at all times, playpens will not be necessary. However, knowing babies, they can be quick and persistent to get away from our watch. Also, we cannot just keep restraining them the entire time. They will need a little freedom to move around and have fun exploring their curiosities. That is why we need to invest in the best baby playpen that is roomy enough and not too restricting.
Toddleroo by North States 8-Panel Colorplay Superyard
This excels as the best baby playpen as it can be used both at home and for travel. The 8-panel playpen is lightweight and folds up and has a carrying strap so that we can bring it easily. When assembled, it free-stands to up to 26 inches tall and forms a 34.4 square feet enclosure. It is also multicolored, so it is attractive to developing baby eyes.
In the safety aspect, this North State superyard is made of durable plastic. It can hold the weight of active kids, 6 months to 2 years old, in case they climb over it. Also, as it does to babies, it holds back aggressive pets from getting into our babies.
However, because this is a free-standing playpen, we may have to place a mat in it. Otherwise, our babies will have to position directly on the floor. Also, the pen does not collapse easily, but it does have a tendency to move with too much force.
Summer Infant Pop N’ Play Portable Playpen
Summer Infant came up with this product competing for the best baby playpen. It is a portable and free-standing one that can be used both indoors and outdoors. It stands up to 26 inches tall and makes up a 14 square feet enclosure. Its six sides are mesh so that we can see through it the babies. Its bottom is a weather-resistant canvas floor, which makes it efficient for outdoor use.
Travel-wise, this playpen compact folds easily and unfolds in just seconds. It also comes with a travel strapped bag for our convenience.
Moreover, this playpen has a removable canopy, which unfortunately has to be bought separately if we want to. Only, it does not fit inside the travel bag, so we cannot bring it with the rest of the playpen. It sure is useful, though, when we hang out in our gardens or backyards.
Graco Pack, Play, Change, and Carry Playpen
Graco has a line of multipurpose baby products that do not sacrifice quality. Their products, thus, are perfect for those of us who want to make the most out of our money. As the name suggests, the best baby playpen of Graco can also function as a bassinet and a changing station. We can place the bassinet on top of the pen when it is time for a nap or sleep. Also, we may or may not attach the changing pad when we are to change stinky diapers.
Not only does this playpen functions as the two mentioned, but it also has built-in storage pockets. Therefore, we can keep diapers, wipes, and other changing necessities at our fingertips. And on top of all that, all these functions are in a single playpen that folds for easy portability.
However, we may not approve of this pen’s thin and very firm mattress. Also, the bassinet can only hold up to 15 pounds, so it can only be used for younger babies.
Regalo My Play Portable 6-Panel Aqua Playpen
Regalo’s My Play playpen is also competitive at being multifunctional. Of course, it can be used indoors as well as outdoors with its protective nylon bottom for rough surfaces. It is also water-resistant, as is designed with ventilating mesh walls that are easy to clean. The entire playpen’s cleaning only requires a damp cloth and soap for washing and wiping.
As the name indicates, this playpen is 6-paneled, that makes up a wide enclosure. It also stands up to 26 inches tall that can hold up 6-month old babies to 2-year olds. Its frame is also made of heavy-duty steel for guaranteed durability. Additionally, for the portability aspect, it folds easily and comes in a carrying case with arm straps.
The only downside of this playpen is that it may not be as effective anymore for kids over 2 years.
Delta Children Playpen
This playpen is a big one, measuring 35 inches tall, 28 pounds heavy, and the walls, 38.5 inches wide. It is compact-built that folds easily for easy storage and carry. Moreover, it comes with a mattress and a carrying bag for travel. It is also baby proofed with soft padding on the edges so that our babies can hold on them. With padding, they can exercise their legs while getting support from the edges, as long as they do not climb.
Although it is big, we can easily move this playpen by folding it down and packing it in its carrying case. There is also no need to buy separately a mattress that may not fit it. It comes with its own tight-fit one.
Moreover, this Delta playpen is recommended only for babies that are not over 30 pounds heavy. It also may require assembly with the assistance of the step-by-step instructions.
Evenflo Versatile Playpen
As its name suggests, this playpen is versatile and can be used both indoor and outdoor. For indoor, particularly, it has a reversible anti-movement pad that do not scratch smooth floors. On the other hand, for outdoor use, it has outdoor stakes for similarly anti-movement and stability.
In terms of space, Evenflo Versatile Playpen creates a free-standing 18.5 square feet enclosure that can hold babies 6 months to 2 years old. It can even be used to contain lively household pets. Also, it is 28 inches tall, relatively taller than other playpen designs. And it is portable, foldable, and easy to assemble.
However, we may not like to use this particular playpen for toddlers over 2 years old. It is built in a fairly lightweight design that older baby weights might be too much to hold for this. It also does not have a bottom flooring, so we will have to lay out a mat in or below it.
Gupamiga 14-Panel Kids Activity Center
The great thing about this playpen is that its 14 panels are brightly colored that will stimulate babies’ sensory development. Also, each panel is designed with different fun activities that will stimulate babies’ brains for increased development. For example, they can turn knobs or wheels to hone their fine motor skills and perhaps hand-eye coordination. We can even do the activities with them as the enclosures are big enough to allow so.
In terms of safety, the Gupamiga activity center does not slide or fall as it has rubber feet on the bottom. It also is equipped with an anti-clip guard, so we do not have to worry about stuck little limbs. And although plastic, this playpen is non-toxic, BPA-free, and entirely odorless.
The thing about this playpen, though, is that it does not come with padding. Also, it may not be that tall enough to keep pets off our babies’ space.
Baby Care Playpen
Baby Care playpen comes in a variety of various brightly-colored designs to suit our babies’ sensory development needs. It is 10-paneled with 31.6 square feet of enclosure where babies can crawl, walk, and explore as they please. It is also baby proofed with stability clamps connecting the panel tops to prevent pinching or snagging little fingers. It is also waterproof and easy to clean.
On the safety aspect, moreover, the robust plastic is free of BPA, lead, phthalates, latex, formaldehyde, and EVA. So, there are no worries in our part whether babies are exposed to any of these harmful elements.
The only thing that is of concern for this playpen is that it does not come with a mat upon purchase. There is a mat that is specifically designed for this playpen, but it has to be bought separately.
4moms Breeze GO Travel Playpen
The best thing about this playpen is that setting it up and disassembling it is both a breeze. We only need to simply push on one hand the center, and it will pop and stand by itself. To disassemble, alternately, we need to simply pull a ring from the middle, and the playpen collapses by itself. As it collapses, can we then quickly place it in its travel bag, and then we are good to go.
This travel playpen can support newborn babies and those that are up to 30-pound heavy. It is very sturdy and works as well in keeping pets, especially active ones, off our little humans.
However, 4moms Breeze GO playpen actually weighs 23 pounds, which can still be a bit heavy to carry around. But pays to carry this much weight for the easiest playpen to set up and fix.
Kidzone Interactive 8-Panel Safety Playpen
Kidzone Interactive’s 8 panels are customizable so that we can assemble them in any shape. This feature makes up for fun and can adjust to different room layouts and areas. The built or assembled playpen is very sturdy and works great on both carpet and hardwood floors. For the hardwood floor, in particular, it has a suction cup on each panel that sticks on the floor for stability.
In babies’ perspective, it will be fun to be in this playpen with the brightly-colored panels and built-in games. Generally, it encourages play and helps hone their developing skills, including their fine motor skills. Safety-wise, this playpen’s material is durable and is free of toxic BPA.
One of the downsides of this playpen, unfortunately, is that it does not come with flooring. This means that we will have to separately buy a tight-fitting flooring or mat for this. Also, it does not come with a case in case we want to bring along our travels or trips.
HALO 3-in-1 DreamNest Bassinet, Travel Cot, and Playpen
This 3-in-1 Halo DreamNest can grow with us and can last us a long time for our travels. We can use it for younger babies with rockers to aid and soothe them to sleep. The rockers are removable and fold easily for portability and easy storage. Other than that, the crib comes with a breathable mesh mattress, bassinet, and cot legs. All these come with a portable travel bag for when we need all these features in our trips.
As mentioned, this crib can grow with our babies from under 15 pounds up to 30 pounds. It is 35 inches tall, so it keeps older babies from climbing out and off it.
However, it may concern us a bit that this crib is not the easiest to set up. It is also not the easiest to pack compared to other cribs. Also, it is 27 pounds in total, which is a fairly heavyweight to carry.
Guava Family Lotus Travel Playpen
This travel playpen is one of the best that can be brought as a hand-carry in the plane. It comes in a compact, light travel backpack. Other than that, the crib only weighs 13 pounds when packed. It is also easy to assemble with a thick pad and soft foam for a comfortable sleep. Moreover, it has a zip lockable access door that is very convenient and easy. Generally, the crib can support babies from 0 up to 3 years old. This makes it very cost-effective as it grows with our babies.
However, it might be a bit of concern to us that the mattress is fairly thin. Also, this crib can be converted into a bassinet but requires an additional kit to execute.
How can we make sure that our babies are safe in their playpens while we are busy with chores?
Because our babies are inside their playpen does not mean that they are already a hundred percent safe. Sometimes, specifically older babies can get to trouble out of their curious developing minds. They will try to climb out on top of the fences or try to squeeze themselves in openings. We can prevent any accidents that can be caused by them in a few tips.
For one, we have to remove toys that may have been tied across the playpen top. Babies can get themselves in the tangle and may perhaps cause a strangulation hazard. Also, we have to remove large toys or items inside the playpen, which can help babies climb out. Additionally, we have to remove a raised changing table for cribs that permit it, while our babies are in it. The tendency is our babies can possibly entrap themselves between the changing table and the playpen’s side rail.
What should we avoid in playpens?
For mesh playpens, we should avoid holes, tears, and loose threads. We should make sure that the openings of the mesh are less than a quarter of an inch. This is so that our babies cannot get caught in the openings. We should also avoid missing, loose, or exposed staples if staples are used.
For wooden playpens, on the other hand, we should check that the slats are not over 4 inches apart. This will prevent the possibility of a tiny head getting trapped in between.
Lastly, accordion-style fences can be fairly dangerous than other styles of fences. There is a possibility a head will get caught up in the diamond openings and the V-shaped top border. Therefore, as much as possible, we have to avoid using these types of playpens.