Mum told that playpens are horrible and practically a “baby cage”.

One loving aunt posted on Mumsnet forum asking people what they thought about playpens saying her sister in law is horrified and believes babies should be held and not put in a “baby cage”.

She wrote: “I have a travel cot set up in the corner behind the sofa. It looks ok – it’s the one that converts to a tepee.

“I’m keeping it there mainly for when my niece calls around with her baby and little boy as it’s handy to put the baby in every now and then.

“But my sister in law is horrified and says that babies should be held and it’s a “baby cage”. I really don’t care what she thinks but would be interested to know the general view.”

The comments have actually been very supportive with many saying there is nothing wrong with a playpen at all.

– “I think it’s absolutely fine and surely no different to a baby walker or swing.”

– “Playpens are sensible things to have, it’s safe and allows you a nice cup of tea.”

– “My nephew used to retreat into his and close the gate behind him when he was a toddler and fed up with the bigger more boisterous kids.”

– “I don’t see the outrage if the baby/toddler is happy in it. Of course you can’t hold a baby constantly…you need a safe place to put them whilst you prepare food/bottles, go to the loo etc”

– “It’s a good way to keep crawling babies safe while you are busy or having a 5 minute break. Make sure it has toys and that baby can see his/her time mum.”
What do you think of playpens?

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  • I have a cousin who used one outside to give her baby / toddler some safe outdoor time. It was definitely bigger than the one shown above. The only grass area they had was prickly and they were in the process of removing it. It was only used in suitable weather and placed in such a situation where it was partly in the sun and part shade. They had a shade sail that filtered the sun out but they still took precautions.


  • I didn’t see anything wrong with them either. They give you peace of mind when doing the house work that they are safe playing.


  • Perhaps she has never had children – there are times when you cannot hold a child – like when you are cooking a very well needed meal for all and the hot fats could easily splash up onto the baby. Then it’s great for an area where mum and child can see each other but be safe.


  • Well..let her be horrified! A playpen is not a cage! A playpen is a good option for a baby particularly if safety is involved.


  • It’s not like you want to leave them there all day and night.


  • It’s a great safe place for a child when parents pop to the bathroom or clean the kitchen. We used to joke about it being baby jail, but it’s not used all the time. Just when juggling tasks momentarily after all two parents are not always present.


  • I had it and used it occasionally. I think the important is not to put your kid in there for hours and hours.


  • A play pen is a safe place to leave a child for short periods of time.


  • For safety reasons, I think play pens are perfectly acceptable. There’s time fir holding and time to be doing other things, you can’t hold a baby 24/7

    • Exactly! It is a safe option particularly when cooking food.


  • Nothing wrong with them. The baby is safe.


  • I like a playpen for safety but it’s not a baby sitting service.


  • I didn’t have one for my first and I’m unlikely to get one for my second, but I don’t see anything wrong with them.
    Like everything, I think there is a balance. I do believe babies need to be held, but there is also a time when the parents need a break.


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