Baby Playpen vs. Crib: What’s the Difference?
Before deciding on a playpen, it helps to know the difference between a playpen and a crib.
A crib is a slatted, high-sided infant bed that is usually made of wood. While babies can sleep and play in the crib, it’s typically not as portable as a playpen because of its heavy nature.
Playpens or play yards come in various types. The most common kind looks like a softer version of a crib with sides made of cloth and mesh. Unlike cribs, most playpens are foldable and portable.
Other playpens don’t double as a crib; they only have plastic gates that enclose the baby within a confined space.
How to Choose a Baby Playpen
While playpens are generally safe for babies, it is not advisable to leave an infant unsupervised for a long period. In choosing the best playpen for your baby, keep the following tips in mind:
Make sure it’s by a reputable manufacturer
The shop you are purchasing from can usually clue you in: if they are a well-established store selling well-known brands, you’re likely in good hands. But if you are purchasing online, pay better attention: look into the playpen manufacturer. Are they credible? This will give you a good idea on the quality of the playpen.
Inspect the playpen for hazards
It’s important to ensure that the playpen is safe for use before buying. If you can, inspect the product in person for any hazards. Look out for the following: