Infants are more curious and inquisitive than ever in their early developmental stages. As they learn to roll over, crawl, and begin the first moments of standing and walking, they need a space to feel free to explore and build their strength.
A playpen is one of the essential components you’ll find in many nurseries. It’s designed to create a safe and designated environment for baby development and give caregivers a place to set their baby mat. While it’s a commonly-found nursery essential, it does require an understanding of the where’s, how’s, and why’s.
In this article, we’ll explore the fundamentals of how to set up a playpen, the safest ways to clean a playpen, and essential safety and repair tips to ensure your child can enjoy playtime.
How to Set Up a Playpen
Learning how to put together a playpen for your little one is an important step in creating the right environment for them to build on their current developmental skills. Before you can begin assembling your playpen, you’ll want to decide where in your home is the best location. If you often gather in common areas of the house, you could assemble it in your living room. On the other hand, if you have a designated playroom for your child, then you already have a place to put any baby climbing toys and additional items.
Once you have a location selected, be sure to keep your baby’s playpen away from anything that could be considered a safety hazard — lamps, doors, wall hangings, furniture, curtains, and electrical outlets should all be out of reach.
The assembly process will often depend on the type of playpen you’ve purchased. A Wunderkids playpen for babies is specifically designed for each set-up and take-down. With strings to attach as a base for your play mat and secure panels and holders that click into place, learning how to put a playpen together has never been easier.
How to Clean a Playpen
Like anything in your home, keeping your child’s furniture, toys, and accessories clean is essential to their health and well-being. The first step is knowing how best to clean a playpen mat and which supplies and products you’ll need.
Regular cleaning and maintenance ensure your little one can safely play and explore inside their playpen. Between plastic and fabric designs, there are various ways to clean a playpen and playpen mat.
If you’re looking at how to clean a plastic playpen, you’ll need a small amount of mild detergent, warm water, and a spray bottle. Once the detergent and water are mixed together, simply spray the mixture onto the playpen and wipe with a clean cloth — paying particular attention to corners and any areas where there is excess dirt.
Fabric designs will still require mild detergent and warm water, but rather than wiping them down with a cloth, a soft-bristled brush may be more effective at getting out dirt or stains.
In both cases, make sure you’ve dried the playpen with a new cloth and given it a moment to air dry before letting your little one back in for playtime.
How to Close Down a Playpen
Closing down a playpen can vary depending on the type of playpen in your home. The most important initial step is to ensure all toys are out of the playpen and you have enough space in your living room, nursery, or playroom to disassemble.
If your playpen collapses from the middle, your disassembling process is simple. If you’ve set up a Wunderkids playpen, you can disconnect each panel and door from the holders and store away until it’s needed for tummy time.
When storing your playpen, ensure it’s kept out of reach from your little one — whether that’s in a closet, armoire, or in a mudroom or basement setting. Reassembling should be equally as simple as the initial assembly, and the same safety guidelines will apply.
Playpen Safety Guidelines
Playpens are a great tool for your child’s development, especially when you combine them with all the benefits of a baby play mat — adding that extra level of comfort and security. While playpens are a beneficial addition to any home, it’s important to know how best to keep your little one safe while they’re enjoying those benefits.
The best playpens are filled with a child’s favourite toys inside. These toys should always be age-appropriate — that means avoiding toys with small pieces which could become choking hazards. When your little one is playing and enjoying tummy time or learning to crawl, it’s important to continuously monitor their activity while they’re in the playpen. Not only is it beneficial to their safety, but it also allows you to get involved with their playtime activities and create those special bonding moments.
What to Know About Broken Playpens
If your child’s playpen is faulty or has been damaged, there may be a DIY “ how to fix a broken playpen” that you can try at home, but at Wunderkids, we recommend speaking directly with our playpen experts. We understand the ins and outs of ALZiP playmats and babyrooms, how they assemble, how they should be cleaned, and what to do in the event of damage — whether it’s an issue with the locking mechanism, rubber pads or the strings that collect to the playpen’s panels.
Wunderkids Playpens and Babyrooms
The safety and comfort of your little one can’t be understated. At Wunderkids, we’re proud to be the exclusive supplier of ALZiP babyrooms, play mats, and a selection of Montessori furniture. We help caregivers bring their gender neutral nursery design to life with deluxe, non-toxic activity mats and accessories for infants across North America.
Whether you’re looking for a Montessori shelf to store your child’s favourite books and knick-knacks or you’re searching for advice on how to fix a broken playpen, we have the resources and items you need to make life easier — so you can soak up every precious moment with your little one.