Playpen

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A traditional wooden playpen

A playpen is where a baby plays in a enclosed structure. It is designed to keep the baby safe when the parent is not there. The earliest use of the word playpen in in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1902.

History[change | change source]

Playpens were once made of wood. They were square shaped, with vertical wooden bars on four sides, so that the child can see out. The floor of the playpen is usually a soft mat. The walls of the playpen are usually higher than the height of the child, so the child can not climb out.

Modern playpens can be moved easily. They are usually made of a basic metal and plastic support system with mesh, soft plastic or nylon sides. Sometimes a bassinet can be put on the top for the baby to sleep in, or be changed in, until four months of age. Some have mobiles, side pockets for supplies and toys, night lights, music boxes, or a CD player for the child to listen to music while sleeping or playing. Portable playpens come in different sizes, but most can be rolled or folded up for easy storage and transport.

It is important that the playpen being used is safe for the child. Unsafe playpens may collapse which could injure the baby.[1]

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