17 answers

Does Your Baby Sleep in a Play Pen?

My 5 month old has been sleeping in a play pen in our bedroom since she was born. Well my mother continues to tell me how uncomfortable she must be and how we should feel terrible for not setting the crib up for her. - My oldest just turned 3 and we took the crib down when she was 18 months, dont really have the room to put it back up anywhere - The baby has sleep through the night since she was 2 months old, so we dont think there is any issue.

So my question is has anyone elses child sleep there "baby" months in a play pen? Is my mom just doing the grandma thing by telling me what to do?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for the advice, we set back up the crib this morning. She has slept 3 nights in it and she is still sleeping through the night. Thanks for all the encouraging words!

Featured Answers

My son slept his first seven months, until he was just too big for it, in a car seat because he slept all night long by two months. As for the comfort issue in a play pen, babies don't give a flying flip. She would not sleep if she ws uncomfortable. The only thing is when she does move from a play pen to a bed or crib, it will probably take a much longer time for her to adjust. Once we started putting my son in a crib to sleep, he stopped sleeping through the night. He is 3 now, but until he was over two, he wouldn't sleep in a bed all night long. Thank goodness those days are behind me. My daughter slept in a crib from the start, and she was just fine until she decided she wanted to sleep in a bed like her big brother. So, my only warning to you would be that she may get so used to the play pen that she will want to sleep there until she is big enough to want to be in a big girl bed. Oh, besides the fact that if you ever want to use that as a play area when she starts getting mobile and she only knows that as her bed, she may not take too kindly to being put "to bed" when she is wide awake. This is more lengthy than I intended, but I hope it helped.

1 mom found this helpful

My son slept in a playpen many a nights and days because we moved in with my husband's parents and didn't have room for a crib, we had no problem with it, we switched him to a toddler bed at 12 months with no issues.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Dear C.,
I don't know what your mom is doing, but if your baby is sleeping ok you are doing just fine.
Don't worry about it.

1 mom found this helpful

My son slept his first seven months, until he was just too big for it, in a car seat because he slept all night long by two months. As for the comfort issue in a play pen, babies don't give a flying flip. She would not sleep if she ws uncomfortable. The only thing is when she does move from a play pen to a bed or crib, it will probably take a much longer time for her to adjust. Once we started putting my son in a crib to sleep, he stopped sleeping through the night. He is 3 now, but until he was over two, he wouldn't sleep in a bed all night long. Thank goodness those days are behind me. My daughter slept in a crib from the start, and she was just fine until she decided she wanted to sleep in a bed like her big brother. So, my only warning to you would be that she may get so used to the play pen that she will want to sleep there until she is big enough to want to be in a big girl bed. Oh, besides the fact that if you ever want to use that as a play area when she starts getting mobile and she only knows that as her bed, she may not take too kindly to being put "to bed" when she is wide awake. This is more lengthy than I intended, but I hope it helped.

1 mom found this helpful

my oldest son slept in a playpen for a while. the crib we had did not meet the new requirements back then. he is 10 now. we took it down and he slept in the playpen until we could afford to get another crib. there were never any issues with him as far as sleeping in the playpen or his crib when we got one.

1 mom found this helpful

My son slept in a playpen many a nights and days because we moved in with my husband's parents and didn't have room for a crib, we had no problem with it, we switched him to a toddler bed at 12 months with no issues.

1 mom found this helpful

Honestly, whatever works for her is fine. There's really not MUCH difference between a play pen and a crib. She's contained, she's obviously comfy or she'd be crying, etc. And, you need to do what you need to do per the room available in your place. If YOU want her to be in a crib, then set it up. And, just remember that the longer she does go NOT being in the crib, the increased risk your taking for her not to like it at all once you DO want her in it. But, honestly... you really need to do what you feel is fine and if you're happy w/ her in the pack and play and she seems happy, just leave her.

My trio slept in the bassinet portion of their pack and plays until our cribs came in and it was never a problem. Once in a while the trio does nap in their play pen and they're never uncomfortable. Maybe you should check with your pediatrician? Personally, if it were me, I would opt for the crib. I would tend to think a crib mattress is more comfortable than a play yard mat but you can always compensate with a padded pack and play sheet. They sell them at Babies R Us.

they sell mini cribs that are actual cribs but smaller

there are weight limits on the packand play to?

to me they are fine for naps and the occasional overnight but not all night every night

My first slept in one untill she was 6 months old in our room. She also slept for at least 5 to 6 hours straight at night. I wouldn't worry about it.

Our daughter is nearly 18 months and she has always slept in a Pak'n'play playpen. We visit family in another state fairly often and being able to pack up her bed and take it with us helps her settle to sleep in the "new" place. We also figured that since the playpen was adjustable it would be in use longer from when she was tiny to now that she's bigger. The bottom dropped down, this kept us from having to buy a baby bed then a larger crib when she got too big. As for baby comfort, I've seen children sleep in the most awkward looking positions (sitting up in a car seat)and they never seemed to have any negative side effects as an adult would. She's your child do what you feel is right for you and her.

Hi C.,

My concern is that a playpen simply does not provide enough bac support. I slept in many beds and mattresses could really hurt my back long term.
Playpens are not designed for the best support for a baby's back.I slept both of my children in a playpen downstairs for naps for their first few months but after that, I moved them to their crib or to bed with me.

If you already have a crib, I'd consider setting it back up or buying a small one as someone else recommended.

Then again, last resort will probably be to ask your pedi.

Posture is very importatn, back support and your body being properly aligned so you don't have discomfort or pain. You baby is still young but as she get heavier, the playpen is simply not designed for everyday, long-term use.

My baby slept in his play yard for the irst 2 months. We had a bassinet as well, but he quickly outgrew that and was too small (up too often) or his crib upstairs. Our play yard has a bassinet attachment that worked great. Now that he's outgrown that, too, I put him down or naps in the play yard. Seems good to me.

Sounds like Grandma is just trying to be helpful. Why not just put the crib together to appease her and see what happens? Even if it's cramped or a while.

There are two things that you should never skimp on when it comes to your baby's development-good shoes, and a good mattress. You may not notice the effects of this right now, but your baby will. Play pens are for the occasional use, not to be your baby's sole sleep system. It's one inch of foam covering hard cardboard.

I would say that if she is fussy all the time, that she might be uncomfortable...

If it is a pack n play, you can buy the mattress for it, if you think it might be an issue...
sounds like she is using the grandma card though.

I wouldn't worry to much right away. I had a little one that wouldn't sleep anywhere but the floor at first. Then he moved on to sleeping in his car seat only. I questioned the doctor about the effects of this to my baby. My doc said not to worry about it back then. Today he is 17mo. old and seems to be doing fine and sleeps in his crib exclusively. It seems like the play pen or floor would be uncomfortable but babies do a lot of things that look very uncomfortable to me. If your little one was unhappy with the arrangement she would let you know. Might be a good idea to ask your doc about it just in case. Just give them a call and they will probably set your mind at ease. Then you can go at mom with "the doctor said to do this". I would look into something more permanent in the next few months though. Your instinct, your daughters cry, and your doctor are the best judges of what she needs right now. Good Luck to Ya! Shannon PS. Don't fault "Mom" to much. Like any good grandparent she is just worried. Thanks grandma for caring so much!

Hi C.,
My youngest daughter did indeed sleep in a playpen in my room until she was about 7 months old-If a child is uncomfortable in the playpen, they will not sleep, if your baby is sleeping through the night, she must be comfy. I think Grandma is just doing the Grandma thing. FYI...My youngest was also very comfortable & would sleep for long periods of time in her car seat as well.

D.

Both of my girls started out in a play pen. My oldest slept in it until she was around 9-10 months old and the other until she was 6 months old. Both slept just fine in it. Your baby wouldn't be sleeping through the night if she wasn't comfortable. Funny- cause my mom said the same thing. :)

H. F.

Hi C.,
i think your mom is just use to the "good ole days". I am a mother of twin girls and due to our house being a 2 bedroom home at the time and having a 8 yr old dtr. We had our twins sleep in their play pens instead of a crib due to not having space. When the twins were 3 months old we bought a bigger home and they both had their own rooms. We put up a crib and they did not like it. Plus, all of the materials that can be put into a crib is dangerous due to sids. My girls both slept in playpens until they were about 1 1/2 yrs old. Then we went directly to toddler beds due to the potty training after 2 yrs old.
Good luck and relax.
C.

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