The Joy of the Playpen

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Our family is a growing one, to say the least. We have two dogs that weigh more than 40 pounds each, a 4-and-a-half-year-old and a 6-month-old, who is a quick mover already. You want your curious pups to be able to roam the house like they did before kids came along, and then you have the ever-so-curious preschooler — who wants to continuously play, watch and participate in whatever Baby is doing. It can be tough to at times for everyone to enjoy each others company in one room.

This is why I simply LOVE our playpen. Baby is contained in a safe area to flip, turn and throw his toys while the doggies and your toddler can see through the sides and watch this wild little baby have the time of his life. We didn’t use one with our first child. We would either let the dogs play in the backyard or in one of the rooms while we let our first born have adequate tummy time.

It is so funny to see the doggies react when Baby has rolled over, pushed up on his belly and is squealing with delight at the sight of the pups. They hop back, come closer for a better look and hop around some more — I am talking about both the dogs and my toddler on this one.

I can sit back and watch them knowing that Baby is safer in the playpen than on a blanket on the floor. This is definitely something a family should invest in when you have all these factors in play. You also need to know if your doggies are right for a family of little ones running around.

Playpens (or Play Yards) also come in handy when you are traveling and need somewhere for Baby to sleep. There are a variety of them out there to pick from, but be sure to stay up-to-date on recalls. Usually, the most simple and basic ones are just right.

Now, the fun part is when Baby actually starts throwing his toys out of the playpen. We will see how that goes.

Kiera Ashford is associate editor of Nashville Parent and mother of two rambunctious kids and a new baby!

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