How to Set Up a Baby Play Area in Your Apartment

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How to Set Up a Baby Play Area in Your Apartment

Staff Writer · Aug 6, 2010

A baby play area is an important consideration when it comes to living in an apartment. When you’re limited on space, the idea of purchasing yet another piece of baby furniture for the apartment is anything but appealing. Perhaps you’re wondering if you can just skip it altogether, if you’ve babyproofed the apartment already. Well, here’s a look at whether that’s such a good idea.

Consider Your Baby’s Age

Newborns should never be kept in a playpen, as they need too much attention, stimulation and affection from adults. Even if you have a playpen in storage from when an older sibling used it, avoid putting one in your apartment when you have a newborn. The optimal age for placing your baby in a playpen is from six to nine months of age. After that, a playpen will be too restricting for most babies, who may cry if left in there and will want more room to roam, crawl and explore.

Cost Considerations

If you are apartment living on a budget, you may realize that the cost of a playpen, which is only going to be used for a few months (unless you save it for potential siblings or sell it), may not be worth it. If you are always home with your baby, you may opt to let him play in a corner of the room set aside for him, where you closely monitor him. If you opt for this, you must be extremely diligent about baby proofing the entire apartment area, just in case. This includes little things, like making sure the area has not been sprayed with pesticides, as babies are far more sensitive and vulnerable to such chemicals than adults. When you rent an apartment, it’s sometimes hard to tell, so be sure to ask the landlord.

Consider Your Apartment

Although an apartment may be small in size, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need a playpen. In fact, when an apartment is small in size, that often means that a baby has more of an opportunity to get into things he shouldn’t. Keep in mind that a playpen is portable. Although your apartment may be tiny, the playpen doesn’t have to stay in the main area all the time. It can come and go as needed.

Living Situations

If your baby has an older sibling or if you have a dog or other large pet, you probably want to opt for the playpen. The same is true if you often hire an in-home sitter. Nobody will be quite as vigilant as  you, when it comes to watching your baby, and a sitter may be tempted, if only for a moment, to leave the baby alone in the designated play area. This can be dangerous, if the sitter has a nearby purse which may contain something harmful for your baby or if other things have been left around the room. If you aren’t the sole provider who can make sure your baby is always closely monitored in a designated play space, opt for the playpen. If there’s one thing you don’t want to take chances with, it’s the safety and well being of your precious baby.

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