How to Get a Baby to Like His Playpen

By Jennifer Zimmerman

Babies today have more accessories than ever. The list of must-haves keeps growing and growing--play mats, bouncy seats, baby carriers, car seats, baby gyms. But one constant through the years is a playpen, though some babies clearly like theirs more than others.

Start using the playpen early. Even though your newborn isn't playing yet, put him in the playpen as soon as possible so he gets used to it early. If going in the playpen becomes part of the routine, your baby is less likely to question it.

Make it fun. Put your baby's favorite toys and blanket in the playpen so she associates it with fun.

Give small doses. Start by putting your baby in the playpen for a few minutes at a time, so he doesn't associate it with being left alone for too long.

Emphasize the "play" part. Play with your baby so she knows that the playpen is an enjoyable place, not a place where she is dropped off when you are busy.

Talk it up. Use a positive tone when you talk about putting your baby in the playpen.

Be patient. It may take a while for your baby to be happy anywhere else but your arms.

Tip

Don't get frustrated if your baby cries whenever you put him down.

About the Author

Jennifer Zimmerman is a former preschool and elementary teacher who has been writing professionally since 2007. She has written numerous articles for The Bump, Band Back Together, Prefab and other websites, and has edited scripts and reports for DWJ Television and Inversion Productions. She is a graduate of Boston University and Lewis and Clark College.