I have briefly touched on how useful I find our amazing playpen in a previous post. Loving referred to as “baby jail” in our house, it allows the twins the freedom to manoeuvre around as much as they’d like without exposing them to potential dangers in our open-plan living room/kitchen.
People have criticised me for using a playpen, but until you have looked after two mobile and highly creative toddlers in a large room that contains the TV, all electrical gadgets (ie play station, wii, sky box, laptop etc) as well as the oven, dishwasher, washing machine not to mention the cat food, litter tray and the cat herself then please don’t judge! Unfortunately, even with one child it would be impossible to be there, following them around, every second of every day.
We attempted to cope at the beginning but as soon as they started to crawl, we knew we would need something to keep them safe. Twins are notorious at crawling off in complete opposite directions, or working together to get to places or to move things they wouldn’t have been able to do alone!
For an incredibly short time we used a traditional ‘pack and play’ from Kiddicare, but it was obvious that Biscuit and Cracker didn’t like the feel of crawling or standing on the slightly springy raised floor and it was quite small for the two of them. It was perfect if I needed to answer the door or, God forbid, go to the toilet but it didn’t help us with the original problem of keeping them safe and us sane.
I then found, to us, the perfect option. It was large, didn’t have a floor and was easy to set up and put away. Amazon had the Baby Vivo Expandable Playpen in stock and we ordered it straight away! Thank goodness we did. The playpen is huge, it takes up most of the floor space in our living room and happily accommodates two toddlers, two adults and plenty of toys for everyone.
This week we have been at my parents’ house. They have a separate living room and with clever use of their furniture we figured that the twins would be okay. How silly we were! We had five days of “no”, “leave the TV alone”, “come back”, “don’t climb on there” and “stop, you’re going to hurt yourself”. It wasn’t nice. I felt that all we were doing was stopping the twins doing anything they wanted to do. Yes, they had more space to roam around in but they were definitely stifled and were getting much more frustrated than I’ve ever seen them before.
We got home last night and this morning they went straight into ‘baby jail’ full of smiles and giggles at all their toys waiting for them there. I was able to put out a load of washing, sort of a pile of magazines and catalogues and prepare their breakfast knowing where they were and that they wouldn’t be coming to harm. They can see me and regularly threw toys at me when I was unloading the washing machine! For the rest of the morning we have all been in there playing, cuddling and dancing to the new CDs they got for Christmas.
Until the twins are old enough to understand why they shouldn’t touch/chew certain things then I shall continue to use our lovely playpen. It works!