What are the advantages of a playpen over free range children?
...and vice versa?
brb,long time no see man.
Conas ata tu Srawdog?
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavourite answer
Wow, i cant believe everybody is so strongly for or against!
I've used a bit of both, and there are advantages to both, but first, let me make it clear - a child does not get "more mental stimulation" from being one or the other - both can be boring and unstimulating for a child (and 'free range' can be down right dangerous if kids are left unsupervised all the time - yes kids will learn from injuring themselves, but if they manage to drink a whole bottle of cleaner or get the front door open & run out onto the road, that might not be a "learning" experience that they recover from!) and also both can be a stimulating and learning experience if kids are given toys to explore and learn about their world, as well as a wide variety of experiences and lots of time interacting with mum/dad/other caregivers. I've got a bright, intelligent little daughter and have found that she has learned the most from watching and interacting with me - they love to watch & try to mimic how you walk & talk & sing & roll a ball & draw & read a book... its how they discover things and develop skills. As long as they still get these things, there's no reason why they wouldn't be mentally stimulated.
So, from my experience, the advantages of playpens are:
- Kids can stay secure in a safe environment that you know is free of all the really dangerous stuff people often have around the house.
- Kids toys can be kept in one place, which makes tidying up easier and stops things being accidentally sucked up by the vacuum!
- Younger children can have a place of their own that cant be taken over by older kids, and older kids don't have so many issues with babies/toddlers destroying or hiding or swallowing their things ("my baby brother ate my homework'?).
- They can be a great way to keep a bub contained if you're visiting at a friend/grandparent/etc 's house who hasn't baby-proofed - it stops the child getting seriously hurt or damaging someone else's valuable possessions.
Overall though, I found that the kid themselves has the most say in it - some kids are naturally independent and self-sufficent and are happy to sit and draw or create a playdough sculpture or read a book in a playpen, while others are very social creatures and realise quite quickly that by hopping out of the playpen (either by climbing out or complaining at the top of their lungs until they get taken out) they can spend more time with mum and get 24-7 social interaction (which is exhausting for mum, but i guess that's part of the job description). Of course, if you have more than one bub in there at a time that probably changes things in terms of social interaction, but it also opens up a whole new kettle of fish once they get to the age of trying out biting / hitting / not sharing / etc.
Basically, playpens have lots of advantages, but it all depends on your household and your parenting style and your child, so see what works best for you!
- 1 decade ago
LOL I love the way you put it.
I tried a play pen for 5 minutes when my boy started to move so I would know he was safe when I was out of the room and so he would not wee on the carpet during nappy free time. He did not like it at all because he didn't have enough room to crawl and explore. Now my boy is confined to his play pen most of the time, it is called the lounge, we put a stair gate on the door and there is nothing on the floor apart from his toys. He still sometimes gets upset that he cannot escape from the room but he can be distracted if I call him.
I am not sure if this method has benefited him but he is 6 months and crawling quite fast now and has learnt to sit up from lying. My free range baby is a very happy content boy.
- 10 years ago
Free range children don't need their beaks cut off for their own safety like caged children do. If you put pigs in the playpen, they can teach your children to defecate in the opposite corner of the pen from where you put their food bowls and ash trays for their ciggys. If the purpose of the cage is to have your second honeymoon at Disney World without hiring a babysitter, then, if you cram-in 5 kids per 10 cubic feet, you don't have to pay for sex education after they get into school. Also, Dr. Spock's book points out that if you restrict the size enough, you can sell tickets to the cage matches to re balance the surviving children's gene pool for more lean meat when you send them to market.Source(s): I read the Michael Vick and Scopes trial transcripts.
- Utter BasterdLv 41 decade ago
there isn't ,excpet parents maybe lazy and refarin from keeping an eye on the child,locked up in the pen.
mommy and me classes,have literature,citing developmental studies,blah blah, about the benefits of free range children.
also a pediatricians office would. I worked with a pediatrician,he instructs parents to let kids run around,learn/be taught limits and even encourages parents to put boxes in front of doorways with a favorite toy on the other side,so children will have to figure out obstacles. the thing is,it's a childs job to learn the world/environment, and they aren't learning jack in a little cage.also parents think its so much more important to read to babies,well guess what? by 8th grade, there is no testable difference between the children who were reading early versus the slow ones who read much later. babies need to explore more than they need books,and parents need to babyproof their house and watch their children,get a nannny, or dont have kids they cant watch
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- Ceiling CatteLv 71 decade ago
Studies have shown time and again that free range children tend to get a wider nutritional variety. They tend to consume quantities of worms, grass and lead based paint chips that the batter... er playpen children don't get.
Behavioral research has also shown that free range children have a much more stimulating environment. They can more freely interact with electrical power outlets, large holes in the ground, heavy machinery, animal traps, the local freeway and many others resulting in very healthy behavioral stimulation - and they're often pre-tenderised too.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Children get much more mental stimulation when they are allowed to explore their surroundings than when they are stuck in a playpen. Sometimes as adults we don't realize just how important to their development it is for babies to do such simple things as crawling towards an object (develops depth perception and spatial awareness), reach towards a toy at a distance from them (develops gross motor control), etc. At that age, every experience is helping them develop their perceptual, motor, and cognitive skills. Keeping them in a playpen is kind of like keeping a dog in a cage... it's easier to keep an eye on them, sure, but at what cost?
Personally I think if you need to use a playpen to keep them in one safe area while you're cooking or doing some other task where you cannot keep your full attention on them, then that is okay. But the playpen or pack-and-play should never be used as a substitute for your undivided attention. Rather than a pen, invest in baby gates that you can use to gate off one child-proof area of your home, like the den or living room. Keep that area totally safe for the kids - plug up the outlets, keep all the wires out of their reach, etc. - and let them roam around. (Again, baby-proofing is not a substitute for you keeping an eye on them, but it helps make things easier.)
Hope that helps!
- 4 years ago
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- 1 decade ago
Children kept in playpens do not get the same amount of mental stimulation as "free-range" children. If they sit down all day too things like their balance and proprioceptive senses don't develop as well. Children need different environments, experienced in the context of stable, positive relationships, to develop best. Of course, that's harder work for a parent /care giver though, hence the use of play pens. x
- Anonymous4 years ago
I always buy Free Range
- 1 decade ago
I think they have their place, for when parents need a break for a little while or need to leave the room for a few minutes to answer the door for example and need to know that the child will be in a safe situation while they do so. However I don't think they should be used for long periods of time, it can't be very stimulating for a child long term.