People often ask me how I manage to work from home whilst looking after Violet. My blog is not just a hobby, but it’s actually my business that has supported us throughout my maternity leave, so finding time to fit work into my day is essential. Until about 2 months ago, fitting my work into my day was a piece of cake. Violet would happily lay or sit on the same spot an play with her toys, allowing me to get all the stuff I needed to get done, but as soon as she was able to crawl – all of that went out of the window! She’s still loves to play independently but when a little curious baby is on the move, you can’t take your eyes off them for two seconds! This didn’t just impact my work from home, but even the simplest things like going to the loo, answering the door or doing the washing up were suddenly tricky – Honestly, you need to have eyes in the back of your head!
So, after a few weeks of running about after Violet – usually with my daily mantra of ‘No, don’t eat the dog toys’, ‘no Violet, don’t chew wires’ and ‘get out the fireplace’ and also not getting much done at all – I decided it was time to make Violet a safe space, she’d be able to play with her toys and give me piece of mind that I can do what I need to do during the day as well.
As we live in a small house, we decided the Summer Infant Pop n’ Play Deluxe Playpen would be the right option for us, based on the fact it literally ‘pops’ up and down so easily, meaning it doesn’t take too much space.
The playpen is stored in a travel bag, this is particularly useful if you plan to use this in different locations or take the playpen on trips away – plus, it does come with an optional UV canopy (at an additional cost), so it’s great for using in summer for picnics, on the beach or in the garden too.
It’s super easy to put up – it comes fully assembled, so you just just expand it to it’s full size and pull the strap over each corner. It’s as easy as that, this locks the frame into place and makes the entire structure really sturdy. I am not the best at following instructions or assembling anything, but this one only took me about 2 minutes to figure out the first time, so it must be simple.
The Pop n’ Play Deluxe offers a large playspace (1.3m square to be precise) which is plenty of room to allow Violet to crawl about and play with different toys. Now she’s standing it’s also plenty of room to put bigger toys like her walker or activity tree to pull up on. She can pull up on the sides but they are nice and high so she wouldn’t be able to reach the top or pull the pen over by pushing on one side.
Inside the pen, there is a padded, water-resistant mat, which detaches for easy cleaning.
The sides are soft mesh, which is perfect as you can see your little one from all angles, they can also see out so they don’t feel trapped in or apart from you.
The playpen has two handy pockets, I usually keep wipes and a toy, or Violet’s snacks to I can easily access them.
Overall, we are really pleased with the Summer Infant Pop n’ Play Deluxe Playpen, it’s really been a godsend for knowing that Violet is safe in her own space, which allows me to get on and do the jobs I need to do around the house or work on my blog. I always keep things interesting by adding new toys, sensory baskets, flashing lights or musical instruments so Violet has something new to discover and learn during her time in the playpen. I never put her in her playpen for long periods of time, just enough to do the little jobs I need to do, and I’m always close by when she’s in the pen too.
I think there is often a lot of stigma around using playpens, but parents shouldn’t feel guilty for needing that 5 minutes space from their baby – there is still so much to do as a parent – housework, cooking, cleaning or work (if you work from home)….or honestly, just to have 5 minutes to enjoy a cup of tea and a piece of cake is ok too. As much as I thought I’d be the ideal picture of a mother, singing nursery rhymes, reading and making Pinterest-worthy sensory activities ALL THE TIME – it’s just not realistic as there is so much more in your day that you need to do, you can’t be expected to entertain your child 24/7 and I’m okay with that.
You can order the Summer Infant Pop n’ Play Deluxe Playpen here – priced at £69.99