Freedom to roll and play. More comfortable than the floor, less ‘prison-ish’ than a playpen …
Baby playtime used to be so simple. Activity mat on sofa. Baby on mat. Go.
But there are changes afoot.
My baby, previously such a passively content little girl (my charming code word for lazy), has been invaded by a limb-flailing, twisting, rolling, chattering, high-energy baby. In other words, she’s growing up.
My days of leaving her on the sofa while I make a coffee are numbered. I’ve had to move to ‘Plan B’: a plan that offers her much more space, with less hazardous drops to worry about.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Exact-Place-The-Baby-Is
There’s another actor in this scene. Enter: The Dog. The dog’s modus operandi is to follow the baby everywhere I take her, waiting patiently for the baby to be placed within reach so she can lick her face / sit on her head. A lot of my day is spent gently shunting the dog away from the baby, with a “No – you can sit over there / lick her feet instead / play with your own toys.” She ignores me. I’m no Cesar Millan.
So, how to create a play space for baby that will protect her from death by sofa drop and death by dog lick?
I started looking at all sorts of playpens online. Little wooden prisons. I’m sure I’ll regret my irrational hatred of them, as they are very practical, but I don’t want one. They suck up a tonne of space and, last time I checked, my baby is not a chicken to be cooped.
With pens out, it was a good moment when I stumbled across another option: The Minene 3-in-1 activity mat. The big benefit is its versatility. For very little ones, it can be folded origami-style into a foam-sided ‘pen’. When they get older (4-5 months), it becomes a spacious playing area. And, finally, it can be folded into a little sofa.
I wish I’d found it earlier. My baby has already outgrown the first phase. But, the flatly-laid mat is proving to be better than anticipated. Not only is it much more comfortable than the bare floor, it provides a natural boundary over which the dog (theoretically) can’t cross. Although the muddy paw prints I keep brushing off it tell a different story …
Minene website -> Here
Linking up to Tried & Tested
What’s your playtime set up? Are you pro playpens? Or have you found the magic answer to the dog / baby in the same spot challenge? Let me know.