Surviving Parenthood

Baby Essentials: North Star Gate (Setting up a play area)

by Mother of two

Little Lum's Play Pen. This picture was taken when he was older. We had more baby friend toys when he was younger.

We purchased the North Star Gate with extra extensions for our son when he was 7 months old in order to create a play area.  We have a cluttered living room with floor tiles so it was imperative for us to establish a safe and comfortable spot for him to play in. We started by isolating a large area (roughly 6’ X 6’) and laying out a soft “ABC Foam Mat” on top of our place mat (for added cushioning)

We then set up the fence on top.  Here is a tip, the longer you build the walls the weaker they become.  So instead of constructing a large square or rectangular enclosure, build a hexagon or an octagon with your fence instead.  The extra bends will make it more stable.

The next thing we did was to attach clip on toys on to the fence, and add a mix of stuff animals and other small toys.  We would rotate and switch out toys to create a different combination and selection of toys inside the playpen regularly.  That kept things fresh and interesting for my son.  My Lum really loved it and could entertain himself in there for a prolonged period.  It was also just very convenient to have a safe place to settle him down when  my husband and I were busy. We used the playpen for over 6 months, until our son began to walk.  By then he could stand up and rattle the gates and demand to be let out.