I know I'm preaching to the converted already and some will say , Ahh yea, I have been doing this for months! But hopefully others will go , YES, why didn't I think of that ! I am taking about travel cots being used as playpens. AKA baby jail. I have used this in past jobs when houses were multi-storied and I needed to keep wee ones and siblings from going up and down stairs . Yes, stair gates were on but older wee one, 4 yrs and over can figure out baby gates and are not good at shutting them! But they could not and were instructed under pain of no cartoons if they did climb out of a travel cot. This way I could keep little people contained, while I did a job where I didn't need company or help !
They are wonderful , easy to erect and store when not in use. It's a must have item for any family. Obviously brilliant for travelling especially as airlines give them free passage as part of babies ticket. They are also great as a 2nd sleeper / day bed for daylight naps. But when not being used for any of that , they are great, to throw some toys in and have near the bath room or where ever you need to pop bubs in and have 5 mins to do something that you need to do. Say the loo and you wish to visit alone. Or making dinner or finishing off the last sentence of a blog and wee woman wakes up from nap and wants to help !
I suggest from the very get go that you invest in one. Either new or second hand or beg, steal or borrow one. It doesn't have to be flashy, mine has a tiny hole in one side. Just make sure you get one with a padded mattress for comfort. Fitted cot sheets do nicely over the base. You can hang mobiles off the sides for weenie ones. Put toys and stuffed animals in for crawlers plus, and books for the older ones to engage them for 5 mins. In containing them with something with sides, you can leave them essentially for a few minutes knowing that they are safe and secure. I especially recommend them for when you have two plus kids. One in a bouncer or baby gym and the other in baby jail. This was you can get a few things done knowing they are strapped and trapped in. When my old jobs were old enough to play together but still too young to be left to their own devices (literally I phone etc in later years ) this was a great way to get them to interact. Although we had it for the younger sibling to go in, I, one day I found older sibling in there. Upon query as to why, he said it's the only place she cant get me !!
There are a few other options available on the market like a gated playpen , that you can have in the corner or in a circle as to keep wee ones in one place. But I find that the travel cot works well for this purpose as well as its original function. Two for one deal.
So for those whom it hasn't occurred to that the baby travel cot sitting stuffed somewhere can and should be used to help Mummy when you need to put wee one down for 5 mins. I suggest you either get one, or dust it off, grab a bunch of toys and have a break with a cup of tea. Your wee one is entertained and learning to play individually and amuse oneself. A very important skill if you need any other motivation. It's actually good for them. I keep mine up at all times , stocked and ready and drag around house as required. My wee one loves it so much she even asks to get in. Im encouraging her. It won't be long till she can get out !