Which To Choose: A Baby Cot or A Playpen?

Which To Choose: A Baby Cot or A Playpen?

There will come a time where parents are hit with a dilemma, especially first-time parents when shopping for baby essentials. "Whether to buy brand A or B? Type A or B? And what if it doesn't fit the baby?" are some of the questions you would ask yourself. With so much information available online, sometimes it makes it harder to choose! In this post, I will share the difference between a baby cot and a playpen, which is also a common dilemma faced by parents and hope to help you make an informed decision.

There are several differences between a baby cot and a playpen but the main difference is their purpose. A baby cot is usually used for your baby to sleep whereas a playpen is a secure play area to place the baby while parents attend to other things.

Baby cots

A baby cot or crib is a small bed with railings on its sides that is specially designed for babies. It can be either stationary or portable. The rails are an inch to 2.6 inches in distance between each other which is a safety measure to prevent the baby's head from slipping between the rails. A baby cot can be used as early as a newborn up until two or three years old. Some parents, however, will wait and opt for bassinets or Moses baskets until the baby is a few months old and can roll on their own.

Baby cots are also comparatively more spacious and more stable than bassinets or baskets. When your baby is old enough to use a bed, some baby cots can easily be converted into a child-bed by removing the detachable sides just like this convertible cot from Chilux. This type of baby cot surely will save you some $$$ in the future!


A playpen or also called a play yard is a piece of furniture to place the baby or toddler when parents are occupied. Its main purpose is to protect the baby from accidents and harm's way when they are left unattended for some time. For instance, you can place your baby in the playpen when you need to take a shower or step outside to collect your parcel! The play in playpen intends for your baby to play with their toys inside it during playtime and can also be used for sleeping or napping.

A playpen is used when the baby is about six to seven months old and starting to crawl. A lot of playpens in the market now provide multiple purposes. Some playpens can be used as a travel cot, stair gates, or room dividers. It's also important to remember that your baby should not be kept in the playpen for a long period of time as it could have a negative impact on their ability to explore their surrounding.

To summarize,

A baby cot:

  • Usually stationary, hard to move it around
  • Can be used from birth
  • Spacious and heavier

A playpen:

  • Typically portable
  • Used for older babies from six or seven months old who can crawl
  • Smaller and lighter

Click on the links to browse our baby cots and playpens collection.