We show that the finite lateral sizes of ultrathin CdSe nanoplatelets strongly affect both their photoluminescence and optical absorption spectra. This is in contrast to the situation in quantum wells, in which the large lateral sizes may be assumed to be infinite. The lateral sizes of the nanoplatelets are varied over a range of a few to tens of nanometers. For these sizes excitons experience in-plane quantum confinement, and their center-of-mass motion becomes quantized. Our direct experimental observation of the discretization of the exciton center-of-mass states can be well understood on the basis of the simple particle-in-a-box model.