I love products that serve more than one function, so I’m pretty much smitten with the Baby Trend deluxe nursery center—it’s home to three must-have baby products in one pretty package!
For starters, it’s a play yard, which is a must-have for parents on the go. With my older kids, a play yard traveled with us on vacation, to grandma and grandpas, pretty much everywhere we went. It’s an easy place for baby to sleep away from home. This particular play yard can hold a baby up to 30 pounds, so it’ll last you awhile, and it also includes a bassinet for babies up to 15 pounds. (Mamas, you’ll love your little one being in the bassinet when you’re freshly home from the hospital—it’s nice to not have to bend way over to scoop up your newbie every time she needs something!) It’s not the lightest play yard I’ve ever picked up, but since it has a lot of features, I didn’t really expect it to be. For the most part we’ll be using it as a co-sleeper and only traveling a few times a year, so it’s fine for it to be a little heavy. (Plus, in my mama brain, heaviness equals sturdiness—if something is too light and wobbly, it gets my anxiety going.) According to the Baby Trend website, the play yard weighs 25 pounds. It folds up fairly compactly for travel and includes a bag (with a handle for carrying, of course).
Snapping the rails into place for the play yard was tricky at first, but it wasn’t hard once I figured out the routine. (And actually read the directions—a fault of mine.) The wheels make it easy-breezy to move it around once you have the sides locked into place. Once the play yard is together, you can add the bassinet easily, and then the accessories come into play: Now this product shines in its second function, as a changing table/nursery station.
If you need a sleep space and changing area for your baby in a room other than the nursery, the Chloe is your gal. (With my first child, the nursery was upstairs and we spent most of our time downstairs in the living room and my office—a similar play yard/changing table setup was a lifesaver for us, I tell you.) The changing table is easily added on, and it’s a good height for me. It has adjustable buckles to hold squirmy tots in place, and it flips neatly up and out of the way when you don’t need it—score. Side pockets give you a spot to store extra diapers, swaddling blankets, and the like.
And if you’re a music lover, you’re gonna be psyched: An electronic music center includes two music options, nature sounds, and—wait for it—an MP3 input so you can control baby’s tunes. So if you want baby to learn to drift off to the tunes of Pearl Jam, you know, that’s your call. (Ahem.) You can also control the volume, which is a lovely option. I’ve lived with toys and gear where “loud and tinny tunes” was the only choice, and those were dark days, friends. This nursery center is also home to a nightlight and a soothing vibration option.
But I promised three functions, right? This baby slides right up to the bed and transforms into a co-sleeping unit. Your baby can snooze soundly just a reach away, and this function also provides a sweet little storage unit for your middle-of-the-night needs. My husband was responsible for converting the unit into a bedside sleeper, but he swears the process was painless. (Of course, he followed the instruction manual. Perhaps I should take a lesson from him next time I’m putting something together?) You can also use the bassinet independently, if you so choose. I should note that we haven’t done that yet, but it looks to be a perfectly suitable option. With the Chloe by my bed, I feel like my little one is safe and sound next to me, and I am really happy to have the option to co-sleep safely.
One thing I don’t totally love is the firmness of the mattress. I know that babies are supposed to sleep on hard surfaces, but it doesn’t feel very comfortable to me. Peanut is sleeping soundly, though, so I guess she isn’t complaining. Also: It’s a little hard to pack up. I took it down and put it back into the carry bag just for the purpose of writing this review, and there was some colorful language involved.
But on the bright side, I love the print of this particular style, and I think I should mention that I like it much better in person than I do in the pictures. It’s a really fun floral pattern with pops of pink, navy, turquoise and green—everyone has commented on how cute it is.
My takeaway: This is a great product for someone who wants an at-home unit to do it all, and I am particularly fond of it for its next-to-the-bed bassinet that allows for baby to safely sleep beside me. It’s a little heavy for a play yard and not the easiest to pop together and take down, so if you’re planning to cart it back and forth between the babysitter’s and your house every day or something like that, it might not be the best option. For my family, though, it’s a win. I’m very happy to have this in my arsenal of baby gear.
Buy it: hayneedle.com