Not to beat a dead metaphor, but the S1 by Safety 1st Satellite Premier is pretty much the Cadillac of play yards. It’s roomy, it’s equipped with plenty of extras, and it looks sweet with your baby riding shotgun (or, rather, parked in the nursery).
The Satellite arrived as a hefty package on my doorstep. I took it in and got to work, assembling the unit with relative speed and ease, considering that I’m not ultra handy. I only glanced at the instructions a couple times, and for me, that equals a simple, satisfying setup. Then I realized I was in the living room; subsequently, I had to dismantle the play yard to get it upstairs and through the doorway. But hey, c’est la vie, right?
In anticipation of my baby’s arrival (yes, the play yard’s assembly took place when I was eight months pregnant), I loaded newborn-sized diapers in the hamper compartment and stocked the shelves with wipes, burp cloths and bodysuits. My one-stop baby station was ready to go.
With baby’s arrival, the Satellite entered into constant use—as an in-room bassinet, changing table and storage unit. The convenience factor gets high marks, even though the unit does take up a fair amount of space in my bedroom. It’s nice to have all the necessities within arm’s reach. The fabric on the “mattress” and changing table is stain resistant, so I’ve been able to wipe it down easily after spit-ups and diaper blowouts. The mattress is quite firm, as it should be, and the play yard’s mesh sides allow easy breathing.
I am surprised at how often I use the “entertainment” functions on the Satellite. While the mobile looks a little boring to me, my newborn likes to watch the dark shapes circling overhead. He also seems to dig the music and lights (which my 2-year-old treats him to often), although a white noise sound would be a great addition. I sometimes use the soft night-light in the dark, too.
While I’ve been using the hamper as diaper storage, it would also be very useful serving its intended purpose. The whole mesh section can zip off and go in the washing machine—definitely a smart move. And the changing pad is a useful size. My little guy does roll a little in it since there’s a slight incline, but the surface is sturdy and the high sides provide security.
I plan to travel with the Satellite as well. Because it’s rather large and heavy with all the components, I’ll pare it down when I’m on the go. I’ll bring just the play yard frame and mattress in the carry bag, leaving the hamper, shelves, bassinet rails and entertainment arm at home. I love the versatility—the differing configurations will serve various purposes depending on location and baby’s age. It’s a grow-with-you, go-with-you kind of item! Plus, it looks good all the while—I’m loving the classy gray and modern pattern! Great-looking, practical gear at a fair price.
To buy: amazon.com