As a first time mom I have learned a lot. Something I learned pretty early on is that most baby “things” (toys, swings, sleepers, etc.) are huge and take up lots of space throughout my home. Now, approximately seven months into my first parenting experience, size as well as the ability for an item to be used in multiple ways are characteristics I seek out—just as often as safety features—before purchasing. So, when I first received the Fisher-Price Ultra-Lite Day & Night Play Yard, I was very pleased with the multiple features it included.
This is a play yard and sleeper combo that is ideal for travel. The light weight, the way it folds flat when taken apart, the travel bag and the included changing pad are all features that make this play yard a nice option when traveling with a little one—a sort of “one-stop shop” type deal, but with travel necessities.
When I first opened up the box, setup was easy. The instructions and pictures were clear, and I was able to put it together solo without any tools or assistance. (There aren’t any bulky or heavy pieces or anything that should make setup a two-person job.) The play yard mattress is secured by putting three Velcro pieces on each end through holes and attaching to the bottom of the play yard. This was the most difficult part because the holes are pretty small, but once I got everything together correctly, the mattress and play yard overall was very secure.
The sleeper portion is very easy to assemble, it just snaps onto the top of the play yard in four places, and it is equally easy to remove. There is no assembly required for the changing pad. It just folds up and is stored in a side pocket.
The play yard mattress itself is on the thinner side. I wish it has a bit more padding for a baby who is still learning to sit up, but my daughter did not have any issues. I have no worries about padding protection now that she is a pro at sitting up on her own.
For my daughter, when we are away from home, naps/sleep are taken in the play yard portion instead of the attachable sleeper. We have tried out the sleeper, but she is too big to use it now. (The manufacturer suggests it not be used once a baby can roll over.) The sleeper does have a head cushion for comfort, and there is a harness to make sure babies are securely strapped in. I personally feel more comfortable having my daughter in the play yard anyway—much closer to the ground.
Overall, my 7-month-old really enjoys this play yard and does well in it. She enjoys being able to see what is going on by looking through the mesh walls and likes the feel of the different materials on the sides and bottom—and the sounds she can make when running her hands over them. There is plenty of space for her to sit and play with a few toys and not be overcrowded. She is at the age where she is becoming mobile, so this has become my go-to when I need a few minutes to prepare dinner, do a load of laundry, etc.
In my home, I use this mostly for the play yard capability. It is very compact and lightweight, so I am able to move it easily enough from room to room when necessary. Although I can maneuver carrying the play yard to whatever room in my home I need it (my little one wants to have eyes on me most of the time), I usually just end up sliding it across the floors, and the plastic bottoms have never damaged the hardwood. I keep it setup at all times, and it seems to blend in nicely with my furniture. It is small enough to remain out of my way, and although not the intended purpose, I find myself using it as a nice place to store her toys for quick clean up when she is not using it. Speaking of cleanup, the sleeper is machine washable, and everything else you can wipe down. We have had to do some cleaning of the play yard mattress quite a few times over the past few weeks, and I have had no problems.
Not only have I gotten great use out of this play yard for my daughter, but it has also come in handy—so I have been told—for babysitters. Now instead of needing to put baby down for a nap in one room, changing her diaper in another or searching for toys throughout the house, everything can be confined to one room or area. This versatility is also why this play yard is ideal for travel. Now when we visit the grandparents or go on vacation, our load (in terms of the number of items we take along) has lessened. All the pieces fit snug into the included travel bag, which has been great for keeping track of everything.
Overall, this play yard has been a good fit for my family and for our needs.
Where to buy: babiesrus.com