“ Brand: Babydan / Type: Playpen „
This is a review of the BabyDan Lite Playpen. I have the gold version which is currently sitting in my living room.
What's the difference?
The Lite part refers to the fact that the pieces are a mesh except for the access point which is gate style. You can get the set which is all bars as well.
Installing and building
The set comes in lots of pieces and this can be quite daunting when you first assemble the kit. I watched a video on the Babydan website http://www.babydanplaypen.co.uk/demo-video.html which was a brilliant way to understand how the kit fits together. It's really simple and although I admit I did put it together upside down when I first assembled it, it easily flipped over. It reminded me a bit of putting togther exhibition boards and you really can't go wrong as it just clips together easily and requires no strength.
BabyDan are known for their high quality and with this comes a fine price. But if you shop around or buy second hand you can get a bargain. This costs between £70 - £90 new. Sounds a lot but I use it every single day!
The base of the play pen is a nice suede soft mat with elastic loops to keep it flat. This is fully washable and easy to clean and care for. It's gentle for rolling about on and lightly padded.
The play pen forms a hexagonal shape but it can also be used as a room divider (you buy the wall fixing kit separately) - I haven't tried it in this format though. When constructed the playpen is approx 74cm high with each side being approx 61cm long. It easily folds flat for storage or travel and is designed for use with children up to approximately 24 months.
The Baby Dan Play Pen features a Patented locking system on the gate, which is a handle you squeeze and lift to open. This has the added advantage of being difficult to open by the kids themselves although I wouldn't say it was impossible for a toddler. I throw all her toys in there and her baby gym to play with and she is happy enough for a while but then lets me know when she has had enough. At 7 months my baby is standing up in there (holding on to the sides) and using whatever she can to climb higher so I'm sure she'd be 'up and over' if it was possible.
Whilst I rate this play pen, there are a few small issues. My daughter grates her head on the mesh and it doesn't hurt her but she does go a little red. She has also had her leg stuck through the gate during some of her boisterous play. The kit was easy to assemble but I wouldn't fancy assembling it every day and taking it down again. It's a nice size but it does take up most of the floor space in our living room which I know is the price you pay when you have children but on an evening I wish it wasn't there sometimes!
I also use the play pen for drying washing when it's raining outside, you can strew lots on it and the mesh enables good circulation. I don't put the baby in there when the washing is on it though!!
Extra Extra: Convert it into a circus tent!!
When my daughter gets a bit older I plan to buy the piece of kit which converts the play pen into a circus style tent (basically you add a small colourful marquee roof). This is around £20 on Amazon and will be great fun in the garden.
I know some people don't believe in a play pen but if you are on your own looking after a child it is like an extra pair of safe hands if you need to nip to the toilet or put the washing out. My daughter likes it in there for a while but doesn't like to be dumped in there for any length of time. I have been lucky once when I put her in there to play and she fell asleep on her baby gym. I like to chuck all her toys and blankets and gear in there on an evening so it's not all over the place and then it can be sorted out later. I would recommend this play pen to anyone with a baby if they are beyond the bumbo and baby bouncer chair stage. Don't expect miracles though as it doesn't totally entertain them!