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When our twins started to crawl around and find cables, DVD player, Fire place etc we knew that it was time to invest in a playpen. I started looking on Ebay to see what was available with local collection and came across an auction for this Babydan Playpen, I recognised the user name as someone I used to work with so I was confident it would be in good condition. The description listed it as a playpen and room divider which was ideal for what we wanted and so placed our winning bid.
The playpen and floor mattress come in a large box so it is easy to transport and unpack. It consists of 6 panels which look like stair gates and are about 62cm wide by 75cm high. One of the panels is a door with a squeeze handle which allows you access to your baby without bending down if you have it assembled as a playpen. If you have it as a room divider then it is your access between the 2 parts of your room.
Ours is the white model but it is also available in black or silver to suit your room.
Putting it together
My husband put it together but did so quickly and quietly which is always a good sign of easy assembly! You don't need any tools to put it together/take it apart which is great the hinges just lock in place. All the edges and hinges are rounded so there is nothing to potentially harm your little one.
The play mat mattress fits in the bottom of the play pen and is of good quality, it is padded so nice and soft for baby. The bottom of the mattress is water resistant so it can be used outside if you want but I have never tried doing this.
To use it as a room divider there is a wall fixing kit to make it secure to toddlers rocking on it.
How well does it work?
We have ours as a room divider in our living room and it works really well. Our fire, TV, CDs & DVDs are all on one side and the girls can safely play in the rest of the room which is all child proofed.
We found it was too small as a playpen for twins and our room isn't big enough to join 2 of these together so it's great that it has the room divider option. You can also use some of the panels to make a fire place guard making this a very versatile product.
Keeping it clean
Little sticky fingers on the bars means that it can get grubby quite quickly. I keep ours clean by using either baby wipes or anti bacterial cleaning wipes. The playpen mattress is machine washable so easy to keep clean.
Price and availability
We paid £56.06 for ours on ebay and it was in excellent condition. It is available from Amazon (£77.99) and Mothercare (£79.99). Prices current for August 2012. I feel we got a good deal buying it second hand and will look to sell it on when we have finished with it.
Would I recommend?
Yes, this is a high quality and versatile playpen. Although we are the second owners it looks as good as new still.
Linden Babyden play pen.
A few weeks ago my granddaughter has just reached the age where she desperately tried to crawl and stand but despite being able to climb on all fours she was unable to lift her head. I remarked that in a few weeks time she is going to be off like a rocket. I told my daughter that once she starts crawling that will be the end of her nice comfortable life of days sitting and watching her all gooey eyed in her cot/chair/or on her play mat and she would need eyes in her elbows.
Within about ten days that day quickly arrived so I decided drastic measures were in order to control the crawling beast. So trawling the internet and looking for something that would cage the crawling beast and after reading a few reviews I decided on buying the Linden babyden play pen. I ordered it from Amazon and two days later it arrived thanks to the kind generosity of Dooyoo and its members.
The playpen came in a large box and was in two halves which after a little bit of struggling we managed to put together whilst Thalia looked on wondering what this strange thing was we were putting together. It probably took about 10 minutes in total. The playpen is made of metal and plastic fittings with no sharp edges and an in built gate and a washable play mat for the floor. The play mat is kept in situ by lifting one of the poles and hooking the elasticated loops of material to the pole and putting the pole back into its hole in the base. It feels quite good quality and is very stable and sturdy once put together.
The playpen is hexagonal in shape when put together and looks quite super. It can be used inside and outside which will be brilliant in the summer months once my daughter returns to flying and we are left to look after her whilst she is away and her partner is working.
We placed some of Thalia's toys in the playpen and put her in the middle of the pen she squealed with delight and was quite happy exploring her tiny little kingdom. We left the gate open so that she could come in and out of it but she was more interested in playing with her toys in her own space. Within two days she had learnt how to haul herself up using the bars for support. She seems quite happy to go into her playpen at the moment and this also gives us a bit of freedom without having to look where you are going but knowing she is safely inside it and not underfoot.
I am quite impressed with this very useful piece of safety equipment due to its build quality, sturdiness and the practical side of keeping her safe. It is about three foot square so could take up a sizeable amount of space in a room but with some nifty rearrangement of furniture it has fitted quite comfortably in the lounge. It can also be fixed in position to the walls which could give a much wider play area or used as a room divider. The gate side is very useful as you do not have to bend over the bars to lift her or put her in which is not recommended to do as it could cause back injuries by doing this. Although it is portable and can be moved from room to room it would be a bit cumbersome to do so but it is not unachievable just a bit of a pain.
Price: I was able to buy it from Amazon for £85 including packing and postage which I thought represented very good value. It is available from between £79 - £118 and is available in white, black or silver. I chose the white one which I think looked better and more pleasing on the eye.
You can also buy wall fittings to clamp the play pen to the wall to give a larger play area or when unfolded could be used as a room divider.
A roof cover to make it into some kind of play house which will be handy for the garden and to protect her from the sun.
Over all impression.
I am quite pleased with this playpen as it is sturdily built is very versatile as it can be put into different shapes and uses and is a useful piece of baby equipment. I would have no hesitation in recommending it.
When I was a nipper, my Mum put me in a playpen, and I loved it! Since then, I have always been determined that I would have one for my children.
Our babyden cost around £65 pounds on offer from Kiddicare and was delivered to the house in a large flat box. It comes in six separate panels which are quickly and easily fitted together using six loose rails that are included in the box. You can either assemble the den as a hexagon, as we did, or a large rectangle, depending on the space available. However, the playmat that comes with the den is hexagonal, so you've no option to use it if you make up a rectangular den.
The playmat itself is very well padded on the upper side and has a thick, waterproof backing on the underside. It is easily machine washable and dries quickly. It has elastic loops at each corner which can be used to secure it to the loose rails of the den, if you want to.
As a baby item, i think it is essential. The gate is unopenable by a toddler, so when they are in they are in, but the floorspace they get is good and big so there's plenty of space to play. We used ours from when our son was two months old, partly to get him used to being in it, and partly because we have two small dogs and don't want them to surrepticiously lick the baby when we pop out of the room (They'd do it, too!). We know he's safe in there.
Now that he is one, he loves to use the bars to stand up against and he can walk around the edge of the pen with ease. For us, it is also a huge bonus that his toys live in the pen and not all over every inch of floorspace in the house.
Here's some boring facts -
The sections are 61 x 75 cm.
You can buy separate fittings to use the den as a room divider or extra large fireguard (£8.99)
You can also buy a cute tent to go over the top, converting it into a playhouse when the child is older. Nice touch, I think!
We bought the Baby Dan Playpen second hand when we decide that we really needed somewhere safe to place our inquisitive baby son when we needed to leave the room for a few moments. But new it currently retails for around £79.99.
The pack consists of several metal bared panels (think stair gates) and connecter plates which allow you to connect the panels together in a variety of configurations.
It can be used as a playpen, a room divider and even a fireguard. The fireguard puzzles me as the bars are widely spaced and I could imagine that a child could easily reach through and get at the fire. Also although the pack may be used in three different ways, it obviously can't be used in all these ways at once so if you need all three products set up most of the time you would need to buy three kits.
So far we have only used it as a playpen and in this mode the pieces are set up in a hexagonal shape complete with a padded play mat which can be washed and is attached securely to the frame using tapes and ties. One of the panels acts as a gate so you can actually walk in and out of the pen as opposed to breaking your back lifting the child in and out over the top. When we were in the room with our son we left the gate open and he could wander in and out as he wished which I think stopped him seeing it as a cage when the door needed to be kept shut.
We found the instructions easy enough to follow although the pieces are heavy and can be quite tricky to slot into one another.
When set up it provides a big play area, plenty of room for the child and numerous toys. This however means that it takes up a lot of floor space and would not really be suitable for a small room. It does however fold flat when not in use, but it's still really bulky and not easy to store in this mode either. We found it a useful receptacle for slinging all the toys into in the evening when clearing up though!
When my son was learning to stand he would pull himself up on the bars and sometimes bump his head on them. I have noticed that a newer version of this product is now available with fabric instead of metal side panels held in a rigid metal frame. I can imagine that this would eliminate the problem and also be a lot lighter and easier to manoeuvre so would probably be a better buy.
I have seen that an add on can now be bought that for around £20 turns the playpen into a tent/wendy house which may prompt me to dig it out the back of the garage again.
All in all the playpen was cheap (second hand) and served a purpose but as it's heavy and takes up A LOT of space and for this reason we haven't really used this for our second child.
I bought my Babyden 4 years ago, just as my 1st child was beginning to crawl.
Although I had no plans for her to spend long amounts of time in the babyden, I just wanted somewhere I could safely leave her whilst I did the laundry and got on with other chores.
I chose the Babyden as it looked spacious, comfortable and sturdy.
The babyden arrives flatpack. The first time we erected it, it took us about 40 minutes. Once you've got to grips with all the pieces though and know where everything fits, it gets much quicker. We can now dismantle it in 5 minutes and put it back together in about 8 minutes.
The babyden is hexagonal in shape and measures approx 4 foot in diameter and is 30 inches high.
Each side is made up of 9 metal bars, spaced about 3 inches apart. One side is a gate, which is virtually impossible for any baby or toddler to open, as it requires a squeezing and lifting action. My eldest daughter is only just able to open the gate now and she's 4 and a half (we don't put her in it, she just opens the gate form her siblings some times!)
The babyden comes with a padded mat which fastens on to each corner of the den with little loops. The mat washes well at 40 degrees and line dries quickly.
The babyden can be bought in a couple of different finishes. We purchased the white one and it looks clean and simple in our living room. It wipes down easily if sticky fingers have made it a bit grubby and after 4 years of use, it stil looks like new.
We our now using the babyden with our 3rd baby and it is still as robust and secure as the day we bought it. It's spacious enough that a selection of toys can be left in there and also we hang some from the top bars on those plastic hooks that a lot of baby toys come with. All my children have actually quite enjoyed going in there for short periods of time - it's like their own little entertainment zone.
When the babyden is not in use, it can be dissasembled quickly and takes up minimum storage space. We slot ours behind the couch and forget it's there.
Although I've not got one, a babyden tent can be purchased, which goes over the top of the playpen to turn it into a small playhouse.
We've always used our babyden as a traditional playpen, but you can also use it as a room divider. The instruction sheet gives you the full information on how to do this.
For me, this has been a great buy and I'm sure that when we eventually finish with our babyden we will be able to sell it on for a good price, as it has years of use left in it.
I can never quite decide whether a playpen is a handy way to give your baby room to move around in a safe and secure environment, or a cage. Until my first baby started crawling while we were still living in something of a building site I probably would have gone for the 'cage' option. But, things being as they were, we needed a playpen and this was the one we chose (OK, I chose it, but it's important to maintain the illusion that my husband has any say in these things).
It turned out to be one of our (my) better purchases, as we (my husband) have since opened it out and bolted it to the walls as a room divider to keep the children away from the computer, the kitchen, the back door and the cat's food (what is it about small children and cat food?). It can also be used as a fireguard, in place of a stairgate for wide or oddly-shaped doorways, or you can turn it into a playhouse once you no longer need it as a playpen by covering it with a purpose-made tent which is also made by Babydan.
* As a playpen *
The playpen is made up of six sections which are 61cm wide and 75cm high. One of the sections is a gate which opens either way; this makes it easy to get your baby out without doing your back in, and means that you can join your baby in the playpen. I used to lie half-in, half-out of it and it did make it seem a little less like a cage. Perhaps it's just guilty parent syndrome, but I thought that if I spent some time playing with him in the pen, it would make the distinction between inside and outside less extreme to him as well.
You can put it together in pretty much any shape you like, but as the mat is hexagon-shaped you will only be able to use the mat if the playpen is also in its hexagon configuration. There are markers on the connectors at the top of each section to show you where to line the two sections up, either to make a right-angle or the hexagon. The mat is nicely padded and wipes clean really easily which surprised me as the cloth cover is really soft. It can't be machine washed so this is a big plus. The mat has ties at each point to attach it to the playpen, but I only used to do a couple of these and it held it in place with no trouble.
It is large, and it isn't easy to dismantle the whole thing - for about the first three days I would take it to pieces every evening and stack it against a wall, but gave up on that pretty quickly because it takes ages. It is also very stiff at first and I had trouble getting the angles right when I put it back together, so I would say you just have to get used to it taking up the corner of the room. At least you can chuck all the toys into it at the end of the day!
* As a room divider *
It's simple enough to attach the panels to the walls, but check whether the wall mounting kit is included as it isn't always. The kit consists of two plastic plates which bolt to the wall. Each of these has a hinged plastic flap which folds over the end pole of the panel and screws closed, so it is very securely fixed. The panels can be connected at any angle so you can get it into exactly the right shape.
I really like having it as a room divider as it means that he can't get into the kitchen unsupervised and I can leave the back door open in the summer without him wandering out if I turn my back on him for ten seconds. It is a bit of pain moving from one room to the next, but if you are above about 5' 4" it is quite easy to climb over. This is handy as the gate does not self-close and because it opens either way, you really have to pay attention to make sure it is properly closed. It's good exercise too!
Downsides: It is tricky to keep clean as it gathers quite a lot of dust in the connectors and you have to take it apart to really clean it properly. Also, if you have wooden floors you should put felt pads on the underside, especially when using it as a room divider as it is only fixed at the ends and will move a good few centimeters either way. It has scratched our floor quite badly.
It is expensive at around £80-90 depending on colour - it is available in white, silver and black - so I would only recommend it if you were planning to use it as a room divider once you no longer need it as a playpen. There is also a lightweight option which has mesh panels, except for the gate which is still metal bars. The tent costs around £40, but we don't have this so I can't comment on it. I doubt we'll be using a playpen for our second child but if we were, I would probably buy a cheap travel cot rather than a second one of these. I'm not sure the length of time that a baby will tolerate being in a playpen justifies the extra expense of having the gate.
If you're looking for something to cover a wide doorway, you can buy an extension kit which comprises two plain panels and a gate panel (essentially, half a playpen). You can use this on its own rather than as an extension, so this might be a better option. It costs around £45-55.
Overall, this is a very well-made playpen; if you need - or like the idea of - a room divider I would definitely recommend this, but if you only want a playpen, then for the short time you will be using it, it's probably not worth the money.
We bought the Babyden playpen when our boys became mobile- with twins a playpen seemed essential in order to get anything done, keeping the boys safe whilst they played. The Babyden is big enough to allow two babies to play alongside each other happily.
We bought the playpen from Mothercare for £79.99, so not cheap but its very robust and stood up well to the pounding that two toddlers finding their feet can give it. The soft washable mat in the bottom makes it very comfortable, and by purchasing the tent to go over the top of the playpen (also from Mothercare, costing £39.99) we have extended its use. My sons, now three, still use the tent occasionally as a playhouse.
We purchased the white metal version, although I believe other colours are available. It is a six-sided playpen, with one side being a gate to make it easy for you to enter the playpen. It was relatively easy to assemble and can be taken down and stored flat if necessary. The playpen can also be fixed to the wall and used as a room divider or fireguard although we did not try this. One unexpected use we found for the playpen, after our sons had grown out of using it, was putting it around our Christmas tree one year after it had been pulled over several times!
Overall, if considering a playpen, I would recommend the Babyden as a strudy, adaptable product. The only thing that stops it getting full marks would be the slightly high price.
The Babydan play pen is an absolute godsend if you have a room with not much storage. Not only does it keep baby safe whilst hanging out the washing (could not have heard my little one whilst doing this), but also kept the baby toys with them too. So less mess. You could rotate the toys in the play pen to keep little one occupied.
It also kept my pets safe from little one when they get older. I had two old cats who weren't very forgiving of having fur pulled. They learned that was the babies space and left it alone. Win Win all round!
The best bit though was that the padded bottom bit, was soft enough that if baby was not sleeping because it was too hot up stairs, or through teething, then they would quite happily fall asleep in the play pen. Which was great.
The dimesnions of the play pen are: H74.5 x W124 x D106cm
The six sections are about 61 cm long and 75 cm high. You could get it in black or white so could go with your decor a bit.
Overall I was very please with it. Later i used it as a room divider between the kitchen and the living room. Very effective too. We also took it with us to friends houses who didn't have children to protect their stuff from the baby lol! Worked very well, as it folded up square for travel.
My husband and I purchased the Mothercare Babyden yesterday evening, and this evening we returned it!
It all began at the beginning of the week, we had a terrible and unexpected shock when our 10 month old son fell out of his activity station. Until that point the activity station had been a safe place for him to play when we needed to turn our backs momentarily. We suddenly found ourselves in a situation whereby we had nowhere to safely place him when we needed to leave the room for the inevitable tasks such as preparing food and bottles, doing a little housework and even simply visiting the bathroom.
So off we went to Mothercare to look at the available playpens. Only two were in stock, both being different varieties of the Babyden. One was constructed of bars and the other had soft mesh sides. As our son is currently pulling himself up to standing and cruising along furniture we believed that the soft side Babyden would be more suitable in case he should pull himself up and then fall and hit his head against the side.
We purchased the Babyden from Mothercare at £79.99. It is available in silver or white steel and there is also a wooden version. There is an extra option of a fabric roof which is currently priced at £29.99.
The Babyden is basically made up of 6 panels, one of which is a gate. The panels are clipped together and then joined securely with steel rods. There is a soft mat which sits at the base and has elasticated loops to place over the bottom of each panel as it is put together.
The gate has a mechanism whereby a rectangular button situated at the top of the gate is squeezed as the gate is pulled into position and when released then locks the gate into place. I found this mechanism to be rather fiddly and often did not click properly into place. I also found that in order to click the gate into locking position I needed to lift it a little which subsequently made the whole thing lift up. In addition, the locking mechanism is made of plastic and therefore not particularly hardy.
I was particularly disappointed in that the Babyden could not be easily folded down when not in use. In order to de-construct this product each steel bar needs to be removed and the panels then taken down one by one. It does not simply fold away.
The Babyden is also a very large item, however we found that it could also be constructed in a rectangular shape which made it a little more space optimising.
We soon decided that this was not the product for us, being such a large item for such a small amount of usage. We made the decision to return it and to instead use our son's highchair and cot as a safe place when we needed to undertake other tasks.
Overall this product is ideal if you happen to have very spacious living accommodation and can keep it up at all times. However if you are looking for a temporary play pen which can easily be folded away, this is certainly not the product for you.
We have this play pen except it isnt used as a play pen any more and it is a babydan not den.
I brought this for £100 about 4 years ago
It comes in pieces which you slot together and has a soft washable mat in the bottom, although my mat was red not gray as it is in the picture above.
They also sold tent canopys to go on the top of this to turn it into a play tent for £30 which was great fun.
This play pen has a multitude of uses, firstly it can be used as a play pen in the hexagon shape with the mat inside and can be used as a circus tent in this shape too or you can arrange each of the 6 sides to make a different shape.
you can use all or parts of this play pen as a door gate or a fire guard and as the children get older you can open it out in a line and attach it to the wall to give them a whole corner of a room to play in.
Mine has had many uses sice its days as a play pen too, my cat used it to have her kittens in, the girls used it to store toys in and now my tortoises go out in the garden in it.
This is one of the most expensive play pens but is made very well and will last forever.
We have been using the babyden for a couple of months now and are fairly happy with our purchase.
With a retail price of £59.99 (currently on special offer at Mothercare!) - £79.99 it isn't cheap, but it is quality.
CAN BE USED AS...
A playpen ~ The babyden converts into a large playpen, which is approx 1m squared. There is a gate on one of the sides, which is really easy for adults to open and close, unlike some tricky babygates I have tried. In the box also comes a washable, (very important!) padded playmat, which is also hexagonal. This comes in blue or red, but unfortunately you don't get a choice, you just get what you're given.
A playden with playtent (bought separately) ~ You can buy a playtent to fix over the playpen. It is blue around the sides with little yellow window flaps, and a red pointy roof. So cute. My friends little boy has the playtent and loves hiding away in his little house. I would personally recommend the playtent at 18+ months.
A safety gate ~ The gate of the playpen can be dettached and used as a safety gate for a gap of 68cm, I have read. In the box you will find a wallplate, and this is what you need to use the gate as a safety gate. We haven't done this yet, but the instructions are clear therefore I do not think it would be tricky to fit.
A room divider ~ You can use the babyden as a room divider too. The panels all separate, and you can use 2 or more panels for your divider. I have read all 6 panels together give a width of 3.7m.
A fire guard ~ It also converts into a fire guard, and you need the wall fixings in the box to do this too.
EASY TO DO?
In the box there is a User Guide which uses words and pictures, which is a real bonus. I hate it when the instructions are just in words, somehow I can't get my head around what to do! (maybe that's just me!) Anyway the sections are covered in full, they are...
Warnings, Care of your product, Parts check list, Overview of basic gates.
Unforlding and setting up Babyden, Accesories, Fitting the base, Opening and closing walk through door section.
Measuring the area around the fireplace/hearth, Unfolding and setting up the Hearthgate, Fitting the wallfitting, Opening and closing the walk through door section.
Measuring the area to protect or isolate, Unfolding and setting up the Configuregate, Fitting the wall fittings, Opening and closing the walk through door section.
Adding optional sections, Removing sections, fitting hinge caps/cones/covers.
As I said, all the above is covered in great detail with words and pictures. However saying that, I still find the measuring of the area, and how many panels to use etc, very confusing, and don't think I'd attempt to do this myself.
The Babyden is a great products as it has so many uses. However, it can't be in more than one place at anytime. E.g. you can't have it permanently set up as a playpen if you have a fireplace, because you'd need it over the fire too. So if you have more than one use for your Babyden, it may be worth looking at cheaper separate products.
It certainly is the best playpen I have seen though because of the size. If you had a small living room though, it would not be ideal, because it is larger than the standard travel cot sized playpen.
I do find moving the Babyden awkward as it is so heavy. I know it has to be heavy to be safe, but, it does make it hard to move around by myself.
Also, you have to be prepared to fix things to your wall if you want to use the Babyden as a fire surround, room divider or gate. To be honest, before I bought the product, I didn't know you'd have to do this, so for that reason, we have only been using it as a playpen. In hindsight, we probably would have been better of financially buying a cheaper playpen as that is all we plan to use it for.
~ You can purchase the Babyden in white, silver or black.
~ The recommended age is 6-24 months.
~ The Babyden conforms ASTM F 1004-04, EN 12227:1999, EN 1930:2000
~ The size when folded for storage is 79 x 68 x 20cm.
~ Weight is 18kg.
Baby Dan A/S
Niels Bohrs Vej 14
Tel: +45 86 95 11 55
Thanks for reading.
I bought this baby den for my 6 month ols daughters christmas. We have an open fire and a lot of rough stone in our living room so i needed something to keep her safe.
The baby pen comes boxed, its very heavy so i opted to have it delivered. It comes in three colours,
The black i felt was very depressing to look at and the silver looked as if it had come from a medical clinic so i chose the white.
It shapes into different positions,
a pen; hexagone, square, rectangle (any shape you want really, all you need to do is click it to your idea)
A fire guard
A room divider
I paid £80 for mine, with that i also got a washable padded mat in a hexagone shape.
The pad has raised sides and ties so you can secure it in position.
Getting it ready
When you get it, it's all folded up, i found unfolding it quite a challange as its so big and quite heavy. To alter the shape you just push or pull the sites until you are happy with the angle of the corner. I found this quite stiff and it clicks very loudly each time i changed the angle.
My next challange was to get it into the hexagone shape. Lol.
About an hour later of changing the angles and clicking it this way and that i gave up and got my partner to come through. He very quickly pointed out that on each of the six corners there is a picture of a square and a hexagone. Simply position each segment to match the shape you want. Bingo! You have either a square or hexagone.
Folding it down takes a bit of time but once its down is fairly small and tucks quite easily under my daughters cot.
It has a door so you can get in and out of it and secures together by sliding a pole between the two ends. There are no tools needed.
Once its up its very sturdy, i dont need to worry about it being pushed over. The gate is easily opened for adults and childproof for little monsters.
To be quite honest i havent felt the need to use it in any of the other ways. My daughter is happy to be in it with some toys. If you did choose to use it as a room divider then it comes complete with some brackets that you secure onto your wall, this prevents the fireguard or room divider from being pulled or pushed over. The brackets are fairly neat and not too noticable when up and once again there is no tools needed to click on the pen to the bracket.
I really like this pen, its safe and easy to shape into you living room. At the moment ours is flat on one side and shaped on the other. A pentigone i believe it is called, this means it is flat against the wall saving space.
Because of its size it is difficult to move from room to room, i need to fold it down and put it back up again if i decide to take her into the kitchen or outside but apart from that you could use it anywhere, i've even seen covers for them so you can turn them into little tents when baby is a little bit older.
Its also something i can use forever, handy for keeping my dogs at bay and letting my rabbits out in the garden once Jasmine it too old for it.
Up to the age of 24 months.
Extention parts available
brackets and instructions included
Tent available priced £40
Price of baby pen £80 from mothercare.
Well, you might not think so, but Leah certainly did - she objected strongly to ever sitting in her playpen and playing for more than about two minutes. A playpen was one of those things I thought I would never actually use - and although I don't use it often, it's a very useful thing to have when you have a mobile baby and you need to answer the door, put the washing out, or just need two minutes to get on with something.
What's a Babydan?
It's a large, hexagonal metal playpen made of six sections. They divide into two lots of three, and can be "folded" like a zizag, allowing you to make whatever shape you like (useful for cordoning off an awkward area of a large room.) One of the sections functions as the door to the playpen, or can be used as a separate stairgate. The playpen has a comfortable blue material mattress base, which is cushioned and comfortable for falling heads and other body parts! It's machine washable - now that IS useful!
Everything comes apart and together without tools or fixings - it's just a question of inserting slider poles and pressing and clicking things in the right way, so it's easy to assemble and unassemble.
Why did I choose it ?
Lots of friends advised me to just buy a travel cot, instead of a playpen. It would have taken up a lot less space, but I went with the Babydan anyway - on the grounds that it is multi-purpose. It converts from a hexagonal playpen to a room divider, fireguard, or a stairgate.
What I didn't realise was that you can't actually have all of them at the same time. You could have the stairgate (but let's face it, who only needs one? Most stairs I've seen have a top AND a bottom!) and then five sections left for a fireguard or room divider, but you can't make the playpen without all six. It was the playpen bit I really wanted, so I ended up leaving the playpen up all the time and buying separate stairgates (two!) and a fireguard.
The thing about fireguards and stairgates is that they protect children from two very dangerous areas and generally you need them up all the time, unlike playpens, which are more of a luxury item that you might not need every day.
The thought of having to unfold the babydan and put it up again as something else all the time, despite it being relatively easy to do, is not something I relished. It's "easy" in that you don't have to get your toolbox out. It's not "easy" as in you just pick it up and carry it. There's a fair amount of grunting and clicking and carrying and heaving involved, so it's not exactly a picnic.
If for some reason you wanted a playpen until your baby was mobile, and then wanted a room divider instead, THEN it would be multi-purpose. However that doesn't make much sense to me. Before Leah was mobile, I didn't NEED a playpen, as she didn't go anywhere. It's only now she IS mobile that I find I need a playpen, several stairgates, a fireguard, a room divider, and 25 extra pairs of hands would be nice too.
Would I recommend it?
It's well made, stable, and it's easy to open the gate with one hand. The "click" means you know when it is properly closed, so it's safe. But is it really as multi-purpose as they claim?
So would I?
As a room divider for awkard areas, yes. To use as two separate small room or corner dividers, yes.
Or to use as a playpen even, yes, although it's a bit pricey.
To use as one stairgate and a fireguard, I think you would be mad. You can easily buy both separates.
To attempt to use as all of the above, no. It's just not practical to keep switching it from one thing to another.
I could have bought a much cheaper playpen or a travel cot, as my friends suggested, and saved myself a lot of money. That's hindsight for you...
Dimensions: H74.5 x W124 x D106cm
The six sections are about 61 cm long and 75 cm high.
Best price: Kiddicare £69
The most useful item I have now that I have a young baby on the move is my Babyden Playpen.My daughter is a very inquisitive 10 month old and I cannot turn my back on her for 10 seconds. (I'm sure other parents know where I'm coming from!) My babyden therefore is a life saver when it comes to answering the door/phone, and getting 10 minutes to put the laundry on or do the washing up. The babyden is a hexagonal playpen with sections that come apart, and a door which can be used as a stair gate. You can also use it as a fire guard or room divider. I recently went to a childrens party where the house owner had used the sections to screen off the patio door so we could have the benefit of fresh air, without 10 toddlers going walkies! The plus points are: It is fairly large It has a colourful padded mat inside which is removable, and washable. It can be used in several ways It is fairly straightforward to put together. Mummy can fit in there too, which makes daughter smile! The down side is: It is a bit pricey. Not instantly collapsable for easy transport. Daughter seems quite happy to be in there for short periods of time, which means I can have a cup of tea....I mean get the dinner on!
I must let everybody know just how great the babyden playpen is. I have 3 children and I don't think that I could cope without this peice of equipment. Not only is it a large practical playpen but as the family grows it has many uses. It can be used as a single door width stairgate either with a gate opening or not, or it can be used as a large door opening (patio doors or open plan room)safety gate. It comes with a variety of connections that transform it into the above. It also comes with a cusioned floor piece for the playpen. I found it very easy to assemble and detach for the stairgate option. It is a bit more expensive than other playpens but if you have to buy both a playpen and a stair gate the money is saved automaticaly. I have recently found in Tescos direct an add-on in the shape of a tent so that the playpen can be made into a small playhouse.