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Blog: Playtime for Baby – Ingenuity Playard Deluxe with Dream Centre Review By »

October 31st, 2016

Now that Ethan is getting bigger, he is enjoying more time by himself, the bigger he gets the longer he will be content exploring the world around him, whether that be in his high chair grabbing at toys or laying in his playpen amused by his mobiles. This creates more free time for me.

Slowly I am starting to feel like myself again, before I felt like a machine on autopilot (lack of sleep) and the challenges of new motherhood were leaving me exhausted. When Ethan was a newborn he was attached to my chest, snuggled under my neck, all the time. It was an amazing feeling, I felt so close to him and I got so used to having my little bundle with me for everything. Those days when I feel like I got nothing accomplished, I would just look down at Ethan and it would remind me that I did accomplish a lot today, he was fed, changed, clothed, loved, entertained, and taught new things; all his needs were met, I was raising a little human being, and there is no bigger accomplishment to achieve than that. But, there were times I found myself wanting some free time to myself for even the simple things like eating or writing my blogs. It was a weird feeling… like I felt guilty for wanting some free time as if that made me a horrible mother.

I downloaded a lot of apps that offered baby development milestones and information for new moms, and this really helped me to better understand each of Ethan’s stages. I also started to read a lot of new parent blogs, and the truth is, I realized I was not alone, there are many new parents experiencing the same feelings as me, and hearing them share their stories made me feel so much better (Hi fellow Babies“R”Us bloggers Krysta, Victoria and Dan! Thank you for sharing your stories).

My mom has been a huge help too in making me comfortable and learning about caring for Ethan. At the beginning I felt like I had to be his constant entertainment, but I learned that baby is also happy laying down and absorbing their surroundings. I learned that Ethan doesn’t need constant stimulation and that sometimes all he wants to do is stretch out (it’s his “exercise time” we call it haha).

I also learned that there is absolutely nothing wrong with admitting you need a few minutes to refresh and regroup. It is normal to feel overwhelmed and wanting time to yourself to rejuvenate. This will only help you get back to being the best darn mom you can be. So I decided to stop being so hard on myself for wanting those moments. Newborns can cry for long periods of time, with Ethan he was colicky so that time could last up to 1-3 hours. It can be mentally and emotionally exhausting as you feel bad that you cannot stop it, and you will have tried numerous things to try to fix the problem, with no resolution. You will also be physically exhausted because you are either walking around and/or bouncing baby, and this will wear you down fast especially if you are having no sleep and not eating properly (definitely me my first few weeks as a new mom).

Ingenuity PlayardHaving somewhere to place baby so you can have that free time is great, and I was lucky enough to receive the Ingenuity Playard Delux with Dream Centre from Babies“R”Us, which offers so much assistance with baby, there is music to entertain and calm baby, a soft cozy bassinet, and a nice spacious and safe play area to place baby for when you need those little me time moments. Bonus is that little Ethan gets to enjoy his playtime moments too while I can watch him and relax (and actually finish a coffee).

This product has been wonderful for Ethan, good moods or bad moods; the playard has worked wonders for Ethan and me. When he was smaller and in a good mood, I would place him in the bassinet and he would love looking at the mobile with the hanging animals. Once Ethan got a bit bigger and started to grab at the animals, I invested in a bigger mobile that I was able to place over him when he was lying down in the play area, and this keeps him entertained for long periods of time.

Ingenuity Playard_Rachel

What this playard offers:

A Bassinet: VERY cozy, Ethan loved sleeping in here for his naps. I am not one of those moms that were able to introduce naptime routines right off the bat. I had trouble with Ethan being very colicky as mentioned before (he hated to be put down), so he would need to be with me a lot and the bassinet was the only place he would nap in. I guess because he felt I was always close (I keep the playpen in my living room). The bassinet has netting on the sides, so you can see baby and not worry about potential hazards when baby turns his head.  There is this wonderful plush cozy material all over – Ethan always looked so comfortable.

Ingenuity Playard_Rachel2

A Changing Table: This is a great feature because you can change baby here instead of running upstairs (if you keep the playard in the living room like I do). The material is washable and cleans very easily. The sides are high enough that you do not feel like baby will roll off.

Accessory Tray: The playard offers a side organizational compartment where you can keep your diapers and changing items, which is so convenient rather than taking baby upstairs to their nursery. Before this playard I was always going upstairs to use the change table. There is even a spot that fits the Pampers boxed re-fill wipes perfectly!

Ingenuity Playard_Rachel3

Hanging Mobile with Music and Lights: The music offers many options: There are upbeat and happy songs, and there are nature soothing and relaxing sounds. I think this is a nice variety because you can use the calmer sounds to relax baby or help with sleeping, or keep him entertained with the upbeat songs while he plays. The light when turned on creates a silhouette of stars and moons on the ceiling.

Assembly: A little time consuming, but not overly hard to do. The manual has pictures and takes you step by step on how to put everything together. The playard itself is quite large, so do plan for a bigger space for the item to go. The playard comes assembled already, it was like a folded up lawn chair that just needed to unfolded. The bassinet and changing table do not come assembled, you will have to put that together.

The bassinet, mobile, and changing table are VERY easy to attach to the playard, you simply snap them into place, the clips appear and feel super durable and sturdy, I was never concerned about Ethan falling while inside the bassinet or on the changing table. Getting those items off requires a bit of strength, so you can see what I mean about the items being sturdy and in place securely. You need to pull UP on the clips, not the item. If you try grabbing the changing table by the middle it won’t even move, you need to be right near the clips, again showing great protection and sturdiness.

To take the playard down, you simply take out the mat and there is a handle in the middle of the palyyard, you just pull UP and push the buttons on the sides, the whole thing will fold up like tent.

Cool Feature!: The changing table will flip over to the side if you want more space for baby to play or lie down.

Material: The playard has netting all around, which is great for ventilation and if baby happens to go near the sides. The playard mat is made from a material that you can easily wipe down any messes.

Downside: This is not the product’s fault, just a downside that I could not use it longer, Ethan grew out of the bassinet fairly quickly. He is long in size, so his feet reached the bottom quite quickly. The weight restriction is 15 pounds, which he never got close to before I had to remove him because of his length, so if you have a tall baby, that might happen to you as well.

I wish that the mobile actually moved, it does not spin around on its own (though it looks like it would). I just thought for the entertainment factor for Ethan that would have been a nice feature.  He still loves looking at the animals and seeing them dangle though. Also, the little animal characters that are attached to the mobile come off quite easily, I have found them inside the bassinet and/or in the playard.

Overall, a wonderful product! Ethan loves being in playard and I use the changing table ALL the time as it is so convenient. I am thankful for the free time this product has given me, no more cold or reheated coffees for me! I am happy to say that I am now enjoying the hot coffees. (yahoo!)

Ingenuity Playard_Rachel4

Tip for new moms:

Motherhood is a busy time, especially with a newborn. I found there were days that I had not even had anything to eat, and that was because I would either (1) forget or (2) just run out of time. The best solution I finally found was to have ready-to-eat snacks, so I stocked up on granola bars, or I would sometimes bake some banana loaf (once Ethan went to bed for the night) so I could munch on it throughout the next day. You will not have time to make elaborate meals. So planning ahead will really help to keep your energy up, trust me, you will be happy you did.

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