I received this product free for review. All opinions remain my own.
My favourite kind of baby product is one that can be useful for different developmental stages. The bassinet we used with Cub was definitely not that kind of product. In fact, that bassinet encompassed the drawbacks of many baby items that I have chosen to do away with this second time around: it was bulky and impossible to store, hard to clean, not portable, limited to a very short period of use and way too frilly.
I bought a standard playpen second hand for Cub, too. I hated it almost as much as our bassinet for many of the same reasons. Calling it a “Pack and Play” was a huge misnommer: folding it up and shoving it into its carrying case was a huge pain, and it weighed an astronomical amount for something meant to be portable.
Enter the guzzie & guss Habitat Playard:
Where is it? All packed up in its carrying case that I can actually… carry!
It can be used as a bassinet and a playpen, so it’s two pieces of baby furniture in one.
What’s more, it replaces my two most-hated pieces of baby furniture from Cub’s infancy with one piece that resolves all of the aforementioned, hate-inducing issues:
- At about 12 lbs, it is light as a feather and totally portable;
- It folds down almost flat and easily slides into its carrying case so you can actually pack it and play in it or store it away for the next baby;
- It’s modern and clean looking: no bells and whistles or frills;
- It’s easy to keep clean: all the fabric is removable and machine washable;
- It can be used from birth until about 2 years old;
- At $200, it is easily cheaper than buying both a bassinet and a playpen.
Setting up The Habitat straight out of the box was, quite simply, child’s play:
The Habitat is essentially three pieces: the frame, the mattress and the body. The long arms of the frame are telescopic, so it shrinks down to fit inside the carrying case.
The body is hung over the frame and secured with zippers, then the mattress is placed inside.
To extend the length of the body, thus turning the bassinet into a playpen, you unzip the zippers around the perimeter of the body.
For the moment, we are using the Habitat as a bassinet. When I first brought her home, I had it next to our bed and Little Miss Cub would start her night off there before her first waking when I would bring her to bed with me. (Co-sleeping = more sleeping.) Now I’ve brought it to the main floor and it’s a spot that I can place her when she’s napping or I need to take care of Cub. (She is currently snoozing there as I type this at the kitchen table.)
The Habitat as a playpen will be a safe place to play when I can’t give her my undivided attention (and with a preschool-aged sibling, this may be quite often) and as a portable bed. I plan on bringing it to Vancouver at Christmas time as one of my pieces of “baby equipment” allowed by Westjet. Because the Habitat is so light and easily folded, I can bring it upstairs and downstairs as needed without having to wait for Hercules to help me carry it up or down the stairs. Next year we plan on going camping in the summer. The Habitat will be perfect for that, plus it comes with its own bug net!
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Find a retailer near you and all the specs for the Habitat on GuzzieandGuss.com
Carolyn Russell says
Being washable is a huge deal! My first was a super spit upper and the first time he projectile spit up all over the insert in our Pack and Play I was astonished to find out you couldn’t remove the cover to wash it! UGH!
Olivia @ This West Coast Mommy says
Oh, love that it’s washable! I didn’t mind the weight so much with my old Pack and Play because I didn’t move it much, but not being able to wash it was a huge turn-off for me. This makes so much more sense! (And I could totally see this as an option for camping – fun!)
Camille W says
This is a very cool product: I’m also a fan of 2-for-1 and washable. We are past the bassinet phase at 5 months old but now in the market for a travel crib/play yard. I was wondering if this might be on the small side for a play-yard though. Can you imagine 2 y-o Cub being happy to play in it?
Lindsay Gallimore says
At 2 years old, Cub wasn’t playing in any play pen- I doubt most 2 year olds do! Most children by walking age don’t play in play pens, only nap in them. We only used his playpen at that age for naps or sleeping away from home. He was probably done playing in a play pen by about 1.5 years old.
Camille W says
Good to know – thanks! So do you think it’s a good size for a 1/1.5 year old to play in?
Lindsay Gallimore says
It’s 28 in x 22 inches, so smaller than a Graco Pack and Play but not by a heck of a lot (the exact dimensions depend on the model). Honestly it will depend on the child- some aren’t going to like a playpen no matter how spacious, while others will be quite content. It also depends if they can climb out! While a Pack & Play (Graco or otherwise) may have a few more inches space, for me what makes the Habitat more appealing is that it’s lightweight and folds flat, meaning I CAN easily pack it! Sorry if that’s not super helpful!
Camille W says
It is helpful! Thanks so much.
I really loved my habitat for the first 5 or so months,(for all of the reasons stated in this review) but then my baby grew out of it height wise and couldn’t sleep in it anymore 🙁 he was over 95th percentile in height so this wouldn’t have been a problem for every baby, but I wish I had know sooner that it is significantly shorter than other play yards
I’m glad someone else has realized this. The play yard is a great idea and we loved it, except 1 important thing, it’s too small. An average 1 year old at 30 inches long is too long for this play yard.
At one year old it was still great for my daughter for naps and to contain her momentarily while I was otherwise distracted.
Just wondering if you used any sheets on yours while using it as a bassinet? I was looking at some play pen fitted sheets the other day, as I figure that would be more convienent than washing the cover all the time, but as it’s not a standard sized play-pen, they all seem like they’d be too big! Thoughts?
I just used a crib sheet and wrapped it tightly around the mattress!