• It’s a cinch to fold up and store in a closet
• Compact, making it a great travel option
• Sleek, modern design
• At 24 pounds, it’s a bit cumbersome to carry
• You have to purchase the pricey mattress sheets separately
• No added bells and whistles (like music, mobile, toys and so on)
4moms products always feel a little magical because they’re innovative and efficient—and the Breeze is no different. This playard is ridiculously easy to open and close, and it’s ideal for travel because it has a small footprint. Magic, indeed.
Rating: 5 stars
Playards are fabulous inventions because they give you a place to put baby and know he’s safe. Before our playard days, if I needed to run to the bathroom, take a shower or prep a meal, I used to always put my baby in the crib. I live in a New York City apartment, so I felt like I didn’t have a ton of room for another larger baby accessory. But when I visited my friend in the suburbs in a—gasp!—house, I saw that she would put her daughter in a playard to keep her safe and close by when she did the laundry or made lunch. After that visit, I knew I wanted a playard too (even in my 1,000-square-foot apartment) because a playard is really so much better than a crib. You can put it anywhere in the house or apartment and constantly move it around as you run through your to-dos.
With my first son, I had a wonderful playard, but it was a bit difficult to break down and set up, and it was heavy to move. So it basically stayed in one spot, which defeats the whole purpose of a playard—that it’s portable! When I had my second son, I knew I wanted to find something I’d actually be able to move around with me as I did activities in different rooms. My first choice? The 4moms Breeze. When I saw the how-to video, I was mesmerized.
The open and close mechanism looked so easy, I almost didn’t believe it. (In reality, I knew it would be fabulous, because all of the other 4moms products I own like the Mamaroo and the infant tub are so well made and convenient to use.) So I registered for it, and when the box arrived, I actually jumped up and down. I couldn’t wait to try it. Even my husband was excited to test it out. And it totally met our expectations.
The Breeze’s standout feature is how easy it is to open and close. To stand it up, you lightly push down on the middle handle and it opens and snaps into place—like magic. The latches are automatic, so it essentially sets itself up. To close it, you pull the playard up by the center strap, and it collapses just as easily as it opened. The most “work” you have to do is secure the mattress to the base with three Velcro fasteners, which takes at most five minutes. I was blown away by how little effort it took. Since it opened like a transformer toy, I thought it wouldn’t be very stable, but I shook it back and forth vigorously and it wouldn’t budge.
One of my only complaints is that while some other playards come with various accessories, like a changing table, mobile, music of some sort, and pockets for diapers and wipes, the Breeze doesn’t have any of these extras—other than a removable bassinet and bassinet mattress. While I love its sleek design, I did miss having those components and wish 4moms made complementary accessories you could buy and safely attach to the playard.
You also have to buy the waterproof mattress sheets separately, which to me are extremely expensive ($30 for the bassinet sheets and $40 for the playard sheets). ( Ed note: Playard sheets can run anywhere between $10 and $40, so these are definitely at the upper end of the price scale, even for waterproof options.) Initially I really didn’t want to shell out another $70, so I tried my old playard sheets, but they didn’t come close to fitting. Both mattresses are unique in size and shape, so you need to buy the sheets directly from 4moms to keep them taut (aka safe). I would have loved it if the company included one of each, because it wouldn’t have been comfortable to have my son Will on the mattress without a sheet.
At 46 x 33 inches, the Breeze doesn’t actually take up that much space. We barely notice it when we move it around our two-bedroom apartment, and it’s the perfect size for when you’re on the move. We’ve traveled with the Breeze to just about everywhere: the beach, my parents’ house—even in the tiniest of hotel rooms, we’ve been able to make it work. On our last trip, it fit perfectly between the two full-size beds, which was nice because we still had the walkway in front of the beds (and we didn’t have to do any acrobatics to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night).
4moms includes a very nice travel bag that fits perfectly around the playard once it’s folded, making it portable and compact. But at 24 pounds, it feels very heavy (picture carrying around three gallons of water). It’s not bad moving it from room to room around a house, but when you’re schlepping it in and out of the car or through a long hotel hallway, you feel the weight. That’s not unusual when it comes to playards, but I just wish it were a bit lighter considering how sleek it appears. ( Ed note: With most playards weighing 19 to 32 pounds, the Breeze’s heft is pretty average.)
The mattresses in both the bassinet and the playard are extremely secure, and while they are fairly stiff, Will never seems uncomfortable in either. We used the bassinet up until Will turned 5 months old when he outgrew its 18-pound weight limit (4moms also advises to stop using it if your child can push up on his or her hands and knees). The bassinet topper was easy to attach to the top of the playard with plastic hooks that snap onto the sides, and the mattress Velcros down into the mesh bassinet attachment. To attach the playard mattress, you thread the long Velcro straps to the base of the playard, keeping it nice and tight—a quick and painless process.
Aesthetically, I love 4moms products for their clean designs, and the Breeze is no exception. It’s super sleek and can almost camouflage as a modern piece of furniture in your home (even the patterned fitted sheets are pretty). The playard sides are mesh from top to bottom, so Will can see us (and we can see him) from every angle. It’s so nice to be able to put him in with a few toys and let him play in a safe and secure place while I do some cleaning or prepare a meal.
Full disclosure, I’m a big 4moms fan. This company makes products that solve problems, so I had a feeling I’d love the Breeze. Playards are notoriously clunky and hard to assemble, but the Breeze requires next to no effort to put together and I recommend it to all of my friends. Will slept beautifully on both the bassinet attachment and the regular playard mattress. An added benefit is that it’s sleek, modern and totally chic. Despite my longing for some of the extra accessories that other playards include, my crush on 4moms continues.