• Compact when open
• Great side storage compartments
• Firm yet comfortable mattress
• Comes with a detachable toy bar, night light and sound machine
• Takes up a lot of storage space
• Fairly heavy to carry when traveling
• Complicated to set up
The Chicco Lullaby LX Playard is a safe and comfortable space for your child to play and nap in. Whether you’re traveling or just need a secure place to leave your child when you’re not near the crib, this playard is a perfect option to give you peace of mind.
Rating: 4 stars
Playards are great. They’re portable units that can be used as a safe place for your child to play or nap. Full disclosure: I often used the Chicco Lullaby LX Playard as a crib when we traveled or visited the grandparents because we didn’t have a crib at those locations. Chicco suggests only using the playard for naps and playtime (which we used it for as well), but we never had any issues having our son Jacob sleep in it overnight.
Many of my friends complained about how stiff their playard mattresses were and bought additional foam padding or completely replaced the mattress. A soft mattress can actually be a suffocation hazard and isn’t recommended, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that while the Lullaby LX mattress is firm, it’s also comfortable. Jacob never put up a fight about napping in it. He also enjoyed being in the playard, in part because the mesh sides allow him to see everything around him—it creates the feeling of a very open space.
The playard also comes with tons of additions. Some we loved and used, like the removable toy bar, and some we tried and ended up storing once we realized they weren’t practical for our needs. For example, we tried using the changing table when Jacob was an infant—but while it was nice to have the option of a real changing area, I found it annoying to constantly put it on and take it off the top of the playard, so it was just easier to change our fidgety baby using a mat on the floor. We did, however, love the nature sound machine and nightlight that hooks onto the corner of the playard. The Lullaby LX comes with a remote control to adjust all the electronics from afar, but we never ended up using it, because it was just as easy to make quick changes on the playard itself. The side pockets are also extremely convenient—I used them to store a few diapers, a small pack of wipes, creams and a couple extra pacifiers.
The initial setup wais a bit complicated, and while we have it under control now, we were overwhelmed at first. My husband and I had to slowly and carefully read the manual one step at a time to put it together. Granted, we were sleep deprived, which definitely didn’t help. (Tip: Assemble this before the baby arrives so you don’t have that problem!)
Once you learn how to assemble the playard, it’s fairly simple to use. My favorite feature is how easily it collapses: You remove the bottom mattress and quickly pull up from the middle floor strap, and it folds up—kind of like a Transformer. The one thing we still struggle with at times is properly attaching the mattress to the base. Threading each of the mattress pad straps through the four corresponding holes on the base of the playard is a bit of a pain, but once you do it, you know it’s extremely secure. The playard is very sturdy—and stays that way, which is impressive when you consider all the wear and tear it undergoes. Jacob rolled all over it when he was tiny and eventually walked around on the mattress while he played, and it never buckled or moved out of place. Once he started standing up, I was happy to see how well the mesh sides held up: He was able to put all his weight on the top rails, and they never moved. It’s still in such great condition, I’ll be able to use it again for baby no. 2 (whenever that happens!).
While the playard is designed for travel and comes with a matching cargo bag, at 33 pounds, it can be cumbersome to schlep back and forth. ( Ed Note: With most playards weighing somewhere between 13 and 35 pounds, the Lullaby LX is definitely on the heavy side—it’s about the equivalent of carrying around four gallons of water.) If you’re only carrying the playard, it’s not bad—but as a multitasking mom, when are you ever only carrying one thing? It also took up a big chunk of space in our closet when we stored it (even though it’s relatively compact when it’s set up). I live in New York City, so closet space is at a premium. If I lived in a house, this might not have been as much of an issue.
We often brought the playard on vacation or while visiting our parents, so I appreciated its small footprint when open and how easy it is to collapse. When it comes to aesthetics, this playard comes in very muted colors, so it blends in nicely if you choose a shade that matches your room.
We used our Chicco playard until Jacob exceeded the weight limit, which is 30 pounds, 35 inches or when baby is able to climb out. The bassinet has a weight limit of 15 pounds and the changing table is up to 25 pounds. That leaves a lot of room for the product to grow with baby. It’s unusual to find something that can work for so many different ages, so it’s a great investment to make early on—you’ll really get your money’s worth.
While the Chicco Lullaby LX Playard is a bit complicated to assemble and heavy to transport, it’s ultimately one of the items I recommend most to my friends because Jacob loved it and we got so much use out of it. It truly grew with our son. All of the extras (the side pockets, toy bar, sound machine) are extremely useful, and the best part is it’s comfortable. Jacob never protested when we put him in for a nap or to play, and it was so helpful to know I always had a safe place for him, whether at home, on vacation or when visiting friends. Bottom line: a great buy.