With my older two kids I had every baby gadget, gizmo, or new fad that came on the market. And then I gave most of it away to family and friends thinking we were done with the baby stage. So, when we found out we were expecting baby #3 last year, I had many people ask if we wanted our stuff back, but I knew they were still using it so I said I would let them know when we were ready for it.
As it turns out, I haven’t asked for any of it back. And, for the most part, I haven’t missed all the baby stuff. I call my new parenting style “minimal”, and it’s actually been quite awesome not having to find places to store all the extra stuff before, during, and after we need it.
For that reason, Oribel is my favorite new baby gear company, hands down. Instead of buying a baby item that lasts a matter of weeks, their baby gear is designed to grow with baby through multiple stages helping you truly go minimal.
I already told you how much I love the Peripop from Oribel that can go from baby to toddler and transitions from blanket to cushion to play mat to lounge pillow. But now I’m raving about their PortaPlay convertible activity center that can be used in place of the exersaucer and baby activity table, and then becomes a play table for arts and crafts, tea parties, and more for use all the way through childhood. So, instead of buying and storing all of those items, you can buy one item and convert it as your needs grow to really get your use out of it. Brilliant! Straight out of the box I was already impressed. With a sturdy tabletop, high quality fabric, and thick wooden insert paired with high quality toys, it was very clear that this was no cheap baby item. This is designed to last through childhood – and through multiple kids. In true Oribel fashion, even the instructions are dual purpose and have a handy growth chart on the back that you can hang up in your little one's bedroom. Seriously, they thought of everything. Setting up the PortaPlay convertible activity center is also extremely easy. For the first stage, you attach the inner fabric seat to the inner frame and place it in the activity center. You then place the toys into the tabletop until they click. Now baby is ready to play while enjoying the 3" bounce as they get used to kicking and jumping. For the second stage, you remove the fabric seat and inner frame and place the wooden tabletop over the center. Leave the toys in place and let baby walk around the table to play and explore. With its heavy-duty angled legs with feet that grip hard floors, it is incredibly sturdy and could easily support a child learning to stand and take their first steps. For the third stage, you simply remove the toys and place the covers over the holes in the tabletop. This creates a smooth tabletop surface that can be used for building toys, coloring, or even eating all the way through childhood. Since we nixed a coffee table in our living room to give the kids as much space to play as possible, I love that the PortaPlay is the perfect low table when we need one, but converts right back to the baby activity center super quick whenever baby wants to play. As cool as the 3-in-1 design is, my favorite thing about the PortaPlay convertible activity center is how well it stores away. Should you ever need to store it between babies, the legs of the PortaPlay table are hinged and with the press of a button they raise up against the underside of the tabletop so it folds flat. This means the PortaPlay can be stored easily under a crib, in a closet, or against a wall. If you need the PortaPlay to be used on the go, it can easily be placed in the trunk of a car so it's a portable activity center you can use just about anywhere. This also makes a great makeshift seat for feeding baby at the beach, at grandma's house, or while on vacation, which is awesome. How amazing is that?! Just try folding up your traditional exersaucer, high chair, play table, or art desk and you will get just how awesome this is, both for home and away.
This is all great, but we all know that an activity center is only worth it if baby likes it. So, does baby #3 like her exersaucer, play place, and baby gym? You tell me. That's one happy baby. What is not shown in the picture is the happy family who loves playing with baby in the PortaPlay and enjoys having two hands free every once in a while.
So, to everyone who wants to know if we want our baby stuff back, the answer is no. We're enjoying having less baby stuff that does more and grows with baby through multiple stages. Sorry friends and family, don't hold your breath waiting for the PortaPlay as a hand-me-down. This is going to be well-loved for many, many years.