Ingenuity Smart and Simple Playard Review: A Mother’s Story

As a mother, I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed with the abundance of pack and play options on the market and it took me a lot of research to finally choose the Ingenuity Smart and Simple Playard for my son. It offered the exact level of portability I needed. It’s also a high-quality sturdy item, so I never feared for my baby’s safety. And the extra features (storage, changing table, and napper) were all the things I needed.

I’ll tell you right away that it’s not perfect, but I haven’t regretted buying it for even a moment. 

Ingenuity Smart and Simple pack n play Playard

First let me tell you that Ingenuity is a renowned brand in the industry and has a variety of playpen models to meet every parent’s needs. Check out how the models compare so you can pick what will be best for you.

Ingenuity Smart and Simple Playards: Model Comparison

 

Model NameBELLA TEDDYBRYANTMORELANDCHADWICKRIDGEDALE
Product Imageingenuity smart and simple playardingenuity playardingenuity washable playardingenuity travelsimple playardingenuity washable playard with dream centre
Price
Dimension (in)40″ x 29″ x 31″40″ x 29″ x 29″29″ x 40″ x 28.25″29″ x 40″ x 28.25″29″ x 40″ x 28.25″
Age Minimum (months)00000
Batteries Included/requiredYes/YesNo/NoNo/NoNo/NoNo/No
GenderNeutralNeutralNeutralNeutralNeutral
Weight Max/Min (lb)30/630/630/630/630/6
REMOVABLE NAPPER STATION+++++
CHANGING TABLE+++++
FULL-SIZE BASSINET+++++
MACHINE WASHABLE PIECES+++++
STORAGEside storage pocketsside storage pocketside storage traysside storage traysside storage trays
TOYS1 wood toy, 1 plush toy on the canopy2 plush toy on arch2 plush toy on arch2 plush toy on arch2 plush toy on the canopy
Lights Up & Plays Tranquil Melodies+
CARRYING BAG+++++
WHEELS+
Price

Anyway, it’s better to see it once than to hear about it a thousand times. So, let’s watch the video review that shows off the Ingenuity playard and all its outstanding features. Focus on how this item will fit into your home and whether the pieces of the playpen are exactly as you want them to be.

Ingenuity Smart and Simple Playard Video Review

Ingenuity Smart and Simple Playard Pros and Cons

Here’s a short list that should help you understand whether this playard model is for you. I tried to be objective in highlighting both strengths and weaknesses of this product. However, as everyone has different needs, you will need to think about how well this pack and play will work for you and your child.

Pros:

Easy to clean
Has storage organizer
The changing table is sturdier then most
The changing table is elevated
Very easy to set up and take down
Has a newborn napper

Cons:

Poor-quality toys and toy arch
Firm and thin mattress
No support for the infant bassinet
Difficult-to-follow instructions

Now, let’s take a close look at each of the points above. Let me explain why I like this playpen, but do not consider it perfect.

Things I liked the most about the Ingenuity Smart and Simple Pack’n Play

It’s easy to clean

I’ve read a multitude of reviews from frustrated mothers who ranted that the playpen they got was a pain to clean, so this was a major factor in my decision. The  Ingenuity washable playard has three big pieces covered with fabric, the mattress, the DreamCentre, and the changing table. All three are zip-off pieces.

This means that you can remove them in seconds and throw in your washer. That’s it, all the cleaning done.

I also love that the fabric quality allows you to cut down the frequency of such a thorough washing. You can easily wipe the changer to keep it clean. Same with any little spills.

And have I mentioned that the fabric is all soft and pleasant to the touch? It’s one of the best things as far as I’m concerned.

Handy storage organizer

Personally, I have the Ingenuity Smart and Simple pack and play in Ridgedale design. This means that I have storage pockets that are easy to clip to the side of the playpen. I love that while they aren’t big, they fit all the essentials I need, which means diapers, powder, lotion, wipes, and a couple of toys.

I love this design because the pockets look very neat and they don’t add bulkiness to the playard as a plastic storage tray does. But if you are into that or want something bigger and more “permanent”, there are a couple of Smart and Simple models that have trays instead of pockets.

Sturdy and elevated changing table

The changing table on this playpen can be flipped away easily when not in use, which is the same for the majority of pack and plays on the market. What makes this one stand out is that it’s a bit elevated to make the changing easier on your back.

As I’m not a tall person myself, it worked out beautifully. However, I’ve read a few complaints from women for whom even that height wasn’t enough. Also, you can use the changing table until your baby reaches 25lbs. From what I’ve seen, this is above average for playards.

The changer is deep enough to prevent the baby from rolling out of it. I’ve read some complaints from parents who say it tilts to the side, but we’ve never had this issue.

It’s easy to move around the house

The pack’n play has two wheels that have an auto-lock feature, so it’s easy to lock it in place or move to a different room. I must stress the latter because this model’s important feature is that it fits through the doors easily.

As it’s not too heavy, moving it around will be quite easy. And the quality of materials is quite reassuring as the wheels don’t look flimsy at all and haven’t failed me yet.

It’s very easy to fold and set up

One of the most common complaints about play yards is that they are hard to set up and fold. Well, I’ve never had such problems with my Ingenuity Smart and Simple Playard. It lived up to the manufacturer’s promises fully and you can collapse it in a couple of moves.

Setting it back up is just as easy. But I admit it might take a little practice to make the whole process smooth. So, I suggest you give it a “trial run” for 3-4 times right after buying.

Things that were OK in my Ingenuity Smart and Simple Playpen

While I admit that I love my Ingenuity playpen dearly, there were some things about it that weren’t outstanding. But they weren’t bad either. From the research I did, I can see that the majority of these minor issues are common for all playards.

There’s no support for the infant bassinet

Having a full-size infant bassinet in a pack and play is something that the majority of parents want. And many of them complain that the thing they got is unsatisfactory because either the bassinet itself lilts to the side or the mattress bunches up.

All those things happen because the bassinet doesn’t have a sturdy panel to support it at the bottom. And it’s the same for all portable play yards I’ve seen.

I didn’t have any issues because of this with my Ingenuity Smart and Simple pack and play but I admit that the “loose” way the bassinet just hung there worried me at first. I recommend setting the playpen up very carefully to make sure that the mattress is properly centered. And once your baby is mobile enough for rocking to become an issue, move them down to the playpen.

The product’s instructions say that the infant bassinet is safe for babies up to 15lbs. or those unable to push up on hands and knees. From experience, I suggest you drop it if your baby gets too active and moves around a lot.

Newborn napper you won’t use much

The newborn napper is rather nice and it’s a bit inclined to make the baby more comfortable. I must also commend the softness of the fabric again, as well as mesh pockets on the sides that enhance breathability.

My model also had an arch with soft toys and there are some that have a mobile with a starry sky light projector or a canopy with toys.

All those are definitely good, but I put this feature in the “OK” section because you wouldn’t be using it for long. The instruction says to discontinue the use as soon as the baby learns to roll over or pull up on the sides. Well, my little tyke did that fast, so the napper went into storage. At best, you’ll be using it for the first five months.

The mattress is rather firm

You can’t call the Ingenuity Smart and Simple Playard mattress “soft” even if you are stretching the truth. This is another common complaint, and not only for this playpen but for all pack n plays out there. They just don’t make these with soft high-quality baby mattresses.

Personally, I see no problem with that. We bought an extra mattress and have a couple of very nice mattress pads that make the included one much comfier. Also, remember that a baby needs something firmer to sleep on for healthy development.

What I didn’t like about my Ingenuity Smart and Simple Playard

While it wasn’t a deal-breaker for me, the first thing I didn’t like about this play yard was the instruction. I watched a YouTube video instead of trying to decipher it.

I also didn’t really like the toy arch in the napper. It was little more than useless and the toys weren’t very cute or high-quality. I’m glad I didn’t go for the model with a music center as I can’t imagine it being much better.

Also, it did smell badly once out of the package for the first time. A couple of days of airing solved that problem.

Conclusion

As a mother, I can honestly say that the Ingenuity Smart and Simple Playard is a great playpen that offers good value for money. And it’s that last bit that you need to focus on. It’s not some luxury nursery center with three dozen features and covered in silk.

I use my playpen at home to keep the baby nearby and to let him catch some sun outdoors on the deck. We also occasionally use it for short trips and, as I mentioned before, our parents use it as a primary sleeping and playing place for our son when he stays at their houses.

It’s not a good option for those who want to travel light, but it meets all my personal needs for more “stationary” use. The item is also sturdy and stylish and with a bit of customization (meaning a better mattress or pad) it’ll be a comfy place to sleep and play for your baby as they grow into a toddler.

Ingenuity playard instructions – Official site

  1. Ingenuity Pack and Play Manual –BELLA TEDDY
  2. Ingenuity Pack’n Play Manual – BRYANT
  3. Ingenuity Playard Manual – MORELAND
  4. Ingenuity Play Yard Manual – CHADWICK
  5. Ingenuity Playpen Manual – RIDGEDALE

Hope you’ll find the review useful!