Hauck is a big player when it comes to baby products. The company is more than 90-years-old, manufacturing everything from travel systems to high chairs, play centres, stair gates and baby rockers.
The Hauck Baby Park is marketed as a 4-in-1 system (use as a playpen, playmat, stair gate or a barrier). I tested the product on my daughter, who had just turned 1 the week before. We tried to use the Baby Park as a playpen, stair gate and barrier.
It is pretty versatile – because it has been created for multiple uses, the product can be adapted to individual homes. So, if you have a fireplace you want to avoid your little one getting too close to, or you have open-plan living space that is making your life difficult, the Hauck Baby Park can come to the rescue.
How do you assemble the gate?
It consists of a series of gate ‘panels’, that come connected together, along with wall fixings and screws.
At first sight the box containing the gate appeared huge and is heavy at 14kg, so it took me a couple of days to pluck up the courage to open it!
However, it was great to realise that all the panels are already fixed together and all you need to do is position them together and add the mat if you want to create the playpen, or attach it to walls with the fixings if you want it to operate like a gate or a barrier.
Is it easy to fit to different types of walls?
It is fairly easy to fit to the walls although you do need to use a drill, which I am not a great fan of. But then there doesn’t seem to be any other way.
The gate has to be attached to the wall using screws and the connectors, which are provided.
How does it work as a playpen?
The Baby Park is useful as a playpen for a baby under 10 months, but my daughter Tara – who was coming up to a year – found the space too restrictive and spent all her time pushing and shoving the panels, trying to figure out how to escape!
Does it move if pushed by your little one?
Yes, the Baby Park does move around a bit if pushed and pulled by baby because it isn’t fixed to the floor or wall when used as a playpen.
A cushioned baby mat is provided that is attached to the walls of the playpen. It is OK although I felt that it could have been slightly more padded, especially if using for children who are just learning to stand.
How does it work as a security gate?
Really well, I found the product most useful for creating ‘no-go’ zones such as stairs and sections of our living space.
We used it to stop Tara from going out onto the raised garden deck when the bi-fold doors were open. For us, it is going to be lifesaver over the summer months!
The Baby Park is particularly suitable for stairs where a conventional stair gate won’t work – in our home, the first step doesn’t have a banister on one so this was a great solution for us.
But if you remove the panels and use as a stair gate, you can’t use as a playpen or barrier without constantly adding and removing panels!
Is it safe and escape proof?
Very! Once fitted according to instructions, Tara had no chance to get out – although she tried her best!
You have to slide a button and push the gate up at the same time – I am sure it is impossible for a small child. For ease of use, the gate can be operated with one adult hand.
It does take a little bit of practice to slide the yellow button back and lift the gate at the same time, but once mastered, it’s easy. It can be opened in either direction.
Can you store it away compactly?
No, but when it comes to storage, the Baby Park folds away as compact as you can expect it to be considering its weight and bulk.
You could probably store it in a shed or one corner of a room, but you do need to be careful because it is heavy and baby could easily knock it down, risking injury.
My little one managed to knock it down even though I didn’t think she would be able to.
The Baby Park is a useful and versatile product, although a tad expensive compared to other stair gates and playpens. However, given that it is durable and can probably be used for several years if buyers are planning on having more than one child, it can be good value.
And the product is unique in the sense that most playpens don’t also turn into stair-gates or barriers up to a width of 3.66m.
The main thing is that is safe and secured, if installed correctly, so I would recommend to buyers who are looking for a product that can last a few years.