The Lovevery play gym is hyped to high heavens, and it’s pretty expensive. I decided to use it with my son for a full 12 months to bring you my opinions.
Yes, I’ve seriously been working on this article for an entire year.
Everything you wanted to know and then some is all right here!
What’s the appeal with the Lovevery play gym?
The Lovevery play gym probably gets a decent amount of hype just for being expensive. I mean, it’s $140 for a play gym when there are somewhat similar options on Amazon for less than $50.
Here’s why the Lovevery play gym has so much appeal:
- Lovevery brand name: Lovevery’s name holds a lot of weight in the baby and toddler toy space. They consistently make high-quality toys that support development, and we have very rarely been disappointed (this coming from someone who quite literally owns almost every single thing they’ve ever made).
- Broad age range: this particular play gym has been designed to grow with your baby. Most baby play gyms are for the infant phase only – this one is supposedly created for up to 12 months of age.
- Eco-friendly: this play gym is made from sustainably sourced wood, organic cotton, and silicone. It’s shipped carbon-neutral, too.
- Focus on development and reaching milestones: this play gym was so thoughtfully made, it’s kind of astounding. Each part of the play gym has a purpose, including focus, visual development, early motor skills, strength, exploring the senses, object permanence, and more.
- Converts into a fort: when you’re done using this with your baby, you can convert it into a fort using the play space cover. My toddlers LOVE this, and I’m glad it’s still getting some use well after a year.
There’s a reason this play gym has over 5,000 5-star reviews.
Lovevery Play Gym Unboxing
We were super excited to unbox the Lovevery play gym! It comes in a long box with a beautiful graphic cover that flips up to reveal the play gym beneath.
This was so simple to set up, which I was grateful for. The velcro straps to hold the wooden bars in place aren’t amazing, but they were easy to figure out and I didn’t need any tools or instruction manuals.
My baby was 6 weeks old when it arrived, and while I wish we’d had it a few weeks sooner, we started using it right away.
Here’s what comes in the Lovevery play gym box, outside of the actual play gym itself:
- Organic Cotton High-Contrast Ball
- Batting Ring
- Organic Cotton Teether
- Teething Rings
- Black & White Card Set
- Mirror Card Set
- Common Objects Card Set
- Faces Card Set
- The Play Guide
- Play Space Cover
- Card Set Clips
There are so many accessories included, and I like that you can easily swap them in and out.
I found that when I only had one accessory clipped or hanging, it captured my baby’s attention and he would engage more with it.
Our Experience with the Lovevery Play Gym
We literally used this play gym daily, usually multiple times per day. It was the perfect, comfortable landing zone for the baby when I needed to cook dinner, tend to one of my other kids, fold laundry, or just sit down and relax.
It requires basically no setup – just lay your baby on the mat and go about your tasks!
I honestly think this was our most-used baby item for at least the first 3-4 months of my son’s life.
It was amazing for tummy time as there are lots of things to look at and explore. His favorite thing was the propped-up contrast cards.
Visual and Fine Motor Skills Development
It was also great for laying him on his back. I could see his little brain working as he looked up at the contrast cards.
I also remember the first time he reached his hand up to bat at the batting ring – I think I screamed in excitement and startled him.
As he got older, he started scooting around the play gym. He especially loved feeling the textures in the “How Things Feel” zone.
The “Making Sounds” zone was also a favorite – my babies have always been attracted to baby paper that crinkles!
Out of all of the accessories, the ones we used the most were the contrast cards and the batting ring.
The contrast ball was nice, but we found he was much happier when the batting ring was there. We didn’t use the cotton teether much as it just didn’t capture his attention.
We also didn’t use the teething ring much – it’s supposed to be used in the hide-and-seek area of the play mat, but that area never really interested our son. I recently tried to re-introduce the hide-and-seek zone (he’s 12 months old now), but he still didn’t care. That could come down to personal preference, though.
We also didn’t use the common objects or faces card sets much. He much preferred the contrast cards.
Lovevery Play Gym vs Other Baby Playmats
Lovevery isn’t the only brand selling play gyms! I did a lot of research and found that these are the most popular play gyms on the market:
- Fisher-Price Baby Gym
- Baby Einstein Play Gym
- Fisher-Price Perfect Sense Deluxe Play Gym
- Bright Starts Disney Baby Gym
- Lupantte Baby Gym
While all of these are significantly less expensive than the Lovevery version, none of them have the same level of robust child development features. In fact, I think some of these are overstimulating with the sounds and flashing lights.
The simplicity of the Lovevery play gym helps create focus, and you will notice the difference in your kids when they are playing with more simplistic, natural toys.
The closest of these is probably the Fisher-Price Perfect Sense Deluxe Play Gym, though it’s really designed for infants only and doesn’t have as many components and features as the Lovevery version.
Another thing to consider is the resale value of Lovevery toys.
There are a lot of Lovevery resale groups on Facebook, not to mention just listing it in your local area on a site like Facebook marketplace. People pay a premium for used Lovevery play mats, so you’re going to get some of your investment back.
I looked at play mat listings in the Lovevery Buy/Sell/Trade group from the last three months, and the average sale price of a used play gym is $80 plus shipping.
These other play gym brands aren’t going to bring in the same level of interest – I wouldn’t expect more than $5-$10 for them.
Pros and Cons of the Lovevery Play Gym
As with any baby product, there were things we loved about the play gym and some things we weren’t so excited about.
Pros of the play gym:
- The perfect toy for the tummy time phase: we used this multiple times a day during tummy time. It was convenient with the mat underneath (no need to set up a blanket), and there are lots of elements down low that captured our baby’s attention and encouraged him to try lifting his neck.
- Peace of mind that you’re giving your baby the opportunity to reach developmental milestones: it’s an amazing feeling when you see your baby gazing with curiosity at the black and white contrast cards. Or when he lifts his arm and bats at the batting ring for the first time. Those moments are priceless, and that’s why Lovevery toys in general bring up so much nostalgia for me.
- It’s washable: I love that you can just toss this in the washer because your baby is going to spit up on it (sometimes daily). I don’t think you’re supposed to dry it, but we did and it has been perfectly fine!
- No batteries or overstimulation: I hate toys with batteries for so many reasons, but the main thing is they’re usually overstimulating and do nothing for your child’s development. I love that this play gym has no batteries and no distractions. It’s all intentional.
- Great resale value: people love Lovevery! You can get part of your money back by selling it on a Lovevery resell group or to someone in your area via Facebook marketplace.
- Doubles as a fort for the older kids: We have three kids, and my two older ones loved adding the cover and hiding inside. They’re really into forts! It just felt nice that this baby item has some versatility.
- Easy to put together: you don’t need any instruction manuals or tools to put this together. Ladies, you don’t need to wait for the hubby to get home to help. Promise.
Cons of the play gym:
- The price: the $140 price tag seems really steep to me, though I get why it’s so expensive. It’s made with the highest quality materials, and it has tons of research behind it. It’s just a bit pricey.
- The velcro straps leave a lot to be desired: The velcro straps that hold the wooden bars to the play mat aren’t the best. They’re not as durable as I would have expected, and they don’t line up perfectly, though it didn’t have any effect on our actual use of the play gym.
- We didn’t use it much after the 6-month mark: Our baby does not like to stay in the same place for long. We found that as soon as he started crawling, he was outta there! He’d rather explore than stay in the play gym. While we still used it on occasion, it wasn’t a daily thing like it was in the beginning.
- It’s kind of large and hard to move around: this might be a “me” thing, but we often moved the play gym from our living room to our bedroom, which required me to walk through a baby gate. The width of the play gym is wider than the gate, so I’d have to maneuver it up and over, which was kind of clunky. Yes, you can take it apart, but reattaching the velcro straps is kind of annoying. The size comes with the territory, but it was somewhat of a con for us.
- No storage provided for all the accessories: At this price point, I think it’d be nice if it came with some kind of cool storage solution for all the accessories. We ended up using a little basket, and it’s really not a huge deal, but more of a wishlist thing.
So, Is the Play Gym Worth It?
I think the Lovevery play gym is worth it if you get it right when your baby is born. It’s going to give the most value to your family in the first 4-6 months of your baby’s life, and you’ll notice you use it less and less as you approach the 12-month mark.
I think this would be 100% worth it as a baby shower gift or if you purchase it within the first 4 weeks of your baby’s life. We got it at 6 weeks and I wished I had it a little sooner for tummy time!
If your baby is older than 4 months, I don’t think it’s going to be money well spent for you.
While it’s marketed as good for 0-12 months, the sweet spot really is those early months when your baby can’t crawl yet.
But if you can get it early on, this play gym is definitely worth it! The pros far outweighed the cons for our family, and I’m so glad we had it. I wish I would’ve had it with our two prior kids!
Lovevery Play Gym FAQs
How do you wash or clean the Lovevery play gym?
When it comes to cleaning the Lovevery play gym, there’s a “what you’re supposed to do” and a “what you’re probably going to do.”
You’re supposed to put the activity mat in the washing machine on a delicate setting and then air dry it afterward.
While we maintained the delicate cycle part, we definitely started putting it in the dryer. We started out by drying on the delicate setting and slowly revved up to just drying it like normal.
It has been perfectly fine and looks just like it did when we bought it.
How do you store the Lovevery play gym?
We have stored the Lovevery play gym fully assembled in my son’s closet, because I’ve never wanted to deal with reassembling (even though it only takes two minutes, I don’t want to take two minutes, yaknowwhatimean?).
However, you can unscrew the white top piece so that the play gym can be stored with all three sticks upright. This condenses the size and would make it easier to prop in the corner of a closet.
You might also have the option to keep it fully assembled and just hang it up in a larger closet.
I’d take a photo of what that might look like, but there’s no way I’m putting a photo of our wreck of a closet on the internet.
When do you start using the Lovevery play gym?
You can start using the Lovevery play mat in the first week of your baby’s life – like literally the day you get home from the hospital.
It’s a fantastic place to lay your baby down, especially when they feel too fragile to put in a bouncer. Just lay them on their back and give them the opportunity to look up at the contrast cards.
The AAP also recommends starting tummy time immediately after getting home from the hospital, so you can start using it stat!
How do you put together the Lovevery play gym?
To put together the Lovevery play gym, you velcro the cloth mat through the loops on the bottom of the three wooden sticks. Then, you push the wooden pieces into a white holder at the top. The holder screws tightly so that the wooden pieces are secure, but you don’t need a screwdriver or anything, which is very nice!
How do you use the Lovevery play gym?
Our favorite ways to use the Lovevery play gym include laying baby on his back so he can be visually stimulated by the contrast cards. We also love placing baby on his tummy so he can practice tummy time and strengthen his neck muscles. There’s plenty to look at, which encourages your baby to work hard! As baby gets older, they’ll have a blast playing with the crinkle paper section, which makes a fun noise. Each zone in the play gym unlocks a new way to play!
Can I get Lovevery play gym replacement parts?
One of the reasons I love Lovevery is you can buy replacement parts for any toy, whether it’s from the play kits or the play gym. We’ve done this several times when our dog chewed a toy and our kids lost a few pieces here and there. Just email support and they’ll tell you how much it costs!
Is there a coupon for the Lovevery play gym?
I’m desperately trying to get a coupon for anything Lovevery and have not yet succeeded. I’m waiting to hear back from the brand again, but from what I can tell, Lovevery just does not give out discount codes outside of Black Friday, and even those aren’t really that good (to be honest).
What’s the Lovevery play gym age range?
The Lovevery play gym is marketed for 0-12 months, though the included cover turns it into a fort, which is fun for kids well over 12 months. My 3 and 4-year-old take books into the play gym when we cover it and make it a fort!
The Lovevery Play Gym is probably the highest-quality, most well-designed play gym for babies on the market. We loved it – I’ve had a blast writing this article and seeing just how much our little guy has grown!
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