Equipment: Playpak Firefly

We love our Firefly Playpak!

Our physio kindly allowed us to borrow the playpak for a week as a try before we buy and we used it so much in that week. We took it out 4 times, to a friends house, to nanna and poppas and twice to the park. We also used it at home a lot, it was so nice to get Mikey off his back sitting up supported.

We decided to buy the playpak. At $900 AUD it is not a decision to take lightly. It took around 4 weeks from ordering to arrive. To be honest my only regret is not buying it sooner, as Mikey could have been using this for quite some time and he probably wont be in it for that long since his sitting is getting better every week.

The playpak is a very clever design. It folds up into an over the shoulder bag that is large but super lightweight. I can easily carry Mikey, his jam-packed nappy bag and the playpak from the car to the park. It also has a few pockets to throw your extra bits and pieces in.

The bag unzips and fold out into a mat that has soft colourful suede fabric and a soft velcro area that the foam pieces stick to. The playpak comes with a large horseshoe, small horseshoe, long roll, short roll, tummy/headrest and a strap. It also has a positioning guide which has pictures of all the different set-ups you can do with the different pieces.

The velcro is really soft and well positioned on the foam pieces so it doesn’t irritate your child’s skin. It is super sticky so once in position they rarely move – it is a pretty good arm workout moving the pieces around! It takes a bit of practice to pack away so it all fits in.

We have found that we mainly use the playpak for Mikey to sit up, it just gives him that bit of support he still needs without restricting him. We use both horseshoes and the long roll for his back and place the short roll between his legs so he can’t wriggle down as he loves to kick. Sometimes we use the strap around his waist but he can sit quite nicely without it. In sitting we use a couple of items to keep him entertained. Firstly I made a frame out of PVC pipe to hang toys and encourage him to reach, you can read about that here. Secondly I found a little bamboo breakfast tray table at Thingz for $20, we later purchased another white one from Ikea. I put a bit of anti-slip mat on the tray so his toys don’t fly off when he whacks them. I use this stuff on everything!

Edit – Mikey didn’t get as much use out of his Playpak as we would have liked. As he became stronger he would hyperextend backwards and rip the foam blocks from the base so the whole thing would come apart. Mikey’s sitting also improved faster then expected (yay!) so he didn’t need so much support.

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