I reviewed the First Years 5-in-1 Carry Me Near Sleep System before, back when we were using it and it pretty much had failed many things in my eyes back then. From draining baby urine straight down unto the area you’re supposed to store diapers, to being uncomfortable for baby, the thing’s not been particularly outstanding, but we borrowed it so we were out nothing.
Today I set about trying to take it apart to start removing some of the stains before I return it. I knew there was going to be a screwdriver involved in taking the thing apart, but also needed a pair of pliers for some nuts.
To remove what was the changing table required six screws, multiple Velcro snaps, and a lot of cursing trying to locate pieces as they fell to the floor and immediately fled under the bed. Attempts to remove the bottom non-critical carry cube area similarly also require dismantling the thing in a way that I cannot see how it’s even supposed to be done.
Sorry neighbors, I broke out the power tools to clean this and it’s not getting much better.
Similarly, the area of most urine concentration I do not see any way to remove this without breaking the thing, cutting fabric, etc. As it stands I’m going to attempt to soak the cradle base in some water to attempt to get the stain gone and keep it below the electronics.
The meshing on the side is caked in drool with no way to remove and clean it. It’s not a simple wipe-off situation. I think I’m going to have to get two sponges and put them on alternate sides of the thing in order to clean it off. Actually one sponge and my fist on the other side of the mesh seemed to work.
It’s 6:07 at the moment, I’ve been at this thing for about an hour and a half now, just waiting for things to dry so I can start putting this thing back together. So I’ll point out a couple of issues we ran into with the thing along the way.
Issues we ran into with the First Years 5-in-1 Carry Me Near Sleep System
- Doesn’t lower enough to function as a side-sleeper with our bed (no Amazon reviewers, I do know how low this thing can go and it’s still too high for my bed)
- Top portion is heavy, makes you not want to use the changing pad underneath
- Top portion is not water-tight, leaks to changing section underneath
- Changing pad underneath is not water-resistant
- Changing pad funnels urine stream into diaper/sheet storage area
- Diaper/sheet storage area not waterproof, funnels to carpet
- Cleaning requires power tools
Back to the cleaning
it’s nearly midnight now, the soaking seemed to remove the majority of the stains on the bottom of the basket portion. The changing table portion is hung up to dry after being washed on ultra delicate, and the bottom portion appears will just have to be hand scrubbed as it’s filthy and there’s no obvious way to remove the cloth to wash it.
And cut to…
It’s now a month later. It too multiple soakings to clean the top, everything was cleaned and happy, and then a sick cat jumped into the thing and messed up the top again.
I start thinking that there should be an easier way, but I never found it. There’s just no obvious way to get this thing clean and everything involves removing another section to get to it.
It seems like it was designed to be put together and to work for a couple of months, which is probably all that the manufacturer expects you’ll use it for.