“ Brand: ELC / Type: Baby Toy „
The toy clear/ sort out in preparation for the arrival of baby number 3 started before Christmas, and by Christmas I thought I had cleared my cupboards of all the toys we no longer needed and then put into a (neat) pile all of those that we were keeping. However in my usual fashion I had overlooked a number of bags and came across yet more baby toys. One of those was the ELC Teether Cube. ***ELC Teether Cube*** The ELC Teether Cube is a 9cm fabric cube which is attached to two circular textured plastic rings for a teething baby to chew on. The fabric cube is brightly coloured with different images on each of the faces of the cube. ELC state that the cube is suitable for children from 3 months old. The Teether Cube is priced a £6.00 which I do not think is cheap but I think is reasonable value for money compared to other ELC baby products and teething aids from other brands. The Teether Cube is available from ELC, Mothercare and Boots stores and also online from all three of these retailers. ***Our Experience*** I bought two of the Teether Cubes for my twin boys so that they had one each. Unlike many other ELC toys the Teether Cubes do not come in any packaging so you simply had to remove the store tags and the toy is ready for a baby to play with. For a young baby I did feel the Teether cube was a simple but attractive toy because of the bright colours. The two teething ring handles were textured and around 6cm in diameter and firmly attached to the fabric cube. Each of the faces of the fabric cube are around 9cm and have a different brightly coloured image and background on. The cube is very light so very easy for a baby to pick up but what I did like is that although the fabric cube is squashy it retains its shape and bounces back which is useful considering young babies tend to roll onto soft toys like this. Just from looking at the cube I felt that this was a toy suitable for very young babies of 3 months old as the toy was very light to pick up so did not require a lot of strength and the plastic teething ring handles were a large enough size but not too large for a young baby's hands to hold. I bought the Teether Cubes for my boys when they were around 15 weeks old but looking back at the design of the toy I feel that even for younger babies of under 3 months old these toys are "safe" to play with. There are no parts of the toy that I found came detached on either Teether Cube that I owned and he cubes are difficult for a baby to hurt or injure themselves with. From personal experience my boys were not really interested in toys and could not hold toys until they got to around 12 weeks old but for a baby under 3 months that may be able to do this then I feel there is no reason they could not be given this toy. I feel the 3 months age guide is given by ELC based on a baby's development and interest rather than any safety aspects. The toy is very light including the plastic teething rings so if a baby did drop this on themselves whilst playing with it there should not be a risk of injury. The Teether Cube is not the best baby toy or teething toy that we owned but I did like it because with two young babies I had a preference for "soft" and "light" toys. Often if I was feeding one baby or changing a nappy and on my own it could be difficult to entertain the other baby and I was apprehensive about leaving my boys with certain harder plastic baby toys as I always felt they could hit or drop a toy on themselves resulting in tears or injury. With the Teether Cubes because they are so soft and light there was not this risk and I found them a good distraction and was confident enough to let my boys play with this toy when I could not give them my full attention. I also like that even though the Teether Cubes had plastic rings on it, when my boys waved and whacked the cubes off each other when in close proximity to each other they never hurt each other which happened with quite a few teething toys we owned because of the amount of hard plastic sections on them. At almost 4 months old my boys were able to easily pick up the teether cube when it was placed in front of them because it was so light and the teething rings act as handles. The toys is also very easy to wave around as it is so light. I do feel a young baby would enjoy the toy a little more if it had a bell inside or a rattle so they can hear a noise as they shake the cube around. At such a young age my boys loved to look at the brightly coloured images and were entertained and occupied by just studying the cube and waving it around. By the time my boys got to 6 months old they started to use the cube more as a teething aid rather than as a toy to entertain themselves with. They took great pleasure chomping and gnawing on the plastic handles whilst focusing on the brightly coloured faces on the fabric cube. By 8 months old my boys had lost all interest in this toy; even as a teething aid and I do feel that because it is so basic most children by the time they get to 9 months old will have probably outgrown this toy as they will start to prefer toys that make more noise or flash. Developmentally the Teether Cube does not have as many learning benefits as many baby toys but on a basic level it does encourage a young babies senses because of the different textures. There are smooth and bumpy sections of plastic on the teething rings and obviously the squashy fabric cube for them to feel. The bright colours and different images on the cube faces are also stimulating visual aids for babies. The Teether cube also encourages and helps with a young babies motor skills and the design of the cube is very easy for them to grab and pick up so can help with hand to eye coordination. Durability wise the teether cube is very well made and all parts of the cube are stitched together well which is to be expected considering this is a toy young baby will put in their mouth. My main frustration with the ELC Teether Cube that I had to put it in the washing machine every few days because the fabric cube picked up so much dirt. The plastic handles which a baby is intended to chew on can be wiped over very easily. However my boys also liked to put the fabric in their mouth. Even when they chewed on the handles the sheer amount of drool seemed to run off the handles and soak into the fabric turning the cubes into a soggy mess. I was a very paranoid parent and kept my floors spotless but was very conscious that as soon as the soggy cubes hit the floor, any dust or dirt became apparent on the lighter sections of the fabric cube, hence my need to put these toys in the washing machine almost every few days. The Teether cubes we owned were probably put in the washing machine and then dried on the radiator over 10 times and are still in excellent condition however the brightly coloured fabric has faded slightly. ***Overall*** This is a cute attractive looking toy for young babies and I think it is a reasonable purchase for babies under 9 months to provide entertainment and relief from teething. My boys had a Teether Cube each and what I particularly liked about these were that aside from the plastic handles (which are thin and light) they are soft toys unlike many hard teething toys so they could not drop the toys on themselves or hurt their sibling when waving the toys around. The toy states from 3 months old which I feel a baby would start to be able to hold onto the toy and exploring the different textures with its hands. Like many ELC toys this is a very well made toy and for £6.00 I think is good value. However as a parent the ELC Teether Cubes are slightly more frustrating. Because of the fabric cube design the toy picks up dirt very quickly, especially if dropped. As babies tend to suck on the handles and cube so the toy can end up very soggy which adds to the problem of getting dirty. I did find it very easy to pop this toy in the washing machine and after being washed many times the Teether Cubes are still in good condition however it is just quite annoying when you find yourself putting these in the washing machine every few days. Great for young babies parents be warned the bright colourful cube soon turns into a mucky soggy piece of material very quickly.