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When my nephew was born and I knew I would be looking after him a few days a week I decided to start buying in a few bits and pieces which he could keep at my house to save bringing stuff back and forwards all the time. As I get quite a lot of Amazon vouchers through survey sites I usually have an account balance on there and decided this was a good way to get some 'free' bits and pieces. I was attracted to lots of Lamaze products mainly because of their bright colours but also because of the great reviews the products get.
Priced at just £4 from Amazon Flip Flop Fred was a must buy for me as this little toy is very cute and has the classic lovely colours which are a constant feature in Lamaze toys. Flip Flop Fred is only small and very lightweight, he sits nicely in the palm of my hand and whilst it's cheap compared to other toys it's important to appreciate the size before buying. For under a fiver though I was more than happy with what I got for my money.
Although Flip Flop Fred is only small there are lots of different features and textures packed into such a small space. From the beginning Alfie was very interested in his Flip Flop Fred, and even at just a few months old the toy was light enough for him to hold and it's still a firm favourite of his now even though he's 3.
To begin with, even though my nephew could hold Fred he was more interested in just looking at him than playing. The different textures and patterns of the material really caught his attention. As he got a little bit older he started to recognise the crinkle and rattle sound that the toy makes and how he can get it to make this noise. Now he prefers to grab Flip Flop Fred by one of his four legs which are knotted at the end and fling him across the room. This toy is also a comfort to Alfie though and he likes his smallest Lamaze toy to travel in his pram with him when we go for walks. Flip Flop Fred is lovely and soft and although my nephew is never left alone anyway I've never had any worries about letting him play with this particular toy. As with all babies he went through a stage when everything went in his mouth and I was quite comfortable in the knowledge that this is a safe and high quality toy.
I would have no problems recommending this Lamaze Flip Flop Fred to anybody. It's really stimulating with its different patterns, textures and noises. It's been played with for over two years and is still loved by my nephew, for under a fiver you can't get much better value than that. It's a great little gift without breaking the bank or a brilliant little stocking filler.
It can be very difficult to choose an appropriate gift for a very young or even newborn baby. It can be relatively hard to find the balance between finding something that will catch their attention and yet still be played with once the child leaves the new baby stage. One brand of toy that manages to bridge the gap between baby and toddler-hood is Lamaze, a sub-division of Tomy that I discovered when my now three year old was just four months old. Said to grow with your child many of these toys are billed as being suitable from newborn, including this very cute little turtle that we bought for our now two week old son.
Flip Flop Fred, is one of the smallest Lamaze toys available and this is reflected in the price, I paid less than £5 for him a few weeks before Baby JJ was born. Measuring in at approximately 12cmx15cmx6cm, Fred is the perfect size to put in a changing bag for trips out, or to sit in a crib or carrycot where baby sleeps. Being very light he is also easy for even young babies to lift, he barely has any weight to him at just 59g. Although Fred is relatively small, he is packed with features that are sure to entrance even the youngest of babies. I started introducing Fred to Baby JJ when he was a few days old and starting to spend a few minutes awake and trying to make sense of the world around him.
In common with the majority of Lamaze toys, Fred features many different textures, colours and patterns for baby to explore and discover. Baby JJ loves to just look at Fred, cooing away and having very serious conversations. The base of Fred's shell features a high contrast black on white spot pattern that is designed to help even the youngest of babies practise their focussing skills, along with some very small silky tassels in the centre. Turning Fred over, the top half of his shell is formed from four triangles of patterned material. Two of these triangles are silky and the other two matte, giving a lovely tactile experience. To add to the tactile experience the whole of the shell crinkles as it is touched. The edge of the shell is surrounded by a felt, scalloped edging and Fred's head is formed of a plush material, with the features of his friendly, smiling face stitched on and a rattle hidden inside. Each of Fred's four legs are formed of a silky material in different colours and with a knot at the end.
Being only two weeks old, Baby JJ can't actually manage to play with Fred by himself, although he will chat away to him whilst laying in his crib. To help Baby JJ play with Fred I spend time each day during wide awake periods helping him access the different features. Baby JJ particularly likes having his face stroked by Fred's silky legs and will give his big, gummy grin as I do this. He also likes to be helped to crinkle the shell and seems amazed at the sound that ensues. He will also look for Fred if I shake him, although the rattle really isn't very loud. We also often find that he has Fred firmly within his grasp as he sleeps in his crib, Baby JJ really does like Fred and so we take him everywhere with us. Our only real issue with Fred, is that in common with other Lamaze toys, he is sponge clean only, but we have found that milky sick did wipe off quite easily.
Flip Flop Fred is an excellent little toy for the newborn or very young baby and I would imagine that it will be a favourite of Baby JJ's for some time to come. It's the perfect size and weight for the young baby to handle and has lots of sounds and textures for Baby to discover. As well as being entertaining, Fred is also educational as he will help Baby JJ improve his hand eye coordination and cause and effect. Fred even makes a good teething toy, Baby JJ's older brother loved sucking on the silky knots on his Lamaze toys. At around the £5 mark Flip Flop Fred makes a fantastic small welcome to the world gift/stocking filler for a very young baby and considering Baby JJ's reaction to him, deserving of a full five stars out of five.