Product Type: Lamaze baby toys
Newest Review: ... for a trusted brand which will stimulate them in a variety of ways, some which probably aren't even intended by Lamaze such as sucking th... more
When Freddy met Freddie
Lamaze Freddie Firefly
Member Name: sandemp
Lamaze Freddie Firefly
Advantages: Loads of stimulating activites, clip to attach to cot, buggy, etc
Disadvantages: Not machine washable
I'll readily admit that 15 week old Freddy is rather spoilt, he already has plenty of toys, but when I saw Freddie the Firefly I couldn't resist. After all, just the fact it shares my special little man's name made it tempting enough, and then it looked so much fun and I'd just received some Amazon vouchers, and you know how it is.
===Play And Grow===
Freddie (not to be confused with Freddy) is part of the Lamaze Grow And Learn range of toys. Now I'll freely admit that I hadn't even heard of this range of toys until very recently, with them only coming to my notice after reading reviews on various sites, but after having bought this toy in the range I will be buying more. Freddie following Lamaze's own 'Infant Development System' and provides activities that will help baby's development in a variety of ways. While the toys themselves don't change the way baby plays with them evolves through different developmental stages, so the toy bought to visually stimulate a new born is still helping a baby learn at 2 years old. There's a huge range of Lamaze toys available, many of them suitable from new born and prices range from under £10.
===Freddie the Firefly===
When I received Freddie, I was a little surprised at how large he is, at 21.5cm in length and 29cm from wing tip to wing tip, he's much larger than other buggy toys I've bought and too large for Freddy to lift at the moment. In fact, he's perhaps a little bit too big, as I had intended to hang him from Freddy's baby gym, but when I tried that he was almost touching my little man. Mind you if the Firefly wasn't so big no where nearly as many activities could be crammed in.
Freddie the Firefly has a lovely soft, cuddly, plush body consisting of vivid brightly coloured rings, which encloses a nice loud rattle (that works with even a slight shake or movement). His friendly face is sewn on, with wide open eyes and a cheerful smile, so there's no buttons to come loose. His antennae are made of silky material ending in knots while his legs are velour and also knotted giving baby something to hold onto and chew. Freddie also has a springy tail with toy plastic rings that clack together and can be chewed on. But the best part of Freddie the Firefly are his wings.
Freddie has four crinkly wings, the back of which feature high contrast black, white and blue patterns that are great for attracting the attention of newborns. The front of each of the four wings holds a separate activity designed to stimulate the growing baby. There's a wing full of textures, with three smaller wings each of which has a different feel, there's corduroy, velour and satin as well as a ladybird sewn onto the actual wing. These are all designed to help baby experience new textures with both his hands and mouth.
The next wing features an easy to press squeaker covered with a satin feel material and a fluffy pompom. I was a little concerned that the pompom might shed fibres but I've pulled and pulled at it and nothing has come off. Again the pompom encourages baby to explore textures while the squeaker is a great introduction to cause and effect.
Moving on to the third wing and there's a soft velour pocket which holds a ladybird shaped teether on a string. The teether is nicely textured and a good size for little hands to hold, and the addition of a pocket means there's the added bonus that as baby gets older he'll learn to put the ladybird into the pocket which will help develop hand/eye coordination.
The final wing features a baby safe mirror that's partially hidden by a flap. All babies love looking at themselves in mirrors, but unfortunately this isn't the best of mirrors. It badly distorts any reflection and it's almost impossible to see any of my face when I look in it.
As a whole Freddie is very well made and securely stitched together with no visible seams or sharp edges. He also features a sturdy plastic clip so that he can be attached to buggies, cots, play gyms etc. This clip can be a little difficult to operate but invaluable both to prevent Freddie from getting lost (being thrown from the buggy for instance) and for hanging Freddie just within reach to encourage baby stretch to reach him. The only real major down point that I can see is that Freddie is not machine washable. Seeing as this is a toy that will get grubby and be sucked and chewed on, I can see a time when sponge cleaning just won't be enough.
===When Freddy met Freddie===
Although Freddie is suitable from newborn, I didn't buy this for Freddy until he was three months old and already quite an active baby who enjoyed kicking and hitting toys. Freddie (the firefly's) bright colours instantly grabbed his attention and although I couldn't attach him to the play gym as planned I did attach him either the cot or bouncy chair. Freddy (my son) got the instant reward of the firefly rattling when he hit it and was soon grabbing at the rings on the tail. Now at 15 weeks Freddy will often be found chatting away to the firefly while holding onto one of the wings. He also enjoys kicking and hitting the firefly while sitting in his bouncy chair. At the moment he's unable to access many of the different activities without Mummy or Daddy's help, but loves being helped to feel all the different textures and thinks it's really funny when the squeaker is pressed. Freddy also thinks it's funny when Mummy helps Freddie talk to him, especially as they share a name and he likes looking at light reflected in the mirror. In fact, it's safe to say that Freddy loves his Freddie the Firefly and it goes almost everywhere with. At night it's attached to the side of his cot and during the day Freddie can be found either on the floor next to my little man or attached to his bouncy chair. And if we're out and about the Freddie comes too, securely attached to the buggy or car seat.
I can already see Freddy changing the way he plays with this and the skills it's helping him perfect. As his hand/eye coordination improves Freddy is able to grab the wings and be instantly rewarded with new textures and the crinkly sounds. As he gets older then there are even more rewards to come as he learns to press the squeaker and then there's the teether.
===Price And Availability===
I bought Freddie the Firefly from Amazon for a very reasonably £7.99 with free delivery and a quick check tells me that's he's still available for the same price.
Freddie the Firefly is great toy and firm favourite of 15 week old Freddy. The bright colours and contrasting patterns grab a baby's attention from a very young age and the different activities then hold that attention as baby grows older. Although it's true that babies learn from any toy, this really does seem to stimulate baby's senses and encourage baby to develop all manner of skills. From the high contrast patterns on the wings that help a very young baby focus to the teether in the pocket the help a toddler's fine motor skills this truly is a toy that grows with your baby. I personally can't recommend Freddie the Firefly enough, and will be buying other toys in the range come Christmas time. And so Freddie the Firefly gets a very healthy four stars out of five from me, losing one star only because he is not machine washable.
Summary: Brilliant toy for newborn to toddler