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
Lamaze Freddie Firefly
Member Name: jo1976
Lamaze Freddie Firefly
Date: 01/01/12, updated on 04/08/13 (53 review reads)
Advantages: Very well designed, stimulating toy with lots of different textures and features
Disadvantages: Supposed to be surface wash only, my son lost interest quite quickly
I paid just under £6 from Amazon at the time, with the price fluctuating anywhere between the £5-£10 mark. I think the price offers very good value, as the sports the Lamaze brand name, associated with well made educational and stimulating toys for little ones.
My son was around four months old when he first recieved his Freddie the Firefly toy. I was initially surprised by quite how large and bulky this actually was, particularly as a toy deemed to be suitable from birth. Realistically, I think is the kind of toy that will be appreciated by babies from around three months upwards, when they start to spend larger periods of time awake and are becoming more aware of their surroundings and in need of more stimulation. Certainly there is nothing here to prevent this being given to younger babies, however, as there are sharp edges or choking hazards to be concerned about.
The firefly offers a surprising number of features for a toy of its size. The main body of the caterpillar section is sturdy with different coloured ridges along its length. There is a cheerful smiling face to capture a little one's attention as well as a selection of clinking plastic rings, offering baby the opportunity to mouth, suck and chew them as much as they choose. The real attraction of this toy is contained within the numerous, colourful wings. Here there is an array of different textures and fabrics, designed to make this a really tactile toy. There are wings which crinkle, others that lift up to reveal a baby safe mirror. There is even a little rubberised teething tag that can be hidden away inside a little pocket and pulled out by small, curious fingers. The squeaker always managed to distract my little one, if he was becoming a little tetchy although even now, at sixteen months, he still hasn't got the necessary strength and co-ordination to activate the squeaker by himself.
The whole toy brings together all of the different tactile features, sounds and textures that babies are drawn to. The attention to detail is amazing. Even the little antennae have knotted ends and I used to watch my baby exploring these knots with his tongue and gums, gathering an awareness of the different texture and sensations as he did so.
The firefly even comes with a sturdy hook attached, making it perfect as a toy for securing to play bars, pushchairs or bouncy chairs. It was a little too long to hang from the bar over our bouncy chair, but I found it ideal for the play bar surrounding our highchair. During the very early stages of weaning, this bright and colourful toy was enough to hold my son's attention and distract him when necessary. The hook was also utilised as an additional teether by my son, too.
The main drawback and disappointment with this toy (and a particular issue for me when attached to the highchair) is that it is described as being surface wash only. To me, for a well known brand such as Lamaze to create a toy specifically aimed at newborn babies and above, I think it is absolutely ridiculous not to ensure that it is machine washable. There is no obvious reason why this kind of toy should not be machine washed, as there are no batteries or electrical components of any kind.
Personally, I don't think it is realistic or hygienic not to regularly wash toys of this kind, especially when this is sucked, chewed and handled constantly. I have shoved this through a 40 degree machine wash on many occasions and can reassure parents that it hasn't suffered any obvious deterioration or damage. The colours are still vibrant with no signs of colour run or fading. The plastic teethers and the wings are all still intact and undamaged and the squeaker still squeaks so, to all intents and purposes, I believe this to be machine washable, regardless of what the label might say.
The other disappointment with this toy is that my son's fascination with it was relatively short-lived. In theory, this should be one of his most loved toys as it contains so many different ways of stimulating and entertaining him, even as a tiny baby. In reality, he showed a preference for other toys, even those that I, as a parent, did not think were as 'good'. Lamaze actually promote the range as being suitable for babies up to the age of two. Personally, I think that may be a little optimistic as my little one has shown little interest in this toy since the age of around nine months, at which point he was mobile and could make his way to more interesting toys!
Based on our experience, I would say this is most appreciated around the three to nine month mark and wouldn't recommend buying one of these for a baby beyond that age, although I dare say that other babies may well have a stronger attachment to their own Firefly.
I think this is a very beautifully and cleverly designed so it is a little disappointing that my son lost interest in it so quickly. For the money paid, this was still worth every penny and I would certainly consider buying other Lamaze toys as gifts for other newborn babies. I do find the surface wash only instructions to be more than a little irritating, however, but I suspect most other parents will quite simply ignore those, as I did.
Summary: Wish my son loved this as much as I do