Product Type: Lamaze baby toys
Newest Review: ... the other is pink and yellow stripped with a smaller ladybug on. The socks are easy to put on though I found that my baby would kick hi... more
Helping Baby Find Its Feet
Lamaze Gardenbug Wrist Rattle and Footfinder Set
Member Name: Hishyeness
Lamaze Gardenbug Wrist Rattle and Footfinder Set
Advantages: Colourful, durable, washable and textured
Disadvantages: Socks are prone to slipping (or being kicked) off
While sorting out the house in anticipation of my newborn son coming home (mother and baby were in hospital for four days after he was born) my wife asked me to order some relatively run of the mill baby stuff on-line (bottles, sterilisers and the like). While surfing Amazon, I noticed some recommendations they had made on the back of some previous baby-related purchases. Normally, I ignore them, as I can find Amazon's assumptions of what you may like a little weird and intrusive, but on this occasion, one particular item caught my eye - the colourful Lamaze Gardenbug Wrist Rattle and Footfinder Set.
WHAT IS IT?
Simply put, it's a pair of socks and wristbands decorated in vivid colours, each adorned with a cute little bug of some description with a subtle rattle embedded in it. The bright contrasting colours and patterns are intended to stimulate baby's vision, the rattles - as well as the "crispy" wings on two of the bugs - are meant to engage baby's hearing, and the combination of textures help develop the sense of touch. Putting these things on baby's wrist and feet is also meant to help them develop their motor skills and eye-hand coordination.
The four item set is currently available from Amazon for £8.49 with free delivery and is intended for babies from birth to around nine months. We have been using ours with Baby H since he was five weeks, as - because he was a preemie baby - the socks were a little too big for him at the start.
DO THEY WORK?
The two black and white striped "footfinders" are adorned with an orange and red butterfly with crinkly, glossy green and blue wings, and slide effortlessly onto baby's feet. The socks are not shaped (i.e. no heel) and are not elasticated, so if you find them too big, they can be put over a thicker pair of socks - which also helps keep them orientated and on their feet.
The wrist rattles are fitted with a Velcro band. The genius part of it is that the entire underside of the band engages with the Velcro tab (rather than having a fixed point at which the two sides attach) making it one size fits all and full adjustable.
Like the footfinders, there is a bug on each - one that looks like some sort of black and white striped fly (with the same kind of material used for the wings as the butterfly - this time in orange and yellow) and the other is a podgy looking beetle yellow and purple beetle with thin satin strips for legs. The wristbands are decorated in bright patterns and colours as well - one in swirls and the other in stripe, so there is a broad variety of stimulus for the baby.
Baby H took to them immediately and they keep him happily entertained and cooing between feeding, burping and sleeping sessions. One thing to note is that they do wake him up if they are left on, as even though the sound made by the rattles is quite soft and muted, they are still enough to startle him into starfish mode.
I can't comment on the science and development part of it - I have to take that on trust - but to adult eyes they look like a lot of fun - and from what I can tell from Baby H's expressions, they do engage him.
ARE THEY WORTH IT?
The £12.99 RRP is a bit steep, but they represent much better value at their reduced price of £8.49. The product is made of polyester and cellophane and all parts are fully machine washable - a must with baby stuff. They are well stitched and durable, with each of the bugs securely and firmly attached - in other words, baby is not going to be able to remove them and none of the smaller parts (such as the legs or antennae) are going to come free.
Each of the items has a Lamaze tag on the outside of it that is discreet enough not to be too annoying. However, one of the wrist rattles has a care label on it that is almost half the size of the wristband, so we had to cut this off as its unsightly. The instructions are repeated on a label inside one of the socks, so it was no loss.
All in all, this has proved to be a successful purchase, but with the wrist rattles possibly a bit more user friendly than the footfinders - mainly because Baby H has a habit of kicking the latter off unless they are securely fitted over socks.
The reduced price is a good balance between cost and quality, as buying the two items (wrist rattles and footfinders) separately (even from other manufactuers such as Mothercare's own brand or Manhattan Toys) would cost more, and from what I could see from similar items available, the design and colour scheme is unique to Lamaze.
© Hishyeness 2009
Summary: A fun rattle and footfinder set that purports to aid baby's sensory development
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