“ Manufacturer: Nuby / Type: Baby Toy „
Recently I have been putting away a lot of my almost 11 month old daughters baby toys and teethers that she no longer plays with or shows any interest in. One teether toy in her collection that I realised I hadn't reviewed was this Nuby Twisty Bugz Teether, which my daughter received as a gift when she was a couple of months old and you can pick up in many supermarkets for just under the £5 mark.
My daughter already owns a couple of Nuby teether toys so I was familiar with the make when she was given this toy and knew it to be of good quality. This toy is actually aimed at children from 6 months plus, but my daughter was using it well before this, and I found that when my daughter got nearer the 9 month mark she was no longer interested in this kind of toy.
The first thing you will probably notice about this teether is the the bright colours that are a great attraction to young babies and this certainly seemed to attract the attention of my daughter. THere are also different textures throughout the various arms of this toy, including little satin parts, bumpy parts, stringy parts and parts that can be used to cool the gums if the toy is put in the fridge, as these parts of filled with a ice gel that is meant to keep a baby's gums cool for longer than normal water filled teethers. I don't know that I ever felt that it stayed cool for that long, but my daughter did chew on it a lot, so she must have got some relief from it.
The teether is also extremely cute, in that it is created with lots of different bugs on the ends of the arms, including a bee and a ladybird, so there is a variety of bugs with wings, antenna and legs. The other feature of this teether that makes it different from other teethers is that it can be twisted and turned by baby, although it took my daughter quite a while to get to grips with this feature and I usually twisted it for her.
Despite having outgrown this teether (yet no outgrown the terrible teething!) this was quite a popular teether with my daughter and its various features make it stand out for the run of the mill everyday teethers.
This teething toy from Nuby was rated best toy in the 6-12 month category in the 2009 Mother and Baby Awards. This is an award which is won as a result of readers of Mother and Baby nominating a toy, and then it being tested by a team of mothers and babies who judge for user friendliness, quality and value for money. I can well understand why it picked up the gold award. My view is that this is the best toy Nuby have made, it is much loved by Baby, and has been admired by Baby's Occupational Therapist who is keen to purchase some for our local Health Centre for use within the Physio/OT Paediatric team. This perhaps makes it seem worthy and functional, but the joy is that it is also very cute and provides a whole lot of fun!
As always, context is important, so for those of you that have not read any of my other reviews my Baby was very premature and remains very tiny for her age. Because of this there was an emphasis early on developing the fine motor skills since gross motor skills were going to need more time to develop than in term babies. It is partly because this toy was so instrumental in this that I rate it so highly, but it will perform the same function with all I would have thought.
What is the Twisty Bugz Teether?
It's a teething toy recommended for ages 6+ months. At its centre is a red sphere with a wavy orange band around. Twist the sphere along this axis and the toy makes quite a loud clicking noise. Each side of the sphere then has two short projections that each culminate in a item of flora or fauna: a flower, a bumble bee, a ladybird and what I think is probably a butterfly. Each of these rotates. Each has a number of textures and 'twiddly bits' that provide interest and sensory stimulation. So, the flower petals are fabric lined with cellophane and make a crunchy sound when scrunched up, the butterfly and bee have antennae made from cord knotted at the ends, legs are hard plastic nubs such as you might find on a cellulite massager, and wings are malleable plastic teething pouches filled with purICE gel so that the toy can be cooled in the fridge and these pouches will, the manufacturers say, stay cooler longer than water filled teething toys. This is an aspect of the toy I have yet to test.
What has Baby's response been?
Baby received this at Christmas when she was 7 months/4 months. She was nowhere near teething at this stage, but we unpacked it fully anyway as it was so appealing. The first time it was twisted and made its clicking noise she jumped and was a bit upset, but quickly calmed on hearing the noise again. Straight away Baby was able to hold this toy and to make the bugs and flower spin around as very little strength is required to do this. The bugs themselves which are about the size of a walnut were just the right size for her to clasp in one hand. In these earlier months she spent a long time just feeling the different textures. The advantage of this toy over others was that it is quite small so very good for tiny fingers to explore and grasp. She took a shine to the ladybird in particular and it was noticeable after a few weeks of owning the toy that she would turn it round to get to the Ladybird, or smile if Ladybird was turned toward her. She did- and still does- suck the cord antennae- but these are extremely securely fixed. I have tested them by pulling them hard, and there has been no hint that they will come out.
Baby now 13 months/10 months uses her index finger on its own to flick and rotate the bugs and flower. She can hold it in both hands and twist to hear the clicking noise. She likes to rub the feet nubs between finger and thumb and these are also a favourite part to gnaw on. She is fascinated by the crinkly flower petals as with all crinkly items. The teething element has come into play with the wings being chewed, but it is not the first toy we would give her as a teething comforter as the wings provide only a small chewable area.
As will be apparent from the above the key factor in terms of development is the variety of fine motor skills developed through the twisting, flicking, pinching, and grasping that this toy facilitates. The size of the toy has made it so useful for us, because many baby toys are designed as chunky items which would simply not have allowed our baby to use these same skills.
As stated above it is perhaps not the best teething toy. The only other criticism I have is that on ours the label, which is tiny, is folded over so very hard to read. This is probably not a universal issue however.
Price and availability
The Twisty Bugz teether retails for around £5 and is available in Boots. Leading supermarkets also stock the Nuby range though I have not actually seen this product stocked where I live other than in Boots. The Nuby website (http://www.nuby-uk.com ) also sells the at £4.99 or you can buy a bundle which consists of the Twisty Bugz teether, the Icybite Keys and Bug-a-Loop teether for £11.49 which seems quite a good deal.
Thanks for reading!