BuddingScholars > Infants > Educational infant toys > Lamaze toys
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Ask any parent "Name three infant toy manufacturer, quick!" and they'll inevitably mention Lamaze. Lamaze toys have become the common denominator for countless parents of infants today.
In this page, we'll explore some of the things that you might want to keep in mind when looking through the piles of Lamaze toys at your local toy store or even online. The choices are truly breathtaking and no, you're not the only one that will be overwhelmed.
When first opening the retail store, I remember looking through the catalogue and wanting to slam it shut. After only a few minutes, they all started to look the same.
Before we dive into the different types, keep in mind that Lamaze toys are broken down into different stages, with Stage 1 being for the youngest.
- Stage 1: Birth to 6 months
- Stage 2: 6 months to 9 months
- Stage 3: 9 months to 12 months+
Below are some of my all time favorite Lamaze toys. They are all quite different from each other, but they were all big hits with my girls and the majority of our customers.
Shake, Rattle, and Roll baby!
This is probably one of the most popular type of infant toys out there. Not just in Lamaze toys, but in general for all the manufacturers.
Infants seem inherently fascinated by the various noises as their sense begin to develop. The rattling noises might be noises to us, but to the infants, they provide valuable auditory stimulation.
And of course, we can't forget the kinesthetic benefits either. As a general rule, things that get the brain involved and active (e.g., stimulating the senses) are good.
One of my favorite in this group is the Lamaze Garden Bug (foot finder and wrist rattle set). They are attached to the baby's feet and wrists, eliminating the "Oops, there it goes again. Let me get that" syndrome.
And as the baby shakes her feet and hands, as she inevitably will, the rattles will make noises that entertain her.
Play it again, Sam
Music is a big part of infant toys and Lamaza isn't going to be left out of this category. In fact, one of my favorite Lamaze toys is the Lamaze Octotunes.
Each of the brightly colored legs produce a different musical note when squeezed. And when done right, you can play simple songs like "Twinkle, twinkle, little star", and "Mary had a little lamb".
At first, I fell in love with the novelty of the idea, but even when that eventually wore off, I realized that it is probably one of the only infant toys that's made to look like an octopus.
And that made me like it even more. So of course, loving the toy and what it could do, I recommended it to a lot of customers and I am happy to report that I've never heard any complaints about it.
When in doubt, a good ol' hug will do
All the infant toys out there on the market that has the special-this or special-that are great. But sometimes, there's no substitute for the old huggable toy that a child can just cuddle with.
This is where the Lamaze Inchworm comes in.
With its great variety of eye-pleasing patterns and pleasant feel, they are big enough for the infants to hug and to roll around with (under supervision of course, until she can roll over well by herself).
Catch that firefly!
Personally, I love this one because my daughters loved it so much. We had to buy a new one for our second daughter because of the wear and tear of the first one, but it did bring hours of joy while in the stroller or in the car seat.
For us, it was a must-have for visits to the doctors. I suppose we could have done without it, but believe me, it made our lives a lot easier and things wouldn't have been pretty at the doctor's office without good ol' Freddie.
Freddie has the usual lineup of soft colors that is so recognizably Lamaze toys and has much more than it first meets the eye.
For one, it has little mirrors that reflect the infant's face and engages her, while there are the "classic" soft textured parts that crinkle with the baby's touch, Freddie is also equipped with more tougher plastic parts meant to be chewed on for teething babies.
Then the extras that include little stick on balls and pockets just add more value for the infant. And finally, I think because this toy is hung or in front of the baby, it's always in motion, further engaging her in a visual stimulation.
Chime in the garden - kiddie style
This is one of those toys that are either love-it or hate-it. I've seen a lot of parents loving this particular lamaze toy for various reasons, but I've also seen many parents show their dislike for this toy mainly for the noise related reasons.
And it's true. There are a lot of toys these days that are battery operated, and some that are not battery operated, that pollute the home environment with unnecessary noise.
But with having babies around the house, you just can't escape the noise factor.
Having said that, I need to say again that I am not a big fan of the battery operated toys and for that reason, I am not a huge fan of this toy. But I thought I needed to show it here because a lot of parents did like it and were happy with it.
One thing to remember, because of the way that this toy is made, you will most likely want to keep it within the home. It's really not meant to be taken from one play area to another nor is it meant for traveling.
Things to consider
If you are new to buying infant toys, there are a few things that you should keep in mind while shopping. It is extremely easy to be taken in by all the pretty colors and interesting ideas.
But there's a reason why the classic toys constantly outsell the "new and unique" infant toys. The classics represent the tried-and-true of the toy world. They have been proven to be good performers over many years with many babies. Give that fact the weight it deserves when you go shopping.
Also, here are some other things that I usually make sure to look for when purchasing infant toys, Lamaze or not:
- Is it machine washable?
- Are there any sawn parts that can come lose? Especially if you have pets.
- Does it have any feature like Freddie the Firefly that can be used to hang the toy so that it doesn't fall to the ground?
- Where is this toy going to be used most often?
- Does my baby already have toys that are similar to this? If so, what else can I get her that will compliment the current toy selection instead of competing?
Buying infant toys is always exciting, especially when you can see in your mind how she's going to interact with that new toy. But take your time and don't rush. Plan out your purchases so that you don't end up wasting money on useless toys or toys that are too similar in looks or function.
One more thing. Most new parents end up getting a little disappointed with their purchases because the baby didn't play with it too much or didn't seem excited.
I know, it might sound a little far-fetched, but it's true. Just keep in mind that you're dealing with an infant. She doesn't have that much attention span yet. She's just busy trying to take in this new world and become familiar with it.
Give her time.
And take your time and enjoy this stage of her life.
"education at play"
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