Review: Development Toys – The Lamaze Gardenbug Wrist Rattles and Foot Finders

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This purchase was never in doubt. I first came across them in Debenhams and dragged my OH over from the cooking department to gush over them.

Me: “What a cool idea. He’s using his feet loads but doesn’t seem bothered by his hands at all. This might make him more aware of them”

OH: “But will he use them Gem?”

I hate this line from my OH! It’s true, Dex only takes to 50% of the toys I buy him, but if you don’t try things, you’ll never know! I’d rather he try them out and turn his nose up, than miss out on something that could really contribute to his development. I do have a couple of worries about Dexter; he seems to really favour holding his head to one side and his arm on this side is far more active than the other, he doesn’t often unfurl his hands, he only tries to stand when he’s on me… I’m always looking for little solutions to my concerns.

I was right to trust my instincts on these rattles as they’ve been an utter godsend. Dexter LOVES them – just look:

Look mummy!

The colours are fabulous and totally grab his attention. When I get them out to show him (and ask if he wants to wear them) a little shake produces a huge smile. Lamaze (http://www.lamazetoys.co.uk/) also do these in plainer colours but I prefer these as I think they look more fun. The bugs are big enough to entertain him, but not big enough to smash him in the face every time he gets a little overzealous. The noise is also gentle and won’t irritate mummies wanting a 5 minute respite.  They’re also machine washable so you don’t have to worry about ruining the sound by saturating them.

You attach them to baby using velcro which is great as they’re easy to get off without waking baby if he falls asleep. I also don’t have to worry about them catching on all his other apparatus as they’ll just fall off – I must admit he has quite the collection to play with!

My only criticism (and I’m ALWAYS fair) is that they’re very tiny. They fit around his wrists now (at 11 weeks) and he was a teeny baby at 5lbs 14. I suspect they’ll continue to wrap around him for another 5 weeks, but after that he’ll be too big. The socks also slip off easily due to the face they have no built-in heel. I can completely appreciate why this is the case – different babies have different sized feet – but the weight of the bugs will see them flying off if your baby is prone to thrash a bit.

The cute little foot rattles

Back to why I love them… he’s started lifting his legs to find his feet. If Dexter is due a poo (his pattern is highly erratic) this helps him gently move his bowel without him realising. I wouldn’t want to champion them as a solution to colic (and I’m sure Lamaze wouldn’t want me to either) but from my experience they have totally helped.

Also, if I’m concerned he’s favouring one side of his body, I can attach the toys to the other side and gently encourage him to play. The fly on one of the rattles also have crinkle paper on its wings so I always pop this on his underused side as he likes to bring this bit to his mouth. In my picture, Dexter is laying down but he also uses these when sat upright or in his bouncer as he’s not impressed by hanging toys. This allows me to leave him for those all important 5 minutes to grab a shower, eat my breakfast, pour a glass of wine etc.

My verdict? At £12.49 from the Lamaze website (and other stockists including Debenhams), they are worth every penny – 5/5

Get yours here: http://www.lamazetoys.co.uk/lamaze-gardenbug-wrist-rattles-and-foot-finders–toy–refresh-783-p.asp

http://www.debenhams.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/prod_10001_10001_171010161499_-1?breadcrumb=Home%7EGifts+%26amp%3B+toys%7EToys+%26amp%3B+games

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