In the 21st Century with more women working and every parent well overloaded with responsibilities, can you believe that some toys – like things that dangle from car seats and strollers (even some baby clothes!) are not 100% machine washable and dry-able?! What is going on with the companies that make these products?

I looked online for the name of the company which makes one of those sets of dangling ‘things’ my son received as a gift for his soon-to-be-born child. In order to contact them I have to provide so much personal information!

So I will tell Sassy Baby about their ‘Go-go bugs’ in this blog.

Firstly, their packaging is very appealing as are the quotes printed thereon: “inspiring the senses”. Really? This is little better than Baby Einstein, and we all know what happened after Disney bought the brand.

These eminently chewable Sassy Baby objects aren’t even washable - how on earth can they be sanitised after your little baby has chewed on them? Or in some cases – your dog!

I should say that I don’t believe in a lot of the ‘toys to keep your tiny baby amused’ objects that parents and gift givers can’t resist. I prefer much more low key objects.

One of my favourites is the ‘O’ ball. How ‘soft’ they are!

When a nine week-old baby in my mother & baby/nanny & baby class hooked his finger into one of the holes by accident and waved it about there was no way he could hurt himself.

I have wanted to find the larger version but have been unable to find one in a store - I am averse to buying online, for many reasons. This baby’s mother admitted that she had the larger one, with a rain shaker inside, and as a test she hit her own head with it and it made her eyes water! This ‘new and improved’ ‘O’ ball really isn’t safe! How sad I felt – and yet I knew it.

I would still buy the small or large ‘O’ ball but never one with any other object (“to attract baby’s attention”?) inside.

I’ve just weighed one of the original small ‘O’ balls – it weighs 1 oz. The same size with a rattle inside weighs 3 ozs! No wonder the heavier one might cause a baby to hurt himself.

However, who are the people who are redesigning a perfectly good ‘O’ ball? They must not spend any time around babies, that’s certain!

A bit like the researchers with PhDs who advise on early childhood care – I doubt most of them have seen the inside of a daycare within living memory. I’m sure if they had they would have let me know by responding to my queries about their experience.

I agree with renowned, and respected, newspaper designer Mario Garcia Sr’s comments relating to his world of design: “…research is an important component, but not the only tool in the box.”

Please carefully evaluate the ‘toys’ you think your baby needs.

Magda Gerber proposed “passive play objects = active babies”

I much prefer active babies over passive ones!

Please consider reading this very useful Janet Lansbury blog post: http://janetlansbury.com/2010/10/better-toys-for-busy-babies/